The Bishop of Southwest Florida
, John B. Lipscomb
, is an honorable man and a good bishop.But much as King John, of Now We Are Six , he
has, according to the report in the Living Church
, called for a forty day fast from reading blogs.
On the one hand, this is precisely what a moratorium should look like, a fast or break from doing something for a specific time period for a specific purpose.I wish the Windsor Report had understood that.He
is suggesting that not reading blogs for forty days would be good for our spiritual health.He
may be right.Read his
full essay HERE.
I like the title given on the Diocesan newspaper web page: "If a blog falls in the forest and no one reads it, does it make a sound?"Of course, the answer is â€˜no.' Blogging only makes a sound if people check in. So checking out is a way to reduce blogamania. (I'm not sure how one spells that.) So an additional purpose in not reading blogs is that if enough of us did that the blogs would dry up and disappear. The Living Church article does little justice to the full comments of Bishop Lipscomb.
I cannot do them justice here either, except to say they come from a deeply committed person of faith, even as I also admit disagreement with some of what he
Having said that, it should be noted that the Living Church
did indeed pick on his
little ways; one of which is to point the finger at blogging as a whole and not at the specifics of "those who hide behind masks of anonymity."
...Both TLC article and the Bishop's letter note that Bishop Lipscomb is co-chair of a meeting of bishops to be held September 11-13, reportedly at the Church Pension Group Offices , one which the Bishop said,
...But the interest in what Bishop Lipscomb wrote is directly related to the meeting next week, which is news.
That news is fed by further speculation (not on the blogs) but by TLC and other journalistic efforts.
...Now, Bishop Lipscomb, this is not a blogging report of some event and speculation on the agenda, but the speculation of a respected journal in the Episcopal Church.
...Bishop Lipscomb asked that instead of reading blogs we go to prayer: "I would encourage you to join me in a 40-day fast from reading the web blogs.
Instead, fill that time with prayer, join other members of your congregation to reflect on the Scriptures, and allow God's Holy Spirit to guide the church through these difficult times."
Well, for starters, I spend considerable time with my congregation reflecting on the Scriptures at all times and in all seasons.I pray together with others and alone, but never enough.I am as ready as anyone to be corrected in the time spent on this or that activity, including reading and writing blogs.But Bishop Lipscomb is theologically mistaken, and tragically so, to believe that to "allow God's Holy Spirit to guide the church through these difficult times" is an activity separate and distinct from engagement with the issues part of this or that small group of bishops.
I believe that holding what he
is doing in prayer, and acting on the prayer that that group stay honest to what the Episcopal Church
is as a participatory faith community, is one continuous task.