Having been Roman Catholic (some say I still am, albeit somewhat lapsed…), I’ve walked and prayed the Stations of the Cross. In several venues, but mostly in church on Good Fridays. It’s a powerful experience; one that I miss in my allegedly purer and simpler Baptist church.
But I respect those who walk in the way of our Lord in his Passion. The Stations are also observed by Anglicans. Or at least they used to be. Not so much in The Episcopal Church, it would seem. Now, our Piskie brethren are encouraged to meditate on our own lack of social justice. The 11th station, the Crucifixion? Ha. That’s nothing. We’ve got to do something about global poverty.
Here’s a scathing entry at a traditional Anglican website, Stand Firm, that begins thusly: “Fresh hell, people. Gitcher fresh hell here.” What’s the problem, here, folks? Seems that TED has suggested, from its HQ in New York City, that faithful Piskies worship the “Stations of the Millennium Development Goals.” Which goals are the usual litany (good usage, John Luke…) of wealthy liberal guilt.
The goals are reproduced at the Stand Firm post, and I know that I’m saddened by the plight of all sorts of poor folks. But Lent is about us preparing for the supreme sacrifice made for us by our Lord, not about touting our good works. Or, more accurately, good thoughts, good guilty thoughts, about our future good works.
Will those who substitute the “Stations of the Millennium Development Goals” for the Cross of our Lord go to hell? Well, I’m not qualified to judge, but were I attending an Episcopal church that adapted this for Good Friday, I would run, not walk, to the nearest exit. And pray for forgiveness for the arrogance of any church that would substitute its social goals, however worthy they might be, for the Passion of our Lord.