Controversy over a liturgy to bring the Millennium Development Goals into focus during this Lenten season has caught the attention of Christianity Today. The liturgy, which was developed in 2007 by Mike Angell for a young adult conference; Angell notes in the piece that he did not intend it to replace the traditional stations of the cross.
Angell, who initially wrote the liturgy, agrees that it should not replace traditional Lenten worship. "Unless we see [the MDGs] as a way to participate in God's saving action, they don't accomplish anything," he said. "That's why the idea of them being a substitute for the Stations of the Cross would be beyond heretical and idolatrous."
"The real point of this liturgy was to allow people to prayerfully enter into the MDGs," said Angell, campus missioner at the University of California , San Diego. "Lent is a good time to explore the poverty in our world and the way in which our actions can either prolong that suffering or — through repentance and following the Jesus who calls us to be mindful of the poor — alleviate that suffering."
The article notes the critical (and, at times, condemnatory) response from Anglican blogs:
Several critics at Anglican blogs, including [Kendall] Harmon's TitusOneNine, have accused the liturgy of conflating Jesus' death on the Cross and human suffering. That's not a problem for Mike Kinman, executive director of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation, an independent organization that is promoting the Stations service.
"I look at the 30,000 children who die every day of preventable, treatable causes. If every one of those children is in the image of God, then there's a level at which those are 30,000 crucifixions," Kinman said. "That is not to cheapen what Christ did on the Cross — in some ways it makes it more meaningful."
The whole thing is here.