“Apparently The Episcopal Church is now all set to become The Missionary Society,” the Rev. Torey Lightcap writes. “No more 815. No more Church Center. No more PECUSA. No more The Episcopal Church. Henceforth, this enterprise is The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.” He goes on:
I have to say this is tiring, but nevertheless it’s a conversation worth having.
The immediate issue this presents is twofold, with two geographic centers of concern. To put these succintly,
1. In the spiritual-but-not-religious United States, “missionary” is a term freighted with deep-seated psychological baggage, specifically the image of Christians so blinded by zealotry as to be immune to the actual needs of the world but instead intent on creating Jesus delivery systems. (Did you, for example, have a chance to take in “The Book of Mormon”?) It’s a term that smacks of knowing you’re in the right and others had ought to get out of the way. …
2. In many other areas of the world, the term remains even more deeply problematic, even more deeply entrenched. It smacks of imperialism, colonialism — genocide, warfare, germs, defenestration of kings, cultures, systems of self-governance, ideas, whole libraries, ways of being. It has yet to be effectively separated from colonialism as a category, yet we no longer live in that age.
So there are your two prongs of trouble, and they’re guaranteed to cause heartache down the line if this new name is adopted into common use. However, these prongs are attached to a more current systemic issue holding them together — the precise point at which this decision was made.
Read his full post here.