Today we meet Nicodemus, a man searching for answers.
The traditional response of the church to people searching for answers is to provide a ream of doctrine.
The Episcopal Church is actually not a doctrinal church. In order to be Episcopalian, at no point do you have to sign on the dotted line to a list of detailed beliefs.
Our only statement of belief is the Nicene Creed, and it’s okay to be a little hazy on parts of that if you need to.
As long as you are actively seeking out relationship with God in Jesus Christ, you are welcome to call yourself an Episcopalian.
Our unifying document is not a list of doctrines, but the Book of Common Prayer. We are bound together by worship and sacrament; we find our unity in praying together.
But that’s not to say that Episcopalians are floating around out there with no doctrine available. If you want doctrine, there is a lot out there to choose from and ponder.
We’re just saying that the church isn’t going to dictate it to you. It is your privilege and your responsibility to sift through generations of church tradition with scripture in one hand and your own good human reason in the other to find out what rings true to you and what will best help you to better love God and your neighbor.
One of the great things about being an Episcopalian is that active relationship with God takes precedence over doctrine.
But there are actually two bits of doctrine that work for me that I’d like for you to try on for size and see if they work for you. Continue reading