March 23, 2017

July 31, 2012


Bumped [Diocese of Georgia] Bishop Benhase On Why He Consented To The Glasspool Election

[This week is “Diocese of Georgia Meltdown Week” and so we’re bumping a few of the stories from the past that let us all know why the diocese is where it is today.]

[Received via email—a previous post on the Benhase consent is here.]

A few of our colleagues in the Diocese asked me if I gave my consent to the Reverend Canon Mary Glasspool’s election as Bishop Suffragan of Los Angeles. I did. While it is not usual for bishops to report on individual consents, I realize that for some people this is different, so I will try to explain how I came to give my consent. I cannot do so in a sound bite or even in a few sentences. Thus, you might wish to read this when you are not in a hurry.

1. Prior to my election as the 10th Bishop of Georgia, my theology and practice on the full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the life of the Church was well-known. I do not understand homosexuality to be barrier to any of the four orders of ministry in the Church. I have been quite clear in that theology and practice. So, my consent to Canon Glasspool’s election was consistent with what you had already known about me.

2. I would not have given my consent if I knew of any theology or practice of Canon Glasspool that was contrary to the Doctrine and Discipline of the Episcopal Church. Canon Glasspool has been a faithful priest of the Church for decades leading parishes to a renewed sense of their baptismal identity and purpose. More recently, she has served quite effectively as Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Maryland. From my perspective, we need more bishops like Canon Glasspool who have had extensive experience in the leadership of parishes so they are better able to be strategic partners with congregational leaders for the growth and mission of our parishes.

3. I am aware of some concern about the so-called moratorium. The House of Bishops did agree to a moratorium a number of years ago. That moratorium, however, was not one-sided. It was accepted in the context that certain of our Anglican brothers would refrain from crossing diocesan boundaries. While the House of Bishops exercised the restraint of the moratorium for seven years, others did not practice such restraint even for a year. So, in my judgment, the moratorium was no longing a compelling consideration.

4. I, of course, recognize that some in the Diocese of Georgia disagree with my consent. I welcome that. Disagreement in the Church is hardly new. In some ways, Anglicanism was forged out of an unresolved disagreement in the Elizabethean Settlement. After Queen Elizabeth, Protestants and Catholics within Anglicanism did not somehow see their differences go away, but they were committed to living with one another and serving Jesus together in the church.  They were willing to live with what they perceived as significant differences. In many ways, the challenge we face today is not new.

5. I believe that this current dilemma we face needs to be seen and understood in the larger context and truthfulness of Church history and tradition. The catholic faith has always lived with differences while holding fast to the Nicene faith. For example, the post-Constantinian Church has lived with difference in how we interpret the Sixth Commandment. Some have insisted that all killing is wrong all the time. This is the so-called pacifist position. Others have insisted that there are times when violating the Sixth Commandment is the lesser of two evils. From this came the Just War constructs of St Augustine that provided ethical boundaries for the violation of the Sixth Commandment. We have had both positions held faithfully in this Church (with many nuances in between) and neither has insisted that the other is not welcome or that the other is not orthodox.

6. More recently in my lifetime, we have had disagreement about violating Jesus’ teaching on divorce. Jesus is clear: If one marries after divorce one commits adultery. That seems to be the plain sense of Scripture. Yet, many have recognized that while divorce is never a “good,” sometimes it is the lesser of two evils for all parties. Others, however, still insist that Jesus’ words must be interpreted plainly. There are still others in our Church that hold even more nuanced understandings about this that fit somewhere in between the two extremes. Yet, in all these, we remain together in the same Church and receiving God’s gracious sacrament from the same altar.

7. I understand our current dilemma in a similar historical context. Faithful people will disagree about this. I do not understand such disagreement as a problem to be solved, but a dilemma God is asking us to live with for the time being. There are faithful people in the Diocese of Georgia who are anxious for a definitive resolution. I do not believe that is possible right now and may not be in my lifetime on this earth. If that is true, how are we to live together with this dilemma? I think the answer to that question is this: We will live together just like the saints who have gone before us who heeded Blessed Paul’s admonitions. We will love and honor one another. We will bear one another’s burdens. We will not have a higher opinion of ourselves than we ought. We will not look only to our own concerns, but the concerns of others. We will forgive one another as we have been forgiven.

8. There is a prayer in the Marriage Rite that has always touched me deeply. When praying for the newly married couple, the Church proclaims that “their life together” will be “a sign of Christ’s love to this sinful and broken world, that unity may overcome estrangement, that forgiveness heal guilt, and joy conquer despair.”  I see this as an image of our relationship together. I have been Bishop of this Diocese for three months now. In that sense, we are newlyweds together. Like in any relationship that is not worked at and nurtured, we can fall into patterns that lead to estrangement, guilt, and despair. You and I will work hard not to let that happen. We will seek unity, forgiveness, and joy.  We will seek to make our life together as bishop and people “a sign of Christ’s love for this sinful and broken world.” Of course, we will not always achieve those virtues, but I know will constantly seek them and commit ourselves to practicing them.

As you Bishop, I am committed to leading this Diocese faithfully and effectively. I want those who have differences on the issue of human sexuality to know that I will not play favorites by rewarding those who agree with me or seeking to punish those who do not. All of us share in the mission of Jesus Christ together. All have an important role to play in that mission. I pray that we not allow whatever differences we have to distract us from taking the saving Gospel of Jesus to the world.

+Scott

Just a few notes.

1) I’m confident that the clergy of the diocese knew of Benhase’s alternative gospel regarding Scripture, salvation, sanctification, repentance, sin, and the sacraments.  But I’m not confident that laypeople did.  But now . . . they will.

2) The moratorium was claimed repeatedly by the leaders of TEC over the past several years—including after the ridiculous passage of D025 last year at General Convention.  So Benhase’s assertions that other people engaged in “boundary-crossing” are irrelevant—the leadership of TEC repeatedly claimed they were enacting a moratorium.  Now—we all knew that was a lie.  But still—the moratorium was claimed as active and ongoing, even after passage of D025.

3) Bishop Benhase asserts that he welcomes disagreement with his consent.  The problem is—such disagreement, based as it is on the recognition that Benhase does not believe the same gospel, inevitably leads to consequences.  It leads—contrary to what Bishop Benhase asserts—to “estrangement.”

Indeed—there is already “estrangement” in that diocese, for the representative leadership of the diocese has elected as their leader a man who proclaims a different gospel than the one that traditional Episcopalians in that diocese believe.  Thus, there is estrangement.  Division.  And consequences.  Although there will be plenty of forgiveness and joy in the hearts of Christians in that diocese, there will not be “unity” with those who believe and promote a different and very sinful and corrupt gospel.

What Bishop Benhase will not “welcome” are the consequences of such estrangement.  Traditional laypeople in the diocese have few choices.  The main one is, of course, not to support such leadership as Bishop Benhase’s with pledges to their own parishes [a percentage of which goes to the diocese.]  It is one of the few—very few—tools that they have with which to express the deep estrangement that now exists in the diocese of Georgia.

Bishop Benhase has chosen to release a rather arrogant and presumptious communication to this diocese—and it will be a very hard, bitter, and tough battle in that diocese.  The end result can only be further decline and destruction and division.  That is what he has chosen—and the representative leadership of that diocese who voted for him.  Bullying presumptive bluster will not make it any less so—although certainly bullying presumptive bluster is most revealing of Bishop Benhase’s personal attributes and character.

It will be a very painful 10 to 14 years for the Diocese of Georgia.


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41 comments

The road to perdition ..........

[1] Posted by Rich on 4-26-2010 at 11:28 AM · [top]

Blah blah…blah blah blah blah…

Translation - I do not believe nor do I obey the Holy Word of God.  But I want you to think I do…

[2] Posted by B. Hunter on 4-26-2010 at 11:37 AM · [top]

I thought that “Blessed Paul” had something to say on this subject. This letter is no surprise to me and it reflects the thinking of the nominating committee. My letter wull remain in DSC.

[3] Posted by Pb on 4-26-2010 at 11:48 AM · [top]

Our bishop’s consent to Rev. Cannon Glasspool’s election along with the sermon preached in our parish on Easter Sunday have proven ultimately to be the “last straw” for my husband and me with The Episcopal Church. My husband is a cradle Episcopalian, and I was confirmed 31 years ago by the late Bishop Reeves. We have been active participants (along with our children) in our Diocese of Georgia parish. We have both served as vestry members, have been very active in the music ministry and choir(s), and our two children were devoted participants in the acolyte ministry from kindergarten until leaving for college. Our closest friends are our church family, and we have remained for almost seven years, hoping beyond hope that things would turn around. It was always, “wait, wait—wait until we get a new priest, a new bishop, a new ....”  As time passed it became clear that the passage of time only produced new insults to our traditional faith. When the Easter sermon was delivered by our interim priest (after his “hire” with our parish, he was apparently found to actually be a member of a Unitarian congregation….), and he declares that all the stories about Jesus in the Bible are “made up,” that basically sealed the deal, and our anxieties about leaving our “home” were no more. He did preface this declaration by first offering a hypothetical premise that a sensational news item (specifically like one might see on Fox News, for example) for Holy Week might include Biblical scholars reporting that the stories about Jesus were made up by the Church.  He then ended this bit of “humor” (nervous laughter throughout most of the sermon) with, “The scholars are correct.”  Sorry, on what I consider the holiest day of the Christian year (and to a considerably larger crowd than in the past few years), that isn’t what I want to have proclaimed from the lectern. My husband and I excused ourselves (we were in the choir stall in the rear balcony)when as the sermon progressed, I felt ashamed to be listening to what seemed heretical to me.  The point of this being, even though our dear parish friends would ask us to concentrate on our own parish—that the national church, and now diocese was not representative of our parish, it appears to have become less likely that there will be a return to traditionalism.  It is true that although as our friends say nothing has changed for our parish and we still say the same prayers and participate in the beautiful liturgy, it almost feels participation is by “rote,” and I wonder where the spirit is. As your essay indicated some would do, Sarah, we did begin to withhold funds even from the parish so no support would go to the Diocese and national church. That is not fair to the local parish, and we must be able to support our church with our time, talent, and money. We have written a letter to the vestry and members of the parish, with a copy to the diocese, outlining the chronology of our decision. I also felt I should include in the letter specific things (names, dates) that had been instrumental in our decision so that anyone who might think we were just following “opinion” could actually do the research themselves—in addition to our bishop’s consent to Rev. Glasspool, things like Rev. Kevin Thew Forrester; Rev. Katharine Ragsdale etc. etc., the Easter sermon, etc. However, it is that last step, i.e., actually mailing the letters that I haven’t yet done. Excuse the lengthy post; somewhat like the letter written, it has been almost therapeutic to have put this in writing. I’m not sure how many other Diocese of Georgia folks feel the same; it isn’t anything that has ever been openly discussed in our parish, more’s the pity, I think (I also think you are right, Sarah, in that the majority of the lay people in the Diocese of Georgia have no idea what this bishop is about). This may have lost all sense of cohesion, and if so, I apologize. The feelings of sadness are certainly genuine.

[4] Posted by I think on 4-26-2010 at 12:29 PM · [top]

Ithink—I am thrilled you are writing this letter and sending it to both vestry and parishioners.  I also hope you will send it to the members of the Georgia Standing Committee.

I hope you’ll emphasize your history with TEC, as well as the timeline you mention, and the bishop’s most recent actions.

This will be a good further “drip” in the “drip irrigation” that is needed for educating people who are ill informed.

I wonder if you are on the border of Georgia—if so, perhaps you could find a church across the border in the Diocese of SC?

I know that Holy Apostles Barnwell has received very high marks as an excellent small parish in that diocese that is *somewhat* near the border of Georgia.  Perhaps there are others.

[5] Posted by Sarah on 4-26-2010 at 12:48 PM · [top]

Thank you, Sarah. I had not thought to send a copy to the Standing Committee but will certainly to that.  There are 3 parishes fairly nearby our Augusta congregation. St. Luke’s is an Anglo-Catholic parish, very tiny.  They still use the 1928 Prayer Book and so for my husband, it’s like “going home.”  There is also the new ACNA Church of the Holy Trinity in North Augusta (basically the old TEC St. John’s parish, Clearwater) which we have visited on several occasions and like very much—seemingly really sincere, spirit-filled congregation and clergy. Their music is a bit more contemporary than we’re used to.  There is also All Saints in Aiken (about a 45-minute drive for us—some of our friends have said they couldn’t drive that far to church. I would always remember that we boarded our daughter’s horse in Aiken for a few years and made that trip about 6 days a week for that—I certainly couldn’t in good conscience say I couldn’t drive there to church! smile)

[6] Posted by I think on 4-26-2010 at 12:57 PM · [top]

Greg & Sarah, I am blown away by Ithink’s letter and fully agree about circulating it widely in both parish and diocese.

While I would not change a bit of your advice on that, I am reading so much about the “clergy - laity” gap in your comments on this, Rio Grande and other situations.  One of the things you don’t address, IMO, is the role of revisionist lay leaders.  They are as dismissive of people like Ithink as are the revisionist clergy.  The uninformed lay folks on a Commission on Ministry, Standing Committee, Vestry or other body will defer to assertive Bonnie Anderson wannabees in many cases.

Again, we have to keep up the drip, drip, drip of information - but just know that there will be lay voices saying, “Oh, that person is just a crank who reads too many of those blogs .”

[7] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 4-26-2010 at 01:12 PM · [top]

While the House of Bishops exercised the restraint of the moratorium for seven years

Ummmm, no.  The moratoria haven’t even been in place for seven years.  Utter lies and wishful thinking.

[8] Posted by Karen B. on 4-26-2010 at 01:17 PM · [top]

The Church of the Cross in Bluffton, SC is an excellent, fast growing church.  http://www.thechurchofthecross.net.

[9] Posted by Pb on 4-26-2010 at 02:01 PM · [top]

#8 Quite the Windsor Report recommended the moratoria in October 2004. In 2005 the Primates asked the Episcopal Church to consider the requests made in the Windsor Report. In 2006 General Convention passed B033 which responded to this invitation. In February 2007 the Primates requested clarification of the meaning of B033 and in September 2007 the HOB declared that it was correct to understand that B033 was intended to comply with the request.

Even under the most generous interpretation, the moratorium lasted only from 2006 - 2009.

[10] Posted by driver8 on 4-26-2010 at 02:32 PM · [top]

Ithink- You have obviously approached your decision in a careful, faithful way.  May God bless you in the days ahead.

[11] Posted by Going Home on 4-26-2010 at 02:37 PM · [top]

Exactly, driver8.  Thanks for researching the timeline.  And as you put it, even 3 years is an EXCEEDINGLY generous interpretation.  It helps to remember there was more than a single moratorium.  It was not just about a moratorium on the consecration of further gay bishops, but also a moratorium on SSBs.

And as we know, those considered full speed ahead in many dioceses, often with the bishop’s full knowledge and participation.  Bishops like +Bruno, +Schori, +Chane, +Curry and former AK bishop +Maze and many others were all on the record as promoting, participating in, and in some cases performing SSBs.  So all along the “moratoria” were a game for many TEC bishops.  Say and pretend one thing, do another.  [I remember vividly Susan Russell’s SSB and her trumpeting it on her blog in explicit defiance of the Primates and the moratoria.  It wasn’t done in secret in a corner.

And of course, at least 3 dioceses had partnered gays as candidates for bishop during the period… so, dioceses were actively trying to flaunt the moratorium on ordaining gay bishops.  They just didn’t succeed until Glasspool was elected.

[12] Posted by Karen B. on 4-26-2010 at 02:41 PM · [top]

Maybe General Sherman didn’t complete the job well enough.

[13] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 4-26-2010 at 03:50 PM · [top]

My understanding is that there are conservative TEC parishes in the Augusta-Aiken areas, some more than others. I don’t personally know anyone who is considering the commute to DioSC parishes, though that’s certainly an option.

The diocese of GA has real financial trouble, as do many of its parishes and missions. One way to inflict pain on a revisionist parish is a mass exodus, withdrawing pledges that have already been made. Or to stay and withdraw one’s pledge, and not to pledge for the coming year. If enough people revolt, the parish will fold. Another way to inflict pain is to stay on, continue pledging, and make the interim’s tenure a foretaste of eternity in perdition.

I can’t imagine a revisionist sermon like that taking place in Georgia (outside of Atlanta) or South Carolina. And on Easter Sunday! Perhaps someone could obtain a copy of the sermon, and persuade the SF bloggers to post it.

The statement from the Bishop of Georgia reveals an interesting intellectual void. He might have done better just to announce how he voted, and not written this rambling letter. (Perhaps Ole Rafe would do well to express disagreement with the consent, and not go on to write this rambling post.)

1. He seems to be saying that he has no problem with the idea of admitting persons who are sexually active outside of Holy Matrimony to Holy Orders or (???) to the laity. (Note that he said “four orders of ministry.” Not careful proofreading?)

He also seems to be saying that this is what HE believes, without acknowledging the simple fact that the huge majority of Christendom believes otherwise.

Dear Bishop Benhase,
Prior to your election as the 10th Bishop of Georgia, the diocesan opinions on the theology and practice on the full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the life of the diocese were well-known. Surely you read the diocesan profile before shredding it. Surely you know that this is the Bible Belt. So, widespread diocesan discontent with your consent to Canon Glasspool’s election is consistent with what you had already known about the diocese.

It would seem that he simply doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about HIS decision. I guess he doesn’t care what the Anglican Communion thinks, either. We don’t know if it was made in the context of the advice and counsel of the Standing Committee, or other advisers. We DO know that the SC voted overwhelmingly against consent, and that his predecessor voted against the VGR consent. We also know that the diocese found out about his consent via Stand Firm, not through diocesan communications channels. Is this leadership?

I agree with others that not everyone at the electing convention had been to Stand Firm in order to learn about “my theology and practice.”

(We also don’t know if he got anyone to critique this letter before he sent it out.)

2. The Episcopal Church has never made a binding doctrinal statement that homosexual practice is not sinful. Nor has it made a doctrinal statement that sex outside of Holy Matrimony is not sinful. Perhaps this bishop could get such a resolution to pass at the next diocesan convention.

3. The puerile moratorium argument. Billy and Johnny aren’t friends. Their parents make each agree not to step into the other’s yard. Johnny comes into Billy’s yard. Billy sees this, and crosses over into Johnny’s yard to beat him up.

4. So, he welcomes disagreement with his consent, but he doesn’t seem to care, or want to listen. (After all, the so-called “listening process” is over.)  Is this pastoral care? He further takes a matter of sexual immorality (porneia) and places it into the Elizabethan Settlement. Must have skipped Church History 101.

5. The “sixth” commandment. Presumably he means, “Thou shalt not kill.” I guess he opted out of Hebrew class in seminary, though I guess he reads the KJV.

6. Divorce? I suppose that a cleric who has remarried after divorce (for reasons other than adultery of the other spouse) ought not to run for bishop. I guess the argument is that if an exception has been made on one thing, it’s OK to make an exception on something else. Puerile, or substantial?

7. Is God asking us to live with this dilemma, or are confused fellow, human beings - confused by an agenda that leads the faithful away from Biblical teachings - asking us to live with this dilemma?

8. It would seem that this bishop’s “honeymoon period” has drawn to an abrupt close.

I guess the next steps are 1) letting self-avowed practicing and unrepentant persons in sexual relationships outside of Holy Matrimony into the ordination process, 2) letting such persons work in diocesan parishes, and 3) affirming such relationships in church-related ceremonies presided over by clergy.

No matter what others in the diocese, or the rest of the world, think about that. After all, it’s “my theology and practice.”

It would seem that this diocese is ripe for cherry-picking from the ACNA and others. DioUSC is next.

[14] Posted by Ralph on 4-26-2010 at 04:18 PM · [top]

Ithink - prayers for you and your husband as you journey to a new church home. God’s blessings on you.

Ralph, there is no more diocesan communications “channels.” She was fired.

[15] Posted by oscewicee on 4-26-2010 at 07:08 PM · [top]

I understand our current dilemma in a similar historical context. Faithful people will disagree about this. I do not understand such disagreement as a problem to be solved, but a dilemma God is asking us to live with for the time being.

This is the biggest lie in the whole of his theses!!  The Glasspool consent is now a FACT ON THE GROUND, and Bishop Benhase helped to make it so.  Sooooo . . . he most assuredly treated this “a problem to be solved.”  He just solved it in favor of the folks who want more rights for homosexuals instead of in favor of more traditional Episcopalians.  He is asking the traditionalists to live with disagreement while giving the modernists what they want.  That is a solution to the problem (not the solution we traditionalists want, but it is a solution).  The hypocrisy of this statement is beyond reprehension.

In the Joy of Christ,
Eddie Swain

[16] Posted by Eddie Swain on 4-26-2010 at 08:24 PM · [top]

This is what happens when a well-meaning Bishop (Louttit) decides to send the majority of his seminarians to the revisionist Virginia Theological Seminary.  They have come back to the Diocese, led their people to elect a Bishop that will destroy what so many others strived to keep in tact.  Just wonder how many departures there will be of parishioners, congregation and clergy.  Time will only tell.

[17] Posted by seminarian on 4-26-2010 at 09:07 PM · [top]

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t there also a “moratoria” on SSBs that came out of one or more of the purple gab-fests?  That was parsed into “We don’t have documented ‘rites’ for SSBs, therefore they don’t exist.”

How long did that last?  32 or 33 minutes?

[18] Posted by Bill2 on 4-26-2010 at 09:51 PM · [top]

#18 The Windsor Report (October 2004) stated:

we call upon all bishops of the Anglican Communion to honour the Primates’ Pastoral Letter of May 2003, by not proceeding to authorise public Rites of Blessing for same sex unions

and

While we recognise that the Episcopal Church (USA) has by action of Convention made provision for the development of public Rites of Blessing of same sex unions, the decision to authorise rests with diocesan bishops. Because of the serious repercussions in the Communion, we call for a moratorium on all such public Rites

In response to this request the HOB, in September 2007, pledged :

not to authorize for use in our dioceses any public rites of blessing of same-sex unions until a broader consensus emerges in the Communion, or until General Convention takes further action. In the near future we hope to be able to draw upon the benefits of the Communion-wide listening process. In the meantime, it is important to note that no rite of blessing for persons living in same-sex unions has been adopted or approved by our General Convention. In addition to not having authorized liturgies the majority of bishops do not make allowance for the blessing of same-sex unions. We do note that in May 2003 the Primates said we have a pastoral duty “to respond with love and understanding to people of all sexual orientations.” They further stated, “…[I]t is necessary to maintain a breadth of private response to situations of individual pastoral care.”

At least some bishops seem to have considered that this pledge meant that they could, with integrity (so to say), maintain the existing practices in which same sex unions were blessed within the boundaries of their diocese. That is, the assurance the HOB gave, was, in their eyes, compatible with continuing unchanged the very practices that had been questioned in the Windsor Report.

I suggest that many will have seen resolution C056 passed at General Convention 2009 as repealing whatever force, if indeed any, the HOB 2007 assurance once had:

That bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this Church

Thus, many will think that the request for a moratorium on public rites of blessing was never met in some dioceses (and thus never within TEC as a whole) and whatever ambiguity the HOB 2007 pledge introduced was removed in 2009. (I am intrigued to learn if there were any dioceses in which same sex blessings were occurring prior to September 2007 in which they stopped after the pledge given by the HOB).

Thus IMO it’s fair to say FWLIW that TEC has shown itself, as a whole, to be unwilling to comply with the requests made of it by the Windsor Report. Not that this now seems to mean anything….

[19] Posted by driver8 on 4-26-2010 at 10:43 PM · [top]

Again FWLIW the Joint Standing Committee noted that it interpreted the HOB pledge in 2007 to mean:

It needs to be made clear however that we believe that the celebration of a public liturgy which includes a blessing on a same-sex union is not within the breadth of private pastoral response envisaged by the Primates in their pastoral Letter of 2003, and that the undertaking made by the bishops in New Orleans is understood to mean that the use of any such rites or liturgies will not in future have the bishop’s authority “until a broader consensus emerges in the Communion, or until General Convention takes further action”, a qualification which is in line with the limits that the Constitution of The Episcopal Church places upon the bishops.

and that it was only on this extraordinarily generous basis that TEC as a whole might be seen as complying with the Windsor request for a moratorium on public rites of blessing.

It now seems evident that even at the time some TEC Bishops did not interpret their pledge to mean any such thing and moreover, whatever the pledge did mean (and some seem to have interpreted it to mean that no rite of same sex blessing would be authorized until one was authorized by General Convention - that is it meant nothing) it was superseded by C056.

In short, even on the most generous interpretation, TEC as a whole, simply never complied with the Windsor request for a moratorium on public rites of Blessing.

[20] Posted by driver8 on 4-26-2010 at 11:14 PM · [top]

Ithink: It is a short journey from enlightenment to activism. You have made that journey. Mail your letters. Assemble your like minded friends in your parish and oppose the Unitarian and his pansexual heretical Bishop by cancelling pledges. The power of the purse is a driving factor with the revisionists—They need your money to spread their heresies. Deny them that.

It can work. There was a small parish nearby that got inflicted with a revisionist priest. He is gone, having alienated some 80 percent of the congregation who simply quit giving money. It is the mother’s milk of heresey and they starve without it.

You will be subjected to verbal abuse, even from the pulpit. One thing these people do well is being ugly. The Saints endured crucifixion, stoning, and being burned alive. Endure the revisionist rants as your sacrifice.

By all means find another church home, but do not abandon your friends in your current congregation. Help reform it, rescue it.

Prayers of thanks ascend for your courageous stand.

[21] Posted by teddy mak on 4-27-2010 at 04:50 AM · [top]

The puerile moratorium argument. Billy and Johnny aren’t friends. Their parents make each agree not to step into the other’s yard. Johnny comes into Billy’s yard. Billy sees this, and crosses over into Johnny’s yard to beat him up.

I do not agree this is an accurate metaphor.  Here’s a better one:
North Korea and South Korea “don’t get along”.  They and their allies sign an armistice and determine borders to limit each from entering one another’s territory.  A plane crashes into North Korea’s waters, but North Korea does nothing to rescue the passengers.  The UN sends a rescue team.  North Korea declares it an act of war and accuses the South Koreans and the United States of launching a full-scale attack and retaliates with nuclear weapons.

[22] Posted by Fidela on 4-27-2010 at 06:32 AM · [top]

#22, I agree completely.

A friend in Augusta believes that the Easter “sermon” mentioned above may be found at (scroll about halfway down):
http://saint-augustines.blogspot.com/

Someone ought to preserve this little coprolite gem before it gets taken down.

Ithink, if this is your parish, should you be the one who leaves? Or should you simply make it known that you’re there to stay, no matter what? Interims come, and interims go. Rectors come, and rectors go. Bishops come, and bishops go. Should you stay, and make lots of noise? Do others in your parish share your concerns about this sermons? Or, is there a movement afoot to go revisionist?

[23] Posted by Ralph on 4-27-2010 at 07:18 AM · [top]

“Jesus is clear: If one marries after divorce one commits adultery.”

This is a standard line by the revisionists. First of all, Jesus states that in the case of infidelity, one can divorce and remarry. Regardless, we don’t celebrate divorce. We don’t say that some are born to divorce so they are excused. We don’t have committees whose sole purpose working to increase the numbers of divorced among the clergy. Et cetera.

Yeah, I know. Preaching to the choir. Thanks for letting me vent. :^(

[24] Posted by robroy on 4-27-2010 at 07:34 AM · [top]

As Stacy Sauls said, once you go against the clear teaching of Jesus on divorce, the rest is easy.

So, where is this theology the bishop is talking about?  I have never seen an interlocking theology that explains everything.  I’ve seen people try to explain how gay sex is sterile, and since we allow sterile heterosexuals to marry, it’s the same thing (Hahaha), but a real theology?  It doesn’t exist.

How can so many be deluded?

[25] Posted by Paul B on 4-27-2010 at 07:35 AM · [top]

That is the best a BISHOP could do in explaining why he choose to consent to the election of another to be a bishop? Let me save everyone sometime by paraphrasing the theology, “You can mix chocolate and vanilla ice cream in the same bowl and have a wonderful new thing, chocnilla.”

[26] Posted by Festivus on 4-27-2010 at 07:51 AM · [top]

RE: “There was a small parish nearby that got inflicted with a revisionist priest. He is gone, having alienated some 80 percent of the congregation who simply quit giving money. It is the mother’s milk of heresey and they starve without it.”

Oh yeh—the equivalent happened in my diocese recently.  They got pawned on them a rector who wanted them all to call God Mother [various other things too] and she was out of there mighty fast.

But that’s because there was a united outcry.  Doesn’t sound as if Ithink has many allies.

[27] Posted by Sarah on 4-27-2010 at 08:52 AM · [top]

subscribe

[28] Posted by Theophilus on 4-27-2010 at 09:10 AM · [top]

RE: “They got pawned on them a rector who wanted them all to call God Mother.”

Check out the sermon in the link posted in #23. In the final paragraph God is referred to as she. Its a real gem.

[29] Posted by gaanglican on 4-27-2010 at 09:11 AM · [top]

Yup, just read that Easter sermon.  Worthy of the document the heresy thread.

Here’s the exact sermon link:
http://saint-augustines.blogspot.com/2010/04/easter-day-year-c-sunday-april-4-2010.html

[30] Posted by Karen B. on 4-27-2010 at 10:29 AM · [top]

Ithink, I pray that once you have sent the letter, you will share the final version with us here on Stand Firm.  Your testimony is very powerful.  Thank you for your courage.

[31] Posted by Moving Forward on 4-27-2010 at 11:12 AM · [top]

Thanks to all for your encouragement. Mine is by and large an aging congregation. Although many disagree with what’s happening, some say they are simply too old to find another church, and the fellowship is what draws them more than anything.  Others are of the mind that no one is going to run them out of their church, yet there is never a “push back.” The reality also is that for many in the congregation, it just isn’t that big a deal. There is a whole generation of Episcopalians for whom “church” is the liturgy on Sunday morning followed by lunch with friends; life is good. While we were teaching tolerance and diversity in Sunday School, a whole generation knows hardly anything at all about the Bible or God’s plan of salvation. I can’t even remember the last time I heard anything about “sin.”  We have apparently moved beyond that. Around my parish I hear “social justice” being touted as a goal; I hear we analyze our faith based on “science and reason;” and I hear we enjoy these sermons because this priest causes us to think. Some take a tack of seemingly inferring intellectual superiority; only the unsophisticated would not understand that we need to change with the changing world. What I want to know at the end of my road is that I took a stand for what I believe rather than having been insidously assimilated into what most of our grandparents would not even recognize.  I can hold on to faith; I don’t need to rationalize the basic tenets of Christianity to make them relevant in today’s world. There are not many (if any) left in my parish; most have just simply gone away. Our dear friends whom we love so dearly I think just wonder what it is they’ve missed. They sympathize with our angst but do not really understand where it comes from. That’s the saddest part for me.

[32] Posted by I think on 4-27-2010 at 12:27 PM · [top]

Ithink,
IMHO you parish is probably more typical than anyone wants to admit.  My mom had a saying: Incremtalism will win the day. Yep, I lived to see what my mom knew what was going to happen (even thought she did not live to see the worst of it).  Slowly but surely PECUSA has changed into TEC an organization that is a church in name only. Sad. very sad. Especiallu for me to as one who was raised in PECUSA and is still part of the TEC in the Diocese of South Carolina.

[33] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 4-27-2010 at 01:55 PM · [top]

Ithink,
Having just read your lengthy post, I agree go ahead and send the letter, the more who see it the better. If you are need of encouragement,  just reading Bishop Lawrence’s letters to this diocese can make one feel the rightness of your faith.  Keep the faith.

[34] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 4-27-2010 at 02:00 PM · [top]

What a lousy typist I am. I hope my meaning is clear.  For those in need of encouragement, I suggest either listening to or reading some of Bishop Lawrence’s “talks” to the Diocese of South Carolina.  I am sure that he is not the only one worth listening to but I have found his words very encouraging. 

I had forgotten that he started his address to the special convention back in October 2009 with a quote from Psalm 11. That verse remained me of your post, Ithink.  Ok not an exact quote:  When the foundations are being destroyed what are the righteous to do ? He goes on to explain. I never fail to be heartened or encouraged by his words. 

If anyone wants info about parishes in the diocese of SC, it is all there. There is even a map of parishes in the diocese.  You will have to click through several links to get to the map.  Not trying to suggest that anyone join us but pointing out that information is available on the diocesan website.

[35] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 4-27-2010 at 02:24 PM · [top]

Thank you for sharing, Ithink.  God be with you.

[36] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 4-28-2010 at 10:55 AM · [top]

Ithink, as one among many who has already traveled the path you are on now (will I be backtracking soon?) I honestly and sincerely feel your pain.  Unfortunately for us, Christ did not call us to “Salvation through fellowship” but he did call us to salvation through faith in Him, the true and unadultered version of Christ as presented in Scripture, not as bent and twisted as these so called revisionists would have us believe.

Never forget, prior to the National Socialist Party being extinguished in Germany, Swastikas even showed up in worship, liturgies were changed to honor Hitler more than Christ, and the “1,000 Year Reign” became the new heaven. 

All was made by man in sin, and all is now dust.  Amen.

KTF!...mrb

[37] Posted by Mike Bertaut on 4-29-2010 at 11:10 PM · [top]

Driving out the sheep!
Driving out the sheep!
To 815 rejoicing
Driving out the sheep!

Property to keep!
Property to keep!
To 815 rejoicing
Property to keep!

Buildings and bonds to sell!
Buildings and bonds to sell!
To bankruptcy rejoicing
Buildings and bonds to sell!

All is really well!
All is really well!
GC did SSBs and
All is really well!

Benhase is doing swell!
DioG is doing swell!
Camp bonds slow in selling, but
All is really well!

[38] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 7-31-2012 at 08:11 PM · [top]

Dwstroud, that makes more sense than the inane “five marks of mission” song at GC

[39] Posted by MichaelA on 7-31-2012 at 10:16 PM · [top]

Since we elect these guys, there ought to be a way for the people to impeach them (all references to peaches in these comments are purely coincidental).

Nice lyrics dwstroudmd+ #38

[40] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 8-1-2012 at 07:52 AM · [top]

He does not see homosexuality as a barrier to ordination. Of course, scripture and tradition do. And there also that old Lamberth resolution and the understanding of the vast majority of Christian today or who have ever lived. Just does not see it.

[41] Posted by Pb on 8-1-2012 at 08:30 AM · [top]

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