March 23, 2017

September 27, 2012

A Brief Open Letter to Stephen Kuhrt and Tory Baucum

Dear Stephen Kuhrt and Tory Baucum:

Pastors and/or church leaders who advocate blessing same sex unions and ordaining ministers in same sex relationships are not our “brothers with whom we disagree”...they are purveyors of “another gospel” (Gal 1:6-9). They are false teachers who lead people away from repentance and the redeeming work of Jesus. They are wolves to be driven out of the fold…not brethren to be given a platform or an opportunity to spread their spiritual poison.

“Recant and repent or face discipline and expulsion.” That is the only opportunity for dialog these leaders must be given.

And this is not because we are mean but because we have a flock to protect and that flock cannot and must not be set at risk to make room for those purported Christian leaders who want to use the pulpit to embark upon self-indulgent theological journeys to nowhere. 

By giving false teachers a platform and a voice, you are giving aid and comfort to the Enemy. You are undermining the Gospel you claim to uphold.

For the sake of the Church Jesus loves and died and rose again to save: proclaim Jesus Christ, defend the Faith, or step down.

Yours in Christ
Matt Kennedy

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Interesting that Tory Baucum had to try to assemble some “words of encouragement” to support his actions, which are just awful.  My guess is that Truro isn’t unified on this at all—and that’s understandable.

Bishop Johnston is not a brother in Christ and he does not share the same Gospel; he is a heretic and he is and should be rightly spurned and excommunicated from the Church. Since he has not been excommunicated from TEC, it’s up to other Christian leaders to have nothing to do with him.

Tory Baucum’s actions are not “a model” of anything Christian—rather, his actions are to be publicly denounced.

The scary thing is that this is imported into ACNA.  It’s happened faster than even I thought possible. Not even a generation.

[1] Posted by Sarah on 9-27-2012 at 06:44 AM · [top]

Oh oh . . .

RE: “I am delighted to publicly brag about Tory Baucum and Truro . . . “

Looks like some of these were *asked* to write nice things about “Tory Baucum and Truro.”

That’s more desperate than I’d thought.

[2] Posted by Sarah on 9-27-2012 at 06:52 AM · [top]

That’s what frightens me Sarah…there are ACNA leaders supporting this “reconciliation” who should be working to shut it down.

[3] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 9-27-2012 at 06:52 AM · [top]

As I recall when the Baucum/Johnston twosome first blossomed, Fr. Baucum was described as one who believed in “radical reconcilliation” or some words to that effect.  I wondered at the time, whether Baucum was going to take Truro into waters that they would not go in except for a charismatic leader who would take them there.

And lets not say “there are some ACNA leaders supporting this”.  For a fact we know Bp. Guernsey has been 4-square supportive of this and unless he states otherwise, still is.  And if we know other names, let’s name them and then let them defend their stance.

One reason I left TEC is so that when I saw a shepherd on the road, I would know he WAS a shepherd and not a wolf in shepherd’s clothing.  If we have some wolves in shepherd’s clothes, let’s put a bell around their necks so that we know they are coming and we can work to weed them out.

[4] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 9-27-2012 at 07:34 AM · [top]

For a fact we know Bp. Guernsey has been 4-square supportive of this and unless he states otherwise, still is.

That’s a serious charge.  What are the specifics of your “for a fact we know”?  What has he said or written on this and when?

[5] Posted by hanks on 9-27-2012 at 09:51 AM · [top]

Bp. Guernsey wrote, and it is a part of the SF record and can be searched, a letter indicating he was okay with the space/lease arrangements with the Dio of Virginia and the requirement that he [Bp. Guernsey] had to have the permission of Johnston to make a pastoral visit to Truro while they occupied “diocesan property”. 

All of this during the week when Johnston allowed a same-sex blessing in one of his parishes.

Yes, I agree with you #5, it is serious, which was the whole point of my post.

[6] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 9-27-2012 at 09:58 AM · [top]

For those who would like to judge for yourselves whether Tory+ has compromised his beliefs on marriage or is allowing the promotion of false teaching at Truro, there are some very interesting posts on his blog recently about what Genesis teaches about marriage.


[7] Posted by Karen B. on 9-27-2012 at 10:05 AM · [top]

Of course no one ever has said he’s compromised his beliefs on Marriage Karen or that he has allowed false teaching at Truro. We have said that he has compromised.

[8] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 9-27-2012 at 10:12 AM · [top]

#6 Was not aware of that.  Sounds like slippery slope stuff.

[9] Posted by hanks on 9-27-2012 at 10:23 AM · [top]

RE: “For those who would like to judge for yourselves whether Tory+ has compromised his beliefs on marriage or is allowing the promotion of false teaching at Truro . . . “

Right.  He’s merely promoted a false teacher and heretic in The Episcopal Church who is leading countless thousands astray.

That’s all.

He also seems to have little understanding of church discipline.

But other than that, it’s all fine.  Perhaps he can go promote McLaren, and Spong, and various other heretics to hapless laity and clergy in the Church of England.

[10] Posted by Sarah on 9-27-2012 at 10:24 AM · [top]

And Sarah to build on your point, Tory+ was brought to Truro long after they separated from TEC and elected to go to court to defend what they thought was their property.  How many at Truro recognized they were bringing in someone who believes in “radical reconcilliation”, thus setting up Truro to in effect to rush back into the arms of the ones who had led “countless thousands astray”, sued for church property under suspect conditions [the so-called Dennis Canon], told the congregation to vacate the property, and then set up a lease arrangement whereby they [Dio of Va] decides whether the congregation’s Shepherd [Bp. Guernsey] can make a pastoral visit or not.  Oh, and then takes Johnston to England to sing his praises.  I just have to believe there are some folks at Truro who gather in small groups to ask themselves “how did we get here?”

[11] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 9-27-2012 at 10:36 AM · [top]

For those who would like to judge for yourselves whether Tory+ has compromised his beliefs

See, Karen, here’s my problem.  This is how ECUSA convinced so many of us to be boiled like frogs while they turned what was once a wonderful opportunity to share the Gospel of Christ into a universalist hodge podge of made up theology.

Think about it - Tory is preaching conservative lessons to the flock while subtely undermining them by embracing those who endorse heresy.  Look how many allowed Spong to be Spong.  How many of those “uncompromised clergy” sat in his lectures and seminars and never said a word.  By doing so, they allowed their flock to be infected with his venom.

Tory+ can’t have it both ways.  He can claim anyone he wants as friend but when he endorses and paves the pathway for the heretic to have access to the flock, he is well on his way to removing the “un” and being fully compromised.

  Truro has fought too long and too hard to allow compromise to infect it from within.  It is obvious Tory’s+ flock loves him dearly.  I am surprised that the membershp has not confronted him with his endorsement of the very policies and theology that caused Truro to break away in the first place.  The truth may be hard sometimes but it is always the right thing to do.

[12] Posted by Jackie on 9-27-2012 at 07:46 PM · [top]

Why, exactly, did Truro and Baucum leave TEC in the first place?  The bishop they left was less revisionist than the bishop they seem so enamored of currently.

[13] Posted by tjmcmahon on 9-27-2012 at 08:47 PM · [top]

Good Post!

[14] Posted by Fr. Dale on 9-27-2012 at 09:25 PM · [top]

I don’t know about these individual cases, but heresy is the kiss of death, and same-sex marriage is heresy.  Thank you, Matt for taking a stand.

[15] Posted by The Plantagenets on 9-28-2012 at 02:11 AM · [top]

OK, I plead ignorance here.  Who has done what in this narrative and how is ACNA involved?

[16] Posted by Ann Castro on 9-28-2012 at 07:23 AM · [top]

Hi Ann,

For further background, you can scavenge through these links:

Greg’s opus:

David’s opus:

Jackie’s opus:

Further Matt comments:

[17] Posted by Sarah on 9-28-2012 at 07:53 AM · [top]

I keep thinking about all that “unequally yoked” and how to treat “false teachers” stuff in the Bible and for the life of me I cannot come up with a good reason for Fr. Baucum’s actions, even if he tries to make them more palatable by calling them “radical reconciliation.”  The Bible is very clear that teachers and leaders are held to a high standard for keeping their flocks safe, and putting all those laudatory quotes on his blog makes it look like the back of a book jacket.

I am waiting for someone to call out Matt as just a pharisaic puritan, or maybe a puritanglican!?  cool smirk

My move to the LCMS keeps looking better and better.  I fear the Anglican Communion is in danger of imploding.  It seems like watching a wreck in slow motion.  I just hope that it will be creative destruction.

[18] Posted by Daniel on 9-28-2012 at 10:59 AM · [top]

In 2005 or 06, I participated ina “Reconciliation Weekend,” which had been designed by an evangelical to help conservatives and “progressives” talk to one another over the divide regarding sexuality.  It was a good conference, and it was indeed a good thing to help us all understand how the other side saw things. A month or two after that, my then bishop asked me to be part of a steering committee for the diocese to work with the founder to encourage other dioceses to hold just this sorto of reconciliation conference.

I said, yes, I would, and was sent off to CA (along with the bishop and one other from our diocese) for some time with others who wanted to have a larger program available to all TEC.  A few weeks after that, and with considerable prayer, I resigned from the group.  It is one thing to treat those with whom one disagrees well and politely, but the more I considered what it meant to work with “pro-gay” people, the more it struck me that we would be allowing same-sex behavior to be considered an option for Christians.  I simply could not do that.

[19] Posted by AnglicanXn on 9-28-2012 at 03:40 PM · [top]

Rev. Baucum’s association with Heretic Bishop Johnston is equivalent to Archbishop Duncan’s continued association with Heretic Archbishop Rowan Williams.

No difference.

[20] Posted by St. Nikao on 9-28-2012 at 05:01 PM · [top]

Not to mention the Global South still communing with Williams.  Scripture tells us to put heretics and false teachers on notice and have nothing to do with them UNTIL THEY REPENT.  Unfortunately, Anglicans do not seem to be good at this…a disease called ‘collegiality’ similar to what infects the priesthood of another church (not to be named) currently going through a crisis due to homosexual priests and sexual abuse.

[21] Posted by St. Nikao on 9-28-2012 at 05:05 PM · [top]

Our youngest son is completely disgusted with organized religion in general, arguing that it has doen so much harm throughout history, and that Christianity has often not been Christian at all. I’m beginning to think he may be right. What a distraction all this is to the message of the gospel! How much energy we use on dissent over what should be obvious truths if you can read on a 6th grade level! Organized religion - churches as we know them - have been used, abused, perverted, twisted to ungodly purposes, etc. Where is there a true version of church any longer - a church that exists not for self-promotion, not for its own sake, but for the sake of Christ and His gospel - the true gospel?
Great post, Matt+.

[22] Posted by Nellie on 9-29-2012 at 08:22 AM · [top]

I have a friend who counsels addicts.  He once told me that Christians are some of the worst parents to deal with when their child goes into treatment for addiction.  I was shocked.  He said that Christians (and rightly so) feel that they need to constantly turn the other cheek, forgive and have an open ear at all times.  Most have never faced addiction and have no clue how to handle someone who is struggling with it.  I asked who the best parents to work with in that situation and he said, the former addict.  The former addict has been there and done that, knows the score and is unwilling to let anyone pull them back down into the mire. 

What the addict needs is to be held accountable for their actions and/or inactions.  They need to face the consequences of their actions.  They need to grow up.

I would say the same holds true for the Church as they deal with those <u>within</u> the church.  If Christianity is not your thing, find a temple or castle or den that suits your wants and desires but first put down the mantle of Christianity and walk away.  We have become so afraid of hurting one another’s feelings we have forgotten that God’s truth is - well God’s truth!

[23] Posted by Jackie on 10-2-2012 at 03:23 PM · [top]

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