March 1, 2017

January 7, 2013

Yet Another Act of Surrender from the Usual Suspects

Another sad act of surrender, compromise and collaboration on the part of certain orthodox Anglicans in the Episcopal Church. There are so many repugnant aspects of the document linked above it is difficult to know which ones to identify. Perhaps the worst is the core premise of the document, that those teachers and ordained leaders who promote homosexual behavior in the church are “brothers and sisters” with whom we are called to exercise tolerance and patience. Jesus despises such tolerance (Rev 2:20).

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It seems clear that no one at the top of TEC has any gifts of reconciliation or even common negotiation.  The disciplinary charges against Bishop Lawrence were ridiculous, and had been previously rejected by the disciplinary board, and the claim that he was “abandoning the faith” likewise ridiculous, and the use of the nuclear option of inhibiting the good bishop was completely incompetent and ridiculous.  Perhaps the Diocese overreacted—but there was certain much to which to react. 

The situation cries out for wiser voices and intervention by more mature, prayerful persons.  This seems to be the cry of this online petition.  I respect their thoughts—though the suggestion that the House of Bishops might have some contribution here seems naive, given their recent track record.

[1] Posted by Dick Mitchell on 1-7-2013 at 05:42 PM · [top]

I agree with you, Dick Mitchell.

However the recent lawsuit (I assume that is what they are calling “litigious”) in SC has nothing to do with our faith or even with the lack of faith. It is a simple plea to the court to recognize two facts: 1) There is a lot of property at stake and TEC is most likely plotting a “land grab”. The Diocese is making the courts aware of certain facts NOW. 2) The TECcies have been using the name and seal of the Diocese of South Carolina. Using the name and a trademarked seal of the diocese (incorporated entity) is ILLEGAL under SC law. 

Are these people unable to read???

[2] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 1-7-2013 at 05:48 PM · [top]

“A growing number of (mostly) younger clergy and laity are signing a statement urging all sides in our present conflicts to cease using the secular courts to enforce canon law or challenge canon law.”

As of 6:22 EST, there were 39 signatures, according to the petition website (caveat, I had to unblock a total of 7 trackers in order to even see the petition, so it might be the real number is different, but I was still blocking some other bit of spyware laced software that would have updated the number)- I suppose that is a “growing number” as compared to 37 or 38. Looks to me like a seminary class somewhere wrote this up, and they, their prof, a couple of their friends, and Fr. Tony signed off.

By this time tomorrow, of course, 39 more renunciations may be accepted.

[3] Posted by tjmcmahon on 1-7-2013 at 06:31 PM · [top]

Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! They just hit the numerically significant 40 threshold!

[4] Posted by Jagged Edge on 1-7-2013 at 06:39 PM · [top]

Pardon my cynicism, but does this have anything to do with the fact that the Diocese of South Carolina’s case is strong?  Where were all of these peacemakers over the past few years with reference to California, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Virginia (among others)?

[5] Posted by Katherine on 1-7-2013 at 07:11 PM · [top]

And what do you get by cooperating with these brothers and sisters who promote homosexual activity?

Well, as a next step you can bank on this;

[6] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 1-7-2013 at 07:26 PM · [top]

I would agree with the intent. This ought to be settled without recourse to civil litigation, which is an easy thing to do. First, Mrs Schori and her minions need to stop infringing on the trademark (is the name trademarked? It ought to be) and identity of the DioSC. Second, she needs to undertake, with appropriate penalties if violated, to respect the independence of the DioSC in every possible respect. Third, she needs to shut up and go away.

[7] Posted by A Senior Priest on 1-7-2013 at 07:36 PM · [top]

The question of whether SC ought to have filed first is secondary to the deeper problem…namely that orthodox leaders are running about signing joint statements with wolves who are Actively leading people to hell.

As to the lawsuit questions. This does not violate 1 Cor 6 since the repudiation of the gospel by TEC leaders and by general convention means that SC did not go to law against fellow Christians but rather against charlatans and wolves.

[8] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 1-7-2013 at 08:10 PM · [top]

I didn’t know the Episcopal pedigree was French and not English.

[9] Posted by Bill2 on 1-7-2013 at 09:38 PM · [top]

Persons signing this, ordained or not, while they may be nice people, are proving they have no understanding of Scripture or spiritual matters, or of conviction of sin, repentance, redemption, sanctification and it is doubtful that they have been spiritually regenerated or born again.

[10] Posted by St. Nikao on 1-7-2013 at 10:17 PM · [top]

#7, I don’t know if the name is trademarked as it does contain words that can not be trademarked - “Episcopal” for one.  However, the name is recognized by the state of SC as belonging to a particular incorporated religious corporation. The seal is a registered trademark of the diocese.

I wholeheartedly agree with your three suggestions. It would be nice if Schori et al would stop using the diocese’s identity (including the name and seal. I especially like #3!!

[11] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 1-7-2013 at 10:52 PM · [top]

Exactly my thoughts when I read this.  Fr. Radner, of course, has steadfastly oppossed the herasies of TEC, but as for the rest of them, Where were their petitions in the cases of the dioceses you mention?

[12] Posted by evan miller on 1-8-2013 at 09:58 AM · [top]

You know, we could spend numerous hours trying to find out if a leader is orthodox, but you can’t believe any of their answers.  We could go thorugh the confessions, systametic theology points to measure their answers and still wouldn’t know.  In Apostle John’s day there was a simple test:  simply ask them if they belied that Jesus was the Christ and came in the flesy.  Yes or no trumped all other answers.  So I think in our time the Holy Spirit has given us a plug in computer analysis of all these leaders and simply determine if they are supporting the sodamite agenda.  Yes, then they are false apostates.  QED!  Very simple.  IMHO

[13] Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 1-8-2013 at 01:44 PM · [top]

Evan and Katherine:  My guess is that this petition is most likely intended as a critique of KJS in her handling of the South Carolina situation instead of the opposite (note it is directed to TEC, not to the DSC or others).  Note that this comes out of a group of seminarians, who are likely to still be relatively naive about the state of the church.  Seminarians who are believers are probably a little bit nervous at the PB’s actions, but are naive enough to actually believe that a petition would have an impact, and are foolish enough to think that the liberals they are joining themselves to will actually lift a finger to defend conservatives if they thought that their careers were on the line.  Liberal seminarians, on the other hand, are probably troubled by the authoritarian high-handedness of what the PB is doing (she is, after all, acting like a banana republic’s strongman) and recognize how idiotic it is, and are so naive to think that a petition would have an impact.

Basically, one’s name on this petition will probably hurt the careers of those in some dioceses, where this will indicate that they are not on board with the full TEC agenda.  This petition will have no effect on anybody else.  It’s sole point of interest is that it suggests that some liberals are now finally getting sufficiently uncomfortable with the PB’s autocratic behavior that some of the more naive liberals are willing to sign on to a mealy-mouthed petition (I know I sound mocking of this, but it is actually a pretty major step for a liberal).

Matt’s points are well taken.  The most problematic, and most nonsensical part, of the petition is this:

But we have been joined together through baptism into “God’s family the Church” as “Christ’s body” (BCP, 858), and we lament the sad divisions that have arisen among us.

It strikes me as being the sort of meaningless pious nonsense that is meant to sound very pious and wise, but lacks any real meaning when applying it to the real world.  I mean, what about those who were baptized into another denomination and then became Anglican/Episcopalian.  Does this apply to us?  If so, then this lamentation over divisions must apply to all divisions in the the Church, and if they are at all serious in their lamentations, they should be working their way back to the Church of Rome.

If they are not willing to return to Rome, they must acknowledge that some division in the Church is justified.  If so, then it becomes clear that this is just a lot of pious hot air, because the issue then becomes “are the theological disagreements that are currently seen in the Anglican Communion at such a level as to justify separation?”  And that, they don’t address, but Matt does.

[14] Posted by jamesw on 1-8-2013 at 02:32 PM · [top]

RE: “It strikes me as being the sort of meaningless pious nonsense that is meant to sound very pious and wise . . . “

So true—it’s boilerplate TECusa-clergy-speak—the kind of rhetoric which has a mirror-image in corporate-presentation-speak, in my world, which Dilbert so beautifully mocks.

[15] Posted by Sarah on 1-8-2013 at 09:52 PM · [top]

James W. is right—this is directed toward TEC (see the target identification at the start of the appeal) and more specifically toward the HOB (see the third paragraph). But I’m not sure that it comes from a group of seminarians per se; those who identify their seminary affiliations seem to all have already graduated. The first signature belongs to Jordan Hylden, who has written for First Things, among other publications; Benjamin Guyer (#5) has written essays and book reviews for The Living Church in recent years. These are orthodox people (some of them connected with the covenant group from a few years back, if I remember correctly) who presumably are well aware of what they’re doing. I don’t think the TEC-style language is there to sound “pious and wise” at all, but to appeal to the HOB and liberals who don’t want litigation. It’s an action similar to some of those taken by orthodox Episcopalians at GCs of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s.

[16] Posted by Ralph Webb on 1-8-2013 at 11:11 PM · [top]

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