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March 14, 2013


Breaking: Relationship between Truro and Bishop Johnston Severed [UPDATED]

All I can say is thank you Bishop Guernsey and praise and glory be to God this appears to be finally coming to an end [PDF].

The text of letter follows:

A Statement to the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic

March 14, 2013

“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17)

The Rev. Dr. Tory Baucum, Rector of Truro Anglican Church, Fairfax, VA, has for some time been reaching out in personal friendship with the Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Tory has emphasized that he believes Bishop Johnston is in error about human sexuality and that he wants to win Bishop Johnston to the truth of Christ as found in the Scriptures. A recent statement by the Truro Vestry gives perspective on their friendship; it can be read here.

Earlier this week, John Dominic Crossan, a radical theologian famous for his denials of biblical truth and the historic Christian faith, spoke at an Episcopal church in Northern Virginia with the approval of Bishop Johnston. Crossan gave two addresses to the congregation and spoke to clergy of the Episcopal diocese on Monday morning. The parish online newsletter announced that the clergy event was hosted by Bishop Johnston and the parish rector. An account of Crossan’s visit and talks can be read here.

Bishop Johnston’s action is unconscionable. In spite of his assurances to Tory that he believes the Nicene Creed, he welcomed Crossan, who denies the bodily resurrection of Jesus and says that Jesus’ body was eaten by dogs, and he permitted him to speak unchallenged to clergy in his diocese.

I have talked with Tory Baucum about this. He is grieved over this situation and agrees with my determination that this relationship with Bishop Johnston can no longer continue. We long for the Body of Christ to reflect the unity for which our Lord Jesus prayed (John 17:20-23), but there can be no reconciliation with The Episcopal Church apart from its repentance for false teaching and practice and its return to the truth of the historic Christian faith.

“Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of theeternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.” (Romans 16:25-27)

Faithfully yours in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. John A. M. Guernsey

UPDATE: Tory Baucum has issued a statement:

Peacemaking for Now – to the faithful of Truro Anglican Church

I believe peacemaking is a Gospel imperative and a defining characteristic of Christian faithfulness and virtue (Matt 5:9). It may lead to reconciliation, but they are not to be equated. Reconciliation is a gift of the Holy Spirit in the truth and authority of Jesus Christ. This week two events were revealed that have challenged the two principles upon which my peacemaking work with Bishop Shannon Johnston was based.

First, Nicene Christianity is the basis upon which I have related to him as a brother in Christand to work for the healing of the Church. Like Augustine, I don’t believe Nicene faith alone can hold the Church together. (Most Donatists were Nicene believers but they were also schismatic and heretical). However, Nicene faith may be sufficient for Christians in a divided church to find common ground for peacemaking. That was, and remains, my hope.

The second principle upon which our peacemaking work was based is that the “imago dei” in every person, even our theological opponents, is the definitive reality which should guide our conduct in conflict. God’s image in us and Christ’s love for us must govern how we treat others in this, or any, conflict.

This week I learned of two events in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia that have challenged those principles of Christian peacemaking.

First was the ordination of a non-celibate lesbian in the former home of the Falls Church Anglican parish this past December. This was a problem of both menu and venue, of what and where it was done. This kind of ordination, which violates scriptural teaching, caused the Anglican schism in the first place. I believe that holding the service at the Falls Church shortly after they lost their building showed a disregard and lack of respect for the good and godly pastor and the people of the Falls Church. This was a failure to treat others in a way that honors the imago dei in each of us. It was extremely painful to learn of this action and my full sympathy is with John Yates+ and his congregation.

Even more egregious was a series of talks given by John Dominic Crossan at a church in the Diocese of Virginia. I believe that Crossan’s work is a contradiction of Nicene faith and events like this undermine Nicene Christianity. Avoiding this kind of aggravating damage is foundational to our efforts at peacemaking. Crossan has appeared in debates with Christian scholars like N.T. Wright to fully and completely debate his theories, which have largely been found in extreme want of support in fact and scholarly analysis. But he appears to have come as a Christian teacher. He is not.

I was waiting to speak to Bishop Shannon personally before issuing this statement. All of the above and, its implications, I have shared with him yesterday. I know he will be issuing his own response soon. I pray the Holy Spirit’s guidance and wisdom upon him as he seeks to repair the damage done by these two actions.

I remain committed to the Gospel imperative of peacemaking, especially as a means to biblical reconciliation but with the advice and counsel of Bishop Guernsey, I am ending this work with +Shannon.

Finally, to the good and wonderful people of Truro and its vestry: I am grateful for your trust in me and your prayers and love to Elizabeth and our family.

Yours in Christ,

Tory


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63 comments

Congrats to you all for keeping this in the public eye. If not for you, who knows if we would have had this statement today.

[1] Posted by Joel on 3-14-2013 at 02:49 PM · [top]

Glad to see this. 

I’ve frankly not been a fan of Bishop Guernsey.  But my respect for him now goes up a couple notches.

[2] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 3-14-2013 at 02:55 PM · [top]

Well that blew up in ++Welby’s face

[3] Posted by Chris Walchesky on 3-14-2013 at 03:40 PM · [top]

Matt,
Maybe this is considered piling on but the letterhead for Baucum+ included the phrase “Radical Hospitality”. I don’t know what that means for him but my understanding is very negative. To me, Radical Hospitality is a failure to discern the body.
http://sanjoaquinsoundings.blogspot.com/2012/03/radical-hospitality-failure-to-discern.html
Glad to see +Guernsey’s letter sent and response from Baucum+

[4] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-14-2013 at 03:57 PM · [top]

Matt,
P.S. Thanks to you, David and the others at Stand Firm for their steadfastness on this. In today’s world, the church (as always) extends beyond the walls of the sanctuary and into cyberspace.

[5] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-14-2013 at 04:09 PM · [top]

Very good.  Good work to SF for keeping this in the public eye.

[6] Posted by Katherine on 3-14-2013 at 04:15 PM · [top]

Good work also, Jeffrey Walton at Juicy Ecumenism, who posted accurate reports on both the ordination at Falls Church and on the Crossan lectures.

[7] Posted by Katherine on 3-14-2013 at 04:21 PM · [top]

Jeff’s work was absolutely crucial here - kudos to him.

[8] Posted by Greg Griffith on 3-14-2013 at 04:37 PM · [top]

[9] Posted by Going Home on 3-14-2013 at 04:46 PM · [top]

Well said by Baucum:

This was a problem of both menu and venue, of what and where it was done. This kind of ordination, which violates scriptural teaching, caused the Anglican schism in the first place. I believe that holding the service at the Falls Church shortly after they lost their building showed a disregard and lack of respect for the good and godly pastor and the people of the Falls Church. This was a failure to treat others in a way that honors the imago dei in each of us.

The ordination was the kind of nasty finger in the eye that gives the lie to claims of “reconciliation.”  It was one of those symbolic gestures in which TEC delights, delighting its little inner circle of activists while injuring the body of Christ.

[10] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 3-14-2013 at 04:47 PM · [top]

I am very pleased to see that ACNA is operating as a faithful Anglican church should, with Bishop Guernsey and Revd Baucum fulfilling their respective roles as bishop and parish priest, in pastoral care and discipline.

Whilst I take Revd Baucum’s point about the need to be gracious towards those with whom we disagree, +Shannon Johnston has shown that he is a theological fruitcake.

As Baucum+ observes:

“First was the ordination of a non-celibate lesbian in the former home of the Falls Church Anglican parish this past December. ... I believe that holding the service at the Falls Church shortly after they lost their building showed a disregard and lack of respect for the good and godly pastor and the people of the Falls Church”

and

“Even more egregious was a series of talks given by John Dominic Crossan at a church in the Diocese of Virginia. I believe that Crossan’s work is a contradiction of Nicene faith and events like this undermine Nicene Christianity.”

It is not exaggerating to say that Crossan is a pagan weirdo who falsely masquerades as a Christian teacher.

Finally, congratulations to the staff of Stand Firm and other faithful Christians around the world, who have spent a great deal of work in ferreting out the facts about +Johnston and John Crossan, and their respective activities.  Without your hard work and dedication, none of us would have been able to see the true picture, or the danger it posed to Truro Church, ACNA etc, until it was too late.

[11] Posted by MichaelA on 3-14-2013 at 05:03 PM · [top]

One more thing: Pray for Truro Church: Johnston’s fury at this development will be great, however much he may cover it with a placid veneer.  He will scheme at ways that he can most effectively get his revenge on Truro Church and its clergy. 

Pray that Truro Church will be protected against all assaults of Satan, and that the Lord will provide whatever they need, whether buildings or funds or resources, in order to continue with a faithful ministry.

[12] Posted by MichaelA on 3-14-2013 at 05:09 PM · [top]

May I please ask that we remember to pray for our brother Tory+ and our brothers and sisters at Truro.

I consider that what we are seeing today is not only the work of the Holy Spirit, but also the fruit of prayerful friends, the pastoring of godly Bishops, and the willingness of a humble man to make correction.

[13] Posted by AnnieCOA on 3-14-2013 at 05:14 PM · [top]

Falls Church.  Crossan.  It was simply a matter of time, with a varying degree of egregiousness added to the historic and present heresy. 

The nature of the beast is that it is unable to refrain from mauling sheep. 

But then, the ABS’s ‘reconciliation’ process was never about putting an end to the mauling, was it…

rolleyes

[14] Posted by tired on 3-14-2013 at 05:37 PM · [top]

Sorry - “ABC’s ‘reconciliation’ process…”

[15] Posted by tired on 3-14-2013 at 05:46 PM · [top]

It is with vast relief that I say thanks to Bp. Guernsey for his action on this.  I thank SF for the excellent work of keeping up with all this and helping to inform your readership.  I pray for Fr. Baucum and Truro that they will focus on the journey they began several years ago.  And I truly pray for conversion for +Johnston.  Between this latest episode and the Falls Church episode, he has demonstrated himself to be lost.

[16] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 3-14-2013 at 05:48 PM · [top]

Jude 1:1     Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, [and] called:
1:2     Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.
1:3     Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
1:4     For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

1:5     I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
1:6     And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
1:7     Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
1:8     Likewise also these [filthy] dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
1:9     Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
1:10     But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
1:11     Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
1:12     These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds [they are] without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
1:13     Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
1:14     And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
1:15     To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
1:16     These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling [words], having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
1:17     But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
1:18     How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
1:19     These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

1:20     But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
1:21     Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
1:22     And of some have compassion, making a difference:
1:23     And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
1:24     Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
1:25     To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

[17] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 3-14-2013 at 06:23 PM · [top]

#4. My posting
“the letterhead for Baucum+ included the phrase “Radical Hospitality”. I don’t know what that means for him but my understanding is very negative.” I was contacted privately by a member of Truro Chruch who explained that the term “Radical Hospitality” meant for them helping the poor in the community. Thanks. Once again it is important to clarify things. All my best and prayers to Truro and Tory Baucum+. Also thanks to Baby Blue for her clarifications on her site.

[18] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-14-2013 at 06:31 PM · [top]

Thank God!  Tory Baucom was walking a tightrope, and seemed liable to fall off on the side of the revisionists.  These two letters explain the situation better than anything I had seen before.

Bp Johnston probably thought he had a pet evangelical to show off.  Now he knows better.

[19] Posted by AnglicanXn on 3-14-2013 at 07:16 PM · [top]

I share in the rejoicing contained in the earlier posts.  I have great regard for Bishop Guernsey, and I am pleased that this matter has concluded in a godly manner.

[20] Posted by Father Bob Hackendorf on 3-14-2013 at 07:55 PM · [top]

Good to see this outcome to the situation.  Prayers for all involved, especially the congregation at Truro.

TJ

[21] Posted by tjmcmahon on 3-14-2013 at 07:58 PM · [top]

I am very grateful and very relieved for ACNA.

I’m a little confused about why the personal friendship must be severed, as there is no problem with being friends with pagans.  The problem is in acknowledging him as a brother in Christ and promoting his ministry

Also, Johnston’s hosting Crossan was not a surprise—it was to be expected, since, again, the tortured, convoluted effort that one must make to decide to bless sexual acts between males or between females necessarily means doing immense violence to Scripture, tradition, reason, the nature of the sacraments, sin, repentance, salvation, the Fall, sanctification, marriage, and the Gospel in general. Featuring Crossan is the natural *consequence* of the particular customized personal gospel in which Johnston believes.

I’ve no doubt that Johnston’s response is going to be that of any other revisionist bishop in TEC: “I don’t necessarily agree with Crossan on a number of his interesting ideas, but I do believe that we should have an open mind to receive the scholarly insights of various academics and researchers.  The Episcopal Church believes that Jesus came to save us from our sins, not save us from our minds.  I gave permission for the parish to have him as a special speaker—and my giving permission did not imply an endorsement of his particular theology.  And since he was already visiting in the diocese, I thought it a good use of resources to give my clergy the opportunity to hear from this well-known scholar as well, again, with the special caveat that my hosting him at the clergy dialog did not imply an endorsement of his views.”

But that being said, I am so happy that Bishop Guernsey has released this letter.

[22] Posted by Sarah on 3-14-2013 at 08:58 PM · [top]

This is most of all a vindication of the word of God. If the NT instructions for dealing with false teachers had been followed from the beginning, none of this would have been necessary.

[23] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-14-2013 at 09:05 PM · [top]

Wow. This came with rather dramatic flourish, didn’t it?

There was one point in Tory Baucom’s letter that jumped out at me - pointing to DioVa’s ordination of an unrepentant and active lesbian in the former home of The Falls Church Anglican as one of two actions that led to the end of the “reconciliation tour”.

On one hand, while if may be clumsy phrasing in the letter, I am quite incredulous that Baucom could not have known about this the last three months.  We all knew about this in December and it was quite clear what DioVa and that Episcopal congregation were doing and why.  And he just found out this week??? On the other hand, I am glad that Baucom is now making Johnston and DioVa feel the cost of their provocation.

[24] Posted by Reformed Wanderer on 3-14-2013 at 09:31 PM · [top]

#22—“I’m a little confused about why the personal friendship must be severed, as there is no problem with being friends with pagans.”

But Johnson is not a pagan.  Paul said we can affiliate with pagans, but we must have absolutely nothing to do with false Christians.  Those people are serving Satan and trying to destroy the Gospel.  As the personal actions of this Johnson fellow well illustrate.  Really nothing can be done with such persons except to declare them anathema.

[25] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 3-15-2013 at 12:53 AM · [top]

What is worth knowing about Crossan’s ideas. What insights does he bring? How does he help in building up the Body of Christ? I am sure Crossan gave comfort to the skeptics and doubters. Why do this?

[26] Posted by Pb on 3-15-2013 at 07:33 AM · [top]

“I’m a little confused about why the personal friendship must be severed”

Not sure that it will be, I don’t read him as saying that.  He says ” I am ending this work with +Shannon.”  If one is cynical (as I usually am), that means “I will no longer be presenting Shannon as an orthodox teacher to Evangelical groups, and we will no longer appear together at ACO photo ops.”

He doesn’t say he is cancelling their regular golf outing.

I do have some concern about the rephrasing of what was going on.  I don’t recall Baucum or anyone else using the label “peacemaking” in the past.

However, I do see +Guernsey as being quite specific in his expectations, so whatever the personal relationship between Johnston and Baucum+, the relationship between the ACNA diocese and TEC will now be guided by the bishop.

[27] Posted by tjmcmahon on 3-15-2013 at 07:41 AM · [top]

Sarah - I too am curious about Johnston’s response to this, but you are certainly correct that he will frame it in the “open mind” blather.  But I have kicked around TEC for 50 years now, and the “openings” are consistently to the theological left, to deconstructionists, post-Christian, New Age etc.  No one ever says, Let’s hear from someone we haven’t heard from before, and offers an evangelical scholar.

I have read some of Crossan’s stuff, find it bizarre and self promoting and unconvincing.  I didn’t realize he even considered himself a Christian until this latest dustup.  At Mere Anglicanism this winter, Bishop Paul Barnett from Australia demolished a major Crossan thesis (as to early church history) in his talk, which I commend to interested folks over at Anglican TV (http://www.anglican.tv/), along with his book The Birth of Christianity - The First 20 Years. 

Why couldn’t Bishop Johnston invite Anglican Bishop Barnett to speak for clergy day?  Why do TEC bishops always, consistently, turn to folks like Crossan?

[28] Posted by Dick Mitchell on 3-15-2013 at 08:00 AM · [top]

#28. Dick Mitchell,
‘Why do TEC bishops always, consistently, turn to folks like Crossan?’

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:3)

The answer to your question is, “to suit their own desires”.

[29] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-15-2013 at 08:14 AM · [top]

From Friday’s Lectionary Reading:  Jeremiah 23:1-8
Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD. Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the LORD.

[30] Posted by rwkachur on 3-15-2013 at 08:21 AM · [top]

I recall that when Martyn Minns was installed as Bishop of CANA, it was decided not to hold this ceremony in any of the VA churches that had left TEC.  It was felt this was unnecessarily antagonistic to those remaining Episcopalian. 

TEC, however, in true fashion, has followed the example of Antiochus Epiphanies.

[31] Posted by RalphM on 3-15-2013 at 08:32 AM · [top]

I am glad to hear this from Bishop Guernsey and Rev. Baucom.  To a great degree, it confirms the sense I had that Baucom was coming at it with an innocent heart, and that he was being “used”, perhaps not necessarily as much by Johnston as by others, to make it look like Truro was regretting having left TEC since, look, they really agree with TEC on theology.  As to what Johnston believes, he knows and I do not.  But I have also learned over the last 10 years that when someone in TEC says he or she is orthodox or believes in the Nicene Creed, they are quite often using words that they define differently than by what I mean by them, in a deliberate attempt to mislead.  I am sorry to say that may have happened here as well.

[32] Posted by pendennis88 on 3-15-2013 at 09:28 AM · [top]

Anglican Mainstream has an aptly-titled summary of this attempted Reconciliation of the Unreconcilable by Welby and others:
http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/2013/03/15/the-inner-machinations-of-the-tec-madness-which-the-rest-of-the-anglican-communion-needs-to-know-part-1/

Bishop Guernsey’s explanation is more believable than Baucum’s weak spin on the difference between reconciliation vs peacemaking.  Perhaps Baucum’s actions and calling Johnston orthodox were scripted by and for the presentation of Welby’s Reconciliation agenda as the pudding course for his Enthronement Feast.

It is revealing that Johnston makes no attempt to ‘live into’ the orthodox label, but immediately ‘strains the bonds of collegiality’ by ordaining a lesbian in a formerly orthodox church stolen from the orthodox…then engages Crossan, an outright heretic, to give a seminar in his Diocese.

[33] Posted by St. Nikao on 3-15-2013 at 10:19 AM · [top]

Both of which, to me,  indicate an “in your face” attitude on +Johnston’s part.

[34] Posted by cennydd13 on 3-15-2013 at 11:18 AM · [top]

Part 2 of this to follow shortly, which takes us up to the latest piece of news ...

[35] Posted by English Jill on 3-15-2013 at 11:30 AM · [top]

More or less what Sarah said - Johnston responds.

Johnston says:

I simply do not think that we need to be fearful or reticent to encounter ideas different from our own personal convictions and the Church’s official teachings, even if we find those ideas to be objectionable in some way.

So I wonder which conservative Anglican Johnston will invite to his clergy conference next year.  After all, Johnston isn’t only open to hearing liberal ideas, is he?  Say it ain’t so!

[36] Posted by jamesw on 3-15-2013 at 11:51 AM · [top]

I’m so glad to see this.  +Guernsey was my bishop for two years, and while we differed on some matters (he being a low church Evangelican and me being a high church Anglo-Catholic), I have always had a great deal of respect for him as a Christian bishop.  I was distressed at his silence as this whole sorry episode developed and am so relieved that he has stepped forward and executed the duties of his office in this way.  Tory+ was my trainer for my first time as an Alpha facilitator and I believe him to be a sincere and orthodox Christian.  That said, his conduct in his relationship with +Johnson has been badly misguided and damaging to the witness of orthodox Anglicans around the world.  However well-meaning, this relationship has played into the hands of the revisionists and it was high time his bishop put a stop to it.  Better late than never, but better to have never taken part in this whole sorry charade in the first place.

[37] Posted by evan miller on 3-15-2013 at 12:17 PM · [top]

#22 “But that being said, I am so happy that Bishop Guernsey has released this letter.”

#27 “However, I do see +Guernsey as being quite specific in his expectations, so whatever the personal relationship between Johnston and Baucum+, the relationship between the ACNA diocese and TEC will now be guided by the bishop.”

While I agree with these and similar comments that it is very good to see this letter from Bishop Guernsey, it seems fair to ask:  Why did it take nearly a year?  Was it only Johnston’s over-the-top invitation of Crossan that resulted in this very appropriate action?  Was Baucum’s very public treating of Johnston as a “brother in Christ” not enough?

Many people sacrificed much to leave TEC and get ACNA to where Archbishop Duncan has brought it.  Active vigilance against false teachers is critical to not losing all that.

[38] Posted by hanks on 3-15-2013 at 12:30 PM · [top]

hanks,

I agree completely.

[39] Posted by evan miller on 3-15-2013 at 02:16 PM · [top]

Hmm.  I wonder where Rev. Baucom will be sitting at the enthronement?  Or whether he will get one of those calls like Bishop Schofield got before the last Lambeth telling him he could only keep his invitation if he didn’t show up.  There must be some people hopping mad that, not only did he not stay “reconciled” with TEC in accordance with the planned narrative, he pointed out these two inconvenient truths about Johnston along the way.

[40] Posted by pendennis88 on 3-15-2013 at 02:38 PM · [top]

The late Walter Martin once said that bank tellers are not given counterfeit money to touch and examine. They are taught to examine and touch real money. What +Johnson said is akin to exposing oneself to counterfeit teaching. What profit is there in exposing oneself to it? How is this any different than the serpent’s offer to Eve to know both good and evil. Eve already knew good. What purpose was served in exposing herself to evil. How in any way, shape or fashion did what Crossan taught, increase faith in Jesus Christ of those who heard it? Most of those who attended knew better and went anyway ‘to suit their own desires’.

[41] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-15-2013 at 04:31 PM · [top]

pendennis88, I am sure you are right.  Both Baucum+ and Truro Church will pay a price for taking this stand on truth and we should ask the Lord to uphold them.

[42] Posted by MichaelA on 3-15-2013 at 04:49 PM · [top]

Reformed Wanderer:

I am quite incredulous that Baucom could not have known about this the last three months.  We all knew about this in December and it was quite clear what DioVa and that Episcopal congregation were doing and why.  And he just found out this week???

I am guessing that neither of these two revelations (or at least what they represent) were unknown to Baucum.  Rather, I think that they served as a convenient excuse that permitted Guernsey to insist that Baucum stop his nonsense with Johnston while allowing Baucum to do so without losing face.

That said, this is wonderful timing from a political aspect.  Welby has just had his Prime Example of Reconciliation blow up in his face because of TEC’s continued pursuit of heresy.  Where does Welby’s “Reconciliation Project” go now?

On another note, I would like to make a Sarahesque prediction and an amendment to my post #36 above.  I actually would not be too surprised if we see a conservative minded TEC speaker come to a Dio.Va. sponsored event soon, but that conservative speaker won’t be speaking about theology or doctrine, but rather about something else.

Consider the following hypothetical speaker schedule that would permit a diocese to say that both conservative and more liberal speakers were invited:

Resurrection of Jesus - liberal speaker
Communion of the unbaptized - liberal speaker
Forming lay leadership in congregations - conservative speaker
Meaning of the atonement - liberal speaker
Running an effective stewardship campaign - conservative speaker
Meaning of Christian marriage - liberal speaker

And you get the picture.  I know that liberal dioceses do sometimes invite conservatives to speak at events.  But when they do, they are almost always on subjects that, if an equally erudite liberal were available, would say basically the same thing as the liberals - e.g. subjects like developing congregation leadership skills, administering parish programs, running a stewardship campaign, etc.  And these are important subjects.  But they will always have liberals come in to talk about TEC’s “core doctrine” such as denying the resurrection, communion of the unbaptized, gay marriage, etc.

Look for just such an invitation to a conservative in Dio.Va. in the none-too-distant future.

[43] Posted by jamesw on 3-15-2013 at 05:45 PM · [top]

Wrong link.  Here it is.

[45] Posted by St. Nikao on 3-15-2013 at 06:27 PM · [top]

#43. jamesw,
‘Where does Welby’s “Reconciliation Project” go now?’
I don’t think there is a plan B. Well intended but counterproductive effort on ++Welby’s part.  He has unwittingly created additional animosity between Canterbury and the ACNA. This is a church not a business. Business models may work for +Johnston and ++Welby but they are process focused. Getting the ACNA to accept TEC heresy and innovation would be more difficult than pushing a marshmallow into a piggy bank. It is not really reconciliation they are working toward. They want a truce. Isn’t this really version 2.0 of +Rowan Williams?

[46] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-15-2013 at 06:28 PM · [top]

Rev. Dr. Jo Bailey Wells
“I look forward to supporting him personally and pastorally - above all by praying for his flourishing in that role - and so to facilitating the wider flourishing of God’s people in God’s church.” Actually, flourishing is the new buzzword from KJS, ++Welby and now Rev. Jo Bailey Wells. http://sanjoaquinsoundings.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-error-of-human-flourishing-as.html

[47] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-15-2013 at 06:38 PM · [top]

Here’s the only way the DioVA will flourish, since the pews have FAILED to fill since VGR’s installation!  I doubt +Johnson will have to enlarge the nave of any meeting place - or fill them.  But they can hope, can’t they?

Michael Reagan:
    “For those Catholics who don’t like the idea of a Catholic pope, there is an answer. It’s called the Episcopal Church, and every Catholic Church in the United States should have a map showing the location of the nearest one.
    There, dissident Catholics will find homosexual bishops, lesbian priests, sanction for abortion, the unfettered right to divorce, and all those other practices the Catholic Church forbids under pain of mortal sin. It is the church that can’t say no. Dissidents will be very comfortable there.”
(http://townhall.com/columnists/michaelreagan/2013/03/14/a-catholic-pope-revisited-n1533008)

[48] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 3-15-2013 at 08:02 PM · [top]

#47 Fr Dale
‘Flourishing’ is a Welby word - wry reference to his old school motto:
Floreat Etona - Let or may Eton flourish

[49] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 3-15-2013 at 09:46 PM · [top]

Just because John Guernsey did not previously issue a public statement, does not mean he remained uninvolved. I have never known him to be a heavy handed and authoritarian leader. Over the years I have seen him treat others with respect.

Part of that respect includes being willing to truly hear someone out with out knee-jerking to a preset conclusion. A child, a parishioner, a pastor in our care may have some ideas we don’t agree with, but they are totally committed to. Trying to sunder them from their ideals before they have even tried can hurt more than help. At times it can be better to prayerfully allow things to play out for a while. While that cannot be a default reaction, sometimes there is Spirit guided wisdom in doing so. I’ve seen it, lived it, and I am sure many on this thread have done the same.

I do not know Tory Baucom, but from his letter, I do wonder if the thoughts of some that perhaps he has acted as (in my paraphrase) a starry eyed idealist, may have hit it rightly. John Guernsey knows Baucom, and if the above observation by some is any where near the truth, this would explain the length of the time of public silence. But perhaps we need to avoid assuming public silence equates to inaction. Knowing Bishop Guernsey, I am certain he had been working with Rev Baucom out of the public eye until it reached the no-more-we’re-done point. He is Baucom’s pastor after all, unless I totally do not get this whole hierarchy thing.

[50] Posted by Pat Kashtock on 3-15-2013 at 10:06 PM · [top]

“The nature of the beast is that it is unable to refrain from mauling sheep.”
Bingo!

[51] Posted by GSP98 on 3-16-2013 at 12:44 AM · [top]

#49. Pageantmaster
“‘Flourishing’ is a Welby word - wry reference to his old school motto:
Floreat Etona - Let or may Eton flourish” If only. Human flourishing is a result of spreading the Gospel message not the goal. It is a human centered theology not God centered and a favorite of the broad church progressives. Once again, the Kingdom of God becomes the Kingdom of this world. I believe the centerpiece of ++Welby is human flourishing.

[52] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-16-2013 at 07:18 AM · [top]

#52 Fr. Dale - I agree.  However, the prevalence of the word we are hearing from all sorts of unlikely quarters including being picked up by the Presiding Bishop I suspect goes back to Welby, who we probably have to thank for its introduction into Anglican debate.  I also think it was done subconsciously or consciously by him as an ‘in’ joke for those who know him.  Of course in a Christian sense our aim is the ‘flourishing’ of the Kingdom of God, or as I would prefer to put it the reign of the Kingdom of God, in which by definition, we too ‘flourish’.

But yes, like Reconciliation, there is too much concentration on the secular aim and not enough on putting Christ at the center.  Very sad and disappointing so far but it is early days.

[53] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 3-16-2013 at 07:29 AM · [top]

Pageantmaster,
It’s good to see your postings again. You’ve been ‘slacking’ lately. I think a crucial indicator will be how many of the invited primates from the Global South/FOCA show up on Wednesday for ++Welby’s enthronement. If he gets about the same number of primates as the last primates meeting hosted by RW in Dublin, then that is a telling sign indeed. If that happens then it will suggest to me that there will be no ‘reconciliation’ between the ABC and the Global South primates. I am also concerned that ++Welby is on track to accept gay marriage. http://www.iaindale.com/posts/2013/03/12/archbishop-softens-line-on-gay-marriage

[54] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-16-2013 at 12:43 PM · [top]

I’m not sure what else I can add to what’s already been said other than this severance is long overdue.

[55] Posted by the virginian on 3-16-2013 at 03:23 PM · [top]

# 54 Fr. Dale

The FCA primates will attend the ceremony but will not get involved with discussions where unorthodox primates are involved.  The break with such primates was clear after Alexandria where it became obvious that there could be no resolution and that the unorthodox primates where promoting another religion.  Nothing seems to have changed with Justin Welby’s appointment. He is new to the job but if he wishes to continue to be considered an evangelical, and if has anything Christian to offer on this issue, which is wrecking the Anglican Communion, in contrast to the Hegelian muddle of his predecessor, then he has to reveal his hand in the next few days.

I must admit it does not look promising and in fact the situation is getting worse. The Global South is furious that the CofE have given the green light to bishops in civil partnerships. The CofE made a huge mistake a few years ago by allowing clergy to enter civil partnerships.  Civil partnerships are regarded as gay marriage in all but name. In fact under Government proposals currently going through parliament, homosexual couples in a civil partnership will be able to convert it to a marriage just by paying a small administration fee.  The CofE is following TEC’s path and it seems inevitable it will attract the same response from the Global South.

http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/2013/03/17/archbishop-welby-faces-boycott-by-anglican-leaders-over-plans-to-allow-gay-clergy-to-become-bishops/

[56] Posted by Steven Pascoe on 3-17-2013 at 05:26 AM · [top]

Steven Pascoe,
Canterbury never seems to have an over the cliff moment, only a downhill slide into oblivion. I have also remarked on the Hegelian approach of RW and find the ‘reconciliation’ approach of ++Welby to be simply another version. There has been a mistaken sense on the part of both ABCs that agreement is simply a process issue whether it is Indaba or reconciliation. Both have failed to see the differences for what those differences really are. It is heresy versus orthodoxy. I was greatly disappointed when RW referred to the differences as a matter of styles as if it was simply differing local adaptations of the Gospel. Both are isolated and insulated. Isn’t ++Welby simply another political appointment best suited to run the CoE?

[57] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-17-2013 at 08:11 AM · [top]

Fr. Dale

“Isn’t ++Welby simply another political appointment best suited to run the CoE?”

Justin Welby’s appointment looked astute. He bring many things to the role that would seem to be a step forward – experience outside the church, an ability to communicate clearly, experience of reconciliation work in Africa. That he comes from an evangelical background was no doubt seen as a way of encouraging the Global South and the evangelicals in the CofE to stick with it.  But coming from an evangelical background years ago is entirely different from currently thinking of issues in terms of the biblical gospel even if it means being at odds with the consensus. The politics in the CofE are obvious to see. We have not had such a real evangelical bishop appointed since 1998. The consequence of that will be evangelicals will increasing look outside of the formal CofE structures as happened in Sheffield recently.

[58] Posted by Steven Pascoe on 3-17-2013 at 10:14 AM · [top]

Another thought has come to mind since I posted yesterday. When the small group of “continuing Episcopalians” split off from TFC Anglican just over six years ago and formed the Falls Church Episcopal congregation, they claimed to hold orthodox Christian beliefs even as they desired to remain affiliated with TEC. Evidently that’s no longer the case.

[59] Posted by the virginian on 3-17-2013 at 02:37 PM · [top]

Steve Pascoe at #56, thank you for that link to Anglican Mainstream.

It is reassuring to see that the Global South Primates intend to be present at the service for installment of ++Welby, but will not attend the “reconciliation” meeting with Canon Porter.

What surprises me is that there are still “moderates” in the Church of England who are surprised that the Global South Primates are unhappy about “the Church of England plans to allow gay clergy in civil partnerships to become bishops”.  The writing was surely on the wall several years ago.

[60] Posted by MichaelA on 3-17-2013 at 05:49 PM · [top]

Been offline for most of the past two weeks, and hardly have time to spend on the blogs tonight, but my eye landed on Fr. Dale’s question in #2 about “radical hospitality.”  I believe the usage at Truro of that phrase became common under +Martyn Minns who has not been accused of “reconciliation” with the enemy.

When Martyn became rector of Truro, the parish adopted the vision statement or “tag line” still seen on the Truro website.  “Profound transformation, radical hospitality, inspired service.”  (Actually, +Martyn I think more often used the term “radical inclusion” and that became one of CANA’s core values).

Google “Martyn Minns radical inclusion” and you’ll come up with lots of examples of Martyn’s use of the term.

Important to note, at Truro “radical inclusion” or “radical hospitality” has ALWAYS ALWAYS been linked with “profound transformation”  - that is, welcoming everyone and telling them of God’s love, but calling them to be changed, not leaving them in their sin, but inviting them to receive Christ and be transformed by the power of His Word and the Holy Spirit.

Sure, “radical hospitality” may be misused by the liberals to mean all kinds of non-Gospel things.  But they (the liberals) also say “God is love.”  Are we going to stop proclaiming the truth of God’s love and His radical inclusion and hospitality - inviting sinners, the lame, the poor, the outcast to come and dine just because the culture wants to give those words and phrases another meaning, or are we going to proclaim and stand firm for the truth of the Gospel.  I believe that is what Truro has been doing for years in using those terms. 

Here’s how Martyn defined and explained radical inclusion in his installation sermon as missionary bishop for CANA back in May 2007:

1. RADICAL INCLUSION
We are a missionary church. We believe that we have been given good news of great joy for all people ... and that all means all sorts and conditions of people! An essential part of the gospel message is that in Christ:
* There is neither Jew nor Greek,
* There is neither Nigerian or American,
* There is neither Yoruba or Igbo,
* There is neither slave nor free,
* There is neither male nor female,
* There is neither rich nor poor,
* There are none of the barriers that divide the world around us,
* For we are all one in Christ Jesus.
Jesus shows us how to live this way. His arms are open wide and he welcomes everyone - including you and me. He has a special concern for those who are ignored by the rest of the community.
One of my favourite Bible characters is Zacchaeus, the tax collector. He was an outsider.
Remember how he almost fell out of his tree when Jesus announced that he was going to his house for dinner. Everyone was astonished. Jesus was risking his reputation reaching out to this ‘sinner’. You know the rest of the story. Zacchaeus was so overwhelmed by the way that Jesus treated him that he stood up and said, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if (?) I have cheated anybody out of anything. I will pay back four times the amount.”
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost.”
This is the gospel. It is a gospel of radical inclusion. It is also a gospel of profound transformation. Jesus does not merely welcome sinners, he loves them and He calls them to live transformed lives and that is a second theme for CANA

from here:
http://cana.davidnbrooks.com/file_download/16/CANACelebrationSermon.doc

Sadly, I won’t be able to come back to this comment thread any time soon.  This is a hit and run comment, not because I don’t want to participate, but because I am utterly swamped, and will be travellling for the next 10 days, with very little access to email…

But, I hope this comment from one who has been a member at Truro for 25 years has helped!  If folks have questions, feel free to PM me.  But it may be awhile before I can reply.

Karen

[61] Posted by Karen B. on 3-17-2013 at 05:54 PM · [top]

Actually, Steve Pascoe’s post at #58 better illustrates my last point:

“We have not had such a real evangelical bishop appointed since 1998. The consequence of that will be evangelicals will increasing look outside of the formal CofE structures as happened in Sheffield recently.”

I agree, and this should hardly be a surprise.  The seeds of the Sheffield incident were laid back in 2003 when a liberal Bishop of Sheffield in effect drove an evangelical church plant out of the CofE.  But later in 2009 a new “open evangelical” bishop invited that church plant to join the CofE and was rebuffed.  To orthodox evangelicals, such a rebuff was hardly surprising: the leadership of CofE has been openly tolerant of liberalism for many years - why would any scripturally-based church want to make themselves part of it? 

If the leadership of CofE were to actively and enthusiastically affirm orthodoxy, now that would be a different matter.  But that hasn’t happened.

Yet we are then treated to the spectacle of a respected evangelical CofE commentator (Peter Ould) complaining that this congregation rebuffed the invitation.  He referred to the hurt felt by evangelical bishops in CofE that the congregation rebuffed the invitation (and the inevitable consequence a few years later that the pastor of one of its church plants would seek ordination outside the CofE) but really, why would anyone have expected otherwise? 

Large evangelical congregations in CofE have been on the cusp of leaving for some years.  In particular, those who cannot accept the ministry of women bishops believe that they have been sold out by the very evangelical bishops who claim their allegiance - not because of their disagreement on WO, but because said bishops will not lift a finger to protect the dissenting evangelicals within the Church of England.  At the last General Synod, non-WO evangelicals found that some liberals were willing to give them more protection than the evangelical bishops were prepared to give!

Where this must lead has been obvious for a considerable time, but the moderates just don’t get it, and that is because they have lost perspective - they do not appreciate how far their own church has gone down the road to becoming a pariah in the Anglican world, largely on their watch and assisted by their silence.

[62] Posted by MichaelA on 3-17-2013 at 06:03 PM · [top]

#54 Fr. Dale
Thanks - I shall endeavour to give up sloth for Lent.

Yes, I am underwhelmed that Archbishop Welby is not going to Rome for the Pope’s inauguration, but is devoting all his time to trying to get the 22 Primates out of communion with TEC to demonstrate ‘collegiality’ with the appalling Presiding Bishop.

Once again the entire effort of Lambeth Palace and the ACO is devoted to the interests and money of the collapsing Episcopal Church bombing below 500,00 worshippers instead of the 80 million who are going places and are on fire for God. 

Going after the lost sheep is one thing, but this disagreeable, rude and persecuting old goat is another.

[63] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 3-18-2013 at 04:50 PM · [top]

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