November 23, 2014

January 18, 2014


BREAKING: Welby names Tory Baucum as “Canterbury Preacher”

This from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s site:

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, is delighted to announce the appointment of the Revd Dr Tory Baucum, Rector of Truro Church in Fairfax, Virginia, as one of the Six Preachers of Canterbury Cathedral.

Dr Baucum will be installed as one of the Six Preachers during Evensong at Canterbury Cathedral on 14 March. The Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral unanimously approved the nomination of Dr Baucum shortly before Christmas.

The College of Six Preachers was created by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in 1541, forming part of his plans for a new foundation to replace the dissolved Priory. Canterbury was unique in this; no other cathedral had a group of preaching priests and was a reflection of Cranmer’s determination to give greater prominence to preaching. Today, the Six Preachers are called to preach on various occasions at Canterbury Cathedral, the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion. The preachers serve five-year terms, which can be renewed.

While Dr Baucum has extensive experience of preaching, evangelism and peace-making, his appointment is also recognition of his commitment to reconciliation, which is one of Archbishop Justin’s ministry priorities. Truro Church seceded from the Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church in 2006 and subsequently became part of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

When Dr Baucum became Rector in 2007, the church and the diocese were involved in litigation over property rights. Dr Baucum, a priest in ACNA, developed a close friendship with Episcopal Bishop of Virginia, the Rt Revd Shannon Johnston, and a settlement was subsequently reached.

Readers of Stand Firm will be very familiar with that “settlement”. It included Baucum referring to Johnston as a brother and promoting his ministry in the Church of England. All of this despite the fact that Johnston remained utterly commited to the same heresies which caused Truro to choose to split from TEC. This basic issue remains unaddressed. “Reconciliation”, without any repentance at all on the part of Johnston.

Commenting on the appointment, Archbishop Justin said: “Tory is a fine scholar, an excellent preacher, and above all someone with a holistic approach to ministry. The close friendship he has forged with Bishop Shannon Johnston, despite their immensely different views, sets a pattern of reconciliation based on integrity and transparency. Such patterns of life are essential to the future of the Communion. I hope and pray that Tory’s presence as one of the Six Preachers will play a part in promoting reconciliation and unity among us.”

No surprise there. Sadly Welby’s pattern for “reconciliation” is, then, that we affirm those who uphold the heresies that are splitting the Communion.

The ACNA’s press release doesn’t mention any of this stuff.

“This is an historically significant appointment,” said the Most Reverend Robert Duncan, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America.  “Tory is known to be a gifted teacher and preacher who is committed to the present day reformation out of which the Anglican Church in North America was born.”

Tory’s bishop, the Right Reverend John Guernsey, commented: “Tory is a scholar with a pastor’s heart. He has a passion to reach the world for Christ and through his leadership Truro Church is being used by God to bring hundreds to faith in Jesus. I pray for the Lord to anoint his ministry afresh as he takes up this appointment.”

At Stand Firm we suspect there may be some who will question Tory’s “commitment to the present day reformation” given his willingness to affirm Johnston’s ministry. It will be viewed by them as a compromised commitment.

There is one thing we can certainly celebrate in all this, however. Welby has publicly affirmed the orders of an ACNA minister. That will infuriate the liberals.

But others will be infuriated that Welby has promoted someone who also sought to affirm the place in the Communion of those pursuing heresy.

Sweet reconciliation.


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45 comments

Setting aside Baucum himself, this is a transparently cynical appointment. The symbolism is perfect: ACNA, would you like to be received into the Communion…here’s what you must do. “Reconcile”

I think this is precisely the sort of thing I predicted here…not to toot my own horn smile
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/30152

[1] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 1-16-2014 at 07:36 AM · [top]

Will someone remind me what the working definition of “Evangelical” is?  It seems to be a system of belief ideal for the ABoC- EVERYTHING is a second order issue (name me one single first order issue anymore for this “open evangelical” crowd).

Welby is all about false reconciliation- the kind where no one actually repents of anything, they just say they are sorry that you feel bad about what they did.

[2] Posted by tjmcmahon on 1-16-2014 at 08:01 AM · [top]

D.A. Carson’s warning about ‘evangelical’ losing theological meaning for a sociological meaning has come true.

[3] Posted by Joel on 1-16-2014 at 08:07 AM · [top]

“Setting aside Baucum himself, this is a transparently cynical appointment.”

Cynical in several ways.  Any TEC bishop who dares reconcile with +Mark Lawrence would be deposed tomorrow, and Welby knows it.  An entirely one way street.  Give up your property and pay TEC rent on it (so they can afford the mortgage), let their Crossan inspired bishop preach heresy from your pulpit and introduce him to the rest of the church as an orthodox, doctrinally sound theologian, and you can get a nice stole from the ABoC.

Does Baucum spend any time at Truro anymore? One never hear a word about his work in the US, just his visits to London, his great claim to fame seems to be that he was ordained by the CoE.

[4] Posted by tjmcmahon on 1-16-2014 at 08:14 AM · [top]

Well, it’s an understandable appointment between two allies who both define “reconciliation” in the same way.

[5] Posted by Sarah on 1-16-2014 at 08:37 AM · [top]

And it is a reward for Baucum’s loyalty to Welby.  Anyone who has read Baucum’s comments on various stories on T19 in perpetual defense of the +ABC can see how that has paid off for him.

[6] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 1-16-2014 at 09:03 AM · [top]

#6- This is probably, at its root, just good old fashioned cronyism.  Like getting appointed assistant precinct captain in the old days in Chicago.

Who are the other 5 Canterbury preachers?  If this is really about reconciliation, Welby’s next 4 appointments should be conservatives from FCA and GS, in order to have a balance that reflects the reality of the Communion.

The other thing to consider in this is that we can assume that KJS gave her permission to Welby as surely as she gave her permission to Johnston.  It would be naive to think she was not consulted.  This fits her strategy, even if she might not like it on the surface.

[7] Posted by tjmcmahon on 1-16-2014 at 09:21 AM · [top]

You do learn a lot reading these PR pieces- so Baucum is now teaching “contextual theology” at VTS!  It is all about one’s context, isn’t it?

[8] Posted by tjmcmahon on 1-16-2014 at 09:25 AM · [top]

“Commenting on the appointment, Archbishop Justin said: “Tory is a fine scholar, an excellent preacher, and above all someone with a holistic approach to ministry. The close friendship he has forged with Bishop Shannon Johnston, despite their immensely different views, sets a pattern of reconciliation based on integrity and transparency. Such patterns of life are essential to the future of the Communion. I hope and pray that Tory’s presence as one of the Six Preachers will play a part in promoting reconciliation and unity among us.”
http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/5228/archbishop-appoints-us-priest-as-canterbury-preacher

[9] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 1-16-2014 at 09:32 AM · [top]

[10] Posted by Clive on 1-16-2014 at 09:36 AM · [top]

The close friendship he has forged with Bishop Shannon Johnston

But Matt, didn’t Bp. Guernsey sort of put a stop to that rapprochement between Baucum and Johnston?

+ABC’s celebration of that relationship sort of looks like a slap in the face to Bp. Guernsey.

[11] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 1-16-2014 at 09:39 AM · [top]

“This is an historically significant appointment,” said the Most Reverend Robert Duncan, Archbishop

Does he and do any of you think this will advance the acceptance of ACNA as part of the “Anglican Communion” whatever that is coming to mean?

[12] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 1-16-2014 at 09:39 AM · [top]

If ACNA is not careful, they will be facing a split themselves.  I for one will be watching the nomination of the next Archbishop very carefully.  I already have someone in mind who better NOT be nominated.

I greeted ACNA with great joy and very much want it to succeed.  But there is a limit to how much TEC lite I will tolerate.

[13] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 1-16-2014 at 09:42 AM · [top]

It’s a classic preemption of the opposition (such as Baucum+ might represent opposition).

I saw this happen in my own church. The (very) orthodox rector had an assistant rector, also orthodox (at the time) from Nashotah House, ordained by Bishop Ackerman, etc, etc.  We didn’t have much to do with our revisionist bishop or activities on the diocesan level. After several years, I notice in the diocesan newsletter that our assistant rector had been named by the bishop to a fairly innocuous “committee.” My husband said at the time that it was the beginning of the end—the appropriation had begun. I scoffed, “But he’s from Nashotah House and he’s orthodox!”

Within two to three years, our very orthodox rector was gone, chased off on a technical charge (brought in part by the assistant rector), and the assistant rector is now the rector. The church is now more fully involved with diocesan activities, and while ASA is down quite a bit, the money seems to keep coming in (at least according to the TEC records).

We moved and are no longer in TEC, but I can certainly see the same thing happening not just to Baucum+ but to a significant part of the ACNA as well.

[14] Posted by Branford on 1-16-2014 at 10:32 AM · [top]

You make such a good point, Newbie Anglican.  Why would the bishops not just permit such a thing but endorse it?

[15] Posted by Clive on 1-16-2014 at 10:34 AM · [top]

As much as I love the Anglican church and wanted to stay a member of it, things like this are what ultimately led me to membership in LCMS.  So far, I have not had one minute of regret.  I understand that there is no perfect church this side of heaven, but the cronyism of clergy in ACNA, CofE, and TEC, as well as the reflexive wish to be associated with Canterbury as some sort of stamp of authenticity has soured me on Anglicanism.

[16] Posted by Daniel on 1-16-2014 at 11:11 AM · [top]

My recollection may be incorrect, but I believe Rev’d Baucum became resident in the Church of England when he left TEC and is licensed in the ACNA.

[17] Posted by AnnieCOA on 1-16-2014 at 11:32 AM · [top]

Hi Clive—you’ll need to either engage and cease trolling—or you could always just stop commenting.  I don’t care which it is—but stop the cute little trolling.  Knowing who you are as we do, it’s perfectly understandable that you’d support Baucum’s appointment and you’re more than welcome to speak frankly.

Carry on, everybody else.

It’s a fascinating little exchange between Welby/Baucum/Duncan/Guernsey.  I’m sure that Baucum is thankful for the support from his ally in his particularly-defined “reconciliation” [sic] philosophy.

It certainly places Duncan/Guernsey in an interesting position. It probably wasn’t wise to ignore the reason why Baucum was appointed!  But I’m guessing it was hard for them to know what to say in response to the reason—so they just avoided addressing the reason entirely.

[18] Posted by Sarah on 1-16-2014 at 01:26 PM · [top]

Interesting.  I think that comments 1, 5, 6 and 7 are all correct.  This is part cronyism, part reward for a like-minded friend, and part cynical attempt to buy “peace” within the Anglican Communion.  All convey important messages about both Welby and Baucum.  The cronyism and reward for like-minded buddy angles bother me less then the issue Matt Kennedy raises.

I think that this is more then just a “carrot and stick” manipulation.  It’s more than just Welby saying “I might just recognize you if you dance to my tune.”  I think it is Welby’s pitch to the “moderate” wing of ACNA/FCA that he really does respect and include them and so please don’t leave the CofE to join the AME. 

In their latest Anglican Unscripted (I think I heard it there), Kallsen and Conger were discussing the challenge that conservatives would have in England when the CofE goes liberal.  They pointed out that in the US, KJS and her cronies acted viciously and brutally against the conservatives, and this made it much easier for conservatives to conclude that there was no point in even trying to stay and work within TEC.  Welby, in contrast, is taking a different tack.  He is trying an all-out charm offensive, in which he doesn’t actually recognize ACNA/FCA as an authentic Anglican Communion entity, but does work closely with individual clergy and confers some degree of recognition on them as individuals.  He courts some of these folk and then in turn tell everyone that Welby is really a swell guy, very orthodox, misunderstood, and that despite what Welby says or does, he really is orthodox under it all.  And in this way, Welby is not the tyrant-persecutor that KJS was, and it will be much, much more difficult to rouse CofE parishes to leave the CofE.

The probable end result will be a massive and continued opportunity loss.  No, there won’t be large scale defections from the CofE as Welby brings the pot slowly to a boil.  But instead, the CofE will become increasingly irrelevant.  I believe that liberal western Anglicans have made a critical demographic/future casting error.  They believe that an increasingly secular population will flock back to Church if the Church would only modify its doctrine to suit the nebulous “spirituality” that is so rampant now amongst the population.  But this is foolishness.  The nebulous spirituality is really a form of spiritual laziness, and why would lazy people want to do extra stuff and give their money over to an unnecessary organization that tells them what they already think. 

As culture moves away from Christendom, it will only be committed Christians that will attend and support churches.  And committed Christians are all pretty much conservative in their theology and outlook.  Liberal churches can only survive as niche organizations and then only if they have a wealthy clientele.  Once TEC manages to close down its dying churches and dioceses, and sell off its empty buildings, it may be able to pull off the wealthy niche denomination.  Maybe or maybe not.  Perhaps the UU and UCC denominations have flooded that marketplace.  That is a question still to be resolved.

But there is no way that a national church like the CofE can survive as a niche organization like this.  It is too broad and not wealthy enough.  No, Welby might succeed in the shorter-term by forestalling any major splits like what happened with the ACNA, but he is condemning the CofE to a collapse, not terribly far down the road.

[19] Posted by jamesw on 1-16-2014 at 01:27 PM · [top]

Let me add one thought to my post #19.  So, I think that as the CofE compromises the Gospel, committed Christians will choose to attend other denominations.  There won’t be massive parish wide defections, but rather it will be individual families, or children of CofE attendees that will start going elsewhere as the CofE turns the Gospel into cold, watery pablum.  Eventually, parishes will cease being viable and will close.  TEC has also suffered terribly from lost opportunity, but is in better shape to survive the longer term in a (greatly) reduced form.  CofE, by definition, cannot just reinvent itself as the chaplaincy to wealthy-liberal-white-folk-who-still-think-going-to-church-is-important.

[20] Posted by jamesw on 1-16-2014 at 01:38 PM · [top]

As I recall +Baucum’s orders were never with ACNA, though he was appointed to an ACNA parish in Truro.  Post his ECUSA days I believe his orders have been in London.  If so, the press release is somewhat misleading.

[21] Posted by Aybido on 1-16-2014 at 01:55 PM · [top]

Aaach, a bone to the “colonials everywhere”.  T"here, there see jolly ol’ (CO)E really does know bestest.”  Now, go sit in the corner and, above all, be decorous.  None of that upsetting the boat, wot? 

Still, a call for repentance and warning of the results of TE"c”-ism could resound.  The Baptist risked his head for the proclamation of the truth - and lost it.  Could happen again.

[22] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 1-16-2014 at 02:25 PM · [top]

Meanwhile, they are furious about this over at the Episcopal Cafe (the blog run by the ECUSA Diocese of Washington).

As an example of the spittle-flecked rage from those on the left at Archbishop Welby’s choice to confer this honor on a member of ACNA:

———

I posted at Thinking Anglicans but I want to go on record here as believing we have just witnessed the first silver coin drop into the hands of those who would, and DO, harm others at Church…intentionally harm others (dangerous this negotiating/wild-card gambling by the ABC…reminder, the REAL lives of innocent LGBTI human beings, at Church or not is a stake):

‘reconciliation and unity’ ?

Self-righteous arrogance and oppression/marginalization that harms LGBT at the Anglican Communion/beyond is plain dangerous! CANA/NIGERIA´s principal message smears the integrity and humanity of fellow Anglicans both at home and in North America.

This is not ¨holding our differences in tension and covering them in prayer¨ as ++Justin preached in Guatemala City.

This appointment validates the dishonest behavior at the Angican Communion by those who think themselves better than, and morally ABOVE, others.

LGBT people in Nigeria and Uganda will pay the price for this sad attempt at ¨reconciliation¨ with their lives.

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo

[23] Posted by Pigeon on 1-16-2014 at 02:27 PM · [top]

Forgot to include the link.  The rest of the comments should be seen to be believed. 

By alienating both the left and the right, it sounds as though Welby is pleasing no one (except perhaps Fr Baucum himself) with the appointment.

[24] Posted by Pigeon on 1-16-2014 at 02:30 PM · [top]

[Comment deleted - vichycon let’s-collaborate-with-heretics-troll banned for trolling, per Sarah’s warning above]

[25] Posted by Clive on 1-16-2014 at 02:34 PM · [top]

++Justin Welby…Rowan Williams 2.0

[26] Posted by Fr. Dale on 1-16-2014 at 02:39 PM · [top]

Can anyone confirm whether or not Baucum was ever ordained in the ACNA?  Does it matter?  If his orders have always been in London, then he was simply a C of E priest all along, serving in an ACNA parish for a season trying to bring reconciliation.  Now he has gone back “home” so to speak.  It seems this might comfort some TECs to know that Baucum is not really carrying the taint of the ACNA back to the mother church. He was only a sojourner among the “haters.”  No worries.

[27] Posted by Aybido on 1-16-2014 at 02:39 PM · [top]

Aybido:  Baucum was ordained into the CofE, but I am not sure what his status is in ACNA - licensed to work in ACNA while remaining resident in CofE OR transferred into to ACNA???  I would suspect the latter, but I don’t know.

[28] Posted by jamesw on 1-16-2014 at 03:39 PM · [top]

Maybe I’m being too simplistic, but isn’t this primarily the mutual ties of both with Holy Trinity Brompton and Alpha?

[29] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 1-16-2014 at 04:18 PM · [top]

I think it may be a blessing in disguise, for the faithful congregants of Truro. I hope Bp Guernsey will work with that congregation to choose a new rector who doesn’t collaborate with heretics.

[30] Posted by sophy0075 on 1-16-2014 at 07:12 PM · [top]

Sophy,
I don’t think Canterbury Preacher is a full time job where Baucum moves to England, it is a more or less honorary position that allows the ABoC to recognize people who he wants to honor.  But I don’t think Baucum is giving up his day job.

[31] Posted by tjmcmahon on 1-16-2014 at 07:30 PM · [top]

Sophy0075:  I think that this is an honorary appointment, not a full-time position.

[32] Posted by jamesw on 1-16-2014 at 07:30 PM · [top]

I agree that it is doubtless an honorary post.

[33] Posted by cennydd13 on 1-16-2014 at 07:45 PM · [top]

Jamesw: #19 is distressingly plausible. Tragic. I wonder where HTB and Fresh Expressions will fit in the scenario.  Perhaps providing cover and credibility for a while.  Eager to see what St Helen’s Bishopsgate will say/do in the next few months.

[34] Posted by Aybido on 1-16-2014 at 09:03 PM · [top]

Jamesw- the only minor quibble with your #19 is that TEC membership is something on the order of 6/10 of 1% of the US population, and only 2/10 of 1% of the US population actually attends its services on any given Sunday- it already IS a wealthy niche denomination.

[35] Posted by tjmcmahon on 1-17-2014 at 01:29 AM · [top]

I don’t know how to visualize reconciliation between orthodoxy and heresy.  People who have committed terrible offenses against each other, as in the genocides or apartheid or even in WWII, can experience reconciliation because in those contexts it involves acknowledgement of wrong before God and between parties, confession, repentance and forgiveness.  But how does it work between those who have entrenched opposite positions on the divinity of Christ or human sexuality rooted in fundamentally different understandings of Scriptural authority.  It seems the best that can happen there is to agree to disagree peacefully.  There comes a point where continuing conversation is meaningless or perhaps dishonest.  If one or both of the parties still holds out hope for bringing the other round to their point view there can be meaningful dialog, but there really is no middle ground where all parties will be “reconciled.” 

What so often seems to happen is that the dialog begins with a frank articulation of what are really irreconcilable positions.  Then it shifts to the heat and offenses that have come out of previous engagements on the issue, from verbal broadsides in the blogs/press to lawsuits.  Then there is the lament and call for repentance over broken unity and damage to the gospel.  Usually the progressives seek out the moral high ground of the aggrieved party.  Feelings of anxiety and even guilt arise in those who have tried to “stand firm”.  But whatever the validity of those charges, all of this just muddies the water. 

I would like to think that these tactics just evolve on their own out of human weakness and a general decline of logic and rhetoric.  But some of the leaders are quite intelligent.  If I can see through this, surely they too are aware of it.  I have heard Baucum and others say things like: “Of course I support the traditional orthodox view, but I have never received the kind of hate speech from liberals that I have from my conservative brothers and sisters.” Etc. The subliminal message is: “How can people who are so unkind be right doctrinally? How can people who attach ‘their own’ so viciously be trusted?”

We need to be vigilant against this maneuver.  I think we can expect a lot more of it in the months ahead.  We need cool heads to avoid getting sucked into false guilt and diverted from the real issues. (We also need to watch our rhetoric and not give them more to support the diversion.)

When truth vs error is on the table there really isn’t much work for professional reconcilers.  I think Welby, Baucum et al sense this and this is why they try to divert the dialog to their preferred ground. Reconciliation also has a certain populist appeal in a guilt-ridden age. I must check my cynicism, but I have seen many careers made in the last 30 years in the reconciliation business. There is definitely more money in it than there is in doing theology. “Reconciliation inc.” depends on grievances, and especially taking up offenses on behalf of others. These are the most effective. “Its not really about me.  I can take it.  I’m just grieving over _____.”  And there is no end to it; there is always another nuance to be understood.

[36] Posted by Aybido on 1-17-2014 at 07:10 AM · [top]

Did Truro really leave TEC? It seems to me that it would have been better to stay in TEC and refuse to contribute to the TEC “askings”. Instead, they are helping fund TEC through their rent payments. It also takes TEC off the hook for populating the church with progressives or having to sell it below market value. I really can’t think of a better deal for TEC. How in any way is this reconciliation?

[37] Posted by Fr. Dale on 1-17-2014 at 08:38 AM · [top]

My problem with this appointment, I see a capitulation by ACNA into the now rapidly declining CoE, declining both in adherence to the ‘faith once delivered’ and in accepting the TEo ‘status quo’ of ‘I’m OK, you’re OK’ situational ethics and loss of spiritual distinctive as a catholic Church.

That said, I am now glad that the ACNA did not accept my orders, and forced me to move out of the Anglican priestly realm.

[38] Posted by Fr. Chip, SF on 1-17-2014 at 09:55 AM · [top]

37.  Fr Dale, there is NO way that this can be called reconciliation.  Truro didn’t make their stand clear from the beginning, as far as I can tell, so where does this put them?  Right in Mrs Schori’s pocket!

[39] Posted by cennydd13 on 1-17-2014 at 10:38 AM · [top]

tjmcmahon: Yes, TEC has been a wealthy, white niche denomination for a long time.  The change is that while it used to be a wealthy, white niche denomination for both liberals and conservatives in a society in which church attendance and support was socially expected.  It has been transitioning for some time (and much more rapidly so since 2006) into a wealthy, white, LIBERAL denomination in a society in which people - and liberals in particular - are no longer socially expected to go to or support church, and, in fact, are often expected NOT to go to or support church.

As you have pointed out quite rightly, only a teeny, tiny micro-percentage of the US population has any interest in TEC.  That might - in the long term - support a tiny, wealthy, white, liberal, urban niche denomination.  Jury is still out on that.  But the CofE most certainly can’t survive with that model.

But I did take a look at a couple of the liberal blogs and there was one commenter who argued that in order for the CofE to “appeal” to young people and grow, it had to adopt liberal attitudes and doctrine.  Nevermind that this had been an abysmal failure everywhere else it has been tried.  This is the basis for the colossal demographic/future-looking blunder Anglican liberals are making.  But it does reveal that that mindset still continues to operate.

[40] Posted by jamesw on 1-17-2014 at 01:42 PM · [top]

#36 Aybido:

“But how does it work between those who have entrenched opposite positions on the divinity of Christ or human sexuality rooted in fundamentally different understandings of Scriptural authority.  It seems the best that can happen there is to agree to disagree peacefully.”

I think the problem is that Scripture does not allow us that option.  I Corinthians 5.  Certainly that is the conclusion the Global South has come to.

[41] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 1-17-2014 at 02:25 PM · [top]

Interestingly, I read this article this morning on a minor controversy surrounding “sexist” language in Canada’s national anthem.  I found the following excerpts to be interesting.  The author is apparently someone who has no religious beliefs but finds it somewhat fun and quaint to re-enact the odd, quaint and silly rituals of her cultural past, even if they have no real meaning at all to her.

When your culture rejects macho heroism and institutionalized religion, channelling those things in song and ritual is no longer dangerous or offensive. It’s quaint.

In fact, our modern egalitarian society is filled with formerly sexist and otherwise oppressive ritual that is, in the fair future, quaint and comforting. Many a progressive non-virgin woman walks down the aisle in white, arm-in-arm with her equally progressive father, where she is “passed off” to her equally progressive soon-to-be husband….Many a non-believer gives something up at Lent. When society ceases to be inherently sexist and religious, it doesn’t, and shouldn’t, necessarily shed all rituals born from that sexism and religiosity. Some of those rituals can be a lot of fun.

The mistake that Anglican (and TEC) liberals make, is to think that people like this columnist actually take the Church seriously.  They don’t.  They may think that it is fun now and again to play-act that ancient ritual, and they undoubtedly also think it is “cool” and “progressive” if the Church were to set aside some of its “quaint” and “out-dated” doctrines.  But that doesn’t mean that these sort of people will ever take Church seriously or attend regularly or support it.

Anglican liberals think that they can build the Church’s future on people like this columnist.  They mistake the pats on the head with serous respect.

[42] Posted by jamesw on 1-17-2014 at 02:45 PM · [top]

Are clergy complicit in this play-acting when they perform weddings for those they know have no living faith, or serve Holy Communion to those they see once a year who are living openly non-Christian life-styles—for example at Christmas Eve Mass when it is “a lot of fun” to enact the old “quaint” traditions?

[43] Posted by Aybido on 1-17-2014 at 03:49 PM · [top]

One of the first six Canterbury Preachers was Rowland Taylor.  He declined to flee when Mary I came to the throne.  He was arrested within days of her accession and vigorously defended the principle of clerical marriage, for which he paid the ultimate earthly penalty.  He said:

“And although I know, that there is neither justice nor truth to be looked for at my adversaries hands, but rather imprisonment and cruel death: yet know my cause to be so good and righteous, and the truth so strong upon my side, that I will by God’s grace go and appear before them and to their beards resist their false doings.” [recorded in John Foxe, “Actes and Monuments”, aka “the Book of Martyrs”]

[44] Posted by MichaelA on 1-19-2014 at 10:18 PM · [top]

Lay folk, both women and men are appointed.

[45] Posted by Martin Reynolds on 1-21-2014 at 06:21 AM · [top]

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