March 23, 2017

June 9, 2014

Truro Rebirth Credited to Relationship Between the Rev. Baucum and Bishop Johnston

Some weeks back the New York Times ran an article that touted the continuing relationship of the rector of Truro Anglican in Virginia, Tory Baucum, and the ECUSA Bishop of Virgina, Shannon Johnston.  The relationship was given credit for some positive things happening at Truro. 

Frankly, I thought it placed the congregation in a very derogatory light.  There are a lot of good people in that congregation and their ordeal has been long and arduous.  The controversy that has arisen as part of the settlement with ECUSA only added to their burden.

The Rev. Baucum blew my theory about the article out of the water when he used it as one of several acts of affirmation of him and his work of reconciliation on a T19 thread. If, in fact, the article was affirmation then my deepest sympathy to the congregation of Truro.  In addition, I have some serious questions for the leadership at every level.

About two years ago Truro voted to end its litigation with the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.  No one blamed them for deciding to end the legal battle.  Litigation under the best of circumstances is hard.  When it involves where you worship, hard doesn’t begin to describe it.  There were several puzzling aspects to the settlement including the deal they struck in order to remain in the building.  The article gave us the rosy colored view since it failed to point out the high cost to the congregation for that settlement.  Truro gets to remain in the building for a time (to be determined by the bishop of Virginia) but they must pay to maintain the aging structure.  The Episcopal Church gets to add a historic site worth tens of millions of dollars to their asset column without the huge burden of maintaining it.  Just take a look around the country at other facilities where EUCSA has been successful in taking the building from congregations without the ability to maintain them with active congregations.  One particular building comes to mind that is now an Islamic Awareness Center.  All pluses and no minuses for ECUSA.  High costs with the only reward a delayed eviction notice for the congregation of Truro. 

The part that I found so demeaning to the congregation came from a quote made by Truro’s Executive Director. 

“You can’t have an effective church that’s going to be welcoming if it’s full of people who are angry,” said Bob Tate, the executive director of Truro. “We were angry, and we hated Episcopalians,” he said.

Hate?  If this is true, it is a side of Truro that was never made public.  We can only hope it was either a false statement by the writer or hyperbole on the part of the Executive Director.  Unfortunately, it has not been refuted.  As with everything in this article, the writer credits the relationship between the rector, Tory Baucum, and the ECUSA bishop, Shannon Johnston, as the reason the congregation was able to stop “hating.”  The relationship in question is one that has sparked more than a little controversy.  The Rev. Baucum stated in a sermon at the time of the settlement:

I reached out to Bishop Shannon over a year ago. He quickly and graciously reciprocated. In our first meetings, we did not paper over the differences between us, but neither did we exaggerate them. We began by accurately naming the cause(s) of division (i.e. it is more about anthropology than Christology) and restoring trust.
I have opened up relationships and ministry opportunities to him in the CofE. He has reciprocated by allowing me to minister in Episcopal parishes in the Diocese of Virginia as DOK Chaplain and has encouraged my relationship with VTS and Dean Ian Markham, who has invited me to teach a missions course there.

Mr. Baucum now states that he was “purposely general” and that he did not promote the ministry of Bishop Johnston.    We do know that he has given Bishop Johnston a broad audience in the Church of England and in the United States. We know that they have indeed papered over their differences as being about “anthropology and not Christology” encouraging a broad audience to ignore the real question at hand.  Ask anyone who has only seen the public promotion between the two clergy if they were told Bishop Johnston is a false teacher or just one player who has risen above an “unfortunate situation?”

It is important to remember that In March 2013 Bishop Guernsey issued a directive to the Rev. Baucum that the relationship with Bishop Johnston must not continue.  He was quite clear as to his reasoning for the directive. 

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.

The Rev. Baucum even publicly assented to the directive. 

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.

But according to the New York Times,the Rev. Baucum is giving a wink and a nod to his Bishop’s directive. 

In response, the leader of breakaway Anglicans in Virginia, Bishop John A. M. Guernsey, asked Mr. Baucum not to appear in public with the Episcopal bishop.
(The relationship has, in fact, continued, but more privately and with less frequent get-togethers.)

The mental gymnastics it takes to jump from “the relationship must end” to “not to appear in public” and “less frequent get-togethers” is simply mind boggling.
Mr. Baucum contends that because he was not reined in by the leadership, they were affirming his actions.  If silence is consent, then he may be right.  Other than Bishop Guernsey’s ignored directive issued after the Crossan affair, the leadership has been unfortunately silent as this entire saga has unfolded.  Some have theorized that the reason is the Rev. Baucum’s close friendship with the Archbishop of Canterbury.  We can only pray that such is not the case because that would mean that politics was the driving factor.

I don’t know Tory Baucum or Shannon Johnston.  From all accounts both are good men.  Mr. Baucum is a talented and gifted preacher.  The only thing I know of Shannon Johnston is that he affirms and practices without reservation the policy of ECUSA and the theology (or lack thereof) of its Presiding Bishop.  In order for that theology to be correct, Scripture has to be wrong and stripped of its authority.  Let me point out that it is that very same Scripture upon which the Christology is based.  The same Christology Mr. Baucum and Mr. Johnston claim to have in common.  Either Bishop Shannon Johnston is a false teacher or he is not.

Serious questions at a serious time.  I can’t help thinking the Anglican presence in America is at a crossroads.  It should be a familiar one to those who are on it.  ECUSA travelled it and wound up taking a detour from which she has never returned.  Is that where we are now?  Will 30 years from now some mere pewsitter question why no one stood up for the Authority of Scripture when Shannon Johnston was affirmed as a brother in Christ, his ministry and theology worthy of access to the flock?  Will it be the same as when I asked my leaders why John Spong’s heresies were not quashed?  Will that mere pewsitter hear the same thing I heard, “Don’t worry about that.  Just trust your leaders.”

UPDATE:  After posting this article, I received several inquiries as to why I failed to address the Rev. Baucum’s statement that his actions were fully supported by his bishop and the church leadership.  I thought I had addressed that issue but in re-reading the article it does seem like the importance of the statement was glossed over.  Mr. Baucum stated

If the leadership of our Church (our Archbishop and my bishop) believed your allegations were true they would have disciplined me and stopped my peacemaking efforts.  Instead they have worked with Archbishop Welby to promote them. 

The confusion comes in from the start when the settlement was released along with Bishop Guernsey’s letter of support.  Bishop Guernsey correctly points out that the property decisions are Truro’s to make.  He also reassures the Rev. Baucum that he is at peace with needing Bishop Johnston’s permission to visit.  Bishop Guernsey remains silent on the issue of the Rev. Baucum’s relationship with Bishop Johnston despite the fact his theology was well known.  All we know is that according to Mr. Baucum, he not only had the full blessing and consent of Bishop Guernsey and Archbishop Duncan, they worked with the ABC to promote the relationship.
6/14/14 - Corrected update - Last sentence incorrectly listed Bishop Guernsey and the Archbishop of Canterbury as working with the ABC. 

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Let’s see, Shannon Johnston recognizes the teachings of Crossan as legitimate, and indeed of such necessity as to bring him in to teach the clergy of the diocese. He supportss all the depositions as legitimate, and indeed REQUIRED in order to maintain the discipline of the Church, because the deposed bishops and hundreds of deposed clergy had “abandoned the communion” of the Church headed by Jesus Christ.  And (according to Johnston, Baucum and the NYT) Johnston and Baucum share the same Christology.  Why do I not find this at all comforting?

Why on earth did Truro ever leave TEC

When you affirm Johnston, you affirm KJS and VGR, and if they are all legitimate bishops, then you MUST repent and rejoin TEC.  IF Johnston is legitimately a bishop, the +Guernsey is NOT.  This actually is a binary question, there is no “both/and” answer.

[1] Posted by tjmcmahon on 6-9-2014 at 07:32 AM · [top]

Before I get too bent out of shape about this nonsense, I should ask the question, given that both Baucum and Johnston are generally categorized as “Evangelical”- a category which sometimes seems to include anyone who calls him/herself an evangelical- do either or both believe and preach the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist?  If they are memorialists, then maybe their position is less irrational, since when the catholic definition of the Eucharist is ignored, then the concept of orders is reduced to presbyters being appointed worship leaders and bishops to being administrators of a region of parishes, since the sacred element no longer exists.  Although the “why leave TEC in the first place” seems still a legitimate question.  All they needed to do was petition Lee to allow alternative oversight from a bishop who did not support gay marriage, given the current acceptance of TEC bishops as legitimate.

[2] Posted by tjmcmahon on 6-9-2014 at 07:44 AM · [top]

“He is grieved over this situation and agrees with my determination that this relationship with Bishop Johnston can no longer continue.”

Yet the relationship continues. I guess it all depends on what the meaning of ‘relationship” is.

If the relationship is of a Christian ministering to the lost, then fine and good. Only Baucum+ can tell us exactly what the relationship entails. All we can see is the end results of the relationship. Photo-ops and newspaper blurbs all too often paint a picture of acceptance of false teachings, and when the pewsitters sense that, then the Church will suffer.

[3] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 6-9-2014 at 08:34 AM · [top]

Here’s something that takes less angst than it takes to throw a JW off of my front porch:

“Dear +SJ,

My bishop says we can’t have any more play-dates.  I don’t like this, but I’m going to follow the directive. 


[4] Posted by J Eppinga on 6-9-2014 at 10:05 AM · [top]

Thanks for highlighting this quote from the article, Jackie:

“You can’t have an effective church that’s going to be welcoming if it’s full of people who are angry,” said Bob Tate, the executive director of Truro. “We were angry, and we hated Episcopalians,” he said.

Had I been a member of Truro I’d have said “And just who is this ‘we’ . . . speak for yourself, buddy.”

I’d have been pretty upset with the idea that I “hated Episcopalians” blazoned all over a national newspaper.  I never got that feeling from Truro parishioners . . . maybe they hid it well?

[5] Posted by Sarah on 6-9-2014 at 10:43 AM · [top]

“...the Rev. Baucum is giving a wink and a nod to his Bishop’s directive.”

+John Guernsey is not Mr. Baucum’s bishop; +Richard Chartres is.  That little-remembered fact explains so much.  Truro belongs is under +Guernsey’s authority, maybe.  Baucum is not, except by association with Truro.  It seems this ambiguity, along with the lease arragnement, is being exploited to buy time. But to what end?

[6] Posted by Aybido on 6-9-2014 at 11:00 AM · [top]

Aybido - I do not see Mr. Baucum listed on the clergy database under the Diocese of London and Bishop Chartres.  I do know ACNA claims Bishop Guernsey has jurisdiction:

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.”

[7] Posted by Jackie on 6-9-2014 at 11:26 AM · [top]

Jackie, you may be right, but here is some additional info:

BabyBlue Anglican said…

  In the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic there are clergy - including rectors - who are residents of an Anglican province in the Communion, but licensed in the Diocese to serve.

  Tory preceded many others in leaving the Episcopal Church (he in fact left TEC before Truro did), when his TEC bishop in his home diocese (in a mid-West diocese, can’t remember exactly which one right now) graciously transferred him to the Diocese of London (Church of England) while Tory was a professor at Asbury Seminary and worked part time in an Episcopal parish in the Diocese of Lexington. This outraged Bishop Stacy Sauls, then bishop of Lexington, KY, that he banned Tory from serving in any Episcopal church in the Diocese of Lexington.

  Later, Bishop Sauls viciously and publicly attempted to ban him from standing in the election of bishop for the Diocese of Albany (until Bishop Sauls received decisive public push-back from then Albany Bishop Dan Hertzog (see here: as well as from other quarters.

  By the way, Bishop Sauls is now the Chief of Staff for Presiding Bishop Schori and was one of the major architects of the Episcopal Church litigation strategy, former lawyer and graduate in political science that he is.

  Tory continues his residency in the Diocese of London under Bishop Richard Chartres but is licensed to be rector of Truro under Bishop John Guernsey, the bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic.

  Many other clergy and rectors enjoy a similar type of arrangement in the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic as well as throughout the ACNA.

  For example, some are resident in the Church of Nigeria through the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) and are then licensed in the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic to serve under the authority of Bishop Guernsey. Some are resident through other provinces and dioceses in the Communion, including, as in Tory’s case, the Church of England.


[8] Posted by Aybido on 6-9-2014 at 11:56 AM · [top]

Before I get too bent out of shape about this nonsense, I should ask the question, given that both Baucum and Johnston are generally categorized as “Evangelical”- a category which sometimes seems to include anyone who calls him/herself an evangelical

Rachel Held Evans calls herself an evangelical even though she is a staunch advocate of same-sex marriage and a staunch critic of those who disagree with her position. That demonstrates how meaningless the term “evangelical” has become in some parts of the church.

[9] Posted by the virginian on 6-9-2014 at 12:05 PM · [top]

#6- Regardless of what diocese Baucum may have established his residency in, he is licensed by +Guernsey as the rector of Truro.

“First was the ordination of a non-celibate lesbian in the former home of the Falls Church Anglican parish this past December. ....
Even more egregious was a series of talks given by John Dominic Crossan at a church in the Diocese of Virginia. ....
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….”

And exactly what part of “ending this work” has Baucum actually carried through on?

[10] Posted by tjmcmahon on 6-9-2014 at 12:12 PM · [top]

Aybido:  I think BabyBlue updated that post concerning his status here

Some are inquiring now that it is 2014 - the Rev. Dr. Tory Baucum is now resident in the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic and a priest in the Anglican Church in North America.

So it seems clear the Rev. Baucum has been under Bishop Guernsey’s authority during the entire episode.

[11] Posted by Jackie on 6-9-2014 at 12:19 PM · [top]

I was at Truro when the rector (Tory) discussed the newspaper quote about “hating” Episcopalians. Tory said Mr. Tate had assured him that he was improperly quoted. I know both Tory and Bob and have no reason to doubt either one. Bob headed up the Alpha program for several years and has great foreign diplomatic experience. He is certainly not one to carelessly say he “hates” others.

[12] Posted by JuliaInVa on 6-9-2014 at 12:55 PM · [top]

I can certainly appreciate that JulianInVa.  It was such a shocking statement.  It was the reason I went to the Rev. Baucum’s blog to see if he issued a correction but instead, he posted the article as written with no comment.

I would also have expected him to take the opportunity to clear it up when he posted at T-19 but he only pointed to it as affirmation of his reconciliation efforts.

[13] Posted by Jackie on 6-9-2014 at 02:24 PM · [top]

I can easily see that the NY Times misquoted Bob Tate in the way that they did.  It seems rather obvious to me that Tory and Truro are being played in this by the liberal media and those who would make TEC heretics an acceptable part of the Anglican Communion.

First the media.  The message that the NY Times article screams out is this - those who draw and hard line in the sand against liberal heresy are “haters” and “sharp-fingered medieval-sounding epithets like “heretic” and “schismatic.””  In other words, conservatives are bad, BAD people.  Note, that the liberals are not similarly singled out in the article with any pointed attacks.  It is only when Tory comes around to acknowledge that the liberals aren’t really “heretics” or “schismatics” that peace is obtained.  And so message is conservatives with principles and boundaries are bad, BAD people, but conservatives who dispense with these can be okay sometimes.

And note the way that the peace is portrayed - we are told that the two sides “settled their litigation and forged an amicable truce.”  Yeah, and on the USS Missouri in 1945, the Japanese and the Americans settled their war and forged an amicable truce also.  As has been pointed out, Johnston won.  Pure and simple.  And his letting Truro stay and pay upkeep benefits TEC.  I am NOT saying that Truro was wrong in this settlement - that’s not my point.  My point is that Johnston gave NOTHING up - he did not rescind any punitive measures, nor did he have any such intention.

But for 5 minutes of fame in the NY Times and a shiny bauble given him by the ABC, Tory has allowed himself to be used in a propaganda piece by those who want us to accept heretics as just another flavor of Christianity.  Perhaps not *our* flavor, but another flavor that belongs in Christianity’s Baskin-Robbins 31 flavors shop just as much as ours.

Don’t get me wrong - I don’t have a problem with honest peacemaking that is consistent with Biblical principles and appropriate boundaries.  But, come on, any time the NY Times wants to do a story about how you came out of the horrible cesspit of conservatism and have become more accepting of the virtues of liberals, you’d better think twice before jumping in.

[14] Posted by jamesw on 6-9-2014 at 02:47 PM · [top]

Jackie, I see that the technicalities of Baucum’s residency may have been a red herring. I was speculating that perhaps he understood his efforts at reconciliation in the context of his relationship (whatever it may be) to the C of E and Canterbury, whose full support he obviously has, rather than narrower jurisdictions of an ACNA parish and diocese. For whatever reason, it seems that Truro is viewed as a special situation and that it is being treated with particular delicacy.

Yet there is also a defensiveness that surprises me, as seen in the animated exchange on T19 10 days ago  It almost seemed that Baucum #5 intentionally picked quarrel with SF when the topic at hand was totally unrelated.  Why?  I was particularly amazed by Baucum’s challenge to Matt suggesting, it seemed, a sort of moral equivalence between sodomy and reviling (1 Cor 6:9-10). The idea was that Matt was against those who support the former but guilty of the latter. A loaded rhetorical move, for sure, but one we have seen frequently. Sodomy is wrong, but the Bible condemns other sins too, and who are you to cast the first stone?  It usually works by throwing the other on the defensive and shifting the topic from sodomy to lack of courtesy in dialog. Does this remind anyone of their last fight with their spouse? “Yes, but its the way you said it…”

At some point Canterbury will have to declare its true intentions, and the post-modern “logic” of its faux reconciliation model will be manifest.  As David Ould keeps reminding us. Either Johnston is a false teacher or not.  If he is, then Scripture is clear about what we should do.  If he is not, then the departure of Truro from TEC has no legitimacy. 

I wonder if Baucum truly believes Johnston is redeemable.  If so, what would that look like?  Does he expect him to leave TEC, or perhaps bring TEC back to orthodoxy along with him?  Surely no one can imagine either.  So, I return to my speculation that the reconciliation approach is primarily to buy time, to postpone the inevitable as long as possible, or, though I hate to imagine it, to sow confusion and self-doubt and erode conviction.

[15] Posted by Aybido on 6-9-2014 at 04:02 PM · [top]

When one considers what Crossan teaches about the Bible and, consequently, about the events and the teaching contained therein, inviting him to teach the clergy of a diocese is the 21st century equivalent of inviting Arius to do the same.

But that is the problem with Episcopal bishops.  They don’t see the harm in exploring heretical ideas or even the fact that ideas matter.  They are more concerned with being edgy and “with it,” or being reconciled and having good relationships with everyone; and, so, end up exposing their flock to those who are commended by a lost world (The NY Times, worldly academia, TEC leadership, etc.) instead of being commended by God. 

Such a bishop is not worthy of the title, and contact with him by a serious Christian should be premised on a call to repentance and possibly even conversion.

[16] Posted by ToAllTheWorld on 6-9-2014 at 06:46 PM · [top]

The National Anglican Existential Crisis Service egregiously interrupts this thread to issue an anglican existential crisis alert.  This alert was initiated in response to spurious claims generated on another blog regarding another topic that was already off-topic on that blog thread, and is off-topic on this thread as well;  the original topic not bearing similarity to the topic at hand. 

For the upteenth time I am having an existential crisis caused by an Anglican labeling people ‘ultra-conservatives,’ when one is a ‘WO-lite’ proponent, another an ‘Ordination-lite’ proponent, and still another wants to sweep the whole death penalty for murderers thing under the Arc of History. 

This has been an egregious interruption of the National Anglican Existential Crisis Service.  Had this been a real emergency, you would not have time to grab a flashlight and cheezits while herding cats on your way to the basement.  We now return you to the regularly scheduled topic, with no interruptions in the foreseeable future.

[17] Posted by J Eppinga on 6-10-2014 at 09:20 AM · [top]

Tanks for the laugh, J Eppinga.  Made my morning with a good chuckle! What a messy situation for both Tory+ and +Johnston. They got themselves into this mess but now they are dragging everyone else thru it as well. *sigh*

[18] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 6-10-2014 at 10:09 AM · [top]

Not everyone who left TEC hates TEC. While I may really dislike their theological “innovations” and consider those heretical, I still have several friends that are in TEC. I sure hope that Mr. Tate was misquoted as JuliainVA seems to think. As I wrote before- what a mess.

[19] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 6-10-2014 at 10:13 AM · [top]

We are allowed to HATE evil with a perfect hatred (while carefully watching and repenting of our own sin).  See Psalm 137.

[20] Posted by St. Nikao on 6-10-2014 at 02:32 PM · [top]

St. Nikeo - I will agree with you that we are to despise that which is evil but we are not allowed to judge men only their actions.

[21] Posted by Jackie on 6-10-2014 at 02:52 PM · [top]

I commented on the recent very long thread of Sarah’s re potential candidates to replace ACNA Archbishop Duncan that the Baucum issue could be a big problem for a Bishop Guernsey candidacy.  This new and updated information absolutely confirms that. 

Were +Guernsey to be elected, it would raise huge issues about relationships with TEC.  If clergy making nice with unrepentant heretics in the name of “reconciliation” is allowed/encouraged, why is there an ACNA?

[22] Posted by hanks on 6-10-2014 at 09:33 PM · [top]

I think that one aspect of the election that has not received much focus is the relationship of the new Archbishop of ACNA with the see of Canterbury.  It has been obvious that one of +Bob Duncan’s priorities has been recognition by Canterbury, or at least, photo ops with the Archbishop of Canterbury.  If the new Archbishop puts less emphasis there, the question of the relationship between Baucum and Johnston might be seen in an entirely different light.

[23] Posted by tjmcmahon on 6-11-2014 at 08:44 AM · [top]

Would this rapprochement have occurred had the Virginia Supreme Court ruled the other way on Truro’s property claim?

[24] Posted by taz on 6-11-2014 at 08:22 PM · [top]

“Unfortunately, it has not been refuted. ...”

That does seem to be part of the problem here.  If someone is misrepresenting your church or particular representatives, its a good idea to put a statement out with the correct version.  Just a short correction on a church web-site, or ACNA site or on a blog - people will find it when they go looking.

Now of course, that doesn’t mean every misrepresentation has to be corrected - but these were very topical comments and their significance could hardly have been missed.

[25] Posted by MichaelA on 6-11-2014 at 09:58 PM · [top]

Here is my main question: what happened to Guernsey’s initial godly admonition to Baucum, to cease the relationship? How did it start up again? I have not read it all with a lot of care, so maybe I missed something. But I think this question needs answering by Baucum or Guernsey or both. It is the main issue here.  Baucum says now that he has support from both Guernsey and Duncan. Does he? If so, why? Johnston has not repudiated any of his false teaching, has he? It is very confusing, to say the least, since it was merely inviting Crossan to speak that triggered the initial admonition by Guernsey. Why are Baucum and Johnston doing photo ops again? I don’t get it.

[26] Posted by Steve Lake+ on 6-13-2014 at 02:37 PM · [top]

Excellent questions, Fr. Lake.  Ones well deserving of an answer.  It is questions like this that been left unanswered that have raised so many concerns.  The leadership seems to forget they are dealing with congregations that have deep, deep scars.  Once burned, twice shy. 

There may be simple, legitimate answers for the questions raised.  If so, why hasn’t someone come out and said what they are.  I too would like to know what happened to the admonition from Bishop Guernsey.  According to the Times, Bishop Guernsey reaffirmed his decision when he responded by email.  Who is telling the truth?  These are important leaders in our church.  I think it is critical that someone steps up and gives us legitimate answers.  While the questions are being poised I want the answer to one simple question as to why this joint ministry with Bishop Johnston was acceptable when it was clear that he routinely denied the Authority of Scripture.  Telling me it is more about anthropology than Christology doesn’t cut it when the very basis for the Christology is being eroded and denied. If I am wrong, please provide me with an explanation that is not based on two-steps and circular reasoning.  If I am right, I think the leadership owes the world an apology.

Issues such as these make the upcoming election for Archbishop a very important one.  Whatever the results - no politics please!

[27] Posted by Jackie on 6-13-2014 at 03:38 PM · [top]

Jackie and Steve+ - you have both raised important questions.  These are why I have tried several times to comment on how the Baucum+ issue could affect a +Guernsey candidacy.

Jackie, you also raise a big issue: 

The leadership seems to forget they are dealing with congregations
that have deep, deep scars. Once burned, twice shy.

I recall one of the big pre-ACNA meetings at Ridgecrest, NC when all of the bishops made a powerful statement by making a public confession of their failings as part of TEC.  One of the things many of us talked about was how important it was that the bishops not fall back into the controlling ways of the TEC bishops who were in the process of deposing clergy.  Yes, there are deep scars that we hoped would heal with a new church.

Were we wrong?  Are we seeing a too strong desire for recognition by Canterbury?  Are we willing to allow clergy to make nice with TEC heretics - so long as it’s quietly done?

The election of a new Archbishop of ACNA is no time to falter - or the whole venture will fail.  The principles that were the basis of ACNA cannot be compromised.

[28] Posted by hanks on 6-13-2014 at 04:07 PM · [top]

Jackie #21,  Perfect hatred means clearly stated boundaries and spiritual distance from unrepentant offenders, from heresy, apostasy, syncretism, idolatry (material or sexual). 

Though you may love the person or group, holy communion is no longer wise until they are confronted and repent.  True fellowship in the Spirit is not possible.

No confrontation nor repentance has been made public.  No clear boundaries are in place.

At this point, Truro is pouring its wealth into the coffers of ECUSA, is allowing a heretic to have ultimate control of their congregation, is being forced to seek Johnston’s permission for their bishop to visit. 

In this arrangement, Truro is in fact affirming Shannon Johnston, as an authoritative bishop of a valid Christian entity in good standing.

[29] Posted by St. Nikao on 6-14-2014 at 05:15 AM · [top]

St. Nikao - Interesting comment.  I suspect this is not what the Executive Director intended when he referenced hate.  In any event, I think we can all agree that perfection in any aspect of life belongs only to God. 

While I think I understand where you were going, we enter dangerous territory when we attempt to define hatred as anything other than an emotion or assume perfection in this life can be obtained by anyone other than God. 

Building on a firm foundation and setting boundaries are indeed important, even critical, aspects of our lives.  I agree that Truro and Fr. Baucum’s affirmation of Shannon Johnston poses a real danger not just to Truro but to those who may be tempted to sway away from that firm foundation.

[30] Posted by Jackie on 6-14-2014 at 10:02 AM · [top]

There is Biblical hatred, meaning to reject and eschew evil, that is not a boiling seething rage.  This kind of hate is a virtue (as in Psalm 137).

Moreover, there is righteous judgment that Jesus Himself encourages in John 7:24

Like every part of life in Christ, we should tread carefully when judging sin, with lots of self-examination and repentance.  When correcting others, do it gently and in the fear of the LORD, we also fall. - Galatians 6:1

[31] Posted by St. Nikao on 6-14-2014 at 11:35 AM · [top]

#2 and #9—I don’t know that I would describe Shannon Johnston as “evangelical.”  From what I heard (and my own brief encounters with him) several years ago, he did seem to believe in salvation through Jesus, which I guess maybe makes him evangelical in the broadest sense of the word?  But I would incline to put him more on the “affirming catholic-ish” side of things, or at least with tendencies that direction.  He’s a Seabury-Western grad, and not nearly as “low-church” as Bishop Lee was (or as being bishop of the Diocese of Virginia might predispose you to expect).

But I only had a passing acquaintance with the man himself, and my connections with that diocese were mostly several years ago as well, so some better-informed person may wish to correct me.

[32] Posted by Firinnteine on 6-16-2014 at 11:03 AM · [top]

hanks #28—I had the same thought about making nice with the ABC.  What if Duncan asked Guernsey to go easy on Baucum for that reason?  Perhaps episcopal oversight has its downside in ACNA as well as in TEC.

[33] Posted by Kay on 6-17-2014 at 10:26 AM · [top]

Duncan never asked Guernsey to “go easy” on Baucom for any reason - including making nice with Welby.  As for anyone encouraging Baucom in his relationship with Johnston, I am fairly certain that neither Bishop encouraged or applauded it.  I am also sure that John Guernsey has not lifted his (in a sense) cease and desist order to Baucom.  Some people really like publicity.  Some people really need the spotlight.  Some people lose their judgement in the light of the cameras.  And some people think they know better than their bishops.  Short of drastic action, there really isn’t a lot that can be done about that.  And one thing I know,  in this time and in this ACNA, one learns to choose one’s battle - one’s hill to die on.  Perhaps this battle is not worth fighting. Perhaps this priest would be better off back in England - oh wait, they don’t pay as well over there, do they?

[34] Posted by Bishops Wife on 6-19-2014 at 09:14 PM · [top]

But, ... but, .... that means that bishops aren’t all knowing and all powerful!!!!

I haven’t felt so denied since learning that the Easter bunny is not real.

[35] Posted by MichaelA on 6-19-2014 at 11:40 PM · [top]

Bishops Wife—I can’t imagine either bishop encouraging or applauding Baucom—both are godly men who stand firmly for truth.  I certainly didn’t mean to imply anything contrary.  What I said rather baldly could easily be put into “choosing one’s battles” language, but in my mind it comes to the same thing.  When speculation about an issue is rife, it is wise for leaders to address it.  The Baucom issue has not quietly gone away—it keeps cropping up, and people are wondering why a priest who has weaseled around a direct order from his bishop isn’t disciplined.

[36] Posted by Kay on 6-20-2014 at 09:20 AM · [top]

Michael A,

I daresay that a major issue in many western provinces of the Communion is that more bishops believe in the Easter Bunny than believe in the Resurrection.

[37] Posted by tjmcmahon on 6-20-2014 at 10:19 AM · [top]

36- To be fair to Baucum, +Guernsey and ++Duncan, all we actually know is that the current ABoC and his PR staff found a story that involved an ACNA priest that Welby happened to be acquainted with, that made for a great story, and a way for Welby to patch things up with some of CoE Evangelicals, and gain him some points with All Souls Langham.  He is the one who made Baucum the poster boy for his own brand of “reconciliation.”

While it is pretty clear that Baucum doesn’t mind sharing the spotlight with the ABoC, it may well be that ++Duncan and +Guernsey are trying to put the best face on a bad situation.

[38] Posted by tjmcmahon on 6-20-2014 at 10:32 AM · [top]

We know quite a bit more about Baucum’s+ “reconciliation” initiative with heretics and his full support for Welby’s program including his legitimization and promotion of Bishop Johnston. This is in no way speculative.  A brief perusal of the archives of this site will provide all the evidence you need for that.

[39] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 6-20-2014 at 10:45 AM · [top]

Matt, you have nailed it.  While there may have been some legitimate effort by ACNA to enlist Welby’s support, the real issue here is the Baucum-Johnston relationship.  The archives on this leave little doubt of the active relationship with a heretic, false teaching TEC bishop.  Although Bishop Guernsey eventually put his disapproval in writing to Baucum (only after the Crosan invitation) it was painfully slow in coming. And now we learn of the apparent “wink wink” of all that - “not to appear in public” with Johnston. 

If this is the way ACNA is gong to function, we all wasted a lot of time in making the break from TEC.

[40] Posted by hanks on 6-20-2014 at 11:07 AM · [top]

Sorry Matt+, if I was clouding the issue.  If anyone peruses the archive, no doubt they will find several of my own comments that are highly critical of the relationship between Baucum and Johnston.

However, I am not aware of any direct evidence that Baucum violated the directive from Bishop Guernsey, between the time that it was issued and his appointment as a “Six Preacher.”  I will grant I have not thoroughly researched this, but while I am aware of a lot of conversation and criticism about the relationship, I don’t know that there were any incidents in which Baucum and Johnston were involved in joint ministries or appearances after +Guernsey’s letter, until the appointment was made by the ABoC.

If such appearances and ministries did continue, then both Baucum and +Guernsey have questions to answer for the good of the Church.  Discipline in ACNA needs to be actual, not the sort of nonsense perpetrated by the HoB of the CoE, whose inactivity condones disobedience.

[41] Posted by tjmcmahon on 6-20-2014 at 11:21 AM · [top]

Ah, I see what you meant. I’m not sure whether we know all the details of the directive since I imagine that the communication was not all in written published form…so I don’t know whether he violated it or not.

[42] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 6-20-2014 at 01:05 PM · [top]

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