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Under the Radar…and Over the Cliff

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 • 11:57 pm

The champions of tolerance want to bury a story about an Episcopal priest who also claims to be a Muslim. Here are the reasons why, along with some ways you can help make sure they can’t do it.


By now, most readers in the Anglican blogosphere are familiar with the story of The Rev. Ann Holmes Redding. She is an Episcopal priest in Washington State who also claims to be a practicing Muslim. Her story first appeared in the Diocese of Olympia’s newsletter.

In the article, titled “On being Christian and Muslim,” Redding made statements about Jesus Christ that are nothing short of astonishing for anyone who claims to be a Christian, but even more so for someone ordained as a Christian priest:

“I fell in love with Jesus a long time ago and I’m still in love with Jesus but I’d like to think my relationship with Jesus has matured.”

She added that what Islam does is take Jesus out of the way of her relationship with God, “but it doesn’t drop Jesus. I was following Jesus and he led me into Islam, and he didn’t drop me off at the door. He’s there, too.”

...

Redding says if you take your shahaddah (official entrance into Islam), saying “there is no God but God and Mohammed is the prophet of God,” with the intention of becoming a Muslim, accurately and before at least one witness, you’re a Muslim. That does not contradict anything in Christianity. She says the reverse is true for her; the renunciations and affirmations Christians make at their baptism do not contradict anything in Islam. “The renunciations [of Satan, evil powers and sinful desires] any Muslim can say,” Redding says. “The affirmations are tough for any Christian who is at all progressive because there are certain of us [Christians] who have taken these and made them in to something like fraternity hazing - you have to say these words in order to be part of the club. I see them as taking Jesus as the human example to follow toward God. Most Muslims see Mohammed rather than Jesus as the pattern of life to follow, and I do not see him as the only example. I just am not willing to put ‘onlys’ in front of all those affirmations about Jesus.

Many readers of this site know what a “listserv” is; a sizable percentage of them probably participate in one or more of them. Those who don’t know may wish to take a moment and read this explanation at Wikipedia.

There is a listserv hosted at episcopalcommunicators.org. It’s a forum for webmasters, communications directors, and the like. Yesterday the following post to the list was made by Chuck Morello. Morello is a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Virginia, Minnesota:

From: iris1@speravi.com [mailto:iris1@speravi.com] On Behalf Of Chuck Morello
Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2007 9:24 AM
To: talk@episcopalcommunicators.org
Subject: [talk]: “I am both Muslim and Christian”

Friends-
You may have seen this headline (or similar) in your local press. I got it from an unusual blog:
http://63.99.108.76/forums/index.php?showtopic=21424 [for the “faint of heart”, It is NOT a Christian forum (it is military, so it is decidedly salty), so enter at your own risk.]

The full article is online at:
http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=redding17m&date=20070617&

The Seattle Times Homepage
(http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/home/) has a note “In a live online Q & A at noon today, the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding will answer reader questions about being both Christian and Muslim.”

It may make for some interesting scramblings for some of us in the following days.

Peace

Chuck

Interesting scramblings, indeed. Here is a list of mainstream and blog coverage of the “Muslim priest” story to date, and here is a link to the ongoing blog coverage of the story.

Thirty-four minutes later, Jim Naughton, Director of Communications for the Diocese of Washington, and editor-in-chief of the Episcopal Cafe, replied:

From: Jim Naughton [mailto:jnaughton@edow.org]
Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2007 9:58 AM
To: talk@episcopalcommunicators.org
Subject: RE: [talk]: “I am both Muslim and Christian”

I fervently hope that it will be possible to ignore this story until it slips back beneath the radar.

Jim Naughton
Canon for Communications and Advancement Episcopal Diocese of Washington/202-537-7162 Episcopal Church House / Mount Saint Alban / Washington, D. C. 20016

For those of us who have participated in this debate for the last few years, and especially for those of us who have run the blogs which have helped change the nature of this debate, it is obvious why Mr. Naughton wants to “ignore this story until it slips back beneath the radar.”

It’s because our Worthy Opponents figured out long ago how to sneak the nose of the gay agenda’s camel under the tent of mainstream Episcopalianism: Frame it in terms of civil rights and post-modern notions of tolerance and inclusion, while playing the soft but insistent background music of oppression and marginalization. But what they haven’t figured out is how to sell to that same mainstream the fact that their agenda - gutting 2,000 years of Christian teaching on sexual morality in order to devise a “Gospel” that bestows the blessings of the church on same-sex unions - at best allows, and at worst requires, a profound alteration of the lordship of Jesus Christ. There are complex reasons why this is so, but stated simply, it is because it is extremely difficult to assert on the one hand that the Scriptures don’t mean what they say about sexual morality, and on the other insist that they do mean what they say about who Jesus Christ is. Leaving open all manner of possibilities for the former requires that one also leave open all manner of possibilities for the latter. This is why the orthodox side of this debate continually insists that the real debate is not about homosexuality, but Christology - who Christ is, why He came to earth, and the nature of His revelation to us.

Mr. Naughton’s dilemma is illustrated by the complete radio silence on reappraiser blogs about this story (three weeks later, and nary a jot or tittle by Susan Russell, Elizabeth Kaeton, Louie Crew, Mark Harris, Episcopal Cafe, Simon Sarmiento, Fr. Jake…) but more clearly and succinctly by a comment on this very site, by someone posting under the name “OpenMindedAnglican”:

As someone who most likely be considered and labeled a “revisionist” by my fellow bloggers, I feel compelled to comment on this. It is appalling to me that someone who identifies themselves as a Muslim could even keep in their brain the thought of being a Christian, much less a priest. I cannot imagine any bishop allowing it either. Please do not lump me into the group of people who find this acceptable despite our different conclusions on other subjects.

OpenMindedAnglican, don’t worry: Your comment is duly noted and appreciated.

And therein lies the explanation of Mr. Naughton’s fear that this story might gain wider exposure: For what I suspect is a fairly large number of Anglicans who consider themselves open minded - folks who readily admit that they are “revisionists” - the denial of Jesus Christ as the only son of God is where they get off the bus… where they part ways with the Jim Naughtons and Ann Holmes Reddings of the church.

Mr. Naughton is a smart fellow, and he no doubt understands that if stories like Redding’s get too much press, it may cause many more open minded Anglicans to notice the startling similarities between what The Rev. Redding thinks about Christ, and what the Presiding Bishop thinks about Him. And, by extension, what Integrity, Oasis, Via Media, Claiming the Blessing, and the rest of the drivers of the left’s agenda either believe about Christ and wish to promote themselves, or are willing to tolerate in the name of sanctifying homosexuality.

In my three-plus years of doing this - running this site, corresponding with lay people, giving presentations to small groups - I have found that there are plenty of people who are none too keen on attempts to have the church bless same-sex unions, or ordain partnered homosexuals. However, there are far more who don’t get worked up about that, but begin climbing the walls whenever they hear of attempts to deny the divinity or uniqueness of Jesus Christ. Of all the stories we have posted on this site - just over 4,000 since March 2004 - none have gotten more attention, generated more traffic, or left our Worthy Opponents so flummoxed, than the ones in which Episcopal priests or dioceses have been caught red-handed tolerating and even actively promoting some form of paganism or virulent universalism.

Here’s a quick recap of just some of the more notable incidents:

  • May 2004 - The Diocese of Michigan co-sponsors “Together in Faith,” a seminar featuring workshops by a witch and a trans-gendered pagan.
  • October 2004 - In the Diocese of Pennsylvania, ordained Episcopal husband-and-wife priests Bill and Glyn Melnyk (who for years had moonlighted as Druid priests) ran into trouble when 815’s Office for Women’s Ministry published one of the couple’s pagan liturgies. Bill Melnyk, known in Druid circles as “Oakwyse” (and occasionally, though inexplicably, “Bran”), left the Episcopal priesthood soon afterward, to become a full-time Druid priest.
  • April 2006 - Maury Johnston, an Episcopal lay leader whose articles had been published by a number of prominent blogs on the Episcopal left, turned out to be a very active pagan whose nom de coven was “Shadwynn.”
  • May 2006 - The Episcopal Church Center Bookstore in New York was found to be offering a book titled “Love Spells,” which contained “...a host of tried and tested spells, potions, and rituals that will help you find out just how to bring love into your life.”

The question of whether those in the Episcopal Church who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will, under daily and intense pressure to tolerate anything but orthodox Christianity, tolerate much longer such assaults on Christ’s lordship, is also the question now before the Anglican Communion: How much heresy is it willing tolerate in the name of peace and collegiality?

In my blueprint for the future of the Episcopal Church - which, I am convinced, will predict the future of the Anglican Communion - before Katharine Jefferts Schori and David Booth Beers can run off the remaining orthodox through lawsuits and intimidation… before the “moderate” bishops’ Berlin Wall around the Unengaged Middle can be completed… before all of that, everyone from the far right to the institutionalist left will wake up and realize that the real core of this crisis is not about homosexuality, but about Jesus Christ Himself; that they understand that in rejecting the divinity and uniqueness of Christ they destroy their church; and that they lock arms at the foot of His cross to become the defenders of the faith Christ calls us to be.

Whether that will happen, of course, remains to be seen. The possibility that it will is what drives some of us here to do what we do.

So… what more can we do?

Whatever we do, we must remember that we are first and foremost Christians, and all of our words and actions must reflect that.

  • Do you teach a Sunday School class? Print out page 9 of Olympia’s newsletter and spend one class discussing the implications not just of an Episcopal priest who considers herself a Muslim, but of a bishop (sworn to defend the faith) who views her beliefs not as problematic, but “exciting.”
  • Are you on the vestry at your church? Print out the same article and pass it around. If you discuss it in your meeting, great; but if not, at least 11 other members of your church’s leadership are aware of what’s going.
  • Schedule a meeting with your rector and give him or her a copy of the newsletter article. Ask for comments.
  • Schedule a meeting with your bishop. Take along a copy of the newsletter article, and question him carefully and thoroughly about his views on this story, and his policy should something similar happen in your own diocese.
  • Do you have any input on what’s published in your parish or diocesan newsletter? See about inserting a brief “news item”-type piece on The Rev. Redding and her bishop’s approval.
  • Do you run a listserv, or sometimes send out emails to a large list of recipients? Copy the text of the Olympia newsletter article, and send it to your list. Include a link to this article here at Stand Firm.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your diocesan newsletter, mentioning the story in Olympia.
  • Do you work for a mainstream newspaper, television station, or radio station? See about getting this story featured there.
  • And obviously, if you run your own blog, feature this story!

Finally, please check in on this thread and let us know what you’ve done. There is a reason Jim Naughton wants to “ignore this story until it slips back beneath the radar”... and we need to do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen for a long, long time.


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Comments:

I dont know what I can do to improve on what you have already said and suggested here.

But I want to comment on something that you highlighted above.

I have heard many converts to Islam say that now there is nothing between God and them. No priests, no Savior blocking the view like a magic door.

You are right that this is about fundamentals. I have been shocked to learn just how many people out there see Jesus as a closed and opaque door standing in between them and God. Redding is just the most egregious example of a Christian who was allowed to go to seed under the radar, until one say, she up and says she is a muslim.

But how can God get in between God and us? How can someone depicted as being at the right hand of the Father be in our way? How can an open door block our view or bridge restrict our access? How can a priest who stands along side us as our servant model, assistant and teacher restrict or get in the way of our access to God?

It is so basic to us, but obviously we have awoken to find these fundamental teachings of Christianity redefined by some powerful and influential forces and that there are those among us who have absorbed the new definition wholesale and without question.

I like the idea of classes teaching the difference. Start young. The muslims, admittedly, do this well. Any muslim child capable of understanding and reciting can rehearse the reasons why they are Muslims and not Christians, especially in the West. We Christians have pussyfooted around the subject too long probably because we havent really had any competition until relatively recently.

There are easy ways to defend the particulars of the faith without an advanced degree in theology. Simple to remember and to defend so that anyone can do it.

Lastly, folks in the pews, especially the kids, need to know that they will not be condemned if they are tempted or challenged by the ideas of other faiths. They should be encouraged to seek the help of a priest if they do. One other common denominator in many conversions is the double-life before the “sudden” conversion in which the convert is in direct and personal contact with other muslims particularly with imams, while there is no contact or consultation with a priest or pastor.

Our priests are smart men. They can respond to the claims of Islam simply by unapologetically and knowledgably believing in the claims of Christianity. There is no need to fear or be over-awed. Translating Christianese into more contemporary language would also be a bonus.

One that helped me, anyway, was faith = trust/patience and does not = intellectual abdication. It is about patience and not about giving up ever understanding Christian teaching.

Another is that salvation = freely given healing and redemption and does not =  jumping through a hoop to get the prize.

[1] Posted by StayinAnglican on 06-21-2007 at 01:50 AM • top

Good job Greg. If this story passes under the radar as suggested then it’s time to look at the radar. Just ignore it All is Well!™

If this has already been posted sorry but here is a link to a Q&A she did through the Seattle Times regarding her position:

<a href = “http://community.seattletimes.nwsourchttp://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/reader_feedback/reader_feedback.php?id=171”>Here </a>

“But I am well within the range of the opinions of faithful Christians over the years.”

Sure you are lady….wink

“I’m sorry that I cannot really do justice to this question (or any of them) here.”

Or anywhere for that matter.

[2] Posted by Rocks on 06-21-2007 at 02:00 AM • top

Great post Gregg.  Naughton could have been truly silent, or he could have suggested decrying the words and actions of Redding and the Bishop of Washington, but instead he is trying to get communication directors to suppress the story.  This is very important information for those of us who are in conversation with colleagues, friends, and parishioners who inisist, “It’s not that bad.” 

Every denomination gets a loony priest now and then, but only a few choose to commend such heretics as did the Olympia newspaper and Bishop.  Even fewer denominations have folks actively plotting to suppress these stories behind the scenes rather than publicly denounce them. 

But you allude to the reason for this tactic: How can they denounce them?  If Jesus is a way, but not THE way (as has been insisted upon boldly by both the PB and the Bishop of my Diocese), how can you discipline a priest who is ‘practicing both ways.’  You just can’t do it and remain consistant.  Redding is only the tip of the iceberg.  Olympia probably can’t figure out what all the fuss is about.  Poor Olympia just got the timeline jumbled up.  They thought it was safe to say these things openly now, whereas other revisionists know that these things must happen only quietly for a few more years. 

That’s the revisionist agenda.  These things must happen, but only quietly, in order to give the average, non-confrontational Episcopalian (who is, these days, a bit uneasy about all this talk about sex, but not so uneasy to open their droopy eyes) some time to fall back to sleep again.

Poor Olympia, if they’d just realized that this needed to happen quietly then in 3, 5, or 10 years (based on the political climate) they could have been able to say, “Nothing’s really changed.  That’s been happening for years.”  Or, “Some priests practice multiple faiths, and some diocese are experimenting with liturgies that celebrate this inclusivity, but it would be against our polity to change that.  They are operating within the bounds of our common life, but nothing’s really changed because we haven’t authorized those rites in the BCP (yet).”

[3] Posted by Nyssa on 06-21-2007 at 03:26 AM • top

Way to go Greg.  Fantastic article.  Stand Firm at its best.  Thanks.

[4] Posted by Karen B. on 06-21-2007 at 03:58 AM • top

I have asked this question in several discussions of this article but received no answers. The liberal blogs seem to be following Mr. Naughton’s advise and avoiding the story. Does anyone have a revisionist friend or could “Open minded anglican” answer this: If one abandons 3000 years of judeo-christian thought which states that homosexuality is a sin, and one reads scripture with the “context analysis” scissors, allowing one to cut out vast swaths of the Bible dismissing it as relevant to the temporal context, then how does prevent such an inclusive church from degenerating into islamopalianism, buddhapalianism, sufipalianism, nestorpalianism, etc.???

[5] Posted by rob-roy on 06-21-2007 at 04:40 AM • top

Thanks Greg.

“Here’s a quick recap of just some of the more notable incidents:”

Though we may want to forget this, I think the Clown Eucharist episode warrants a mention:

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/mt/archives/000705.html

[6] Posted by naab00 on 06-21-2007 at 06:23 AM • top

Greg, the examples you gave are the starkest.  However, there are loads of other example that are not as stark but nonetheless troubling.  For example, the theme of the Canadian General Synod is “Draw the circle wide.  Draw it wider still!”  It is not a biblical theme.  When writing prayers for the Synod, I found few circular images in Holy Scripture, and they didn’t fit into the line of reasoning of the organizers of the event.  From their explanation, I gather the theme has to do with inclusivity and the medicine wheel. 
The medicine wheels are the stone remains of ceremonial dance and spiritual events (especially those contacting the spirit world) celebrated by the Plains First Nations people.  The remains are estimated to be 2500-3000 years old. 
A national synod is using a pagan symbol for a Christian purpose.  Holy Scripture is virtually limitless in developing themes for the church.  Why resort to a non-biblical theme?

[7] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 06-21-2007 at 06:45 AM • top

May the Lord bless bloggers—not only is this the only way much of this stuff is getting out but also our corporate memory of what has past. Thank you Greg for this article & the site!

[8] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-21-2007 at 06:59 AM • top

Can anyone give me tips on how to reformat the .pdf page to print larger type?  I can read it fine on the screen, but the 6 pt. type of the printout is barely in the range of my bifocal, my senior warden will never be able to read it.

What I am sure that [insert name of guy I don’t want to sue me] is REALLY mad about is that he didn’t know about this in advance of publication.  He would have rewritten the story to place it in northern Nigeria and used it to discredit ++Peter and his Church. He would have used ambiguous language like “a cleric connected to the cathedral in the northwest part of the country” [not mentioning which country, mind you] and then had an ally file it from an office in Abuja.  Nah, no one in TEC would ever spread a story like that, would they?  Hmmmmm….. has anybody looked around Washington for polygamous priests?  My TEC bishop must have found that story somewhere…..

[9] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-21-2007 at 08:09 AM • top

Can someone please send this to all the waffling Primates who are wondering whether the Orthodox are just making a big fuss?  ...and to all the ACC folks who aren’t sure what the Orthodox in Revisionist diocese are fighting against?

Mrs. Nyssa

[10] Posted by Nyssa on 06-21-2007 at 08:18 AM • top

What would be most effective would be if someone could actually send paper copies of the diocesan newsletter to the primates (although I am guessing someone is running around Olympia and Seattle as we speak trying to burn every copy).  Is it still up on their website?

[11] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-21-2007 at 08:32 AM • top

Greg - you’ve scored a “10” with this story.  Great writing.  The last paragraph of Nyssa’s comment above (http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/3831/#69000) is also must-reading.  That is exactly how this will go down in ECUSA.

[12] Posted by Phil on 06-21-2007 at 08:32 AM • top

The Sufi healing circle is also worthy of mention.  This took place in the same diocese which posted an invitation to the local gay-pride festival on their diocesan website and whose bishop is chair of the Standing Committee on Liturgy and Music.

[13] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 06-21-2007 at 09:03 AM • top

Greg,
Thank you for this story.  As you and others note there are several important aspects to this story.  One is the simple fact of a woman who has clearly compromised or lost her Christian beliefs. That is tragic in itself.  Second, the MO of those in power in ECUSA expressed here as alarm that this story not get out into the limelight and further expose them. It totally exposes their goals and of course certainly further delineates +Schori’s public statements about her beliefs.  Perhaps these two women were friends during +Schori’s squid gathering days.
Another thought:  Here is a ‘Christian’ priest who has essentially converted to Islam.  The bazaars must be ringing with joyous acclaim. This furthers the ultimate goal of all Muslims which is to see the world converted to Islam.  Another interesting note:  imagine the fate of a muslim iman in Pakistan who is dicovered to have converted to Christianity!

[14] Posted by Bill C on 06-21-2007 at 09:08 AM • top

I remember a few years ago going to Grace Cathedral in San Francisco (So I could weep at the painting of the Scottish Bishops consecrating Seabury) to hear at the fraction at Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve…

‘We break this bread for those who follow the way of the Buddah, for those who follow the teachings of Mohammed, and for those who follow the path of Judism’

I am slightly paraphrasing as I was internally screaming “NO WE DAMN WELL DO NOT!!!”

Then again what do you expect from the Cathedra of the Diocese of California, when they gave up a long time ago having the token heterosexual thrown in to be normal each year.

Been going on for a while all, why be surprised.  Roll on the Autumn.

Alasdair+

[15] Posted by Alasdair+ on 06-21-2007 at 09:10 AM • top

Rob-Roy - then, according to your stance, nothing must change, ever - even though there have been many changes throughout history already.
Its really quite simple - use your brain and judgment, look at the situation and consequences, and apply reason. best way to come to conclusions - beats fixed, unchanging, absolute dogmas any day.
But as you don’t want any change at all, ever, that’s fine - carry on as you are, and TEC will carry on as they are. You’ll get the odd blip (like this piece of media hype) but that is better than being permanently preserved in aspic.

[16] Posted by Merseymike on 06-21-2007 at 09:18 AM • top

Mike
Listen to this:  (or if the link is wrong go to BabyBlueOnline and listen to the account of CS Lewis’ conversion.

link

[17] Posted by Bill C on 06-21-2007 at 09:29 AM • top

Great story, Greg (content, tone, analysis, etc).  Well-done.

I have long been telling my liberal friends that I am perfectly willing to follow them down this current path of revised thinking about human sexuality in hopes of discovering that yes Indeed that is where God is on the issue.  But I also always give the proviso that all bets are off if to get to that point I end up in what I (using insider shorthand lingo) call “Spongland” (that is, of course, where Jesus is not Lord and is not Savior, but is something other).  I go on to explain that the best shot the liberals have at convincing us conservatives to change our minds is proof that following this path leads us to the foot of the Cross (as traditionally understood).  This story is yet more reason why conservatives are naturally worried (conservative?) about following this new (liberal?) path.  Of course, I haven’t read what the bishop out there said about any of this or even if the bishop supports the new thinking on human sexualtiy (although the assumption is of course that the bishop does).  Anybody know?

[18] Posted by Widening Gyre on 06-21-2007 at 09:29 AM • top

guess it didn’t work, but still go to bbonline

[19] Posted by Bill C on 06-21-2007 at 09:30 AM • top

BillC - fixed your link.

[20] Posted by Greg Griffith on 06-21-2007 at 09:37 AM • top

This woman is not both Christian and Muslim.  She is MUSLIM.  Muslims honor Jesus as a good example and a prophet.  She is doing no more than that (and maybe even less, if she thinks Jesus was just a good guy but not a prophet). 

To reiterate, she is simply a Muslim in the Episcopal orders.

[21] Posted by Reason and Revelation on 06-21-2007 at 09:40 AM • top

Greg,
I know its been said already and will undoubtedly be said again, but here is mine…..GREAT JOB!!!!!  Being informed, as you and all keep us on SF is how we are able to maintain stable, educated ground and have our eyes completely open against the likes of Naughton, Redding, KJS, Beers, et al! They would (and do) put blinders on those they teach, talk to, answer to, .... which makes for a very singular way of viewing & walking!

Thank you for this great story!
FHS
DOK

[22] Posted by TLDillon on 06-21-2007 at 09:41 AM • top

Glad you wrote this Greg.  I, for one, plan to copy and distribute it at our church.  I’m especially pleased that you center in on the real disease and not just one of the ugly symptoms: that this is really all about the divinity of Christ.  The story itself is in the latest issue of TLC. But I enjoyed your comment.

[23] Posted by church lady on 06-21-2007 at 09:50 AM • top

Greg,
I’ve linked this story to the The Catbird Seat.  Thanks for doing the heavy lifting on this piece.
Peace,
Andy

[24] Posted by aterry on 06-21-2007 at 09:53 AM • top

Greg, in response to your request—“Finally, please check in on this thread and let us know what you’ve done”—I will be sending the story to about 1000 email addresses in the U.S.—almost all of them members of ECUSA.

I dearly hope that each one of them will forward it on to their friends in ECUSA.

[25] Posted by Sarah on 06-21-2007 at 09:57 AM • top

Widening Gyre, I am puzzled by your question about the bishop of Olympia’s stance.  She is happily interviewed in the Diocese of Olympia diocesan newsletter as a good example of religious tolerance.  Furthermore, there is this passage in the Seattle News article on the story:

“Redding’s bishop, the Rt. Rev. Vincent Warner, says he accepts Redding as an Episcopal priest and a Muslim, and that he finds the interfaith possibilities exciting. Her announcement, first made through a story in her diocese’s newspaper, hasn’t caused much controversy yet, he said.”

Are you asking for further intel on this, or is there something that I am missing in your question??

[26] Posted by Sarah on 06-21-2007 at 09:58 AM • top

This is a story about a priest who is going through a personal and spiritual crisis of confusion. She is being dealt with pastorally and in a way that protects the faithful from her confusion.

I believe that to use this story as a way of bashing the left and raising people’s anxieties and anger is inappropriate journalism as well as unfortunate blogging.

There are misfortunate extremes in all parts of the theological spectrum. When those extremes are part of an attempt to undermine the church of Jesus Christ, we identify them as such. This priest, who has been a responsible leader in the church for some time—is in the middle of a crisis and is being treated as such. If any of you follow the HoBD list, you will have noted that with one exception people from the right and the left have expressed compassion for the situation, not vitriol, and have affirmed the necessity for the church to draw its boundaries—which is happening in Olympia.

[27] Posted by TBWSF on 06-21-2007 at 10:01 AM • top

Greg:

I know the folk at Montana Anglican - I’ll ask them to post the story - although I think I like your commentary as much as the original article - so I’m probably going to ask for both.

[28] Posted by Eclipse on 06-21-2007 at 10:03 AM • top

This is a story about a priest who is going through a personal and spiritual crisis of confusion. She is being dealt with pastorally and in a way that protects the faithful from her confusion.

Then why is her confusion being celebrated in the diocesan newsletter???? Give over.  I think you’re making that one up.

[29] Posted by oscewicee on 06-21-2007 at 10:05 AM • top

This debacle is especially egregious because the bishop not only tolerates this heresy but supports it.  Furthermore, the diocese publicizes this in their newsletter.  What were they trying to accomplish?  They just had to go to the mountaintop and shout to world, “See how inclusive we are!  Aren’t we innovative and progressive?” and brag about their accomplishments in diversity.

[30] Posted by Piedmont on 06-21-2007 at 10:06 AM • top

When we have many TEC bishops inhibiting solidly Christian, orthodox priests (for joining the Anglican Communion Network, for example) on the outrageously phony basis of “abandonment of communion”, how does the Bishop of Olympia explain his failure to inhibit someone who has completely abandoned the Christian faith?

[31] Posted by hanks on 06-21-2007 at 10:09 AM • top

I fervently hope that it will be possible to ignore this story until it slips back beneath the radar.

When something slips beneath the radar it has either crashed from the sky or sunk to the bottom of the ocean.

[32] Posted by Piedmont on 06-21-2007 at 10:09 AM • top

No, Tom, she is not going through a “personal and spiritual crisis of confusion.”  (BTW, Fr. Jake is saying the same thing at T19, so I guess 815 finally got out the talking points.)

Read the article.

She is quite happy with her situation – no distress and no confusion.  Nor are “boundaries” being drawn – good grief, boundaries to the Episcopal corporation is like holy water to a vampire – listen again to how her bishop views this fiasco:

Redding’s bishop, the Rt. Rev. Vincent Warner, says he accepts Redding as an Episcopal priest and a Muslim, and that he finds the interfaith possibilities exciting.

[33] Posted by Phil on 06-21-2007 at 10:17 AM • top

It would be my hope that some of the orthodox bishops(or better yet Primates) would start calling the Bishop of Olympia and TEC to task for this.
Recently while reading Ephesians 5 in Conybeare’s Epistles of Paul I ran across a bit of commentary on 5:10-11 that I believe fits what you’ve done here Greg and the occasion;commenting on the term ‘expose’ in verse 11 Conybeare brings out :‘to lay bare the real character of a thing by exposing it to open scrutiny’.
Apparently the Rev Mr Naughton and his fellow revisionist blog-fellas are understandably hesitant because because like the ancient pottery merchants who hid flawed pots in darkened rooms out of the light once it’s out in the open the cracks will be seen for what they are.

[34] Posted by paddy c on 06-21-2007 at 10:23 AM • top

We blogged it all (Greg’s investigative and a reminder about the Presbymullah) here:

http://northernplainsanglicans.blogspot.com/2007/06/wake-up-episcopalians-your-church-is.html

[35] Posted by Northern Plains Anglicans on 06-21-2007 at 10:25 AM • top

I have posted on this before at my blog, and my audience is primarily non-Episcopalian.  This story is important because it shows in a clear way that our concerns aren’t all about sex.

http://nastybrutish-n-short.com/blog/2007/06/all_in_the_family.html

[36] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 06-21-2007 at 10:25 AM • top

You do not keep confused people in as pastors/priests.  You remove them until such time (if ever) as their confusion is corrected.

[37] Posted by Harry Edmon on 06-21-2007 at 10:25 AM • top

I notice this “spiritual crisis” theme appearing from Worthy Opposition, all kind of the same theme as if they come up with a battle plan on how to handle a crisis that she seemed bold enough to share and other joined her in celebration in the newsletter and papers a long time before this nearly unified response comes out. Sorry, I grew up in DC and know political ‘damage control’ when I see it. Pastoral care would havekept her from broadcasting it in the first place (Diocese of Olympia’s newsletter?).

[38] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-21-2007 at 10:26 AM • top

TBWSF,

Yeah, publishing this confusion in the newsletter and then in the newspaper, all with the approval of the bishop. That’s controlling the problem and isolating this person.

The damage has already started. I direct your attention to the links on T19. Click on the comments page for the Seattle article. Maria, a Christian woman living in Romania and struggling with Christian teaching vs islamic teaching expresses that she finds Redding to be a inspiration and an encouragement for how one can be both Christian and Muslim without having to choose.

That is at least one train wreck already that can safely be laid at the feet of Redding and Co. This is a story that is going worldwide as we speak.

Way to keep it under wraps!

[39] Posted by StayinAnglican on 06-21-2007 at 10:26 AM • top

I fervently hope that it will be possible to ignore this story until it slips back beneath the radar.

I think it may be a little too late.  We have visual contact and the cockpit systems are locked on, I don’t think even James T. Kirk and Mr. Sulu would have the evasive manuveurs it would take to shake us off this one.

[40] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-21-2007 at 10:30 AM • top

I just want to emphasize here that the issue of affirming homosexual practices is not just about the injury to our Christology (I know Greg does not believe that but the post almost sounds like the main issue is Christology and homosexuality is just a test case of some sort).  It’s not like we are sticking to a tired old shibboleth in the greater service of preserving the integrity of Biblical authority.  Affirming homosexual practices is deeply unwise and contrary to a Godly life in and of itself.  Among other things, it is very injurious to parents, leads directly to the absurd idea that two women (or two men) can raise children just as well as a married man and woman, all other things equal, it is psychologically injurious to the person engaging in homosexuality, and it leads to all sorts of peculiar distortions of our understanding of human sexuality in order to rationalize the conduct. 

Moreover, it is often a convenient out for men who want to get out of their marriages (I just discovered I was gay), leads confused adolescents down a primrose path from which they can often never recover as they grow into sexually mature persons, and fosters cruel power structures in especially male prison environments.  It leads to men denying their masculinity and women denying their feminity.  This is important doctrine in its own right that cuts to the heart of our human nature.

[41] Posted by Reason and Revelation on 06-21-2007 at 10:30 AM • top

“This is a story about a priest who is going through a personal and spiritual crisis of confusion. She is being dealt with pastorally and in a way that protects the faithful from her confusion.”

Part of the problem in speaking of this woman’s ‘spiritual crisis’ Tom, is that it has been celebrated by many (such as diocesan newsletters and articles ... and hardly presented as a priest who is going ‘through a personal and spiritual crisis of confusion’.
Furthermore, since through her many statements, +Schori shares a fundamentally similar spiritual viewpoint, why is the good PB’s position not also viewed as a ‘personal and spiritual crisis of confusion’. 
This ‘crisis of personal and spiritual confusion’ seems to be shared by many, especially in the leadership, in ECUSA.  How are they being pastorally counselled?

[42] Posted by Bill C on 06-21-2007 at 10:30 AM • top

it is often a convenient out for men who want to get out of their marriages (I just discovered I was gay),

To clarify, this is the Jim McGreevey and Bishop Robinson scenario.  Both were married men who had normal enough sex lives with women in the marriage and who later decided to get out of the marriage.  They decided that homosexual desires were an appropriate basis for divorce (or, in McGreevey’s case, adultery), and both implied the dubious proposition that they were born exclusively gay.  This convenient introspection/rationalization was belied by the facts for both cases, and this is true in many, many cases of older men who are tired of their wives and are looking for a new pleasure.

In many ways, tolerating homosexuality, in practice, degrades the covenant of marriage, a covenant which is of great importance to women.

[43] Posted by Reason and Revelation on 06-21-2007 at 10:34 AM • top

No, some of us are hesitant because this tactic by the Grand Inquisitor tells the world much more about the Anglican right than we ever could.

Step out of line, and the self appointed thought police will be all over you.  Have a crisis of faith, and you’ll be squashed like the sub-human bug you are.

And yes, it is obviously a crisis of faith.  How could it not be?  The two traditions cannot be blended.  Someone who tries to do that is quite clearly in crisis, if they know it or not.

The quote from the bishop that the media chose to run is most unfortunate, if it is true.  The assumption that this is the only response of the bishop; that pastoral care is not being offered, reveals why this story is getting so much attention from the Anglican right;  any means to your end, which is to prove that clergy in TEC are apostate, heretical, etc.  If we have to push someone further away from Jesus in order to do it, or smear the name of a bishop, so what?  The cause matters more, right? 

Continue to embarrass yourself with your self-righteous indignation, O Grand Inquisitor.  Thoughtful people know exactly what you are doing.  Next will come mass book burnings, right?

[44] Posted by FrJake on 06-21-2007 at 10:35 AM • top

If you want to know want the ‘Swan of Newarks’ take on all this is, you really ought to sign up as a kibitzer on the HOBD mailing list. It’s been some fascinating, and somewhat sickening, reading lately.

[45] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 06-21-2007 at 10:37 AM • top

“She has been dealt with pastorally”

Redding’s bishop, the Rt. Rev. Vincent Warner, says he accepts Redding as an Episcopal priest and a Muslim, and that he finds the interfaith possibilities exciting.

Pray tell, just where is pastoral guidance here?  Just who is the spiritual director for a bishop who espouses such anti-Christian behavior?  Just what ‘justice and equality’ are represented here? 

As Christopher Johnson would say, “Peace and blessings be upon them.”

Phooey!

[46] Posted by Fr. Chip, SF on 06-21-2007 at 10:38 AM • top

Since I am not done e-mailing the primates, I will be changing my future messages to include this fact. I imagine it will be seen as quite significant by those leaders in countries where there is anti-Christian violence.
  TBWSF: You’re going to have explain better what you’re talking about. If there was so much concern about Ms. Redding’s crisis, then she should step down from her ministerial position until she gets things worked out. If she can then wrap her mind around the concept of the Holy Trinity, she could return to the priesthood. Otherwise, she needs to renounce them.  Dave
  I am going to copy the newsletter page for my Bible study group.

[47] Posted by DavidSh on 06-21-2007 at 10:42 AM • top

Fom the HoB/D:
Hello ......,
Thanks for the background information on what has been written about your diocesan colleague, Ann. I and other members of this list have been responding based on the information shared by one member of this list which came from a single source.
The information you provided is helpful, and I agree that we are in some very hot baptismal water in this church and in the Anglican Communion.  Neither of those things change my plea for a spirit of Anglican tolerance. 
This topic is only a “target” if we allow it to be a target, which was how I experienced the intent of the original post which pointed us to the story.  As I recall, the post came with the Subject Heading: “Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse” and snickered, “As if the Penn. Druids weren’t
enough…..... along comes further blaspheme
_http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003751274_redding17m.html_
It was bait, pure and simple, and many of us took it hook, line and sinker. I regret that and continue to express my plea for tolerance.  How we who sit in the progressive seats of the church’s pews exhibit a tolerance for others with whom we disagree, while still holding true to the (you should excuse the expression) fundamentals of our faith, will become the prescribed measure
of tolerance we can expect from those who disagree with us.  No more, no less.
Blessings,
Elizabeth +

[48] Posted by Bill C on 06-21-2007 at 10:43 AM • top

Continue to embarrass yourself with your self-righteous indignation, O Grand Inquisitor.  Thoughtful people know exactly what you are doing.  Next will come mass book burnings, right?

Ad hominem temper tantrum 15 yard penalty. Still forth down.

(Do you want to punt now?)

[49] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-21-2007 at 10:44 AM • top

Rev Fr Woodward,
Spiritual confusion,not.To say that is no less than a feeble attempt to
  shut eye and hide under the carpet a plain case of spiritual adultery,abandonment of communion/apostasy on the part of Ms Redding and the willful ‘taking part in the sin’(1 Tim.5:22)by her bishop.

[50] Posted by paddy c on 06-21-2007 at 10:47 AM • top

Here’s the link for Montana Anglican’s article:

link

[51] Posted by Eclipse on 06-21-2007 at 10:48 AM • top

Way over the top Fr. Jake.  This blog is doing the job that the bishop didn’t do.  No way this bishop should have endorsed her “bi-religion”, which she clearly did.  Why would the diocesan magazine have featured such heresy in a positive manner?  The disgrace is totally that of the diocese and bishop, not SF.  I think we are all praying that she would return to the Christian faith… and that her bishop would remove her from ministry until she becomes a Christian.

[52] Posted by Nevin on 06-21-2007 at 10:49 AM • top

Frances Scott: try the link again. I just got it to work, and printed out the page. Dave

[53] Posted by DavidSh on 06-21-2007 at 10:53 AM • top

I believe that to use this story as a way of bashing the left and raising people’s anxieties and anger is inappropriate journalism as well as unfortunate blogging.

So this is a matter of personal confusion and it should be dealt with in a calm, quiet way, out of the harsh glare of media scrutiny?  Fair enough.  Even priests have personal issues and we should have compassion for them.  They should be able to work out their issues in private.

But why then was this story printed in the church newsletter in the first place?  Who initially launched it into the klieg lights?  It’s a bit much to have unorthodox teaching rubbed in our faces and then be told we’re not allowed to comment.

[54] Posted by DarkHelmet on 06-21-2007 at 10:54 AM • top

Has there actually been a statement from the Bishop - other than a second hand quote in a newspaper ( and I don’t trust them as sources, as I have had a quote entirely made up which I supposedly said, whereas I actually said the opposite - got an apology from the paper too!)
I haven’t read anything, anywhere, which suggests that you can be both a fully-fledged Christian and Muslim, although of course there are universalist and other more syncretic approaches to faith - but from what has been reported, this is something different.
If the issue is being looked at pastorally, then I trust that means privately, not splashed over a variety of blogs.

[55] Posted by Merseymike on 06-21-2007 at 10:56 AM • top

tjmcmahon on PDF’s

1. The page is formatted to 11” x 15” which probably does result in 6 pt font when you print it to 8.5 x 11.  Take the pdf to Kinko’s (or a Kinko’s-like place) and have the print it to a tabloid size (11 x 17) sheet of paper. 

2. Copy and paste the info out of the PDF using the “Column Select Tool” into a word processor.

[56] Posted by Stephen on 06-21-2007 at 10:57 AM • top

Mersymike, I want to know what you think.

First, when you say “this piece of media hype”, do you mean “hype” as 1 or 2? [Oxford English Dictionary: hype, noun 1 extravagant or intensive publicity or promotion. 2 a deception or hoax] Or on some other sense altogether?

Second, to what are you referring when you say “this piece of media hype”? The article itself published by the Dio of Olympia? If so, is it because you disagree the Rev. Dr. Redding? Or are you referring to Greg’s take here on the article’s significance for the larger debate/conflict? If so, why would you consider what Greg’s saying as “hype”?

Most importantly, if the article itself, in your opinion, truly doesn’t merit this much (or very much) attention, I wonder if you wouldn’t mind sharing with the rest of us why you think so. None of my questions are rhetorical—I’d sincerely like to know.

[57] Posted by Peter A. Mitchell on 06-21-2007 at 10:59 AM • top

Fr Terry aka Jake,
Regarding your Grand Inquisitor comment.
People who live in glass houses LOL
As another poster on another thread said eloquently you folks are trying to mushroom the rest of us and make us love the stench,won’t cut it though.
How come you don’t like it getting out in the open?
Don’t you trust the intelligence and discernment of your readership?

[58] Posted by paddy c on 06-21-2007 at 11:00 AM • top

Mass book burnings?  OH BOY, let’s start with SPONG!

[59] Posted by Harry Edmon on 06-21-2007 at 11:06 AM • top

Fr. Jake - you can bet your bottom dollar that if you subsituted “CANA” for “Muslim”, the liberals would have been all over her like a ton of bricks, pastoral concerns be damned.

[60] Posted by jamesw on 06-21-2007 at 11:08 AM • top

Even priests have personal issues and we should have compassion for them.  They should be able to work out their issues in private.

Not when they are proclaiming heresy in public.  Then they need to be dealt with in public by being at least temporarily (if not permanently) removed from office.  Public unrepentant sin requires a public response.

[61] Posted by Harry Edmon on 06-21-2007 at 11:09 AM • top

Fr. Jake - stand back from your own rhetoric for a moment and explain where you see an indication of a crisis of faith in this? She is happy. Her bishop is excited. Her diocese spreads the good news of her crisis in its newsletter.

If you want to address this in a way that means anything, start with the facts instead of rewriting them.

[62] Posted by oscewicee on 06-21-2007 at 11:10 AM • top

Jakey+:
As I have said before, Those who paint targets on their backs should not not be surprised when people shoot at them.

the snarkster

[63] Posted by the snarkster on 06-21-2007 at 11:14 AM • top

FrJake:

And yes, it is obviously a crisis of faith.  How could it not be?  The two traditions cannot be blended.  Someone who tries to do that is quite clearly in crisis, if they know it or not.

Explain - in terms of your logic and theology, why this cannot be so, Jake.  You have no standard, you have no measure of ‘right or wrong’ therefore, why CAN’T you be both Muslim and Christian OR atheist? 

Interesting that you think there is some line she has crossed - interesting indeed.

TBWSF

There are misfortunate extremes in all parts of the theological spectrum. When those extremes are part of an attempt to undermine the church of Jesus Christ, we identify them as such.

Like, let’s say - stating that Jesus is only ONE way to Heaven.

I thought Greg WAS identifying that!

[64] Posted by Eclipse on 06-21-2007 at 11:16 AM • top

“because there will first be a falling away from the faith, and the revelation of the man of sin, the son of destruction…”

Let no (wo)man lay a foundation other than Jesus Christ, the Cornerstone.

Marantha!

[65] Posted by Everlasting_Man on 06-21-2007 at 11:17 AM • top

FrJake:

“Mass Book Burnings”

Oh, targeting Catholics are we?  How insensitive!

[66] Posted by Eclipse on 06-21-2007 at 11:18 AM • top

As a member of the Diocese in question I need to point out a few things:
First, this is the Diocese of Olympian, the western part of the State of Washington, just west of the Cascades.  Many folks confuse it with the Diocese of Washington which consists of Washington D.C. and parts of Maryland (I think) on the East coast.
Second, Bishop Warner does support Dr. Redding.  He thinks her conversion is exciting.
Third, Dr.. Redding was laid off from the staff at St. Mark’s, the Cathedral for the Diocese (whose Canon is a non-celibate homosexual priest.) where she had been the Director of Faith Formation (!!!) for a few years.  (She was laid off because the Cathedral couldn’t meet its budget—this is the cathedral that pays its Canon over $200K per year). 
Fourth, Dr. Redding had written an article in the Diocesan Newsletter , the Voice, in Feb. asking if Jesus was the only way to God.  Again, the position was part of the diocesan news paper so at least tacitly endorsed by the Bishop.  (By the way, that article did NOT go unnoticed—my letter in opposition to her position was published in March.)
This is nothing new in this diocese—one I’ve often described as “left of Left!”
I know of a couple of orthodox folks who are writing both the bishop and the Voice.  But I doubt that will do much.  First, the deadline for the July Voice was the Monday after the June Voice came out—on Saturday!  Second, the Bishop—and the Suffragan—have to date not responded to any letters sent them. 
I do think going national is the right idea.  And maybe international.

[67] Posted by drjoan on 06-21-2007 at 11:21 AM • top

Fr. Jake, why do you maintain this must be a crisis of faith?  You and I agree the two “traditions” are not compatible, but there are many people, and many Episcopalians, who have no problem with this type of syncretism.  Far from being a crisis, it’s seen as a mark of intellectual enlightenment.  I’m certain you know this.

[68] Posted by Phil on 06-21-2007 at 11:28 AM • top

And yes, it is obviously a crisis of faith.  How could it not be?  The two traditions cannot be blended.

Via Media, my dear pastor.  VIA MEDIA !  :D

[69] Posted by J Eppinga on 06-21-2007 at 11:30 AM • top

Terry (Jake the snake) Martin: And yes, it is obviously a crisis of faith.  How could it not be?

How judgemental of you!  How can you attack this obviously happy and enlightened woman—someone you don’t even know—as being in “crisis”?

[70] Posted by Marty the Baptist on 06-21-2007 at 11:35 AM • top

This probably belongs in the thread on WO, but since the Ur-text is here, I’ll see whether it lasts, or not:

Comment deleted as off topic.  Future violations will result in banning.
Commenatrix

[71] Posted by BrotherQuotidian on 06-21-2007 at 11:35 AM • top

First, as Christians, we should take Tom’s post seriously and demonstrate charity toward the priest.  That much should be a no-brainer. 

Second, Tom and Jake, I was glad to see you both affirm the reality that we in TEC cannot be tolerant of ALL beliefs, at least with respect to those of our bishops and priests. 

Third, Tom and Jake, I am interested in your take on the diocesan story itself (read out any background information you may know).  I think it is fair to say that the article itself gave no indication that Ann was experiencing a crisis of faith and more importantly gave no indication that the diocese (and the bishop) were anything other than supportive of Ann’s statements.  So to cry foul when people raise questions about what in the heck is happening out there is a bit much, although I perfectly understand how your personal interactions with folks on the right might influence your response. 

Fourth, Sarah, after my post I read the full newsletter, which was certainly interesting.  My question though was about the bishop’s position on human sexuality.  The assumption is of course that the bishop supports the new developments based on the bishop’s apparent lack of concern over a priest making the statements attributed to Ann in the article (liberal is as liberal does, says Forrest). 

Fifth, which brings us back to Tom and Jake, I realize your opinions of the conservatives are shaped by those who often yell the loudest, but as one who tries not to yell, I hope you hear this:  what troubles the conservatives in TEC is not, is not, is not, the new approach to human sexuality but the apparent adoption of a new approach to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  If you hope to reach out to us, you should say two things.  “First, I understand why you are worried that TEC seems to be changing the traditional understanding of Christ as Lord and Savior.  Things like this story certainly suggest some truth in your concern.  But second, please don’t make the faulty assumption that those championing the new understading of human sexuality want to change anyone’s views of Christ.  He is and forever shall be OUR Lord and Savior.  Let’s go get a cheeseburger and talk about it.”

[72] Posted by Widening Gyre on 06-21-2007 at 11:41 AM • top

Fr. Jake - all the evidence available suggests that you are guilty of gross misrepresentation of the facts.  The issue is not so much what Redding believes as the episcopal and diocesan response to her, as one of their priests.  The evidence does NOT reveal - as you claim - a pastoral attempt to help a confused person deal with a crisis in faith.  That might be what you would like to spin it as, but it is not the truth.

Rather we see Redding happy and confident in what she believes, we see her diocese and bishop applauding Redding’s belief system and providing her with a forum in which she can publicize her views to the diocese as a whole.  We see one of the leading TEC communications officers counseling the deliberate suppression of this news story, and when that fails, we see an absurd line of defense provided by liberal bloggers that doesn’t fit the facts.

Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  Sorry Fr. Jake - it isn’t going to happen again.

[73] Posted by jamesw on 06-21-2007 at 11:43 AM • top

BrotherQ - except that WO doesn’t require a profound alteration of the lordship of Jesus Christ.  Not every theological development that you don’t like can be lumped with homosexuality.

Now get you over to the lengthy WO posting section with the exceedingly long posts.  I’ll not be joining you.

[74] Posted by jamesw on 06-21-2007 at 11:47 AM • top

I haven’t read anything, anywhere, which suggests that you can be both a fully-fledged Christian and Muslim,

MM,

I’m so very disappointed that you have suddenly become a rigid exclusivist.  As you yourself wrote in another discussion today:

no, too rigid, doesn’t take enough account of the reality of diversity. Try again?

If natural law is too rigid, why should we be bound by the rigidly narrow boundaries of non-contradiction?

[75] Posted by William Witt on 06-21-2007 at 11:49 AM • top

Please take the WO discussion to the threads set up to contain them.

[76] Posted by Greg Griffith on 06-21-2007 at 11:58 AM • top

So, where is the response from 815?  Are their enforcers too busy breaking the kneecaps of bishops who don’t approve of women’s ordination to have a little sit-down with the Bishop or Olympia?

Greg’s article is on target.  Stated another way, “If you can’t believe what the Bible appears to say about homosexual activity, how can you believe what the Bible appears to say about Christ, the Resurrection and the forgiveness of sin?”

[77] Posted by Cousin Vinnie on 06-21-2007 at 12:10 PM • top

FrJake claims Rev. Redding is having a “crisis of faith.”

Nope.  If, for example, she were holding deep personal doubts about Christian claims for Jesus as against the Muslim view, while continuing to teach basic Christian doctrine in her official capacity, that would be a personal crisis—as would, for example, holding deep personal doubts about basic Christian sexual ethics while continuing to teach it.

But to smarm over this conflict by simply denying or ignoring the teaching of the church is in both cases at best heresy and at worst apostasy.

[78] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 06-21-2007 at 12:20 PM • top

I can say that in all sincerity, WG.  And I will:

First, I understand why you are worried that TEC seems to be changing the traditional understanding of Christ as Lord and Savior.  Things like this story certainly suggest some truth in your concern. 

But second, please don’t make the faulty assumption that those championing the new understanding of human sexuality want to change anyone’s views of Christ.  He is and forever shall be OUR Lord and Savior.  Let’s go get a cheeseburger and talk about it.

You’re buying, right?

I can’t speak for others, only for myself.  Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior.  There is no other.

The clergy person in question may have been drawn to some of the very positive attributes of Islam; the high ethical standards, the challenging of capitalism,  the discipline of prayer, and the demand of full submission to God.  The obvious difficulty is the role of Jesus, who in that tradition is a prophet, not a manifestation of the divine.  The two cannot be blended, and I think we harm both traditions when we try to merge them.

No, it should have not become public.  It is a pastoral concern.  I’ll not participate in furthering the mistake of those who chose to make it public by saying anything about it. 

My point here has been that the harsh condemnation is pushing this clergy person, and those who may be struggling with similar questions, further from Jesus and closer to Islam. 

BTW, I like “Jake the snake”... goes with my logo.  But I continue to wonder why others use my other name…do you think you’re “outing” me, and so causing me some personal harm by doing so?  Let me save you the trouble.  As I’ve admitted publically, I am Terry Martin, an eccentric priest with a bad attitude who is working out his salvation with fear and trembling.

[79] Posted by FrJake on 06-21-2007 at 12:20 PM • top

And the product of that sort of thinking is fundamentalism or literalism. Fine if that’s your thing….but its a very rigid, inflexible approach, similar to any other belief in a ‘grand theory’ which claims to be above criticism and analysis.

[80] Posted by Merseymike on 06-21-2007 at 12:22 PM • top

...its busy - the above in response to Vinnie

[81] Posted by Merseymike on 06-21-2007 at 12:23 PM • top

MerseyMike:

In the words of Mr. Bennett of Pride and Prejudice  -

“Of what are you speaking?  I have not the pleasure of understanding you?”

[82] Posted by Eclipse on 06-21-2007 at 12:25 PM • top

the demand of full submission to God

In what way is this different from Christianity?

Yes, it’s a pastoral concern - assuming there is anyone at home to address it. When it is instead cause of excitement to those who should address it, it then becomes cause for concern in the larger church.

[83] Posted by oscewicee on 06-21-2007 at 12:28 PM • top

I like “Jake the snake”... goes with my logo.  But I continue to wonder why others use my other name…do you think you’re “outing” me, and so causing me some personal harm by doing so?

Thanks—I was afraid it could be considered over the line, but I did have your logo in mind.  (wicked commentatrix’s take note).

But I always like to use your real name around here so that the search engines will pick it up.  No harm intended—just exposure.

[84] Posted by Marty the Baptist on 06-21-2007 at 12:32 PM • top

Ideally, the required submission to God is not different from the Christian tradition.  In some places, however, this is not what others witness.  Instead, they see Christians attempting to take on the role of God, making themselves the judge of what is fit and what is not.

Americans especially struggle with being submissive.  We want to be in control.  We want to be in charge of everything, and feel we have the right to do so.  I’m preaching to myself as well, btw.

It is not surprising that a different tradition, growing out of another culture, might be initially attractive to someone who has been turned off by the actions of some Christians in the US.

[85] Posted by FrJake on 06-21-2007 at 12:35 PM • top

No, it should have not become public.  It is a pastoral concern.  I’ll not participate in furthering the mistake of those who chose to make it public by saying anything about it. 

Father Jake,

Really, I cannot believe you’d say that let alone skip over the fact that her bishop was not only welcoming, but approving of this.

You know if this were just an odd incident that would be one thing, but come on.  TEC has ben through Buddist priests, Druid priests,  Wiccan priests, priests and bishops that deny the divinity of Christ (fat kids, skinny kids, kids who climb on rocks) ...I don’t know Father Jake, but I’d say it points to a large problem in the church. 

Yeah, personally I love those “high ethical standards” in Islam, you know like the ones that state that a woman is worth half as much as a man, or that its fine to beat your wife. Oh, and how does an Muslim/Episcopal priest reconcile the two very different views on homosexuality - what by blessing the relationship while stoning both parties.  I don’t even want to go into how one would deal with the “Satanic Verses” of the Qur’an - you know where the daughters of the Moon god become the intercessors for the faithfuls prayers.

Father, have you read the Qur’an by any chance?

RSB

[86] Posted by R S Bunker on 06-21-2007 at 12:51 PM • top

These things start small.  First, at my former church 25 years ago, it was classes for church attenders to learn about Zen meditation.  No problem, it’s not inconsistent with being a Christian, although it takes God out of prayer. 

Then, the one that really drove me over the edge, worship by walking the Labyrinth.  Oh no, there’s no problem with that, says my former church, even though there’s nothing about Labyrinths in Scripture, absolutely no historical evidence for Artress’ assertion that this was an accepted medieval practice, and plenty of evidence that this is a Wiccan ceremony.  But boy was I considered a right-wing kook for daring to have a problem with that.

From there it’s on to giving respect to Gaia and Sophia, just “other” names for God, and getting in touch with the feminine Divine.  And next you know you have the Presiding Bishopess intoning prayers to Mother Jesus and giving interviews talking about multiple paths to finding God.

You let enough small changes go on with no challenge, and pretty soon you have Druidwiccamuslipalians, and nobody has a problem with it.

[87] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 06-21-2007 at 12:57 PM • top

Black American Christianity can be very, very orthodox and uplifting, but (just like White culture-Christianity) it can get sloppy, sentimental, subservient to culture and…dare we say it…racist.  Nobody seems to be looking at that angle - the Rev. Redding is Black, sometimes photographed in traditional African dress.  Is this an exercise in Black identity for her?
Anyway, that’s just a thought.  The fact that her bishop endorses her action, whether it is apostate, racist, wierd or all of the above, is the biggest part of the story.

[88] Posted by Northern Plains Anglicans on 06-21-2007 at 12:58 PM • top

Jake,

You’re living in several dream worlds all at once. Pretty amazing.

RS BUnker has touched on just a few of the “high ethical standards” of Islam, but are you seriously trying to make the case that The Rev. Redding is going through a spiritual crisis? There’s exactly zero indication that she believes that, or that her diocese believes that, or that her bishop believes that. Are you and Tom Woodward seriously trying to sell the line that the proper way to deal with this “crisis” in a “pastoral” way is for the diocese to blare it from the pages of the diocesan newsletter, and for her bishop to call the “interfaith possibilities ‘exciting’”?

Snake oil indeed…

[89] Posted by Greg Griffith on 06-21-2007 at 01:00 PM • top

Good thoughtful last 2 replies from Father Jake who is not responsible for the batty views of others but has made his own understanding of Christ clear without being combative.  Well done.

[90] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 06-21-2007 at 01:00 PM • top

Jake,what a bunch of hogwash.
Christianity and Islam are mutually exclusive of each other and demand exclusive submission of their adherents.
I point you to Acts 4:12 in the NT:‘And there is salvation in no one else,for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.’
Jesus is described by the Apostle Peter in this defense before the Sanhedrin as the cornerstone,that may make the all religious expressions and experiences fit crowd upset but when it comes down to it he who buys into everything ends up with nothing.

[91] Posted by paddy c on 06-21-2007 at 01:01 PM • top

Having been brought up in the middle east for part of my youth I can see the strengths of moderate Islam, but theirs is not the warm personal loving God we know and they do miss the reconciliation we have through our saviour.  But it does have its strengths in particular remembering God all day long.  Extraordinary really but it is not compatible with Christianity or Judaism, although at its best it respects the other ‘people of the book’.

[92] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 06-21-2007 at 01:04 PM • top

As you can see, it doesn’t even pay to try and find common themes of agreement with this crowd.  They look for the ugly bits, and ignore the rest.

I give up.  What you’re doing here is wrong, Greg.  But, obviously I’m wasting my words.

[93] Posted by FrJake on 06-21-2007 at 01:07 PM • top

I agree that one more loony priest is not really a crisis.  I am amazed though at the attitude of the diocesan bishop, as evidenced (1) by the hearsay report in the Seattle newspaper, (2) by the announcement of Redding’s conversion to Islam in the diocesan newsletter, which carries some official imprimatur, and (3) by the apparent failure to date of the diocesan to exercise any disciplinary action. 
  If Bishop Warner in fact supports Redding, then he has failed in his consecration vows to “guard the faith, unity, and discipline” of the church, and is himself subject to proceedings.  Certainly more so than retired Bishop Bill Cox, whose sin was to conduct an unauthorized ordination.
  Should not faithful bishops now stand firm and bring proceedings against Bishop Warner?  I would certainly agree with the comments that this is a more egregious situation than grappling with issues of clergy sexuality.

[94] Posted by Dick Mitchell on 06-21-2007 at 01:12 PM • top

But second, please don’t make the faulty assumption that those championing the new understanding of human sexuality want to change anyone’s views of Christ.  He is and forever shall be OUR Lord and Savior.  Let’s go get a cheeseburger and talk about it.

But, of course, this is precisely the point at issue and Fr. Jake emphasizes it with his capitalized “OUR.”  The question is not whether Jesus Christ is OUR Lord and Savior, which, simply illustrates the Cartesian solipsism of TEC soteriology.  The question is whether Jesus Christ is THE Lord and Savior.  The early Christians were not sent to the lions for proclaiming that Jesus was THEIR Lord and Savior.  The Roman Empire would have been more than glad to include Jesus as one more deity in the pantheon.  It was and is the claim to exclusive Lordship that led (and still leads) inevitably to the arena.

[95] Posted by William Witt on 06-21-2007 at 01:17 PM • top

St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City will be having their annual worship of the Summer Solstice on June 23 starting at 4:30 a.m.
For admission see http://www.stjohndivine.org/news_events2.html .

[96] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 06-21-2007 at 01:19 PM • top

TBWSF,
I believe that to use this story as a way of bashing the left and raising people’s anxieties and anger is inappropriate journalism as well as unfortunate blogging.
You’re using the wrong metric in your evaluation of Slither Further into Fanaticism’s posting of the story.  The goal is not journalism.  The game is Propaganda, and their technique thus far is pretty competent.
.

[97] Posted by taomikael on 06-21-2007 at 01:25 PM • top

What you’re doing here is wrong, Greg.  But, obviously I’m wasting my words.

OK, then… you tell me: Is it or is it not a serious matter that an ordained Episcopal priest also considers herself a Muslim, and taks of Jesus being “in the way” of her relationship with God? I have to assume you agree that it’s serious.

Next: Is it or is it not a serious matter that an Episcopal bishop, sworn to defend the faith, praises this priest?

Next: Is it reasonable to conclude that by blaring her beliefs from the pages of the diocesan newsletter, neither the diocese nor the bishop considers it a “crisis,” and are not “handling” it in a pastoral way?

So… you tell me, Terry - what should be done about this situation? If you were her bishop, what course of action would you have taken?

[98] Posted by Greg Griffith on 06-21-2007 at 01:31 PM • top

Part of the issue Father Jake in all things such as this is that people on all sides feel battered and need to let their feelings go when they have the opportunity.  Not sure what Russ Parker would say but if there is ever reconciliation as in the SA case, people’s stories have to come out and be told and listened to by the other side with apologies.  Sometimes with ancient wrongs as in Ireland that means a current generation taking ownership for the actions of their forebears, not personally, but as a community.  I don’t give up as a Christian it is not beyond Christians in my view; but it is probably a professional job.

Anyway got to go to a Rotary meeting now.

God Bless

[99] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 06-21-2007 at 01:32 PM • top

Tao:

Ah ha!  I’d wondered where you were - have kinda missed you.

However, the ‘propaganda’ comment does go under the ‘sparkler’ category - why not write something to the purpose of the thread.

[100] Posted by Eclipse on 06-21-2007 at 01:46 PM • top

Except for some notable exceptions, this thread has not been concentrating on the biggest issue.  And it is not this priest (although that is bad enough).  The REAL issue, the REAL big problem, is how the bishop is reacting to this priest.  And is it quite obvious to the most casual observer that the bishop endorses what this priest is saying and doing.  His is the greater sin!

[101] Posted by Harry Edmon on 06-21-2007 at 01:51 PM • top

According to Kate Schori, “creative tension is a work of the Spirit” . Mullah Redding’s exciting revelation of how to be an Islamic Episcopal priest must signify a new creative outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

[102] Posted by Chazaq on 06-21-2007 at 01:55 PM • top

Good work, Greg - everyone needs to get this story out if for no other reason than illustrating the inconsistencies between the persecution of the orthodox versus the inclusion of non-Christian beliefs being wholly embraced by TEC.  See some more posts on this story on June 4, 20, and 21 by Trimble at http://www.stillonpatrol.typepad.com - he’s trying to get it out there, too.

[103] Posted by Horseman on 06-21-2007 at 02:00 PM • top

Well, taomikael, given the subject story is from the Diocese of Olympia’s house organ, the propaganda appears to be coming from elsewhere.

[104] Posted by Phil on 06-21-2007 at 02:02 PM • top

Hey folks, check this out.  All Saints’ Pasedena is offering a neato service whereby it’s really easy to send a letter directly to the Archbishop of Canterbury.  Isn’t it nice of them to do that?

https://secure2.convio.net/aschu/site/Advocacy?

Sorry to hijack the thread, delete me if you want, Comminatrix.

[105] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 06-21-2007 at 02:10 PM • top

Greg,
I’ve added a little addendum to the “Surrounded” blogging of this issue, just as a reality check for other parts of the world - not ours, granted, but that which can have consequences for people who are missionaries.

Others who are complaining:
This is not Propaganda, this is Exposure.  This is not bad journalism, this is journalism:  it is of the essence of newspapers, magazines, newscasts, etc., etc.  It is the tellling of a story.  It is the “Letters to the Editor” that can be nasty, condemning, and villifying.  However, this blog does a pretty darn good job of keeping most of the worst out of the thread, or pulling a ‘red card’ on those who insist to continue in that vein. 

To others complaining about Tom and Jake, etc: Damage Control tactics:
Yes, this priest is spiritually confused.  But she is not self-identifying as a in a crisis of faith.  She’s fine with it.  Which means she is spiritually confused.  The Damage Control tactic (which all sides use) is to publicly admit that she is spiritually confused, emotionalize this admission by saying she is in a crisis of faith, and then condemn the critics (which is where the Worthy Opponents get their propaganda digs in) for kicking this poor, fragile woman, while down.  “How lacking in pastoral care!!”  So that, while you are complaining that you are not simply being judgmental, we fail to realize that the Worthy Opponents have just shot their own wounded for the sake of the movement.
Don’t get caught up in Tom’s and Jake’s attempts to color this news release as “fundamentalists licking up defenseless blood to slack their stone-hearted thirst.”

This is by the books:  Christian ordained minister chooses a different Faith to live by, stating compatability.  Executive officer with accountability concurs.  The first has effectively abandoned the Christian Faith, and must therefore no longer be identified as a Christian ordained minister.  The Executive Officer (the Bishop) makes himself liable for presentment, which can be avoided by acting to remove the minister in question from recognition and licensing as an ordained Christian minister.

[106] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 06-21-2007 at 02:15 PM • top

N,B,S….the link doesn’t seem to work.  Not sure if the cause is the thousands of Standfirmians lining up with their letters to Cantaur overloading the server, or if the “secure2” indicates a secure system that requires password entry from a secure undisclosed location.

[107] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-21-2007 at 02:20 PM • top

Try:
https://secure2.convio.net/aschu/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=113

If that doesn’t work, go to Susan Russell’s blog, and there’s a link to it.

[108] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 06-21-2007 at 02:26 PM • top

Greg: I’m afraid you’re wasting your time trying to talk sense to Fr Jake. His initial post on this subject indicates that what he’s really concerned about is the same thing as Jim Naughton—shutting down the discussion. I appreciate that he doesn’t approve of the path that Rev. Redding is walking, but his claim that this is a “crisis of faith” that we should all avert our eyes from is nothing more than a way of changing the subject. But until such time as the Episcopal Church (and other mainline denominations, for that matter) decides to deal with the growing unitarianism in its clerical ranks, it’s an issue that isn’t going away. It certainly won’t as long as dioceses like Olympia keep trumpeting such clergy, rather than disciplining them.

[109] Posted by David Fischler on 06-21-2007 at 02:44 PM • top

Fr Eaton,my thoughts exactly,thank you
grace and peace
Paddy

[110] Posted by paddy c on 06-21-2007 at 02:59 PM • top

Jake,

I’m sorry work kept me away from reading you reply as I’m not sure you’ll be back.  I am also sorry that some of the folks on my side failed to notice it (or appreciate it).  Oh well, such is life for the in-betweeners (or as I like to think, the “once more into the breach-ers”).  Believe you me, if you’re ever in my neck of the woods or I in yours, I’m treating on the cheeseburgers! Peace.

[111] Posted by Widening Gyre on 06-21-2007 at 03:05 PM • top

I notice how many comments in both this thread and at T19 are focused on responding to Fr. Jake (and here, also Tom Woodward).  While many of the responses are excellent and raise important points, I’m a bit concerned that both Jake and Tom are perhaps playing something of a trollish role in that the threads are too easily getting diverted to focus on them and their claims and not the big picture issues of the story.

Jill W., very interesting that you mentioned the Canadian Synod theme as an example of the crisis we’re really in.  I cringe every time I read that “draw the circle wider” line.  I appreciate how you’ve tried to redeem it in your posts on L&B.  But still… it’s deeply disturbing.

Finally, does anyone else remember an interview Michael Ingham did with the Vancouver Sun (I think it was) where he focused on what would be the next battle for progressives in the Anglican Communion.  He very clearly identified the question of who Christ is.  I’ll see if I can find the link, and will post it here if I do.  In any case, +Ingham was indeed correct.  That indeed is where the battle lines are now drawn.

[112] Posted by Karen B. on 06-21-2007 at 03:07 PM • top

Tinpipes,
Don’t throw the accusation out without backup.  If you don’t have it (proof), don’t write it (accusation)!
Look up the dictionary definition of Propaganda.  Then read the thread header again, paying careful attention to the phrasing and to the depth of coverage.  Is the full story being told, or only a carefully selected part of it?  What is the purpose of the piece, what does the author want you to do with the information that has been given to you?
And then, if you’ve done your homework with integrity, come back and talk to me about whether or not the Propaganda label fits.
In the meantime, let’s pause for the standard SFiF reaction.
.

[113] Posted by taomikael on 06-21-2007 at 03:10 PM • top

taomikael - I appreciate your propaganda about our propaganda.  Now back to the propaganda.  The bishop and priest are still both heretics, and should be held accountable for their heresy (as should taomikael, but that is another topic).

[114] Posted by Harry Edmon on 06-21-2007 at 03:14 PM • top

She is being dealt with pastorally and in a way that protects the faithful from her confusion.

Tom, please back up this claim.  The bishop is proud of the “exciting” possibilities of his “bi-religious” priest , broadcast it in the diocesan magazine and she remains a priest.  Please share the facts that enable you to make this claim.

[115] Posted by Nevin on 06-21-2007 at 03:26 PM • top

Just finished sending out the story to my email list.

Thanks to all those who are blogging, emailing, writing letters, making phone calls, and printing out the diocesan newsletter story for distribution.

I’m impressed by the efforts!

[116] Posted by Sarah on 06-21-2007 at 03:32 PM • top

Propaganda: (1) The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause. (2)  Material disseminated by the advocates or opponents of a doctrine or cause: e.g., wartime propaganda. (3)  Propaganda: Roman Catholic Church; A division of the Roman Curia that has authority in the matter of preaching the gospel, of establishing the Church in non-Christian countries, and of administering Church missions in territories where there is no properly organized hierarchy.

Gee,Tao, I think you meant the term “propaganda” in a pejorative sense to criticize dissemination of the Muslipalian story, but I don’t think I see it that way when I look up a definition as per your suggestion.  Thanks.

[117] Posted by Horseman on 06-21-2007 at 03:33 PM • top

For Tao’s Benefit:

Light!
Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle, sparkle!
Sputter, sputter, sputter, sputter… sput… sput… sput… fizzle.

Now back to the regular conversation -

Re:  Problem

Yes, you are correct, the problem is not so much a rogue priest as the Diocese thinking it’s a great idea.

[118] Posted by Eclipse on 06-21-2007 at 03:34 PM • top

I cringe every time I read that “draw the circle wider” line.  I appreciate how you’ve tried to redeem it in your posts on L&B.  But still… it’s deeply disturbing.

It’s going on everywhere - my diocese is advertising a big pow wow to be held at a Native Indian site and including drumming and smudging. I get the feeling that some in the church are just into “religion” not Christianity.

[119] Posted by oscewicee on 06-21-2007 at 03:34 PM • top

Mr. Edmon,
The bishop and priest are still both heretics, and should be held accountable for their heresy (as should taomikael, but that is another topic).
I take it that you’d be willing to serve on the inquisitorial squad?  Or would your interest be limited to assisting in administering the judgment afterwards?
The formal definition of heresy is “Belief or opinion contrary to orthodox (especially Christian) doctrine.”  So yes, I am indeed a heretic in your eyes in that I hold opinions contrary to what is orthodox doctrine here and to you.  But, by your logic, my presence and posting here necessarily constitute proof that Mr. Griffith, “SFiF’s” proprietor is also a heretic, does it not?
.

[120] Posted by taomikael on 06-21-2007 at 03:35 PM • top

Horseman,
Gee,Tao, I think you meant the term “propaganda” in a pejorative sense to criticize dissemination of the Muslipalian story, but I don’t think I see it that way when I look up a definition as per your suggestion.
You’ve found a “laundered” definition of the term, and no doubt prefer it for “SFiF’s” purposes.  That’s of course your prerogative.  Here’s another definition, which I think is more accurate for how this and other stories are presented here. 
Propaganda:  Chiefly derogatory information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.  The dissemination of such information as a political strategy.
.

[121] Posted by taomikael on 06-21-2007 at 03:46 PM • top

Hurray!  Thanks to the Apostasy Group archives (Gloria & Kay thank you for keeping it going…!) I found the article I was thinking of about Michael Ingham, even when a Google Search left me coming up short.

Feb 22, 2004 Vancouver Sun article

Bishop Ingham says the next battle in Anglicanism will be over the uniqueness of Christ

[AAC blog’s intro to story] The following comments from Bishop Ingham (of the Diocese of New Westminster, Canada) appeared in a Feb. 22, 2004 Vancouver Sun article. Isn’t this the battle we are currently fighting? As the AAC’s General Convention 2003 media campaign boldly proclaimed: “God is Like No Other!”[end AAC blog intro]

——

Ingham will need all the golf he can get in the coming years and
beyond—because he believes there’s another giant controversy,
beyond homosexuality, coming soon within Anglicanism.

It will be over the place of other faiths and the “absoluteness” of
Christianity, he says. Ingham has already got a taste of the conflict
after writing Mansions of the Spirit, which applauds people who are
good Buddhists, Muslims and Jews.

“A Christian is one who believes Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth
and the life. This is not to say there are no others,” he says. “This
issue will be the next major battleground.”

original link (dead)
http://www.canada.com/vancouver/vancouversun/columnists/story.html?id=4ab3401e-2\9a5-4abf-b9c1-3e4a8d02fc78

Also posted on AAC blog: http://aacblog.classicalanglican.net/archives/000016.html

I wonder if any Canadian readers here could get a copy of the full article.  It would be interesting to have the full text.  But still, the point is made.

[122] Posted by Karen B. on 06-21-2007 at 03:52 PM • top

Can I be on the inquisitorial squad?  Isn’t that from Harry Potter?

Yipee!

[123] Posted by Eclipse on 06-21-2007 at 03:53 PM • top

The Primatial Contact information thread has been reposted, if anyone wants to avail themselves of it.

; > )

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/2745/

[124] Posted by Sarah on 06-21-2007 at 03:53 PM • top

Au Contraire Tao,it just affirms the fact that Mr Griffith is a good deal more fairhanded than a great many of the ‘liberal’ blogs when it comes to dissenting opinions on his blog.
My own inkling regarding your presence,that is if your comments of a while back ring true,would make you not a heretic but an unbeliever and interloper in a church matter to which,being a non-believer,you would legitimately have no say within a gathering of believers.

[125] Posted by paddy c on 06-21-2007 at 03:55 PM • top

tj,

I’ve archived a copy on our server here. It’s safely ensconced and will be available for the forseeable future.

[126] Posted by Greg Griffith on 06-21-2007 at 03:58 PM • top

Folks, don’t fall for the ploy of attempting to draw you into a semantic argument over the meaning of the word “propaganda.”  We all understand that the point of the original article was promotion (propaganda) of this bizarre combination of Christianity and Islam by the diocese of Olympia.  Now, why a diocese would see any benefit in promoting it is beyond me.  Why a bishop would risk his career promoting such an outright heresy is beyond me.  But it is their propoganda.  Probably one of the biggest propaganda blunders ever made by our Worthy Opponents, and it will no doubt have serious negative impact on the poor woman who is the central character in this evolving story.  One can only speculate that the bishop will be willing to sacrifice her, or at least leave her the central figure in the story.  But it is fairly evident that she has been in contact with the bishop throughout the last year, and his ultimate reaction is not to merely condone her heresy, but to celebrate it, and publish and promote it.  This is terrible abuse of the pastoral office and responsibility.
So let us pray for the Rev. Redding, that Christ and the Holy Spirit may restore her faith.  Let us pray for the people of that diocese, who are clearly being led astray by the bishop charged with their pastoral care.  And let us pray for the bishop himself, whose soul is clearly in grave danger.
TJ

[127] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-21-2007 at 04:01 PM • top

Quite bizarre. One person says something somewhat off the wall, and this sort of extreme reaction ensues.

Get a grip. Life’s too short. It really isn’t in the least important. Its only opinions.

[128] Posted by Merseymike on 06-21-2007 at 04:05 PM • top

the link to write to the ABC seems to be a link that sends one preprinted message complaining that Gene Robinson was not invited. Is there a link somewhere that lets you really write to him? And would he read it since he’s away?

[129] Posted by ct layperson on 06-21-2007 at 04:06 PM • top

Hmmm.  In continuing to try and find a more complete version of that Michael Ingham interview from Feb 2004, I did a Google Search for Ingham and “Uniqueness of Christ”

I just turned up an interesting blog entry (actually nothing about Ingham, that was an adjacent entry…) from the Walking with Integrity blog.  A sermon.  By an ECUSA priest.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Brian Taylor: The Episcopal Church as Prophet to our Day

My sermon today will be about what is going on in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. I don’t like to dwell on this too much, because we’ve got more important things to do here: to develop our faith and minister to God’s people in need.

But as some have said, what is taking place right now is one of the most significant developments in our church’s history since the Reformation 450 years ago. And if you care about the kind of perspective on the Christian faith that we have here at St. Michael’s, it is important for you to know what is at stake. It’s not just about sex. It’s whether Christianity will be able to have any relevance to our modern world . . .

The world needs a church that doesn’t see the Bible as a rule-book, but as a chronicle of a sacred journey. The world needs a church that isn’t exclusive and triumphant about the uniqueness of Christ, but knows that other religious and spiritual paths also lead to God. The world needs a church that understand that what matters in relationships is not outmoded taboos based on ignorance, but the quality of love – commitment, responsibility, respect, devotion, self-sacrifice, truth, and faith. The world needs a church that is willing to be open to fresh understanding about God and humanity that comes from the Spirit.

emphasis above is mine.
The blog entry is here: http://walkingwithintegrity.blogspot.com/2007/03/brian-taylor-episcopal-church-as.html

The full sermon is here:
http://all-angels.com/sermons/2007/03/post_1.php

I wonder just how many interesting examples a search on “Episcopal Church” and “Uniqueness of Christ” might turn up?!?  After I’ve had some dinner, I may just try to find out. 

Just consider this more ammunition and proof that we’re not talking about a few random and minor incidences here.

[130] Posted by Karen B. on 06-21-2007 at 04:07 PM • top

Thanks for the real primatial contact list.

[131] Posted by ct layperson on 06-21-2007 at 04:08 PM • top

Propaganda:  Any fact which Taomikael wishes Christians not to know. 

Propaganda:  Verifiable instances of reappraisers going against the Word of God, that are already public knowledge. 

Propaganda:  The Doctrine of Original Sin (except when applied to Reasserters). 

Propaganda:  The belief in a God that once destroyed the World with a Flood (except in instances where a reappriaser attempts to manipulate his or her or its audience into a guilt-trip and/or moral outrage)

Propaganda:  Truth.

Propaganda:  Logical arguments. 

Propaganda:  Logic applied to Truth.

Propaganda:  Humor.

Propaganda:  A reductio ad absurdium argument (except in the case of a reappraiser attempting to do so)

Propaganda:  The belief that God didn’t create a race of Mr. Potato-Heads, with interchangable genetalia. 

Propaganda:  Christianity. 

Non-Propaganda:  Anything that isn’t Christianity.

Propaganda:  Pointing out the God-shaped voids, and God-shaped hatreds, of reappraisers. 

Propaganda:  Christianity’s exclusive claim to be the True Religion.

Propaganda:  “Conservative” Christianity’s rejection of claims of some heretics, to the title ‘Christian.’  (Except in instances where Reappraisers are morally outraged over human-plant marriages or something equally stupid, in which case the conservatives are heretics and are under no circumstances to be considered Christian). 

Propaganda:  How much fun it is to watch Tao fall all over himself.

[132] Posted by J Eppinga on 06-21-2007 at 04:16 PM • top

FrJake you said:

As you can see, it doesn’t even pay to try and find common themes of agreement with this crowd.  They look for the ugly bits, and ignore the rest.

I give up.  What you’re doing here is wrong, Greg.  But, obviously I’m wasting my words.

You have your say here as do the rest of us, even when (as nearly always) we disagree.  But at least your comments are not deleted, as you delete comments on your blog that disturb the prophetic reappraiser view with warnings of icebergs ahead.

[133] Posted by Milton on 06-21-2007 at 04:19 PM • top

Here’s a link of interest: An archived version of a speech by Bp. Michael Ingham from Sept. 1998.

Is Tolerance Enough?
New Hopes and New Obstacles to Religious Unity

http://web.archive.org/web/20020204095134/http://www.magma.ca/~inrig/olst/ingham.htm

It’s all about the United Religions Initiative.  We don’t hear so much about that these days with +Swing’s retirement.  Incredible (and sad) to see this stuff from nearly 10 years ago and be reminded of just how many of us had our head in the sand and/or had no easy means of getting this kind of information.

An excerpt:

Fundamentalism is not the only obstacle, however. Mainstream conservatives, who must be distinguished from fundamentalists, exhibit the same motives of anxiety. There is anxiety that new relationships between religions will require the sacrifice of something foundational to faith, something that cannot be negotiated away without destroying belief itself. There is anxiety that the inter-faith movement is unconcerned with preserving religious identity, that it cannot be trusted to protect the irreducible core of faith which is at the heart of each religion. There is criticism that the erosion of traditional religious belief will actually undermine world peace, and that the best chance for survival is for the world’s peoples to come together into one flock under one shepherd.

Both fundamentalism and mainstream conservatism see a common enemy in religious pluralism. Pluralism is an emerging school of thought in Western universities and seminaries which is trying to build theological bridges across which people of different faiths can travel. It wants to create a framework in which people can embrace each other in good conscience, without sacrificing their own religious identity and without denying the identity of one another. It seeks to overcome both religious exclusivism, by which one tradition claims to possess all the truth to the denial of others, and inclusivism by which one tradition allows a measure of truth to others, but only insofar as they reflect the truth of that tradition itself. For pluralists, neither of these provides a very firm basis for dialogue or cooperation.

Pluralism is a theological effort not to negate the differences between religions but to hold them together. Pluralists are searching for a way both to respect the distinctives, the uniqueness, of religions while at the same time going beyond them.

[...]

Can modern Christians learn to sing two religious tunes at the same time? Can we sing the song of the Christian tradition, the Nicene Creed, the hymns, songs and poetry of our ancient and lovely tradition, which proclaim Jesus Christ as redeemer of the world and saviour of all humanity - and can we at the same time sing the song of the inter-faith movement, which proclaims the saving activity of God in other ways, an infinite variety of ways, in this diverse and complex world? Can we sing the Lord’s song as we have come to learn it, and a new song which places God at the heart of the universe, God at the centre of other ways of believing, God who is ultimately beyond our knowing and even perhaps beyond our religion? Are they in fact different songs?

Well, one will be a Christocentric song - that is, a song centred in Jesus Christ as the final revelation of God for us. The other will be a Theocentric song, which we will learn to sing with others who love, worship and obey God by a different name. If you say this is intellectually dishonest, that these songs are disharmonious and incompatible, a blasphemy against Christ, then I would say, try it and see. God works much more effectively through music than theology in my experience.

[134] Posted by Karen B. on 06-21-2007 at 04:24 PM • top

As far as being judgemental, the secular courts have all agreed (on both sides of our border and in the UK) that public persons are fair game for comment. An ordained minister has had an article published in a Christian house organ extolling the virtues of her conversion to Islam. Her bishop is quoted as being excited about the possibilities. All public utterances so far, in a forum totally under the control of the Diocese of Olympia. No retractions or press releases from the bishop’s office on being misquoted have been issued. The Seattle Times picks up the story and publishes it.

It has now been 48 hours, give or take, since the story broke with no comment from either source. I don’t buy the “this is a private matter” argument: her public office is Priest; she has accepted conversion to a different and incompatible faith (from an imam’s quote); her bishop accepts this as an exciting opportunity rather than saying no comment or that he was dealing with the issue privately. “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgement” (James 3:1)

And for a bit more proof-texting - Ephesians 5:6-14; Colossians 2:6-82 Thessalonians 2:3-15, 1 Timothy 1:3-7, 4:1-11, and 6:3-6; and 1 John 2:22-26

[135] Posted by Bill in Ottawa on 06-21-2007 at 04:24 PM • top

Karen B - we’re on the same wave length.  As was discussed yesterday, this article has been posted since June 3.  If Jake and Tom were worried about publicity interferring with pastoral concerns, why not pipe up then?  Because that is not the concern.  The concern is damage control for 815.  They are toeing the party line for 815 as written by Jim Naughton. I don’t wish this woman any harm and neither does anyone here.  I do, however, want Bishop Warner brought up on charges to protect the people in his diocese from further harm.  And exactly how pastoral is it to allow this woman to continue to wear a collar and to teach?  Surely, she will be preaching her own unique version of Episolam. 

Word of warning - the neat link to the Archbishop of Canterbury at S. Russell’s site does not allow you to edit the text that begs for an invite for Robinson.

[136] Posted by JackieB on 06-21-2007 at 04:26 PM • top

There is anxiety that new relationships between religions will require the sacrifice of something foundational to faith, something that cannot be negotiated away without destroying belief itself.

It would be a lie to say that it does not. This is sad, sad stuff, Karen.

[137] Posted by oscewicee on 06-21-2007 at 04:30 PM • top

BTW folks, just for fun, drive on over to Jakes Place and check out the Beating of the Dead Horse thread re the IRD/Vast Conservative Anglican Conspiracy/Contra/CEPAD story. Much wailing and rending of garments and gnashing of teeth going on over…..........nothing.

the snarkster

[138] Posted by the snarkster on 06-21-2007 at 04:43 PM • top

Now, Anathasius, let’s not be too critical of Arius. He is just in a spiritual funk. And Augustus, you need to take it easy on Donatus. He is going through a exploratory, branching out phase.

What audacity of Jake! We are not to criticize heresy or complicity to heresy??? He is self-admittedly, “not good at being nice” (understatement) and takes offense when others criticize him.

[139] Posted by robroy on 06-21-2007 at 04:46 PM • top

My point here has been that the harsh condemnation is pushing this clergy person, and those who may be struggling with similar questions, further from Jesus and closer to Islam.

Well, as you yourself have noted, to embrace both Christianity and Islam is to embrace neither.  How then does Greg’s posting this material here, or for that matter anything else, bring this woman further away from Christ? 

Also, could this woman’s “crisis of faith” have anything to do with ECUSA’s tolerance of questions and intolerance of answers?  I’m sure you’ve read your presiding bishop’s views on the importance of embracing questions, yes?  So then, could it be that the ECUSA has failed to minister to this woman’s spiritual needs?

[140] Posted by J Eppinga on 06-21-2007 at 04:56 PM • top

snarkster - it is a familiar tactic:

“Look!  Over there!!  It’s a diversion!!!”

[141] Posted by GillianC on 06-21-2007 at 05:00 PM • top

Get a grip. Life’s too short. It really isn’t in the least important. Its only opinions.
My goodness, this sounds like the kind of peevish argument my 14 year old would make!
We’re only talking about people’s ETERNAL SOULS!!

[142] Posted by Edwin on 06-21-2007 at 05:00 PM • top

In your dreams - or should I say delusions? You seriously think that people’s ‘eternal souls’ are directed by their opinions about religion? Don’t answer that - sadly, of course, you do.

[143] Posted by Merseymike on 06-21-2007 at 05:04 PM • top

Mr. Paddy,
Au Contraire Tao,it just affirms the fact that Mr Griffith is a good deal more fairhanded than a great many of the ‘liberal’ blogs when it comes to dissenting opinions on his blog.
Mr. Griffith permits opposing comments on his blog, and, in my estimation, does so to a greater degree than some of his Worthy Opponents, and even substantially more so than virtually all of his own party.  I have my own opinions as to why he does so, but the relevant fact is that he indeed does.
My own inkling regarding your presence,that is if your comments of a while back ring true,would make you not a heretic but an unbeliever and interloper in a church matter to which,being a non-believer, you would legitimately have no say within a gathering of believers.
If the lodge was tyled such that it was members only, then I would not be here.  Since it is not, my expression of my opinions may be unwelcome to some but it is not illegitimate.  And, by the definition of the term, I am indeed a heretic for possessing and expressing views contrary to orthodox “SFiF” precepts here.  Any “unbeliever” would necessarily be a heretic in such circumstances.
.

[144] Posted by taomikael on 06-21-2007 at 05:07 PM • top

I have to agree with what someone above said:  the Bishop’s is the greater sin.  Just how does one go about beginning a presentment?

[145] Posted by talithajd on 06-21-2007 at 05:11 PM • top

Tao,
Are you feeling under the weather today?  This is not your usual good stuff.

[146] Posted by CarolynP on 06-21-2007 at 05:12 PM • top

Greg,
Joining my thanks with the others.  Thank you for all your hard work and for posting this news of our worthy opponents’ latest gaffe.

sj engelhardt
“Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.” HP—Book 2

[147] Posted by Summersnow on 06-21-2007 at 05:15 PM • top

Ms. Carolyn,
This is not your usual good stuff.
No?  Well, give it a few minutes, and I’m sure Mr. Griffith or one of his associates will be glad to spice it up for you.  Just don’t ask them to support their assertions about what I’m supposed to think or to have said, and you’ll do fine.
.

[148] Posted by taomikael on 06-21-2007 at 05:23 PM • top

The significance of the islamopalian priest is not her specific heretical silliness but that the “inclusive” church cannot bring herself to condemn her. The inclusivists have abandoned tradition. They have also opened scripture up to contextual exegesis where one can ignore vast swaths of the Bible as only relevant to the time period. After having done this, islamopalians such as the poor, pathetic (i.e., deserving sympathy) woman cannot be swayed by quoting scripture or tradition. Hence, her bishop finds it “exciting” and not outrageous. The process will only continue with other heresies.

[149] Posted by robroy on 06-21-2007 at 06:13 PM • top

I take it that you’d be willing to serve on the inquisitorial squad?  Or would your interest be limited to assisting in administering the judgment afterwards?

I would do either (bring in the COMFY CHAIR!), but since I am LCMS and not TEC I doubt I would be allowed.

[150] Posted by Harry Edmon on 06-21-2007 at 06:18 PM • top

Just don’t ask them to support their assertions about what I’m supposed to think or to have said, and you’ll do fine.

And what exactly is that? Are you still harping on the propaganda thing?

[151] Posted by Greg Griffith on 06-21-2007 at 06:21 PM • top

Ok, we now have over 150 comments on this thread, of which our buddy tao is responsible for at least 15 - can we stop giving a tithe of comments to someone who just wants to waggle his finger and say “shame, shame on you, you bad Christians” and argue semantics?

[152] Posted by GillianC on 06-21-2007 at 06:26 PM • top

Mr. Griffith,
And what exactly is that? Are you still harping on the propaganda thing?
No, I’m referring to this and your post to which it was a response.
.

[153] Posted by taomikael on 06-21-2007 at 06:56 PM • top

GillianC, I always know when SF has hit paydirt on a blog topic—it’s when the progressives come bustling over to denounce it!  ; > )

The foundational worldviews are just so opposing that what they think good, we think bad, and vice versa.  Their denunciations are warm-words-of-praise to a reasserter

And I’m sure that Double-G will go to bed happy tonight not only over the praise from the reasserters on this thead, but the “praise” from progressives.  ; > )

[154] Posted by Sarah on 06-21-2007 at 07:08 PM • top

Tao and Mike:

Hey, you know you two could do a duet with your sparklers - hum “God Bless America” and keep spinning them around!  Now - THAT’S fun!

Summersnow:

You know that’s funny that you mention that b/c when we were in the ‘thick’ of trying to preserve our Faith from TEC we used to call our little group ‘The Defense Against the Dark Arts Club’ - or the DA.  I seriously think many of the TEC bishops (including our former one) could pass for Umbridge and Shori would make a GREAT Cornelius Fudge. 

Instead of ‘Educational Decrees’, however, you have, “Do NOT allow anyone to know about the Epi/Muslim Bishop” OR “Anyone who says Jesus IS the only way to Heaven will NOT be allowed to be a bishop” - so, as much fun as it would be to be the Inquisitorial Squad, I think we rebels will have to opt for Harry’s group instead.  No nifty badges - but HEY - Fred and George are on OUR side!  YES!

[155] Posted by Eclipse on 06-21-2007 at 07:26 PM • top

Poor Mike doesn’t even believe that he has an “eternal soul”.

A gambling man, are you Mike?

[156] Posted by Marty the Baptist on 06-21-2007 at 08:03 PM • top

Moot:  Thanks for the post defining “propaganda” for Tao - saved me the trouble, and it was done so much better than I could have generated.

[157] Posted by Horseman on 06-21-2007 at 08:11 PM • top

The Tao & Mike Show!!!

Temper-tantrums abound!

And the feeding continues!!!!!

I just have to wonder how it is she got past the discernment process before being aloud to continue to seminary in the first place! Who was her priest & bishop at that time? If I was either or I would be shaking my head asking God’s forgiveness!

[158] Posted by TLDillon on 06-21-2007 at 08:28 PM • top

tao,

I see. The “hunt them down and kill htem like dogs” remark. Actually, the commenatrix has the whole quote and hte link. I’ll need to get it from her.

In the meantime, are you saying you deny ever having written that?

[159] Posted by Greg Griffith on 06-21-2007 at 08:46 PM • top

In the let’s acknowledge some decent responses from those on the more progressive side of the aisle:

Bp. Epting
http://ecubishop.wordpress.com/2007/06/20/christian-and-muslim/

and

AKMA
http://akma.disseminary.org/archives/2007/06/i_dont_think_so.html

They both “get” it.  I’m glad

[160] Posted by Karen B. on 06-21-2007 at 09:04 PM • top

What an interesting situation we have here.  It would seem that, in their haste to hollow out the Episcopal Church sufficiently to allow for unrepentant, boastful sinners as clergy, the revisionists have (inadvertantly?) gutted it completely.  The result appears to be a theological AIDS, a total destruction of the immune system of the Church whereby any belief system can be grafted into its theological DNA (well, almost…it does seem to be defending vigorously against orthodoxy still).

Faced with the horror of the consequences of this immunological destruction, the perpetrators now explain to us, “shut up!”

[161] Posted by Jeffersonian on 06-21-2007 at 09:07 PM • top

You know, all this is like watching and autopsy.

[162] Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 06-21-2007 at 09:15 PM • top

Mr. Griffith,
The “hunt them down and kill them like dogs” remark. Actually, the commenatrix has the whole quote and the link. I’ll need to get it from her.
Oh?  You mean to say that you gave your own interpretation of the original reported quote, (which you presumably read since you quoted it), attributing it to me as if you knew what I was thinking, and you never bothered to be sure of it yourself? What an interesting admission to make about your personal integrity.
In the meantime, are you saying you deny ever having written that?
What I am politely requesting of you is that you post that original quote, with its link, and your “paraphrase / interpretation” of it—together, so that the site community can look at it and see whether or not the Jesus whom you all purport to worship according to the “faith once delivered” would deem your statements in keeping with his teachings.  You might even make a separate thread of it, so that no one could be “offended” by thread drift about the matter.  Perhaps the topic could be: “Does ‘SFiF’ employ propaganda techniques?”
If you can’t post that quote with its link (I searched for it myself everywhere I could think of, and failed to find it.  And, for the record, you have my word that I did not either find it nor take any action whatsoever to delete it), then have the commenatrix state where she found it and cite the quote itself exactly as she best can do—and use that to compare with your “interpretation.”
.

[163] Posted by taomikael on 06-21-2007 at 09:16 PM • top

Your post reeks of desperation, Tao.  Time to regroup.

[164] Posted by Jeffersonian on 06-21-2007 at 09:19 PM • top

J,
Your post reeks of desperation, Tao.  Time to regroup.
No, thanks.  Mr. Griffith may ignore it all.  Or he may not, and simply attempt to brazen it out.  The community may agree with him, or it may not and simply remain silent.  It’s all useful data.
.

[165] Posted by taomikael on 06-21-2007 at 09:27 PM • top

Amen, Jeffersonian.  Desperation born of making an argument ad nauseum which cannot ultimately be supported.  As the old legal maxim goes, “when you have neither the facts nor the law on your side, beat up the opposition.”  Seems to suit Tao to a “T”.  Doesn’t ultimately matter what label one hangs on any discussion, be it “propaganda” or “literature”, the facts are the facts and the truth is the truth.  No amount of pejorative label-slinging by Tao, et al., will make the Muslipalian priest story, nor its implications, go away.

[166] Posted by Horseman on 06-21-2007 at 09:33 PM • top

I think I agree with GillianC. This thread seems to be degenerating. Maybe its time to close it down for comments?

[167] Posted by StayinAnglican on 06-21-2007 at 09:37 PM • top

It is time again to remind everyone of an important maximum - “Don’t feed the trolls”.  Or another one I like “Don’t wrestle with a pig - you’ll just get dirty, and they like it”.

[168] Posted by Harry Edmon on 06-21-2007 at 09:40 PM • top

Perhaps the topic could be: “Does ‘SFIF’ employ propaganda techniques?”

Toa certainly seems to ... yawn ... well at least over at WO they seem to using logical constructs which is a lot more interesting read. I have to agree with Jeffersonian, maybe time to regroup.

[169] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-21-2007 at 09:44 PM • top

No, thanks.  Mr. Griffith may ignore it all.  Or he may not, and simply attempt to brazen it out. 

Or he might want to stay on-topic.  Try it sometime.

[170] Posted by Jeffersonian on 06-21-2007 at 09:46 PM • top

I think I agree with GillianC. This thread seems to be degenerating. Maybe its time to close it down for comments?

I agree.  So before we all pack it in for the night, let’s all sing together!  Under the Radar, and Over the Cliff…To Grandmother’s House We Go!

Sorry, I need to go to bed.

[171] Posted by Dr. Mabuse on 06-21-2007 at 09:50 PM • top

Greg,
You are so being “Baited” my friend just like Eve in the Garden! DON’T BITE THE APPLE!!!! You are much smarter than that! This “person” is looking to get a Head Line! We have better things to do!
Nasty is as nasty does!

[172] Posted by TLDillon on 06-21-2007 at 09:52 PM • top

TITLE IV CANON 10: Of Abandonment of the Communion of This Church by a Priest or Deacon

Sec. 1. If it is reported to the Standing Committee of the Diocese in which a Priest or Deacon is canonically resident that the Priest or Deacon, without using the provisions of Canon IV.8 or III.7.8-10 and III.9.8-11, has abandoned the Communion of this Church, then the Standing Committee shall ascertain and consider the facts, and if it shall determine by a vote of three-fourths of All the Members that the Priest or Deacon has abandoned the Communion of this Church by an open renunciation of the Doctrine, Discipline, or Worship of this Church, or by a formal admission into any religious body not in communion with this Church, or in any other way, it shall be the duty of the Standing Committee of the Diocese to transmit in writing to the Bishop of such Diocese, or if there be no such Bishop, to the Bishop of an adjacent Diocese, its determination, together with a statement setting out in reasonable detail the acts or declarations relied upon in making its determination. If the Bishop affirms the determination, the Bishop shall then inhibit the Priest or Deacon from officiating in the
Diocese for six months and shall send to the Priest or Deacon a copy of the determination and statement, together with a notice that the
Priest or Deacon has the rights specified in Section 2 and at the end of the six-months period the Bishop will consider deposing the Priest or Deacon in accordance with the provisions of Section 2.

It appears from the above that Rev. Redding should be reported to the Standing Committee for abandonment.

Unfortunately, from a quick reading of the Canons, no presentment against the Bishop seems possible. The offenses in the canons regarding negligent performance of duties are the failure to uphold ordination vows, the rubrics of the BCP or the Canons of the Episcopal Church and the local diocese.  In this case, the only offense seems to be a failure to uphold vows by the vigorous defense of the faith. Unfortunately, failure to uphold ordination vows only applies to the disciplining of Priests and Deacons. Bishops are not mentioned in that section of canonical offenses.

[173] Posted by Bill in Ottawa on 06-21-2007 at 09:55 PM • top

Jake says

“Ideally, the required submission to God is not different from the Christian tradition.”

Excuse me but there has never been within Christianity anything close to the concept of “submission” which is the entirety of Islam.

“In some places, however, this is not what others witness.  Instead, they see Christians attempting to take on the role of God, making themselves the judge of what is fit and what is not.”

I would agree. And the people in TEC who are rewriting Christianity as a secular ideology are the ones who are making themselves the judge of what is fit, i.e.,“diverse, inclusive, radical, affirming.”

“Americans especially struggle with being submissive.  We want to be in control.  We want to be in charge of everything, and feel we have the right to do so.”

Right, like you know “Americans.” All 275 million people from Bangor to Boston to Chicago to New Orleans to Tucson to Billings etc., etc., etc., all think the same thing, and all are bully imperialists who have to “struggle with being submissive.”

“I’m preaching to myself as well, btw.”
Fine, clean up your own house. You have no right to accuse me of your failings.

“It is not surprising that a different tradition, growing out of another culture, might be initially attractive to someone who has been turned off by the actions of some Christians in the US.”

A different tradition that consigns women to servitude, child marriages, honor killings, mutilations, stoning, denial of education, imprisonment in portable jails (with only a screened slit to see out of), denial of the right to go anytime anywhere without a male from the family, denial of the right to have a passport, or any say in what happens to their children.

There is no way that any ideology or so-called religion that treats half of its people as “just to be used” can be described as anything other than evil. I hardly think that there are “actions of some Christians in the US” that are comparable.

Sorry if Jake and that Redding girl haven’t figured this out.

[174] Posted by JanDioMA on 06-21-2007 at 10:06 PM • top

When I was a teenager, I briefly considered converting to Judaism.  My feeling was that I didn’t believe in the Torah, Israel as a divine institution (though I strongly support Israel), the 613 commandments, the concept of chosenness, the holiness of the Hebrew language, circumcision, kosher, and on and on and on, but I was at least as little of a theological Christian as I would be as a Jew and I found that folks like Martin Buber and Abraham Joshua Heschel spoke to me better than most Christian theologians did, so why not think about it?

Then I realized that what held me to Christianity was that I was raised Christian, live in a Christian environment, speak the Christian language, sing Christian songs, experience Christian worship, and did I have any connection to Judaism like that?  What would be my claim to Jewishness if I did not agree with the theology and was not “bound together” (religio) with the Jewish faith?  Would I be cheapening, insulting, the Jewish faith if I converted without really becoming a Jew?

If this priest’s congregation does not mind if she wants to function as a level 9 multiclass Christian/Muslim with a +3 cloak of theological invisibility, then I certainly don’t mind either from that standpoint.  But I would never say “I’m both a Christian and [X]...” unless I had a very, very good reason—if one parent was Christian and one parent Muslim, say, and I was raised in both religious traditions without ever deciding on one or the other.  In that kind of context, “I’m both a Christian and a Muslim” might make sense as a statement whether one agrees with it or not.  But “Hey, guys, guess what—I converted, and I’m still a Christian!” seems a little frivolous.  I think of all the great human beings over the years who have changed their names, grown beards (if male), completely changed their lives to adapt their new faith—and here’s someone who’s still wearing her Episcopal ordination collar and presiding over the Eucharist every Sunday.  It just doesn’t seem very humble.

Cheers,

TH

[175] Posted by Tom Head on 06-21-2007 at 10:20 PM • top

JanDioMA writes:

A different tradition that consigns women to servitude, child marriages, honor killings, mutilations, stoning, denial of education, imprisonment in portable jails (with only a screened slit to see out of), denial of the right to go anytime anywhere without a male from the family, denial of the right to have a passport, or any say in what happens to their children.

I don’t blame Islam for any of that.  Certainly this is not the Islam of Irshad Manji or Farid Esack.


Cheers,

TH

[176] Posted by Tom Head on 06-21-2007 at 10:25 PM • top

Kum By Yah

[177] Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 06-21-2007 at 10:54 PM • top

Nice try, Tom, but it’s just ridiculous to pretend that either of those sites has anything to do with Islam as it’s practiced throughout the world.

[178] Posted by JanDioMA on 06-21-2007 at 10:59 PM • top

For a moment, I’d like to take the thread away from any personalities, whether they be the commenters or the individuals in the story.  In 2003, when the orthodox asked the revisionists why they could set aside the scriptural injunctions against homosexuality, their response was based on experience
The orthodox then proclaimed that the innovations on homosexuality cut to the cross, the core of the faith, and despite solid theological arguments, the revisionists disagreed.
Four years later, there is now an abundance of evidence that this crisis does indeed cut to the cross, the core of the faith—evidence not based on theological arguments, but on our experience.

[179] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 06-21-2007 at 10:59 PM • top

Unfortunately, from a quick reading of the Canons, no presentment against the Bishop seems possible. The offenses in the canons regarding negligent performance of duties are the failure to uphold ordination vows, the rubrics of the BCP or the Canons of the Episcopal Church and the local diocese.  In this case, the only offense seems to be a failure to uphold vows by the vigorous defense of the faith. Unfortunately, failure to uphold ordination vows only applies to the disciplining of Priests and Deacons. Bishops are not mentioned in that section of canonical offenses.

It’s definitely possible to file charges. The requirements are listed in a separate section:

TITLE IV
CANON 1: Of Offenses for Which Bishops, Priests, or Deacons May Be Presented and Tried, and Of Inhibitions
Sec. 1. A Bishop, Priest, or Deacon of this Church shall be liable to Presentment and Trial for the following offenses, viz.:
... (h) Any act which involves a violation of Ordination vows.

(C) Of a Bishop Charged with Other Offenses
Sec. 23 (a) A Bishop may be charged with any one or more of the Offenses other than Offenses specified in Canon IV.3.21(c) by
(1) three Bishops; or
(2) ten or more Priests, Deacons, or adult communicants of this Church in good standing, of whom at least two shall be Priests. One Priest and not less than six Lay Persons shall be of the Diocese of which the Respondent is canonically resident

[180] Posted by allergic_to_fudge on 06-21-2007 at 11:09 PM • top

Eclipse,
The quote I use is a reminder to myself to be careful when dealing with people in cyberspace.  Thank you for the kind remarks.  I would be honored to be a part of the DA.  A great cloud of witnesses, such esteemed company as Greg, Sarah, Matt, Snarkster, Jackie, Karen, Jill, Marty, yourself, and so many others—too many to count faithful and encouraging.  This site is aptly named: Stand Firm.

or “Give ‘em hell, Peeves!”

sj engelhardt

[181] Posted by Summersnow on 06-21-2007 at 11:11 PM • top

But I would never say “I’m both a Christian and [X]...” unless I had a very, very good reason—if one parent was Christian and one parent Muslim, say, and I was raised in both religious traditions without ever deciding on one or the other.  In that kind of context, “I’m both a Christian and a Muslim” might make sense as a statement whether one agrees with it or not.  But “Hey, guys, guess what—I converted, and I’m still a Christian!” seems a little frivolous.

Actually, Tom, I think that as far as actual faith goes (leaving mere cultural trappings aside) it would make much more sense and honesty to say “I’m neither a Christian nor a Muslim.” in the situation you describe.  Cheers!

[182] Posted by Milton on 06-21-2007 at 11:33 PM • top

I have e-mailed the links to the Dio of Olympia newsletter and to this thread to my entire parish, along with some brief explanatory remarks. Each time I disseminate information in this way, I understand that it usually gets forwarded by the original recipients to others at least once, then is often forwarded again by the secondary recipients. 

Ah, the Communications Age…  Too bad, Mr. Naughton.

[183] Posted by Connie Sandlin on 06-21-2007 at 11:42 PM • top

As you can see, it doesn’t even pay to try and find common themes of agreement with this crowd.  They look for the ugly bits, and ignore the rest.

Oh, tosh, Fr. Jake/Terry.  Such idle chatter, when there’s real work to be done.  This woman must be made into an example.  Her transgression should be broadcast far and wide; everyone must know her name and her shame, so that the whole Anglican world will understand, once and for all, what these reappraisers are really like.  Bunch of closet Muslims, is what.  Or worse.

What a precious opportunity we’ve been given. Get those emails flying, everyone.  Let us not waste this golden moment.

[184] Posted by essef on 06-22-2007 at 12:39 AM • top

Nobody seems to be looking at that angle - the Rev. Redding is Black, sometimes photographed in traditional African dress.  Is this an exercise in Black identity for her?

I doubt it.  I don’t see anything mentioned of her being sold into slavery by her muslim overlords.

But that’s a part of West African history rarely mentioned in public these days.

[185] Posted by James Manley on 06-22-2007 at 12:46 AM • top

essef,
What a precious opportunity we’ve been given. Get those emails flying, everyone.  Let us not waste this golden moment.
After all, isn’t that what Jesus taught his true followers to concentrate upon?
.

[186] Posted by taomikael on 06-22-2007 at 12:56 AM • top

I read & was enlightened somewhere on another thread I think yesterday, that the reason all of this has happened to the Episcopal Church was because ( & I am paraphrasing) the political activists on the liberal ticket have been vociferous & brazen with thier lobbying, and marches, etc….They became well informed and rallied vigorously! Well! I see now that we orthodox/conservatves have decide to spread the news loudly and broadly and just as vigorously regarding a women who is not only spewing heresy, but has broken her ordination vows claiming another religion while wearing an Epsicopal Collar, the liberal/revisionists get all up in an uproar over us taking the same road they have been occupying for decades. So I say…..MOVE OVER REAPRAISERS! Time for us to be heard and the truth be known!!!!! It is time for us to be loud in a good way in the telling of the truths of the heresy that is being spread & done. And we need to be in cyberspace and on the cell-wires making sure that all the groups we know and the clergy everywhere here our voices & concerns and demand that sommeting be done. Enough is enough!

I have persoanlly sent this article to not only the Anglican churches I know in my “address book” but to other pastors of other demoninations, orgainzations, youth team organizers, and many others that need to know what is going on and happening so they too can be on the alert for those who are lving a duel life that may come among them. Just the thought of someone even claiming to beleive and follow two different beliefs seems very difficult to me. Confusion has to set in sometime!

[187] Posted by TLDillon on 06-22-2007 at 01:03 AM • top

JanDioMA writes:

Nice try, Tom, but it’s just ridiculous to pretend that either of those sites has anything to do with Islam as it’s practiced throughout the world.

Don’t knock it.  There have been times in history when majoritarian Christianity wasn’t anything to be proud of, either.


Cheers,

TH

[188] Posted by Tom Head on 06-22-2007 at 01:05 AM • top

After all, isn’t that what Jesus taught his true followers to concentrate upon?

Well, how do you think Jesus would have handled this woman, taomikael?  You don’t think he would have told everyone about her and reported her to the authorities?

After all, she’s a heretic!

[189] Posted by essef on 06-22-2007 at 01:15 AM • top

Nice story.  I thought it needed a photo or two though, just to add some context…
<i>ahlan wa sahlan<>

[190] Posted by felix hominum on 06-22-2007 at 03:11 AM • top

I think I’ve found the photos…
felix hominum

[191] Posted by felix hominum on 06-22-2007 at 03:21 AM • top

essef,
I don’t agree that reappraisers are all closet Muslims.  I don’t know any that are closet Muslims, which makes this story unique.  The reappraisers I know want to serve Christ and believe they can do so while setting aside portions of scripture, even though Jesus himself lived under the law, quoted the law when confronted with all sorts of temptations and conundrums, and esteemed the law (Mt 5:18).
I think that if Jesus were here, he would challenge the idea that one can serve both Allah and Jehovah by quoting scripture.  I think he would touch her and heal any emotional wounds that set the stage for this confusion.  I think he would say, Go and sin no more.

[192] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 06-22-2007 at 07:08 AM • top

Tao,

“Does ‘SFIF’ employ propaganda techniques?”

We keep an eye out for stories that illustrate the spiritual bankruptcy and moral depravity that result from the “progressive” agenda.

We occasionally change headlines to shorten them, or take advantage of our audience’s deper knowledge of the debate. I sometimes change a headline as a way of pointing out the blatant bias in the original one.

We encourage our readers to spread certain stories as far as they can, publish them to newsletters, use them as the focus of study groups, etc.. We like to think of it as our contribution “continuing the dialogue.”

Do those qualify as “propaganda techniques?” You decide, tao. It won’t matter to me one way or another what you call them.

We don’t make up stories, we don’t mis-report facts, we don’t (deliberately) omit anything that would substantially change the thrust of the story, although occasionally a reader will claim otherwise, and they’re free to make the case to their heart’s content in the comment threads.

Now, as to your comments elsewhere, there’s this from the Delphi “Lavender Wolves” forum, which gives even me pause:

From: mikael (taomikael)
5/28/2006 12:09 am
To: wunderguy (11 of 16)
22801.11 in reply to 22801.10

Wunder,

“Tigers are an endangered species, and I’ll bet they never did anything bad to you.”

Actually, the characterization of powerseekers as tigers is inapprorpriate, for tigers are honest creatures.

But powerseekers have done bad to me, and to many others—and if they can’t be healed of their addiction to power, then they need to be destroyed, just as a rabid animal has to be put down.

—mikael

We’ve cached the whole thread in the event there are “technical difficulties” at the site that strangely render the text different.

Is this you, tao?

[193] Posted by Greg Griffith on 06-22-2007 at 08:10 AM • top

Her transgression should be broadcast far and wide; everyone must know her name and her shame, so that the whole Anglican world will understand, once and for all, what these reappraisers are really like.

Yeah, we’ve totally got to out this woman’s top secret double identity!  Let the world know!  ‘Cause it’s not like she, you know, gave interviews to be published in a church paper or anything.

(See, I can do the sarcasm thing too.)

[194] Posted by st. anonymous on 06-22-2007 at 08:19 AM • top

The more this sort of approach goes on, the more it is obvious that any sort of reconciliation is an impossibility.

If nothing else, these actions might make some sort of reasonable and agreed divide, within the entire Communion, not just isolation or America, a greater possibility

[195] Posted by Merseymike on 06-22-2007 at 08:22 AM • top

On second thought, tao, I’m not sure I want to continue this conversation on this thread. Right now, it seems to me that the responsible thing to do is ban you. If that’s not you in the Delphi forum, or if it is but you believe we should allow someone who make statements like those to post here at Stand Firm, then you can contact us offline and plead your case.

[196] Posted by Greg Griffith on 06-22-2007 at 08:24 AM • top

Actually, a woman who believes she is a priest is simply exhibiting a second “crisis” and confusion when she announces that she is a Muslim.
A bishop who sees the two opinions as compatible is correct, they are equally erroneous.

[197] Posted by hookemhooker on 06-22-2007 at 08:34 AM • top

I have sent a copy of the original Seattle Times article to the editor of our diocesean newspaper and have suggested they reprint it to show the remarkable and exciting “diversity” of The Episcopal Church.  I would suggest you all do the same….nobody will print it….but it will get the diocesan offices talking.

[198] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 06-22-2007 at 08:37 AM • top

Now back to our regularly-scheduled debate.

As several have pointed out, the crisis is not so much that an Episcopal priest has decided she is at once a Muslim and a Christian, any more than it was that Bill Melnyk decided he was a pagan priest and a Christian. The difference is that in the Melnyk case, even Bishop Bennison understood the problem, and “eased” Melnyk out. We may quibble with the exact way things were handled (was Melnyk asked to leave? Did he renounce his orders voluntarily?) but Bennison did the right thing in his role as bishop.

The question here is one of discipline in the context of adherence to the faith to wihch one makes vows upon ordination. So the real crisis is not what to do with The Rev. Redding… it’s what to do with the bishop who won’t discipline the Rev. Redding.

[199] Posted by Greg Griffith on 06-22-2007 at 08:39 AM • top

OK - just sent another copy to the state-wide newspaper telling them how it would be great to show how “our church” is bridging the gap between religions…..see if they bite.

[200] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 06-22-2007 at 08:45 AM • top

Ouch.  That’s gonna leave a mark.

Now I’m off to wallow luxuriously in my unbridled power before The Man comes to put me down.

[201] Posted by Jeffersonian on 06-22-2007 at 08:48 AM • top

midwestnorwegian,

That’s the kind of game I’m talking about playing!

wink

[202] Posted by Greg Griffith on 06-22-2007 at 08:51 AM • top

Greg: Be careful about making tao mik a revisionist martyr. I always thought of him as akin to sand in my underwear, unpleasant but unavoidable when you go to the beach. I am sure he will use his banishment as ammunition against us, just as I did when I had the signal honor of being “Banned By Jake”.

Did I just say that? On second thought, ban away.

the snarkster

[203] Posted by the snarkster on 06-22-2007 at 08:54 AM • top

The question here is one of discipline in the context of adherence to the faith to wihch one makes vows upon ordination. So the real crisis is not what to do with The Rev. Redding… it’s what to do with the bishop who won’t discipline the Rev. Redding.

I’m predicting that Bp. Warner will discipline Ms. Redding, but only because the spotlight is on him, not out of any sense that she’s strayed from the path.  After all who are we to decide what the correct path is?

[204] Posted by Jeffersonian on 06-22-2007 at 08:57 AM • top

I just posted my own commentary, “Can a follower of the prophet be a servant of the Gospel?” on this story on my web log AnglicansAblaze. To read the commentary, go to:
http://anglicansablaze.blogspot.com/

Stand Firm is welcome to post the full commentary on its web site.

[205] Posted by AnglicansAblaze on 06-22-2007 at 09:30 AM • top

I don’t usually post - just lurk - unless something really jumps out at me.  Of course, my lack of particiption might make my comments not important—but Ih ave noticed Mr. Tao comes here with a real purpose.  He is mad as a cat locked ina shoebox after having a bath.  Even those people who hate Christians aren’t that mad.  I think he is just plain jealous.  For some reason he thinks you guys lure him here to increase your visitors.  And he wants you to make him an offer to post here.  Maybe Rev. Jake could do that for him since he seems to be dredging the lake for bad things to post about anyone who disagrees with the official stand of New YORK City.  smile

[206] Posted by Sweets on 06-22-2007 at 09:35 AM • top

I think he would say, Go and sin no more.

Yes, and he said it so frequently, it could be his signature statement.  In fact, that statement is the entire point of John 8:1-11.  The revisionists always seem to miss it.  They try to interpret the passage to mean,  “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her,” which shows how little they know Jesus.  The entire meaning of the account is simply this:  the woman was a sinner, and she had to stopped. 

As is the woman priest in question here.  She is a sinner because of her heretical beliefs, and her Bishop is harboring her.  This cannot be allowed in Christ’s church.  Heresy is a sin, and sinners must be dealt with.  It’s the law.  That’s what Jesus tried to tell us—and thank God some of us have “ears to hear.”

[207] Posted by essef on 06-22-2007 at 10:07 AM • top

Just a question for clarity!

Is Bishop Warner the New Bishop that was just elected for the Diocese of Olympia? And if so, is this an inheirted “problem priest” from the previous bshop?

[208] Posted by TLDillon on 06-22-2007 at 10:10 AM • top

No - +Warner is the sitting bishop and Rev. Rickel is the Bishop-Elect.  Here is the press release from Do0
SEATTLE—The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia elected the Rev. Dr. Gregory Rickel to be the eighth Bishop of Olympia on May 12 at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle. The Episcopal Church in Western Washington is comprised of 32,000 members in 96 congregations that stretch between the Canada and Oregon borders, from the Pacific coast to the Cascade foothills.

Rickel, 43, currently rector of St. James’ Episcopal Church, Austin, Texas, was elected on the third ballot from a slate of five nominees. He was elected with 224 lay votes and 106 clergy votes. An election on that ballot required 185 votes of 369 cast in the lay order and 104 of 207 votes cast in the clergy order.

“It’s a hot day in Austin,” Rickel said via cell phone after the announcement of his election. “We’re looking forward to being with you all in the Diocese of Olympia. The blessings we received while we were with you on walkabout we carry with us today.” Rickel also sent his warm greetings to the other nominees who he said he dearly loves.

[209] Posted by JackieB on 06-22-2007 at 10:26 AM • top

Thank you Jackie!
I am at work and internet surfing is last on my agenda but I do stay up on SF post in between tasks. If I went cyber surfing I would get nothing done!  grin
I appreciate your graciousness in helping me to know the siccession of bishops here. So then it appears that Bishop Warner will be leaving the “probelm” in the new Bishop-elect Rickel’s hands. Nice guy!

[210] Posted by TLDillon on 06-22-2007 at 10:34 AM • top

Which brings me to my prediction and I don’t make them often.
This is the “out” for +Warner.  The Bishop-Elect will step up and “do the pastoral care.”  +Warner will take the “didn’t want to interfere with incoming bishop.  As Justin Wilson would have said, I GAR-UN-TEE that 815 and Beers are busy pumping out the <strike>talking points</strike> script for +Warner and Rickel+ to speil to the masses.
Greg mentioned +Bennison doing the right thing in the end.  My guess is the fly on the wall could tell us that he only did so because someone higher up had his arm twisted so far behind his back he didn’t have a choice in the matter.  Uncharitible?  maybe but read the statements he made before, during and after.  He clearly said that it was those nasty conservatives who blew the whole thing up out of proportion.  And the usual suspects joined right in.  Had we remained silent, we would still have two (that we knew about) Druid priests in the Diocese of PA.  And it was the blogs that brought it all to a head.

[211] Posted by JackieB on 06-22-2007 at 10:34 AM • top

Just sent it to Matt Drudge - keep your fingers crossed.

[212] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 06-22-2007 at 11:10 AM • top

The more this sort of approach goes on, the more it is obvious that any sort of reconciliation is an impossibility.

With God, all things are possible.  When people reject God, reconciliation (even reconciliation over things as small as whether or not to put the cap back on the tube of toothpaste) becomes impossible. 

A lot of people will leave TEC.  Anyone in AMiA will tell you that after about a year or so, they don’t think about the TEC shenanigans anymore, but rather focus on their ministries.  And .. They flourish, quite nicely. 

A lot of people will stay in TEC.  Of those who stay, some will accept homosexuality as blessed, while retaining their strict belief in the Nicene Creed.  Others will also accept homosexuality as blessed, while disregarding the Nicene Creed in part or in entirety. 

And so, the cracks in the TEC will propagate once more.  Today’s so-called “liberal-conservatives,” will become tommorow’s “conservative dissidents.”  As one “conservative” TEC rector told me recently, “They actually consider ME, to be conservative .. me.”  He’s having a difficult time understanding how he got into that category;  as am I.  smile

Yup.  The cracks always form around Christ.  Always have, and always will.

Don’t believe me?  Then believe your senses (that is, if you dare).

[213] Posted by J Eppinga on 06-22-2007 at 11:23 AM • top

I was thinking about the implications for the wider Anglican Communion, not just ‘what will happen to TEC

[214] Posted by Merseymike on 06-22-2007 at 11:29 AM • top

Me too.  That is, assuming that TEC can be regarded as a microcosm for the liberal side of the AC.

[215] Posted by J Eppinga on 06-22-2007 at 11:50 AM • top

Actually, Elizabeth Kaeton did comment on this issue on the HoBD list; I don’t want to quote her directly, as I’m not sure of the propriety of quoting her without her permission.

Suffice it to say she found it “enomously hopeful”, she was “humbled by [her] confusion”, and that God is a “wondrous mystery”.

[216] Posted by Fred Goodwin on 06-22-2007 at 12:39 PM • top

I don’t buy the argument that TEC has no doctrinal discipline.  The Muslim priestess was simply not perceived as violating any doctrine of TEC.  Now, if she had publicly said the MDG’s are a crock, that would have been an entirely different story—a story that probably would not have been covered glowingly in the diocese newsletter.

But, maybe TEC has not thought this through.  Are they aware of the Muslim position on women’s ordination?  Do Muslims allow full participation in the life of the church?

[217] Posted by Cousin Vinnie on 06-22-2007 at 12:49 PM • top

essef = SF = Stand Firm?  Just wondering if this is a “Sinner” character, posting in a ridiculously exaggerated manner to ridicule the regulars.

[218] Posted by CarolynP on 06-22-2007 at 01:36 PM • top

WHOA!

I seriously missed out I see on this thread last night… I think Greg just used a hydraulic mining hose to put out Tao’s entire sparkler collection - sobering!

Re:  Elizabeth

Suffice it to say she found it “enomously hopeful”, she was “humbled by [her] confusion”, and that God is a “wondrous mystery”.

Well, reality is, when you throw away the rules, you can start playing backgammon on the Monopoly board and no one can tell you you are playing the wrong game.  Inclusive?  Yes - useful?  Not really.

[219] Posted by Eclipse on 06-22-2007 at 02:11 PM • top

Yeah, good call on the tao ban.  Advocating the extermination of people you disagree with is never a good idea, and it’s not as if you didn’t give him ample opportunity to apologize and/or explain himself. 

As far as the current debate goes, I have no horse in that race but it’s clear that both the bishop and the priest see potential of some kind in her dual identity and may welcome the publicity.  Greg, there comes a time I think when you need to just let people do their thing and live with the consequences.  If stuff like this is going to make people leave the diocese in droves, let it.  If it spikes attendance, let it.  In either case, it’s obvious that the bishop and priest are grownups and know what they’re doing; they have the power to screw up if they choose to do so.


Cheers,

TH

[220] Posted by Tom Head on 06-22-2007 at 02:42 PM • top

Tom Head - that is exactly the attitude that has brought TEC to this place.

[221] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 06-22-2007 at 02:46 PM • top

...and may give more freedom to conservative Anglican parishes, and may bring AMiA and other dissenting parishes under the fold of the Anglican Communion, and may end the Canterbury monopoly on same. 


Cheers,

TH

[222] Posted by Tom Head on 06-22-2007 at 02:58 PM • top

I seriously missed out I see on this thread last night… I think Greg just used a hydraulic mining hose to put out Tao’s entire sparkler collection - sobering!

Indeed, and you should see the whine-fest going on over at Lavender Wolves.  You’d think that Greg had banned Tao at the first whiff of revisionism instead of for advocating the extermination of Tao’s enemies.  Bizarre.

[223] Posted by Jeffersonian on 06-22-2007 at 03:42 PM • top

Indeed, and you should see the whine-fest going on over at Lavender Wolves.

It was good for a laugh. 

So - the group that Tao would like to see “go” would be the Reconstructionists, eh?  You know, maybe this is a little bit my fault.  When Tao brought the subject up on another thread a while back, I got impatient with him for using Rushdooney and North as examples of typical Reconstructionists.  The reality of course, is that Reconstructionism is as much of a mixed bag, as they come. 

In my haste, I neglected to tell him that I also am concerned about the movement, but not because I think they will dominate politics, ever.  However, I don’t think someone who doubts that God destroyed the world with a flood, would accept my reasons why I am concerned about the R-movement. 

Therefore, I hereby publically apologize to Mr. Tao for my 0.0001% of responsibility for his tirades, which ultimately led to the revocation of his posting priveledges here on SF.  My biggest regret is not having asked you what you mean when you say, “by their fruits, you shall know them.” 

I’m sure I will spend many sleepless nights hence, trying to figure that out.

[224] Posted by J Eppinga on 06-22-2007 at 04:39 PM • top

Tom,

If it spikes attendance, let it.  In either case, it’s obvious that the bishop and priest are grownups and know what they’re doing; they have the power to screw up if they choose to do so.

Midwestnorwegian beat me to it.  Your comments the past couple of days on this thread cut me to the quick, insofar as they demonstrate firsthand, the travesty of church life in TEC.  You compare this “priest” to a Dungeons and Dragons geek, and say that this is okay as long as the congregation is cool with it.  Then, you talk about the actions of the bishop and the “priest” as if they know what they are doing. 

No reference to God.  No reference to God’s Holiness.  No reference to this being evil and apostate.  Nope - Just frame everything in supply and demand economics. 

What’s happening is of Darkness.  And this poor woman’s soul is in danger, if not her very life.  It certainly affects those who choose to remain at her feet, and will have negative consequences if they do not repent and flee to Christ. 

Yes - it will have positive reprocushions for dissenting groups like AMiA.  But I cannot rejoice in that, knowing the spiritual danger that exists elsewhere.

[225] Posted by J Eppinga on 06-22-2007 at 04:58 PM • top

Moot, I don’t know why my comments would cut you to the quick.  I have no say in the operations of the Episcopal Church; I don’t even attend services anymore.  I participate here because I do see a potential for a way forward that doesn’t hurt anyone, because the discussions are of a reasonably high quality, and because I feel a certain amount of guilt over the way I’ve demonized many of you in the past. 

I don’t participate here as any representative of the progressive wing of the church.  I don’t fit in very well as part of the progressive wing of the church.  Some of the folks in the progressive wing of the church won’t even return my emails anymore; others will, with less than kind remarks.  I am, you might say, apostate by the standards of both wings of the via media.  I have resolved myself to the fact that if I attend any church, it will be a church whose corporate policies I disagree with in some important way but whose people and mission I care about enough to overlook that.  Could be Methodist.  Could be UCC.  Could be Baptist (but probably not SBC).  Could easily be Pentecostal; I love the Pentecostal tradition.  Could even be Episcopal.  Right now it isn’t anything, and what I do on Sunday mornings is sleep in.


Cheers,

TH

[226] Posted by Tom Head on 06-22-2007 at 05:56 PM • top

Tom:

Well, actually, I see Tao go with regret.  Not that I will miss his ‘missing logic’ in arguments, but I actually have gotten rather fond of him, in his way, after a fashion.  Even if he falls on the ‘other side’ of the Faith - he is God’s child - howbeit, a rather disobedient one.

However, that being said, I was getting rather annoyed with his ‘when in doubt or boredom attack Greg’ mode.  I was thinking about that and thinking, really, Greg put up with it rather well and over a long period of time.  It was because of that, actually, that I started the ‘sparkler’ comments - because it seemed to me, if he wasn’t winning a particular argument he’d try the ‘let’s attack Greg’ argument as a distraction - and as with sparklers, it was short-lived and rather pathetic at the end.

Re:  Greg, there comes a time I think when you need to just let people do their thing and live with the consequences. 

I disagree with that.  We are CALLED to be light and salt in this world , to ‘not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good’.  We are called to ‘not rejoice in evil, but rejoice when truth wins out.  This is all part of that call.  Hiding and saying, ‘whatever’ isn’t going to accomplish that goal.  Saying, “As long as it doesn’t affect our parish” - is a cop-out - strongly reminds me of the Christians who would not stand up to Hitler when the Jews were being taken. 

No, we fight what is evil with intelligence, with kindness, with charity with determination. 

Greg, via the internet, is waging that battle - shedding light in the darkness.  We all, in our separate ways, must do the same.

[227] Posted by Eclipse on 06-22-2007 at 05:59 PM • top

WHAT???!!!???

I get into a plane to fly out west on business and upon touch-down discover that TM is banned??

Wha’ happen????  It was only a matter of a few hours . . . and I turn around and he’s gone into thin air!!!

Who is next?  MerseyMike? 

This has taken all the spice out of the blog. 

I’m depressed.

[228] Posted by Sarah on 06-22-2007 at 06:10 PM • top

Moot, I don’t know why my comments would cut you to the quick.

Your church attendance is irrelevant as to why your comments would cut me to the quick.  However, that does shed more light on your comments. 

They cut me to the quick because they have embraced the bizzare and the impotent as everyday life, to the utter neglect of the human soul, and to the utter neglect of what the soul requires for its survival. 

Johnnie Cash in his first autobiography, recounts the point in his life that was almost the beginning of the end.  He was half asleep in the back of a car, with the Tennessee Two driving up front.  They reminded Johnnie that it was Sunday morning, and asked if he would like to stop and worship at a church.

Johnnie declined.  “Naw - I’m beat.” 

This was in fact, the beginning of the end for one of my best friends, who took his life a few years ago.  It was almost (praise God that it wasn’t) the beginning of the end for another one of my loved ones. 

The Scriptures tell us that in Him (Christ) we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).  We are also told that He is light, and the World is darkness (John 1). 

So when you speak of what is bizarre and impotent “religion” as if people are going over to the DQ to get an ice cream cone, instead of something serious, your words cut me to the quick. 

I prefer Merseymike - and even Taomikael -anyday, over and above your pedestrian treatment of evil.

[229] Posted by J Eppinga on 06-22-2007 at 06:16 PM • top

Sarah…..Welcome back and don’t despair!!! There are plenty more that will take his place and some that are still here. Aye, No worries Lassie! grin

[230] Posted by TLDillon on 06-22-2007 at 06:23 PM • top

Tom,

I hope you will not give up on the church, and fellowship with Christian believers. I think Christians should love and care for each other unconditionally in Christ whether we agree or disagree about every issue. I think if someone is going to personally reject me as a friend or as a person because of disagreement with my views concerning this or that, were they truly my friend to start with???

One way I think we can see someone’s Christian maturity and relationship with the Lord is to see how they respond to those who they may disagree with the most.

[231] Posted by Grace17033 on 06-22-2007 at 06:34 PM • top

I’ll miss TAO also.  He served as a great illustration and example.  In short he was good to “study” and also as a warning.  I can’t blame Greg, though.  Sometimes wild fire just has to be stomped out.  Maybe he learned something or a seed was planted over here.  We can just pray….

[232] Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 06-22-2007 at 06:36 PM • top

Jeffersonian :

After hangin’ with the Lavender Wolves I now understand why Tao preferred it over here - at least there was someone of intelligence to challenge his opinions - very sad indeed.

Reminds me of the ‘Duffers’ in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader

“What I’m saying is, when Liberals wants to say something, they can’t say it!”  Duffers, “Yes, Chief, you never spoke a truer word.”  “Liberals, I think, are liberal, and non-liberals aren’t”.  “Yes, Boss, you tell ‘em!”  “You never know when that nasty Greg will show up - I mean when one’s invisible, they might just sit around being invisible!”  “You tell ‘em, Chief!”

That would get really old really fast.

[233] Posted by Eclipse on 06-22-2007 at 06:37 PM • top

Who is next?  MerseyMike?

This has taken all the spice out of the blog.

I’m depressed. 

Well, actually, today ... very close ...

How dare you be off-line, we need a mommy at times, where were you tongue rolleye

[234] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-22-2007 at 06:46 PM • top

It’s not like you to be a bit of a snitch H6:6 cool smile

[235] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 06-22-2007 at 06:49 PM • top

Greg—Is Tao actually banned, as in for good?  I had thought that lately his posts were a bit better than they had been in the past when he was posting with all the red font.  I would have to agree with a previous poster that it got old when he would revert to attacking you, but sometimes he did seem to be addressing issues.  It is just that on this board his thinking came across as disordered at times.  I did visit lavender wolves, and his posts were shorter and not as… mercy, but I don’t know how to characterize them other than that the thinking just seems disordered somehow.  Didn’t seem as off, there—not that I agree with a whole lot of what he says—and he does seem to have a blind side.  He could be pretty annoying, but I have felt sorry for him.  Your post didn’t sound totally definite, so does he get time off for “good behavior”?
Peace,
Pat
And—Greg, I do think you have been patient, amazingly so and I have been grateful for that.  I know you will continue to be.  I am hoping this will not be a permanent thing because it looked like you left a way out.

[236] Posted by Pat Kashtock on 06-22-2007 at 06:54 PM • top

Moot writes:

So when you speak of what is bizarre and impotent “religion” as if people are going over to the DQ to get an ice cream cone, instead of something serious, your words cut me to the quick.

Okay, I apologize for making light of the good minister’s sincere and contrite co-converson to Islamo-Christianity.  We all move together in this world of darkness, brightened by the light of Christ (peace be upon him) to a brilliantly inclusive new age of…  [etc. etc. etc.]  Oh, for the love of—

Moot, do you realize that if I write “seriously” about such matters, I sound like Bishop Griswold?  Personally, I think I’d rather just go over to the DQ and get an ice cream cone.

Obviously if I shared your belief that this was a very serious moral evil, I would sound more seriously moral about how evil this person, who is of course neither me nor someone I am close to and therefore an easy target for criticism, is.  As it stands, I don’t think this is a very serious moral evil.  Truth is it’s hard enough some mornings to believe in God.  To believe in God and believe that S/He cares which holy book I carry as I whistle in the dark seems a little too ambitious.  I just try to love as best I can, be kind as best I can, and do what little I can to relieve human suffering.  If I ever stop sucking at all three, I’ll feel more comfortable caring whether some random out of state priest wants to call herself a Muslim.


Cheers,

TH

[237] Posted by Tom Head on 06-22-2007 at 06:56 PM • top

Pageantmaster: [*LOL*] Thank you, I needed that!:coolsmile:  I was beginning to take myself too seriously again ...  cool hmm

[238] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-22-2007 at 06:57 PM • top

And this is why we appreciate SF and all the “characters”!  Thanks, Sarah, Eclipse, Hosea and PM and the rest who use humor in these times.

We had fun going through the thread and guessing which reappraiser was whom by the first paragraph!  Ticked the “list” off on my fingers…and the usual accusations by the reappraisers.  And they all showed up!

Thanks again, SF, for helping to shine the light into the darkness - even when the sparklers are going.

Accountability and responsibiliity are evident in mature Christians.  The fact that this wasn’t dealt with, but rather publicized and held up in pride by the bishop, is a lack of both.  Trying to get it ignored/buried lacks both as well.

What I found sad about this priest and bishop was the reappraisers’ responses.  There was the sense of cheering it on in the name of “inclusion” until the orthodox said, “Now, just a miniute…”  Then the cry of “crisis”.  Any good Christian knows there is a crisis in faith in it.  Which is the point of the whole thing.  But if you can see, even as a reappraiser - although belatedly—that there is a crisis here, why is that?  What is the compass you are using NOW?  Where was it before?  What rules and when are they being applied?  THIS is our question of the new TEC.  What is your rulebook, since the Bible is “just a book of stories”.  When do you cry foul?  What’s the criteria of a foul?  So far, whenever we have posed this question the silence has been and continues to be overwhelming.

[239] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 06-22-2007 at 08:05 PM • top

Glad to make you laugh L2 excaim  excaim

You are the example of “inclusiveness!” My usual JAF camp is filled up for STM, so in prayer with what Jesus would have. In your own way, you also “shine the light into the darkness.”

I’m late for PA, do I want to drive (12 vs 5) to NC,
Hosea 6:6 (my name, but you life it).

[240] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-22-2007 at 08:39 PM • top

So - the group that Tao would like to see “go” would be the Reconstructionists, eh? 

So he says, but you know how that goes.  First you liquidate the rebels, then the Menscheviks, then the Zenovievites and the next thing you know Trotsky’s getting an ice pick in the medulla oblongata.

And Sarah - don’t worry, Tao likes you.  You’ll probably get off with weekly self-criticism sessions before the People’s Religious Collective members.

[241] Posted by Jeffersonian on 06-22-2007 at 09:25 PM • top

“It’s because our Worthy Opponents figured out long ago how to sneak the nose of the gay agenda’s camel under the tent of mainstream Episcopalianism”

Good grief, such “unworthy” lies for a selfstyled Christian to be “promoting” at this blog…please let us ALL see the documented “gay agenda” chapter and verse.

Thank you for not harming other Christians by NOT promoting crimes of hate with dangerous and evil falsehoods.

[242] Posted by Leonardo Ricardo on 06-22-2007 at 09:25 PM • top

Sounds like I owe the regulars a bit more explanation on TM…

Short version: I frankly believe that with his “rabid animal” remark over at Lavender Wolves, it’s a simple matter of his mouth writing checks his butt can’t cash. However, on the chance that he actually is a dangerous psychopath, I don’t want this site being held responsible for whatever lunacy he might choose to enage in, and I certainly don’t want the good folks here exposed to anything along the lines of extermination talk.

Furthermore: If Tom Head agrees with me, then I can sleep the sleep of the saved and thankful. Marty and Snarkster know what I mean. When TH agrees that a wacko revisionist needs to be banned… he needs to be banned.

Get some sleep, all…

[243] Posted by Greg Griffith on 06-22-2007 at 09:39 PM • top

Sounds like I owe the regulars a bit more explanation on TM…

You don’t owe us an explaination, Greg.  But thank you for explaining that all the same.  FWIW, I basically agree with how you handled the situation. 

I don’t think TM is a pychopath - just someone in a lot of pain, who can’t quite let it (whatever “it” might be) go. 

Ah .. there but for the Grace purchased by Christ, and the new identity that comes with it, go I.  And well, there in spite of the same, go I also.  I am most certainly a mess. 

Tao, if you’re reading this…

May the Lord bless you and keep you
May the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

[244] Posted by J Eppinga on 06-22-2007 at 10:05 PM • top

CarolynP,

essef = SF = Stand Firm?  Just wondering if this is a “Sinner” character

What, precisely, is a “Sinner” character?  I confess, I’ve never heard the phrase before.

If by “Sinner character,” you mean that I sin, well,  yes, I do,  in thought word and deed, by what I have done and by what I have left undone. Sometimes I do not love God with my whole heart. Sometimes, I do not love my neighbor as myself.

Is this what marks me as a “Sinner character?”  If so, are there any other “Sinner characters”  at StandFirm? Or are only outsiders considered “Sinner characters” here? 

If that is the case, how very unfortunate.

[245] Posted by essef on 06-23-2007 at 12:31 AM • top

Hey CarolynP, essef isn’t the Sinner guy.  The Sinner guy would have given himself away long ago by pronouncing total Jackbooted Victory on the part of Reasserters.  ; > )

Besides, Sinner now goes under a new name on occasion—Admiral of Morality.  ; > )

Essef’s just a person who’s irked that blogs are spreading the word about things the progressive Episcopalians had always hoped to keep under the radar.

And until Internet communication developed—they did!  ; > )

[246] Posted by Sarah on 06-23-2007 at 08:26 AM • top

I’m going to miss the Lavender Wolf in wolf’s clothing with his continual SMEARS and PALMING OFF OF CARDS!!!

[247] Posted by SpongJohn SquarePantheist on 06-23-2007 at 08:51 AM • top

Friends,

In classical Anglican language—I want to “institute a moratorium” on further comments about TM. 

It’s normal for people to talk about it for a few hours.  So all that has been said previously is understandable and acceptable.

But as he cannot respond here, out of courtesy and fair play we need to cease further comments on this thread.  It’s simply not sporting to continue.

Thank you for your cooperation in this.

PS: I am still out west traveling.  So . . . . as certain other SF bloggers are more trigger happy on the bannings, it seems, I won’t be able to check in.  But I am quite confident that other bloggers will be able to check in. 

Be warned.  The Commenatrix prowls about, seeking whom she might devour.

[248] Posted by Sarah on 06-23-2007 at 08:58 AM • top

Greg said:

Furthermore: If Tom Head agrees with me, then I can sleep the sleep of the saved and thankful. Marty and Snarkster know what I mean. When TH agrees that a wacko revisionist needs to be banned… he needs to be banned.

Well, without further comment on He Who Cannot Be Named, Greg is exactly right. Whenever Greg and Tom Head agree on anything, you can bet your sweet bippy that it is the right thing to do. BTW, Thanks be to God for the new and improved Tom Head version 2.0. Those of us who have been around since the wild and wooly early days of Stand Firm and remember the old Tom Head version 1.0 can really appreciate the new version. I actually find myself agreeing with Tom more than disagreeing now, at least on what he has been saying here lately.

BTW Tom 2.0, you never have told us where you disappeared to for the past couple of years. I suspect there might be an interesting story there. How about it?

the snarkster

[249] Posted by the snarkster on 06-23-2007 at 10:23 AM • top

Just when you thought the madness was over this was in today’s “Faith & Values” section of the Seattle Times:

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/reader_feedback/reader_feedback.php?id=171

[250] Posted by Harry Edmon on 06-23-2007 at 11:20 AM • top

Thank you for explaining, Greg.  I understand your reasoning.  Just still sad, though.

Peace,
Pat

[251] Posted by Pat Kashtock on 06-23-2007 at 11:27 AM • top

I just checked out the link provided by Harry Edmon above. It certainly doesn’t seem like she is the poor, confused waif that Jake & Co. seem to believe. She is quite certain in her heresy. If her bishop allows this to stand, he should immediately be brought up on charges for allowing and promoting heresy.

the snarkster

[252] Posted by the snarkster on 06-23-2007 at 11:34 AM • top

Don’t believe in heresy - should be confined to the past.

I thought she had some interesting things to say. I think there’s a lot to be gained from understanding different perspectives. The Quaker tradition has always been open to this, for example, and I can certainly recall knowing Buddhist and Catholic dual-member Quakers

It appears to me that she has adopted liberal/mystical versions of both Islam and Christianity - there are certainly Sufist versions of the former which are open to interfaith exploration.

I thought she gave a good account of herself.

[253] Posted by Merseymike on 06-23-2007 at 11:38 AM • top

Don’t believe in heresy

LOL Mike—isn’t that exactly what a heretic would say?

[254] Posted by st. anonymous on 06-23-2007 at 11:44 AM • top

I thought she gave a good account of herself.

And therein lies the problem.

[255] Posted by Greg Griffith on 06-23-2007 at 11:56 AM • top

I thought she gave a good account of herself.

I will agree there.  She proved she is not a Christian, and that her bishop is at best incompetent and at worst as big a heretic (why are you afraid of a word that describes you so well) as she is.

[256] Posted by Harry Edmon on 06-23-2007 at 11:56 AM • top

Don’t believe in heresy - should be confined to the past.

If heresy is an outdated concept wouldn’t othodoxy be as well?

[257] Posted by Piedmont on 06-23-2007 at 12:04 PM • top

I do not think one can be a priest in a Christian denomination and a Muslim…not really. How is she able to in good concience say the Creed “God from God…light from light…true God from true God, begotten not made…”. Much less teach it…!

Given the place of women in Islam it also seems like intellectual dishonesty for her to put on a head covering and go pray at the mosque and then take it off on Sundays and be the chief celebrant at a religious ceremony.

A person can adop a syncretistic/liberal/mystical approach to multiple religions…it is not uncommon to see this in certain circles. But to continue to be a Christian minister while a Muslim or a Wiccan or a Hindu does defy logic.

blessings
seraph

[258] Posted by seraph on 06-23-2007 at 12:08 PM • top

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

On the other hand:

“Jesus is not the only way to God . . .”

Rev. Ann Holmes

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/reader_feedback/reader_feedback.php?id=171
http://tinyurl.com/36ss36

[259] Posted by Fred Goodwin on 06-23-2007 at 12:14 PM • top

Thanks for the kind words, folks.  Apologies for the delay—Firefox didn’t want to render the text field correctly after a certain number of replies, so I had to load it up in Safari…  raspberry

Snarkster, the past few years have been very interesting.  I don’t want to disrupt the thread too much by going into detail, but I came to the conclusion that the progressive movement in the Episcopal Church is more about getting rid of people than including people, and coming to that realization soured me on the whole idea of “winning.”  The Episcopal Church is not racially or socioeconomically diverse, and it took me a while to realize that the way this has been handled by the folks up north seems geared towards getting rid of ideological diversity, too, and enforcing a rigid hierarchical litmus test against y’all.  I won’t be party to that.  I would rather go to a church I disagree with where everyone is welcome tha a church I basically agree with where so many people are treated like adversaries.

As far as the good Rev. is concerned, I am baffled after reading the interview:

(1) She states that there should be no compulsory (non-sectarian) world religion courses under a dubiously literalistic interpretation of Surah al-Baqara ayat 256, but if she were equally literalistic in her intepretation of other verses, or of the Bible, then she would obviously not be able to do what she is doing.  It is one thing to be both a liberal Episcopalian and a liberal Muslim, quite another to be a liberal Episcopalian and a selectively conservative Muslim.  Does she keep halaal (Islamic kosher)?  If so, how does she reconcile this with the way kosher law is treated in the Book of Acts?  Does she use halaal bread and wine for the Eucharist?  And if she doesn’t keep halaal, why is this literalistic interpretation of 2.256 so important that she would use what is in effect a Religious Right argument against non-sectarian world religions classes? 

(2) I do not understand why, if she feels the way she does, she is leading a congregation under the authority of a Christian bishop, named after a Christian saint, with Christian prayers, hymns, and scripture readings.  If she wants to run a syncretic Christian-Muslim congregation that takes both religions seriously (and I think that would be a fascinating religious movement with huge potential—kind of an Islamic version of Messianic Judaism, potentially a huge opportunity to make peace in the post-9/11 world), then it seems more respectful to Islam to do so in a context where readings from the Quran, and Islamic traditions, are given equal weight and where Muslims would feel more comfortable.  Why preach Christian Islam to Christians exclusively?  Why not run a congregation that is equal part Christian and Muslim?  It seems to me that would be a much more meaningful thing to do, if she really does believe that Christianity and Islam are compatible.


Cheers,

TH

[260] Posted by Tom Head on 06-23-2007 at 12:24 PM • top

Quotes from The Rev. Ann Holmes, from Harry Edmon’s link:

How I believe in God is to me less important than that I believe in God and that my purpose, as I understand it, is to love God and do God’s will as best I can, as limited as my understanding of God is. I believe God will judge me and hold me responsible for my intentions and my actions because they are the best measure and confirmation of my beliefs. 

I do not have to qualify to be a Christian; it is a matter of the invitation and grace of God.

First of all, there is only One God; calling God Allah does not change that reality for me. Also, belief in that One God doesn’t mean that I can’t recognize Jesus as being unique in his relationship to that One God. (Please see answer above to Matt.) Neither Judaism nor Christianity closes off God’s power to reveal continually divine reality through prophetic witness in our lives and throughout time. 

I wish that we Christians would borrow something I’ve learned from Judaism, that arguments about God not only do not threaten God but also can set our hearts on fire with the love of God.

Whew. 

Tar and feathers, anyone?

[261] Posted by essef on 06-23-2007 at 02:06 PM • top

the snarkster wrote: “If her bishop allows this to stand, he should immediately be brought up on charges for allowing and promoting heresy.”

All it takes to charge the bishop with a violation of his ordination vows is “ten or more Priests, Deacons, or adult communicants of this Church in good standing, of whom at least two shall be Priests. One Priest and not less than six Lay Persons shall be of the Diocese of which the Respondent is canonically resident.”

[262] Posted by allergic_to_fudge on 06-23-2007 at 02:18 PM • top

A very prominant Catholic lay person brought this article up to me this week, so it is getting circulation!

[263] Posted by Going Home on 06-23-2007 at 03:37 PM • top

SpongJohn SquarePantheist

Member of the Month, IMHO

[264] Posted by Jeffersonian on 06-23-2007 at 04:44 PM • top

Irrespective of whether (choose any one, or more, of the following, as you deem appropriate):

(a) Rev. Redding is going through a personal and spiritual crisis of confusion;

(b) +Warner’s verbal reaction is not a quote in the Seattle Times article, and may therefore have been misreported;

(c) (P)riests have personal issues and we should have compassion for them.  They should be able to work out their issues in private;

(d) The offering (by any party or person, representing whichever faction, side or position on the questions raised by Rev. Redding’s words or reported actions) of any form of apologia for her words, behavior, or both;

the fact remains that the original article asserting her beliefs and practice were published in the official publication of the Diocese of Olympia with no commentary to indicate, in any manner, that her beliefs or opinions were, at the very least, in no wise controversial nor exceptionable. This is, in the original meaning of the word,  an unarguable scandal, i.e., a stumbling block.

Blessings and regards,
Martial Artist

[265] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 06-23-2007 at 10:09 PM • top

Just to lay the propaganda issue to rest, there has been nothing I have read, whether in the article in the diocesan newspaper (a written interview with the Rev. Redding, herself) or on the front page of last Sunday’s Seattle Times, that was biased, or misleading, or that is contrary to what I know about the situation from personal contacts within the diocese of which I am a member. Quite frankly, I find the constant repetition by certain posters of accusations of what amounts to intellectual dishonesty by those with whom they disagree to be rude, discivil, illiberal (which is truly ironic, considering their source) and tiresome, not to mention unChristian. I must confess that I would not be the least disappointed by the departure from the ranks of posters to this blog of those who are continual (would it be uncharitable for me to characterize them as repeat?) offenders on those counts.

Blessings and regards,
Martial Artist

[266] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 06-23-2007 at 10:37 PM • top

essef, regarding your tar & feathers remark, I realize it was a figure of speech, a type of rhetorical hyperbole, but I request you refrain from making any comments that intimate physical violence.
I am certain that Jesus would not have used tar and feathers.

[267] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 06-24-2007 at 08:04 AM • top

BTW, essef, ‘Sinner’ is the cyberspace name of a SF commenter.

[268] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 06-24-2007 at 08:07 AM • top

St. Anon.,

LOL Mike—isn’t that exactly what a heretic would say?

Actually St. Anon., Merseymike does believe in heresy, as he:
a)  believes in such a thing as truth-value;
b)  believes that people who are in serious violation of truth, deserve to have an uncomfortable punishment. 

This is based on evidence, aka observable behavior.  That said, I would not be suprised if he came back and denied that he believes in the concept of heresy. 

It sort of depends on which day of the year it is.

[269] Posted by J Eppinga on 06-24-2007 at 08:27 AM • top

Moot, you need to get yourself a sense of humour, or understand the satirical British one - which means we might make jokes about nasty people frying in hell even if we don’t actually believe in it….

Just for the record…
I don’t believe in hell
thus, I don’t think that anyone is currently sizzling in it.

This literalism really is most amusing….

[270] Posted by Merseymike on 06-24-2007 at 10:17 AM • top

If there’s no hell, then it’s all good, then, right?  Sweet.

[271] Posted by Reason and Revelation on 06-24-2007 at 12:02 PM • top

Put it like this, I see no reason to be frightened into believing one needs to exist….

[272] Posted by Merseymike on 06-24-2007 at 12:55 PM • top

Merseymike :

That really is poor reasoning.  A friend of mine put it this way - you cannot appreciate, comprehend or even understand light if you have no darkness.  You cannot understand good if there is no evil - and, therefore, there cannot be a ‘heaven’ if there is no ‘hell’.  Our lives are in opposing extremes for a purpose - have been since the advent of the Tree of ‘good/evil’ OR ‘knowledge’ - which is something to think of when pondering how one relates to the other.

Therefore, you can choose to believe there is a sunrise and will never be a sunset - however, just like Linus, believing in the ‘Great Pumpkin’ as sincerely as you want too does NOT make it so.

[273] Posted by Eclipse on 06-24-2007 at 06:23 PM • top

essef, regarding your tar & feathers remark, I realize it was a figure of speech, a type of rhetorical hyperbole, but I request you refrain from making any comments that intimate physical violence.

Taken literally, it does sound a bit physically violent, I agree, even if our forebears in faith did in fact treat those suspected of heresy with far greater physical violence, i.e., burning them alive at the stake.  One wonders how such righteously orthodox Christians could have thought the Lord would condone the mistreatment of their fellow human beings.  But we’re so much more civilized now, and there are many ways to discomfit those we consider heretics without resorting to the physical. 

I am certain that Jesus would not have used tar and feathers.

Yes, how did Jesus deal with heretics?  He was deeply concerned with heresy, wasn’t he?

[274] Posted by essef on 06-24-2007 at 06:43 PM • top

No, Eclipse, that’s binary thinking - not everything is that symmetrical.

[275] Posted by Merseymike on 06-24-2007 at 06:48 PM • top

God have mercy! This is a sad situation for this woman, and for the church. There are no Christians who truly understand and believe the gospel, and who understand the teaching of Islam who would hold to this position.

To Muslims, it is blasphemous to suppose that Jesus even died for us on the cross at all.

I think though, this is all a natural, and logical progression coming from the erroneous paradigm that all the religious faiths are equally true and valid paths leading to the divine. If this is the case, and there is no objective truth out there apart from culture, well then why not practice Christianity and Islam at the sametime, or Druidry as well for that matter.

We need to be loving and praying for this poor woman, and for all those in the church ensnared by heresy and spiritual deception.

[276] Posted by Grace17033 on 06-24-2007 at 07:15 PM • top

Best thing you have ever written, Greg. Well done.
Sarah, I forwarded your very complete email to many others, so the news is travelling, despite those who would sweep it under the carpet.
Not too unpredictable that this would happen (and be supported) in “the church of absolutely anything goes” called TEC.

[277] Posted by BettyLee Payne on 06-24-2007 at 07:27 PM • top

or understand the satirical British one

I’m of Frisian descent, so I ‘get’ humor that’s dryer than toast.  wink

What’s really funny though, is if I walked into a funeral home, and did your ‘sizzle-sizzle’ routine, I would not at all be suprised if a few guys invited me out in the parking lot for a discussion over funeral etiquette. 

You, an Englishman with supposedly stellar manners and wit, were foolish enough to make the comment in a similar situation. 

The difference is that we’re Christians, and you absolutely despise anything that has to do with real Christianity.  The difference is that you absolutely couldn’t resist making the foolish statement. 

But I do find humor, MM, in the particular nature of your foolishness.  Really, I do. 

(Oh come on now, MM - Get a sense of humor!).  wink

[278] Posted by J Eppinga on 06-24-2007 at 07:32 PM • top

It probably wasn’t in the best of taste, ‘tis true…but lets drop the ‘he believes in these things really or he wouldn’t tell jokes about them’ routine, eh?

Despise? Not sure. Dislike and disagree with, certainly, if by ‘real’ Christianity you mean conservative evangelicalism.

And if that also means feigning sadness or sorrow for the death of someone who I think was dangerous and harmful in their effect, then I’m not that much of a hypocrite. I didn’t know the man, but I did know what he stood for and the effect he had, and I disliked and disagreed with it. Actually, that’s an understatement. But I suppose you find that hard to understand given that our views and beliefs are just about opposite.

See, you are all having kittens on this thread over someone with somewhat unusual views which will do no-one any harm at all - just strange opinions.

[279] Posted by Merseymike on 06-24-2007 at 07:52 PM • top

Merseymike:

No, that is intelligent, thoughtful thinking - for those who can see beyond just what ‘is’.  I have always thought she showed great wisdom with that idea - and I agree with her analysis - she was talking about, actually, that we could not define something a ‘beautiful’ unless we had something ‘not beautiful’ of which to compare with it.

Of course, LOL! These standards - beauty, truth, light, goodness - are only for those who have standards - when you don’t have any, how much you miss out on - Poor Mike.

[280] Posted by Eclipse on 06-24-2007 at 08:03 PM • top

Finally, please check in on this thread and let us know what you’ve done. There is a reason Jim Naughton wants to “ignore this story until it slips back beneath the radar”... and we need to do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen for a long, long time.

FWIW: I’ve posted it on the Motley Fool discussion board, as have several others who are Christians, but not Anglican. This story has more traction than you imagine in the OP.

[281] Posted by Siangombe on 06-24-2007 at 08:09 PM • top

One of our Asst. Rectors brought this up during the sermon - the room reacted with gasps and groans. He expounded on the issues of the priest and bishop denying several essential doctrines for a few minutes. The congregation responded with applause at the end of the subject.

[282] Posted by texex on 06-24-2007 at 10:14 PM • top

It probably wasn’t in the best of taste, ‘tis true…but lets drop the ‘he believes in these things really or he wouldn’t tell jokes about them’ routine, eh?

(Chuckle)  For an achedemic type, you’ve got an exceedingly poor attention span.  smile

Re - ‘bad taste’ .. It exceeded bad taste.  It was in fact, bad judgement.  That kind of bad judgement can only be accounted for by hatred.

Hatred for us?  Well, what have we done to you?  Besides, you’re constantly telling us how we’re a hopeless fad.  Why stick the dagger in folks who you believe are anachronisms? 

No Mersey, it’s hatred for a Being you claim not to believe in.  It’s hatred for the God described in the Nicene Creed.  And your hatred, and all of its manifestations, prove the existence of that God quite eloquently. 

Shout it louder!  Shout it longer!  Shout it from a mountaintop!  Shout it until you are rasping! 

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.  smile

[283] Posted by J Eppinga on 06-24-2007 at 11:42 PM • top

Errr…no.

[284] Posted by Merseymike on 06-25-2007 at 05:12 AM • top

Once again, I’m undone by a logical, exhaustive, point-by-point refutation. 

Oh wait.. you didn’t trouble yourself with a refutation because I was rude, correct?  Compared with your “not in the best of taste,” remark that is inappropriate to say to grieving people? 

Or .. perhaps it’s because you find my apologetic banal?  - an apologetic that measures your behavior against the merits of a non-Christian worldview.  Hmm… well, maybe then you need to modify your behavior such that you express your hatred for the Almighty more creatively.  Then, perhaps my apologetic might not seem so banal.  To you, that is.  wink

[285] Posted by J Eppinga on 06-25-2007 at 11:09 AM • top

Its simply silly, Moot. I don’t ‘hate’ anyone, least of all a ‘divine being’ who I don’t have the same belief in or understanding of as yourself. What I do dislike are some of the ideas of your religion, and if necessary, shall continue to say so - even if it does result in your rather excessive over-reactions at regular intervals.

[286] Posted by Merseymike on 06-25-2007 at 01:37 PM • top

I don’t ‘hate’ anyone, least of all a ‘divine being’

‘been through that one.  But for your benefit, I’ll repeat it:  The only reasonable explaination for funeral-“humor” incident is hatred.  I know of no one who would be as inconsiderate, on the event of someone’s death. 

But I do agree that you don’t hate us.  You are right about that. 

who I don’t have the same belief in or understanding of as yourself.

Let’s see if I’m understanding your correctly, MM:
You’re claiming not to believe in the God described in the Nicene Creed?  You’ve only claimed that about 8 billion times, and now you’re claiming it once more, just to see if I’ve got it straight?

I understand quite clearly that you claim that, MM.  Just as I understand the claim of someone who is constantly soused, as not having a problem with alcohol.  My claim is that that your claim is denial of something that’s quite obvious to me, and most other posters on this forum. 

Must I say that, 8 billion and one times as well, so that you understand? 

What I do dislike are some of the ideas of your religion, and if necessary, shall continue to say so

Go for it.

- even if it does result in your rather excessive over-reactions at regular intervals.

Right.  And you’re qualified to say this, because you are a level headed guy, who never over-reacts. 

What an astounding comment.  I’m actually almost insulted by it. 

Almost.  wink

[287] Posted by J Eppinga on 06-25-2007 at 04:23 PM • top

On the subject of overreaction - If I’m not mistaken, the Commenatrix almost revoked your priveledges over those comments.  And at least two other of the site admins have tightened up on your leash since then. 

Several people were angry about it, and said so. 

In the interest of fairness, perhaps you should tell all of them, that they overreacted?  smile

Again, I’m not angry about the incident in the least.  It’s in your nature - you are bound to behave that way.  Just as it is in my nature (though I am not bound) to point out the inconsistencies between what you say and what you do. 

Moreover as I noted a day after it happened, it was a high honor for Mr. Falwell.  smile

If you think I’m angry about those comments, you are mistaken.  I was angry, but not about the comments themselves.

[288] Posted by J Eppinga on 06-25-2007 at 04:46 PM • top

So why harp on about the topic weeks later? You’re virtually the only person who doesn’t seem able to have a civil conversation with me despite our disagreements.

Lets move on, please.

[289] Posted by Merseymike on 06-25-2007 at 05:15 PM • top

Ahhhhhhmmm,

So why harp on about the topic weeks later? You’re virtually the only person who doesn’t seem able to have a civil conversation with me despite our disagreements.

Because:
a)  The comment was made as part of a logical argument.  An apologetic argument and;
b)  Your constant self-righteous claims (real or humorous?  doesn’t really matter) are hypocritical in light of YOUR over-the-top rude behavior and;
c)  You insist that I over-react, in spite of the fact that I remained calm during your tirade, while others were expressing outrage, and;
d)  Your adolescent approach to conversation requires that I repeat myself again and again and again ad nuaseum.

Lets move on, please.

Yes, let’s.  But… You first.

[290] Posted by J Eppinga on 06-25-2007 at 05:51 PM • top

Greg:

Does this mean we can’t do “Ode to Tao” - sigh - I had mine all written too.

[291] Posted by Eclipse on 06-25-2007 at 06:14 PM • top

Despite the desire of 815, this story is getting quite a bit of play.  See this link to the nationally syndicated Breakpoint radio program: http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=6671.  The following quote is particularly telling:

“Writing at the website Get Religion, Mollie Hemmingway says that Redding’s story illustrates that the split in the Episcopal Church isn’t about homosexuality, as the media says. The former Episcopal parishes aligning themselves with African bishops aren’t leaving a denomination with gay clergy; they are leaving a denomination with non-Christian clergy.

Redding is simply an extreme example in the Episcopal Church. But sadly she represents the widespread, politically correct belief that all religions lead to the same place—a message which is not only dead wrong as a matter of logic, but one which denies Christ. In short, it is the ultimate heresy.”

May God help you in continuing to stand firm and speak the truth to power.

[292] Posted by ABQ Methodist on 06-26-2007 at 09:45 AM • top

Thanks, ABQ Methodist, for this update—I hadn’t realized that it has gotten the Breakpoint notice.

[293] Posted by Sarah on 06-26-2007 at 09:47 AM • top

Does this mean we can’t do “Ode to Tao” - sigh - I had mine all written too.

Don’t worry, Eclipse, it couldn’t possibly be any more fawning than the ones he’s written to himself at the ‘Wolves’ forum.  Man, talk about a place where fair is foul and foul is fair…

[294] Posted by Jeffersonian on 06-26-2007 at 02:06 PM • top

Jeffersonian :

I agree - took a brief look at the whining going on there and once again, I confess, I find it SO intriguing that someone so anti-Anglican would be so upset about being kicked off an Anglican site.  Interesting - interesting…  I still hold with the theory that hanging out with the Dufflepods has some definite drawbacks.

Anyway, I was just being obnoxious - as usual -

Looks as if poor Jim didn’t get his wish… I am so sad.

[295] Posted by Eclipse on 06-26-2007 at 02:33 PM • top

And I was inhibited for abandoning communion for holding to the archaic and outdated content of the faith once delivered, the Apostles’ teaching, by the very same Tolerance Police of the “Ministry of Truth.”  And you want this swept under the carpet of “media hype?”  You have got to be kidding.  Conservatives are being selectively persecuted in a “witch hunt,” while literal witchcraft, paganism, unitarianism, pluralism, syncretism, and now freakin’ Islam are tolerated as “exciting.”  Can I get a witness that the emporess of TEC has no clothes (and no religious identity under her imaginary vestments either)?

[296] Posted by Christoferos on 06-26-2007 at 10:44 PM • top

Just couldn’t help but post my father’s response to this, as he lives up that way in the Diocese of Olympia:

“Awful - looks like she needs help - a good Muslim husband would probably straighten her out.”

I am a proud son.

[297] Posted by Christoferos on 06-26-2007 at 11:08 PM • top

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