Palmetto Anglican
Monday, June 30, 2003
Further Moral Decline

This is just plain sick. The baby's bad, but the eggs are good?
Forward in Faith

Forward in Faith-North America recently held their annual National Assembly at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, Pennsylvania. They made it clear that the election of Canon Vicky Gene Robinson is an"erosion of the faith and order of Christianity." They also outlined their plans for the future.
Interesting Quote on Worship

"To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God,
to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the
beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to surrender the
will to the purpose of God." -- The Most Rev. William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury

Feast of St. Peter, Apostle (Transfered from 29 June)

O ALMIGHTY God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst give to thy Apostle Saint Peter many excellent gifts, and commandedst him earnestly to feed thy flock; Make, we beseech thee, all Bishops and Pastors diligently to preach thy holy Word, and the people obediently to follow the same, that they may receive the crown of everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sunday, June 29, 2003
Random Thoughts from a Friend on Strom Thurmond's Passing and the Suprime Court Sodomy Ruling

My friend Gene Hogan sent out the following e-mail, which I found very perceptive, shortly after Strom Thurmond passed away:

Well, he's gone. Strom Thurmond, the oldest and longest serving U. S. Senator ever, has passed away at 100.

It strikes me as interesting that after 100 years, "Ol' Strom" left this world on the day that the U. S. Supreme Court struck down state bans on sodomy. How did I put those two events together? Stay with me.

Strom Thurmond is remembered for, among other things, running for President in 1948 as a States' Rights, or "Dixiecrat" candidate. He believed that the Federal government should not force integration on the states. His later actions proved he was motivated by Constitutional integrity, not racism.

Whatever you think of those days and the prominent players, you can't ignore the 10th Amendment and the states rights to make their own laws. Now, the Supreme Court has struck down the ability of several states (including SC) to set a basic standard of morality.

The case centered on a Texas law, but SC and some other Southern states are affected, as well. No doubt we'll have to hear the elitist pseudo-intellectuals rail on us for being backward and bigoted.

The worst part, however, is the making of state legislation null and void. We're entering a provincial government era.

If we remember one thing about Strom, let's recall his sense of balance. He loved his country and fought bravely, participating in the Normandy Invasion at age 42. Then, just four years later, he took the stand he did, believing that the government was out of control.

Today, we are experiencing a rush of patriotism. We are proud that we've dismantled two totalitarian regimes, while administering humanitarian assistance to the victims of those regimes. We love our country, but we fear for it, because of black-robed tyrants that are determined to starve us of the benefits of the Constitution.

The events of this day give us much to consider. God bless the memory of Strom Thurmond. God help us.
The Second Sunday after Trinity

O LORD, who never failest to help and govern those whom thou dost bring up in thy stedfast fear and love; Keep us, we beseech thee, under the protection of thy good providence, and make us to have a perpetual fear and love of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, June 28, 2003
The African Lion Roars in the Western Church

Christian History magazine has a great article online about the establishment of churches in Sub-Saharan Africa that explains some of their background as a force for the faith in the Anglican Communion.

God bless those faithful brethren!
Friday, June 27, 2003
James Strom Thurmond, R.I.P

It was certainly something that we knew would happen, but for South Carolinians the passing of former Senator Strom Thurmond is a bit of a shock. Most of us simply have no memory of a South Carolina without Strom Thurmond. My prayers are mingled with those of multitudes of other South Carolinians as we thank God for his life and pray for his family.
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
The Vast Conspiracy

Several years ago then-First Lady Hillary Clinton complained that a "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" was out to get her husband. Perhaps taking a cue from her, Bishop Ronald Haines, retired bishop of the Diocese of Washington (DC) complained some time ago that there is a Vast International Orthodox Conspiracy in the Anglican Communion. At the time there wasn't, but, inspired by him, there now is; it even has a website!
Nativity of St. John the Baptist

ALMIGHTY God, by whose providence thy servant John Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of thy Son our Saviour by preaching repentance; Make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and after his example constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth's sake; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Monday, June 23, 2003
Stott on the Definition of a Christian

This was very true and very convicting!



June 23, 2003
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Chosen and Called

419. What is a Christian?
The New Testament definition of a Christian is a person 'in
Christ'. It is necessary to insist, therefore, that
according to Jesus and his apostles to be a Christian is
not just to have been baptized, to belong to the church, to
receive holy communion, to believe in the doctrines of the
creed or to try to follow the standards of the Sermon on
the Mount. Baptism and holy communion, church membership,
creed and conduct are all part and parcel of living as a
Christian, but they can form and sometimes have formed an
empty casket from which the jewel has disappeared. The
jewel is Jesus Christ himself. To be a Christian is
primarily to live in union with Jesus Christ, as a result
of which baptism, belief and behaviour slot naturally into

--From "Life in Christ" (Eastbourne: Kingsway; Wheaton:
Tyndale House, 1991), p. 37.

--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 191, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Sunday, June 22, 2003
The First Sunday after Trinity

O GOD, the strength of all those who put their trust in thee; Mercifully accept our prayers; and because, through the weakness of our mortal nature, we can do no good thing without thee, grant us the help of thy grace, that in keeping thy commandments we may please thee, both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Saturday, June 21, 2003
Great Family Gathering, Sad News

On Wednesday of this week, Angela and I attended a family gathering at Litchfield Plantation in Pawley's Island, South Carolina. It was great to spend time with family -- that seems to happen far too infrequently these days and most often in the context of a funeral. The happiness was dampened when I learned from a great-aunt of mine that Joseph Ernest Harper had passed away several weeks prior to that. I served as Student Supply Pastor at Waccamaw Presbyterian Church in Bucksport, South Carolina, for two and a half years while in seminary and Ernest, a Ruling Elder there, was a bullwark that gave tirelessly of himself to his family, church, and community. In God's kind Providence, I had been in the area ten days before his passing and was able to visit with him and his wife; I had no idea that it would be the last time that I would see him in this life.

The suddeness of his passing points to the transitory nature of human life. I thank God for the opportunity to have known that Christian gentleman and, while mourning his loss, rejoice in his promotion to the Church Triumphant. "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21 NKJV)
Monday, June 16, 2003
More Stott and Grace and Law



June 16, 2003
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Law and Judgment (cont'd.)

412. Law and gospel
After God gave the promise to Abraham, he gave the law to
Moses. Why? Simply because he had to make things worse
before he could make them better. The law exposed sin,
provoked sin, condemned sin. The purpose of the law was,
as it were, to lift the lid off man's respectability and
disclose what he is really like underneath -- sinful,
rebellious, guilty, under the judgment of God, and helpless
to save himself.
And the law must still be allowed to do its God-given
duty today. One of the great faults of the contemporary
church is the tendency to soft-pedal sin and judgment.
Like false prophets we 'heal the wound of God's people
lightly' (Je. 6:14; 8:11). This is how Dietrich Bonhoeffer
put it: 'It is only when one submits to the law that one
can speak of grace ... I don't think it is Christian to
want to get to the New Testament too soon and too
directly.'(1) We must never bypass the law and come
straight to the gospel. To do so it to contradict the plan
of God in biblical history.
Is this not why the gospel is unappreciated today? Some
ignore it, others ridicule it. So in our modern evangelism
we cast our pearls (the costliest pearl being the gospel)
before swine. People cannot see the beauty of the pearl,
because they have no conception of the filth of the pigsty.
No man has ever appreciated the gospel until the law has
first revealed him to himself. It is only against the inky
blackness of the night sky that the stars begin to appear,
and it is only against the dark background of sin that the
gospel shines forth.
Not until the law has bruised and smitten us will we
admit our need of the gospel to bind up our wounds. Not
until the law has arrested and imprisoned us will we pine
for Christ to set us free. Not until the law has condemned
and killed us will we call upon Christ for justification
and life. Not until the law has driven us to despair of
ourselves will we ever believe in Jesus. Not until the law
has humbled us even to hell will we turn to the gospel to
raise us to heaven.

(1) Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "Letters and Papers from Prison"
(Fontana, 1959), p. 50.

--From "The Message of Galatians" (The Bible Speaks Today
series: London and Downers Grove: IVP, 1968), p. 93.

--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", pp. 184-185, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Animal Rights and Religious Liberty

This was an interesting and rather disturbing story. One wonders how long it will be before PETA tries this in the U.S.
Sunday, June 15, 2003
Trip to the Midlands

Since Angela was working today and I wasn't committed to preach, I drove up to First Presbyterian Church (ARP) in Columbia, South Carolina where my former seminary professor the Rev. R.J. Gore, Jr., Ph.D. was delivering the first of three lectures as part of the James Henley Thornwell Memorial Series at First Church. Since I hadn't seen R.J. in person in about four years, it was great to fellowship over lunch and catch up. I even got him to sign his new book for me! Good friends and mentors are a great gift from God and it had been far too long since we'd visited!
Stott on Grace and Law



June 15, 2003
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Law and Judgment

411. The purpose of law
The Sermon on the Mount as a kind of 'new law', like the
old law, has two divine purposes ... First, it shows the
non-Christian that he cannot please God by himself (because
he cannot obey the law) and so directs him to Christ to be
justified. Secondly, it shows the Christian who has been
to Christ for justification how to live so as to please
God. More simply, as both the Reformers and the Puritans
used to summarize it, the law sends us to Christ to be
justified, and Christ sends us back to the law to be

--From "The Message of the Sermon on the Mount" (The Bible
Speaks Today series: Leicester and Downers Grove: IVP,
1978), p. 36.

Trinity Sunday

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hast given unto us thy servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity; We beseech thee that thou wouldest keep us stedfast in this faith, and evermore defend us from all adversities, who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003
Feast of St. Barnabas, Apostle

The Collect.

O LORD God Almighty, who didst endue thy holy Apostle Barnabas with singular gifts of the Holy Ghost; Leave us not, we beseech thee, destitute of thy manifold gifts, nor yet of grace to use them alway to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Presbyterian Friends

The Presbyterian Church in America and the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church are both meeting in the Carolinas this week. The ARPs, among whom I was formerly counted, are meeting in Due West, South Carolina at Erskine College and Seminary and have a number of speakers and events lined up. The PCA is meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina.
And this from UPI

I'm not sure of the affiliation of Uwe Siemon-Netto, Religion Editor of United Press International, but I thought this was a good column.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003
More Reaction to New Hampshire

A number of faithful Anglican bishops (and others) have released statements about the New Hampshire Election. Among them:

The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr., XIII Bishop of South Carolina and the Rt. Rev. William J. Skilton, Bishop Suffragan of South Carolina

The Rt. Rev. Robert William Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Icker, SSC, D.D., Bishop of Fort Worth

The Rev. Canon Dr. Bill Atwood, General Secretary of EKKLESIA

The Very Rev. Peter C. Moore, D.Min., Dean of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry

The Rev. Todd H. Wetzel, Executive Direrctor of Episcopalians United

These brethren, and the rest of the faithful in ECUSA, need our prayers at this time.

Sunday, June 08, 2003
Pentecost, Commonly called Whitsunday

The Collect.

O GOD, who as at this time didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people, by sending* to them the light of thy Holy Spirit; Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

AAC Responds to the Election of the Episcopal Church's First Openly Homosexual Bishop


AAC Responds to the Election of the Episcopal Church's First Openly Homosexual Bishop
Source: AAC News
June 7, 2003


CONTACT: Bruce Mason
202-296-5360 202-296-5361 (fax)

The American Anglican Council (AAC) is deeply saddened by the election today of the Rev. Gene Robinson, an openly homosexual man, as bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire. While the outcome of the election is not surprising to us, today is yet another unfortunate day for the Episcopal Church. The election of Canon Robinson, who left his wife and children to pursue a homosexual relationship, is a clear illustration of the deep dysfunction in our "anything goes" Episcopal Church, and is a witness that is not consistent with the global Anglican Christian Church. It shows us again just how far much of the Episcopal Church has moved out of the thriving mainstream of worldwide Anglicanism. Now it is up to this summer's General Convention of the Episcopal Church to decide whether or not to endorse this election. We would strongly urge Convention to act in accordance with scripture, tradition, reason and the mind of the Anglican Communion and withhold consent.
The American Anglican Council is a network of individuals, parishes, specialized ministries and Episcopal Bishops who affirm Biblical authority and Anglican orthodoxy within the Episcopal Church. We are committed to proclaiming the Good News to every person and to working to reform and renew our Church. For more information on the AAC, please visit

Saturday, June 07, 2003
News from New Hampshire

The Diocese of New Hampshire of the Episcopal Church has elected the Rev. Canon V. Gene Robinson as their next Bishop. Canon Robinson, who left his wife and daughters for a man (the late Bishop James Pike, who left his wife and children for another woman, looks rather quaint and old-fashioned by comparison), is the first openly homosexual man elected to the episcopate in the Anglican Communion.

Although I am in a body that departed the Episcopal Church some 130 years ago, I readilly acknowledge that there are still a number of faithful Christians there. The Diocese of South Carolina, for instance, is led by two very godly bishops and I have a number of friends in other parts of ECUSA as well. I wonder, though, how long they can stay there if strange goings on like this are allowed to go unchecked. ECUSA will be having their General Convention this Summer and I pray that Canon Robinson's election will not be approved. Either way, it should be an interesting get togther!

For the straight scoop on this and other Anglican/Episcopal news, check out David Virtue's Virtuosity Digest.

I was up in Kingstree, South Carolina, for the Third Quarterly Convocation for the Tri-County area of the Diocese of the Southeast of the Reformed Episcopal Church, held at the Reformed Episcopal Chapel of the Cross -- a mission in Kingstree. It was a good time of fellowship and, happily, the business portion was brief.
Wednesday, June 04, 2003
Time Flies

The summer that I was finishing up seminary I worked as the full-time, residential Chaplain at Camp Ho Non Wah, a Boy Scout Camp located on Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina. It was an interesting and enjoyable summer. I have been asked to serve in that capacity again (very part-time, non-residential) and tonight I was out there. It was amazing (and a bit frightning) to see how fast some of those kids had grown up!
I continue to work my way through An Exposition of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion: Historical and Doctrinal by the late Rt. Rev. Edward Harold Browne (New York: H.B. Durand, 1865, reprint Houston: Classical Anglican Press, 1998). It's not light reading, owing in part to Browne keeping me constantly referring to Scripture, but it's good stuff! His discussion of Article XVI Of Sin After Baptism has been especially interesting in light some of the criticisms leveled at Norman Shepherd. Given that Bishop Browne's ministry was a good century before Dr. Shepherd's, and makes copious references to the Church Fathers, Dr. Shepherd's view seems considerably less novel than some would suggest. Browne's Exposition can be obtained from the Reformed Episcopal Publication Society.
Monday, June 02, 2003
The capture of Eric Rudolph is an interesting story. That a rookie police officer was the one to make the arrest was rather ironic. Of course, when you begin your career by singlehandedly capturing one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted, where do you go from there? Like many, I could not help but noticing that Rudolph looked pretty well-groomed and well-fed for a guy who's been in hiding for five years!
It was actually a pretty good and productive day for a Monday. I got some materials related to my (D.V.) forthcoming ordination to the Presbyterate. Angela and I had a good bike ride -- very good to get some exercise!

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