Palmetto Anglican
Saturday, January 31, 2004
 
NEW UGANDA PRIMATE LAYS OUT MISSION AND CHALLENGES

CHARGE by the Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi 7th Archbishop of The Church of the Province of Uganda

Sunday, January 25, 2004

St. Paul's Cathedral, Namirembe

Greetings of Dignitaries

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, all God's people here present, ladies and gentlemen:

This day is of special significance to the Church of Uganda Christians as well as people of Uganda. The significance extends to the worldwide body of the Church. Today the 7th Archbishop of this Church is installed. It seems like yesterday when the outgoing Archbishop Livingstone was installed. His leadership was clear-headed, productive, people-oriented and sound. I have many things to copy from him. I am coming to build on the same foundation. I do thank my fellow bishops who trusted me to lead this Church together with them for the next ten years. I salute all Archbishops who have gone ahead of me with blazing examples.

PROVINCIAL MISSION STATEMENT

The Church of Uganda is an independent Province of the Anglican Communion worldwide, which subscribes to the Holy Scriptures. It is part of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church worshipping the one true God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Church is commissioned to carry out Christ's mission of preaching, teaching, healing and nurturing her people so that they may have abundant life and build an evangelistic, living, caring, worshipping, peaceful and just community.

CHALLENGES

I will mention only five challenges among many others:

1. Towards a Sustainable Church

The Church has some physical resources such as land. This land is spread all over. I urge that every Diocese have Title Deeds for every property available. Do we know how much land there is? How can we use these properties to generate the much-needed funds? Can we develop a very deliberate plan for these properties? When we do so, we will be good stewards of God's property entrusted to us.

Human Resources. The Church of Uganda has between 8-9 million members. This number is strong when properly utilized. Many of these are capable intellectuals. We have resourceful people in other areas as well. I urge our leadership to use these people where they should be so that maximum benefits can be derived from their expertise.

Social Goodwill For a long time the people of Uganda have held Church leadership in high esteem. Can we provide consistent leadership to meet the people's expectations? In the coming years, let us guide and shepherd people accepting changes with open minds. The Holy Spirit is in business in His Church.

2. Church House

I thank Archbishop Livingstone for reviving the Church House vision. It is a noble and practical vision. We have not yet raised enough money to get started. We have under one billion [$500,000] of the five billion [$2,500,000] needed for phase one. I am taking over this gigantic challenge. You and I can move it forward. I am willing. Meanwhile, I thank the people who worked hard to bring us this far. May the God of Creation help us to move forward. Together we shall get there and do not ask me how as yet.

3. HIV/AIDS

The Church has a responsibility to the people of Uganda to warn them beforehand to avoid burying many of them. We also need to care for the suffering with compassion. The orphans and widows need our practical assistance as a demonstration of our Christian commitment. I commend those who are involved in the particular ministry of feeding, clothing, treating and paying school fees of these orphans. Thanks you for caring for the widows as well.

4. Uganda Christian University (UCU) Mukono

I thank Archbishop Livingstone for initiating this higher institution of learning. This University has a role in building an intellectually, morally sound and forward-looking citizenship for Uganda and Africa. The demand for space for students is big. One word of caution: please do not take more than you can manage; otherwise the high standard of excellence can diminish due to overflow. I shall work with the University Council and management in order to offer credible opportunities for our people. I thank Professor Stephen Noll and his team for work well done so far. I do seek the President's support when we shall bring to your attention issues that need your intervention.

5. Loss of Spiritual Direction

Many of our Christians have gone away from practical Christianity. There are cases of Corruption, Witchcraft including human sacrifices, Overwork to make money without taking rest, Commercializing Christianity, the attempt to come to faith for what you can get out of it. It is like a "give me" club. Church attendance by convenience, i.e., Christmas, Easter, Funerals, Weddings only.

These are some of the symptoms of Loss of Spiritual Direction. I call upon such Christians to revive their commitments.

MY PASSION

I desire to create room for the younger generation of our church. They need: Acceptance and understanding from the Church. Involvement in decision-making Guidance in their choice of career, marriage partners and mentoring. Need for assurance that there is safety and stability within the Church. The Church must practice honesty and integrity.

I am pledging my service to this end.

2. I desire to see the Church rise and shine: Isaiah 60:1 "Arise, shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you." I believe that the Church has a message of wisdom to guide the people of this nation. We can live wisely and so make a difference. We can strengthen our networking effort from Diocesan-Congregational levels by sharing information, using technology, i.e., radios, newspapers, television, e-mails, etc., to mobilize our people. We need to further strengthen our positive contribution in health, education, counselling and other voluntary services. We need to recapture our missionary calling championed by Apollo Kivebulaya, the great missionary to the Congo, a vision later shared by the late Bishop Festo Kivengere. He was one many I greatly admired and I try to emulate. I desire to see prayer becoming central in the life of our Church. The more we pray, the humbler we become. When we humble ourselves, God will exalt us and heal our land.

3. I desire to see the Church promote Christian values:

By appreciating our local music and intensify our worship as Africans dedicated to Jesus. Our Africanness must be valued. By instilling gospel-transformed cultural values refined by the fire of revival in our current generation who are facing cultural crisis today. By teaching true Christian family values, biblically based and traditionally proven. Families governed by love. Co-habitation and other lesser marriage ties erode the beauty of marriage.

PARTNERSHIP

1. With other Churches: The Christian Church has rainbow colours. No one Church contains it all. Our riches depend on recognizing each other. Let us share each other gifts and contribution. Let us learn from each other out of humility. Let us participate together in the Great Commission of our Lord to proclaim the Good News. Churches together should bring unity to the nation. The future of this Nation depends on us for better or for worse.

2. With the Global Church: We need the world-wide body of the Church. We need teachers and technology from the outside Church. We also can teach the Global Church passionate proclamation of the Gospel and Practical Faith. This Church pledges to stand firm on the Apostolic Faith where many Churches today lack confidence in the power of Jesus which we take for granted here. Please humbly learn from us. At this time in the Anglican Communion, we are willing to take the leadership role to demonstrate that JESUS IS ALIVE.

3. With Government: Church and government have co-existed in complementary roles in our society. This has brought harmony, development and peace in many places. The Church is called to work for reconciliation especially in conflict areas. To this end, I call upon the Government and the Lord9s Resistance Army (LRA) to seek the way of peace and reconciliation in order to weed out deep mistrust in the North and North-East. This war must come to an end so that as a country we can realise national political health. I commend Government efforts and that of the Acholi Leaders Peace Forum seeking to bring peace. We need this peace and God must give us this peace.

APPRECIATION

I want to thank the Government of Uganda for the freedom of worship we have in this country. I commend the leadership of President Yoweri Museveni for this. The Gospel has been proclaimed widely through mass media as never before. Thank you for the degree of freedom for the press in this nation. I thank the people of Uganda and the international community for changing the face of Uganda.

I thank the retired Archbishop for his focused, exemplary and enthusiastic leadership. I am grateful and shall continue to following his footsteps and build on the same foundation.

I thank the Kabaka of Buganda for being the symbol of unity in the Central Region. Sir, your wise leadership has brought peace to this region and prosperity. May God continue to bless you in your leadership.

I thank the Central Organizing Committee members who worked so hard to prepare for this occasion. Bishop Samuel Ssekkadde has been an able leader. Thank you.

I have appreciated the overseas partners who have joined us today. Many wanted to come but space and time would not allow it. Among them are people who trained me: Dr. Christina Baxter, Bishop Colin Buchanan, Bishop Harold Millar. Others have encouraged our ministry. There are those who gave materially to the work of God we have been involved in. I thank you all.

I thank Bishop Wilson Turumanya and Sayuni his wife for leading our Retreat. They did the same when I was being made Bishop in 1993. I also thank Rev. Sandy Millar and his wife Annette for preaching at this occasion. His love for Christ has always attracted me. Thank you for coming to Uganda.

I also thank my wife Phoebe for always being by my side. I also thank our children who because of studies cannot be here today. They patently bore the burden with us as we moved into more responsibility each time. Members of our extended family have also made our home beautiful to live in. Thank you.

Finally, thank you for your physical presence today. This function is special because you have come. I commend each one of you into the hands of the God of grace and the God of surprise who is personally here with us today to grace this day. To Him alone be Glory, now and for ever.

AMEN.

 
GOOD GRIEF


By Peter Moore

At the close of the American Anglican Council’s remarkable conference in Dallas on October 9, as 2,700 Episcopalians prepared to return to their churches and dioceses, I went back to my room and wept. I was not unhappy with the conference. It was an astounding show of support for a biblically orthodox witness within our Church.

Coming when it did - shortly before the crucial meeting of Anglican Primates at Lambeth and the subsequent consecration of V. Gene Robinson in New Hampshire - it sent a message. Eight hundred clergy and more than twice that number of laity were prepared to stand firm and joyfully witness to our historic faith and values. So in some ways I was elated. But along with the elation there was something else.

I struggled with the undeniable sense that, while we are strong and vital, we had lost. We lost a thirty-year struggle to prevent the Episcopal Church from going over the cliff.

Now the deed is done. Same-sex blessings will become commonplace throughout the Church, supported by majority vote of General Convention. And a divorced man living in a homosexual relationship is now a consecrated bishop in the Church - by majority vote.

No one can open a newspaper or turn on the TV without being confronted with the stark reality that a major Protestant denomination has done the unthinkable. Will other denominations, with our encouragement, follow?

And so I wept, alone in my room, on my knees, with my bags packed. I am not given to outward displays of emotion, but in the privacy of my room, I realized that something precious had been lost and would never be regained.

I have since discovered that I am not alone. A general grief has come over the Church. Even those who supported the election of V. Gene Robinson as bishop coadjutor in New Hampshire now realize that they have opened a Pandora’s Box of problems.

The script of our “play” follows the stages of grief outlined by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in On Death and Dying (Macmillan, 1969). Kubler-Ross found that she could roughly group the responses of people presented with catastrophic news. First there is the “No, not me” stage (denial). Then there is the “Why me?” stage (anger). The third stage is “If you do this, I’ll do that” (bargaining). This is followed by a fourth stage: “It’s really happened” (depression). Finally, there is the “Okay, this is what has happened” stage (acceptance).

Perhaps the stages do not always follow the order that Kubler-Ross outlined, but most health care professionals agree that these are the components of grief at the prospect of dying. More broadly, the stages of grief describe the experience of people who receive catastrophic news of any kind.

General Convention 2003 was catastrophic news to many Episcopalians. “Their Church” had decided against everything they knew to be true about human sexuality. Moreover, it had gone against everything the Church itself had said - and has kept saying - about sexuality ever since the subject became contentious.

And if that weren’t enough, it went against everything the bishops of the entire Anglican Communion had said at Canterbury in 1998, when, by a vote of 526 to 70, the Church made a landmark statement that “homo-sexuality was incompatible with Scripture.” In agreement with that statement were the Pope, the Roman Catholics, the Orthodox, and the vast majority of Protestants worldwide, including the burgeoning churches of Africa, Asia and Latin America. The stunning decision to defy world Christian opinion by a tiny body of American Episcopalians at GC 2003 sent shock waves around the globe.

So how do we relate this to the categories of grief?

Denial “No, not us.” We were used to hearing terrible news about a small minority of Roman Catholic priests who were abusing children and youth while the Roman hierarchy looked the other way. But suddenly, we were in the midst of our own sexual scandal. Why were we surprised? For years Episcopalians have been pressured by a small but favored lobby to change the Church’s teaching on human sexuality. At one point, I visited the Episcopal Church Center’s bookstore at 815 Second Avenue, New York. Of several shelves of books on sexuality, not one supported the historic, biblical view!

As a communion, we were in denial. Many churches merely ignored the continued mandates to “study and dialogue” on this issue. Priests refused to talk about it from the pulpit, fearing that it might divide congregations. Adult education classes skirted around the issue. The pro-gay lobby Integrity had spent upwards of $300,000 to push for the affirmation of Robinson and to pass legislation supporting the blessing of non-marital unions, so there had been plenty of advance warning. But most of us chose not to see the obvious. No wonder people were surprised after General Convention.

Anger “Why us?” There is anger throughout the Church. Priests are being accosted at airports by people who are stupefied at the Episcopal decision. All but 10 parishioners walked out of a New Hampshire church at Bishop Robinson’s first confirmation. One bishop, who voted for Robinson, has reportedly received 1000 letters from laity who opposed his decision. Conversely, bishops who voted against Robinson are besieged at open meetings. Dioceses, parishes and individuals are withholding funds from the National Church at an unprecedented rate. One church treasurer laid the key to his church on his Rector’s desk and walked out, never to return. Some priests were told by their bishops that if they went to the AAC conference, they should start looking for new jobs. One bishop disinvited the Presiding Bishop to the consecration of his successor. Another bishop resigned from every committee he was on and called for the resignation of the Presiding Bishop. Building campaigns have been put on hold. Clergy groups on both sides of the issue are gathering to strategize. Some clergy have gone so far as to remove the word “Episcopal” from their church’s notice board.

The stories could be multiplied. My own phone has been ringing off the hook with calls from distraught friends. Seminarians are wondering how they can pledge to obey the “doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church” when they are ordained. The catastrophe we dimly feared, and denied for a long time, is upon us; and we cannot ignore it any longer. And so we blame others. We blame them for poor theological training, poor preaching and teaching and poor leadership. We rant about the “cultural captivity of the Church.”

We fail to see that we all have a share in this problem. Perhaps it was our own inactivity, our own failure to read up on the subject of human sexuality, to be active in the political life of our Church or congregation and our own lack of courage to speak up. We suppose that, as long as things don’t change too much over at St. Swithin’s, we’ll be okay. What happens way up there in New Hampshire needn’t bother us all that much, as long as our children and grandchildren are still taught the Bible. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way, and we will all eventually be affected.

A few years ago, when Canon Gene Robinson was right-hand man to the bishop of New Hampshire, he spoke to 500 co-ed teenagers at St. Paul’s School in Concord. In his talk, he spoke about how sex is a gift of God, and that God wants us to use this gift whether with friends of the same sex or friends of the opposite sex, as long as we do it safely. He closed his address with the words: “Share your love with your friends. Use a condom.” Was one of your children or grandchildren among those 500 impressionable teenagers?

One church leader published a manual for “churches in conflict.” It recognized the problem that congregations are divided on many issues, especially sexuality. Its solution is a series of parish discussion groups, carefully choreographed, whose basic premise is the assumption that the only thing we must all agree NOT to be is “right.” Being right, says the manual, is the beginning of all our problems. Well, that’s one way to ensure the outcome - and a highly manipulative one at that.

Bargaining “If we do this, you’ll do that.” Perhaps if we withhold monies from the National Church, you’ll provide “alternative Episcopal oversight” to our parish. Perhaps if we get the Archbishop of Canterbury on our side, you’ll let us leave with our church property. Perhaps, if we have a series of open meetings, and hear all sides of the issue, we can just “agree to disagree agreeably” and life will go on as usual. This bargaining stage doesn’t last. Things move inexorably to the next stage.

Depression “Okay, this is what has happened.” Eventually, people become depressed over the state of things and sink into a quiet, sullen or unhappy mood. Depression may lead to exploring other churches, regretting a donation to the most recent building fund, avoiding the subject or even serious doubt. One clergyman recently wrote me that he had abandoned “anachronistic Theism” and thought that anybody who believed the Bible to be the Word of God was worse than crazy. He said that if he still thought that theism and believing in the Bible as the Word of God were essential, he’d declare himself a non-Christian immediately.

“The Church is under judgment” is a phrase I am hearing from an increasing number of thoughtful folk. Such a thought (whether right or wrong) emerges quite naturally when one is depressed. Grief can also include an inability to make decisions, listlessness and tiredness and a sense of ennui. The idea that what happened cannot be changed leads to a time of quiet withdrawal, and sadness.

Acceptance “This has really happened.” The blinders are off, reality has set in, things won’t change. One might as well cut one’s losses and move on. The liberal end of the Church is counting on this stage leading to a resumption of business as usual. Conservatives are less sanguine. With many looking for exit strategies, and many already gone, the prospects for the great surge in membership that Bishop Robinson’s supporters guaranteed us would happen with his consecration seem dim. People will still go to church, no doubt, and still put their money in the plate. But deep down there will be a sense that something wonderful, something precious, something life-giving has been lost. We will have to move on.

Here’s an acronym I’ve seen for the work of grieving: TEAR

T = To accept the reality of loss E = Experience the pain of loss A = Adjust to the new environment without the lost object R = Reinvest in the new reality

Perhaps, as we comfort one another, we can help one another get through this difficult period. Change and hope are part of our faith. Resurrection follows death. We must remember that around the world the Church is growing as it has never grown before. Believers are faithful under persecution. As one young priest wrote me: “My faith is still intact.”

Grief can be good, if it forces us to reevaluate where we have come, and where we are going. I, for one, am grateful for the tears I shed in Dallas. I have a smile on my face today.

The Very Rev. Dr. Peter Moore is Dean, Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry


 
LEADING ORTHODOX PARISH IN USC UPHOLDS SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE
Condemns Homosexuality, Consecration of Robinson, Same-Sex Blessings


Diocese of South Carolina: St. Christopher's Leadership Stands Up for Jesus in 2003

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Saint Christopher's is, without question, the leading orthodox Christian parish in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina. In a year of great turmoil, The Reverend Brother George Gray, the St. Christopher's Vestry, and all of the Church Leadership kept the congregation focused on the Truth of the Bible and the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

At a time when many episcopal churches were confused, floundering in revisionist doctrine and idolatry, and losing Christian families as a result of the unbiblical actions of the National Episcopal Church Leadership, St. Christopher's actually attracted interested visitors and new members as a result of the Church's bold and timely proclamation that it stood by the Truth of the Gospel as contained in Holy Scripture. George Gray, Steve Stansell, Gus Metz, and the entire vestry and Church Leadership are to be congratulated, and they hereby are, for the bold stand take n for the Lord Jesus Christ last year.

Here are just a few of the important statements and resolutions issued in 2003:

1. Statement of Truth Published in the Spartanburg Herald Journal in August of 03:

A Statement of Truth in God's Love from St. Christopher's Church

St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, Spartanburg, South Carolina, believes and commends the teaching of the Bible that upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union and abstinence for those who are not called to marriage. We were deeply saddened when the General Convention of the Episcopal Church consented to the election of a non-celibate unmarried person to bishop and acknowledged the blessing of same-sex relationships. We believe these decisions are wrong because they turn away from the foundational teachings of both the Bible and the Christian Church. Therefore, we cannot support these actions. We know that God is still working in the world today to change lives. We ask all of our Christian brothers and sisters to please keep us in your prayers as we seek to change lives in the Spirit of Christ. St. Christopher's is blessed with wonderful ministry opportunities to tell others about the healing love of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit! We welcome anyone who wants to know Jesus to come and worship with us. You w ill find an exciting church overflowing with Good News!

St Christopher's Episcopal Church

2. Resolution for Diocesan Action in Response to 74th General Convention:

WHEREAS, it is the mission of the church to encourage all people to acknowledge and confess their sins and seek true repentance, the washing away and forgiveness of sins, healing, deliverance, regeneration and salvation from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ;

AND WHEREAS, the Episcopal Church USA has rejected the plain teachings of the Bible and has taken itself outside of the Body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by the following actions of the 74th General Convention of the Episcopal Church:

B7 Consenting to the election as Bishop of New Hampshire the Rev. Gene Robinson, a divorced man who has acknowledged openly that he is engaged in homosexual activity

B7 Recognizing and approving the blessing of same-sex unions

AND WHEREAS, it is wrong when an entity which calls itself a "Church" approves and ratifies acknowledged sinful behavior by a Bishop and provides a mechanism for blessing sinful behavior;

AND WHEREAS, these actions directly contradict Holy Scripture and the traditions of the Church and imperil our relationship with the worldwide Anglican Communion;

AND WHEREAS, the General Convention has rejected the declaration of the Bishops at the 1998 Lambeth Conference (Resolution I.10), the counsel of the Primates of the Anglican Communion, and the appeal of the Archbishop of Canterbury;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Diocese of Upper South Carolina immediately take whatever steps are required to compel the Episcopal Church USA to immediately reverse these actions.

AND BE IT ALSO RESOLVED, that until such time as these actions have been reversed that the Diocese of Upper South Carolina will provide specific means and procedures for member parishes within the Diocese to continue financial support of the Diocese and its programs with the certainty that their contributions will not be used by any means to directly or indirectly financially support the ECUSA or its programs.

LET IT HERETOFORE BE KNOWN, that cessation of financial support of the Episcopal Church USA will be considered accomplished if the Diocese of Upper South Carolina elects to dissociate itself from the Episcopal Church USA and join a member of the Anglican Communion which "upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union and in abstinence for those not called to marriage" in accordance with the 1998 Lambeth Conference.

3. Resolution Calling for the Resignation of Presiding bishop Frank Griswold :

A Resolution of the Vestry - Saint Christopher's Episcopal Church Passed Unanimously - Fourth Week in Advent - Anno Domini 2003

Subject: Request for the Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold to resign his office in ECUSA

WHEREAS, the emergency meeting of the Anglican Primates in October 2003 unanimously declared that no single province of the Anglican Communion has authority to alter the teaching of the Communion and that if the Episcopal Church of the United States of America were to proceed with the purported consecration of V. Gene Robinson such action would "tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level;" and

WHEREAS, V. Gene Robinson, was, on November 2, 03, purportedly consecrated
Bishop Coadjutor of New Hampshire; and

WHEREAS, Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold was a signatory of the October Primate's statement, yet nevertheless served as "chief consecrator" at the N ew Hampshire purported consecration and thereby fatally compromised his ability
to act as a "symbol of unity;"

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Saint Christopher's Episcopal Church, Spartanburg, South Carolina, in the Upper Diocese of South Carolina does her eby:

1. call on the Rt. Reverend Frank Griswold to resign the office of Presiding
Bishop,a position he can no longer effectively exercise;

2. reaffirm our allegiance to the Anglican Communion and the Holy Scriptures
as the ultimate and authoritative basis of our faith and renew our commitme nt to make known the good news of the blessed hope of everlasting life, thro ugh our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, given to all who will repent and belie ve in him as the way, the life and the truth;

3. instruct our Rector to communicate this resolution to: the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church United States of America; Bishop Dorsey Henderson ; and the parishes and missions of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina.

This unanimous resolution is adopted and entered into the minutes and record s of this Parish this 25th Day of December in the Year of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 2003.

Steve Stansell, Senior Warden

The Lord has blessed Saint Christopher's with good leadership and a strong congregation of believers. I am confident that St. Christopher's will, with God's help and guidance, take all necessary steps to enable it to continue in the successful Proclamation of the Full and True Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in 2004.


 
All Saints dissidents hope to worship in Old Church

By Jason Lesley, Managing Editor
GEORGETOWN TIMES

January 28, 2004

South Carolina Bishop Edward L. Salmon told about 60 parishioners who voted against leaving the Episcopal church earlier this month they are the true congregation of All Saints, Waccamaw.

Salmon gathered the remnants of his flock at the Carriage House Club at Litchfield Plantation Tuesday after being denied access to the All Saints property by representatives of the 450 members who voted to leave the church Jan. 8.

"Any kind of public controversy is not a good thing," Salmon said. "The church is in turmoil on a number of matters, and that turmoil has expressed itself at Pawleys Island. We need to be sure we do not say anything about the other people involved and focus on what the Lord wants."

The All Saints congregation voted to change the church's corporate charter, deleting references to the Episcopal Church USA and the Episcopal Diocese of S.C., in response to the consecration of Gene Robinson, the church's first openly homosexual bishop. But All Saints leaders have been fighting the diocese in court for three years over ownership of the church property on Kings River Road, valued at about $50 million.

Salmon said the diocese had tried to leave the All Saints situation alone. "We thought that if we didn't do anything destructive, we could work it out," he said. "The issues at hand are the property and the bishop's authority in the church. I could no longer look the other way." Salmon said there must be an Episcopal congregation in existence to hold title to the All Saints property when the lawsuit is settled.

A more immediate question came from the audience. "Can we meet in the Old Church?"

Salmon said he could not answer that question last night but promised to pursue the matter this week. He said a retired minister could easily be found to preach at a church service. The majority of those at last night's meeting wanted to have 8 and 10 a.m. services in the historic old church.

"Why do we have to ask them to go to our church?" another member of the audience asked Salmon. "They have taken it over," Salmon answered. "While I don' t agree with what they've done, let's treat them as Christian people and pray for them."

All Saints spokesman Russ Campbell said the request to use the Old Church will be sent to the church council and then to chancellor Ross Lindsay III for a legal opinion. "It's a legal matter," Campbell said last night.

Another member of the audience last night asked about going to the All Saints Access service. Church officials have said the dissidents could attend any service, but technically they will be visitors. "Worship won't taint your soul," Salmon assured the questioner.

Another asked about giving money to the Episcopal Church.

"Make your contributions to this congregation," Salmon said, pointing to the people seated around him and adding the wardens would organize a means of collecting money and depositing it in a new bank account.

Another asked Salmon if he had ex-communicated warden Doc Lachicotte and the other vestry members at All Saints, as they have claimed.

"I've not ex-communicated anybody," he said. "They are no longer communicants in good standing by leaving the church. They can't have it both ways, leave the church and remain in good standing."

Salmon said he has no earthly idea how the situation at All Saints will play out. "The diocese's strength is in jeopardy when a group can take over its property. The strength would be gone. We've got to find a way to allow All Saints to function as it always has."

END



Friday, January 30, 2004
 
UPPER SOUTH CAROLINA BISHOP SENDS ANGRY LETTER TO HIS CLERGY
New AMIA priest invades his diocese


By David W. Virtue

The Bishop of Upper South Carolina, the Rt. Rev. Dorsey Henderson, Jr.
has sent an angry letter to all his clergy condemning the invasion into
his diocese of a former ECUSA priest, now with the Anglican Mission of
America.

In a message To the Clergy, Sisters and Brothers he writes:

"This morning the Right Rev'd Victor Scantlebury, Assistant Bishop of
Chicago, telephoned to share some startling--although not
surprising--information. The Rev'd Charles (Chip) Edgar, Rector of St.
Mark's, Glyn Allen, announced his resignation to his Vestry on Monday
and indicated that he would be serving henceforth under the Bishop of
Rwanda in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina--for the purpose of
starting new churches."

"I have shared this information with Bishop Salmon and intend today to
communicate with both the Bishop of Rwanda and the Archbishop of
Canterbury, protesting the action of both the Bishop of Rwanda and the
Rev'd Mr. Edgar."

I shall keep you informed of further developments. In the interim,
should the question arise, the Rev'd Mr. Edgar is not licensed for any
purpose or function in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina--not, of
course, that this will deter him. I suggest that you share this
information with the members of your congregations, especially your lay
leaders.

That's not quite how The Rev. Charles "chip" Edgar, 39, sees it. The
decision to leave the Episcopal Church after 12 years as a priest with a
wife and four small children was not one that was taken lightly and
without some pain. In fact it was rending decision bearing in mind that
he had the fastest growing Episcopal parish in the Diocese of Chicago -
St. Mark's in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, about 25 miles west of Chicago.

"When my wife and I decided to leave there was a lot of grief in the
parish and in our lives. We had taken the parish from 260 to 470 and we
had students and faculty coming from nearby Wheaton College, an
independent Evangelical university, one of the best in the nation."

What prompted his departure was the growing awareness that the Robinson
consecration was a growing divisive issue. "Our parish had been moving
in a strong evangelical direction with more than half the congregation
solidly behind Scriptural authority. But on August 5, 2003 we found the
consecration of V. Gene Robinson divided the church. It generated a lot
of support when I came down hard against the consecration, but not all
the congregation was on board. But the vestry voted to pursue
alternative Episcopal oversight."

Two things happened, he said. A sizeable portion of folk objected to AEO
and Bishop Bill Persell told me that AEO would not be realized or
allowed in his diocese. "I don't see that AEO is on the horizon," he
told me. "I knew then that I needed to find a safe place where I could
live more truly into my theological convictions."

Following his decision to resign in the first week of January he met
with Bishop Persell's Canon to the Ordinary, where he had what he
describes as a "generous conversation".

"They are not going to immediately depose me. They are having a wait
and see policy. He suggested we keep the doors open, or voluntarily
renounce my orders. He wanted to make a way for me to come back. The
Diocese has been kind to me."

Chip Edgar had been aware of the Anglican Mission in America for some
time but did not take it seriously to begin with, but over time he
became convinced that it was the way to go for him. He was a coup for
the AMIA.

"Their bishops immediately linked me with a number of people in
Columbia, SC. There was a core group of 75 very committed folk who have
already committed themselves in the first year to a budget of $300,000."

Are they ex-ECUSAN's? "No. Only about 40 percent are from The Episcopal
Church. We are drawing from a wide area, with many coming from Columbia
International University (formerly Columbia Bible College). These
students would never go to a regular Episcopal Church that doesn't know
what Biblical morality or Scriptural authority is."

And his reaction to Bishop Henderson's letter? "My goal is not to steal
sheep from ECUSA but to reach people who don't know Jesus, so I don't
see myself as a threat to the Diocese of Upper South Carolina. "The
Episcopal folks here are looking for an alternative, but they are not my
target audience.

"It was an enormous emotional and intellectual challenge to join the
AMIA. When the AMIA started, I was not convinced it was the thing to do,
but over time I became convinced. It has been difficult in ECUSA for
years and years and I can only see it getting worse for those orthodox
rectors who remain. Basically my experience in the Diocese of Chicago
was positive. I have no real complaints."

I made my decision based on my theoligcal convictions, though it has
been emotionally challenging. It was a wonderful parish, godly people,
and it has been so very hard to leave.

The Rev. Chip Edgar will move to Columbia March 1, to begin his new
ministry. They will meet in a clubhouse in a Columbia subdivision with
evening services.

"I am excited that a church which is really excited about sharing the
gospel with people are not weighed down with a lot of baggage and
canonical structures which hinders the mission of the church rather than
advancing it. My hope in Columbia is to reach out the unchurched."

NOTE: If you are not receiving this from VIRTUOSITY, the Anglican
Communion's largest biblically orthodox Episcopal/Anglican Online News
Service, then you may subscribe FREE by going to:
www.virtuosityonline.org. Virtuosity's website has been accessed by more
than 700,000 readers in 45 countries on six continents. This story is
copyrighted but may be forwarded electronically with reference to
VIRTUOSITY and the author. No changes are permitted in the text.

END

 
Playing Catch Up

This has been a very busy week -- and I've not been able to blog. The John Stott Daily Thoughts have been outstanding recently, with a focus on expository preaching. Here are several of them:

=====================================================

T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T

=====================================================
January 25, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Word, Worship and Sacrament (cont'd.)

636. The real secret
The real secret of expository preaching is not mastering
certain techniques, but being mastered by certain
convictions.

--From 'Biblical Preaching is Expository Preaching', in
"Evangelical Roots", ed. K. S. Kantzer (Nashville: Thomas
Nelson, 1978), p. 159.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 272, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.


=====================================================

T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T

=====================================================
January 26, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Word, Worship and Sacrament (cont'd.)

637. Study and pulpit
'There is no need for me to prepare before preaching',
somebody argues; 'I shall rely on the Holy Spirit to give
me the words. Jesus himself promised that it would be
given us in that hour what we are to say.' Such talk
sounds plausible, until we remember that the misquotation
of Scripture is the devil's game. Jesus was referring to
the hour of persecution not of proclamation, and to the
prisoner's dock in a law court, not the pulpit in a church.
Trust in the Holy Spirit is not intended to save us the
bother of preparation. The Holy Spirit can indeed give us
utterance if we are suddenly called upon to speak and there
has been no opportunity to prepare. But he can also
clarify and direct our thinking in our study. Indeed,
experience suggests that he does a better job there than in
the pulpit.

--From "Christian Mission in the Modern World" (London:
Falcon, 1975), p. 126.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 272, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

=====================================================

T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T

=====================================================
January 27, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Word, Worship and Sacrament (cont'd.)

638. The prepared heart
There is no greater need for the preacher than that he
should know God. I care not about his lack of eloquence
and artistry, about his ill-constructed discourse or his
poorly-enunciated message, if only it is evident that God
is a reality to him and that he has learned to abide in
Christ. The preparation of the heart is of far greater
importance than the preparation of the sermon. The
preacher's words, however clear and forceful, will not ring
true unless he speaks from conviction born of experience.

--From "The Preacher's Portrait" (London: Tyndale Press,
1961), p. 68.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 273, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

=====================================================

T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T

=====================================================
January 28, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Word, Worship and Sacrament (cont'd.)

639. The sparkle of authenticity
It seems to me that one might well single out freshness of
spiritual experience as the first indispensable quality of
the effective preacher. No amount of homiletical technique
can compensate for the absence of a close personal walk
with God. Unless he puts a new song in our mouth, even the
most polished sermons will lack the sparkle of
authenticity.

--From Introduction to "Evangelical Preaching" (sermons of
Charles Simeon) (Portland: Multnomah, 1986), p. xxix.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 273, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

=====================================================

T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T

=====================================================
January 29, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Word, Worship and Sacrament (cont'd.)

640. The need to listen
The best preachers are always diligent pastors, who know
the people of their district and congregation, and
understand the human scene in all its pain and pleasure,
glory and tragedy. And the quickest way to gain such an
understanding is to shut our mouth (a hard task for
compulsive preachers) and open our eyes and ears. It has
been well said that God has given us two ears and two eyes,
but only one mouth, so that he obviously intends us to look
and listen twice as much as we talk.

--From "I Believe in Preaching" (London: Hodder and
Stoughton, 1982), p. 192.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 273, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

=====================================================

T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T

=====================================================
January 30, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Word, Worship and Sacrament (cont'd.)

641. 'He understands us'
Love will help the preacher to be understanding in his
approach not only because he will then take trouble to get
to know his people and their problems, but also because he
will be better able to appreciate them when he knows them.
Love has a strange intuitive faculty. Jesus our Lord
possessed it to perfection. Again and again it is said of
him that he knew people's thoughts. Indeed, the apostle
John writes, 'He knew all men and needed no one to bear
witness of man; for he himself knew what was in man.' Men
felt instinctively that he understood them. He is the
great *kardiognostes*, or heart-knower, who 'searches mind
and heart', and we should seek from him insight to be and
do the same. Love, the unselfish care which longs to
understand and so to help, is one of the greatest secrets
of communication. It is when the preacher loves his
people, that they are likely to say of him, 'He understands
us.'

--From "The Preacher's Portrait" (London: Tyndale Press,
1961), p. 79.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", pp. 273-274, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.



Monday, January 26, 2004
 
The Conversion of Saint Paul (Transfered from 25 January)

O GOD, who, through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Saint Paul, hast caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world; Grant, we beseech thee, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may shew forth our thankfulness unto thee for the same, by following the holy doctrine which he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
 
Boston Archbishop Says Pro-Abortion Politicians "Shouldn't Dare Come to Communion"

LifeSite Daily News
January 24, 2004

WASHINGTON, DC, January 23, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In an interview with LifeSiteNews.com following the Vigil for Life Mass in Washington Wednesday, Boston Archbishop Sean O'Malley expressed his great desire for a renewal of faith among Catholics. Asked about the problem of Catholic politicians promoting abortion, the Archbishop noted that the problem "is not only politicians but those (Catholics) who vote for them." He stressed repeatedly the "great need for adult catechesis among our people."

"These politicians should know that if they're not voting correctly on these life issues that they shouldn't dare come to communion," the Archbishop told LifeSiteNews.com.

Archbishop O'Malley noted that beyond pro-abortion politicians, that reception of Holy Communion by those not in a state of grace is sadly commonplace. "I think it's in the context of a greater problem - Catholics feel that everyone is entitled to go to communion all the time. That has to be addressed. You know if a (pro-abortion) politician asked me I would say you shouldn't go to communion, I wouldn't go to communion. They don't understand why." He explained, "At a funeral sometimes they will announce that communion is for Catholics and people get all offended, so we've lost the notion of the sacredness of communion and the kind of disposition we need to have."

Aside from his stressing the "great need" for adult catechesis, the Boston Archbishop said the solution lies in holiness. Catholics must "be willing to live their faith heroically, the testimony of holiness is the only thing that's going to be able to convince people. Mother Teresa could speak about life issues in a way, because of the ethos of her life, that was much more powerful than the most eloquent preacher or teacher. We have to live our faith very deeply in order to draw people."


 
KENYA: Is Split in the Anglican Church Inevitable?

OPINION

By Francis Ayieko
The Nation (Nairobi)

January 15, 2004

Recently, the Uganda Anglican Church withdrew an invitation to the Episcopalian Church of the US to attend the ordination of the Right Rev Henry Orombi as the country's new archbishop. He will be enthroned on January 25.

After this, there should be no doubt that there is now an open split between the liberals and the conservatives in the 450-year old Anglican Communion.

The unprecedented move taken by the Church of Uganda to protest the installation of gay American bishop Gene Robinson, is the biggest jolt to hit the communion since Robinson became the head of the New Hampshire diocese.

After his ordination on November 2 last year, several countries rushed to announce that they had either cut links or were contemplating doing so with the US Anglican liberals. But so far, only Uganda - which together with Kenya became the first African countries to declare themselves formally separated from the Episcopal Church - is the first nation to take a firm action that confirms an open split.

The move might be seen as an isolated one but it mirrors the resolve by many Anglican leaders to openly tell American liberals that enough is enough.

In Kenya, as late as January 4, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi still condemned homosexuality with as much vigour as he did two months ago. His decision to sever links with the Episcopal Church, promptly supported by all the 29 dioceses under him, is a reflection of a widespread belief within the Anglican Church in Africa that it is not being listened to.

Yet Africa is home to the highest number of Anglicans in the world. Whereas the US and Britain together have fewer than five million practising Anglicans, East Africa alone boasts some 12.5 million worshippers.

Between the conservatives and the liberals, there is not just a state of impaired relationship. It is an inevitable schism with little prospects of being reversed.

The glee with which the liberals greeted Robinson's consecration just shows their resolve "that they must be openly heard" in the communion at any cost. That came out very well from the 4,000-member congregation which gave Robinson a three-minute standing ovation immediately after his consecration.

Even though the tough stance taken by the conservatives on homosexuality is yet to yield meaningful fruits; they have been blunt enough in saying that they have no fellowship with their liberal counterparts. Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, who has been one of the most vocal anti-gay campaign clergies, has made it clear that no communion exists any longer between the liberals and conservatives.

This swirling controversy has placed more pressure on a special commission appointed last October by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. The commission, instituted after a two-day crisis meeting of the 38 heads of the Anglican Church worldwide at Lambeth Palace, was to seek a way of resolving the crisis, so that the communion could remain intact.

But Robinson's ordination on the one hand, and the move by Uganda's Anglicans on the other, renders it irrelevant.

Archbishop Rowan's decision to name a mix of conservative and liberal church leaders to the commission, headed by Irish Anglican leader Robin Eames, was indeed a bright idea meant to achieve consensus.

However, that could only have worked had the Episcopalian Church paid heed to pleas, not only from Anglicans, but also from other denominations the world over, not to continue with the ordination.

Although the financial consequences of an open split with the Episcopal Church - the wealthiest part of the Anglican Communion - could be severe, Anglican leaders from Africa and other Third World countries have openly indicated they are not ready to sacrifice their faith at the altar of financial support from American liberals.

Already, Archbishop Akinola has warned of a financial backlash against the financially weak church in Africa "if its opposition was too loud". But he maintains that African churches must become self-reliant "so that our boldness in condemning the spiritual bankruptcy of the rich churches could be matched by a refusal to accept their money".

In Kenya, Archbishop Nzimbi was emphatic that no further support, including missionaries, from the US - the largest contributor in the worldwide communion - would be accepted.

Mr Ayieko is the editor of EndTime News, a monthly Christian newspaper.
 
CHURCH OF ENGLAND: Synod to be asked to bless cohabitation

Church of England Newspaper

The Church of England could overturn its traditional teaching on sex outside marriage at the forthcoming General Synod by giving its approval to contractual rights for cohabiting couples.

Divisions between traditionalists and liberals are likely to be exacerbated by a number of key debates on the sexuality issue at next month's meeting in London.

A York Diocesan Synod motion, asking for people living together to be given the same legal status as married couples, will be the most fiercely contested. While the proposal was tabled before the Government's Civil Partnership Bill that wants greater recognition to be given to gay partnerships, it would extend the Church's support to homosexual couples if successfully carried.

It argues that cohabiting couples exist "whether approved by the State and t he Church or not and that the absence of a legal contract for such a relationship is a potential cause of injustice and misery". Such a provision is "socially desirable", the motion states, and asks the Archbishops' Council to investigate the issues involved in contractual partnerships, other than marriage, between two cohabiting adults, and then to report back to Synod.

Richard Seed, the Archdeacon of York, said: "The church has to accept the fact that couples are living together without any formal bonds of marriage. I would want to support those who are in a relationship that is stable, loving and affirming.

"This stable union applies just as much to gay relationships. It makes a lot of us extremely nervous if we accept that all gay relationships are on an equal par, but it is something I look forward to being properly discussed in the debate."

Margaret Brown, a prominent traditionalist on Synod from Chichester diocese, described such a move as "one more nail in the coffin for the Church of England". She said: "This is the first step on the road to gay marriages. It would seem that the Church of England is giving moral authority for any changes that the Government makes if it goes along with this motion."

Bruce Saunders, Canon Pastor at Southwark Cathedral, warned that the findings of his diocese's report on cohabitation last year had shown cohabiting relationships to be vulnerable. "I sympathise with the impulse behind the motion because I can see that culturally the Church can look dogmatic and out of touch with the variety of relationships these days, but we need to reinvent marriage as an attractive option to young people. We need to affirm people i n other relationships without making marriage seem less important."

The liberals have risked re-opening fresh wounds in the Church by sending out to all Synod members a copy of Canon Jeffrey John's book, Permanent, Faithful, Stable, which challenges the Church's ban on the ordination of homosexual clergy.

It is being distributed by Affirming Catholicism, the pressure group of which Canon John and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, are founder members, to promote their cause ahead of the debate on the House of Bishop s' report, Some Issues in Human Sexuality.

A covering letter, from the group's senior members, including its President, the Rt Rev David Stancliffe, the Bishop of Salisbury, suggests the book will help issues to "be better addressed from an informed perspective".

Although the bishops' report is being presented as a study guide rather than an attempt to change Church policy, some traditionalists have expressed concern that it is opening the way for a more liberal approach to the stance on sexuality.

The Doctrine Commission's report, Being Human, is being debated the same day , and deals with the changing attitude towards sex in culture. It says that it has been created to be "a whole person relationship of love and loyalty involving body and self". It continues: "We teach a realism about the goodness and joy of sex together with the ways it can go wrong. Where sex occurs outside the meaning and purpose God has given it in his created order, dangers arise for the participants."

Power, money and time are also key themes in the report, which says that wisdom is the most important gift in discerning how to be human.


 


AUSTRALIA: Three-way struggle to lead Anglicans



By Vanessa Walker and James Murray
THE AUSTRALIAN

19 January 2004

Peter Carnley's surprise resignation as head of the Anglican Church will prompt a fierce 15-month leadership struggle between conservative and progressive Anglicans.

For the first time in history, the nation's 23 bishops will join the five archbishops as real contenders to be titular head of the nation's 3.8million Anglicans.

The 47 members of a board to elect the new primate will be chosen at the General Synod meeting in October.

The result of their deliberations is impossible to predict. But authoritative sources have told The Australian there are three main candidates for primate.

These are the evangelical Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, whose conservative theology is at odds with many of the Australian dioceses; the Archbishop of Brisbane, Phillip Aspinall; and the bishop of Newcastle, Roger Herft.

Reflecting the views of several sources who would not go on the record, church historian Muriel Porter said Dr Jensen's "extreme views" on homosexuality and opposition to women priests would make it difficult for him to garner support.

"Peter Jensen's Sydney style of Anglicanism is far too narrow and centralist for the rest of Australia," Dr Porter said.

"Roger Herft is an outstanding bishop and should not be overlooked. He is highly respected in the international Anglican community."

Bishop Herft, who is considered a theologian equal to Dr Carnley, gained prominence at the 1998 Lambeth conference when he was appointed chaplain to the worldwide meeting of primates.

Dr Porter said Archbishop Aspinall had acquitted himself well in the wake of the scandal that forced his predecessor, Peter Hollingworth, to quit as governor-general.

"He also has knowledge of Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia and now Brisbane. He is running the diocese admirably," she said.

Traditionally, the job of primate has been filled by one of five archbishops, whose diocesan bureaucracy can cope with their absence.

However, the looming retirements of the Archbishop of Adelaide, Ian George, and the Archbishop of Melbourne, Peter Watson, has ruled them out and opened up the field to ordinary bishops.


 
Central Florida Episcopalians vote to join conservative group

By MIKE BRANOM
Associated Press Writer
January 24, 2004

WINTER PARK, Fla. Conservative Episcopalians from central Florida, disturbed by an openly gay bishop's consecration and other liberal trends, voted Saturday to join a new organization in its fight against church leaders.

The Diocese of Central Florida is the state's first to align itself with the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes, in existence only since Tuesday.

The diocese consists of 48,000 members in 87 parishes across 15 counties.

"We're going to network with like-minded dioceses ... to uphold and propagate the historic faith as we received it," Bishop John Howe said.

Next week, the conservative Jacksonville-based Diocese of Florida will consider at its convention affiliating itself with the network.

Network officials insist that dioceses under their aegis would remain Episcopalian and join the group rather than strike out on their own.

That was good, Howe said, because "a diocese simply cannot leave."

Episcopalians have been debating homosexuality for years, but November's consecration of V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire sparked a crisis in the denomination.

The network was created in response, and it was to little surprise that the20 central Florida diocese voted to join during its 35th annual convention.

The diocese was among 12 nationwide that sent delegates to Plano, Texas, for the meetings that brought about the network. Those dioceses make up 10 percent of the church's 2.3 million members.

Howe asked the church's national head to resign following Robinson's consecration. Also, the diocese's second-highest ranking official resigned in September to protest the church's direction over the ordination of gays, only to20 reconsider a month later.

Reflecting the leaders' sentiments was Saturday's voice vote: 267 clergy and lay delegates in favor of joining to 108 against. Howe was among 11 abstentions.

The balloting followed two lopsided votes against Howe's recommendation to delay a decision until the Diocesan Board could further study the network.

Outgoing board member Leslie Poole said it was upsetting how the diocese rushed to join.

"My mother always used to say, `In the Episcopal Church, you don't leave your brain at the door,'" Poole said. "You're expected to be thoughtful and have consideration of important issues. Today, I felt like we weren't given enough time."

While the balloting at All Saints Episcopal Church went without incident, tears have been shed over the rights of gay Episcopalians.

"Every diocese has lost some of its members and some of its money," Howe told the convention in his address on Friday. "And most of them, including central Florida, has lost some of their clergy."

In Saturday's first vote, the convention almost unanimously passed an amendment to the diocese's canon allowing clergy members to officiate only marriages between a man and woman.

"The clergy is not here to follow human opinion," said the Rev. Reinel Castro, the amendment's sponsor. "The clergy is here to follow Scripture."

The Episcopal Church is the American branch of Anglicanism, a global body of
churches stemming from the Church of England.

A wide majority of overseas Anglican leaders insist on the traditional Christian teaching against same-sex activity, but that is a minority view among U .S. Episcopal leaders. The network wants to get recognition - and greater legitimacy - from those overseas Anglican leaders.

Due to the U.S. dispute and another over same-sex blessings in the Anglican Church of Canada, the world Anglican leader, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, appointed a crisis committee to propose solutions by Sept. 30.

END

 
FORWARD IN FAITH LEADERS TO VISIT ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

Dear members of FIFNA,

The switchboard has been lighting up at our Fort Worth headquarters with many calls over the past several days. The basic question from the callers is, "What does FIFNA think about the Network, and are we really part of it or not?"

Let me first say that what follows is my personal commentary as President of FIFNA. It is not a Council statement. The Council is scheduled to meet February 11-13, at which time Bishop Duncan plans to be with us, as well as representatives from other Anglican jurisdictions. I would expect that the Council will make a corporate statement at the end of our meeting about the Network, and upon other areas of concern and development.

The week following, Fathers Ilgenfritz, Tanghe, and I will travel to London for a meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury along with FIF leaders from England, Scotland, Wales, and Australia. There will undoubtedly be a statement for you at the conclusion of that meeting at Lambeth Palace as well.

It would be an understatement to say that the crisis of Faith and Order in ECUSA and the Anglican Communion has intensified in recent months. This greater crisis exists because of the rejection of biblical morality by ECUSA as a body in a highly symbolic way with the election, approval, and consecration of Gene Robinson.

You well know that Forward In Faith (and its previous identities as ECM and ESA) has consistently stated that the "ordination" of women to the priesthood (and the subsequent "ordination" of women to the episcopate) was a gross violation of and departure from Biblical teaching, Apostolic Order, and Catholic Truth. I think that Bishop Kapinga of Tanzania's words are worthy of serious reflection. He stated, "With the ordination of women, ECUSA left the Catholic fold of the Church. With the consecration of Gene Robinson, ECUSA left the Christian religion."

We now have The Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes before us. You can read its Charter on the America Anglican Council's website. In Article V of the Charter, there is the proposal for a "non-geographical Convocation...known as the Forward in Faith North America (FiFNA) Convocation, and may include all congregations which apply to and are accepted as FiFNA members."

The Network understands itself as "a church within the Church."

You may remember that this is what the Episcopal Synod of America stated of itself in June of 1989 as its founding Assembly. In July of 1997, our identity was altered in the Good Shepherd Declaration, that ESA/FIFNA would "continue in its mission to be the Church....We are not leaving anything or going anywhere&We have said from the beginning that we intend to be the Church. We will continue to be who we are."

With the passage of time, and with ECUSA's introduction of and legislation for more theological innovations (along with the selective interpretation of Canons, and the legislative decisions of many Dioceses and agenda of their bishops), the concept of being a church within the Church is deserving of serious reflection.

We now see ECUSA as a Province of the Anglican Communion whose actions have been rejected by a large number of Provinces which represent two-thirds of the Communion's membership. Only if the Network interprets itself as a church sharing a common mind with majority of World-Wide Anglicans can their focus and identity be grounded in the theological integrity required.

I had hoped to be present at the Network's organizational meeting in Plano, but pastoral responsibilities as the Rector of Good Shepherd, Rosemont, as well as a scheduling conflict, prohibited my attendance. Father Ilgenfritz (one of FIFNA's Vice-Presidents) was there as our official representative.

I believe that the creation of the Network (encouraged by the Archbishop of Canterbury) is a good first step towards the Primates' call for Adequate Episcopal Oversight. Let us remember that oversight implies jurisdiction.

I also believe that there will be no fundamental change until diocesan bishops are willing to cross diocesan boundaries, and orthodox priests are willing to refuse the sacramental ministry of revisionist bishops. I would hope that in conscience leaders will increasingly be unable to accede to the misuse of Canon Law, false teaching, and the tyranny of revisionist bishops.

It is wise for us to appropriate the declaration of the Council of Constantinople:

"They who separate themselves from communion with their bishop on account of any heresy condemned by the Holy Synods of the Fathers, while he evidently proclaims the heresy publicly, and teaches it with brave front in Church - such persons, in excluding themselves from communion with their so-called bishop before Synodical cognizance, not only shall not be subject to canonical censure, but shall be deemed worthy, by the Orthodox, of becoming honor; for they condemn as teachers, not bishops but pseudo-bishops; and they do not cut up the unity of the Church by schism, but hasten to deliver her from schisms and divisions."

And many centuries later, Richard Hooker wrote, [capitalizations are Hooker's]

"Laws touching Matter of Order are changeable, but the Power of the Church; Articles concerning Doctrine not so. We read often in the Writings of Catholic and Holy men touching matters of Doctrine. This we believe, this we hold, this the Prophets and Evangelists have declared. This the Apostles have delivered. This the Martyrs have sealed with their blood, and confessed in their Torments, to this We cleave as to the Anchor of our Souls; against this, though an Angel from Heaven should preach unto us, we would not believe. But, did we ever in any of them read touching Matters of mere Comeliness, Order and Decency, neither Commanded nor Prohibited by a Prophet, any Evangelist, and Apostle. Although the church wherein we live do ordain them to be kept, although they be never so general observed, though all the Churches in the World Command them, tough Angels from Heaven should require our Subjection thereunto, I would hold him accursed that doth obey?"

Unsettling and spiritually challenging words from a Church Council and from the seminal mind of our tradition.

With the Dennis Canon as it relates to parishes and their property, and with how a Diocese's status could be judged as a binding relationship with the National church, we may be hostages with no seen avenue of freedom. And within this situation, one cannot be reckless or cavalier as stewards of the church. But when we stand before the great judgment seat of Christ, I don't believe that how diocesan boundaries were honored will be a criteria for our Lord's favorable judgment.

I pray that this commentary will be received and understood with a generous spirit. I pray that God will continue to use FIFNA as faithful people who are characterized by humility, repentance, steadfastness, and obedience to the Word of God Incarnate and the Word of God written.

You have my assurances that FIFNA remains committed to its mission which is:

To uphold the historic Faith,
Practice and Order of the
Church Biblical, Apostolic and
Catholic, and to resist all efforts
to deviate from it.


David L. Moyer+
22 January 2004
Feast of St. Vincent, D. & M.

 
PLANO RECTOR REFLECTS ON NEW NETWORK

By David Roseberry

Dear Christ Church Leaders,

Many of you will know that Christ Church hosted two very important national events this week. I am thankful to the staff and volunteers who, once again, provided incredible support and encouragement to so many around the country at this important time in the life of our church. Many of our members followed the conference on the news. I want to take a few minutes of your time to tell you what the results of the conference are.

The Network is Launched The first meeting was the convening session of the new Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes (NACDP). The network charter, theological statement, and purposes can be found on the AAC website: www.americananglican.org. The Network will provide oversight and support for congregations all over the U.S. in dioceses where invited by parishes. It will exist as a fellowship to be in communion with brothers and sisters in the Anglican Communion all around the world. The Network will uphold the historic faith of the bible, particularly as it relates to the issues facing our church and society.

The newly elected moderator of the Network, Bishop Bob Duncan, said, "The Network is committed to moving forward with the mission and ministry of the Church. It will operate within the constitution of the Episcopal Church and in full fellowship with the vast majority of the Anglican Communion."

Leading the Church in Difficult Times The second conference at Christ Church this week was planned and hosted by Vital Church Ministries under the leadership of Kevin Martin. If the first meeting was for the construction of an orthodox platform, the second meeting began to assemble the program and ministry through which parishes and dioceses will do the business of the Network: the Great Commission. Over 100 church leaders from larger parishes in the Episcopal Church came to our campus to be encouraged, educated, motivated and inspired to carry on the work of the Great Commission in their own congregations.

This conference is part of the overall strategy of the Vital Church Ministries outreach of Christ Church: To encourage and equip Episcopal leaders to fulfill the Great Commission. It was an extraordinary time of fellowship and training for key church leaders around the country.

What does this mean? These were important events for a great number of churches and leaders around the country. From the beginning of this turmoil in the Episcopal Church, I have been honest and clear about my thoughts, beliefs, and understanding. I will continue to do so. Let me enumerate my thinking as follows:

1. The Network will give churches the support and oversight from orthodox bishops and other church leaders they are requesting.

2. The Network gives the rest of the Anglican Communion a way to recognize the orthodox Anglicans in the U.S.

3. The Network provides us with a clear voice to speak to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates of the Anglican Communion through our new moderator, Bishop Bob Duncan.

The Network is a good step forward, but it is only a first step. It must clearly define its mission to be the realignment of Anglicanism in the United States with the worldwide Anglican Communion. The General Convention of the Episcopal Church committed a grievous assault on the historic faith and witness of our church. They left the historic, biblical faith. However, the Network is a positive step to stand together. Now, we must move forward to work, pray, and give for the spread of the Gospel in our Anglican tradition. We will labor with the Network to that end and, as always, I covet your prayers.

I do not forget that behind all of these "issues" are real people. There are many members of our church who have relatives, loved ones, friends, colleagues, or who themselves have homosexual attractions or lifestyles. Christ Church welcomes all people. And our church will continue to offer the transforming love of God in Christ that changes us all. That is the Good News of God: Jesus can help, heal, and save us . all of us! The church can bless only what is God's best for people.

I am proud of our church for the work we have done together. We have given thousands of brothers and sisters great hope for the future of gospel in the United States. Brothers and sisters, may I also remind you that we have a solemn obligation before us: to stand where we can be the most faithful to Jesus Christ and the truth of His Word. I believe that that place is right here at Christ Church and right now at this hour. Together, let us be strong, vibrant, gracious and clear. Let us move into the New Year with boldness and a high expectation that God will use us when we are faithful and obedient to Him.

In Christ,

The Rev. David Roseberry is rector, Christ Church, Plano
 
Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church:
Some Observations on a Healthy Church Besieged by Critics


Reformation and Revival Weekly Messenger
January 26, 2004

Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church:
Some Observations on a Healthy Church Besieged by Critics



By John H. Armstrong





A few weeks ago I was a plenary speaker for a minister’s conference held in Monroe, Louisiana. The host church, Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church (PCA), has staged such a conference for several years. The subject for this particular event was “Reformed Catholicity.” I shared the platform with Professor John Frame of Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida, and Pastor Douglas Wilson, a well-published author and pastor from Moscow, Idaho. The two pastors of the host church also spoke, Steve Wilkins and Rich Lusk.



I knew very little about Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church before January. I had seen the name of Steve Wilkins on several occasions. I knew he was an advocate of the states-rights position of the South and a devoted Southerner who defends the South with regard to the Civil War. I also knew he was a gifted speaker and an earnest pastor. I came to know, last year, that another well-known Presbyterian minister had attacked Steve in open public view following the Auburn Avenue conference in 2002. The charge made by the other minister, in essence, was “heresy.” The reason for the charge was the conference’s expressed interest in the, so-called, New Perspective on Paul. (Next year the Auburn Avenue conference has Tom Wright scheduled as a featured speaker. (The desire is to encourage dialogue with Wright from the perspective of historic Reformed theology.) I have read some of the most important material of the opposition. Not only did the writers of this attack on Steve Wilkins not understand the New Perspective, they cleverly distorted Pastor Wilkins’s position and his intentions. And typical of this kind of attack they never bothered to allow Pastor Wilkins to read the charges before going public with them or to respond in kind before they drew their conclusions. I cannot explain why this happens so often in our time but it seems to me that one obvious reason is that we have a lot of self-made reformers who have far too great a sense of their own importance in protecting the rest of us from the “bad guys.” Douglas Wilson has said this well when he notes that in the modern age the biblical requirement for two or three witnesses to rightly establish a charge against an elder is fulfilled by hitting the forward button on their computer twice!



So, it was with some reservation that I stepped into an annual event earlier this month that had created a huge firestorm only two years ago. Never one to miss a controversy, I went in good faith. I was very determined that I would form my own view of Auburn Avenue and the group I was to address after I met them. The following observations are the result of my four days in Monroe.



The “Auburn Avenue Heresy” is vastly overstated. Even if you disagree with N. T. Wright on the use and place of “righteousness” language in the Bible, and even if you profoundly disagree with him on the doctrine of justification having its primary reference to inclusion in the covenant community—if you really bother to listen to the Auburn Avenue speakers you will soon discover that these men are confessional, serious, and conservative Reformed teachers.


The worship at Auburn Avenue is refreshing and inspiring. The service includes a serious and open call to worship, a congregational confession of sin (with all of us kneeling), the powerful singing of numerous ancient hymns and biblical psalms, the reading of extensive portions of Holy Scripture, the reciting of the Nicene Creed, a proper place for evangelical preaching, and the weekly observance of the Lord’s Table. And if you ever wondered what the Church fathers meant by their references to the congregation responding to prayer with a “loud amen” then go to Auburn Avenue some Lord’s Day. If you are asleep you will surely be jolted awake by the congregation’s response to the Word of God and prayer. There is no room for wimpy worship here.


Pastor Wilkins and Pastor Lusk are humble men who are willing to listen and learn. They are both students and prolific readers. They are “in process” as humble men bowing before the authority of the Bible. They admit that they have much more to learn and thus they desire to search the Scripture with fresh eyes and responsive spirits. This, sadly, is not very common in our day. These brothers care about their people as well as the truth. The warmth with which Pastor Wilkins treats his flock is impressive. Most of his critics could learn a great deal if they would watch him. Getting the balance right between pastoral care and lively doctrinal preaching is all too uncommon today. Auburn Avenue’s elders have much to teach others in this regard.


The concern for catholicity at Auburn Avenue is truly genuine and healthy. I have wondered, over the past five years, if conservative Reformed congregations would ever take this oft-confessed and ancient biblical truth seriously again. I am certain that there are many churches that do but I can now say that Auburn Avenue does take catholicity seriously. It was practiced and taught in my presence in wonderful ways. Not a single hard question was dodged in the conference. The five of us who spoke were all different in our thought, background and style. Yet we quickly and easily loved one another and gained fresh respect as a result of our fellowship in private and in public. Sadly, I have been a speaker in conservative places where the noticeable absence of love and respect is far too obvious.


Finally, Auburn Avenue is a place which could become a major contributor to the peace and unity of the Church of Jesus Christ in America. If these good folks, and their leaders, keep pressing on in their humble pursuit of the truth I can only expect two things to happen: (1) They will be wonderfully blessed and used by God. (2) They will be criticized more and more by some Reformed Christians. This is to be expected.


Pastor Wilkins, like me, went to the University of Alabama. In fact, to our pleasant surprise, we found out that we were both there in 1968-69 before I transferred to Wheaton College to complete my B. A. degree. By the end of the week we both said that we would like to change the name of this new “heresy” to “The University of Alabama Heresy,” since we both have a definite distaste for Auburn University. (Pastor Lusk is an Auburn graduate so Pastor Wilkins has a regular opportunity to show real grace in an unusual way!)



I am not a prophet I assure you, but I came away from Monroe a few weeks ago very pleased to see firsthand a wonderful congregation, and its elders, grappling with the truth of God’s Word in fresh and exciting ways. This is the type of context where I expect to see major blessings in coming years. I am praying for that. Join me if you think of it. And if you are ever near Monroe visit this church. I think you will not regret it.



Several of my friends informed me, in advance of my going to Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church, that these guys were pretty hard-nosed Southerners who took the Civil War and themselves way too seriously. Well, I am most definitely not of the persuasion of Steve Wilkins regarding the Civil War and its present ideological importance, but I will tell you this much—Steve Wilkins is a man who loves sinners and the Word of God more than anything else. He deeply desires to be used to foster true unity in the Body of Christ in the coming years. I expect God to bless that perspective because it is close to the heart of the Lord Jesus (cf. John 17:20-26), regardless of the political and historical views of the folks in Monroe. The root of the matter is to surely be found in Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church and I am glad that I got to see it for myself. I pray that true reformation and powerful revival will begin here and spread to many churches in the South and beyond. If God can humble and teach two old proud Alabamians, like Steve Wilkins and John Armstrong, then there is hope for us all.



And if anyone tells you Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church is an unhealthy place or that heresy is being taught there tell them to cut out the nonsense and seek for the facts first. If the truth be known, such an accusation is pure slander.


 
BISHOP ALLISON RESPONDS TO RADNER'S LECTURE


By the Rt. Rev. Dr. C. FitzSimons Allison
1/25/2004

(Submitted by David W. Virtue)

The Rev. Dr. Ephraim Radner's strategy for the Conservative Network of
Dioceses and Parishes, which seeks to maintain Christian integrity
within the Episcopal Church, was the topic of the last and culminating
address at the SEAD-ACI Conference in Charleston, SC recently. Dr.
Ephraim was at his scholarly and eloquent best. He gave us a vivid and
poignant view of the Roman Catholic Church during the French Revolution,
the Reign of Terror and the Napoleonic years.

It was a salutary lesson. Faithful Christians were persecuted, divided
among themselves, harassed and slaughtered. Nothing in our recent times
can compare with those unimaginable horrors. All the while they had to
make decisions about strategy and obedience which divided them not only
from their oppressors but from each other.

Radner's lesson, however, seems to be that we, too, are called to
endure, to suffer, to be humiliated but not to disobey or separate. We
must not rebel but quietly and humbly remain faithful in spite of
unfaithful authorities. He has long insisted that the Christian's duty
is to obey and endure without rebellion, without separation. In previous
SEAD conferences Dr. Radner had acknowledge that his strategy entails
dismissing the Anglican Reformation as a mistake that should not have
happened. He conceded, in answer to a question posed by Dr. Robert
Sanders, that it would mean that Cranmer was correct in his early
submissions/recantations but wrong in the last one.

I should like to offer a quite different model to help us with our
current issues. The turmoil of 17th century Anglicanism, I believe,
provides a better lesson that Dr. Radner's French Roman Catholic model.
The English monarchy, under James I and Charles I, was one with that of
Frances's Louis XIV in their claim to Divine Right of Kings and absolute
powers of monarchy. James' response to Anglican puritan objections was
that they must "conform or I will harry them out of the land or else do
worse."

Charles I, paralleling Louis XIV's absolutism, dissolved Parliament
rater than acquiesce in the historic parliamentary right to have
grievances addresses before granting taxes. The use of the Star Chamber
by Archbishop Laud to enforce tyranny was almost as cruel as the French
Catholics against the Huguenots. Ears were severed, noses sliced, and
tongues cropped when the Divine Right claims were not obeyed.

Fortunately for Anglicanism Laud's political ineptness had none of the
Machiavellian sagacity of Cardinal Richelieu. After the fall of New
Rochelle in 1629 and the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685,
France lost a significant portion of Bible believing middle class
artisans and scholars. They were dispersed over the world but in large
part, seeking religious freedom, they settled in the American colonies
and the Episcopal Church. Many, in subsequent generations, became
outstanding leaders and bishops: Dr. William Porcher DuBose, Bishops
Guerry, Dehon, Quintard, Gadsden, Huger and Provoost. If I understand
Dr. Radner correctly, the Huguenots should not have separated from
France and Roman Catholicism, but instead should have abjured and
returned to Roman Catholicism.

England, unlike France, enjoyed the outstanding genius of Oliver
Cromwell and his New Model Army. They violated Ephraim's strategy by
rebelling and disobeying ecclesiastical and royal authority and, in
doing so, made possible a constitutional monarchy and subsequent
constitutional republics all over the word.

The great constitutional scholar William Haller, used to pound his
lectern insisting that if his students were to understand constitutional
history, they must study the Putney debates. These were discussion among
the victorious soldiers of the New Model Army who, with open Bibles and
wet thumbs, debated what to do with the power they had in their hands.
Professor Haller says that of all the victories of that Army none was as
significant as its victory over itself as they voted, though yet unpaid
by the Rump Parliament, to disband and go home. (Cf. Liberty and
Reformation in the Puritan Revolution)

The examples of English victory over ecclesiastical and royal absolutism
were accomplished by actions that Professor Radner seems to urge us to
forego and resist. The failure in France to defeat the Royal Absolution
of the "Sun King," Louis XIV, resulted inevitably in the cataclysmic and
horrifying reaction in revolution and the Reign of Terror, so ably
described in Radner's lecture.

His lesson for us is not to disobey or separate from apostasy and
tyranny but to repent our Anglican Reformation and meet our current
issues with acquiescence and obedience. This seems more like masochism
than humility. We have a serious disagreement and I pray that I have
misunderstood my friend, Ephraim, and will be corrected.

I was so dismayed by the content and funereal tome of Dr. Radner's
lecture that I asked Professor Philip Turner if I had misunderstood
Radner's contention in effect that the Anglican reformation was a
mistake. To my consternation he firmly agreed with the implication
concerning the Reformation and cited the innumerable protestant
divisions in America as justification for remaining Roman Catholic. Dr.
Turner had just delivered a brilliant lecture showing the central figure
in Anglicanism to be Thomas Cranmer, who has provided us with the way to
live out our life and ministry in corporate worship, which would not be
an option had we remained with the Pope.

Fortunately, we had an eloquent presentation from the evangelical
British scholar, Dr. Christopher Green, who pointed out citations from
St. Cyprian and Origen that the early church knew orthodox teaching to
be of such paramount importance, since it involved the salvation of
souls (not mere academic difference), that the church must disobey and
replace heretical bishops. This has been amply demonstrated by
Professor Werner Elert in Eucharist and Church fellowship in the First
Four Centuries (Concordia, 1966) in which he shows that, contrary to
Radner's lesson, the early church demanded that heretical bishops be
repudiated and replaced by orthodox teachers. Certainly we have reason
to thank God that Athanasius did not acquiesce in the Arian
establishment of his day.

The endeavors of such SEAD-ACI scholars as Ephraim Radner and Philip
Turner, with Christopher Seitz, Kendall Harmon and others, under the
leadership of Anglican Primate Drexel Gomez, have produced three
excellent pamphlets on the present dilemma caused by ECUSA and New
Westminster's departure from the Anglican faith. To Mend the Net,
Claiming our Anglican Identity: The Case against the Episcopal Church,
USA, True Union in the Body: A contribution to the Discussion Within
the Anglican Communion Concerning the Public Blessing of Same-Sex
Unions. These short publications are marvels of profundity, simplicity
and clarity. Only gifted and orthodox scholar could have produced such
timely and eloquent works. It is, therefore, exceedingly important that
the strategy for orthodox Anglicanism be established on a solid and
truly Anglican foundation.

Dr. Ephraim Radner's abilities are unquestionably awesome. He certainly
is not lacking in courage having criticized the actions of the Presiding
Bishop and his own bishops with unmistakable candor. He was a Swahili
speaking missionary in Burundi. His ability with the violin can evoke
tears, he is too orthodox to be acceptable at culturally accommodating
academic institutions and is especially respected by his contemporary
academic colleagues.

Phil Turner, one of these colleagues, makes it clear what is his hope:
If the Primates and Rowan Williams are prepared to exercise some
discipline on the American Episcopal Church and the Diocese of New
Westminster in Canada, then we will continue to have an Anglican
Communion" And if not?

Archbishop Drexel Wellington Gomez must be given enormous credit in his
endeavors for this Communion in bringing together such able scholars and
in the production of the excellent publications. However, his and all
our endeavors will be aborted if the strategy implied by Radner and
Turner prevails.

It would mean that Cranmer was mistaken to issue the Prayer Books,
Articles, and Homilies. Elizabeth was wrong in not submitting to Rome
and the Council of Trent. Englishmen should not have rebelled against
Stuart tyranny and the claims of an absolute monarchy, which rejected
constitutional qualification on absolute power. Huguenots should have
abjured and returned to Richelieu's Roman Catholicism and Louis XIV's
absolutism, and the three of us should either be married or priests but
not both.

I am reminded of something Archbishop William Temple said in the middle
of the Second World War: "I thank God for pacifists, And I thank God
there are so few of them."

END

The Rt. Rev. Dr. C. FitzSimons Allison is the retired Bishop of South
Carolina

 
Study and pulpit


=====================================================

T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T

=====================================================
January 26, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Word, Worship and Sacrament (cont'd.)

637. Study and pulpit
'There is no need for me to prepare before preaching',
somebody argues; 'I shall rely on the Holy Spirit to give
me the words. Jesus himself promised that it would be
given us in that hour what we are to say.' Such talk
sounds plausible, until we remember that the misquotation
of Scripture is the devil's game. Jesus was referring to
the hour of persecution not of proclamation, and to the
prisoner's dock in a law court, not the pulpit in a church.
Trust in the Holy Spirit is not intended to save us the
bother of preparation. The Holy Spirit can indeed give us
utterance if we are suddenly called upon to speak and there
has been no opportunity to prepare. But he can also
clarify and direct our thinking in our study. Indeed,
experience suggests that he does a better job there than in
the pulpit.

--From "Christian Mission in the Modern World" (London:
Falcon, 1975), p. 126.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 272, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.


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