Wednesday, March 31, 2004
FORMER IOWA BISHOP HAS BEEN FUNCTIONING ILLEGALLY IN PITTSBURGH DIOCESE
By David W. Virtue
PITTSBURGH, PA-(3/30/2004) The former Bishop of Iowa, Walter Righter,
who publicly condemned five dissenting retired bishops for participating
in a confirmation service in the Diocese of Ohio, saying that they
should leave the Episcopal Church, has been performing sacramentally,
without permission or a license in the orthodox Diocese of Pittsburgh
bishop Robert Duncan.
The revisionist bishop, who walked away from charges that he violated
the canons for ordaining a non-celibate homosexual man to the deaconate
in 1990, has been caught red-handed in the Pittsburgh Diocese without
ever obtaining the approval of Bishop Duncan.
Righter had argued, “How can the Bishops ‘allow’ what the canons and
constitution do not allow? How can the Bishops ‘cede control’ that is
not theirs to cede? Even if they wanted to, they cannot.”
Apparently Righter has been doing “what the canons and constitution do
not allow” for more than six months in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
According to a source he has been “supplying” at Calvary Church while
the ultra-liberal rector Harold Lewis is on sabbatical. Righter moved
back from Maine because his third wife is from Pittsburgh.
Reached at Calvary Church, the Rev. Leslie G. Reimer associate rector
for Pastoral Care, refused at first to answer any questions about
Righter’s activities at the church, but then admitted that “he was
helping us out liturgically.”
Pressed on whether he was performing full sacramental functions, Reimer
did not deny it, but said that a letter the church sent to Bishop Duncan
about Righter’s presence and activities in the church went unanswered.
“The Canons require we ask, we did, but we never got an answer. We
never received an answer one way or the other,” she said.
According to a spokesman in the bishop’s office, Righter should not have
performed any functions at the parish without the bishop’s permission,
and by crossing into another diocese without permission and preaching
and celebrating; he was in violation of the Canons after 90 days.
Does this mean that there could be a second Righter Trial? Diocesan
officials would not say.
Clearly Righter, who has been an outspoken critic of orthodox bishops
and an outright proponent of pansexual behavior (he functioned as an
assistant bishop under Jack Spong in the Diocese of Newark) may finally
get his own comeuppance.
So the rules only apply to others, not to Mr. Righter, said a source to
While the Pittsburgh Diocese was holding hearings on resolutions to come
before special convention, the Righters were both very vocal at the open
hearing in Fox Chapel. “Isn't it interesting that this is the man who
says conservatives ought to leave ECUSA? Perhaps he sees himself
stepping into a geographically convenient Diocesan opening”?
The resolution that the revisionists pushed through the HoB condemning
the Ohio confirmations, said that the next time this happened there
would be disciplinary action. Now it has and Righter, the hypocrite,
should be put on trial and tossed out of the church.
William Henry Frazer Kuykendall, RIP
I was greatly saddened by the passing of Bill Kuykendall, under whom I had the priviledge of studying at Erskine Theological Seminary. He was a scholar and Christian gentleman. I especially remember his prayers before class. May he rest in piece and rise in glory! --DC
Longtime Erskine College And Seminary Professor
William Kuykendall Dies At 69
Dr. William Henry Frazer Kuykendall, John Montgomery Bell Professor of Biblical Studies Emeritus at Erskine Theological Seminary and former professor of history and government at Erskine College, died Monday at the age of 69.
Kuykendall, a native of Charlotte, N.C., was a 1956 graduate of Davidson College and received a Ph.D. in near eastern languages and archaeology from Johns Hopkins University in 1966. He came to Erskine College in 1963 to teach in the department of Bible and religion. In addition to Bible courses, he taught history, and, beginning in 1971, taught occasionally at Erskine Seminary, where he became professor of Old Testament in 1984.
Known as an excellent and challenging teacher, Kuykendall will be remembered by many alumni in both the college and seminary. His academic experience included teaching in the fields of Bible, Christian ethics, contemporary religion, ancient, medieval and modern history, archaeology, biblical and near eastern languages and Latin.
"Erskine has been blessed over the years with world-class scholars, professors who could engage students and cause them to reach for more, professors who have been vital contributors beyond the college and seminary, and professors who have reached beyond the local church to affect the denomination and wider Christian circles," Erskine College and Seminary President Dr. John Carson said.
"Seldom have we had a professor who could excel in more than one or two of these areas, but Bill Kuykendall excelled in them all—he broke the mold," Carson said.
Kuykendall delivered the inaugural address when Carson was installed as president in 1999.
Acting Dean of Erskine Seminary Dr. Robert Bell said an undergraduate Bible course he took with Kuykendall required him to delve into the Gospel of Luke. "It is my favorite gospel to this day," he said.
"He was a stringent grader, but a popular teacher, and that is a difficult combination to sustain," said McDonald-Boswell Professor of History Dr. James Gettys, who previously served as vice president and dean of the college. "He managed to accomplish that as well as anybody I've known."
Encouraging students to dig deeper was part of what made Kuykendall a great teacher, according to Bell. "I guess that comes with the territory of being an archaeologist," he said. Kuykendall taught a popular archaeology course at the college and led archaeological digs around Due West. He also traveled to the Middle East on archaeological expeditions.
Gettys said Kuykendall studied cuneiform at Emory University in the 1980s and 1990s. "He never stopped teaching, never stopped learning, never stopped loving students," Gettys said. "Generations of students since 1963 have benefited from his teaching, and many feel he was one of the best professors they ever had."
Despite physical setbacks resulting from an automobile accident several years ago, Kuykendall recently undertook the teaching of Latin to a group of eighth-grade students at Dixie High School in Due West, which he had done several times in previous years.
"It's always been a wonderful experience to have him involved with our students," Dixie High Principal Tracy Carter said. "He was so knowledgeable and they were very responsive to him. He truly loved teaching."
Bell said during a committee meeting today, Kuykendall's former seminary colleagues paused to reflect on the late professor's life and influence.
"No one has ever cared more passionately for his students, nor yearned more for them to learn and love God's Word," said Dr. Mary-Ruth Marshall, assistant dean of women at Erskine Seminary, who served on the seminary faculty with Kuykendall.
"He was a tough teacher, with high expectations. Yet foremost was his longing for them to enter the world of the Old Testament and love the Word and the God whose Word it is," Marshall said.
In addition to teaching at Erskine College and Seminary, Kuykendall was a committed husband and father who served his church and denomination in significant ways.
Married to Erskine alumna Mary Elizabeth Brooks of Atlanta, he was the father of three sons, John Edward, Robert Deaver and James Brooks, all of who graduated from Erskine College. He also had one grandchild.
Kuykendall was a ruling elder in the Due West Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and a longtime editor of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Adult Quarterly. He worked on many boards and committees of the General Synod, served as Moderator of the General Synod, and represented the ARP Church in interdenominational gatherings. He was also an active member of the Gideons.
Visitation will be Wednesday, March 31, from 5–7 p.m. at the Kuykendall home, 231 Ellis Road. The funeral service is Thursday, April 1, at 11 a.m. in the Due West ARP Church, with burial in the Due West ARP Church cemetery.
The family requests no flowers. They suggest memorials to Erskine College or the Elizabeth Mitchell Fund at Carlisle Nursing Center, Due West Retirement Center.
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Anglican-Catholic Talks In "Good Shape"?
By Auburn Faber Traycik
The Christian Challenge (Washington, DC)
March 30, 2004
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams told a large audience at America's
oldest Roman Catholic university yesterday that official Anglican-Catholic
dialogue "continues in good shape and health."
His surprising assessment, which did not note the imminent lapse in the
talks, came in response to a question following his weighty address at
Washington's Georgetown University on atheism, unbelief, and the "world of
Williams told listeners who packed the university's Gaston Hall that
Anglicans are still digesting "The Gift of Authority," one of the documents
produced by the longstanding Anglican-Roman Catholic International
Commission (ARCIC), and that another agreed statement (on Mary) was entering
the consideration process between the two Churches.
He did not mention that, after the conclusion of the current phase of ARCIC
dialogue, which evidently ends with the paper on Mary, there is to be a
review and planning for the next phase of the talks---which has been widely
reported to mean a suspension of them. Though the resignation of Episcopal
Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold as co-chairman of ARCIC late last year was
an apparent attempt to head it off, the Vatican's postponement of the
dialogue followed the consecration of an openly homosexual bishop, Gene
Robinson, in the U.S. Episcopal Church (ECUSA), and reflected what the
Vatican sees as the Anglican Communion's unwillingness or inability to bring
any doctrinal order to its situation.
The Rev. Joseph Wilson, a Roman Catholic priest in New York and a writer on
Roman Catholic and Anglican affairs, confirmed this understanding of the
status of ARCIC dialogue.
Within the Vatican, he added, there is "a lot of jockeying going on...in
these waning days of John Paul II," and "I don't think we can talk about a
wholly monolithic position. But everyone recognizes that the Anglicans are
in trouble *and* that they had thrown up increasingly serious obstacles."
The closest Williams got to acknowledging this "trouble" yesterday was in
his comments about the "moving experience" of being received by the Pope in
Rome last fall (before Robinson's consecration). While leaders of both
Churches reinforced the commitment to the dialogue, Williams evoked some
mirth in the Georgetown audience when he noted that he and Cardinal Walter
Kasper had agreed that they were eager to explore (inter alia) the differing
emphases on the "local" and "universal" church. The Anglican Church, he
wryly said, is rather heavily concentrated on "localism" (ECUSA and its gay
bishop being quite "local" to him at that point!), and the Roman Catholic
Church on "centralism." It would help, he said, if the two Churches can
discuss these emphases "candidly." He did state in plainer terms that
Catholic authorities had sternly warned him in Rome that the Episcopal
General Convention's watershed actions on the homosexual issue, which
included the approval of same-sex blessings, would have a chilling effect on
Continuing his response on the ecumenical question, Williams told his
listeners that "I have no idea" if there will ever be reconciliation between
the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches, but that "I hope and pray for
reintegration one day."
Yet, he said that he had found in a number of contexts the spiritual reality
of an already-existing unity between Anglicans and Roman Catholics. "It
would be a very grim picture" if that spiritual unity had to be put "on hold
'till we had agreements signed," he said.
Permission to circulate the foregoing electronically is granted, provided
that there are no changes in the headings or text.
Victor Books to Release Cracking THE DAVINCI CODE— Separating Fact from Fiction
Dr. Peter Jones
Colorado Springs, CO— The DaVinci Code,a novel by Dan Brown (Doubleday), has dazed and disillusioned many Christians with its numerous and troubling postulations. To help believers separate fact from fiction, Victor books will release a new title, CRACKING THE DAVINCI CODE. Brown’s seemingly harmless work of “fiction” recounts supposed “historical facts” that chip away at many of Christianities foundations, for example, whether the early Church fathers really believed Jesus was Divine. Another notion of the book is that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married—and had offspring that constitute “the true Holy Grail.”
Fiction or not, people are puzzled—even troubled—by some of the misconceptions in Brown’s novel, because they’re disguised as historical evidence. Victor’s new book refutes these claims and provides the information one needs to crack the code with the Truth. Two of Christianity’s top research authors, Dr. James Garlow, who holds degrees from Asbury and Princeton Seminaries; and Dr. Peter Jones, who holds degrees from Gordon-Conwell Seminary, Harvard Divinity School and Princeton, have collaborated to provide the practical insight to answer questions about the modern heresy. Garlow, the pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, Calif., is the author of How God Saved Civilization and A Christian’s Response to Islam. Jones is a professor of New Testament at Westminster Seminary in Escondido, and is the author of The Gnostic Empire Strikes Back and numerous other works.
While Garlow and Jones are treating the project with the utmost precision in scholarship and research, the resulting book will be reader-friendly— addressed to the layperson for ultimate usability. A discussion guide in the back of the book is ideal for personal or group studies.
In CRACKING THE DAVINCI CODE, Garlow and Jones will not only counter many allegations made by Brown; they will also expose what they call Brown’s “real agenda.” They will actually “crack the code” to reveal, among other things, what the true Holy Grail is. Further, the book will reveal pagan influences in today’s culture—including some surprising teachings and traditions in the Church at large.
Countering the misinformation in The Davinci Code has been on the Cook agenda since the book began stirring up controversy among Christians last fall. “We want to help Christians understand how The Davinci Code works to undermine the Christian faith,” said Bruce Adair, Executive Vice President of Cook Communications Ministries. “That’s what we’re here for— to provide materials that help Christians deal with controversies such as this. ” Victor is the Cook brand targeted at helping Christians deal with the contemporary issues by understanding the truth of God’s word.
Supporting CRACKING THE DAVINCI CODE will be downloadable sermons for pastors—something Adair feels can help the Church at large deal with the questions Christians are already raising since the release of Brown’s book less than a year ago.
“Providing practical resources in history and apologetics is part of our mission as Christian publishers,” Adair said. “Considering the devastating effect the novel could have on Christians, we want to provide a resource to help Christians deal with questions that can arise from the misleading novel. And the knowledgeable authors we have signed are just the right ones to do it.”
CRACKING THE DAVINCI CODE is slated for release in May of this year.
Victor Books is an imprint of Cook Communications Ministries (CCM), a non- profit Christian communications organization providing, discipleship resources for churches and families in the US and other English speaking countries. Cook Communications Ministries International (CCMI) is currently working in over 83 countries and in 150 languages to build the church and families by providing training for developing Christian publishers as well as products to support discipleship. For more information about our ministry please visit our web site at www.cookministries.com
Cook Brands: Victor, NexGen, FaithKids, Life Journey, Honor and RiverOak.
The Not-So-Gay Lifestyle
Pastoral care for homosexuals who want out.
As the young man stood in the hospital radiology room getting ready for a chest X-ray, the nurse spoke to him, "Please remove the metal you're wearing around your neck."
Actually, it was a uniquely shaped cross with the face of Jesus etched onto it. She must have seen the fear in his eyes as he gently rubbed this precious gift his parents had given him years ago.
"If we wrap it in masking tape, you can keep it on during the X-ray," she said.
"Thank you," the young man replied. That symbol of Jesus around his neck was the last vestige of the Christian faith to which he'd once looked as a source of hope.
Later in his room, the young man lay on the hospital bed, feeling empty and afraid. His health over the previous 13 months had declined rapidly. From his first venereal disease in January of the previous year to his current admission to Boston City Hospital with thrush, he had 12 frightening symptoms—nearly one for each month.
In the young man's mind, these health problems—all occurring within two years after he'd become sexually active in New York City—pointed in one direction: AIDS.
Five days of blood tests, all of which had returned negative, left only one option—a bone marrow biopsy. This was the only test left to find out why the young man's T-cell count was so low. The doctor had suggested the test earlier, but the young man had refused as he knew it was the final test used in diagnosing AIDS.
That evening while lying on his bed, he once again gently rubbed the cross that hung around his neck. The name formed on the young man's lips. "Jesus … oh, Jesus," he prayed, "what have I done? I sought you out at age 14, and again at 18, but neither time did I receive the healing I needed to be free from homosexuality. Why, Lord? Why are some people able to come to you so easily and enter into the life of the church while others like myself, so clearly in need, fail to get any help at all?"
Unfortunately, this young man is not alone. I know that personally.
"My friend has a problem …"
Every day we receive calls at Redeemed Life Ministries asking, "How can I help someone who is struggling with homosexuality?" In fact, it's our most commonly asked question.
My response is to ask two key questions:
1. Is the struggling person a Christian? Has he or she been baptized, regenerated, and converted in Jesus Christ? If the answer is no, then the first step in the healing process is not to address homosexuality, but to introduce them to the Great Physician himself, Jesus.
Sometimes we send people to the nearest Alpha course, where they can be introduced to Christianity and meet Jesus personally. If the person is, in fact, a Christian, then my next question is simple.
2. Does the person want help? If someone does not think overcoming homosexuality is possible because he or she couldn't find help, then we need to walk alongside and offer hope. If the person does not believe what Scripture teaches about homosexuality, then we do not go any further. Only if a person decides he or she wants to overcome homosexuality do we move forward.
This year thousands of men and women struggling with homosexuality will pass through church doors. Depending on the church's response, they will either be led closer to Christ or pushed farther away.
For many, "the homosexual" in them seems to grow at a much faster rate than "the Christian" in them. This leads too often to disillusionment, and they decide to simply stop attending church. The gay lifestyle is all-too-ready to whisper, "Great, yeah, you don't need that church influence. Welcome."
The young man at the beginning of this article had turned to the church twice before—and found no help. Who was that young man?
For several years I struggled silently with the tension between my homosexual feelings and my Christian faith. Deep inside, I feared that if the homosexual in me was stronger than my Christian faith, then surely Christianity was a religion of unrealistic expectations.
In many ways, I wanted help but didn't seem to find it. When I finally cried out to God while in the hospital, I didn't receive the audible reply from God I wanted or expected. Instead I saw a vision of two paths I could take—one leading to destruction, the other to healing. I sensed the Spirit of the Lord saying, "I want to heal your whole person, not just your body. Choose."
I chose. By his grace I was physically healed. I didn't have AIDS, and the doctors were able to offer no explanation for my symptoms or my cure.
Today, also by God's grace, I am married and the father of four children.
4 questions for charting change
Homosexuality is not a singular, monolithic condition shared by all people with same-sex attraction. There are many factors in a person's life that will affect the course of healing. To ascertain the road ahead, weigh the following:
1. Has the person crossed the moral boundary of acting out? Someone who has never had homosexual sex does not have to deal with added issues. Nor does he need to rebuild the moral boundary line he crossed in order to act out that first time. I have known many men and women who never acted on their homosexual thoughts and feelings because they were raised with strong moral boundaries. However, if someone seeks help after acting out—as was true in my case—the difficulty is compounded but not impossible.
2. What is their age? Those seeking help by their early 20s seem to progress more quickly toward heterosexual relating. I began seeking help for changing my homosexuality at 24. Within months I experienced the first sparks of sexual attraction for women.
Those seeking help between their late 20s and 30s often do so only after they have come to some dissatisfaction with homosexuality. By the time the mid-to-late 30s arrive, many have lost hope of finding a long-term homosexual partner, and are open to leaving homosexuality. The possibility of marriage and family is a strong motivation.
Some come for help well after the age of having a family is probable. Many of these individuals have been involved in homosexuality for decades. But ultimately, they desire freedom and holy living.
Ron came to us when he was 58. He was quite successful in his profession and accepted by most of his colleagues. By day he was a professional businessman, but on nights and weekends he was the model of the well-adjusted successful gay man.
Then he met Jesus through the friendship of one of his coworkers.
As his desire to follow the Lord Jesus grew, he noticed a growing dissatisfaction with the homosexual subculture. Ron joined a supportive church, entered into our Redeemed Lives program (eight months of pastoral care and discipleship for the cure and maturation of the soul) and happily settled into a celibate life.
3. Is the person part of a supportive local church? Integration into the body of Christ where we can know others and be known by others is key to healing. This is not to say that everyone in the church needs to be informed of the ones who struggle with homosexuality. But a supportive environment with plenty of fellowship opportunities such as Bible studies, small groups, and a shared common life is necessary to healthy growth.
Some churches have programs specifically aimed at helping people overcome sexual brokenness. While this is a great benefit, I have known many men and women who successfully came out of homosexuality simply through integrating into a loving church family to grow as a disciple of Jesus.
4. Would they benefit from professional psychological or psychiatric care? Proper diagnosis and treatment of psychological or psychiatric needs can be a critical factor affecting change from many sexual struggles. There are those in the church who think a pastor ought not to make such a recommendation. Certain psychological and psychiatric conditions can interlock with a sexual struggle. Until these are properly treated, there may be a discouraging pattern of reverting into old sexual patterns in an attempt to medicate an untreated condition.
I saw this clearly when John, another pastor, came to me for help at the recommendation of his superintendent. John was married and the father of three teenage sons, but throughout his 20-year marriage, he had been involved in anonymous homosexual encounters.
Early on, he was so desperate for help he moved his entire family to New York City, stating he wanted to earn a Ph.D. at a theological school there. But his real motivation was to receive help from a psychoanalyst in Manhattan well known for his successful treatment of homosexuality. Through this doctor's care, John came alive to his sexual need for his wife. John told me, however, that his sexual attraction toward men lessened, but he still acted out homosexually several times each year.
After we'd been meeting for a while, I asked him if he would consider seeing a psychiatrist. He was hesitant because he had traveled the road of professional care before. He did not understand the difference between psychiatric and psychological care. He agreed to be evaluated by a psychiatrist, who diagnosed him with depression, anxiety, and a form of clinical paranoia, each responsive to medication.
Within a few months of the medications, I witnessed one of the most remarkable transformations I have ever seen. John reported that the love he had long held for his dear wife was continually on the surface of his heart. Moreover, his homosexual struggle was now nothing more than occasional thoughts.
Eventually, he went off the medication for anxiety and paranoia but remained on a low dosage of an antidepressant. He never acted out homosexually again and his marriage grew stronger and stronger.
Certainly there are other factors that influence the course of healing from homosexuality. But the four presented here repeatedly show themselves to be critical in healing journeys I have witnessed.
The church's role in change
There is no single process for persons trying to leave the homosexual lifestyle. There are, however, ways we in pastoral roles can help.
The church can effectively minister to such a person through preaching, teaching, and healing. The Bible attests to this three-fold order in Matthew 9:35: "Then Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness."
As the church, we are to teach and demonstrate that living in holy celibacy and healing are viable options for every Christian, even those struggling with homosexuality, which is but one of the many conditions Jesus died to redeem us from.
In the October 2003 Archives of Sexual Behavior, Dr. Robert Spitzer of Columbia University announced the results of his study of over 200 people who successfully overcame homosexuality. His scientific findings confirm the biblical stance: homosexuals can change.
We are to preach the Good News leading to regeneration and deeper growth in Jesus Christ. The pastor who ministered to me after I left the homosexual lifestyle showed me that pastors don't have to pretend to know it all. He treated me with respect and love, while still challenging me and teaching me to pray with a depth I never had before.
Finally, we are to offer sexual redemption in Christ, not only for homosexuality, but for all sexual issues. I remember several unexpected encounters with Christians whose faith ministered to me, including some nuns with guitars who greeted me on the street. Their joy and warmth helped bring healing to my soul.
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul gives a list of common sins, including two forms of homosexual behavior. But in verse 11 he says, "And such were some of you, but you were washed, you were justified, you were sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." Notice the use of the past tense, were. Paul is clearly stating that the Corinthians became free from homosexuality.
When properly equipped, we can be effective shepherds to those who come to church for healing in their sexuality, including those struggling with homosexuality.
Clearly, anyone can be forgiven of homosexual sin. Most people who want to change can successfully do so, and all who are in Christ can experience holy living.
Mario Bergner is an Episcopal priest and heads Redeemed Life Ministries in Wheaton, Illinois.
"I'm gay. Can you help me?"
Resources to aid the sexually confused and those who reach out to them.
Exodus International, North America
P.O. Box 540119
Orlando FL 32854
Desert Steam Ministries
P.O. Box 17635
Anaheim CA 92817
Pastoral Care Ministries
P.O. Box 1313
Wheaton IL 61089
Love Won Out
Focus on the Family
P.O. Box 35500
Colorado Springs CO 80935
Redeemed Life Ministries
P.O. Box 1211
Wheaton IL 60189
Setting Love In Order
Mario Bergner (Baker Books, 1995)
Coming Out Straight
Richard Cohen (Oakhill Press, 2000)
Pursuing Sexual Wholeness
Andy Comiskey (Creation House, 1990)
A Strong Delusion
Joe Dallas (Harvest House, 1996)
The Broken Image
Leanne Payne (Baker Books, 1996)
Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth
Jeffrey Satinover (Baker Books, 1996)
The Same Sex Controversy
James White and Jeffrey Niell (Bethany House, 2002)
The ministry of letter-writing
T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T
March 30, 2004
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott
Ministers and Ministry (cont'd.)
701. The ministry of letter-writing
I do not know any Christian leader of modern days who
shared, as he did, the apostle Paul's conviction about the
value of letter-writing. Bash [the Rev. E. J. H. Nash] was
never separated from his writing materials, especially on
his 'missionary journeys'. During the war he continued to
travel, sometimes driving many miles to visit a small group
or even only one boy, or using the erratic war-time train
service. One of my most characteristic memories of him is
to see him on an ill-lit railway platform during the
blackout, with his attache case on his knees and his
writing pad on it, 'redeeming the time' by writing letters.
--From 'The Counsellor and Friend', in "A Study in
Spiritual Power", ed. J. Eddison (rev. edn. Guildford:
Highland, 1992), p. 84.
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 295, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.
Nassau & New Anglican Alignment
From Canon Ron Moock, RE Diocese of the SE
The Most Rev. Drexel Gomez, Anglican Primate of the Province of the Bahamas and
West Indies, and the Most Rev. Gregory Venables, new Archbishop of the Anglican
Province of the Southern Cone, have invited the Presiding Bishop of the Reformed
Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Leonard Riches, and the Presiding Bishop of the
Anglican Province of America, the Most Rev. Walter Grundorf, to Nassau this week
to meet with other primates and bishops of the Anglican Communion who are in
broken or impaired communion with ECUSA. He has also invited three other R.E.
Bishops: West, Grote, and Sutton, and, I think, one or two other APA Bishops.
Archbishops Gomez and Venables are in constant contact with Anglican Archbishops
from Africa and Southeast Asia.
The Invitation came about when Archbishop Gomez was in Charleston, SC, in early
January, 2004, to address the Anglican Communion Institute (formerly SEAD)
conference held in St. Philip's Church. At the conference, he continued his
outspoken criticism of the illegal acts of the Episcopal Church USA and the
Diocese of Westminster, Anglican Church of Canada, in the last two years.
During that conference he met with Bishops Riches, Sutton and West; and, out of
that meeting came this extraordinary invitation to forge a link with other
Anglican Churches in America outside of ECUSA!
Archbishop Gomez had also been impressed and delighted by the new Federation for
Anglican Ministry in America that emerged from the December 2003 meetings of
Anglicans United in Orlando, Florida. This document drew from the "Federation"
concept worked out by the REC/APA Unity Committee earlier year. Bishops, clergy
and laity of the REC and APA, along with representatives from other continuing
Anglican churches, were prominent signers of the Federation document. (Go to:
www.anglicansunited.com or call 1-800-553-3645 for further information.)
All of the visiting bishops traveled to the Bahamas last week, in order to
preach in various Anglican parishes in Nassau yesterday, March 28th. They had
been invited to preach by Archbishop Gomez, who carefully guards who will preach
in his parishes. This is an important courtesy - given only to those who are
orthodox - extended to the REC and APA bishops. Today, Monday, is a day off for
relaxing and refreshment.
The meetings with other archbishops and bishops will begin on Tuesday, and
conclude on Friday, April 2nd, with most of the time spent in prayer, Bible
study, worship and simple discussion about the Gospel and Mission. Anglicans
United and The Ekklesia Society are are assisting in the costs of this meeting.
Pray for our bishops as they travel and that a renewing of the Holy Spirit may
move through our Anglican/Episcopal churches in America to re-form and maintain
that biblical and apostolic faith of our fathers.
ORTHODOX DEAN SAYS HOB DEPO STATEMENT “UNSATISFACTORY”
By David W. Virtue
BIRMINGHAM, AL--The Dean of the Cathedral Church of the Advent in
Birmingham says that the recent HOB statement regarding Delegated
Episcopal Pastoral Oversight is unsatisfactory, because it withholds
"jurisdiction", and makes a consistent distinction between
"jurisdiction" and "pastoral oversight".
The Very Rev. Dr. Paul Zahl says that what is needed for the dissenting
minority, is a suspension, in love, of business as usual, indeed a
suspension, for a period of time, of the constitution and canons of
ECUSA analogous to the Act of Synod in the Church of England, which
would provide us a safe place to stand.
“We need a position of SAFETY and full recognition of our identity, not
somebody else's idea of what that is supposed to mean. They should have
given us some place of independent jurisdiction, simply out of concern
for our deepest feelings and principles. This they have not done.”
Zahl said he was disappointed with the outcome, as he had been making
progress towards a better statement that would have done more for those
orthodox parish priests being persecuted by revisionist bishops.
Pennsylvania Bishop Charles E. Bennison has gone on record saying, “As a
matter of conscience and in a desire to honour my ordination vows, I
personally have no intention of implementing anything like Flying
Bishops or whatever they call it even if it is adopted," by the House of
Monday, March 29, 2004
Press Release - Nigeria and South Africa
29 March 2004
A meeting took place between the Most Revd Njongonkulu Ndungane, Primate of Southern Africa and the Most Revd Peter Akinola, Primate of Nigeria held at Kwa Malusi, 18 Stanley Road, Irene, Pretoria. In attendance were the Rt Revd Dr Jo Seoka, the Bishop of Pretoria and the Rt Revd Dr Peter Adebiyi, the Bishop of Lagos West.
The meeting started with a Holy Communion Service presided over by the Rt Revd Dr Jo Seoka of the Diocese of Pretoria who also facilitated this meeting as the Liaison Bishop for Southern Africa to CAPA. This meeting was called primarily to discuss the way forward for the Anglican Church in Africa and globally on how to work out issues about what affects the church in general. We agreed that there had been a communication gap between the leadership of the Church and this meeting resolved to remove obstacles that make communication impossible and thereby be able to fight against any forces that seek to divide us. It also agreed to share information about various meetings that will take place in Africa, for example, the All Anglican Bishops’ Conference to be held in Nigeria in October 2004; and the Lambeth Conference to be held in Cape Town in 2008; and to assist African nations to be self-reliant – and thereby reduce disease and poverty among the nations of Africa.
1. We concluded to work together to strengthen the position of the Church in Africa on the issue of Human Sexuality. We uphold the Lambeth resolution on Human Sexuality as passed at the 1998 Lambeth Conference and subsequent Primates Meetings which categorically say no to same-sex marriages or unions.
2. We are committed to work together with the African political leaders on conflict prevention and resolution and to facilitate the success of NEPAD.
3. We are committed to work together to eradicate poverty and diseases – most especially HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Most Revd Njongonkulu Ndungane
Primate of Southern Africa
Most Revd Peter Akinola
Primate of All Nigeria
Georgetown to Host Archbishop of Canterbury
Georgetown University has announced it will host the third "Building
Bridges" seminar March 29 - April 1, 2004, bringing together Christian and
Muslim scholars from around the world to discuss understanding and
commonality between the two faiths. Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan
Williams, will give a public lecture in Georgetown's Gaston Hall before the
seminar begins on Monday, March 29 at 6:00 p.m. titled "Analyzing Atheism:
Unbelief and the World of Faiths."
"Georgetown is pleased to host an interfaith gathering of scholars from
around the world," said Georgetown University President John J.
DeGioia. "Fostering dialogue and understanding is important to the
University's Catholic, Jesuit educational mission and we look forward to
further engaging these issues through the Building Bridges seminar."
The Building Bridges seminar follows from similar gatherings in London in
2002 and Qatar in 2003. Muslim and Christian scholars from around the world
will hold detailed discussions involving intensive study of Biblical and
Qur'anic texts. This seminar will focus on the understanding of prophecy in
the two faith communities and will address issues such as the claims to
finality within Islam and Christianity. A full schedule and list of
participants are available here.
Georgetown professors participating include John Esposito, Director of the
Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding; Fr John Langan, S.J., Joseph
Cardinal Bernardin Professor of Catholic Social Thought; Jane McAuliffe,
Dean of Georgetown College and Professor, Department of Arabic; and John
Voll, Associate Director, Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.
Dr. Williams said that he hoped the conference would build on the work of
previous gatherings. "Muslims and Christians share the conviction that the
God who creates so generously also communicates with his creation, and they
see the sending of prophets as a crucial part of that communication. So
it's an exciting prospect for Christian and Muslim scholars to spend three
days together study the different ways our scriptures understand prophecy.
I look forward to all that we will be able to learn from each other and to
the deepening of understanding and of friendship between us."
The seminar proceedings, which are partially open to the public, will be
published in book form. The proceedings of the first seminar, hosted at
Lambeth Palace by Dr. George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury in January
2002, were published as The Road Ahead (Church House Publishing).
Proceedings from the second seminar, hosted by the Amir of Qatar in April
2003, have been published as Scriptures in Dialogue (Church House
Sunday, March 28, 2004
Visiting bishop wants end to rhetoric on gay clergy
Sunday, March 28, 2004 By Steve Levin, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
An influential Church of England bishop visiting Pittsburgh this week
believes the crisis in the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion over gay
ordination is related to America's unilateralism.
The Rt. Rev. N.T. Wright's speaking schedule
10:30 a.m. today: Preaching at Church of Ascension, Oakland.
7 p.m. tomorrow: Public lecture at First Presbyterian Church, Youngstown, Ohio.
11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Tuesday: Schaff Lectures, Pittsburgh Theological
Seminary. Latter lecture followed by 5:30 p.m. reception and book signing.
11:30 a.m. Wednesday: Preaching at chapel services, Pittsburgh Theological
Seminary. There will also be a 4:30 p.m. lecture.
The Rt. Rev. N.T. Wright, bishop of Durham in the Church of England and
former canon theologian of Westminster Abbey, said "America has been
screwing the world into the socket" for years to reach agreements on land
mines, global debt, the environment and trade.
Yet when it came time to invade Iraq, the United States acted virtually
alone, Wright said in a phone interview from England. He compared that
action to the Episcopal Church's consecration of an openly gay bishop
against existing church polity.
"So why should the world listen to the [Episcopalians in the] United States
when changing Episcopal Church law?" he asked. "It is bound to be perceived
as, 'There you go again.' It's more of the same."
Wright will be in Pittsburgh today through Thursday to speak at Pittsburgh
Theological Seminary's Schaff Lectures and talk at churches in the region.
As the fourth most important bishop in the Church of England after the
bishops of Canterbury, York and London, Wright's comments carry weight
beyond that province and throughout the 70-million-member Anglican
Communion, which also includes the Episcopal Church, USA.
Author of more than 30 books, he also is a member of the 19-member Lambeth
Commission formed in October by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Its mission is
to find ways of keeping the worldwide Anglican Communion from disintegrating
in the wake of the Episcopal Church's ordination of an openly gay bishop and
a Canadian diocese's sanctioning of same-sex blessings.
Wright said the primary question to be answered by the Lambeth Commission is
one of communion, not homosexuality. The consecration of the Rt. Rev. Gene
Washington as bishop of New Hampshire was counter to several previous
Anglican resolutions, he said.
"We're looking at questions of how you hold the church together when that
happens," Wright said. "Only secondarily is the question of homosexuality."
The Lambeth Commission held its first meeting in February. A second is
scheduled for North Carolina in June. Its final report to the archbishop is
due in September.
Wright was a logical choice for the commission. In addition to his senior
position in the Church of England, he taught New Testament studies for 20
years at universities in England and Canada, and participated in numerous
international debates on church doctrine.
Commission members have agreed not to reveal details of their work.
He has no plans during his stay to meet with Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop
Robert W. Duncan Jr. Duncan is moderator of the Anglican Communion Network,
which seeks alternate Episcopal oversight for parishes and individuals who
disagree with their diocese's stand on gay clergy and same-sex blessings.
Wright's own opinion -- "It is inappropriate to ordain to regular ministries
those who are active, practicing homosexuals" -- is well known. The key to
any discussion, he said, is dispensing with rhetoric.
"We need to claim the right and the duty to think through individual issues
on a case-by-case basis instead of going with a knee-jerk reaction," he said.
"The best case I can think of at this moment ... is for a lot of real
listening all around. That has to be listening not to rhetoric but a real
digging into what the real issues are," such as scripture and the church's
He is less sanguine about the future of the Anglican Communion should the
debate not be resolved.
The communion, he said, "simply could come apart at the seams."
"We really don't know what that would look like."
The topic of Wright's lectures is "Putting Paul Back Together Again."
Episcopal Divinity School announces honorary degree recipients
The Most Reverend Michael Peers Selected As Commencement Speaker
Friday, March 26, 2004
[EDS] The Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) announced today that it will
confer honorary degrees on four persons with distinguished and faithful
ministries in social justice: Ms. Katya Fells, The Most Reverend Michael
Geoffrey Peers, the Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson, and Dr. Charles Willie,=
at the School=92s May 20, 2004 commencement ceremony. The commencement
address will be delivered by Archbishop Peers.
Katya Fels is founder and executive director of On the Rise, Inc., a
Cambridge, Massachusetts, nonprofit dedicated to working with women who are
homeless and in crisis and who are unable to get the level of support and
services they need from traditional providers. Ms. Fels has developed a
model for working with women who face a multiplicity of issues, generally
including trauma and domestic abuse, which is built on a foundation of
multiculturalism and inclusion.
The Most Reverend Michael Geoffrey Peers is the recently retired Primate of=
the Anglican Church of Canada. As Primate, Archbishop Peers brought a
special concern to encourage greater inclusiveness in the life of the church=
and to address major issues facing Canada and the world from a Christian
The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of New
Hampshire, has focused much of his ministry on helping congregations and
clergy in conflict, and in studying congregational dynamics, conflict, and
mediation. He has also worked closely with the New Hampshire Community Loan
Fund for affordable housing and the New Hampshire Endowment for Health, a
foundation working for access to health care for the uninsured.
Dr. Charles Willie, Professor Emeritus at Harvard Graduate School of
Education, is a sociologist whose areas of research include desegregation,
higher education, public health, race relations, urban community problems,
and family life. He served as a consultant, expert witness, and court
appointed master in major school desegregation cases in larger cities such
as Boston, Hartford, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Little Rock,
Milwaukee, San Jose, Seattle, and St. Louis; and others. In Philadelphia in
1974, Dr. Willie participated as a lay-preacher in the irregular service of
ordination for the first eleven women priests in the Episcopal Church of the=
When making this announcement, EDS President and Dean Steven Charleston
said, =93EDS is proud to recognize Katya Fells, Archbishop Peers, Bishop
Robinson, and Dr. Willie for their leadership in the areas of justice,
compassion, and reconciliation. These principles are at the core of EDS as
we work to develop leaders for Christ=92s Church and the world who will serv=
all of God=92s people. These men and woman stand with us. By bestowing the
Doctor of Divinity degree on each of them, we celebrate four people of
vision, integrity, and gospel courage.=94
The Episcopal Divinity School commencement is scheduled for Thursday, May
20, 2004 at 2:00 pm.
Episcopal Divinity School is a respected center of study and spiritual
formation for lay and ordained leaders with a strong commitment to justice,
compassion, and reconciliation. Formed in 1974 with the merger of
Philadelphia Divinity School and the Episcopal Theological School, EDS
offers doctor of ministry and master=92s degrees, as well as certificates in=
theological studies. Located on an eight-acre campus just a few blocks from
Harvard Yard, EDS is a member of the Boston Theological Institute, a
consortium of nine eminent theological schools, seminaries, and departments
ACN Convocation Deans Respond to House of Bishops Plan
The House of Bishops has failed the Church by its new process for
Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight (DEPO). The bishops had the
opportunity to act sacrificially and lovingly to reach out to
orthodox Episcopal congregations and parishioners. Instead, they have
offered DEPO, a cumbersome bureaucratic process controlled by the
very overseers from whom relief is sought. It inadequately deals with
episcopal pastoral care and fails entirely to address such issues as
ordination, the calling of clergy, church planting, finances or
property. Under DEPO, the power and prerogatives of the bishops are
paramount, while genuine concern for parishioners is lost. It shows
that the House of Bishops is not serious about reform which would
respond to the concerns of the Primates.
We know that our Network bishops who were present worked valiantly
for a better outcome from the House of Bishops meeting just
concluded. Nevertheless, the great majority of the bishops have made
clear by the terms of the plan for DEPO that the rejection of
biblical authority and the endorsement of sexual intimacy outside of
marriage are now the settled teaching of our Church; all that remains
is to regulate the speed with which this new teaching is imposed on
The Anglican Communion Network is committed to living under the
authority of Holy Scripture and in true unity with the vast majority
of the world-wide Anglicans. We serve in partnership with the
Primates, who have written, "we offer our support and the full weight
of our ministries and offices to those who are gathering" in the
As Deans of the Anglican Communion Network, we say to all faithful
Episcopalians in our Convocations: We will do our utmost to provide
the support, guidance and encouragement you need to remain faithful
to Christ and to carry out the missionary calling we all share. We
will work with you in bold and creative ways to provide ministry and
mission in healthy, orthodox church structures.
In the Anglican Communion Network, we will remain faithful to Christ,
no matter what the cost. We take heart from St. Paul's words in this
Sunday's epistle: "I regard everything as loss because of the
surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have
suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in
order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a
righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes
through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I
want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing
of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may
attain the resurrection from the dead.
"Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the
goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made
me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own;
but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining
forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize
of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:8-14).
Your servants in Christ,
The Rev. John A. M. Guernsey, Dean, Mid-Atlantic Convocation
The Rev. James McCaslin, Dean, Southeastern Convocation
The Rev. Ronald L. McCrary, Dean, Mid-Continental Convocation
The Rev. David Moyer, Dean, Forward in Faith North America Convocation
The Rev. William Murdoch, Dean, New England Convocation
The Rev. William A. Thompson, Dean, Western Convocation
The Fifth Sunday in Lent
WE beseech thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon thy people; that by thy great goodness they may be governed and preserved evermore, both in body and soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
No ungifted Christian
T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T
March 28, 2004
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott
Ministers and Ministry (cont'd.)
699. No ungifted Christian
The fact that every Christian has a gift and therefore a
responsibility, and that no Christian is passed by and left
without endowment, is fundamental to the New Testament
doctrine of the church.
--From "Baptism and Fullness" (London: IVP, 1975), p. 105.
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 294, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.
Saturday, March 27, 2004
'Entering the ministry'
T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T
March 27, 2004
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott
Ministers and Ministry (cont'd.)
698. 'Entering the ministry'
We do a disservice to the church whenever we refer to the
pastorate as 'the ministry', for example when we speak of
ordination in terms of 'entering the ministry'. This use
of the definite article implies that the ordained pastorate
is the only ministry there is. But *diakonia* is a generic
word for service; it lacks specificity until a descriptive
adjective is added, whether 'pastoral', 'social',
'political', 'medical' or another. All Christians without
exception, being followers of him who came 'not to be
served but to serve', are themselves called to ministry,
indeed to give their lives in ministry. But the expression
'full-time Christian ministry' is not to be restricted to
church work and missionary service; it can also be
exercised in government, the media, the professions,
business, industry and the home. We need to recover this
vision of the wide diversity of ministries to which God
calls his people.
--From "The Message of Acts" (The Bible Speaks Today
series: Leicester: IVP, 1990), p. 122.
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 294, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.
Thursday, March 25, 2004
Sermon from Ohio Confirmation Service
March 25, 2004
The Rt. Rev. FitzSimons Allison delievered this sermon at an unprecedented and historic confirmation service in Akron, Ohio, March 14, 2004.
[N.B. I am priviledged to count Bishop Allison as a friend and was deeply honored at my ordination as presbyter when this dear man of God participated and joined in the laying on of hands.]
Let us pray: “Just as I am, without one plea but that thy blood was shed for me and that thou bidd’st me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.”
This is the hymn that Bishop Charles McIlvaine insisted be sung at every confirmation he held in this Diocese. In later life he wrote: “ When I am gone, I wish to be remembered in association with that hymn.” McIlvaine was one of the outstanding bishops of our church. Born in 1799, son of a U.S. Senator, graduate of Princeton, and second Bishop of Ohio. He served as Chaplain at West Point but was dismissed for being so successful in converting cadets to Christianity that too many were leaving the military for the ordained ministry. One of these was the Rt. Rev. and Lt. General Leonidas Polk, Bishop of Louisiana and Confederate general killed in battle. McIlvaine was Abraham Lincoln’s unofficial and effective ambassador to Britain when Southern sympathizers and cotton interests were meeting to have the British Navy break the Union blockade.
McIlviane had three passions. The first was justification by grace through faith, the great doctrine that is the mark of standing or failing church. He wrote what is still a definitive answer to John Henry Newman’s “Lecture on Justification” (1838); correctly predicting that if Newman were right there would be no reason not to become a Roman Catholic. Seven years later Newman did just that.
The second great passion was to defend the Christian faith from rationalism. Trust in human reason gradually replaced trust in God’s self revelation in Jesus Christ. This replacement rapidly secularized our culture and surely threatens our church today. In this McIlvaine was truly a prophet. As an ardent evangelical, he astonished many when he linked up with Charles Grafton, a Cowley monk, and later Anglo-Catholic Bishop of Fond du Lac, in their exposure of the dangers of rationalism. Grafton was one of the first bishops to wear one of those funny hats that Bishop Wantland has on. These two traditions are together today with those who are recovering the power of the Holy Spirit in contending for Christian revelation against reducing the faith of the church to a mere reflection of an increasingly decadent culture. (For documentation of this decadent drift, cf J. Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence: 1500 to Present)
McIlvaine’s third and greatest passion was scripture. J.H. Newman led a whole tradition in the wrong direction when he claimed in the opening words of his first tract: “Hard master He cannot be, to bid us oppose the world, yet give us no credentials to do so.” The credential given us, Newman claimed, is “our apostolic descent.” None of us, now, can possibly be unaware that Newman was wrong. Bishops in Apostolic succession have not been outstanding in their sworn role as guarantors of the Christian faith. Many are, at present, the very vehicle of apostasy.
In contrast to Newman’s trust in our credentials, Bishop McIlvaine would have said, “Hard Master He cannot be to bid us oppose the world yet not give us His Word for doing so. But he has given us His Word, the Holy Scriptures. Professor Richard Hays of Duke points out that Scripture critics have had it backwards: skepticism toward Scripture and trust toward their own cultural assumption. What is needed is skepticism regarding our cultural and trust toward Scripture. The essence of the Gospel is inaccessible without a hermeneutic of trust.
Jesus has given us a text for McIlvaine’s first two passions, countering rationalism and affirming justification by faith. It is from Matthew 16:6 “Take heed! Beware the yeast of the Sadducee and the yeast of the Pharisee.” Sadducees did not believe in the Resurrection. For them the last word was death. Whatever god Sadducees trusted, death was greater than their god, leaving us with little to trust but our own fallen, flawed and self centered reason.
Pharisees believed in the Resurrection but, also, and, perhaps because, they trusted in their own righteousness. They believed that they were able, by their own goodness, to pass the test and judgment of the righteous God. Jesus warned “Take heed, Beware the yeast of the Sadducees and Pharisees. The disciples thought they were being rebuked for not bringing bread. Finally, they realized He was not talking about break but about the teaching of the Sadducees and Pharisees, trust in reason and self-righteousness.
If He meant teaching why did he say “yeast”? I found the answer in the Sunday newspaper supplement, Parade Magazine.
Worst Pizza Deliver from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: In Chippewa Falls, WI, it got so hot that a traveling load of yeast filled pizza dough expanded, breaking out of the back of the truck and creating a 25-35 mile oozing blob on Highway 29. “We had everything from bread-loaf size droppings to some about half the size of a car,” said Sgt. James Barnier of the Wisconsin State Patrol. “They used snow plows to get it off the highway.”
This story gives us some inkling of the power of yeast. It can be good or evil. Jesus is warning us of the evil power, the malignancy, danger, and seriousness of Sadducee and Pharisee teachings. The most serious danger of the Sadducees yeast is the inevitability of idolatry. When one believes there is no resurrection, when they ain’t nobody here but us chickens, then every aim, every ideal, every proximate justice is devoid of transcendent judgment and resurrection hope. Each political party, each ideal, each earthly commitment tends to become the last word, with no ultimate judgment upon it. No repentance and change, no restraint and qualification on the ideal. Every commitment, every ideal tends inexorably toward idolatry.
“Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity” – a wonderful ideal became idolatrous when the crucifix was torn down and the Goddess of Reason took its place. Soon the streets of France ran red with blood in the Reign of Terror. Inhuman monstrosities ran riot in some of the most horrible scenes civilized humans have ever experienced. I would recommend Christopher Hibbert’s book on the French Revolution to give us a picture of the power of the destructive power of the Sadducee yeast. All was in the name of a wonderful ideal but an ideal devoid of transcendent judgment and resurrection hope.
Another example of Sadducee yeast: “Every man give according to his ability and receive according to his needs” – one of the loftiest ideals in all human imagination. It seduced much of the intelligentsia of Western civilization. But it was empty and bereft of both resurrection judgment and transcendent hope. When it did not work, those committed to it could only force, impose, coerce, and tyrannize in the vain attempt to make it work. The ex-Communist, Arthur Koestler, called it by its rightful name in his book: The God that Failed.
This yeast of Communist teaching caused the death of some 43 and half million people: men, women and children, almost 4 times the population of the state of Ohio. No wonder Jesus knew the word “teaching” was not sufficiently powerful to engage its ominous threat. He needed a word that could carry the reality of infection, corruption, and tyranny. No wonder He said, “Take heed, beware the yeast of the Sadducees and Pharisees.”
We are unable to appreciate the pathology of idolatry because we have been led by rationalists, the enemies of McIlvaine and Grafton, to think that worshiping idols is what only anything higher than God whether it be evil or good. We need to learn from the example of Andre Malraux, one of the most learned, talented, and sophisticated men of letters in the 20th century. He wrote: “What is unique about man is not that he is cast at random amidst the starts and galaxies but that in this prison he can fashion such images of himself that they have the power to overcome his nothingness.”
“To fashion images of ourselves to overcome our nothingness” is precisely what Christianity teaches us is idolatry. Note that the first two of the Ten Commandments, 20% of the whole, are condemned with idolatry. Idolatry is not merely cultural, it is ubiquitous, everywhere. It is also very personal. Our faithful presiding bishop, the late Jack Allin, confessed to his own idolatry in his farewell address to General Convention in 1985, “I must repent,” he said. “I have loved the church more than the Lord of the church.” He said it for me. I too, have loved the church more than the Lord of the church. If you prick me, I bleed Episcopal. The last thirty years have been heart breaking times.
Yes, when idols collapse it is painful and heart-breaking. But the deeper and transcendent hope only then becomes clearer. Our painfully rearranged priorities can only then become refreshing and newly invigorating. All idols must be supported by worry, anxiety, defensiveness and tyranny because they all die. Party, church, country, and family are not the Last Word. Only Christ is forever, the beginning and the end, the Last Work. “Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also….” The present, unprecedented, and frantic tyranny of contemporary Episcopal bishops is a symptom of the idolatry that is trying to establish the unity of the church, not on the Christian faith, but on the canons and territory. (If canons do not provide the unity that comes only by faith, then the temptation is to make them work by tyranny.)
P.T. Forsythe taught us that “when we do not have with in us something above us we soon succumb to what is around us.” But it is also true that when we have within us something above us, and that is something is Jesus Christ, then we have that God-given freedom from the bondage, anxiety, and fretfulness that always accompanies idolatry. Professor Forsythe’s dictum that “when with us we have nothing above us we soon succumb to what is around us,” can be a commentary on our text concerning the Sadducees - we soon succumb to what is around us, the world – this world – is – all there – is –ism, secularism – the contemporary synonym for Sadduceeism.
Forsythe’s dictum can be altered to gain a fresh view of our text concerning the yeast of the Pharisees. “If within us we have nothing above us we soon succumb to what is within us.” – we succumb to our fallen human nature, what Galatians calls works of the flesh: jealousy, rivalry, party-spirits, anger, heresies, sorcery, fornication, and drunkenness. We succumb to what is within us the root of all our sins: our self-righteousness.
This yeast that infects us with confidence that we are, or can be, good enough to be accepted by God has infected the church like the drug immune streptococcus germ that one sometimes gets in hospitals. It is terrible to become sick from a hospital where one expects healing. It is even worse to receive heretical teaching from the church, for it threatens not only our lives but our very souls. No wonder Jesus is much harder on the Pharisees who carry the church’s hospital sickness. This is in spite of the fact that he shared more trust and teaching with the even more deadly than the Sadducees. When the self righteous infection is caught in the church it is even more deadly than the Sadducees yeast. Our self-righteousness in the face of God’s justice is so unbecoming that such a witness causes the yeast of the Sadducees. “Heaven for the climate but hell for the company” is a quip not against Christianity but again Phariseeism.
Fortunately we have our erstwhile Presiding Bishop Jack Allin as our guide. If he could repent that he loved the church more than the Lord of the church, so can we. This repentance allows God’s grace to cleanse the infection of our self-righteous yeast leaving us fee from the burdens and tyrannies of idolatries. Those who oppose our actions today must not see us as people claiming some moral superiority but only that we are forgiven sinners fighting for the gospel that gives us mercy.
If within us we have Christ above us we will not succumb to what is around us - the secular yeast, the world’s decadence.
If within us we have Christ above us we will not succumb to what is within us - the Pharisee yeast, our own self-righteousness. Our identity is the promise of God. Our dignity is the mercy of God.
Church people in Ohio are especially blessed by the example of their great bishop, Charles McIlvaine, whose passion for God’s Word, Holy Scripture, is where he and we find the promise of God.
Just as I am, thou wilt receive
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve
Because thy promise, I believe
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
The American Anglican Council : A Broken Ladder: Episcopal Bishops' New Oversight Plan is Inadequate, Should Be Ignored
March 25, 2004
Source: Christ Church Episcopal
March 24, 2004
Statement by the Rev. Canon David H. Roseberry, Rector
Christ Church Episcopal – Plano, Texas
Plano, TX (March 25, 2004) -- The Bishops of the Episcopal Church, in a meeting this week, have revealed a new plan to supposedly provide pastoral oversight for dissenting congregations in dioceses. The plan is inadequate and should be ignored.
The Episcopal Church (ECUSA) voted at last year’s convention to consecrate as bishop a man who is living in a homosexual partnership. In addition, they voted to regard the blessing of same sex unions as within the boundaries of church practice. Both decisions are fatal errors and cannot stand the test of time. God will not bless these actions that so flagrantly disregard the clear teaching of Scripture – teaching so abundantly clear even in a casual reading of the Bible.
The Primates of the Anglican Communion, in their pastoral letters from the emergency meeting in October 2003, called for the provinces to provide “adequate Episcopal oversight” for some orthodox congregations. This idea was a pastoral measure intended to help heal and lead congregations through very difficult times. Bishops whose views were consistent with the Bible could be asked to oversee and direct congregations in other bishops’ diocese as needed and invited.
The House of Bishops, meeting this week for the first time since the 2003 General Convention, has just approved a version of Episcopal oversight that is so inadequate and procedure-laden as to be just plain silly. Please read it for yourself at: http://titusonenine.classicalanglican.net/index.php?p=692
This plan cannot work. It is a lengthy, cumbersome, tedious distraction from the real work of any parish: making disciples and preaching the gospel. For example, by some counts, it could take two to three years to get a bishop to come for confirmations! It is an imposition, literally, of an elaborate and tortuous process intentionally designed to wear “dissident” churches down.
Apparently, the House of Bishops did not solicit comments from, or listen to, a single parish or rector who would want Episcopal oversight. This plan is like a broken ladder -- it only looks useful, but it can’t take you anywhere.
And so it should be ignored. Orthodox parishes should find oversight wherever they can find it, within their dioceses or outside their dioceses. Congregations should link together through the Network (that is, the “Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes” whose charter was adopted at Christ Church in January 2004) and act together as bodies of believers in a faithless age. It is a tough assignment and it is a hard cross to bear, but we should not ignore the call to be “builders and battlers” for the Kingdom of Christ. (Luke 14)
There is some good news, perhaps. It might be that this folly from the House of Bishops will reach the missionary ears of the Primates. This tragically broken ladder may actually convince the Anglican Communion that ECUSA needs a major repair or replacement.
At Christ Church we continue to stand for the orthodox faith that has been handed down to us. Some say that God is doing a new thing. We say that God does not do new things, but instead makes all things new. We trust that one day He will do this for the Anglican witness in North America. Christ Church will continue to preach and teach the message of the redeeming love of Jesus Christ for all people and the reconciling work of the Cross.
Sadly but firmly, we have nothing to do with ECUSA. We send no money to the national church. We receive no direction from the national church. For the time being, we labor alongside our bishop to build the Network in order to maintain our relationship with the worldwide Anglican Communion. And we stand.
5 Senior Bishops Respond to House of Bishops’ Censure
March 25, 2004
Source: AAC News
Released March 25, 2004
Director of Communications
American Anglican Council
We are not surprised by the House of Bishops censuring the five of us for providing support to those congregations in revisionist dioceses who cannot in good conscience accept the radical actions taken by General convention and who now find themselves alienated from their diocesan leadership.
The House of Bishops continues its long retreat from its sworn responsibilities concerning the Christian faith, from the time of Bishop James Pike to Bishop John Spong’s “12 Theses”, to its present failure to support faithful Episcopalians in unfaithful dioceses.
The action of the 2003 General Convention, in repudiating 4000 years of biblical teaching regarding sexuality and the action of the House of Bishops in repudiating their consecration vows regarding Holy Scripture, were acts of defiance; defiance against the resolutions of the Lambeth Conference, the express position of the 38 Anglican primates, and the explicit wish of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The House of Bishops is willing to censure and threaten five bishops crossing diocesan lines to support faithful Episcopalians. At the same time they are unwilling to censure or even dissociate themselves from denials of the faith among themselves. This is a clear testimony to the bishops’ attempt to establish our Episcopal unity on canons rather than on Christian faith.
The most generous interpretation of this failure to fulfill Episcopal responsibility regarding the faith, as this church has received it, is to assume a theological incompetence on the part of the House of Bishops who cannot tell the difference between heretical teaching and the Nicene Creed. Departing from Scripture to pander to the present age resulted in the loss of 400,000 Episcopalians in the decade dedicated to Evangelism!
We stand in solidarity with the 21 global Anglican provinces who have either, “impaired or broken communion” with the Episcopal Church and who continue to grow as they proclaim the Gospel to a broken world.
The Right Rev. FitzSimons Allison
The Right Rev. Maurice Benitez
The Right. Rev. William Cox
The Right Rev. Alex Dickson
The Right Rev. William Wantland
Bishops repudiate irregular confirmations in Ohio
Episcopal News Service
By: Jan Nunley
Posted: Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Corrected: (view corrections)
Saying that they “repudiate and deplore the unilateral actions” of five retired U.S. bishops who conducted confirmations in Ohio without the diocesan bishop’s permission, the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops, meeting at Camp Allen, Texas on March 24, nevertheless declined to proceed with disciplinary action against them. The vote on the resolution was unanimous, according to Bishop Suffragan Ken Price of Southern Ohio, secretary of the House of Bishops. [This is more than a little deceptive, as the bishops associated with the Network of Anglican Commuion Dioceses and Parishes had left -- it was unaninmous among those present.]
Retired bishops FitzSimons Allison of South Carolina, Maurice Benitez of Texas, William Cox (assisting) of Oklahoma, Alex Dickson of West Tennessee and William Wantland of Eau Claire confirmed 110 individuals from five congregations and celebrated the Eucharist on March 14 in Akron, without the knowledge and permission of the Bishop of Ohio, J. Clark Grew II. They were joined by Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti of the Diocese of Recife in northern Brazil.
The five “in so doing used the sacrament of unity in Christ as an instrument of division and defiance. Secretive in its planning, their action was discourteous, disruptive and a willful violation of our Constitution and Canons,” the statement said.
The action also met with a stern rebuke from Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, Bishop Grew, and Ohio bishop-elect Mark Hollingsworth Jr., and “strong disapproval” from the Presiding Bishop’s Council of Advice on March 16. Bishop Orlando Santos de Oliveira, primate of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, said in a letter March 16 that Cavalcanti had violated the canons of Brazil and promised the matter would be brought before that church’s House of Bishops.
No discipline for now
“We have prayerfully considered the use of the disciplinary canons in response to the actions in Ohio. In the spirit of our commitment to reconciliation, we choose a different course. We invite these five bishops to meet with the Presiding Bishop’s Council of Advice to discuss their actions. Further, we want them to hear about the work we continue to do as bishops who embrace the ministry of reconciliation for the mission of the whole church,” the bishops’ statement continued. None of the five were present at the Camp Allen meeting.
But further infractions, the bishops emphasized, would have consequences. “At the same time, we hold these five bishops, and one another, accountable for the good order of the Church, the Body of Christ,” the statement said. “Therefore, in the future any bishop performing Episcopal acts without the permission of the diocesan bishop will be subject to discipline under our canons.”
The statement urged those in disagreement with their bishops and the decisions of the 74th General Convention to “share their views directly with their bishops” rather than participate in services such as the one in Ohio. “In our continuing efforts to care pastorally for all of our people, at this meeting we have endorsed a plan for Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight,” the bishops pointed out. “We are committed to responding generously and pastorally to requests made in accordance with this plan.”
Bishop Thad Barnum to Connecticut
Mar 25, 2004
For Immediate Distribution
March 25, 2004
Jay L. Greener
The Anglican Mission in America
The Anglican Mission in America has announced that one of its missionary
bishops will be relocating to the northeastern United States in order to
help plant a new church and grow a new region for the Anglican Mission.
The Rt. Rev. Thaddeus Barnum and his wife, the Rev. Erilynne Barnum, a
deacon in the Anglican Mission, will be moving to Fairfield, Connecticut
over the next several months to assume a leadership role with the
newly-named Church of the Apostles and establish an office that will
encourage the growth of new churches throughout the northeast corridor.
"It is a joy for Erilynne and me to go back to the area of the country we
consider home. The Anglican Mission is involved in taking new areas of the
country for the Gospel, and we've had a heart for the northeast region for a=
long time," stated Bishop Barnum from his present office at All Saints
Church in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. "Archbishop Kolini (of Rwanda)
asked us to consider doing this last fall, and as we are completing seven
years of ministry at All Saints, we believe the time is right. Certainly the=
need is great."
Bishop 'Thad', as he is known to many, will provide leadership to this
promising local church plant in Connecticut, even as he continues oversight
of churches already under his care and develops new churches in the
Northeast, from Washington, D.C. to Maine.
"We knew this would be a new model of leadership for us when we issued the
call for the Barnums to join us," observed Keith Guinta, one of the founding=
members of Fairfield's Church of the Apostles. "This will truly be a team
approach, much like the churches of the New Testament. Our members are
willing to give up their concept of a traditional 'Rector' for the greater
call of proclaiming the Gospel in our area. We're excited for what we know
is ahead." In addition to the Barnums, Church of the Apostles' leadership
will include an Executive Pastor who will direct day-to-day ministry and
operations of the church.
The Anglican Mission in America, a growing missionary outreach of the
Anglican Province of Rwanda, has four active bishops for a nationwide
network of over 65 congregations. Each active bishop also assumes some
senior leadership role in a local church=97a role that Bishop Thad Barnum wi=
fill for Church of the Apostles beginning Easter Sunday.
The Rev. Canon Dr. Tim Smith, Executive Officer of the Anglican Mission and
a Pawleys Island neighbor of the Barnums, offered that this move has great
potential for the Gospel purposes of the Anglican Mission: "Though we're
certainly disappointed that Bishop Barnum and Erilynne will be moving from
South Carolina, we are fully supportive of this relocation. The Anglican
Mission is quite excited about the possibilities that exist for an orthodox,=
Anglican presence in the Northeast. This is a positive step for the Mission.=
The Barnums will continue some contact with Pawleys Island as it will remain=
the location of ARIEL, A Ministry of Proclamation that Erilynne founded and
directs. Begun as Women in Discipleship, the Call to Discipleship now
impacts thousands through its conferences and resource materials.
Their new home with Church of the Apostles will find them worshiping on
Sundays at McKinley Elementary School in Fairfield with a small but dynamic
and growing number of parishioners. "It is essential for our missionary
bishops to be just that =96 missionaries," reflected Bishop Barnum. "Erilynn=
and I ask for your prayers as we take this step. Pray for the Lord of the
Harvest to raise up a strong Anglican witness, uncompromised in the Gospel
of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the Northeast."
The Anglican Mission in America is a quickly growing missionary movement
sponsored by Anglicans in Africa and Asia with the primary goal of reaching
out to the 130 million un-churched in the United States.
For more information visit www.theamia.org.
The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
WE beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts; that, as we have known the incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ by the message of an angel, so by his cross and passion we may be brought unto the glory of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
A sturdy independence
T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T
March 25, 2004
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott
Ministers and Ministry (cont'd.)
696. A sturdy independence
There is a constant danger of clergy tying people to their
own apron strings, instead of encouraging them to develop a
certain sturdy and healthy independence, as they rely more
and more upon God himself. It is surely to this that Jesus
referred when he warned us to call no man our 'father',
'teacher', or 'lord' on earth (Mt. 23:8-12). We are to
adopt towards no-one in the church, nor require anyone to
adopt towards us, the dependent attitude implied in the
child-parent, pupil-teacher, servant-lord relationships.
We are all brethren. We are to depend on God as our
Father, Christ as our Lord, and the Holy Spirit as our
Teacher. The ambition of every minister for his
congregation should be so to warn every man and teach every
man in all wisdom as to 'present every man' not dependent
on his minister but 'full-grown, mature in Christ' (Col.
1:28). Although occasional consultations can indeed do
good, I cannot see that frequent visits to the parson,
whether for 'confession' or for 'conference', are
productive of true spiritual maturity.
--From "Confess Your Sins" (London: Hodder and Stoughton,
1964), p. 82.
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 293, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.
Network members, moderator, respond to ECUSA plan
The national Episcopal Church’s just-released plan for "Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight" will require "tremendous generosity and charity on the part of the bishops and an extraordinary new level of trust on the part of the people and clergy," if it is to work, said the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh, and moderator of the Anglican Communion Network.
"The Network bishops will do what they can to enable the plan’s success," he added. "I am deeply concerned that we are able to offer Adequate Episcopal Oversight as the Primates understand it. The question is whether there is the will in the Episcopal Church to make this plan into that," said Duncan. "My commitment, and that of the Network, is to stand in solidarity with people of faith who are desperately struggling in some of our dioceses."
Responses from clergy and laity in the Network’s 12 dioceses and six convocations make it clear that, for most, the new plan leaves much to be desired.
"Parishes being oppressed by bishops have to go to the person oppressing them, meet with them and then they may provide another bishop for you," said Kendall Harmon, canon theologian for the Network diocese of South Carolina.
According to Fr. Greg Brewer, Rector of the Church of the Good Samaritan in Paoli, PA, "generosity and charity" haven’t been what he and other orthodox parishes in liberal dioceses have always received in the past. "I was very disappointed in the content, It presumes the good will of liberal bishops to provide outside conservative pastoral care – There are a number of bishops that do not have that kind of good will," he explained.
The Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes, commonly known as the Anglican Communion Network, represents the Episcopalians of 12 dioceses and six regional convocations as well as thousands of individual Episcopalians from all over the United States, committed to being a united missionary movement of those sharing the gospel and rejecting false teaching. Primates, representing more than two-thirds of the world’s 60 million active Anglicans, have voiced public support for the Network.
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
DELEGATED EPISCOPAL PASTORAL OVERSIGHT IS HOB FUDGE
By David W. Virtue
The Episcopal Church House of Bishops has adopted a covenant which they believe will resolve all the problems that now exist between revisionist bishops and biblically orthodox parishes.
After three days of closed door meetings at Camp Allen, Texas where even cell phones didn’t work and guards were needed at the gates, in order, one presumes, to prevent anyone wanting to run in and steal the pluriform mind of Frank Griswold, the 100 or so bishops have come up with a plan.
It is so convoluted and confusing that one doubts that even the mystic Sufi Rumi could make sense of it if they all met on a plain in NJ’s Meadowlands. Furthermore one seriously doubts the Holy Ghost had much to do with the compromise either. After all the Spirit of Truth will never compromise on sexual sin, that at least is one truth that is absolute.
Griswold said the decision shows the hierarchy's commitment to reconcile the two sides. "We are coming to a new place of mutual discovery and trust," he said.
One orthodox theologian said the Navasota plan is "dead on arrival. It doesn't even come close to recognizing the crisis we face," he said. He is right.
The American Anglican Council came out with a statement declaring it to be “inadequate”, scoring it as a failure in terms of “reconciliation.” It is impossible to achieve reconciliation without repentance. It is impossible to affect reconciliation when this Church has fragmented itself and will not address the ensuing emergency.”
“The House of Bishops has proven once again their dysfunction and inability to acknowledge, much less address, the crisis of the Episcopal Church. From a format of “process”, small group discussion and multiple revisions, they have produced a plan for episcopal oversight that is undeniably and woefully inadequate,” said communications director Cynthia Brust.
Two opposing ideas were on the table. One was supplemental episcopal pastoral care, proposed by liberals and revisionists, which allowed the diocesan bishop to invite the visitor (an orthodox bishop) but that he (the revisionist bishop) remains in pastoral contact with the congregation. It was understood to be a temporary arrangement, the ultimate goal being the full restoration of the relationship between the congregation and their bishop.
The other side said no deal. What they wanted was Alternative Episcopal Oversight with an arrangement not dissimilar to the Forward in Faith UK plan to allow flying bishops to come in and the diocesan to stay right out of it forever, or if, by some miracle, a biblically orthodox bishop might get elected following the retirement of say a Bennison, Shaw or Chane, that could change.
But that dog will never hunt, because it is not allowed by the canons and constitutions (that’s the official excuse), but because it would see a diminishing of the power of the revisionist bishops who are already watching their dioceses in congregational free fall. (See stories on the dioceses of El Camino Real and Ohio). You see the name of the game is power, coupled with a heavy-handed use of the canons to keep the orthodox in line.
So the House of Purple came up with a third way. They recommended something called Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight (DEPO). What that means, in their words, is this.
“We expect that the first priority in a relationship between a diocesan bishop and congregation is a striving for unity. As such, it is incumbent upon both the bishop and the rector/congregation to meet together, with a consultant, if needed, to find ways to work together. If for serious cause in the light of our current disagreements on issues of human sexuality, the bishop and rector/congregation cannot work together, we propose the following process for Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight.”
1) In the spirit of openness, the rector and vestry, or the canonically designated lay leadership shall meet with the bishop to seek reconciliation. After such a meeting, it is our hope that in most instances a mutually agreeable way forward will be found.
2) If reconciliation does not occur, then the rector and two-thirds of the vestry, or in the absence of a rector, two-thirds of the canonically designated lay leadership, after fully engaging the congregation, may seek from their diocesan bishop, (or the diocesan bishop may suggest) a conference regarding the appropriateness and conditions for Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight.
3) After such a conference the bishop may appoint another bishop to provide pastoral oversight.
4) If no reconciliation is achieved, there may then be an appeal to the bishop who is president or vice-president of the ECUSA province in which the congregation is geographically located, for help in seeking a resolution. Those making such an appeal must inform the other party of their decision to appeal.
5) When such an appeal has been made, the provincial bishop may request two other bishops, representative of the divergent views in this church, to join with the provincial bishop to review the situation, to consider the appeal, and to make recommendations to all parties. If an episcopal visitor is to be invited, that bishop shall be a member in good standing in this Church.
6) When an agreement is reached with respect to a plan, it shall be for the purpose of reconciliation. The plan shall include expectations of all parties, especially mutual accountability. The plan shall be for a stated period of time with regular reviews. The provincial bishop shall periodically inform the Presiding Bishop, the Presiding Bishop's Council of Advice, and the House of Bishops at its regular meetings of the progress and results of this process.
On first reading there is a silver lining in this DEPO plan for the orthodox and it is this.
They can run this process out for months, possibly years and never have to see a revisionist bishop ever again.
In the meantime they can take their confirmands to an orthodox diocese for confirmation (that’s canonically legal). As one orthodox bishop said to VIRTUOSITY, “if a priest presents confirmands to me at one of my churches and asks me to confirm them, I will do so, there is no canonical violation.” The priest can then return and keep the “process” for DEPO running on indefinitely.
Of course all this is about strategy not truth.
The notion that you can reconcile homoerotic behavior with holiness and revealed religion with pansexuality is the biggest lie of all. It will never happen, and that is why, at the end of the day, this plan, like all other plans of compromise, will fail.
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