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ACI’s letter to the Bishops of the Episocpal Church – revisited

November 30th, 2012 Jill Posted in Apostasy, TEC Comments Off

Read open letter from The Rev. Prof. Christopher Seitz, The Rev. Dr. Philip Turner and The Rev. Dr. Ephraim Radner here

Read also some of the comments from Kendall Harmon's blog, including this one by Pageantmaster (an Englishman) :

If I were an Episcopal Church Bishop receiving this letter as an addressee, which thankfully I am not qualified to be, and therefore do not have to swear allegience to a particular interpretation of TEC’s constitution as Goodwin Proctor shall feel like making it up from time to time, I think I would not be very pleased with Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori. Consider:

1. She has a dreadful record of wasting Episcopal Church resources, mostly on the dreadful firm of Goodwin Proctor and its partner acting as her Chancellor.

2. She has made the Episcopal Church into a by-word for arbitrary and reckless behaviour and persecution around the world and in doing so has now purported to depose hundreds of priests and dozens of bishops, including Bishop Henry Scriven of the Church of England, to the extent that her actions are regularly quoted in England as an example we do not want to follow, and we treat her purported depositions which put Madame Defarge in the shade with contempt, including her presumption against Bishop Henry Scriven and her latest escapades against Bishop Lawrence.

3. Her latest little escapade has backfired massively, because she triggered by her latest attack on South Carolina an automatic dissociation of the entire diocese, and this is no tiny diocese like Nevada from which desert place she hails as its bishop and Dean of a divinity school which exists only as her ‘Truth’ in the Walter Mitty world in which she lives.

4. South Carolina is a huge loss to TEC – virtually its only consistently growing diocese, at 29,444 members

5. Between 2010 and 2011, TEC lost 28,861 members. In one fell swoop, the Presiding Bishop managed to ensure a similar loss in 2012. Got to keep up her average, I suppose. Now in Episcopal Church terms, South Carolina is one of the largest dioceses, and is equivalent to the Presiding Bishop losing a small Anglican Communion province, being larger than the Scottish Episcopal Church, or the Province of South East Asia, or the Southern Cone.

Let me just repeat that figure, twenty-nine thousand Epsiscopalians in a diocese have been alienated by the sole actions of the Presiding Bishop. That is a breathtaking record of failure by this Presiding Bishop, all of which comes down to her personal mendacity and total incompetence. It need not have happened but so determined is this vicious zealot that it seems not to matter to her. If I were a TEC bishop, I would be appalled.

Read more here

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Episcopal Bishop Promotes Homosexuality, Denies Biblical Authority

August 14th, 2012 Jill Posted in Apostasy, Homosexuality, TEC Comments Off

By Kristin Rudolph, IRD

Christians on either side of the homosexuality debate have “a lot to agree on … [but] one of the things we might not agree on is that book … the Bible,” said Bishop Gene Robinson at Skyline Church’s “Conversation on the Definition of Marriage.” Robinson was the first openly gay bishop ordained in the Episcopal Church.

On Sunday, July 28, San Diego’s Skyline Church invited Robinson, John Corvino, Jennifer Roback Morse, and Robert Gagnon for this discussion. Robinson, the retiring bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, and Corvino, philosopher and co-author of the recent book Debating Same-Sex Marriage, were defending homosexual unions. Morse, founder and president of The Ruth Institute, and Gagnon, a theologian at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, defended traditional marriage.

“The Church is trying to ask and answer the question, how big … is God’s love for all of God’s children,” Robinson said in his opening statement. He explained that differing views of the Bible are a large reason for “why we miss each other in these conversations.” According to the Bishop: “The Bible is words about God [but] they were words not dictated by God … all of those words were meant to point to the living reality of a living God.”

Robinson explained his view on the Scriptures. “I take the Bible unbelievably seriously,” he stressed. “I take it so seriously that I refuse to take it simply.” According to Robinson, “context means everything,” and when reading scripture, one should ask: “Is the context described there similar to our context and therefore is eternally binding?” Through this contextualization, he discounted scriptural prohibitions of homosexuality, and argued that Jesus’ promise in John 16 that the Holy Spirit would “guide you into all truth” means that Christians should adopt an evolving view on sexual ethics.

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That’s enough flannel about women bishops

July 11th, 2012 Jill Posted in Apostasy, Church of England, Women Bishops Comments Off

by Melanie McDonagh, London Evening Standard

The Church of England has agonised for 12 years about whether to ordain women as bishops and at last has come to a decision, viz, to put the whole thing off until November. Or possibly February, so the new Archbishop of Canterbury can get to grips with the question. (And you wonder why there aren’t any outstanding candidates?)
The proponents of women bishops, you see, are hugely exercised by the opt-out clause in the deal. That allows opponents of women’s ordination to call on bishops for their parishes who are not only male but have been ordained by men.

There aren’t many of these parishes: think very camp Anglo-Catholics, or evangelicals with strong views about women ordering men about. But these harmless dissidents are enough for the would-be women bishops to refuse to play. Nope. If they’re not going to be ordained on their own terms, they won’t be ordained at all. There are so many occasions when life calls out for Trollope, and this is one of them.

I’ve got no business, myself, getting involved, given that I’m a Catholic and we don’t actually believe that any of them are properly ordained. But I do get a bit restive when I hear the likes of the Rev Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, one of the many media-friendly female clerics, declaring that “the whole point of having women bishops was to say that the Church of England believes that women and men are equal and made in the image of God. I do not want it enshrined in law that we officially do not believe that.” Hang on there. Our lot don’t have women bishops either but I’ve never had any problems on being made in the image of God, thanks all the same, Miranda.

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Congregation of The Falls Church must begin again

May 12th, 2012 Jill Posted in Apostasy, TEC Comments Off

Revd John Yates, Rector of Falls ChurchBy John Yates, Washington Post

Our Anglican church in Virginia, The Falls Church, faces a hard hour this month. A Virginia court has ruled that buildings and funds we believe to be ours actually belong to the Episcopal Church. Our congregation of 4,000 must begin again, finding a new home and place of worship.

As the rector of the church since 1979, I believe I speak for all in saying that we leave without resentment or acrimony; we pray only the best for those who will follow us in our old and historic church, and that the transforming good news of Christ will always be proclaimed on this spot.
In 2006, The Falls Church and six sister congregations in Northern Virginia voted (overwhelmingly) to pull out of the Episcopal Church because, in our view, it had drifted so far from orthodox Christianity that we could not remain in good conscience.
Reasons for the division have been mainly theological, particularly focused on how we interpret the Bible, and what doctrines of the Christian faith are essential for leaders to maintain. The doctrinal divides have been widening for several decades, and in 2003 when a practicing homosexual was consecrated as Episcopal bishop, many realized that the divisions in the church were unresolvable.
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Church opposition to gay marriage a ‘disaster’, says senior bishop

April 22nd, 2012 Jill Posted in Apostasy, Church of England, Gay Marriage Comments Off

By Edward Malnick, Telegraph

A senior bishop has accused the Church of England of making a “disastrous” error in its opposition to same-sex marriage.

The Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam, the Bishop of Salisbury, compared bishops opposing marriage reforms to 18th century Christians who believed slavery was “God-given”.
His intervention will be seen as an attack on traditionalists, including the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, who forcefully oppose the Government’s move to change the legal definition of marriage.
It comes as the Church prepares its formal response to David Cameron’s proposals to permit marriage between same-sex couples, before the close of the Government’s consultation in June.
Speaking on Saturday at a conference in London on homophobia in the Church, Bishop Holtam said: “Experience might lead us to be cautious about the certainty with which moral positions are built with Biblical support.
“Before Wilberforce, Christians in this country saw slavery as having Biblical support for what was the God-given in the ordering of creation.

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Was Jesus gay? Probably

April 20th, 2012 Jill Posted in Apostasy, Church of England Comments Off

By Canon Paul Oestreicher, Guardian

I preached on Good Friday that Jesus's intimacy with John suggested he was gay as I felt deeply it had to be addressed

Preaching on Good Friday on the last words of Jesus as he was being executed makes great spiritual demands on the preacher. The Jesuits began this tradition. Many Anglican churches adopted it. Faced with this privilege in New Zealand's capital city, Wellington, my second home, I was painfully aware of the context, a church deeply divided worldwide over issues of gender and sexuality. Suffering was my theme. I felt I could not escape the suffering of gay and lesbian people at the hands of the church, over many centuries.

Was that divisive issue a subject for Good Friday? For the first time in my ministry I felt it had to be. Those last words of Jesus would not let me escape. "When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, 'Woman behold your son!' Then he said to the disciple. 'Behold your mother!' And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home."

That disciple was John whom Jesus, the gospels affirm, loved in a special way. All the other disciples had fled in fear. Three women but only one man had the courage to go with Jesus to his execution. That man clearly had a unique place in the affection of Jesus. In all classic depictions of the Last Supper, a favourite subject of Christian art, John is next to Jesus, very often his head resting on Jesus's breast. Dying, Jesus asks John to look after his mother and asks his mother to accept John as her son. John takes Mary home. John becomes unmistakably part of Jesus's family.

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We have only ourselves to blame

March 15th, 2012 Jill Posted in Apostasy Comments Off

By Peter Mullen, CEN

I was wondering, if Scotland is to be allowed a referendum over independence, shouldn’t English people be eligible to vote in this too? We are a union after all, and the union has two parts. These things are an ensemble. I use it to refer to the controversy about the proposal to allow same-sex marriage. In everything I have heard on this subject, all the emphasis has been on what is right, fair and just for the gay minority who would benefit from this change in the law. What is forgotten is that we are talking about the institution of marriage itself, and so any change to the rules governing its operation would involve not just the gay couples who would be directly affected by any change, but every man, woman and child in the nation. If the definition of marriage were to be extended to include homosexual weddings, then the whole definition – and what Christians would call the doctrine – of marriage would be revolutionised.

What is the point? Who benefits? Gay couples already enjoy equality with heterosexual couples under the legislation concerning civil partnerships. In fact, the only people who would benefit are the aggressive secularists who wish to banish Christianity from public life. They desire the abolition of the notion of marriage as traditionallyunderstood: the sacramental union of one man with one woman.

We are assailed by a rampant secular aggression. How concerned should we be about it? I think we should be very concerned, because it could turn out to be the death of us.

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A Laboratory for Christianity’s Destruction

August 27th, 2011 Jill Posted in Apostasy Comments Off

By Albert Mohler

As the BBC reports, some church leaders in the Netherlands want to transform their small nation into a laboratory for rethinking Christianity — “experimenting with radical new ways of understanding the faith.”

Religious Affairs Correspondent Robert Pigott tells of Rev. Klaas Hendrikse, a minister of the PKN, the mainstream Protestant denomination in the Netherlands. Pastor Hendrikse doesn’t believe in life after death, nor even in God as a supernatural being. He told the BBC that he has “no talent” for believing historic and orthodox doctrines. “God is not a being at all,” he says, but just an experience.

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Emergent Church Guru Addresses Virginia Episcopal Seminary Commencement

October 16th, 2010 Jill Posted in Apostasy, TEC Comments Off

By Jeff Walton, IRD

“Emergent Church” guru Brian McLaren, a prominent voice on the evangelical left, is increasingly high profile as a speaker in the Episcopal Church. Most recently, he gave the commencement address at Virginia Theological Seminary.

“I can guarantee that if you do your job right, there will always be for you, as there was for him [Jesus Christ], a crowd of religious critics standing by to tell you how you did it, when you did it, what you said, and how you said it were not up to their standards,” McLaren told the graduating Episcopal seminarians in Alexandria, Virginia. “You will learn that there are two paths of martyrdom – one leading into the den of ravenous lions and the other through the valley of nibbling ducks.”

The controversial author and self-identified evangelical was chosen to deliver keynote addresses at the 2009 General Convention of the Episcopal Church as well as the convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and the recent Episcopal Village conference in Baltimore. At the same time, McLaren has drawn fire from an increasing number of fellow evangelicals, most recently for his book A New Kind of Christianity, in which he questions traditional views of Christ’s death as an atonement for sin.

The Episcopal events at which McLaren spoke were controversial in their own right. The 2009 General Convention adopted resolutions favoring openly homosexual partnered bishops and same-sex union rites, while the Los Angeles convention elected Mary Glasspool as the first openly partnered lesbian bishop in the Anglican Communion.

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Bishop Jefferts Schori in Her Own Words

June 8th, 2010 Chris Sugden Posted in Apostasy, TEC, Theology Comments Off

Presiding Bishop Jefferts-Schori is to preach and preside at Southwark Cathedral on Sunday June 13.

From AAC

† "I am the way, and the truth and the life…"

"My understanding of idolatry includes the assumption that I can know and comprehend the way in which God saves people who are not overtly Christian. I understand that Jesus is my savior, I understand that Jesus is the savior of the whole world. But I am unwilling to do more than speculate about how God saves those who don't profess to be Christians. I look at the fruits of the life of someone like Mahatma Ghandi and the Dalai Lama and I see Christ-like features …"

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Virginia Theological Seminary, May 25, 2007

KJS: Christians understand that Jesus is the route to God. That is not to say that Muslims, or Sikhs, or Jains, come to God in a radically different way. They come to God through human experience-through human experience of the divine. Christians talk about that in terms of Jesus.

RY: So you're saying there are other ways to God.

KJS: Human communities have always searched for relationship that which is beyond them, with the ultimate,with the divine. For Christians, we say that our route to God is through Jesus. That doesn't mean that a Hindu doesn't experience God except through Jesus. It says that Hindus and people of other faith traditions approach God through their own cultural contexts; they relate to God, they experience God in human relationships, as well as ones that transcend human relationships; and Christians would say those are our experiences of Jesus; of God through the experience of Jesus.

RY: It sounds like you're saying it's a parallel reality, but in another culture and language.

KJS: I think that's accurate.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefforts Schori interview by Robin Young on NPR's "Here and Now", Oct 18, 2006

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May 27th, 2010 Jill Posted in Apostasy, TEC Comments Off

By Julian Mann, Cranmer's Curate (first published in Virtueonline)

Mrs Jefferts Schori has expressed confidence that TEC's promotion of Mr Robinson and now Ms Glasspool is gaining acceptance in the wider Anglican Church. That is of course the revisionist strategy in a nutshell. Push out the boundaries of what is acceptable and wait for the visible Church to get used to it.

But, if I may speak personally as a parish plodder in another part of the Anglican Communion (England), I hope I would treat Mrs Schori, or any other member of TEC who shares her worldview, in the same way as I would treat an adherent of another religion. TEC-ism is a religion and in a free and democratic society its adherents should be allowed to practise their faith, under the rule of civilised law. But TEC-ism is not Christianity.

If a TEC-ist visited Sheffield and was in need of the practical assistance of a Good Samaritan, my Christian duty would be to offer it, as one should to any person made in the image of God. But I would certainly not knowingly take Holy Communion with a card-carrying TEC-ist any more than I would take Holy Communion with a Moonie.

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