Across the Aisle Launches Alternative Website in Pittsburgh

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I have not had a chance to link to this yet.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet

Posted September 28, 2008 at 6:56 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Ralph wrote:

This is a thought-provoking website.

Also see,

September 28, 8:45 pm | [comment link]
2. robroy wrote:

If the orthodox component of Across the Aisle folks had integrity, they would fly Rob Eaton in to discuss the difficulties of trying to stay orthodox in a “reconstituted” diocese, including being sued by one’s own church. (Isn’t that nice of Mr. Lamb?).

Again, I say if there are orthodox clergy in Pittsburgh who feel called to stay in, so be it. But to try to convince laity to do so when it may have soul endangering consequences of either themselves or their children is flat out wrong. They should do what Dan Martins+ did, ask Bp Duncan the standing committee for a transfer to another orthodox diocese.

September 28, 8:45 pm | [comment link]
3. robroy wrote:

Sorry, should have written “Rob Eaton+”.

September 28, 8:49 pm | [comment link]
4. Jeremy Bonner wrote:

Nobody thinks this is going to be pleasant or easy. It’s a foot of the Cross moment and Resurrection morn may be farther away than any of us can yet perceive. It won’t begin on October 5, that much is certain.

None of us lives unto himself. If we realign, we realign unto the Lord. If we remain and testify to the Truth, we remain and testify to the Lord. That must be the standard for all Episcopalians and former Episcopalians of Pittsburgh.         

Catholic and Reformed

September 28, 9:13 pm | [comment link]
5. Spiro wrote:

Re #4: “If we remain and testify to the Truth, we remain and testify to the Lord.”

With all due respect, any orthodox who is conversant with the situation in the Anglican Communion and TEc and knows what TEc is doing; what that organization now believes and teaches, BUT yet continues to remain with TEc in order to “testify to the Truth” may need to really re-examine his/her convictions and the strength of his/her courage, or better yet, come up with a meaningful reason for remaining with Tec.

The orthodox who clearly have the opportunity of re-aligning (as in the dioceses of Pittsburg, Fort Worth, and San Joaquin) but are refusing to do so – on the grounds that they are staying with Tec to “testify to the Truth”  are not impressing are reasonable person with their argument. This is my humble opinion.

Why do I say this?
Answer: Every orthodox knows that TEc is neither searching for the Truth nor interested in following the Truth. “Staying and testifying to the Truth” argument is simply no longer a reasonable line - all things considered. “Staying and testifying” posture may be more of an indication of lack of courage and conviction.  There is time for everything. This is no longer the time for some nice-sounding phrases and statements. What more testimony does TEc need?

Even our Lord Christ clearly taught us that there are those who are NOT interested in accepting the Truth, no matter how well presented and articulated.
This is the time to shake off the dust from under the sandals and move on. This is the truth.

Fr.  Kingsley Jon-Ubabuco
Arlington, TX

September 28, 11:31 pm | [comment link]
6. robroy wrote:

What more testimony does TEc need?

Indeed. Shaking the dust off one’s sandals and going to form an orthodox province is the testimony that the orthodox need to make. That is the only witness that the entrenched hierarchy will hear.

September 29, 3:45 am | [comment link]
7. Eugene wrote:

AtA gives hope to the parishes which would be disrupted by realignment.

Actually since very few parishes have changed their by-laws, it will take about two years for most of the parishes which want to realign to be under Bishop Duncan of the Southern Cone.

So this Saturday the entity called the diocese will vote to realign, but the parishes of the diocese will for the most part still be in TEC (until their by-laws are changed)

September 29, 9:28 am | [comment link]
8. archangelica wrote:

#5 said, “Every orthodox knows that TEc is neither searching for the Truth nor interested in following the Truth…This is my humble opinion.”
First, this opinion has not one drop of humility in it but is provacative and audicious. To say that no persons anywhere in TEC are searching for Truth or are interested in following the Truth makes presumptions that no one other than the Divine should dare proclaim? Does Fr. Kingsley really believe he can see into the heart, mind and will of all Episcopalians everywhere and make such a condemnation?!
It is our nature to seek Truth and their are plenty (most) of Episcopalians from children to seniors who are engaged in this search daily. Because some (many) members of TEC have reached different conclusions about questions of faith may indeed make them sincerely wrong and even deluded but the Christ who is Truth still calls and we all have scales that have yet to fall away from our eyes. With God nothing is impossible.
So if you have lost the burden for souls, shake your dusty sandals and move right on to your purer, Truth tight version of Anglicanism. We need shepherds who don’t write off their sheep for a new breeds of better behaved flocks and greener pastures.
Christ have mercy on us all.

Br. Christopher Nicholas
Anamchara Fellowship

September 29, 9:51 am | [comment link]
9. Hakkatan wrote:

Archangelica, while it may be technically true that there are “progressives” who are honestly open and searching for the truth, the practical reality is that those “progressives” who are in leadership in ECUSA are convinced of the truth of their novelties and are working as hard as possible to re-make the Christian faith and to expunge from their midst those of us who uphold the classic Christian faith.  Read a few of the left-leaning blogs and you will see how greatly they are convinced of their rightness and our blindnees.

I did meet a priest a few days ago who had been a “progressive” for a dozen or more years, until the emptiness he was experiencing became too much, and he re-read the Scriptures and became convinced of their reliability and their truth.  He is now a member of the ACN.  Such people are, alas, few in number.

September 29, 10:52 am | [comment link]
10. Ralph wrote:

#7, that’s very interesting indeed.

If that’s accurate, it might in part explain why TEC hasn’t so far taken any action to dissolve the present SC and cancel the diocesan convention. (Though, one would predict that they will try something…)

It’s my understanding that once the diocese leaves TEC, the remaining TEC clergy and laity can elect a new SC, and ask for temporary TEC episcopal oversight. That new TEC Diocese of Pittsburgh, if malicious, could then “clean house” (in other words, wreak havoc) in the conservative parishes that can’t yet leave TEC.

Do we know how many parishes could join with the Southern Cone as of this weekend?

September 29, 10:53 am | [comment link]
11. archangelica wrote:

Matthew 9
10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples.  11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and `sinners’?”  12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  13 But go and learn what this means: `I desire mercy, not sacrifice’ (Hosea 6:6).  For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” 

John 10:11-16
“I am the good shepherd, who is willing to die for the sheep. When the hired man, who is not a shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees a wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away; so the wolf snatches the sheep and scatters them. The hired man runs away because he is only a hired man and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd. “
“As the Father knows me and I know the Father, in the same way I know my sheep and they know me. And I am willing to die for them. There are other sheep which belong to me that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them, too; they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock with one shepherd.”

September 29, 11:05 am | [comment link]
12. Cennydd wrote:

I once thought that it would be possible to reform TEC from within, but that was an illusion.  Unless or until TEC agrees to completely reform itself and undo everything they have done during the past forty years…..and I mean EVERYTHING…..that reform will never happen!  For anyone to say that they prefer to remain in TEC in order to reform it is pure folly, and they are tilting at windmills.

September 29, 11:25 am | [comment link]
13. Hakkatan wrote:

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”

Jesus came to forgive and to transform sinners, not to give them a license to sin.

“There are other sheep which belong to me that are not in this sheep pen.”

Otherwise known as the Gentiles, who heard of the saving work of Christ on the cross and believed in him, becoming new creations, no longer slaves to sin.

September 29, 12:24 pm | [comment link]
14. archangelica wrote:

I do not disagree with anything you have written. TEC and all churches are filled with those seeking the transformation of Christ.

September 29, 12:35 pm | [comment link]
15. Philip Snyder wrote:

Cennydd (#12)
For the Episcopal Church to be reformed by men is impossible.  The only way it will be reformed is by God.  I remain in TECUSA, not to reform it, but to witness to its need to be reformed. 

Phil Snyder

September 29, 12:49 pm | [comment link]
16. Spiro wrote:

“And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.
“Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!
Matthew 10:14-15

Two thousand years later, as a humble minister of Our Lord,  and attempting to call fellow Christians out of darkness and into righteousness and repentance, I said:
“This is the time to shake off the dust from under the sandals and move on. This is the truth.” (re: see my posting #5 supra)

Responding to my posting, Mr. Christopher Nicholas (archangelica #8) said that my “opinion has not one drop of humility in it but is provacative (sic) and audicious (sic).

And concluding, he said that “We need shepherds who don’t write off their sheep for a new breeds (sic) of better behaved flocks and greener pastures.”

I say:
Dear Mr. Nicholas,
Talking about shepherds and sheep, TEc,  which you support in more ways than one,  just “deposed” a very good shepherd.

Going by your argument (#8),
1.  Would it be “provacative (sic) and audicious (sic)” for the disciples to “shake off the dust from your (their) feet” as a testimony against an unreceptive house or city? 
2.  Would the disciples “really believe (they) can see into the heart, mind and will” of all people in the particular house and city “and make such a condemnation?!” (using your own words re. #8).

My dear friend, I was ordained into the ministry to proclaim the Truth of God’s Word and to teach and call all (myself included) to repentance and righteousness.

From the Gospel according to St. Luke, we read: “… for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’” (Luke 16:28-31).

The Word is God’s; the choice is ours.
Let us choose wisely and act accordingly so we may live.

Fr. Kingsley Jon-Ubabuco
Arlington, TX

September 29, 1:05 pm | [comment link]
17. Jon wrote:

Here’s the latest post at the ACROSS THE AISLE website:

Defending the Faith
Wendy Scott Paff and others planning to leave the Episcopal Church are blatantly wrong when they claim the church no longer teaches that Jesus Christ is God and Savior (”Leaving the Episcopal Church”).

Those who find fault with some aspects of a church should not declare the entire body corrupt. We who remain committed to the Episcopal Church know that in most places in this country, the church is vibrant and, above all, faithful.

Never has the national church asked or required us to teach, practice or believe anything that is contrary to the faith passed down to us. Rather, we proclaim Jesus is Lord and we recite the creeds, without reservation, and with full knowledge and acceptance of what they mean. Our Book of Common Prayer reflects these beliefs.

We believe the Episcopal Church continues to minister to the poor and needy, worship in spirit and truth and proclaim the saving power of Jesus Christ. We wish to stay and be a part of that faithful witness.

I read this with a huge grin.  If this is all they can muster in defense of TEC…

.... Never has the national church asked or required us to teach, practice or believe anything that is contrary to the faith passed down to us.

Then it just goes to prove what TEC’s orthodox critics are saying.

Basically, they are observing that TEC has not (yet) brought a priest up on charges for teaching the Nicene Creed is true, or believing that Jesus is God, or that He died for our sins.  Wow… really?  They haven’t thrown us in jail yet for doing that?  Now that is definitely reassuring. 

That’s got to be the most left handed compliment I have ever heard.  It’s a bit like saying, if somebody criticizes your best friend for not being a gentle and loving person, and you say: Hey, nobody’s ever convicted him as a serial killer. 

If that’s all they can say by way of defense, it just goes to show that what Wendy Scott Paff said in her original piece is basically true.

PS.  As a side note, reappraisers have got to cease this dishonest strategy of claiming that any criticism of TEC is only valid if it can be shown to be true for every person inside TEC.  It puts the rest of us in a position where we are not allowed to criticize TEC for massive doctrinal drift until we can prove that EVERY member of TEC, lay and ordained, is blogging his own version of Spong’s 12 Theses.  Gimme a break guys.  We all know that Spong and Borg and Crossan and so forth are popular in TEC bookstores in a way they could never have been 50 years ago—there’s been a sea change in creedal belief since then.

September 29, 5:39 pm | [comment link]
18. archangelica wrote:

Godspeed Fr. Kingsley.

September 29, 6:13 pm | [comment link]
19. archangelica wrote:

So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Matthew 13:27-30 KJV

“We learn patience from this story. Though we may want to separate the righteous from the unrighteous, Jesus says it’s not time yet.  As much as we are distressed by what we see going on around us, we must exercise patience and restraint in our response.
And the parable is clear on why we must be patient. Listen again to the words of the farmer in response to the request of the slaves to pull out the weeds: “No!” he said, in effect, “lest while you are gathering up the weeds you root out some of the wheat with them.” In other words, we cannot weed in a way that won’t do more damage than good. We can’t be trusted with the job. The harvest hasn’t completely ripened yet. As a result, the wheat and the weeds are sometimes indistinguishable from one another. We might root out some wheat along with the weeds.
The bottom line is, we don’t always know what is in a person’s heart. In this context, we should remember one of Jesus’ favorite sayings: “The last shall be first and the first shall be last.” In other words, there are going to be some surprises in heaven. So don’t try to figure out who is in and who is out. You will always get it wrong. We need to admit our inability to weed properly.
This parable teach us patience, but it also teaches us humility. We can’t be trusted with the job of weeding. One reason for this is that some of the evil that we seek to root out exists within our own hearts. This is the tragedy of many Christian reformers in our day. They are arrogant—and the world knows it. They want to root out the evils of society, but they fail to see the weeds in their own hearts. We need to leave the job with God. . That is what Jesus is saying: “Hand it over. Let me do this in my own good time.” The great thing about giving over this work is that we don’t have to worry about it anymore. Weeding takes a lot of energy. But God says, “Be patient. Let me take care of it.”
Isn’t it interesting that God is more patient with people than we are? We want to weed now, but God says he will take care of it later. This parable teaches that we serve a slow God, at least according to our time frame. We like to think that God is fast, that he gets things done in a hurry. But the fact is, oftentimes God is slow. He is slow in judging the wicked, because he longs for them to turn to him. God loves them. He loves weeds! Of course, we were all weeds once. Listen to what the apostle Peter says about this in his second letter (from Eugene Peterson’s translation of the New Testament): “With God one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself because of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He is giving everyone space and time to change.” Isn’t it odd that God is more patient with sinners than we are?
There is an old Jewish story told about Abraham. The patriarch was sitting outside his tent one day when an old man, weary from his journey, approached him. Abraham greeted him warmly, washed his feet, and gave him something to eat and drink. Abraham noticed that the man ate without saying a prayer or blessing. So he asked him, “Don’t you worship God?” The old man replied, “I worship only the fire.” At that, Abraham became angry and threw the old man out of his tent into the cold night air. Afterwards, God asked Abraham where the stranger had gone. Abraham said, “I forced him out because he did not worship you.” God replied, “I have suffered him these eighty years. Could you not endure him one night?”
God is slow in judging the wicked. Shouldn’t we be as well?”

September 29, 6:33 pm | [comment link]
20. Jon wrote:

Hey, AA.  Thanks for your last post (#19).  I’m not following its relevance on this thread though.

Were you perhaps under the impression that I (or others on this thread) wanted a church where people are told they are told they can’t attend unless they have all the right beliefs?

September 29, 6:47 pm | [comment link]
21. archangelica wrote:

I am asking the Fr. Kingsley’s on this thread not to paint TEC with such a wide brush as to say that it is a Church with no real Christians left in it and that the only option for “orthodox Anglicans” is to leave for another province or jurisdiction. This is simply not true.
However, neither am I saying that claims that TEC is drifting towards apostacy are not true…they most certainly are. But this is not a reality for TEC alone, it is a cultural shift in all of Christianity and being experienced in lesser or greater degrees in all most every denomination. Such is the age in which we live but none of this is new to the Church.
It has not been proved true, over time, that Christian bodies which split into smaller/newer/more pure expressions of faith maintain their orthodoxy either but rather schism is now a cancer that divides and mutates into now 38,000 different denominations!
To seek to remain in a Church as a faithful witness during oppression, false teaching and dark days is at least as honorable an endeavor as leaving to start Church #38,001.

September 29, 7:12 pm | [comment link]
22. JGeorge wrote:

#21 AA: If God is patient and slow to act, did you support the action to depose Bishop Duncan? I am curious as to how you reconcile the post you made in #19 with the deposition of Bishop Duncan.

September 30, 12:02 am | [comment link]
23. archangelica wrote:

I did not support the action to depose Bishop Duncan and I have been very clear on my posts here that I do not condone the approach to our current difficulties or the heavey handed lawsuits being forced by many at 815.
I do support allowing charitable and fair seperation between those entities that vote to go and those who choose to stay with lawsuits being an absolute last resort and certainly not the first.
However, I do support some form of dismissal/removal from office of those who desire to leave TEC for other provinces without actually moving there. It seems very necessary that TEC be able to formally recognize and declare that a son or daughter of the church who repudiates the church and desires to “shake the sand” and move on be formally recognized as having done so and formally removed from membership, authority and responsibility in TEC without seeming to deny the ontological reality conferred at ordination. So I would support the removal of Bishop Duncan from TEC (because it his sincere desire to leave as a matter of conscience) while still recognizing him as a Bishop in the Southern Cone. In fairness though, our canons were not written with the current scenarios in mind and need to be changed to reflect the current reality in a spirit of kindness, charity and peace.

September 30, 9:55 am | [comment link]
24. Jeremy Bonner wrote:

I no longer get notification of follow-up comments (and I wish I knew why), so, in response to Father Kingsley (#5):

Frankly, there seems plentiful Old Testament evidence of the prophets preaching in vain, yet something good eventually came from it. In any case, today this is largely academic. Most people have decided what they’re going to do (and have received considerable advice on the subject from people outside the Diocese of Pittsburgh). The warning has been given to those who remain that their cause is futile. Fine. Now either offer them your prayers or let them be.

Gamaliel’s advice seems pertinent here. If they’re wrong (actually I should say we, although the Cathedral’s situation is a little different and I would vote for realignment if I were a delegate), it will become obvious all too soon.

Catholic and Reformed

September 30, 10:39 pm | [comment link]
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