(The State) The Bishop of Upper South Carolina on the Mark Lawrence Investigation

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I consider Bishop Lawrence a friend and respected fellow-laborer in the vineyards of the Lord. I know him to be a loyal and faithful minister who seeks to raise valid and serious questions as to the theology, polity and structure of the Episcopal Church. Our church has a long history of theological diversity and respect for those with whom we disagree, and we can all benefit from the challenge of addressing these questions openly and in a spirit of mutual charity. Unfortunately, we live in a culture that is too often hostile to disagreement and unwilling to engage in honest dialogue with those who have different views. Our churches are not immune from this, and all who follow a loving God have each to ask God to forgive us for any roles we may have played in that hostility over the years.

I do not intend to prejudge the matters being considered by the review board; however, it is hard for me to see how the actions complained of against Bishop Lawrence rise to the level of an intentional abandonment of the communion of this church, as is charged. I have difficulty understanding why matters that are arguably legislative and constitutional in nature should be dealt with in a disciplinary context. I await the report and yet hope the review board shares my difficulty.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC Polity & Canons

5 Comments
Posted October 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. sandlapper wrote:

I have difficulty understanding why matters that are arguably legislative and constitutional in nature should be dealt with in a disciplinary context. I await the report and yet hope the review board shares my difficulty.

This is refreshing reaasonableness. Bishop Waldo may be overly optimistic about the long-term compatability of truth with error, but there is something decidely Christian in his unease with the treatment of Bishop Lawrence. If TEC cannot abide a bishop who stands on Scripture to challenge General Convention, then let them follow their regular procedures to put that in their constitution. The unseemliness of their witch hunt is all too consistent with the ungodliness of their beliefs.

October 20, 10:08 am | [comment link]
2. TomRightmyer wrote:

The complaints about Bishop Lawrence appear to be (1) actions of the diocesan convention, (2) he won’t recognize a small liberal congregation in Port Royal, (3) he ordained his son priest when the son may have been ordained deacon in the Anglican diocese, and (4) he did not sue a congregation that withdrew from the Diocese of SC.  To call these “abandonment” (if the complaints are factual) is silly.

October 20, 11:07 am | [comment link]
3. sandlapper wrote:

Oops! Perhaps I am being unseemingly. Let me rephrase it: the unseemingliness of their procedure is all to compatible with the ungodliness of their beliefs.

October 20, 11:07 am | [comment link]
4. Connecticutian wrote:

It is the willingness to suffer unfairly and sacrificially that has saved the church in times of persecution through the centuries.”

This is a reasonable and charitable piece.  But this one quote strikes me.  Why did the General Convention not take this position with regard to +Robinson, C056, SSB, etc?  In fact, the tone of the outcry was “it’s WRONG to make our GLBT brothers wait until the Church changes its mind.”

October 20, 11:18 am | [comment link]
5. Undergroundpewster wrote:

+Waldo related to the convention of DUSC last year that he was engaged in conversation with +Lawrence. Perhaps he goes gentle on him as a result of that relationship. He understands that DSC is holding the minority position, and he notes the consequences to those who try to defy the odds.

“But I grieve the result: a fractured catholicity (i.e., unity around the truth of the Gospel) in which members of the body of Christ are unwilling or unable to give themselves to each other and for the sake of the body when the chips are down and the odds against them are high. It is the willingness to suffer unfairly and sacrificially that has saved the church in times of persecution through the centuries. It made many believers into publicly acknowledged saints — saints who sometimes paradoxically proclaimed the message of the very church that killed them.”

October 20, 5:27 pm | [comment link]
Registered members must log in to comment.




Next entry (above): From the Morning Bible Readings

Previous entry (below): Nicholas Beasley (Upper South Carolina) Chimes In

Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)