Integrity Responds to List of Candidates for Bishop of Chicago

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(Press Release)

"The big news today is that discernment has trumped discrimination in the Diocese of Chicago," said Integrity President Susan Russell. "The inclusion of the Very Rev. Tracey Lind on the list of five extraordinarily qualified candidates for Bishop of Chicago is a bold step forward and a sign of hope and encouragement not only to LGBT Episcopalians but to the whole church. Her experience and leadership make her an excellent candidate and Integrity applauds the Diocese of Chicago for not allowing the forces advocating bigotry over ability to dominate their nomination process.

It is long past time for the Episcopal Church to acknowledge that B033 -- the 2006 resolution designed to prevent the election of a gay or lesbian bishop -- has failed in its attempt to balance the unity of the Anglican Communion on the backs of the LGBT faithful. There is no turning back on the full inclusion of the baptized into the Body of Christ -- only moving forward into God's future as an Episcopal Church committed to mission and ministry, to unity in diversity.

Integrity extends congratulations to all the candidates, any one of whom will make a fine bishop for the Episcopal Church. The Diocese of Chicago's diverse list of qualified candidates is a sign of the end the 'season of fasting' at the expense of the vocations of gays and lesbians in the Episcopal Church and the whole church should rejoice and be glad in that!

(The Reverend) Susan Russell, President


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops

99 Comments
Posted August 28, 2007 at 12:51 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. the roman wrote:

Is it important to be a good teacher or is it important to be gay?

August 28, 1:05 pm | [comment link]
2. AnglicanFirst wrote:

Is this an ‘opening shot’ just as firing on Fort Sumpter led to the hostilities of the American Civil War?

In this case, however, it seems that the Diocese of Chicago may be trying to ignite a civil war withing the Anglican Communion.

Couldn’t Chicago’s timing have been different?  After al, Sep 30 is only 33 days away and the start of the New Orleans meeting is only 23 days away.

August 28, 1:11 pm | [comment link]
3. Connecticutian wrote:

The big news today is that The Agenda has trumped discernment.

August 28, 1:22 pm | [comment link]
4. Ed the Roman wrote:

News?

August 28, 1:23 pm | [comment link]
5. Words Matter wrote:

It really doesn’t matter what the House of Bishops does in September, just as the 1998 Lambeth Conference didn’t matter to a number of TEC dioceses. These people have Truth on their side and anyone who disagrees is a bigot. Just ask Susan Russell. She knows.

August 28, 1:38 pm | [comment link]
6. Sir Highmoor wrote:

We keep talking and others keep acting!

August 28, 1:46 pm | [comment link]
7. libraryjim wrote:

George,
That should be “We keep LISTENING and others keep acting!”

Jim

August 28, 2:00 pm | [comment link]
8. Rolling Eyes wrote:

How utterly absurd!

For any person to seriously make the statement that this Lind person is an “extraordinarily qualified candidate” to be a Bishop is grounds to question their sanity.

August 28, 2:15 pm | [comment link]
9. DaveG wrote:

Can’t get much more clarity than this.  In TEC, the only “manner of life” that is disqualifying is if you stay married to your first and only spouse.  Proves you are an intolerant fundgelical or whatever that word is that they use.

August 28, 2:17 pm | [comment link]
10. Brian from T19 wrote:

Couldn’t Chicago’s timing have been different?  After al, Sep 30 is only 33 days away and the start of the New Orleans meeting is only 23 days away.

I think that is the point.  They want to bring the issue into the spotlight.  There’s no question this was debated by the nominating committee.  What I find disturbing is that the nomination reeks of ‘tokenism.’  I don’t believe that Lind+ will receive many, if any, votes and that the nomination is the point.

August 28, 2:59 pm | [comment link]
11. Karen B. wrote:

How things have changed in the last year.  While browsing the web looking for links on Tracey Lind and others of the nominees, I came across a very interesting article in the Summer07 Integrity newsletter, by Michael Barlowe, an openly practicing homosexual who was nominated for bishop in Newark and lost.

There is a section in the article talking about Tracey Lind’s decision last year to withdraw from the election in the diocese of Newark:

What Happened in Newark?

Resolution B033 doesn’t name partnered lesbian or gay bishops-elect outright as being unable to receive consents, but no one, especially gay nominees, is confused about the intent. The withdrawal from Newark’s episcopal election by Tracey Lind must at least in some significant part be laid at the feet of the aggressive climate that emerged at General Convention 2006.

Today, the Presiding Bishop herself doesn’t hesitate to interpret B033 as “a pause” in affirming gay bishops.  And, unlike her call this summer for B033 to be reconsidered in “the very near future,” the PB finds herself this fall expecting B033 to last for an indeterminate “season.”

In this context, the mixed blessing of democratic episcopal discernment in our church has been made more vulnerable than ever
to political rather than theological agendas. To make a long, too-
familiar story short, with B033 in the mix, the Holy Spirit has Her work cut out for Her.

from here:
http://www.integrityusa.org/voice/2007/2007-WinterSpring.pdf
page 12

Looks like Integrity and others believe B033 is well and truly dead, or at the very least they are testing it again for signs of life…

August 28, 3:00 pm | [comment link]
12. wildfire wrote:

#13

More about Lind and Newark here:

http://telling-secrets.blogspot.com/2006_06_01_archive.html#115171108263849905#links

It appears she withdrew from the Newark process before B033.  But, her position has certainly changed in the year since.

August 28, 3:17 pm | [comment link]
13. Baruch wrote:

Question? Did the AofC note a stinging in his eye from the sharp stick? How far will he go for the MONEY???

August 28, 3:21 pm | [comment link]
14. AnglicanFirst wrote:

Reply to T19 Brian,
My statement, “Couldn’t Chicago’s timing have been different?,” was intended to rhetorically ‘beg the question.’

Of course the Diocese of Chicago is challenging the Dar Es Salaam communique’s 30 Sep deadline.

It’s a modern version of the urban child’s retort of the 1950s, “...and your muddah wears Army boots.”

August 28, 3:27 pm | [comment link]
15. john scholasticus wrote:

I fail to see the problem here. There is one gay person on the list. How is that a threat to reasserters or robust heterosexuals? Rather, it is a statement of: we can all agree to differ, we can all have our viewpoints represented in the great and good Anglican Communion. ‘Integrity’ specifically states: ‘any one of whom’ would make a fine bishop. Where is the coercion here?

August 28, 3:28 pm | [comment link]
16. Rolling Eyes wrote:

#17, are you new here?  Have you not paid attention the last few years? Are you THAT clueless?

August 28, 3:46 pm | [comment link]
17. Brad Page wrote:

Whatever else may be said, B033 is dead.  In fact, it was dead on arrival and its lifeless corpse was all that could be banded about at the conclusion of the GC 2006 (anybody see “A Weekend at Bernie’s”?).  It was passed by majority (under pressure from the leadership) as a “strategy”, a means (a dishonest one) to continue the party, and not as good-faith effort to allow for discernment.

PS to “AnglicanFirst” #2:  How many opening shots does it take to start a civil war?  By my count there have been scores of shots already, and this war already has a sizable number of casualties.

August 28, 3:51 pm | [comment link]
18. john scholasticus wrote:

#18

Come on, Rollin’. We’ve met many times before. I like to provoke ...

August 28, 3:56 pm | [comment link]
19. TonyinCNY wrote:

discernment over discrimination?

Would this be anything like letting Michael Vick off since he’s such a talented qb.  I know it’s an flawed analogy, but with all the stds, depression and suicide among homosexuals, how deep must a committee dig before we can really call it discernment?

August 28, 4:03 pm | [comment link]
20. Words Matter wrote:

#18 -

There is one gay person on the list. How is that a threat to reasserters or robust heterosexuals?

Of course, it is relationships in the Anglican Communion that are threatened, not people.  Reasserters and “robust heterosexuals” (?) will live their lives rather happily, though probably not as Episcopalians.

Rather, it is a statement of: we can all agree to differ, we can all have our viewpoints represented in the great and good Anglican Communion.

Well, no. It’s a statement that “discernment has trumped discrimination”, that “hey,hey gay’s ok”, that the opinions of the Anglican Communion aren’t going to stop us from doing what we want, that people who don’t agree with Susan Russell, and the nominating commitee of the diocese of Chicago are discriminating and have no place in the Episcopal Church.

Really, JS… if you want to provoke, be more creative about it. grin

August 28, 4:19 pm | [comment link]
21. Saint Dumb Ox wrote:

As mentioned by baby Blue on SF.  The real news here is Margaret Rose who posted the pagan feminine liturgy in 2004.  Lost in sin is one thing but activley promoting blatant pagan worship is worse IMHO.

August 28, 4:44 pm | [comment link]
22. Susan Russell wrote:

Just for the record, “Integrity” called B033 dead-on-arrival in Columbus when the ink wasn’t yet dry on the coerced resolution offering gay and lesbian vocations as sacrifical lambs on the altar of global communion politics as the “Windsor” Bishops (or whatever they were calling themselves at that point) came down the escalator from the House of Bishops and lined up for their all-ready-to-go press conference declaring it not enough to hold the Communion together.

We didn’t accept Lambeth 1.10 in 1998 and we didn’t roll over for B033 in 2006. (See also Luke 18:1-8) It is now time for the Anglican Communion to decide whether it can live with the diversity we represent ... that’s the work ahead of us and the work the new Bishop of Chicago ... WHOEVER she or he is ... will be part of. (And for those interested, Tim Safford preached at All Saints Church, Pasadena last Sunday ... don’t see the sermon up on itunes yet but it should be shortly ... stay tuned.)

August 28, 5:27 pm | [comment link]
23. TonyinCNY wrote:

“We can all agree to disagree” has been one of the liberal mantras at least since 2003.  There are a number of problems with this, one of which is that when spoken by liberals it is completely disengenuous.  We saw this on women’s ordination when they first gave a conscience clause and then revoked it.  What it really means is that we will agree to disagree until such time when we revoke your right (conservatives) to disagree.

August 28, 5:28 pm | [comment link]
24. Rick D wrote:

In my mostly-urban experience with Episcopal clergy, about half or a little more are women, and maybe one in five or so are gay.  That’s also consistent with my colleagues (programmer) and my neighborhood.  The Chicago slate seems to reflect that reality as well, which doesn’t sound too threatening.

August 28, 5:41 pm | [comment link]
25. Philip Snyder wrote:

Susan,
TECUSA doesn’t have the authority to define Anglicanism.  All the Anlgicans together do.  If TECUSA doesn’t want to be part of what the Anglicans decided Anglicanism is, then please, just walk away and leave those dioceses and parishes that desire to be Anglicans to be Anglicans.  The Church doesn’t belong to you or me or the reappraisers or reasserters or Integrity or ACN or any other Group.  It belongs to Jesus Christ.  Perhaps we should listen to what He said about how we should live our lives.  We should also listen to what His Body, the Church says about how we should live our lives.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

August 28, 5:58 pm | [comment link]
26. Larry Morse wrote:

Ohm for Heaven’s sake, people, what is there surprising here or intimidating or anything at all?
Did anyoone think that TEC was going to back off? Did not everyone actually believe that TEC was going to take its first best opportunity to tell the rest of us where to stick it? Why get your knickers in a twist?
  If TEC’s gamit works, we’re dead in the water. Is there evidence tha TEC is winning its viability battle? Not a shred. Well, I’ll say it again, as Mark Twain said, “Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make liberal.” Or something like that.  Or was it Ambrose Bierce?  Larry

Now now, John, let us have no epater le bourgousie.  L

August 28, 6:00 pm | [comment link]
27. AnglicanFirst wrote:

Reply to Rick D, who said,
“In my mostly-urban experience with Episcopal clergy, about half or a little more are women….”

I am a person who is still ‘undecided’ regarding the theological arguments regarding womens’ ordination.  What I understand regarding the Roman and Orthodox churches’ stand on this issue seems to make sense.  But, I have also had the privelege of being exposed to some really good Episcopalian female deacons and fewer priests.  The Episcopalian female clergy who have impressed me the least are those who seem to bring into their clerical ministry secular attitudes regarding women that are better left in the secular community. 

In Christ we are supposed to be one, neither male nor female, but I sense that a number of female clerics are intent on asserting the secular rights of women within the church.  That is, they do not promote ‘oneness,’ but instead are divisive in their demeanor and utterances.

A further thought, most of us who care about bringing people to Jesus are concerned about the difficulty of prosyletizing men and of retaining men in the church.  Well, a fact of life is that many men, for cultural or just because of the fact that they are men, do not desire, do not respond to, will ignore, and will reject female spiritual leadership.

So, those of you who are so willing to impose an overwhelming female leadership upon men, must accept the consequence of your actions, whether they be sincere in their intent or merely the expression of a secular feminist movement.

August 28, 6:02 pm | [comment link]
28. Jon wrote:

I agree with Susan Russell here.  Chicago is engaging in openness and honesty and transparency about their intentions for the future.  Susan is right that this is a good thing, and it is an especially ethical thing to do now, especially shortly before Sept 30.  What was NOT ethical is for TEC to pass resolutions that falsely described its mind as a whole (e.g B033) simply to pacify the Global South.  Likewise it is wrong for dioceses and bishops to exercise “restraint” while planning to abandon it as soon as (say) Lambeth 2008 is finished.  I applaud the decision of Chicago to openly describe its position and intentions.

I think the more transparency we have like that—people very openly describing their theological views and not just about gay folks, but also other aspects of the tradition—the better.  How could more openness and honesty (tempered with as much gentleness and charity as possible toward opponents) be anything but good?  And how could any other position (e.g. let’s acceed to the demands of the Primates while intending in a few years to subvert them) be anything but lies and deceit and ultimately injury to all concerned?  On this I feel ethical people on both sides of the isle should be able to come together.

August 28, 6:09 pm | [comment link]
29. Daniel Lozier wrote:

That Susan Russell gives her approval to the whole list of candidates is clear indication we should all be praying for the people in the Diocese of Chicago.  What a profound indictment of the candidates.

August 28, 6:17 pm | [comment link]
30. Ad Orientem wrote:

Had enough?
The door is always open.
The Orthodox Church

August 28, 6:20 pm | [comment link]
31. TomRightmyer wrote:

I’m disappointed in the nominating committee in the diocese of Chicago and in the Integrity organization. One way to read the action in Chicago is that the committee does not want to conform to the expressed desire of General Convention to continue in fellowship with the large majority of the bishops of our communion. Integrity’s press release and the comments of its author, above, witness to me a desire for schism.

Tom Rightmyer in Asheville, NC

August 28, 6:23 pm | [comment link]
32. Daniel Lozier wrote:

For the record, as a former member of All Saints Pasadena, where Tim Safford was baptized and served as priest…..Safford does not believe in the virgin birth or physical Resurrection of Christ.  By definition, therefore, he is not Christian.  Not surprising he is nominated to be a bishop in TEC.

August 28, 6:23 pm | [comment link]
33. Susan Russell wrote:

#27—With all due respect and in regard to “defining Anglicanism” neither do a vocal percentage of primates! Before anybody can decide “to be part of what the Anglicans decided Anglicanism is” then there needs to be some work done on deciding whether or not the Archbishop of Canterbury is “essential” to Anglicanism (which seems to be under debate in some quarters) and how we hear the voices of ALL the baptized—not just the bishops—in our discernment.

Significant Anglican voices from the Archbishop of York to Desmond Tutu have indicated there is indeed “elbow room” for our diverse ways of living out our Christian vocations in our various Anglican contexts.  Odds are you’ll disagree but there you have it.

(And yes, I’m doing a lot of blog commenting today—it’s hot as stink here in Pasadena and the only things left on my “to do during vacation list” involve being outside in the hot-as-stink so I’m wandering about the blogosphere instead.)

August 28, 6:44 pm | [comment link]
34. Cennydd wrote:

I’m going to depart slightly from this discussion and say what many of us already know:  The Episcopal Church is on the verge of establishing itself as The Episcopal Communion.  They have the overseas provinces…..15 of them…..and missionary dioceses necessary to accomplish that goal.  They’ve been clearly demonstrating that they intend to go their own way ever since GC2003.  The mere suggestion that a lesbian “priest” will be a candidate for the See of Chicago…..regardless of whether or not she’s elected…..will be seen as further proof of their intentions, and will hasten the coming schism in the Anglican Communion.

August 28, 6:46 pm | [comment link]
35. driver8 wrote:

You know, looked at from the outside, TEC looks one very, very, very weird church.

August 28, 7:07 pm | [comment link]
36. driver8 wrote:

Isn’t affirming belief in the Virgin Birth part of TEC’s famous baptismal covenant?

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.

August 28, 7:14 pm | [comment link]
37. Rocks wrote:

Susan Russell,
Concerning Luke 18:1-8 I have no doubt eventually you will receive your justice, no matter how small that church ends up being.
My question would be the same as Christ’s:
“However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

August 28, 8:12 pm | [comment link]
38. Rolling Eyes wrote:

#35, how about using Scripture, Tradition, and Reason?

Or, for your sake, better not.  You won’t find ANY support there, just more reminders that you and agenda are NOT Anglican…better keep relying on your own opinions and the Archbishop of York.

August 28, 8:55 pm | [comment link]
39. Susan Russell wrote:

#40—Actually, Scripture, Tradition and Reason are my favs ... they just don’t usually play very well in this particular house.

August 28, 8:58 pm | [comment link]
40. Daniel Lozier wrote:

Reason is the only part of the “3-legged stool” that is inherently flawed….as is the Revisionist’s 4th leg:  “experience”, which is, by nature, sinful.

August 28, 9:03 pm | [comment link]
41. Rolling Eyes wrote:

#41: “Actually, Scripture, Tradition and Reason are my favs “

Then why do you choose to ignore them?

August 28, 9:06 pm | [comment link]
42. D. C. Toedt wrote:

Daniel Lozier [#34] writes:

34. Safford does not believe in the virgin birth or physical Resurrection of Christ.  By definition, therefore, he is not Christian.

Oh?  So it’s not permitted to attempt to follow Jesus unless one gives intellectual assent to these two highly-dubious factual propositions?

August 28, 9:59 pm | [comment link]
43. D. C. Toedt wrote:

Daniel Lozier [#42] writes: ”... the Revisionist’s 4th leg:  ‘experience’, which is, by nature, sinful.” (Emphasis added.)

You make a joke, no? Some would argue that experience past and present — quite possibly with divine assistance of some sort — is precisely what leads humanity to God.

August 28, 10:03 pm | [comment link]
44. James Manley wrote:

Oh?  So it’s not permitted to attempt to follow Jesus unless one gives intellectual assent to these two highly-dubious factual propositions?

Well, surely you can attempt to follow Jesus without giving such assent.  Just be honest about it and don’t call yourself “christian” when you do it.

August 28, 10:12 pm | [comment link]
45. RalphM wrote:

Just for the life of me can’t understand why Unitarians continue to stay in TEC.  Maybe it’s the neat vestments…..

RalphM

August 28, 10:27 pm | [comment link]
46. Connecticutian wrote:

So it’s not permitted to attempt to follow Jesus unless one gives intellectual assent to these two highly-dubious factual propositions?

Oh c’mon DC.  We’re not talking about the average Joe or Jane attempting to follow, we’re talking about one who aspires to be a bishop.  No, if you don’t buy into the script, you don’t get to direct the show.  It’s dishonest to even attempt to lead others where one’s self won’t go.

August 28, 10:46 pm | [comment link]
47. robroy wrote:

Susan Russell states that a vocal percentage of shouldn’t define Anglicanism. I seem to recall the percentage of primates at DeS calling for the cessation of ordaining homosexual bishops was a percentage, that percentage being 100%. Of course, there was the reprehensible back sliding by the slithery “nothing was signed” KJS, but as ABp Gomez points out, her assent was truly an assent at the time.

August 28, 10:52 pm | [comment link]
48. Brian from T19 wrote:

Oh?  So it’s not permitted to attempt to follow Jesus unless one gives intellectual assent to these two highly-dubious factual propositions?

Actually D.C. you can attempt to follow Jesus al;l you want but you are, by definition, outside of Christianity.  Christianity is creedal and these are key parts of the Creeds.

August 28, 10:54 pm | [comment link]
49. Brad Page wrote:

RalphM (#47):  Why should they leave?  They are on the ascendancy in TEC!

Your comment about the draw of “neat vestments” is not far off:  One Unitarian turned Episcopalian told me she had come to be an Episcopalian because of the beauty of the liturgy.  TEC’s theological latitude was a great encouragement to her, as she did not have to cease being a Unitarian in order to enjoy such a pretty little service with nice music…and vestments.  (She should now realize that she wouldn’t have to cease being Unitarian to become a priest or bishop in TEC either).

Connectiutian (#48):  Well said!!

August 28, 11:04 pm | [comment link]
50. robroy wrote:

You go Brian for T19!

Had Christ, that once was slain,
Ne’er burst His three day prison,
Our faith had been in vain;
But now hath Christ arisen!

August 28, 11:17 pm | [comment link]
51. Ad Orientem wrote:

Re # 51
Brad,
You make a very good point that I have repeated here and elsewhere.  TEC has become a sort of High Church Unitarianism.  It stands for nothing other than tolerance for diversity.

August 28, 11:28 pm | [comment link]
52. Derek Smith wrote:

Amen, Brian from T19 (#50).

Amen and Amen!

August 28, 11:38 pm | [comment link]
53. Larry Morse wrote:

#44: But there’s the problem You cannot “follow Jesus,” as you say, if you maintain that Mary was not a virgin when she got pregnant. Technically it is not to hard to imagine such a conception - that is, stimulating an egg in a virgin - but that’s not the issue, is it? The scripture is clear, first of all, hard to believe or not. Virginity is not essential for such a conception except for reasons of purity. What is essential is that Jesus has two “genetic lineages” fused into one. You cannot “follow Jesus” if he is not at the same time the Christ (if by that expression you mean that Christianity does not absolutely require that both elements exist in a single human). This is simply central and cannot be circumvented - except in California perhaps. LM

August 28, 11:55 pm | [comment link]
54. Larry Morse wrote:

Check that. I left a piece of a sentence out. Virginity is not essential except for reasons of purity and incontrovertible evidence that there could be no other father.  LM

August 28, 11:57 pm | [comment link]
55. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

D.C.\\
You were referring to your difficulty with the PHYSICAL part of resurrection, right?  Not simply, the resurrection?
One way or the other, it is not an intellectual proposition.  It is simply a proposition.  Accept it by faith, or choose not to accept it.  Believe the witnesses.  That is your assent.
The other problem with defining this acceptance as an intellectual assent is that it unfortunately only leads to further (and endless)adjectival definition, thus always leaving aside the the final and ultimate answer in response, “Yes” or “No.”
Speaking, though, as if the issue for you is intellectual assent to the possibility of a “physical” resurrection, as has been a modern defining line for many “intellectually reasonable” folk in TECusa, why cut short the miracle of Incarnation prior to the Ascension?

RGEaton

August 29, 1:55 am | [comment link]
56. driver8 wrote:

It’s one thing for a lay person to refuse to accept the baptismal covenant. Quite another for a bishop. If the bishop candidate doesn’t accept the baptismal covenant he or she should have the integrity to say so openly.

August 29, 2:41 am | [comment link]
57. Derek Smith wrote:

The Diocese of Chicago’s diverse list of qualified candidates is a sign of the end the ‘season of fasting’ at the expense of the vocations of gays and lesbians in the Episcopal Church…

‘Season of Fasting’?

Have I missed something? When did this ‘season’ happen?

August 29, 3:28 am | [comment link]
58. Dave B wrote:

I will reiterate again, my biggest problem is once we say scripture is not authoritative, once we throw out tradition, and when intellectual reason is bent and logic departs we can then create God in the image we want. TEC’s God is becoming a homophile, whimpy, cumby yah singing namby pamby who stands for nothing and bends to accomodate all including the sexually debased, heretics, pagan idol worshipers and atheists and even those who violently oppose the kingdom of God!

August 29, 4:57 am | [comment link]
59. Vintner wrote:

Humankind has been creating/explaining/interpreting God in the image they want since pen was ever set to paper.  Any Old Testament textbook will tell you that.

August 29, 5:44 am | [comment link]
60. DavidBennett wrote:

“#41: “Actually, Scripture, Tradition and Reason are my favs “

Then why do you choose to ignore them? “

Modernism changed the rules, changed the terms.  So even tradition, scripture, and reason no longer mean what they used to. And who hopped on the modernist band wagon more than anybody? Mainliners who came of age in the 60s and 70s. I know it sounds a bit like Bizarro world, but I do believe many reappraisers actually believe that a practice can be universally condemned in 2000 years of Tradition, yet they can somehow still claim to be following Tradition (sometimes following tradition means the same as “catholic” for them: smells and bells). The modernist mantra is that once something becomes a “justice issue,” it must be found in Scripture and Tradition, even if every verse and section must be taken out of context to make it fit.

August 29, 7:04 am | [comment link]
61. Larry Morse wrote:

#61. I know I know. I altered the quote.  I knew Euripides well in the old days - 1952 - not a bad fellow but had a penchant for grim plays and all with Greeks in them. Why? I don’t know.

I was just making a funny. I thought “They first make liberal” was amusing. Guess my sense of humor doesn’t cut it, huh? And it WAS the kind of thing Ambrose Bierce would have put in The Devils Dictionary.  Unfunny in Maine.

August 29, 7:11 am | [comment link]
62. Dave B wrote:

# 62 Smuggs I believe that one of the jobs of a prophet was to help correct this problem of false idol worship.  TEC leadership is embracing idol worship to their detriment.  Of course scripture is not valid in interprating this since it has no authority!

August 29, 7:22 am | [comment link]
63. William#2 wrote:

Susan Russell, in the early seventies when I was in school some of my classmates wore black armbands to protest Nixon’s bombing in Cambodia.  I guess that made the protestors feel good, but the bombing continued.  Will Chicago actually elect a gay partnered Bishop or is this just another schoolyard taunt to the orthodox in the AC?
D.C., I will answer your question directly: I do not believe that you can call yourself a Christian and deny Christ’s resurrection anymore than Susan Russell can call herself a Boy Scout and be a girl. 
Or, be a conservative Episcopalian but refuse to adhere to the core values of Epicopalianism, whatever those are—its kind of a moving target these days.  One of the many reasons I left was because I couldn’t give to your church and felt it dishonorable to remain and not give. By now it should be without question that the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ remains at the core of salvation and to deny that denies an essential of the faith.
D.C., you seem to highly value a reasoned engagement with the faith.  If you actually believe in God who exists beyond the physical rules of reality that we both experience and perceive, that He can actually pull off existence beyond the physical realm, a bodily resurrection does not seem to be a tall order to me.
I believe that the truth is important because it has power beyond knowledge to affect lives and accomplish salvation.  Thus, its important what we believe as that guides and directs what we do.  The difference between Bill Gates, an atheist, and the gentleman who denies the resurrection are differences in degree, only.  Both men can probably do good works outside the power of truth, but then we get into the definition of “good,” don’t we?  Is “good” defined by Bill Gates providing vaccinations to African children, or by Bill Gates doing God’s will? 
You see my friends, the vaccinations will preserve life, but for how long?  Bill, and Susan’s friend offer us water when we are thirsty; Jesus offers us water that quenches thirst forever.

August 29, 8:49 am | [comment link]
64. DaveG wrote:

I think it is quite wonderful what Chicago has done.  It has laid to rest the canard that TEC has adequately responded to WR, Domantine, DES or the call to repentance.  So let us move on from here.  Those who are so attached to the name, the buildings, the endowments, the stained glass, the organs or the mantra God = Tolerance, should stay in TEC.  Those who reject the Spirit of the Age can head for the door.  As for me and my house .........

August 29, 9:02 am | [comment link]
65. Philip Snyder wrote:

“Oh?  So it’s not permitted to attempt to follow Jesus unless one gives intellectual assent to these two highly-dubious factual propositions? “
As others have pointed out, you can try to follow Jesus without a belief in the Virgin Birth or the physical resurrection.  However, both should be required for clergy in the Episcopal Church.

Susan (#35) - I wasn’t talking about just the Primates.  I was speaking on all the Instruments of Communion - the ABC, the Lambeth meeting, the Primates, and the ACC.  All of them asked us to not bless same sex unions and not ordain practicing homosexuals.  TECUSA even asked us not to change the practice or teaching of the Church on its own (Resolution B020, 1991).  So far, the concensus of the Anglican Communion is that homosexual sex is outside of God’s design for us and is sinful.  If that hurts your feelings, I’m sorry that your feelings are hurt.  You say that Scripture, Tradition, and Reason are your “favs.”  Can you show me, out of Scripture and Tradition, where God blesses homosexual sex?

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

August 29, 11:24 am | [comment link]
66. Vintner wrote:

Phil (Dallas), I note that your last question asked, “Can you show me, out of Scripture and Tradition, where God blesses homosexual sex?”  Was there a reason for leaving out “reason”?  Can you think of no instance at all where Scripture and tradition have agreed but reason trumped them both?

August 29, 11:42 am | [comment link]
67. Stuart Smith wrote:

#69:  Of course, Ms. Russell cannot show you anywhere in S,C and T where God blesses homosexual sex.  But, of course, if you practice the “hermenuetic of suspicion” your definition for S, C and T is predicated on the enlighted E (E xperience) which has been smuggled into the Anglican evaluative process.  Therefore, ‘because I experience homosexual sex as beautiful, true, and holy, that, for me, is higher than the bigoted application of S, C and T.  God has given me E to correct and set aside S,C, and T, when necessary”.

August 29, 11:48 am | [comment link]
68. Vintner wrote:

#70: I did not use the word “experience.”  I used the word “reason.” 

Can you think of no instance at all where Scripture and tradition have agreed but reason trumped them both?

And what is “C”?

August 29, 11:55 am | [comment link]
69. Stuart Smith wrote:

#71:  you are correct.  My comment in #70 should have referred to #68, rather than to your *#69.  I apologize for the confusion.  Also, I meant to refer to S,T, and R.  (I have no idea why I used “C”).

But…while clarifying all my mistakes, may I attempt an answer about Reason “trumping” S and T?

I believe that Hooker was really clear that Holy Reason could not violate either Holy Scripture or Holy Tradition, since Holy Reason depends upon HS and HT for its food for thought.  Reasoning as God would have us reason (i.e. “Holy Reason”) would be most un-reasonable (even insane) if that HR could overthrow the Divine Word of God, or the Divine transmission of God’s Word via Holy Tradition.  Maybe you, yourself, have an answer to your own question:  how could Reason trump HS and/or HT?

August 29, 12:02 pm | [comment link]
70. Philip Snyder wrote:

Smuggs, I did not mention reason because most people think that reason means:  “what I think” or “What science currently teaches us” or “what I read in science that supports my position.” 
What Reason traditionally meant was what could be read from the Natural Law. 

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

August 29, 12:04 pm | [comment link]
71. Undergroundpewster wrote:

“Integrity?” could someone please explain this group to me and how it lives by it’s namesake.

August 29, 1:13 pm | [comment link]
72. Vintner wrote:

#72:  Slavery immediately comes to mind as an example of something that was supported both by Scripture and by Tradition in the pulplits.

August 29, 1:45 pm | [comment link]
73. Vintner wrote:

pulpits.  pulpits.  pulpits…...

August 29, 1:46 pm | [comment link]
74. WestJ wrote:

This whole situation with TECUSA reminds me of a patient I saw while in my residency program. He had a markedly enlarged testicle that was due to cancer. His primary concern, however, was that his other testicle was not as large. He refused to accept that the enlarged one was abnormal and, if not properly treated, would lead to his death.
In a similar way, Ms Russel and others like her deny that the patient (TECUSA) has cancer (the doctrine of “inclusion” and “affirmation”).
TECUSA is gravely ill, though the corporate heads deny it.

August 29, 1:46 pm | [comment link]
75. Stuart Smith wrote:

#75:  Scripture does not support or promote slavery.  In OT references, it reports slavery, and regulates for the people of God how they must treat slaves (i.e., with fairness, compassion, and on Jubilee Years, by freeing them from their debt).  You will look in vain for a Word from God which describes slavery as pleasing to God, or that indicates that the Lord favors slavery.  Quite obviously, the Lord set his own captive, enslaved people Israel, free from their bondage in Egypt.
In the New Testatment, St. Paul reminds every master and every slave of their duty to serve Christ and to know that He (Christ) is the Master of all. While, again, accepting the existence of slavery, the Apostle gave his opinion that those who can obtain their freedom should do so.  The New Testament nowhere endorses slavery.

So…there goes Holy Scripture…NOT a supporter of Slavery.

As for Holy Tradition, again, there is no book from the Patristic period…that seminal age of the Tradition… that endorses or recommends slavery.  Do you have sources otherwise?

August 29, 2:21 pm | [comment link]
76. Stuart Smith wrote:

#75:  PS:  I note that you said “supported from the pulpits”.
Well:  any rash man can say anything from the pulpit.  That bigots used the pulpit to support slavery in the South in the 19th (and perhaps 20th) century, only shows that the clergy are far from perfect, and often do not represent anyone other than themselves!

August 29, 2:23 pm | [comment link]
77. Rick D wrote:

#29 (sorry but I had to work for a while)

I sense that a number of female clerics are intent on asserting the secular rights of women within the church.  That is, they do not promote ‘oneness,’ but instead are divisive in their demeanor and utterances.

Hmmm.  Not sure what “secular rights of women within the church” means, but I’m pretty sure “they…are divisive in their demeanor and utterances” sounds like a generalization.  Maybe you’ve had some bad experiences. The female clergy I have been exposed to, in a couple of diocese, have been excellent preachers and pastors.

Well, a fact of life is that many men, for cultural or just because of the fact that they are men, do not desire, do not respond to, will ignore, and will reject female spiritual leadership.

This statement—which I have not personally witnessed but which I take to be your experience—does not point to a problem with female spiritual leadership, but rather to a failure to acknowledge leadership that is presumably appropriate but for the gender of the leader.  The church should do all it can to help those people mature to a point where pastoral care is recognized for its spiritual value without reference to whether the pastor is male or female.

By the way, in my own experience, children and young adults who have grown up in churches with diverse clergy (including gay clergy) don’t seem to have nearly the problems with acknowledging the contributions of those clergy that others do.  Perhaps they are learning their own traditions.

August 29, 4:48 pm | [comment link]
78. Vintner wrote:

#78: But nowhere do you find God or Paul condemning slavery.  By describing the conditions of which slavery should be maintained (?), slavery is de facto condoned.  Go to the old churches with galleries on top and pew boxes below and guess who was sitting there?  Sorry, Stuart, even my old conservative Episcopal History prof taught that Scripture was used to uphold the slave trade as was tradition (past practice).  In fact, he AND Dr. John Booty in his course on Richard Hooker used slavery as an example of reason trumping scripture and tradition.

August 29, 5:21 pm | [comment link]
79. Philip Snyder wrote:

Smuggs - You have the Scritpural witness of Paul asking Philemon (the other “Phil” in the bible smile ) to free Onesimus.  You have the scriptural witness of God freeing Israel.  You have “for Freedom Christ has set us free” in Paul’s letters.  You do not have “do not free your slave, that is an abonimation” or “People worshipped the creation rather than the creator and worked to free slaves.”  Neither do you have “abolitionists” listed as sinners.  Scripture is not universally pro slavery nor is it universally against freeing slaves.  Scripture has been (mis)used in the past to justify many things.  That does not mean that Scripture says what people say it does.  Can you show me a scriptural witness to blessing homosexual sex or a place where Scripture is unclear on the place of homosexual sex?


I didn’t think so.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

August 29, 5:36 pm | [comment link]
80. Vintner wrote:

Sorry, Phil (Dallas), still no go.  You only claim now that Scripture has been misused in this regard.  Back in pre-Civil War Days it was used to justify.  Only REASON intrepreted other passages, over time, to trump the passages that were used to condone it.

Can you show me where Jesus SPECIFICALLY mentioned homosexually?  No?  I didn’t think so either.

Face facts and admit it.  You treasure Scripture and tradition and would jettison reason altogether save for the ways to use reason in order to interpret Scripture and tradition to fit your arguments.  That’s why you didn’t include it in your question to Susan.

I think Dr. Booty is a much better authority on Richard Hooker than you so I’ll continue to go with his notes rather than your speculation.

August 29, 6:46 pm | [comment link]
81. Philip Snyder wrote:

In Matt 15:19, Jesus condemns porneia which includes the following

) illicit sexual intercourse
a) adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.
b) sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18
c) sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11,12
2) metaph. the worship of idols
a) of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols

(http://cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?strongs=G4202)

However, let’s assume that Jesus doesn’t mean homosexual sex in Matt 15:19, what do you do with Pauline references or the in Acts 15 where we are called to abstain from “sexual immorality.”  Do you really think that the Jews in Acts did not include all sexual immorality as they understood it? 

Remember, Jesus was/is a 1st century Jew who lived by the Law and did not transgress it.  There are several places where He re-interprets the law for us and in none of these does he change the practice of homosexual sex to be anything but sinful.  So, the lack of specific mention of homosexual sex serves to strengthen the argument that homosexual sex is still considered sinful by God.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

August 29, 7:14 pm | [comment link]
82. Vintner wrote:

You’re intrepreting, Phil! smile  You’re looking at passages and saying, “This is what Jesus means” and I’m asking if he mentioned the word (that I believe did not come into being until the 20th century?  I could be wrong.) at all. 

I’m familiar with the debate about what Paul “meant” and all that ad nauseum whatever.  I think the correct response, however, if I was arguing for your side, would be, “No, Jesus did not specifically mention or single out homosexuality.  However, we can intepret from the word ‘porneia’ that homosexuality was probably included.  We can also assume from his presence at a wedding in Cana that he believed that marriage was the union that God intended for people to be in.”  I then might even go so far as to say, tongue in cheek, “So, no, I don’t see where Jesus mentioned homosexuality.  But, then, I don’t see where Jesus ever attended, much less turned water into wine, at a blessing of a civil union, either…” smile

August 29, 7:31 pm | [comment link]
83. Philip Snyder wrote:

Smuggs.  I did write “So, the lack of specific mention of homosexual sex serves to strengthen the argument that homosexual sex is still considered sinful by God.”

Remember, the Scriptures are not just the words of Jesus.  They include Paul’s writings as well.  So, if you are going to speak of the scriptural witness on homosexual sex, you have to deal with Paul and with the Old Testament was well.  So, since we are both well aware of the specific scriptural referneces to homosexual sex in the negative sense and with those that could logically include a ban on homosexual sex, can you point me to the scriptural passages that can be interpreted as changing the status of homosexual sex?  I think I missed them.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

August 29, 8:16 pm | [comment link]
84. Vintner wrote:

So now Paul is Jesus?  My question was not what do the Scriptures say in various places.  I asked what Jesus, not Paul, specifically said.  Thus the answer still is, “Jesus did not mention homosexuality specifically.”  And I asked earlier, “Was there a reason for leaving out ‘reason’?” and “Can you think of no instance at all where Scripture and tradition have agreed but reason trumped them both?”

You’ve changed question number one and you never answered the latter two.  And now I fear we’re off thread.

August 29, 8:26 pm | [comment link]
85. Vintner wrote:

Phil, I’ll answer you directly.  Yes, I am aware of the passages pertaining to homosexuality.  I am also aware of Spong’s various books on which I have written seminary papers arguing against.  So yes, I am aware of both sides of the argument.  I am aware of the various arguments about how Scripture is referring to the use of power and coerciveness in these relationships vs the true love shared in same sex fidelity relationships.  I am aware of all that.

I also disagree with all of that.  I believe that those parts of Scripture that do speak about homosexuality do not speak favorably about it and am not about to pretend that they do or twist them to mean something that they don’t mean.  Spong is no scholar.  At the same time, I take them in the context in which they were written which is not the same context that we are in now.  And that, I believe, is where our roads will part.  Just as I don’t believe in stoning people guilty of adultery, just as I don’t believe that divorce should never be an option, just as I don’t believe that snakes talk, just as I don’t believe in the death penalty, I don’t believe that non-celibate homosexuals who are living in fidelity is the great sin you think it is.  If I am wrong, God will judge my intentions, convict me, and offer me a chance for grace when I am before his throne.  And fortunate thing for you, he offers the same to your side.

August 29, 8:41 pm | [comment link]
86. Dave B wrote:

Smuggs,  You can say what you want about scripture and slavery but the FACT remains that it was christians who worked to end slavery in this world.  It was not the seculerists, industialists, politicians, etc but those who bear the name of Christ.

August 29, 8:57 pm | [comment link]
87. Philip Snyder wrote:

Smuggs,

I don’t think homosexual sex is a “great sin.”  I just think it is a “minor sin” but it is still “sin.”  It misses the mark that God designed for us, and because it is sin, we lack the authority to bless it.  That is the issue.  Not “is it a terrible sin” or should we kick the homosexuals out of the church.  The answer is no.  But we should be clear about what the goal is - what righteousness looks like what a right sexual relationship looks like.  Who determines that?  Well, God does, of course.  You and I may both be wrong on this.  The question then comes down to how do we know what God’s desires for us are?  We know because of God’s revelation in Holy Scripture as interpreted by the Church through tradition and reason.  Where scritpure is clear, scripture stands. Ultimately, the issue is one of authority.  Who has the authority to change what the Church teaches?  I submit that the General Convention of TECUSA lacks the authority to change the teaching of the Anglican Communion, let alone the Church.  I don’t know that GC has the authority to change the teaching of TECUSA, but let’s assume it does.  When TECUSA ceases to conform to the teaching of the Anglican Communion, isn’t it just that it leave the Anglican Communion?

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

August 29, 9:04 pm | [comment link]
88. Vintner wrote:

#89: Dave B, what on earth are you talking about?  Sure, some Christians worked to end slavery while others, such as Washington and Jefferson, had them.  What in the world is your point?  My argument was that Scripture and tradition were both used in those times to uphold slavery and that it was reason that helped to end it.  Calm down, go back, and reread.

#90: Phil, yes, I agree with your last statement.  I don’t believe that the primates have the authority to define for the AC what it believes and am all for an Anglican Covenant of sorts although I have doubts that such a thing will ever pass.  I highly fault TEC for doing what it did w/o consents from the wider AC, like unto women’s ordination.  But if this is what we have reached and it’s time to go, schism will happen.  It won’t, however, be between us and the entire rest of the AC though.  In fact, it may well turn out that, in the end, I’ll still be in the AC and you and the Global South will be in an another named group altogether, i.e., Orthodox Anglicans or Southern Anglicans or whatever.  G’nite.

August 29, 9:52 pm | [comment link]
89. MJD_NV wrote:

Slavery is a fact of life.  Anyone who speaks of slavery in the past tense is deluded.

Scripture and Tradition were used to uphold Arianism.  Doesn’t make it good, right, or a valid part of Catholic Christianity.

Prove that Holy Writ or Holy Tradition looks on slavery as a good thing, not simply part of a fallen world.  Until then, such arguments do not meet quod unbique, quod sempre quod ad omnibus creditum est.  Thus, they are nothing more than red herrings.

Jesus never specifically mentioned incest.  Apparently, it’s good to have intercourse with your siblings.  Jesus never mentioned pollution.  Hence, it must be okay to litter. Jesus never mentioned genocide.  Genocide must be okay.

The whole argument is a non sequitor.  Reason does not bolster such an argument.  Our desire to rebel against God is what upholds such an argument.

Jesus had one over-reaching message about sex; “Dad had it right form the beginning - one man, one woman, life union, His purposes, not ours. Everything else is out of His plan and hence not going in His direction.”

I have been reading the arguments of the reappraisers for 4 years.  When I find one that contradicts what Jesus had to say about how we’re to use our bodies according to His Father’s plans, I’ll be impressed.

August 29, 10:59 pm | [comment link]
90. Dave B wrote:

My point was that there is a tradition with in christianity against slavery and Todd Granger wrote a very nice compilation of this tradition in the thread “Planned Parenthood asks judge to block new Missouri abortion regulations” it is comment # 40. Slavery was also argued against from a scriptural point of view so your premise that slavery was condoned by the church is wrong, it may have been wrongly tolarated.  It was christians that worked to end it in England and the US. Washington and Jefferson were very troubled by the ownership of slaves.  That begs the point that it was accepted by Christianity.  There is a current deplorable problem involving Priests and young children, this does not mean that the Catholic Church condones pedophilia!

August 30, 9:01 am | [comment link]
91. Ed the Roman wrote:

Smuggs, Jesus also said nothing about arson.  And the OT references to it are all (and I mean all) clearly about fires spreading to another’s field and damaging crops.  Is arson of a dwelling (once punishable by death in the State of New York if done after dark) then not objectionable in the sight of God?

August 30, 9:31 am | [comment link]
92. Rick D wrote:

I’d just like to thank Philip Snyder and Smuggs for a really good exchange.  I may not even need that second cuppa now….

August 30, 9:37 am | [comment link]
93. Vintner wrote:

Ed, please re-read my #88.  I did not say, nor am I saying, that Jesus condoned or condemned homosexuality.  I am saying that he said nothing about it.  I am also saying that there are places in Scripture that do condemn it but, because of their time and their culture, those passages are not relevant in the 21st century.  I’m fairly sure that’s where we will continue to disagree and neither of us will change the other’s mind.

Dave B, if you are trying to convince me that the church has forever been against slavery in all times and in all places, that isn’t going to happen.  Again, I’ll stake my church history prof’s word over yours.

August 30, 10:36 am | [comment link]
94. Dave B wrote:

Smuggs, two quick points if I may.  Jesus did not condemn slavery so I guess it is still OK by your standard ?  I never argued that slavery was universally condemned, I argued that there was a tradition with in Christianity that did not accept slavery.  No such tradition exists concerning acceptance of homosexuality with in christianity.

August 30, 12:08 pm | [comment link]
95. Ed the Roman wrote:

Smuggs, I understand you quite well.  You’re using Christ’s silence on a topic to justify dismissing OT passages that address it very clearly, on the grounds that Jesus didn’t confirm their strictures in the Gospels and they’re really, really old, so who cares what they say.  I’m giving you an example of how your principle leads to either asinine results or one’s own moral sensibility being trump.

August 30, 12:37 pm | [comment link]
96. Vintner wrote:

#98: You don’t understand me at all.  I never said that since Jesus didn’t mention homosexuality that it makes the OT irrelevant.  I very plainly said that I do believe, without a doubt, that there are passages in the OT and NT which speak against homosexuality and that they are very clear.  But I also believe that those passages are irrelevant, NOT because Jesus was silent, but because of the time and context in which they were written.  As Jesus said nothing about the issue, neither those for or those against should try and use Jesus’ words to bolster their argument.

#97:  Where do you find my saying that Jesus was silent about slavery…?  (He was, but where did I…oh, never mind.)  We are agreed: there were those in the church who condemned slavery and there were those who condoned it.

August 30, 8:00 pm | [comment link]
97. Ed the Roman wrote:

Smuggs, Jesus’ silence is a necessary, although insufficient condition for your dismissal of the biblical passages.  The sufficient conditions (for you) are that they are really, really old, (“the time…”) and that the DSM IV doesn’t mention homosexuality anymore (”...and context in which they were written”).  Which is pretty much what I said in #98.

Since I can steer you to a (hastily withdrawn) German Federal Health Education Center pamphlet advising that parents need to stimulate their children’s naughty bits more, I simply do not take the mental health profession as a meaningful body of moralists.  They are far too likely to confuse self-contentment with health, and to make health prior to virtue.

August 31, 8:47 am | [comment link]
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