Timothy Fountain: Stay or Go

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I don’t have a conclusion. What’s next is in God’s hands.

I’m reasonably certain that institutional TEC will not rejoin Christianity any time soon. That means a) I will be out of TEC altogether or b) I will remain in it under some kind of dhimmitude. I have made preparation either way, and will walk through whatever door God opens. I am blessed by my family’s courage and support in this – they will endure whatever sufferings or sacrifices come.

A few weeks ago, as we prayed together, my wife and I were drawn to Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The seemingly trivial word “while” is what caught us. We are in Dr. Seuss’ “Waiting Place”; or sitting like explorers on a becalmed sea. “While” we wait, “while” God’s plan unfolds, we’ve done all that we can to argue points, explore options, and make choices. We’ve done all we can to warn Good Shepherd about TEC’s corruption (and we’ve been clear and emphatic about this). We’ve knocked on other doors. “While” the conclusion remains open, there’s no more to do.

“While” we wait for what’s next, we rely on what Scripture tells us: God does not need us to force a particular outcome. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And it is on the cross – the one that TEC rejects but that still “towers over the wrecks of time”- where God will always show his love for us, wherever we are.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Conflicts* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

Posted August 29, 2007 at 7:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. David Wilson wrote:

I don’t know you but have admired your thoughtful and godly posts for a couple of years.  I will add you and your family to our parish prayer list and ask our Diocese of Pittsburgh House of Prayer warriors to intercede on your behalf.  Perhaps these lyrics from praise and worship leader Don Moen will sustain you as they have been sustaining ime in these latter days.
“God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength
For each new day
He will make a way
He will make a way

By a roadway in the wilderness
He’ll lead me
And rivers in the desert will I see
Heaven and earth will fade
But His Word will still remain
He will do something new today

The Rev David Wilson
St Paul’s Church

August 29, 9:39 am | [comment link]
2. Timothy Fountain wrote:

Thank you, David+.  Just the kinds of lyrics we’re singing right now!  We pray often for your Bishop and Diocese - will pray for you and St. Paul’s more specifically, and with great thanks for your kindness.  Your message is one of those streams in the desert.

August 29, 10:43 am | [comment link]
3. midwestnorwegian wrote:

Tim - Those few “activist” faithful here in the Diocese of Hell (under the lack-of-leadership of the hereTEC Coven-Pope -Robertson) are glad to know you and are with you and will be with you no matter where you walk.

August 29, 11:57 am | [comment link]
4. Fr. Shawn+ wrote:

Just up I-79 we, too, pray for all those in the Diocese of Pittsburgh who cannot find it in themselves to be reconciled to one another and to Jesus Christ. It is very disheartening to have a brother priest label me as not Christian because I follow what I believe to be the Holy Spirit at work in the world. And while we may not be able to sit down at the same Lord’s Table in this world, I look forward to the Eschaton, when we will sing all our songs of praise together and feast side by side at the Heavenly Banquet.

August 29, 12:54 pm | [comment link]
5. Cabbages wrote:

Fr. Shawn, can you imagine a place that the Holy Spirit might lead a person that YOU would consider no longer Christian?  Does the Holy Spirit lead people in the same denomination to not just contrary, but actually incompatable ideas of what it means to be a Christian? Why?  If not, what agency do you see leading the person down the “wrong” path? Do you even acknowledge that a path can be “wrong”?
This gets to the heart of the issue. I would love to hear any insights you may have.
Thank you!

August 29, 1:10 pm | [comment link]
6. Timothy Fountain wrote:

Fr. Shawn - what did you make of the eschatological teaching in last Sunday’s Gospel?  Jesus was clear that many people - even among those who “ate and drank with him” in this life, would be locked out of Heaven.
Church leadership is serious and risky business.  I came out of seminary buying the whole TEC (then ECUSA) line, and today I can only plead the blood of Christ to cover the ways in which I misled people with that awful distortion of his Gospel and of the Holy Spirit.  I give thanks that I suffer setbacks now, while I have time to repent.  Our denominational (and many other mainline) leaders are destroying not only denominations and congregations, but even families and whole communites are being torn apart by the “leaders” allegiance to things they say are not even core issues.
God’s people are the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and the Scripture is clear that God will destroy those who destroy the Temple.  Many who claim to eat and drink with Christ and who claim authority of the Holy Spirit now will never get in through the narrow door.

August 29, 2:02 pm | [comment link]
7. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

Fr. Jerry Kramer preached on last Sunday’s Gospel, and he marvelled on how many others were avoiding the idea that anyone could be locked out of heaven. Some rectors preached on the Psalm, instead!

August 29, 2:06 pm | [comment link]
8. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: ” . . . we, too, pray for all those in the Diocese of Pittsburgh who cannot find it in themselves to be reconciled to one another and to Jesus Christ.”

I’m sure they’re all “reconciled” and all . . . but those of one gospel don’t think it seemly to be in the same church with those who believe another gospel.

That doesn’t mean that the two parties aren’t “reconciled” of course.  Unless the word “reconcile” is really code for “people who believe two different gospels must be in the same church together” . . .

But surely reappraisers wouldn’t use the word “reconcile” in such a specious and manipulative manner!

August 29, 3:02 pm | [comment link]
9. midwestnorwegian wrote:

Fr. Shawn - revisionists claim that the “Holy Spirit” is “doing a new thing”.  This is NOT possible.  The “Holy Spirit” as part of the Holy Trinity WILL NOT and CANNOT contradict the Word.  If the Holy Spirit were to contradict the Word, then God would cease to exist.

August 29, 3:28 pm | [comment link]
10. Sherri wrote:

Tim, thank you for these wise words.

August 29, 3:45 pm | [comment link]
11. Bob Lee wrote:

midwestnorwegian is right….....

August 29, 3:51 pm | [comment link]
12. David Keller wrote:

Fr. Shawn—Let’s analyse this. Once upon a time I was on a very high level TEC Commission with a huge theological spectrum represented.  We got along just fine. Then VGR got elected and now I am an outcast with those same people because I think and have had the wherewithall to his election was a mistake.  My own bishop and rector have quit conversing with me.  I didn’t declare myself out of communion with anyone—I just got shoved out of the door by them.  Please explain “recociliation” again.

August 29, 4:25 pm | [comment link]
13. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

I share your passion and what would be the outcome of your statement.  Allow me to be picky enough to say that new things are allowable and possible, but all within everything else you said.  I can show it by reproducing your comment in its entirety with just one conceptual change, and thus a few words, but not changing a whit in your (agreeable) outcome:

“Fr. Shawn - revisionists claim that the “Holy Spirit” is “doing a new thing”.  This is possible.  However, the “Holy Spirit” as part of the Holy Trinity WILL NOT and CANNOT contradict the Word.  If the Holy Spirit were to contradict the Word, then we would no longer have the eternal foundation of our worship of God, as Jesus said, in Spirit and in Truth.”

: ]  RGEaton

August 29, 9:16 pm | [comment link]
14. Harvey wrote:

Scripture records that a Jewish priest riding a donkey on the road leading to Jerusalem was doing so with the full intent of leading Israel to sin against God by worshipping Baalim.  Finally the Lord opened up the mouth of the animal to speak to the priest to warn him of the peril he faced.  God does warn us of the peril we face when we stray from the strait way; sometimes using a dumb beast to do it.

August 30, 6:46 pm | [comment link]
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