Telegraph: Archbishop of Canterbury faces calls to stop American clergy being transferred

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury will be told this week to stop conservative clergy leaving their national churches and becoming bishops in other countries.

Dr Rowan Williams is to be lobbied by liberals who are dominating the ten-yearly Lambeth Conference, because more than 200 traditionalist bishops have boycotted the gathering as a result of divisions on gay clergy and women bishops.

He will be told that the process of conservative American clergy opting out of their national body and becoming bishops in African and South American churches goes against tradition and must be stopped.

Dr Williams will also be urged to prevent orthodox Anglicans, who believe the Bible teaches that homosexuality is wrong, from setting up a new province in North America to rival the Episcopal Church of the USA, which triggered the current crisis by electing the first openly gay bishop in the worldwide Communion.

Read it all. So, let us get this straight. None of these transfers to other Provinces in the Anglican Communion would be occurring if the Episcopal Church had not done in 2003 what the Anglican Communion in many different ways asked the Episcopal Church not to do. And, of course, what they did was against tradition.

Also, during the 2003 debate, any outside urging or attempted persusasion, or, even more strongly, intervention by Anglican authorities was seen to be an inappropriate transgression of provincial "autonomy."

Now, however, that something is happening that the Episcopal Church leadership does not like, what is said leadership doing? Appealing to tradition, and asking for outside influence and intervention from Anglican Communion authorities. Got it? Pot, please meet kettle--KSH.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of NigeriaChurch of RwandaChurch of UgandaCANAEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC ConflictsTEC Departing ParishesLambeth 2008Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings

Posted July 18, 2008 at 8:48 am

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1. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

But wait, I thought the reasserters were such a tiny tiny minority.  Why all this weeping and gnashing of teeth?  Why this drama over losing just a few?  After all, with the new inclusive rainbow bright anything goes church, their growth will MORE than compensate for the few malcontents leaving…won’t it?

Slightly edited.

July 18, 9:16 am | [comment link]
2. Intercessor wrote:

Archbishop Rowan Williams, whom I believe is like a wax nose, will do whatever is commanded of him by TEC. However 70% of the world’s Anglicans will continue to do the work that is necessary for God’s kingdom through GAFCON.

There is not even a speedbump anymore.


Slightly edited.

July 18, 9:21 am | [comment link]
3. Dee in Iowa wrote:

Really, Kendall+ you are so very dated…..go to any kitchen shop and you won’t find black kettles, let alone black pots.  Get modern, they are many colors.  Like “its the rainbow pot calling the rainbow kettle a rainbow…..sigh.

LOL—I will try to get with it! -Ed.

July 18, 9:22 am | [comment link]
4. CanaAnglican wrote:

Face this fact: Christian clergy will not stay forever in a non-Christian institution.  God will have His say, too.

July 18, 9:23 am | [comment link]
5. TridentineVirginian wrote:

Well, to borrow a page from the enemy - let’s reinforce the contradictions.

July 18, 9:23 am | [comment link]
6. Jeffersonian wrote:

Or else, or else….what?  ++Rowan might be ordered to tell conservatives these things, but what leverage does he have to make them comply?  Face it, in obsequious obedience to the revisionists, he’s tossed away or gutted any authority he might have possessed.  He simply has neither carrot nor stick left.

TEC delenda est!

July 18, 9:26 am | [comment link]
7. CanaAnglican wrote:

#5.  Dear Tri,  You are so right.  And, while we are at it, let’s not let any facts confuse the situation! —Stan

July 18, 9:28 am | [comment link]
8. Cole wrote:

Good Grief!  What really needs to be said on this would probably bring out the elves censorship, but some one needs to speak plainly.  If Rowan buys that argument, he would be committing such an offence against the Church Catholic, that in previous less tolerant centuries heresy of such an obvious turning from God would have been dealt with via a bonfire.  Well it is the personal spirit that is now in jeopardy of Satan’s fire.  Please let Christians practice their faith without interference!  Of course maybe Lambeth can have another kind of fire.  How about a book burning.  Which book?  The all time best seller in history.  Would that be any more of a demonstrative act than the stuff I read about here?

July 18, 9:30 am | [comment link]
9. jefcoparson wrote:

No Kendall, you didn’t miss anything. The misbehavior of TEC in the face of ALL of the Instruments of Unity in 2003 telling them not to do what they then went ahead and did has produced a response - and like all ‘spoiled children’ when they get caught in their ‘misbehaviors’ - dare we say sins - they seek to blame someone else when the penalty for their misbehavior is assessed upon them.

July 18, 9:30 am | [comment link]
10. 0hKay wrote:

Won’t it be ironic if this Lambeth, with its attempt to replace decisions with dialog, actually becomes the final straw in the process that crystallized in 2003!

July 18, 9:48 am | [comment link]
11. tired wrote:

They wouldn’t be inconsistent and reverse their position on passing resolutions, would they?  Just to pass a resolution of border crossings?


But then, Lambeth Resolutions carry no weight in individual provincese, do they? Or is it that some do and some don’t?


Oh well, certainly the ABC has no authority to act based on such resolutions - at least he didn’t for Lambeth 1.10… what? The border crossing resolution will be a different sort of resolution that can be enforced?  But he wouldn’t act inconsistently, would he? 


Well, at least the MSM will understand the inconsistency and report it accurately and fairly.


(Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with The New Yorker magazine)

July 18, 9:54 am | [comment link]
12. ElaineF. wrote:

Dr Williams will also be urged to prevent orthodox Anglicans, who believe the Bible teaches that homosexuality is wrong, from setting up a new province in North America to rival the Episcopal Church of the USA, which triggered the current crisis by electing the first openly gay bishop in the worldwide Communion.”

Oh, my, this is going to be interesting!

July 18, 9:56 am | [comment link]
13. tired wrote:

Edit: “...resolution o<strike>f</strike><u>n</u> border crossings…”

red face

July 18, 9:56 am | [comment link]
14. SQ wrote:

The lawless suddenly want to issue laws! So glad this Lambeth has been designed to make no decisions, issue no edicts.

July 18, 9:56 am | [comment link]
15. Lumen Christie wrote:

Hold on.  We see from the entire “Windsor Process” that the Archbishop of Canterbury has NO power at all and NO real authority to make anything at all happen—right?

Since he was utterly unable to do anything to or about TEC, then he will be utterly unable to do anything to anyone else in the Anglican Communion concerning their “transgressions.”

So.  We shall see.  As I said on another thread:  “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”  Or maybe his total lack of effectiveness will indeed extend to the orthodox.  We shall see.

If he suddenly develops the power to act and uses it only against the orthodox, then the game truly is up.

July 18, 9:57 am | [comment link]
16. Micky wrote:

None of these transfers to other Provinces in the Anglican Communion would be occurring if the Episcopal Church had not done in 2003…

Except the AMiA was founded in 2000…! grin

July 18, 10:01 am | [comment link]
17. Cole wrote:

#16:  Well good for them.  I guess they were progressive thinkers, could see the “new thing” and led the charge (or retreat).

July 18, 10:07 am | [comment link]
18. Jeffersonian wrote:

Except the AMiA was founded in 2000…!

And thank goodness for it.  About that time, my TEC “bishop” was in our pulpit opining that while Jesus saying He was the way, the truth and the life was all well and good, if we really wanted to know the mind of God we needed to look deeper: into Islam, Hinduism, Shinto, etc.  I am not making this up.

It was then I knew that my days in TEC were numbered, and it wasn’t a big number, either.

TEC delenda est!

July 18, 10:13 am | [comment link]
19. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

“Dr Rowan Williams is to be lobbied by liberals…”
“He will be told…”
“Dr Williams will also be urged…”
“...Katherine Jefferts Schori…has vowed to ask Dr Williams…”

When did she make this vow?  In front of whom?
My query about most of this article is: Who says?  Who told Martin Beckford this?  What credibility does this have?
Last I heard from a piece by Ruth Gledhill the Telegraph have not bothered going to Lambeth.  Why should we believe a word in this article?
There is a single quote from the Presiding Bishop I suppose - no detalis of when or where it was given.

Some days I sit and think. Other days I just sit!!

July 18, 10:19 am | [comment link]
20. Harvey wrote:

If I recall my revolutionary history correctly our first US Bishop had to go off to Scotland and be consecrated because the English wouldn’t do it.  (His body resides in a graveyard just outside Lynchburg VA).  Church fathers throughout many centuries have crossed borders.  In my opinion TEC has already crossed a few boundaries in the past 40 years that should never have been crossed!

July 18, 10:20 am | [comment link]
21. [episco]paladin wrote:

Surely it would be in the best interest of those who wish to form a “rival province” to humor the ABC; sit back and watch M. Schori et al. be the first to [again] disregard his instruction and make the mistake.

July 18, 10:21 am | [comment link]
22. Katherine wrote:

Taken alone, the AMiA would never have caused this level of uproar, minus the Robinson affair and all the gay blessings.

But others above point out correctly that the past ten years, from Lambeth ‘98 to where we are now, have demonstrated the complete and utter ineffectiveness of all of the famous “instruments of unity.”  Not one of them is worth the powder to blow them up with unless they are respected by the constituent members of the Communion.  TEC has demonstrated over and over that it does not respect them.  So now TEC wants the Archbishop to “prohibit” defections?  Using whose army?  This is nonsense.

July 18, 10:26 am | [comment link]
23. Wolfstan wrote:

KSH:  I realize your comments section exists primarily to be a chorus instead of a debate.  However, I would like to pose a question:  Is it necessary, in order to be a traditional believer, that one must express animosity toward those with a same-sex orientation?

July 18, 10:33 am | [comment link]
24. RalphM wrote:

Lately I find myself becoming rather bored with all these pronouncements.  Could it be that deep in my subconscious there is a little voice saying that the ABoC and the other “Instruments of Unity” don’t matter?  Is a little voice saying that the road to salvation does not go through Canterbury?  Did the voice say the Anglican Communion itself does not really matter? 

I think I hear voices…

July 18, 10:41 am | [comment link]
25. the roman wrote:

What’s the difference between same-sex orientation and gender identity disorder? I’d like someone to tell me please.

July 18, 10:42 am | [comment link]
26. Cennydd wrote:

Trying to stop Christian clergy from transferring from TEC to other Anglican jurisdictions is like trying to swat flies with a baseball bat!  It can’t be done, and Rowan Cantuar knows that!  He simply does not have the authority!

July 18, 10:42 am | [comment link]
27. Jeffersonian wrote:

I realize your comments section exists primarily to be a chorus instead of a debate.

My irony meter just pegged.

TEC delenda est!

July 18, 10:48 am | [comment link]
28. Micky wrote:

Well, the million dollar question is…what would happen if TEC miraculously said that they definitely would not consecrate any more actively gay bishops nor authorise ant SSBs? Would the overseas provinces withdraw their bishops and presence and ask all to return to TEC? I think we all know the answer to that one - would they h*ll!

July 18, 10:53 am | [comment link]
29. TridentineVirginian wrote:

#23 - not to the individuals but to the activity. Some people have SS attraction, and that is unfortunate, just as some people have a propensity to alcoholism, kleptomania, and so on. They deserve our prayers and pity. They are called to lead chaste lives. Engaging in same sex sexual activity, however, is a mortal sin and that activity is properly condemned.

July 18, 10:54 am | [comment link]
30. Paula Loughlin wrote:

Someone remind me just how many battalions does the ABC have?

July 18, 10:55 am | [comment link]
31. Paula Loughlin wrote:

Sorry the post above was not complete.

I must say it is a sure sign the orthodox are doing something right when it becomes so obvious that there love for the Gospel has become a threat to the status quo.  If those who suffered holy martydom were not deterred by fire and sword I don’t think a few huffings by the ABC or KJS is going to stop y’all.

July 18, 10:57 am | [comment link]
32. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

#28 Micky
Well of course that is exactly what the overseas primates said that they would do at Dar-es-Salaam.  In fact on that basis Nigeria held fire on any further moves.

In response TEC blew them a raspberry.

Some days I sit and think. Other days I just sit!!

July 18, 10:58 am | [comment link]
33. Jeffersonian wrote:

Since the chances of that happening, #28, are slightly less than the probability of Amy Winehouse showing up clean at the clinic, we’ll never know, will we?

TEC delenda est!

July 18, 10:59 am | [comment link]
34. Wolfstan wrote:

“Hate the sin but love the sinner” is, I know, a frequent response to questions such as mine, but it seems to be observed more in the breach than in the practice.

July 18, 11:00 am | [comment link]
35. The_Elves wrote:

Pageantmaster, thanks for reminding us in #19 to think about the sources of this story, especially since the Telegraph does not (yet) have reporters present at Lambeth (according to Gledhill).  I think you’re right that this article seems quite skimpy on hard quotes or news.  A good reminder to not take what we read at face value, but look for facts and sources.


Got questions about T19? E-mail us! .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

July 18, 11:03 am | [comment link]
36. Jeffersonian wrote:

Unfortunately, Wolfstan, TEC is selling the sin and the sinner as a package deal these days.

TEC delenda est!

July 18, 11:03 am | [comment link]
37. Wolfstan wrote:

Many of us have friends or relatives who are gay, and we hate to see them hurt by those who swing their Bibles like an axe. My wife and I are straight but we have a gay son. He didn’t CHOOSE to be gay, any more than we CHOSE to be straight. Whatever the reason, humanity has always had a sizeable minority of gays. That isn’t going to change, no matter how many self-righteous “Christians” fulminate against it. I don’t think Christians have to be homophobic. I am at present the senior warden of my church, and I see no conflicts between my religion and my beliefs about sexual orientation.

July 18, 11:06 am | [comment link]
38. Jeffersonian wrote:

Homosexuality isn’t a sin, Wolfstan, We are all fallen creatures and subject to sinful impulses.  Homosexual acts, however, are sinful and must be resisted, not blessed.

TEC delenda est!

July 18, 11:14 am | [comment link]
39. mugsie wrote:

#24 Bingo!!!!! I came to the same conclusion. The road to salvation is not through Canterbury. It’s through Jesus!! The Anglican Communion does not really matter. I have a feeling at this point that Jesus does not recognize it. I got out, and I’m not going back!

July 18, 11:17 am | [comment link]
40. Pb wrote:

I resent the word homophobic. It is a put down word. What about bibliophobic, Christophobic, etc. It adds nothing to the dialogue.

July 18, 11:18 am | [comment link]
41. Alli B wrote:

I, too, have two gay relatives, a cousin and an aunt.  I also have a number of gay friends.  Where we fall into a trap is not wanting them “hurt” by what the Bible says.  It says what it says.  No clever re-interpretations will change what it says.  Those we love who have a cross to bear with regard to sexual predispositions need our prayers and love.

July 18, 11:26 am | [comment link]
42. Rick H. wrote:

The GAFCON bishops promised to establish a new North American Province.  I believe they will be faithful to their promise.  What does it matter to them, or to us, if the TEC PB, or the ABC, or the bishops at Lambeth assembled condemn the move?  Or order them not to do it?  Or call a press conference?  Or write ugly op-ed pieces?  Or rail from pulpits? 

In fact, if somehow North American orthodox Anglicans are persecuted for their faith, is this not a reason for rejoicing?  Will not our reward be great in heaven?

Let us not fret about what the rulers of this world think of the GAFCON plans.  Let us instead consider and pray about whether we are following the leadership of the Holy Spirit. 

We are engaged in spiritual and not temporal warfare.  But we know already how this movie will end.  Satan loses.

July 18, 11:40 am | [comment link]
43. cmsigler wrote:

I’d like to try to add to what Alli B wrote well.  Wolfstan, like your wife and yourself, I didn’t choose to be straight.  Neither did I choose not to marry.  (I have loved and lost.)  But there it is.  Those are the facts.  So, do I choose to avoid sexual relations outside of Holy Matrimony?  I do.  That is my choice.

I would submit that the problem with perceptions of homophobia in all this is that they’re based on the recognition that in historic Christianity, there is no affirmation for sexual relations outside of Holy Matrimony.  I ask you please to consider that lack of affirmation is not necessarily hatred.  It is not, never was, and never will be.

July 18, 11:43 am | [comment link]
44. Chris Hathaway wrote:

Does medicine sometimes “hurt” the sick? Yes, if you describe “hurt” as discomfort rather than harm. It is the placebos anf false healthy diognosis that truly hurt and harm the sick. When one claims to love the sick but withholds the healing medicine because of the momentary pain it may involve one is really not loving him at all. Those who accept their son’s disease out of mistaken love are actually loving their relationship with their son more than their actual son.

Truth hurts. Resisting it harms. Learn the difference.

July 18, 11:44 am | [comment link]
45. jamesw wrote:

I second (or third?) the call not to be so reactionary to all of these media reports.  I am quite sure that TEC knows full well that the precedent it established is that the ABC has no power whatsoever to do anything in the Communion.  They are surely urging Williams to harumph against border incursions but we all knew that anyway.

The Communion is at a crossroads at this Lambeth.  If TEC “wins”, the Anglican Communion will move further down the road of, and will effectively become, a loose federation of independent churches, some of who work together - basically a figleaf so TEC liberals can claim in international mandate for that they are doing in the US.  If this is what develops, then the Instruments of Communion and the ABC will have little to no use at all in the Communion beyond the ceremonial.  GAFCON (if it can broaden its base) will become the seedbed of the new Anglican Communion.  The ABC, nor any other Instrument of Communion, will be able to seriously counter GAFCON because in a federation, the Instruments have no power.

If TEC “loses” and the Lambeth bishops follow Dr. Radner’s advice, then the Anglican Communion is renewed, the position of the ABC and the Instruments are strengthened and TEC is disciplined.

Given the way Lambeth seems to be playing out, the first scenario is by far the most likely.  And this is what GAFCON was expecting and the context in which it expects to operate.

July 18, 11:56 am | [comment link]
46. Monksgate wrote:

##23 & 29,
(I will bring the following back to the topic.)
I’m not so sure that having SSA is unfortunate as long as it’s seen as an opportunity to grow in grace.  Indeed, those w/ SSA are given an opportunity to live heroic lives by allowing their desires to be transformed into expressions of love of God and neighbor in ways that wouldn’t be quite accessible to heterosexuals.  I’d even suggest that SSA (and other crosses, such as alcoholism, inability to control one’s anger, etc.) can put one in the company of no less than the Apostle himself.  To repeat what was noted on an earlier thread, St. Paul’s bragging, boasting, glorying in his mysterious weakness seems spot-on in the current situation: To Jesus’ “My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness,” Paul responds, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor 12:9)

  As far as I’m concerned, the reappraisers, ostensibly ministering to those w/ SSA, have – in spite of the best intentions – actually sold them down the river.  A chairos moment has therefore fallen into the reasserters’ lap.  Here is an opportunity to say that – and here I’m returning to the topic! – border crossing by reasserter bishops is not simply for the purpose of safeguarding the gospel for a select few.  Border crossing will bring the gospel to those w/ SSA as well.  Reasserters should proclaim, I suggest, that this gospel applies to the SSA not as a patronizing “there, there” to a pathetic bunch of second-class citizens in the church but to fellow Kings and Queens (absolutely no pun intended) in the Kingdom of God.  It’s worth meditating on Flannery O’Connor’s splendid description of who the redeemed are in her short story, “Revelation.”  The eccentrics, the unlovely, those who struggle with unwanted desires might, for all we know, be engaged in heroic battles that make some of our expressions of the gospel seem lukewarm at best.

  The very word “inclusion” needs to be baptized and claimed by reasserters as the essence of Christ’s “Come unto me…”  As the reappraisers expose themselves more and more for the exclusive lot they are, the gospel calls us to move in for the sake of gathering in a ripe harvest.

July 18, 11:58 am | [comment link]
47. deaconmark wrote:

This discussion has taken an interesting turn that perhaps permits me a question i have long harbored as i mostly lurk.  While some mostly react to events (he/she should not have done this or that), i often wonder in the desired situation what would happen?  In other words, what is Plan B?  If you could change the current situation without being blocked by the multiple human failures that face us all, what would the Episcopal Church look like?  Would +Robinson be expelled?  Would all the Bishops that voted for him be expelled unless they repent?  What would you do with General Convention?  Would all homosexuals be expelled unless they agree to celebacy?  Would you allow celebate homosexual priests?  I don’t mean to be an irritant, i am simply curious about what the alternative being offered is?  Please express what the brave new (old made new?) world would look like?  Thank you.

July 18, 12:27 pm | [comment link]
48. In Newark wrote:

I suspect that TEC doesn’t really care if orthodox priests defect—they are just looking for something to bolster their legal position re:property in the coming years.  As things stand now, state courts have the right to decide whether they will use church law or neutral property law.  If the church is in complete disarray, there is a strong arugument for using neutral property law.  But if +KJS can get wording out of Lambeth that declares orthodox priests to be renegades, in rebellion against their church and even the Communion, they will be able to make a much stronger case for church law, which favors them.

July 18, 12:37 pm | [comment link]
49. Bill C wrote:

The ABC will be TOLD ...... ?


July 18, 12:41 pm | [comment link]
50. Bill C wrote:

Clearly TEC bishop’s are having a blessed time in retreat, reflecting on the word of God and in prayer.  I wonder if the indabas will go as the ABC intended.

July 18, 12:43 pm | [comment link]
51. FrWes wrote:


You are spot on!  I think all TEC is interested in is money and power to pursue their agenda.  They need the tithe dollars from evangelicals and the trust funds from liberals.  Nothing will impoverish them more than a mass exodus into a new province.  The ABC can’t stop it though.  God is moving.  For his own sake, however, I hope the ABC does (even if reluctantly) embrace the new province.  It will save him a lot of heartburn and bring a little more peace throughout the communion in relationship with the largest provinces.

July 18, 1:30 pm | [comment link]
52. phil swain wrote:

“Would all homosexuals be expelled unless they agree to celibacy?  First, no, they would not have to agree to celibacy.  They are free to marry or not, however, whether married or not, like all Christians they should practice chastity.  Second, I suspect any good priest or for that a matter a good deacon would counsel a person who is in grave sin to refrain from receiving Holy Communion until they had properly confessed and received absolution.  And if that person obstinately disobeyed his priest then it might be appropiate under the circumstances to refuse Holy Communion to that person.  Short of being disruptive I can think of no reason why a person would be asked to leave.

July 18, 1:44 pm | [comment link]
53. phil swain wrote:

oops, #52 is a partial response to #47.  There should be a closed quote after the first sentence.

July 18, 1:54 pm | [comment link]
54. Daniel Muth wrote:

#47 “deaconmark” - I think yours a fair question.  What should happen should TEC repent?  What should it look like?  First of all, it would not look like anyone getting “kicked out” of anywhere.  There is surely a too-little-noticed but significant distinction to be made between false beliefs in the pew and false teaching from the pulpet.  It is a very different thing to insist that falsehoods, including falsehoods with regard to the Christian gospel’s utter rejection of homosexual imitations of copulation, not be preached, and expalling homosexuals from the Church.  “Monksgate” in #46 lays out marvellously, I think, the proper attitude we should all have with regard to the very real pain of same-sex attraction for those who suffer from it.  God’s standards of sexual purity are something we all struggle with and there is little reason to believe that those whose struggle largely involves same-sex attraction are somehow more handicapped - or less equipped for ministry (indeed, as others above note, they may be more so) - than the rest of us.  Some may need to remove themselves from positions of leadership, but no one needs to be “expalled” from the Church.

One of the taller orders in this regard, I think, is for the Church to challenge the ideology of the Homosexual Movement that so-called “sexual orientation” is an ontologically defining characteristic the discovery of which constitutes “new learning” that the Church has some sort of duty to accept.  It is nothing of the sort and a careful examination of the claims made with regard to “sexual orientation” will quickly reveal it for the nonsense that it is.  I m not in any meaningful sense a “heterosexual”, I am a married man.  The flavor of my sexual desires may or may not make my life harder or easier as a married man.  It has nothing whatever to do with a proper understanding of who I am.  Being “gay” is similarly not defining for anyone and so marrying, even if one is more attracted to members of the same sex, is not some sort of lie.  The ideology which leads to the anthropological dead-end of “sexual orientation fairly screams for careful investigation by Christians using Christian vice secular premises.

July 18, 2:10 pm | [comment link]
55. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

“What would the Episcopal Church look like?”

What an excellent question!  I am an outsider looking in, but this is my speculation, for what it is worth.

“Would +Robinson be expelled?”  I suspect he would be deposed for divorce/adultery/homosexual actions, and for causing schism in the World Wide Anglican Communion, and for damaging the ecumenical work of decades.

“Would all the Bishops that voted for him be expelled unless they repent?”  I would hope they would be deposed and have their day in ecclesiastical court to explain their actions in violating Lambeth 1.10 and the consensus of the entire Communion it expressed.

“What would you do with General Convention?”  Require that all voting members reaffirm that Jesus Christ is the Way, Truth, and Life and that no man comes to the Father but by Him before they are allowed to vote on anything.

“Would all homosexuals be expelled unless they agree to celibacy?”  Expelled, no.  Denied membership with voting privileges, yes.  Turn the question to another sin.  Would all embezzlers…  Would all adulterers…  Would all fornicators…  Would all Wiccans…

“Would you allow celibate homosexual priests?”  Most certainly.  Homosexual orientation isn’t the sin.  Homosexual activity is.  Heterosexual orientation isn’t the sin.  Sex outside of matrimony is.  Wanting that drink isn’t the sin.  Getting drunk is.

Again, I am on the outside looking in.  I have family and friends in TEC.  They joined back when it was the Protestant Episcopal Church and hold to the 39 Articles.  They also prefer the 1928 BCP.  I have used it since 1990 in my own devotions.  I think that within it’s pages you will see what the Church should look like.

July 18, 2:18 pm | [comment link]
56. CanaAnglican wrote:

The following was submitted earlier, but did not appear:


#37.  Dear Wolfstan,  Thank you for being clear about your son.  He has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of and both of you deserve (and have) my unconditional expression of agape.  Most of us have gay relatives and friends and we do well to show them respect and love.  We have no idea why God has proscribed sex between people of the same gender, and might even wish He had not.

I have known personally several gay people who remained celibate and have found great satisfaction in their lives.  Perhaps this is a possibility for your son.  I would be quick to support the ordination of a celibate gay person and consecration as bishop of one who is gay and celibate, as long as they have been called to these works.  I think a person in that place would bring great honor to the faith.

It is also important to understand that most orthodox people have no interest in being homophobic.  It is just a tag we receive for trying to be faithful.  I, for one, can live with it (even though I am certainly not homophobic) if it is the price we must pay.

With best wishes, —Stan

July 18, 2:20 pm | [comment link]
57. Baruch wrote:

#55 I concur and subscribe to all your points. I wish Ruin Williams had even half as much sense.

July 18, 2:49 pm | [comment link]
58. phil swain wrote:

#56, “We have no idea why God has proscribed sex between people of the same gender… .”  How ‘bout because of the type of creatures we are sex between people of the same gender would not be good for us.

July 18, 3:17 pm | [comment link]
59. phil swain wrote:

#55, “Expelled, no.  Denied membership with voting privileges, yes.”  You’re not as sick and tired of nuance as you may think.

July 18, 3:27 pm | [comment link]
60. teatime wrote:

#37—As a parent, would you condone, nay celebrate, your son’s unwillingness to be responsible with his sexual behavior and would you be delighted if he made it the center of his being, to the point where everything and everyone was viewed in the context of his homosexuality? This is what TEC is doing. Celebrate homosexual practice and march in the parades; if you don’t, you’re homophobic.

I have a heterosexual son and he recently decided to set up house with his girlfriend. He and I are very close, as his father died 11 years ago and I’m the only parent he’s had. He always asks for my opinion and discusses everything with me. I did not condone this decision, obviously, and spelled out the religious and practical reasons why I believe it’s wrong, even though he already knew most of them. It doesn’t mean I love him any less or that I dislike his girlfriend. I know he intends to marry her when they’re done with school and I like her very much. But I don’t believe that what they’re doing is right.

I continue to love him and I pray ardently for him, for them. I will not “celebrate” what he’s doing, though, and I certainly don’t expect the church to change its beliefs because my son and other single people have decided it’s OK to live together. God will make His Will known—either they will, indeed, marry or my son will have his heart broken if she decides to “move on” after they graduate from university. The church teachings and God’s law seek to prevent human suffering but oftentimes we humans are too bull-headed to understand that.

The bottom line, though, is that the church cannot be held hostage to human will and be declared whatever-phobic if she doesn’t adapt to human demands. She must always stand for Truth and, if she doesn’t, then we have no need of her, frankly. Society is more than happy to accommodate all of our desires and, then, leave us on the rubble heap if/when we learn that society’s affirmations are hollow and fickle.

July 18, 3:47 pm | [comment link]
61. small "c" catholic wrote:

#46—beautiful post—thank you.

July 18, 4:01 pm | [comment link]
62. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “I am at present the senior warden of my church, and I see no conflicts between my religion and my beliefs about sexual orientation.”

I understand, and I believe Wolfstan.

Of course, that is precisely the problem.  There are no conflicts between Wolfstan’s religion and his beliefs about same-gender sexual relationships.

But there are immense conflicts between my religion and my beliefs about same-gender sexual relationships.

. . . And we’re both in the same organization.

July 18, 4:27 pm | [comment link]
63. Craig Goodrich wrote:

Wolfstan displays mental imprisonment in the Virtual Realith of ideology:

I realize your comments section exists primarily to be a chorus instead of a debate.  However, I would like to pose a question:  Is it necessary, in order to be a traditional believer, that one must express animosity toward those with a same-sex orientation?

Certainly not, any more than one must express animosity towards the greedy or the adulterous.  What one must express, however, is the belief that acting on these temptations is deeply sinful.  No one is beyond temptation, no one is beyond the Grace of Christ.

This is fundamental Christian theology that should have been completely understood a year after your Sunday School class moved on from construction-paper cutouts and fingerpainting.  What happened?

<hr width=30%><font size=-2>“May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.”
—G. Washington, Letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, August 1790</font>

July 18, 7:12 pm | [comment link]
64. Larry Morse wrote:

An excellent post Teatime, but I would like to ask you some questions about your limits. Suppose that he set up housekeeping with not one woman, but two. What would say to him then? Again, let us suppose he set up housekeeping with a woman and a man. Would you still love him, even though you expostulated with him about such an arrangement and he refused to listen? Suppose this was not a son, but a daughter. Is this a different case? Is there any point at which he would exceed the tolerance that your love gives a priority? For this is what TEC has done, is it not? It has not simply stepped outside a standardized boundary, but has stepped ever farther and farther outside while demanding that those who cared continue to do so. Do you have a limit, Teatime? Larry

July 18, 8:14 pm | [comment link]
65. teatime wrote:

I think you’re misusing the word “love” here. A parent’s love is unconditional, a reflection of God’s love for us. I will ALWAYS love my son. I don’t care how many different scenarios you care to present. God gives us free will no matter how we choose to use it but He never stops loving us. Likewise, our children make their own decisions when they become adults and we don’t stop loving them, even when the choices are poor ones.

But love does not mean agreeing with and supporting every action. I will not and do not contribute to his living expenses. He made this choice; he’s on his own with it. I do not spend time at their apartment and treat them as I would a married couple. When they come to visit me, they stay in separate rooms. I would never cut off my son, if that’s what you’re suggesting. I pray and love him through this and, yes, it’s “tough love” oftentimes.

If there’s any parallel I can see between my personal situation and TEC, then it is that the AC needs to cut off its support of TEC, stand firm in its principles, and quit making excuses for TEC’s behavior. TEC must be forced to assume all responsibility for what it’s done and not be coddled. If it wants to venture off in a new direction, that’s fine but it shouldn’t be supported by its Mother (Church). Should the AC set up a wall and pretend TEC doesn’t exist? I don’t think so. A good mother disciplines but never stops loving.

July 18, 8:39 pm | [comment link]
66. Betty See wrote:

Wolfstan, post 37,
Powerful Gay Activists who insist on denying Scripture, ignoring the health consequences of homosexual behavior, and ridiculing organizations and doctors who wish to help those who would like to avoid the trap of living the Gay life style, are hurting your son.

July 18, 10:18 pm | [comment link]
67. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

teatime (#65 etc.),

Thanks for daring to share something so personal and thus enriching this thread in a very engaging way.  Let me share a story about two dear friends of mine that may be an encouragement to you, or others who face this increasingly widespread challenge of dealing with grown children who choose to co-habitate, or as we used to say, live in sin.

The couple I’m speaking of have a son who is about 37 years old, and who just got married for the first time in January.  Now my friends (also charismatic Anglicans) are very devout and mature Christians, but their son is sadly only a nominal one, who attends church occasionally but manifests little real sign of being a new creature in Christ.  And he chose to live with his girlfriend for a couple years before they finally got married.

What I want to share is how they handled the dilemma of what to do when their son brought his girlfriend home for a visit to meet them for the first time.  My friends struggled for days about what to do in terms of their desire to be gracious and hospitable and not have the visit get off to a bad start, yet they also didn’t want to condone the fact that the son and girlfriend were sleeping together.  And they didn’t want to wink at letting it happen under their own roof.  I’m sure many parents in a similar situation have wrestled with what to do; it’s a real dilemma.

But my friends pray a lot, and God answered their prayers in a beautiful way.  They had more than one guest room available in their home.  They decided that when their son arrived with the girlfriend, they would simply leave the decision as to sleeping arrangments up to him.  He knew perfectly well that they strongly disapproved of the fact that he and his girlfriend were sexually intimate.  So they had the son’s old bedroom and another room all ready when the youngsters (relatively speaking) arrived, and the mother simply said as warmly and casually as she could, “Son, you know where the rooms are upstairs,” and allowed him to put their bags where he chose.  And I’m happy to say that the son responded appreciatively and chose to sleep in his old room while the girlfriend had a different room to herself.  In other words, they extended grace to their son without in any way condoning his immoral behavior, and he didn’t abuse that grace.  It set the tone for a very positive and cordial first encounter with the girl, who did in fact later become their daughter-in-law.  And I’m happy to report that the newlyweds have been going to church with some frequency since getting married six months ago, and seem to be increasingly open to the gospel.  And there is a good and increasingly close relationship between the four of them.

Now I know such conflicted situations don’t always result in such a happy ending.  But I thought my friends handled a difficult and awkward situation very well.  God’s grace overflowed and triumphed.

May the Lord give you similar wisdom and strength, teatime.  I hope things turn out equally well for you.

David Handy+

July 18, 10:38 pm | [comment link]
68. teatime wrote:

David Handy+
Thank you for sharing your friends’ experience. Indeed, they were very graceful about it! LOL, I simply showed the young lady to the guest room, after welcoming her to our home, of course! wink I hope and pray for a grace-filled outcome.

I don’t think it was necessarily daring to share this experience—it’s simply honest. My heart went out to Wolfstan as I’m sure there are many who would question my parenting and condemn my son, as well. I have no regrets in the way I raised my son. He was taught to pray, active in the life of the church, and raised with traditional morals and values. Undoubtedly, he has justified this decision in his mind and I trust that God’s grace will find him. I pray that God will guide Wolfstan’s son, too. Somehow, these divisions in the church have fostered a sense of self-righteousness on the fringes of both sides that makes me very uncomfortable. Most of us remain bewildered in the middle.

The church as a parent is a good analogy, I think, and one that can be applied on many levels. When the parent is overly permissive and neglectful, yeah, getting the children away and into safer hands may be in order. But, as our courts show, terminating the relationship is done only as a last resort. There are repercussions, intense counseling, and parenting classes first while keeping the children safe.

The fragmenting of the Anglican family because of the overly permissive and neglectful TEC is troublesome. This child longs for consistency and structure but does not feel that African parents are sensitive enough and prepared to meet her needs in the longterm. She would rather stay put than risk becoming embroiled in more controversy and bitterness. She can live and worship the way she ought and retreat to her room, hiding her head under her pillow, when the arguments get too loud. For now.

July 18, 11:55 pm | [comment link]
69. Alice Linsley wrote:

Anglicans Face Irreconcilable Differences. What happens in a marriage that reaches this point? 

A key difference touches on the episcopacy. Read this:

July 19, 8:02 am | [comment link]
70. Larry Morse wrote:

A good response Teatime, but I was asking about the definition of love, there are so many, and Americans are so used to see it as a single entity, warm and fuzzy and devoid of standards. I was also asking a important question that really needs to be answered: Are there no limits to love,even to yours? Does one love one’s child unconditionally and without limits regardless of what he does? Or is there some point at which the love of which you speak become mere enabling, mere blindness? Can love become folly? You know it can. You need to answer this question because mere disapproval, while sometimes sufficient, must have limits too. Are my remarks germane to your son’s case? Surely not, but the question is still of the first importance because at last it demands that we answer, “What will we forgive?” And the answer to that at last has to be, “Not everything.” and you can see why my point was made about TEC.

    God’s love for us may be boundless (whatever that may mean; you and I can know little of this) but our case is very different, bound as we are in time and the iron grip of circumstance.

July 19, 8:49 am | [comment link]
71. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Larry (#70),

I hope you won’t regard this as a put down.  You are a valued recent addition to the elite ranks of the NRAFC.  But I don’t think you are understanding teatime here.  I think he is right that as parents, we are called to model “unconditional love” for our children, but as you have said the issue is how true “love” is defined.

Biblically, it’s best defined in 1 Cor. 13, or in terms of self-sacrifice, as in John 13:34-35 and 15:13.  But our culture has great difficulty understanding that love includes setting appropriate boundaries and then enforcing those limits, lovingly but firmly.  Imposing discipline doesn’t mean simultaneously withdrawing affection, though it may indeed require withdrawing the DISPLAY of affection.  But that is an entirely different matter.

If you’re not sure what I’m getting at, it may be due to my clumsiness in expressing that basic point.  I can’t recommend too highly the classic book on this subject by the evangelical Christian team of clinical psychologists, Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, called simply BOUNDARIES.  It’s admirable.  If you’ve never read this best-seller, do yourself and everyone you love a favor and “go sell all thou hast, and buy” it.

David Handy+

July 19, 9:34 am | [comment link]
72. Wolfstan wrote:

I thank you for your comments.

July 19, 9:33 pm | [comment link]

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