David C. Anderson: An Appalling Lack of Orthodoxy

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Two weeks ago The Church of England Newspaper titled my article "Why the Archbishop of York got it wrong."

My purpose in writing then was twofold: to point out that York had made a statement that went against the facts; and to provide the facts on why the Episcopal Church in the US was not theologically orthodox, especially in the top levels of leadership.

The response of York, or rather the staff member Arun Arora who wrote for York, was to ignore what was actually said in my article and to assume two things, both incorrect.

First, the assumption was made that I was attacking York, and this is patently not so. I was encouraging York to look and listen harder to what the American Church was saying.

Second, the assumption was made that anyone who is retired from a major position has lost influence and fallen out of importance in the shaping of the American Church mind.

In the USA, Episcopal bishops continue after retirement to have seat, voice and vote in the House of Bishops, and often are asked to assist in other dioceses or to teach in seminaries.

The problem is that Arora, in missing the point of the article, misses it in a most embarrassing way, believing it is an attack on his boss. Thus he brings up somewhat arcane references to Hitler, Nazis and children's games involving donkeys, and feels the need to relegate prematurely Bishop John Shelby Spong to the old people¹s home.

Although I would find little in Spong¹s writings to endorse, his latest book in hardcover was released February 27, 2007. He has a busy speaking schedule in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa going through October.

Bishop Bruno is written off by Arora, as Bishop Borsch¹s successor, with hardly a notice that the Diocese of Los Angeles is the second or third largest TEC diocese, and that John Bruno was instrumental in the election of Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori, and has initiated the second largest number of lawsuits against departing congregations.

It is good to see the many citations of orthodoxy by the Archbishop of York, but no claim was made to the contrary despite Arora's excitement.

The American Anglican Council and I do assert clearly and with facts before us that the majority leadership of the Episcopal Church in the USA has significantly departed from historic Christianity and Anglicanism in belief about the person and work of Jesus Christ and the authority of Holy Scripture.

Although we have NOT made any suggestion that the Archbishop of York holds such beliefs, nor Arora himself, it would be well for York, and perhaps Arora, to become more familiar with the American theological scene.

Although the leaders of TEC greet other Anglicans with smiling faces and generous words, it is finally not the cordiality of the moment that determines orthodoxy, but the actions, deeds and spiritual pronouncements that are behind the glad hand extended. Arun Arora states, "Anderson's objections lie not in the consideration of the mainstream of TEC, but rather by reference, by and large to its extremities."

Oh that the statement might be so! Who does he think Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori (pictured) is, if not the mainstream? The problem did not arrive on our doorstep yesterday, but has been building, and when significant deviation from orthodoxy occurs, those in leadership in TEC and in the Anglican Communion have NOT been willing to provide discipline.

For example, a panel of TEC bishops dismissed heresy charges against Spong, and to this day his writings have never been repudiated by the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops. Are we ignoring the Episcopalians who "are faithfully reciting the creeds and liturgy?" No, we are pointing to their leaders who are putting them in spiritual peril. The current bishop of Washington, DC, John Chane was previously dean of St Paul's Cathedral in San Diego, California and in his Easter sermon of 2002 remarked, "The Easter story ... the event of the resurrection, which defines the core of our Christian theology, is at best, conjectural, based upon what we are able to read from the Gospel accounts and the Book of Acts."

David Booth Beers, the Chancellor for TEC, speaking to a meeting of Episcopal chancellors remarked recently, "The Presiding Bishop wants the Communion to understand the peculiar genius of the Episcopal Church. If others understood ECUSA they would see us as holy ... The New Hampshire consecration was not sprung on the Communion - it seems people haven't been paying attention to what's been coming for 30 years and that¹s naive."

It is not just the top level of TEC's leadership that has theologically and spiritually gone astray. The Rev James Knowles of Grace Church in Syracuse, New York, during a service in 2005 dipped an eagle feather into cedar ashes and brushed the smoke towards worshippers and asked the congregation to face the four cardinal points as he read a prayer praising the sun, the moon, the alligator and the turtle. I imagine they skipped the creed at that service. Adding things and skipping things has become very common in Episcopal Churches down on the grassroots level as well, and cumulatively these do impact the present and the future.

It is now quite common NOT to require Holy Baptism for someone to partake of Holy Communion in many liberal dioceses and parishes. We are certain that the Archbishop of York would not agree to such practices, yet it is happening constantly in many areas of TEC.

There is a published account of a University of the South (Sewanee, Tennessee) student who some years ago sought counsel from the school's chaplain over his discomfort reciting the Nicene Creed because he had doubts about some of the statements.

The chaplain said, "...he saw no problem at all. If joining in the Creed distressed him, why not just speak only those portions of it that didn't offend?" This counsel revealed to the student, V Gene Robinson, that "although the Anglican faith had cherished creeds, it had no absolute doctrine," (The New Yorker, April 17, 2006).

Approximately 10 years ago when charges were brought against Bishop Walter Righter, the ecclesiastical court dismissed the charges saying TEC did not have "core doctrine." One of the bishops making that determination was Bishop Frederick H Borsch.

Recently an Episcopal priest working in the Diocese of Olympia confessed that she is a practicing Muslim and seems to believe there is no contradiction involved. The Rev Dr Ann Holmes Redding has been functioning with the bishop of Olympia's permission, and was until recently serving as director of faith formation at St Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle.

Another bishop, Geralyn Wolf of Rhode Island where Redding is canonically resident, has suspended her from exercising her ministry for a year to give her the opportunity "to reflect upon the doctrines of the Christian faith". The bishop of Rhode Island would seem relatively more orthodox than the bishop of Olympia. Were the Archbishop of York desirous, the American Anglican Council could provide additional quotes from TEC bishops in the USA to show the lack of orthodoxy.

At the end of the day, John Sentamu should change his mind about TEC's orthodoxy or, if the Archbishop, or his press officer, or both, continue to regard TEC as orthodox in its doctrine, then that raises questions about their standard for Anglican orthodoxy.

--This article appears on page 7 of the August 17th, 2007, edition of the Church of England Newspaper

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC Conflicts

Posted August 17, 2007 at 6:53 am

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1. mathman wrote:

Theologically orthodox is an expression which has various interpretations. To those of us who count ourselves faithful to the core doctrine which has been almost universally held for over 1900 years, orthodox means believing and acting in ways which are consistent with the New Testament and the early Creeds. Such orthodoxy includes (but is not limited to) our beliefs about our fallen human nature, the sovereign act of God of casting our foreparents out of the Garden of Eden, the history of God active through the prophets in calling His people back to Him, the ultimate incarnation of His Son in human flesh to dwell among us, and the culmination of redemption in the death and bodily resurrection of Jesus, called the Christ.
To others theologically orthodox has a much different meaning. The revisers hold to a standard of viewing through a pre-existing culture and viewpoint. So it is standard reviser opinion that the resurrection remains conjectural because the pre-existing culture of the disciples mandated that they make up a story about what they hoped for. As it is reviser opinion that Moses must have been invented, as a justification for the maintenance of power by the priestly caste in Israel. As it is reviser opinion that no prophetic writing which was written before the named events was in fact written in advance; since the future is unknowable all prophecies must have been forged at a later date and fixed up.
And the modern culture is scientific. Those actions and events which cannot be reproduced in strict laboratory conditions, with controls of non-relevant conditions, are judged not to exist. So miraculous healing, being raised from the dead, having one’s life turned around, and so on, cannot have happened, because no scientific basis for those events is in place. The modern view of a scientific viewpoint is ridiculous if you stop to think about it. Did objects not fall back to the ground before there was a theory of gravity? Did solar system objects not follow elliptical paths around the Sun before Newton and Kepler? Did heritable traits not get passed from one biological generation to another before Mendel?
Unfortunately for the revisers, the modern culture is not truly scientific. You must read Frances Schaeffer to get the whole story on this. Even scientists do not live their entire lives on a scientific basis. No scientist is going to require a full printout of the aerodynamic charcteristics of an airplane before he/she boards it for a flight. No scientist is going to demand a full analysis of the total trace molecular contents in a glass of water before drinking it. When B. F. Skinner attempted to use scientific tools to care for his daughter, he caught much grief from the scientific community.
And the knowledge of science among the general population is very poor indeed.
The knowledge of theology is worse, of course, as our churches have done a dreadful job in their appointed function of teaching.
And The Episcopal Church has erred in a number of substantive ways, but chiefly in the areas of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Sorry. But there it is. The Holy Spirit has a specific role, and that role is to instruct us in sin, righteousness, and judgment.
And that instruction is not taking place anywhere that I can point to in TEc.

August 17, 8:26 am | [comment link]
2. Bob G+ wrote:

Here is the problem, as I sense it right now.  The official, and I mean official, beliefs of the Episcopal Church are reflected in the BPC and Canons.  They are orthodox, even though we find some who disagree for various theological and political reasons.

We have leaders and individuals who are not orthodox.  They make all kinds of pronouncements and declarations about this or that enlightened idea, or move the furniture around, or let the unwashed take bread, but they do not proclaim the official belief statements of the official church.  Their statements and beliefs may be embarrassing to many and certainly do present to the non-aware public a picture of the official beliefs of the Church to be something other than what it really is.

I easily claim to the parish in which I work and the people I know, “This is what we believe,” as reflected in the official documents of the Church (so many younger non-Episcopalians, more Evangelical Christians I know around here are picking up the BCP and using it because in it they find the faith of Jesus Christ).  What other people say or claim or proclaim in their various offices or persons are nothing but opinions.  Opinions that will either grab hold and be right by God’s doing or will dissipate and disappear - over time.  Spong will not prevail and the more attention people give him the longer he stays in the limelight and has a hearing in the general public.

Yes, absolutely, there must be concerns about what people are taught and encouraged to believe and do.  The solution, however, is not the all-too-worldly attempts to solve the problem that we are currently engaged in - it looks more like bitter, partisan, Washingtonian politics than how God calls the Church to act.

I’m not afraid, even though we may well have to go through a season of disbelief or wrong teaching and exampling from our primary leadership - but they are not God or the God’s Church in its longevity. 

This is, however, the history of the historic Church!  Nothing new is going on!  This generation will be gone in 15 years - God’s time frame spans many more years.  This is God’s Church and He is well able to care for it, reform it, change it, and its people - and all the change that happens will not at all be what we expect or want.  His ways are not ours’ and our understanding is so limited.

August 17, 8:47 am | [comment link]
3. Jon wrote:

Thanks to Bob for his thoughtful post.  (I really liked #1 too.)

What puzzles me about what Bob says, however, is that he seems to view TEC’s BCP as immutable, as though what it contains is not dependent on whatever the very human members of a particular GC say it contains.  I think his line of thinking would be a lot sounder if we had in TEC something parallel to the U.S. Constitution with the concomitant safeguards placed for the legislature passing bills that contradict it and safeguards making it extremely difficult to change it.  As someone recently pointed out on T19, it is a widespread mistake to think TEC’s polity was created based on the Constitutional model of the late 1790s U.S. Govt.  Rather it was based on the earlier Articles of Confederation.  We lack a judiciary that can strike down bills passed that violate core principles, and the BCP is relatively easy to change, as long as a simple majority of delegates and bishops agree to it.

Rather than Bob’s certainty that the attacks on creedal apostolic faith will mysteriously vanish when Spong and a few others die, I’d suggest he might ponder the realistic shrewd observation of David Booth Beers in the piece we are all commenting on:

David Booth Beers, the Chancellor for TEC, speaking to a meeting of Episcopal chancellors remarked recently, “The Presiding Bishop wants the Communion to understand the peculiar genius of the Episcopal Church…. The New Hampshire consecration was not sprung on the Communion - it seems people haven’t been paying attention to what’s been coming for 30 years and that’s naive.”

Indeed.  When the next BCP revision occurs, and folks like Bob are shocked to see major steps taken to weaken the proclamation of creedal faith (I am not here talking about the issue of human sexuality), Beers successor will rightly to say to them: “It seems like you haven’t been paying attention to what’s been coming for 30 years and that’s naive.”

August 17, 9:43 am | [comment link]
4. Chip Johnson, cj wrote:

All three comments are right on track!  With one additional note:

This is, however, the history of the historic Church!  Nothing new is going on!  This generation will be gone in 15 years - God’s time frame spans many more years.  This is God’s Church and He is well able to care for it, reform it, change it, and its people - and all the change that happens will not at all be what we expect or want.  His ways are not ours’ and our understanding is so limited.

But, we have been into this ‘mode of change’ for the past three generations, beginning with the ‘situational ethics’ dilemma of the 50’s, followed by the ‘social constructs’ of the 60’s and 70’s, the Civil Rights movement (which gave everyone the ‘rights’ to do as they jolly well pleased, as the free expression of their psyche), the taining of our present class of episcopacy in the seminaries which had been stripped of God, and NOW we wonder why the Church is H—-bound in a large basket? 

The Church and her leaders have failed us (and themselves, and her) miserably, we do not need more ‘retired’ attorneys and failed business executives as sitting bishops, we need pastors of pastors of sheep, leading us in, and into, the ways of Christ crucified for the sins of men, leading the way to,  and demonstrating, a repentant and reformed lifestyle, not a group of self-serving egomaniacs, who care nothing about the lives and souls of their cures; but are only concerned with their social status and tea party invitations.

Chip Johnson+, cj

The South Dakota Anglican

August 17, 9:55 am | [comment link]
5. Phil wrote:

I’m not so sanguine as Bob G+, principally because I think these statements miss the mark:

“Their statements and beliefs may be embarrassing to many ...”
“Yes, absolutely, there must be concerns about what people are taught and encouraged to believe and do.”

In fact, I see no evidence that many people at all find the teachings of ECUSA’s leaders to be either embarrassing or cause for concern.  To the contrary, these leaders are hailed as conquering heroes who speak inerrantly in their theological pronouncements.  What’s more, we have +++Williams, ++Sentamu and ++Harper (of Ireland) giving what might be the coordinated line that ECUSA is completely orthodox - nothing to see here.

Absent more widespread concern at the misleadings of a Schori, a Chane, a Spong, etc., I have trouble seeing from where the pressure for a change in direction is supposed to come.

August 17, 10:24 am | [comment link]
6. Reason and Revelation wrote:

Another thing that ++Sentamu (and ++Harper) omit is that, even if they found some clever way to explain away ++Spong as now retired or ++Shori as having just mixed up her words a little, the reality is that bishops only really exist to provide guidance and structure as shepherds to the actual parishes.  And yet there is full toleration of all sorts of heterodoxy at the parish level every single day all over the country.  It’s not enough for a bishop to run through the Nicene Creed on Sunday and then call himself or herself in line with orthodoxy to satisfy the Communion.  They are leaders and shepherds, not once-a-year inspirational speakers.  Episcopalians all over this country refuse to say parts of the Creed each Sunday (or actually change some words), that is quietly okayed by the priest, and the bishop lets it ride.  At some point, you have to call a spade a spade.  This is not a via media between a Pope and congregationalism.  This is just chaos.

August 17, 10:38 am | [comment link]
7. Jon wrote:

Great posts all.

I totally agree with the point made in #6.  I can’t stress strongly enough the degree to which the doctrinal drift has reached the parish level.  The issue is NOT just bad bishops.  Partly because I am so low church myself, with a healthy skepticism for prelacy in general, I could live with TEC if it was just a number of apostate bishops.  My problem is the degree to which books by Spong and Borg and others have become so very popular in parish bookstores and are used in Sunday school classes.  My problem is the way the unbelief has penetrated to weekly sermons delivered by local rectors.  (And by the way, my problem is not just with the heresy that is spoken, but even more with the orthodoxy that is erased: the erasure in sermon life of talking about sin and the Devil and the need for grace and forgiveness through Christ Jesus and his Cross alone.)

August 17, 11:18 am | [comment link]
8. Reason and Revelation wrote:

To be more clear, I do not think that someone who refuses to utter all the words of the Creed should be disciplined or that this should go straight to the Archbishop of Canterbury.  That doesn’t even happen in the Catholic Church.  However, it’s the sheer prevalence of the practice, accompanied by a whole litany of common heterodoxies that we’ve all seen, that is indicative.  Our Church is long past some “dividing line.”  We’ve passed that dividing line for decades, really.

August 17, 11:24 am | [comment link]
9. William#2 wrote:

Yes, Bob G+, isn’t it pretty to think so.

August 17, 11:38 am | [comment link]
10. Timothy Fountain wrote:

Remember the (in)famous Donna Bott?  “We don’t care about scripture/theology/morality, we’re just Episcopalians.”  She’s a lay leader, and just a very public example of what John Stamper points out in #7 - the false teaching is going on all over the place at the congregational level. 
Spong is used for Christian Ed. at Calvary Cathedral, Sioux Falls.  Lay people know all the platitudes about “Scripture was written so long ago by people who didn’t know anything.”  I even run into some lay people who gush about “our unique polity.”
Canon Anderson is right - heterodoxy is normed in TEC.  I’ve been fond of saying that TEC is an ingrown little club, but it is more and more a cult.

August 17, 11:41 am | [comment link]
11. Jimmy DuPre wrote:

The underlying theology of the BCP was reformed prior to 1979. The revised BCP is Armenian, especially in the catechism. It makes a nice clear logical argument to say that the fruit ( rotten fruit that is) of the 1979 revision is almost 30 years of sliding into apostasy, culminating in GC 2003.
The only problem with that line of thought is that the Christian conservative , Re-asserter if you will, world I live in is much more Armenian or Semi-Pelagian than reformed.  I hear very little complaint about the 1979 BCP.
So the question I keep coming back to is what confession of beliefs could re-asserter Anglicanism agree on?

August 17, 11:44 am | [comment link]
12. Pb wrote:

#7 nailed it. We can live with bad bishops but this problem starts in seminary and it infects all areas of church life. My diocese promotes labyrinths, Barbara Brown Taylor (or is it the other way around), and Marcus Borg because “God gave us a mind.” We have become Yeats’ Magi. “Being by Calvary’s turbulence unsatisfied, seeking to find once more, the uncontrollabe mystery on the bestial floor.”

August 17, 11:55 am | [comment link]
13. libraryjim wrote:

You probably hear little complaint since the average Episcopalian doesn’t read much in the BCP other than the Eucharistic service, and maybe the baptism and Easter liturgies.  Oh, and the psalter (unless the Psalm for the day is printed in the bulletin)  Just look at any pew copy—you can tell the most used portions are just those. The rest, as they say, is a mystery.

“The world is a dangerous place to live — not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”—Albert Einstein

August 17, 11:56 am | [comment link]
14. Jon wrote:

I am grateful for Jimmy D’s courage in raising the problem of semi-Pelagianism, including and especially amongst conservatives.  He’s done this more than once at T19.  I agree with everything he just said.

C.S. Lewis points out that there is often unconscious agreement between two “sides” who are in violent disagreement, something that an outsider might be able to see but which the disputants do not.

As a person rooted in the Lutheran and Pauline understanding of the bound will, the “Simul Iustus”, and Sola Gratia, it is striking to me the degree to which most liberals and conservatives are united in a semi-Pelagian understanding of the faith—and against which the Reformers, including and especially all the early classical Anglicans (Cranmer, Hooker, Donne, etc.) were in such sharp reaction.  Our beloved Fitz Alison has written a great book about the shift in Anglicanism away from that classical view called THE RISE OF MORALISM—it’s great!

August 17, 11:56 am | [comment link]
15. Occasional Reader wrote:

J. Stamper and J DuPre,
I am dubious of the claim that the waywardness of American Episcopalianism can be chalked up to Arm<u>i</u>nianism, nor that Arm<u>i</u>nianism is necessarily equated semi-Pelagianism (surely Arminius didn’t think so!).  That aside, one can hardly appeal to “St. Clives” in the same breath, he the articulate advocate of libertarian free will.  The causal nexus some of a Reformed stripe want to find between Arminianism and eventual descent into heresy does not match the evidence of, say, the PC-USA (on the one hand) or the Wesleyan Church (on the other).

August 17, 12:25 pm | [comment link]
16. C.B. wrote:

I think the importance of Anderson statement lies here:
OT - But maybe not.

Anderson has responded to Arora. His statement includes the following shot.

“At the end of the day, John Sentamu should change his mind about TEC’s orthodoxy or, if the Archbishop, or his press officer, or both, continue to regard TEC as orthodox in its doctrine, then that raises questions about their standard for Anglican orthodoxy.”

He is trying to goad the ABY and the ABC into disciplining TEC or else they too will be suspect. Let’s see if it backfires.

August 17, 12:33 pm | [comment link]
17. Occasional Reader wrote:

the PC-USA

Or, better, the ELCA.  My point is that this is not a good time to divide the orthodox around issues where differences have always been tolerated within catholic Christianity.  That’s all.

August 17, 12:36 pm | [comment link]
18. Timothy Fountain wrote:

#15 OReader - thanks for that pointed spelling correction!  I am 1/2 ArmEnian. 
#16 C.B. - I think Canon Anderson is answering a widespread distortion.  ABY expressed it when he said that most TEC leaders are orthodox; it is the argument Bp. Epting made a Tanzania.  TEC is trying to present itself as an orthodox Christian entity with a few eccentric figures; Anderson and the AAC are trying to show that heterodoxy is in full control of TEC’s levers of power.
It is a tough situation - when I asked our GenCon delegates about some of the 2006 antics, they asserted that they had been part of a “moderate” triumph against “the extremes on both sides”.  When I pressed them for examples of how they had resisted the revisionist side, they just made the same claims in a much louder, angrier tone, then called me “partisan” (which I was willing to own), then stopped talking to me altogether.
My point there is that the orthodoxy have no political power over the newly centralized TEC, and the moderates are willing to snub the orthodox but do nothing to impede the revisionists.  Meanwhile, both revisionists and “moderates” keep telling the wider Communion that all is well.  The lie needs exposing and Canon Anderson is trying to do that.

August 17, 12:46 pm | [comment link]
19. C.B. wrote:

18 - Is it wise to do this by calling into question the ABY’s own commitment to “Anglican orthodoxy” if he does not agree with him?

August 17, 12:59 pm | [comment link]
20. Jon wrote:

Quick note to #15:
It’s possible for CSL to be right about one thing without him necessarily being right about all things.  He’d be very surprised to be venerated as the source of all true belief.  Regardless, I am not myself much a venerator of human saints, though I do realize that some folks are—I was just trying to give credit to a fellow Christian for making a thoughtful observation.

You are right about Lewis being a big pusher of free will in his early Christian writings.  It’s worth observing that later in life he appears to have changed his mind, largely due to personal experience it seems.

August 17, 3:25 pm | [comment link]
21. Jimmy DuPre wrote:

I just read a biography of CSL. It is safe to say that whether or not he believed in free will, he certainly did not make much use of it in his relationships with the opposite sex. Romans 7 was writ large as they say. It did not diminish my respect for him as a Christian thinker; in fact I connected with his weaknesses generally speaking.

August 17, 3:43 pm | [comment link]
22. Militaris Artifex wrote:

#3, John Stamper,
You wrote in response to Bob G+ (#2):

Rather than Bob’s certainty that the attacks on creedal apostolic faith will mysteriously vanish when ….

I think you need to re-read his comment. I can find no place in it where he suggests that the “attacks will vanish.” What struck me about his post was rather what it says about the permanence of human institutions, and that is what TEC is. God’s church, the one holy, catholic and apostolic Church, i.e., the body of Christ, is NOT TEC, or even the Anglican Communion, although one can make the case that both of the latter are a part of Christ’s body. In point of fact, the results of the test of whether the “new thing” that TEC is proclaiming with respect to the full inclusion of everyone in all orders of the church is, or is not, in accord with God’s will, will not likely be completed in my lifetime (I am almost 62). Rather, it will be witnessed by those who come after many of us, whether in a decade, a century or longer. It is altogether possible that, if it is NOT in accord with His will, TEC will cease to exist in any meaningful sense of the term.

“The common belief that whisky improves with age is true. The older I get, the more I like it.”[Ronnie Corbett]
“Si vis pacem, para bellum.”[classical adage, believed based on a quotation from Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus]
—[i[]If you can keep your head while all those around you are losing theirs, you obviously don’t understand the gravity of the situation!”—[author unknown]

August 17, 3:59 pm | [comment link]
23. Militaris Artifex wrote:

#19 C. B., wrote in response to #18 Timothy Fountain:

Is it wise to do this by calling into question the ABY’s own commitment to “Anglican orthodoxy” if he does not agree with him?

How does Canon Anderson’s article call +York’s commitment into question? It simply points out that, given the facts on the ground in TEC (a brief list of exemplars of which Canon Anderson had shortly before detailed), it will be +York’s actions that will, or will not, call +York’s commitment into question. In all honesty I cannot see this is as other than a rhetorical device (or prospective rhetorical question), not as an accusation.

“The common belief that whisky improves with age is true. The older I get, the more I like it.”[Ronnie Corbett]
“Si vis pacem, para bellum.”[classical adage, believed based on a quotation from Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus]
—[i[]If you can keep your head while all those around you are losing theirs, you obviously don’t understand the gravity of the situation!”—[author unknown]

August 17, 4:16 pm | [comment link]
24. Jon wrote:

Hi Martial Artist (#22).  The straightforward meaning that most of us gave to Bob’s post (#2) is the following (which I paraphrase):

Hey guys.  You are right that there are some unorthodox leaders in TEC.  You’re definitely right about that.  But the official theology of TEC is in the BCP.  And it is orthodox.  Furthermore, these unorthodox guys inside TEC are only a passing fad.  We’ll only be have to hear this kind of heresy inside TEC for another 15 years—it’s just a temporary season of unbelief inside TEC.”

That’s the most straightforward meaning to give what Bob wrote, since the first several paragraphs are not about the Church Universal (i.e. the Invisible Church) but specifically about TEC as an institution.

If Bob was trying to say that TEC as a whole was on a withering dying course of heresy (but that we should not be dismayed because that doesn’t affect the church catholic, our Lord’s invisible bride) then naturally everyone on this thread would agree with him, including David Anderson!  But if he was then his first several paragraphs were very misleading.

August 17, 4:42 pm | [comment link]
25. C.B. wrote:

23- In all honesty I cannot see this is as other than a rhetorical device (or prospective rhetorical question), not as an accusation.

Well seeing as Arora ( and I assume he did not speak without the permission of the ABY) took Anderson’s last statement to be an accusation against the ABY, I predict he will find the statement -

“At the end of the day, John Sentamu should change his mind about TEC’s orthodoxy or, if the Archbishop, or his press officer, or both, continue to regard TEC as orthodox in its doctrine, then that raises questions about their standard for Anglican orthodoxy.”

- to be something more than a rhetorical device.

August 17, 7:08 pm | [comment link]
26. Militaris Artifex wrote:

Well, I will leave it up to Bob G+ to clarify what is intent was, should he still be following this thread, but I did want to share the reflections it triggered in me. You may very well be right. But then again, the two interpretations are not necessarily mutuall exclusive, either.

“The common belief that whisky improves with age is true. The older I get, the more I like it.”[Ronnie Corbett]
“Si vis pacem, para bellum.”[classical adage, believed based on a quotation from Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus]
—[i[]If you can keep your head while all those around you are losing theirs, you obviously don’t understand the gravity of the situation!”—[author unknown]

August 17, 7:10 pm | [comment link]
27. rob k wrote:

No. 24 & others - Your assertion that the Church Universal is the invisible church is a belief that is not shared by Catholics, Roman, Eastern, or Anglican.  The “visible” church, as you call it, is not a human institution.

August 17, 7:11 pm | [comment link]
28. Phil wrote:

C.B. - as I pointed out at both SF and Fr. Jake’s, Arora’s reading comprehension leaves a lot to be desired.  Perhaps the job of responding to Canon Anderson’s latest article could be entrusted to a more skillful member of the ABY’s staff.

August 17, 7:17 pm | [comment link]
29. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Canon Anderson’s words refer to understanding of American orthodoxy, not the ABY’s orthodoxy.  On a plain reading his words are quite clear.

Similarly Arora’s words should be read as a defence and clarification of the ABY’s words which we saw through the ‘lens’ of Mr Petre’s reporting.  It is within his remit to clarify what the ABY said, assuming he had authority to do so, not to attack Canon Anderson as some are interpreting it.

Of course Mr Arora may not be as orthodox as the ABY.

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

August 17, 7:19 pm | [comment link]
30. Christopher Hathaway wrote:

Do you not see the difference between one’s own orthodoxy and one’s standard for recognizing it in others? A teacher may be well educated himself and yet have poor standards for discerning the lack of knowledge in others, a thing which mqakes him not uneducated but merely a less effective teacher.

August 18, 11:55 am | [comment link]
31. Bob G+ wrote:

9. William#2 wrote: “Yes, Bob G+, isn’t it pretty to think so.”

Well, I don’t quite know what you mean, but my faith rests not in man, but in the power of God to do with His Church what needs to be done.

August 18, 12:06 pm | [comment link]
32. William#2 wrote:

Bob G+, its nice to speak with you.  I apologize for the obscure Hemingway quote from “The Sun Also Rises,” near the end of the book a female character wistfully talks about what could have been, and Jake says in the book’s last line, “Isn’t it pretty to think so.”  See comments 22 and 24 above, Bob G.+  If you truly believe what you seem to be saying (and I apologize if this analogy seems uncharitable) then you resemble the frog which has been boiled in the Episcopal pot.
God is not going to “ride to the rescue” and sprinkle magic pixie dust on the heretics who run your church.  In fact, He spoke clearly of what happens to churches who reject His will in Revelation.  Each of us has the freedom to accept, or reject the Lord’s leading and sustain the consequences of each decision.  What you seem to be saying is that God will save us no matter what we do, and you are wrong.  What we do matters.  The notion that you can just “ride this out” until the heretics all retire and are then replaced by the orthodox and in the meantime we can just do the liturgy is fanciful.

August 18, 2:10 pm | [comment link]
33. Bob G+ wrote:

William (#32) -
We are all sinners and we are all wrong to one degree or another - none of us are immune to the human condition!  Our thoughts are not His, our understanding is not His.  The Holy Spirit guides us through Scripture and divine working through fallible human beings.  I happen to believe in and have faith that God will do what needs to be done, despite our presumption of our own correctness or purity of belief or action.  My faith rests with God, not necessarily in the human institutions that try to speak for God (which does NOT mean I believe that the visible Church is different than the invisible Church).

August 18, 4:56 pm | [comment link]
34. Bob G+ wrote:

Sarah Hey - I bet we do!  You might be surprised.

August 18, 4:59 pm | [comment link]
35. William#2 wrote:

Sarah, if #33 is an olive branch from our last talk, I accept.  If its not, I accept anyway!
Bob G+, your post at #34 is full of truisms that do not address the present situation.  Will God do what needs to be done?  Sure.  But whats your point, its not relevant to what we are talking about.  What we are talking about is what WE need to do.  God calls us to make choices.  If your choice is to stay in TEC forever on the premise that God is going to magically transform it back to orthodoxy despite the decisions of so very many to rebel and reject Him, well, I guess Sarah can finish the thought for me.  The scary thing to me about your belief system is that it mirrors the new progressive TEC theology that no matter what we do or what we believe, Jesus loves us so much that we are all saved no matter what.  Is this what you are saying?
And your church’s theology is a lie from the pit of hell.  You know Bob G+, many, perhaps most in your church don’t believe in Satan.  Which is just fine for him.  Screwtape told Wormwood not to worry about their subject being in a church, as long as it was the “right” church.  The devil’s work is largely done, if he can get you into a form of Christianity that lacks the substance and power.  He’s not going to be blatant about his attack, he’s not going to have priests say, dressing up like clowns at the altar or something, he will be far more subtle.

August 18, 5:16 pm | [comment link]
36. Bob G+ wrote:

William#2 (36) -
This hymn came to mind when I read your last post.  It is a hymn from a scientist (Edward Mote - 1797-1874):

      My hope is built on nothing less
      Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
      I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
      But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

      When darkness veils His lovely face,
      I rest on His unchanging grace;
      In every high and stormy gale,
      My anchor holds within the veil.

      His oath, His covenant, His blood
      Support me in the whelming flood;
      When all around my soul gives way,
      He then is all my hope and stay.

      When He shall come with trumpet sound,
      Oh, may I then in Him be found;
      Dressed in His righteousness alone,
      Faultless to stand before the throne.

      On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
      All other ground is sinking sand,
      All other ground is sinking sand.

If we would spend more time focusing on living out in prayer and action such things as patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, contrition, humility - well, we would all be acting far more within God’s Way (His Kingdom’s way) of things rather than using the weapons of this world as we try to prove to God and one another our own purity, virtue, rightness as we look askance at those putrid sinners over there who disagree with us.

Living in the negative - it is faithless and defeatist.  It is the way of the Enemy of our Faith!  I have faith in God, and I don’t believe in magic.

August 18, 5:52 pm | [comment link]
37. William#2 wrote:

Bob G+ when a lie is being told, its not “living in the negative” to say so and stand against it, nor is it faithless and defeatest, quite the opposite.  Nor is it using the “weapons of this world” to uphold the truth revealed by God in His word to those who would lie about that as well.  I can prove nothing to God, or you.  Enjoy your hymn singing tomorrow.

August 18, 11:01 pm | [comment link]
38. Bob G+ wrote:

William#2 - You misunderstood my post.  It is the means and methods being used to “uphold” the truth that are worldly, not the upholding of the truth itself.  The conservatives are no less corrupted by our culture than are the liberals, it is just corruption by a different name and in different areas.  To not understand this is to suffer the same kind of blindness that conservatives accuse the liberals of suffering - “the liberals are blind to how they have been corrupted by the world.”  So are the conservatives.

As Anderson points out, there are people within TEC in the US who do not believe traditionally or who have a very difficult time believing and wear their difficulty or disbelief on their proverbial sleeves for all to witness.  As York points out, there are people in TEC in the US who are orthodox and who abide by the core teachings of the Church historical and universal (for Anglicans, as expressed in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral).  The official teachings of the Church as expressed in her official documents are orthodox. 

How we then deal with all of this from both perspectives is what will constitute negative, faithless, and defeatist attitudes and actions.  The world corrupts both sides and the schemes of both sides as they campaign for victory over their theological opponents has become more worldly than godly.  The world looks at the fruit of our actions and words and sees little difference from the most acrimonious and hypocritical politicking in Washington. 

But again, there is nothing new under the sun and this present conflict is nothing new for Anglicanism or Christianity.  God has seen us through before and He will again – my faith is built on nothing less.  Hopefully, I will be more motivated to love God and my enemies and strive to realize the Fruits of the Spirit in my live and in the lives of my parishioners rather than victory of and enforcement of a particular theological perspective that is not an essential as expressed in our Anglican way (again, the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral).

August 19, 6:57 am | [comment link]
39. rob k wrote:

Thanks, Bob G. - Wm. #2 should remember Christ’s promise that the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church.  If he has his own definition of the Church, or when ECUSA became “not the church” he should tell us.

August 19, 10:34 pm | [comment link]
40. William#2 wrote:

Rob K, actually I do remember.  Jesus proclaimed that Peter’s confession He was the Christ was the rock upon which He would build His church that the gates of hell would not prevail against.  However, your church refused to say this at your last General Convention.  And your PB said there are “many” paths to salvation and Christ is just one of them.
Bob G+ you remind me of my parents when my sister would hit me, and they would come outside to tell us both to quit fighting.  Its a classic avoidance technique to say everyone is wrong, both “conservative and liberal.”  Yes, we all sin, but that again is not relevant to what we are talking about here—do you really not get this, sir?  There is actual truth that God has revealed to us in His word and we must both defend and proclaim it. Its quite silly to say “we are orthodox” because our paperwork is, Bob G+, and then go about doing and saying what we want. 
I am sorry that you gentlemen do not understand, I truly am.

August 19, 10:46 pm | [comment link]
41. Bob G+ wrote:

William#2, how often do you ever stop and wonder - actually ask God - “Might I be wrong?”  “Might I be the one who doesn’t understand?”  My first presumption is, “I’m can we be the one that is wrong.”  Simply because I may not agree with you does not mean I do not understand.  This is another aspect of our larger problem - things have gotten to the point that unless we can all check-off the exact same boxes on a list, then we declare that those who do not check-off the exact same things are heretics and don’t understand the true faith.  I well understand what you are saying.  Do you understand what I am saying?

Believe me (well, if you will), I am avoiding nothing.  I have been in this “fight” from the beginning.  That is part of the problem.  We all are thinking wrongly and acting wrongly according to the ways of this world and not as God calls us.  We need to stop acting this way - all of us.  We can most certainly continue the hard, arduous, and terribly frustrating theological arguments as we seek God’s Truth and His ways for humanity, but in a manner that are honoring to God rather than honoring to the divisive, dismissive, condescending, and proud means and ways of the world.

I’m not at all saying, “Stop fighting!”  The Truth of God is always worth fighting for.  This is what you don’t understand, William#2.  I’m saying, “The way we are fighting is absolutely counter productive and does nothing to further the cause of Christ in the world” - in fact, we are simply confirming in so many of their minds that we all are a bunch of hypocrites.

August 20, 10:54 am | [comment link]
42. William#2 wrote:

Bob G+, as charitably as I can respond, you haven’t pointed out yet where I am wrong in anything I have said in this dialogue.  And I think I understand you completely.  Your church is led by people who deny Christ and you know this; apparently you don’t believe that the beliefs of your leadership actually reflect the beliefs of the church’s members; and you don’t think there will be any consequences because Jesus is going to save everybody no matter what we do.
And I am here to tell you that you are wrong.  There will be consequences.  The actions of your church will deny salvation to many.  What are you going to do about that?

August 20, 11:07 am | [comment link]
43. Jon wrote:

Hi Bob G.  I am wondering if it is possible whether you are misunderstanding some of us (and vice versa).  Is it possible that, when you ask William # 2:

How often do you ever stop and wonder - actually ask God - “Might I be wrong?” “Might I be the one who doesn’t understand?”

... is it possible you are talking about the presenting issue of homosexuality?  Because (as the elves so often gently direct us to do) that isn’t the focus of this thread.  David Anderson’s piece was on basic theological propositions (Jesus rising from the tomb, his Atonement for sins, salvation from Christ and his Cross alone, the Virgin Birth, Jesus as fully and uniquely God (and Man), the Trinity, etc.) which almost all Christians at all times have believed and indeed have required and as absolutely essential parts of the faith—propositions which Anderson was claiming have been increasingly abandoned by many folks in TEC.

So when you ask William if he has ever asked himself whether he might be wrong, are you suggesting these basic fundamental faith claims that he and Anderson should be wondering if they are wrong about?  I.e. are you asking them to back off from being so certain that Jesus rose from the dead—or in believing in a Triune God.  Is that what you are suggesting we should be questioning?

If you are just refering to the presenting issue of homosexuality as a thing on which you want both sides to reflect on being possibly mistaken, that’s ok.  But that’s not what this thread was about.

Actually that’s what I love about Anderson’s piece.  It’s not that the presenting issue isn’t important—it’s just that debate around it quickly gets turned into whether somebody is loving to gay people or not.  If we provisionally suspend talking about it, just for a single discussion, it’s valuable because it enables traditionalists to form common cause with people who might not agree with them on the issue of homosexuality but who would be shocked to discover the degree to which OTHER fundamental doctrines of the church are being discarded with equal abandon.

August 20, 3:49 pm | [comment link]
44. Bob G+ wrote:

William (#43), I simply asked you if you honestly and truly consider that your current positions or thoughts could be wrong – how active are you in seeking God to show where you may be wrong.  You didn’t answer my question, by the way.  I’m not meaning to be condescending or accusatory, but I come across plenty of people who do not ask themselves, “Where am I wrong?”  Do you believe that you know everything concerning God’s will right now, so that you are not wrong in your beliefs right now?

Many people in leadership positions of this Church hold theological perspectives that I do not agree with.  However, of those that I’ve talked to, they do not deny Christ.  Perhaps they do deny certain theological perspectives or interpretations of Scripture which I hold.  Very few people have repudiated Jesus Christ - “denied Christ.”  To think that a majority of Episcopalians have “denied Christ” is a fallacy.  Some have, regrettably, and they do garner a lot of attention, don’t they?  They do make great PR for those who are determined to win their battles, no matter the cost, don’t they?

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church doesn’t deny Christ - she claims Jesus as her savior (and I’ve heard those words come out of her mouth).  She may well believe in Universalism (the theological perspective that all will be saved under Christ regardless of what path they chose to take because that is the finished work of Christ - which I disagree with, by the way), but that is different than “denying Christ.”  To deny Christ means that you deny the person of Jesus the Christ and any allegiance to him or his Gospel, and the leadership of this Church does not do that even if they hold heterodox theological positions.  Besides, she does not determine the official teachings of the Church in the expression of her theological opinions, regardless of the position she holds.

William, what form of the faith do you practice?  From what you wrote, I assume you are not an Episcopalian.  Have you ever been?  I’m asking to better understand what your perspective.  To me, right now, I cannot say whether I think you understand this Church and its polity or not.

August 21, 10:35 am | [comment link]
45. Bob G+ wrote:

John (#44) - my comments don’t pertain to homosexuality at all, but to how we are going about seeking and determining God’s Truth and the way we deal with one another in the process.  How is all this done within an Anglican way as opposed to other means?  How do we deal with disagreements covering issues where historically there has been an allowance for even seemingly contradictory theologies - Calvinism vs Arminianism for example - to exist and still accepted as Christian?  This pertains to the way York and Anderson are dealing with one another and their perceptions of the reality of the American situation.

August 21, 1:58 pm | [comment link]
46. William#2 wrote:

Bob G+ I am willing to answer your questions.  I understand your polity quite well.  I was married to a cradle Episcopalian 26 years ago in a TEC church, became confirmed, completed EFM, served on vestry, sang in the choir, gave my time talent and treasure faithfully, raised my sons from infancy to baptism to adulthood.  In the winter of 2003 after several months of wrestling with the truth I woke up one Sunday morning and told my crying wife i could not go to my church where all my closest friends were anymore.  This is the thing that saddens me even today; all the friends I left behind.  Later I became involved with some Episcopalians who were also leaving the church and they asked me to be the primary lay leader of a new church plant.  I said yes.  I no longer hold that position; we have a Rector who does.  We are affiliated with AMiA, although I firmly self identify as a follower of Jesus Christ and have no interest in denominational separations whatsoever.
As for your question about my prayer life, I would say that frequently I seek guidance from the Lord about how to deal with specific situations and people.  Once I prayed a lot about a priest who was being very ugly towards me, very non priest like, and I prayed for reconciliation and peace.  The opposite occurred.  And yet often I wonder that maybe it was God’s plan for pharoah’s heart to be “hardened” so to speak so that His overall purpose could be realized.
Bob G+, let me say again that your church and your PB on the whole, do in fact deny Jesus Christ.  Everything else, the gay brouhaha and the other issues from Spong on down are symptoms and reflections, they are not the real problem.  Its simply not enough to proclaim “Jesus is Lord” out of your mouth and then so much of what you do and say denies this.  Satan himself knows that Jesus is the Son of God but Satan is not a Christian.  In true relationship with Christ as Saviour one does not run rampant through the church proclaiming Universalism or undermining the truth of Scripture.  Jesus Himself said there are many who will say “Lord, Lord” who will not be saved.  The word “theology” is used by your friends in TEC to relegate to musty bookshelves things that only academics should care about when in fact the Word of God is not an abstract subject to debate.  When Jesus says that He is the way, the truth, and the Life and no one comes to the Father but through Him, there is no license in His words to preach a false and alternative Gospel.  Yes Bob G+, I am often wrong, but that is also a tool of the devil to say “we could all be wrong” because then there is nothing but uncertaintly, truth is up for grabs, and everyone’s truth then becomes equal.  When that moment comes Bob G+ and it has already come for TEC, a church under “judgment” as Rev. Canon Harmon puts it, there is no truth when everyone’s right and everyone “could be wrong.”
Bob G+, Jesus Christ is the SOn of God and our only hope.  Only through relationship and worship of Him and the Father through the Holy Spirit can we accomplish Heaven.  There is no other way, not Buddha, not Allah, Jesus does not lurk secretly within other faiths saving us in spite of ourselves because when your PB preaches this, she preaches open rebellion against the first and greatest commandment: love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul.  Bob G+, I do not think that your wife (if you have one) would appreciate that if you have an affair with another woman your explanation that in being with her, you were in fact being with your wife.  God does rightfully expect and command our worship and obedience.  We do not obey Him by worshipping an idol but claiming we have an escape clause in case we were “wrong.”
Most of the people on this blog have no use for me because I don’t particularly revere Anglicanism.  I have left the official franchise of Anglicanism in the U.S. in peace, taking not one thing with me. The faith I pursue is the true “apostolic succession,” the Acts based sort of fellowship that characterized the early church before we humans starting mucking it all up with our arguments and desire for power over others.  I think that once love of a particular denomination or tradition impedes core truth and worship, that denomination should be discarded.  This is what is happening in the battles you describe in your post. 
I hope that you understand me better, at least perhaps we have accomplished that.  peace be with you!

August 21, 2:29 pm | [comment link]
47. Jon wrote:

Thanks William.  (Hey, I’ve got time for you buddy, even if you don’t revere Anglicanism!  Not sure I do myself anyway.)

Note to Bob: along the line of what William said… We absolutely agree with you about trying to talk gently and charitably and with awareness that our way is not the only Christian way: as long as the differences are still occuring in the same creedal ballpark.  So for example Arminian vs. Calvinist strands of Anglicanism, or even better a view of the Real Presence that borders on pure memorialism, vs. the belief of Luther or the Anglo-Catholics and their extreme commitment to the Real Presence.  One could list many others: what is the appropriate devotion due the Virgin Mary?  Should one ever pray to a saint?  And so on.

But please note that people as wildly different as (say) Martin Luther and Pope Benedict were in solid agreement on a small number of basic issues of apostolic faith, which were the subject of David Anderson’s original post.

So what I want to do is suggest we table the question of “how should we speak to each other when we disagree about noncreedal issues” or “should we admit we might be wrong about noncreedal issues”—the thing you keep bringing up—because it isn’t relevant.  Well, unless…. unless you are suggesting that even about basic creedal issues it’s wrong for a person to insist too strongly that he is right. 

But let me assume that you also agree with us that there are a small number of absolute Christian truths we should all agree on, the things that bound together people as diverse as Luther and Pope John Paul, St. Jerome and Jonathan Edwards, Calvin and St. Francis.

In that case, the question you should be focused on is what Anderson and this thread have been about: namely is Anderson (and some other voices on this thread) correct in believing that over the last few decades there has been an increasing abandonment by bishops, clergy and laity in TEC of basic theological claims.  I suggest that we should be talking about whether that is true, not whether we need to be open minded about whether God is Triune or whether Jesus rose from the Empty Tomb.

August 21, 3:40 pm | [comment link]
48. Sarah Reks wrote:

#23 Martial Artist: “the facts on the ground”

I have never commented on a blog before, but as a member of Grace Church, Syracuse, I feel compelled to do so now. I am greatly saddened that David Anderson chose to use our church as a pawn in the power struggle occurring in the AC.  Our parish is a strong witness for the love of our Lord Jesus Christ in the city of Syracuse. We have not “theologically or spiritually gone astray.”

The event Mr. Anderson refers to in his article was the celebration of the feast day of St. David Pendleton Oakerhater, a Cheyenne priest canonized by the Episcopal Church in 1985. St. Oakerhater was baptized and ordained a deacon at Grace, Syracuse. He later was ordained a priest and established Christian schools and missions for his people in Oklahoma. Two new stained glass windows of St. Oakerhater were dedicated during the service. It was a glorious Eucharist and I can assure you that the creed was recited with gusto. The smudging ceremony was performed outside of the church at the start of the service. The Rev. James Knowles is pastor to the Whirlwind Mission founded by Oakerhater in Oklahoma and is not the rector of Grace.

It appears that Mr. Anderson deliberately omitted the facts to support his agenda and should be held accountable for the false impression he portrays in this article.

I invite you to read about David Pendleton Oakerhater and the events of the weekend: http://gracesyracuse.org/uploads/Oak.spi9.2.pdf

August 22, 9:44 pm | [comment link]
49. Militaris Artifex wrote:

#49 Sarah Reks,

Thank you for the clarification. Please understand that my comment was not intended to defend Canon Anderson’s position, but rather to counter what I viewed then, and still view, as the specious argument put forth by C.B. that Canon Anderson was somehow “calling into question” +York’s commitment to “Anglican orthodoxy.” As such, and in the absence of any knowledge to the contrary, I was taking Canon Anderson’s statements at face value. If they are not factually correct, as your post would seem to demonstrate, then Canon Anderson will have to bear the consequences of any misstatements or misrepresentations he made. That, however, does not alter my opinion that C.B. was engaging in a stretch (at minimum) in interpreting Anderson’s statement as an attack on +York’s support of orthodoxy.

“The common belief that whisky improves with age is true. The older I get, the more I like it.”[Ronnie Corbett]
“Si vis pacem, para bellum.”[classical adage, believed based on a quotation from Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus]
—[i[]If you can keep your head while all those around you are losing theirs, you obviously don’t understand the gravity of the situation!”—[author unknown]

August 22, 11:10 pm | [comment link]
50. Bob G+ wrote:

Posts 49 and 50 highlight what I’ve been trying to articulate about the Church acting like the culture rather than the way God would have us behave toward one another at least and the world at most. 

There are leaders and people of influence who choose to use half-truths, spin, or Washingtonian political antics to further their causes rather than relying on how God calls us to behave (or have faith that God is capable to dealing with these things).  Neither the Liberals/Conservatives or Reappraisers/Reasserters are without fault. 

I will say, and I tend toward the conservative side of things theologically, conservatives in this church have to face up to the fact that they have taken their que from the neo-conservatives currently in power in Washington (and including much of the politicized Religious Right).  Winning is everything, the end justifies the means, and to hell with integrity if our juggernaut is furthered, and we must destroy our opponents.  I’ve heard such very things from both prominent political and religious leaders.  This is not the way of the Church or of Anglicanism.

August 23, 12:30 pm | [comment link]
51. Jon wrote:

I agree with you 100%, Bob.  It’s always bad when people on ANY side decide that the end justifies the means and doctor facts to “prove their point.”  I bet everyone on this thread would agree that dishonesty (subconscious or otherwise) is always wrong.

Of course, I don’t know that Anderson was dishonest or exactly what the facts are in this particular case.  But yes, absolutely you are right that dishonesty is bad and you are also right that it is a big temptation anytime a person becomes a partisan in a fight.

That said, the larger issue remains, which is the general claim that over the last 4-5 decades the Episcopal church (seminary profs, bishops, clergy, and laity) has steadily moved from a place of almost unanimous agreement with classic creedal belief to a a much greater degree of doubt or denial.  That’s the claim Anderson (and many others) are making.  If true, it’s important.  And that is worth talking about.

August 23, 1:23 pm | [comment link]
52. Militaris Artifex wrote:

#51, Bob G+,
I sincerely hope that your reference to my most recent prior post on this thread, as being what you’ve

been trying to articulate about the Church acting like the culture rather than the way God would have us behave toward one another ….

is a reference to Canon Anderson’s inappropriate behavior (as alleged by Ms. Reks), rather than anything I wrote in response to her comment.

If you believe that I have been in any way other than respectful of her comments, I would appreciate a further explanation, as that was certainly not my intent.

“The common belief that whisky improves with age is true. The older I get, the more I like it.”[Ronnie Corbett]
“Si vis pacem, para bellum.”[classical adage, believed based on a quotation from Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus]
—[i[]If you can keep your head while all those around you are losing theirs, you obviously don’t understand the gravity of the situation!”—[author unknown]

August 23, 2:49 pm | [comment link]
53. Sarah Reks wrote:

Martial Artist, I was not offended at all by your comments. My point in providing this information is reinforced by the comments of BobG and John Stamper. The “facts on the ground” are not always accurate and honest. We must never allow our integrity to slip in order to win the day no matter what side we are on.  I have emailed David Anderson and have requested he remove the deceptive description of the service at Grace from his article.
I appreciate the thoughtful discussion here and especially the respectful tone of your comments.
Blessings to you all!

August 23, 7:52 pm | [comment link]
54. Bob G+ wrote:

Martial Artist - No, I don’t think you have been disrespectful.

August 23, 10:41 pm | [comment link]

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