Kendall Harmon: What Would a Radical Solution Look Like?

Posted by Kendall Harmon

By request making this sticky. Look below for new blog entries. Also please note: Kendall has posted two updates to the original blog entry. See the end of the post.
I believe very strongly that one of the many tragic aspects of this whole Episcopal Church debacle in the last five years is that not only was the decision in 2003 wrong (and the way it was made wrong) but that nearly every major decision made by the TEC leadership since then has made it worse. The hard part about this is that when you keep failing to offer a sufficiently radical solution to a problem, the next time you face it it requires an even more radical solution.

I certainly wish to salute what the Presiding Bishop said in New Orleans: none of us is without blame in this mess. I have been trying to insist on this since General Convention 2003 and then my first address at Plano one: ALL of us are under judgment.

Perhaps, like me, you are wondering about Archbishop Rowan Williams' calling for 'room to maneuver' and if there is any way forward now which is in the direction of a real, serious solution.

For myself, I will consider those in New Orleans serious when they consider offering the Anglican Communion something like this statement:

We realize we have caused huge damage to the whole Anglican Communion and therefore, we, as a body, voluntarily withdraw from coming to Lambeth 2008.

Now please note this means ALL the TEC Bishops. No exceptions. It would allow Dr. Williams to get nearly all (perhaps actually all?) the rest of the Communion to Lambeth, and it would show a sense of corporate responsibility for the wrong.

Yes, I know it is not perfect. I also know that it would only be PART of a solution and that there are many other questions which would have to be addressed. I also know it would only happen by divine intervention.

But only things LIKE THIS will really get us anywhere given the degree of damage, alienation, confusion and struggle.

I am praying for something along these lines because it will be a real tragedy if the third largest Christian family in the world falls into further disarray.

I see a lot of despair, anger, frustation and bewilderment out there. What I would like to see more of is constructive proposals for actually moving us forward. If you do not like my idea, then what is yours? Please make sure to propose something sufficiently radical which also might be achievable given the constraints. It is not easy, but it is important--KSH.

Update: FatherJake has taken the time to respond and Christopher Wells has some thoughts as well.

Another update: Marshall Scott had a lot of thoughts about this earlier of which (apologies, Marshall) I was unaware.

Update 3 [this one by the elves]: More discussion of Kendall's proposal:
Matt Kennedy at Stand Firm
Giles Goddard at Inclusive Church
Jody Howard at Quo Vadis
Fr. Greg Jones at Anglican Centrist

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsSept07 HoB Meeting* By Kendall

Posted September 22, 2007 at 8:24 am

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1. Ian Montgomery wrote:

AMEN Kendall

September 22, 8:32 am | [comment link]
2. TonyinCNY wrote:

I like your idea, Kendall.  pecusa has failed miserably to own the problem that they created.  Even in NO we have bp.s trying to center blame on the boundary crossings.  pecusa has not taken responsibility for the crisis and has provided no real solutions.  It is time for pecusa to act with some humility in place of the arrogance that has been the face of pecusa since GC03.

Banned by the Head Totalitarian at Stand Firm in Faith

September 22, 8:34 am | [comment link]
3. Kevin Montgomery wrote:

Okay, one small question: Does “all TEC bishops” really mean ALL, reappraiser and reasserter alike?  Would the Network bishops actually be willing to stay away from Lambeth as well? 

So often, as a reappraiser (and a gay one at that), I’ve heard people tell me about my need to shoulder the burden or “fast” for a time.  Is this actually an offer for some of that “fast” to be shared by all?  If so, I’m willing to give it some serious thought.

Kevin Montgomery

September 22, 9:28 am | [comment link]
4. Br. Michael wrote:

Kendall, what about those Anglican bishops who are not in TEC and those US bishops who answer to foreign Primates?  If they are not invited I think that will split the communion too because the Global South Primates will not abandon their duly consectated bishops.

I think as happens all to often a critical mass is reached and things develop a momemtum on their own.  I think we are at that point.  Those who have already left TEC will not come back.  I think we are are all being placed in the position of observers as this plays out.  Emotions are engaged and plans that might rationaly work otherwise are now unacceptable to one side or the other.

September 22, 9:29 am | [comment link]
5. R. Scott Purdy wrote:

Your proposal only works if it is grounded in repentance.  Until we all ralize the need to repent, the rancour will continue.

September 22, 9:31 am | [comment link]
6. Ephraim Radner wrote:

A proposal such as this—all American bishops, out of a public sense of their central engagement in and responsibility for a situation that has brought the rest of the Communion to its knees, voluntarily withdraws from Lambeth—would be very salutary as a major and first step to healing.  Yes, it would in fact require “compromise” on all sides.  And it would need to include “American bishops” working under foreign jurisdictories in America.  And all this would be hard.  But I do think Abp. Williams has been correct when he has insisted that any way forward that will be for the Christian good of the Communion as a whole will be costly.  Finally, this general line of proposal has been before Canterbury now for over a year.  I believe that if it came out of our House of Bishops, he would not only accept it but work to make it work.

September 22, 9:36 am | [comment link]
7. Brian from T19 wrote:

I would like to see the Ho B be honest about their beliefs.  I think a “radical solution” would be to openly and unapologetically state the theology espoused by each bishop.

The view that has been expressed by all the Instruments of Communion in recent years is that <u>interventions are not to be sanctioned</u>. - Archbishop Rowan Williams

September 22, 9:38 am | [comment link]
8. Kendall Harmon wrote:

Kevin in #4, absolutely it would mean all reasserter bishops also.  Every bishop.  I am in a diocese which at present does not have a bishop (the standing committee is in charge and we have an acting bishop) but that would mean, for example, our own bishop if we get one.

September 22, 9:41 am | [comment link]
9. Kevin Montgomery wrote:

Dr. Harmon,
Thank you.  I’m not in any major, influential position, but for what it’s worth, I’d be willing to put my support behind such a proposal and try to get others to think about it. 

In Christ,

September 22, 9:44 am | [comment link]
10. robroy wrote:

I agree with the need for radical solution for this mess. Suppose all withdraw from the communion? What does that mean in actuality? Not sipping tea with the queen? Irrelevant. Not voting in the ACC? The Americans haven’t done this since Dromantine and this hasn’t changed anything.

The most important question: Would a withdrawn-TEC stop the litigation against the “Africanised” churches or would they continue the predations on those who merely try to adhere to orthodoxy?

No a radical solution is needed, and it will occur with the Great Global South Realignment that is occuring. The ABC’s non-leadership is speeding the way to the descendency of the west and the ascendency of the south.

Non serviri, sed servire.

September 22, 9:44 am | [comment link]
11. DRT wrote:

I’m reminded of the old saying that if bullfrogs had wings they wouldn’t bump their ass on the ground. If TEC, and particularly the majority of the HOB, had a sense of responsibility for this predicament, we wouldn’t be where we are today.  Sure, everyone contributes in one way or another to these problems, but we are where we are largely because of the liberals/revisionist commitment to the standards of modern secular culture rather than any sort of Biblical or traditional Christian beliefs. Could Kendall’s proposal work? Only if leopards suddenly begin changing their spots and wolves start giving up lambs for cabbage. We live today in two churches, and my solution is to recognize that, and allow TEC to go on its merry way as an autonomous American denomination. Not a perfect solution….just my view. GTW+

September 22, 9:53 am | [comment link]
12. Adam 12 wrote:

The sad thing to me is that the only two poles of leadership I see are in North America and the Global South. Any kind of leadership from Canterbury is sorely lacking. Last week’s readings were about how Jesus comes looking for the lost sheep. Well, there are many lost faithful orthodox Anglicans out there looking for an episcopal good shepherd as spiritual leader. I fear those cries of pain have been drowned out.

September 22, 9:59 am | [comment link]
13. APB wrote:

Canon Harmon,

With the deepest respect, there are several things which TEC could do, and I think your suggestion probably qualifies as a minimum one which might mean something.  However, in the past when asked to do something like this, they have acted as if they were only expected to give lip service, and in a few cases were truly surprised to find others expected them to actually comply. 

The problem is that they are convinced of the rightness of their cause and their power to carry it forward.  A better question is to ask what they will do, or perhaps more accurately what they are able to do.  Within TEC there are powerful, entrenched special interests who have something they value rather higher than spiritual salvation within their reach, and are not going to allow it to be taken from them voluntarily.  In the very unlikely event TEC did, as a ploy, make a statement such as you suggest, you can be certain that the current path would be followed domestically with even greater vigor.


September 22, 9:59 am | [comment link]
14. Sarah1 wrote:

I do agree with Brian—I think a very radical action, nearly unprecedented, would be for each bishop “to openly and unapologetically state the theology espoused” by them and then stand behind it determinedly.

But that’s not a radical *solution,* merely a radical action—all that would do is highlight the problem of the two gospels in one organization.

Since Kendall has asked for a radical solution, I suppose that I’ll select Ephraim Radner’s which is essentially the Dar communique’s Pastoral Council.  But since those who are in the majority of leadership in ECUSA and who are promoting the progressive gospel do not find it all that troubling “if the third largest Christian family in the world falls into further disarray” there’s really no motivation to seek to enact any sort of “solution” by the progressive leaders.

Clearly the Anglican Communion is in disarray—and that’s okay by them. 

So without seeing really a problem that arises to the level of “shrieking pain” for the progressive leaders—and given that the “damage, alienation, confusion and struggle” that reasserting parishioners, dioceses, bishops, parishes, other provinces, etc, etc, etc—is “fine by them” I don’t see us enacting a radical “solution.”

One has to acknowledge a radical problem in order for there to be a radical solution.  And the “problem” is that the traditional Episcopalians and traditional Anglicans worldwide are still hanging around. As soon as they leave—“problem” evaporates.

September 22, 10:13 am | [comment link]
15. rudydog wrote:

I read something the other day along the lines that TEC bishops have been overhwlmed by interest group politics.  This sounds like a fairly accurate summation of how we got to where we are and is indicative of where things are going, irrespective of whatever steps might be taken by TEC to ameloriate tensions within the wider communion.  An admission of huge damage to the whole Anglican and a voluntarily withdrawal from Lambeth 2008 would be seen as “selling out the LGBT crowd,” something completely unacceptable to that group as it smacks of exclusion and non-particpation, the two things that interest groups cannot abide if their agenda is to thrive and succeed.

September 22, 10:14 am | [comment link]
16. EmilyH wrote:

This is an interesting concept.  If every GS province which has engaged in boundary crossing also agreed not to attend, maybe TEC and New Westminster would so choose.  From Dromantine/Nottingham, TEC has learned what is likely to happen if it “voluntarily” absents itself.

September 22, 10:15 am | [comment link]
17. Phil wrote:

I agree with you, Kendall - and, the most important benefit it would have is to let us all know, as you say, that we are all under judgment.  “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

September 22, 10:18 am | [comment link]
18. Id rather not say wrote:

Kendall and #7 Ephraim Radner are correct.  Those recently-consecrated-in-Africa-bishops were all consecrated for a specifically American context, and it is that cotext that needs to be excluded from Lambeth.

If anyone suggests that the TEC voice is somehow thus not being represented at Lambeth, never fear—Canada, Wales and Scotland will be there, and they will certainly represent the current drift of TEC, just as the GS will represent the views of the ACN and Common Cause.  But the wound that is TEC will not be there—ITS VERY PRESENCE IS INFLAMMATORY, RADIOACTIVE, in a manner that most of the HoB simply do not seem to grasp—and that may allow for more of the “listening” that so many seem to want.

September 22, 10:20 am | [comment link]
19. An Anxious Anglican wrote:

Emily H:  No one has ever really persuaded me of the moral and theologicial equivalence between “border crossings” and “same-sex blessings,” and as a result, it is tempting to consider your suggestion as something of a non sequitur.  Can you direct me to a biblically-based equivalence argument that is available on the internet?

September 22, 10:24 am | [comment link]
20. Craig Stephans wrote:

I think any decision that does not include complete repentance and transformation among those Bishops whose mission is in conflict with scripture will only give the wolves more time to eat the sheep or drive them off.

On this point, I agree with Brian #8.

September 22, 10:30 am | [comment link]
21. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

I noted on another thread (rather bluntly) what I thought the chances of such an 11th-hour radical move might be, and it’s not pretty.

propose something sufficiently radical which also might be achievable

With what little I’ve gathered from the feel on the ground here in New Orleans, and looking the rest of the situation (AMiA, CANA, CCCB, etc.) square in the face—which the HOB meeting has refused to do—there is still a way forward. In fact, there is always a way forward.

1. The Anglican Communion splits.
Not “impaired communion” or membership but at a lesser status, or “voluntary withdrawal” for a genteel time period, but—a split. The more real and profound the split, the better. We need a split at least as radical as will demolish the argument of anyone who might want to say, “But, we really haven’t split, have we?”
Only then will reality sink in. Only then will acceptance of reality have a chance.

2. Several years of profound split may be necessary, perhaps three to 6. We must know, from experience rather than prognostication, what a split in the communion feels like. We will accept that we have differences that are irreconcilable, that cannot be plastered over without the split erupting again.

3. Over the longer term, the communion can grow together again. Those who choose to follow the Faith Once Delivered will coalesce, and those who choose not to do so will not want to be a part of that. Two entities will arise. One of them will resemble the Anglican Communion of the last 400 years. One of them will not.
This will take at least 10 years; probably 20.

3. “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

The Rabbit.

September 22, 10:32 am | [comment link]
22. Greg Griffith wrote:

There’s no doubt this is a radical solution, and a good one; but it presupposes that liberals both a) understand and agree that they’ve caused damage, and b) would have the decency to excuse themselves from Lambeth. This would require something they simply don’t have: Discipline. They don’t have the discipline to live under the authority of Scripture, they don’t have the discipline to admit they’re at fault - ever (except that one blogger from San Diego, it seems) - and even if they did, they certainly don’t have the discipline to repent. Remember that we are not dealing with people like ourselves. We are dealing with people who are simply hell-bent on squeezing this church into the shape of their social-justice agenda, and if it means breaking it apart into a thousand pieces to do so, then so be it. The problem with Kendall’s plan reminds me of the saying that communism fails because it’s a system designed for saints, of whom there are few; capitalism succeeds because it’s a system designed for sinners, of whom there are many. Kendall’s plan depends on everyone being made of the same stuff, and if there’s anything I’ve learned in the past several years, it’s that we most certainly are not.

September 22, 10:35 am | [comment link]
23. Brian of Maryland wrote:


Great idea ... but ...

Choosing this course of action would require the advocates care about what they are doing to the larger entity called the AC.  As others have already stated in their own language; if things were different, they wouldn’t be the way they are.

As I have stated elsewhere, it was communicated to me in the Bishop’s office when I was still in N. California, “Either this church recognizes our gifts for ministry or justice demands we burn it to the ground.”

I see a hint of that in Robinson’s retort to Williams. The only way your proposal will find any legs is if TEC’s liberal bishops are willing to face down their own supporters for the greater good of the church.  See step A above.  I can’t imagine that will occur.

Maryland Brian

September 22, 10:36 am | [comment link]
24. jimB wrote:

With respect Dr. Radner, what would be different or radical about repeating what the North American communities did to themselves already?

The withdrawl from ACC did not achieve anything except the teaching non-global Southerners that they can indeed bully the North.  Why would the result of yet another self-inflicted issolation be different?

Here is what I suspect would happen were TEC and / or our Canadian friends to be absent from Lambeth next year.  First, the evangelical south would sieze control of the conference: can anyone on any side see ABC Williams finally developing a functional backbone and stoping them?  Second, the conference would come up with a new polity definition that would make the various quasi African bishops the official representatives of North America.

In short it is a recipie for schism that neatly avoids conflict. How Episcopalian is that???



September 22, 10:37 am | [comment link]
25. midwestnorwegian wrote:

I’m afraid not radical enough.  Lambeth…its a nit in the grand scheme of things if you ask me.  How many minutes post-New Orleans would +Chane and friends be foaming at the mouth and doing it all over the press…and GC2009 is right on the heels of Lambeth 2008…and the brow-beating would continue for us orthodox…TRAPPED in a veritable hell.  An additional even more radical suggestion would be to have no General Convention until 2030, and to continue having them on about a 20 year cycle.  In addition, how about a total freeze on ANY Episcopalian/Anglican talking to ANY member of the press for let’s say….6 years?  Maybe ask all bloggers to shut down as well?


September 22, 10:46 am | [comment link]
26. BillS wrote:

The most obvious solution is a second, parallel, orthodox, Anglican Province in the US recognized by the ABC and the Anglican Communion. Let each parish and diocese choose which Province it wants to be part of. Everyone, laity and clergy alike, then has a true vote, in that the majority of each parish chooses which team to belong to. Minorities within a parish can move to a parish that is more compatible. Yes, there will be situations where there is not a parish nearby that is agreeable, but we have that situation now.

TEC can do its “new thing” and the orthodox among us can continue with the old thing.

The property moves with the parishes and the diocese.

Although this is true democracy, TEC will never, never, never, never agree to this because they know that a large percentage (if not a majority) of TEC parishes will opt for the new orthodox province, and their political power in the secular and theological world will be greatly diminished. The one thing that the secular liberals who run TEC will never give up willingly is power.

September 22, 10:47 am | [comment link]
27. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

BillS, that second, parallel, orthodox, Anglican Province in the US will not be recognized by the ABC—or at least, by the current ABC. He has made that crystal clear here in New Orleans.

With that as the starting point, the argument will be who, indeed, is the so-called “Anglican Communion”?

The Rabbit.

September 22, 10:56 am | [comment link]
28. Dick Mitchell wrote:

JimB suggested (#25) that the GS would seize such a truncated Lambeth. I suggest that the more likely outcome is that nothing would happen.  The assembled bishops would worship together, do tea with the queen, share some workshops, and agree to postpone any substantive decisions until all are present, in 2018 or whenever.  And meanwhile the Communion would continue to drift.

September 22, 11:18 am | [comment link]
29. Kendall Harmon wrote:

I would like to be clear that I am pointing in one possible direction for what I WANT to happen. 

What I expect to happen, humanly speaking, is what has happened before.  This would be a broad somewhat mushy statement that said some right sounding things which people signed up to, and then they went home and continued to do what they have been doing.

It would be glorious to be surprised; and please, Christians are people of hope which is confidence grounded in the character of God.

September 22, 11:20 am | [comment link]
30. BillS wrote:

Brer Rabbit,

Just to eliminate variables, assume for the sake of argument that the ABC has the choice between recognizing the new orthodox province and keeping the AC together, or not recognizing the new province and the Global South walks and the AC splinters. My guess is that he would prefer to keep the AC together and recognize the new province.

Any solution is going to have its problems and detractors. My hope is that we do not kill possible solutions in the cradle because of assumptions about what others may or may not do.

A second orthodox province in the US does not solve all of the problems, and getting it done is far from a sure thing. The advantage is that if it could be done, it gives Orthodox Anglicans in the US a home of our own outside of the control of TEC. It also may keeps the AC together, and it allows TEC the freedom to do its own thing.

It is not a perfect solution for those who think that TEC just needs to repent, see the error of their ways, and return to a Biblically based theology. However, that particular battle is lost. TEC is not going to change its direction. As a result, we need a solution that does not depend on TEC changing (because it is not going to) but addresses the needs of the reasserters in the US and the AC worldwide.

September 22, 11:25 am | [comment link]
31. w.w. wrote:

While we"re floating radical solutions, how about this one:

Let the United Church of Christ set up a pan-geographic synod to receive dissenting radical reappraiser bishops, dioceses, and parishes. Call it the Old Wineskins Episcopal Association or something. Chane, Bruno, and Bennison could duke it out for the job of Presiding Bishop. John Spong by acclamation could be Theological Advisor to the PB. To avoid messy distractions, the prayer book, canons, liturgies, and statement of faith would be reduced to a single word: WHATEVER.


September 22, 11:28 am | [comment link]
32. Eclipse wrote:

Dear Kendall:

I think this would be an awesome, humble thing to do.  It could help to heal - which is something that has NOT happened since June of 2003.

However, it would predispose some bishops to be humble - which some seem to have lost the ability to comprehend.  Not ALL bishops, mind you, like B. Steenson, B. Duncan - they are good and godly men.  Many TEC bishops seemed to equate the miter with pride and I look at it as their besetting sin.  They CANNOT be wrong and if you, in your paltry understanding of the Bible disagree with them, then you are limited, uneducated, and a creepy fundamentalist.

So, if they could pull that off, it would be awesome - and we need to pray that way - but I think chances are slim.

September 22, 11:29 am | [comment link]
33. Jody+ wrote:

Whether it is this or some other “radical” solution, there needs to be some sort of clarity emerging from this meeting if many of our congregations are to survive.  People are exhausted by the ambiguity and are leaving—not people on the fringes mind you, people in leadership.  And the sad thing is that many aren’t seeking other churches, they’re too hurt, or have found their alternatives (such as local ELCA congregations) are going through the same struggles. 

I keep being brought back to Jeremiah 23:1, “‘Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!’ declares the Lord.” And I don’t just apply this to Bishops or “those people…” I find myself convicted as well, and it is a constant struggle.  TEC isn’t going to end in a bang if this keeps on, but in a whimper.

The supreme question is not what we make of the Eucharist but what the Eucharist is making of us.—Archbishop Michael Ramsey

September 22, 11:41 am | [comment link]
34. Bill Cool wrote:

I am no expert in church history, but what I have picked up since 2003 about the early bishops response to heresy does not seem to have any similarity to Kendall’s (hoped for, but not expected) “radical solution”. In the early church, faithful bishops were sent into heretical bishops’ territory to serve the faithful believers. Regional boundary lines were crossed to protect and preserve the Gospel and its living expression among the faithful. Non-heretical bishops were treated as true bishops of the church, not tarred with the same brush as their nearby heretical “bishops”.

Kendall’s “radical solution” would unfortunately endanger orthodox parishioners, congregations and dioceses for the next ten years without an epidemic of repentance in the HoB.

The process now being played out by TEC’s heresy and by the GS primates faithful response to the cries for help from the faithful, actually seems to fit better with 1) the Great Commission, 2) the fact that each bishop is a bishop of the whole church, not of a national territory, and 3) the oaths that every bishop has taken. Concerning oaths: The radical TEC bishops are busily violating theirs - by heretical actions, statements and concerted obfuscation. The GS primates and bishops, including their missionary bishops on North American soil, are fulfilling their oaths, working with the kind of earnest intensity one would expect if people’s eternal souls were at risk - as they are.

Notice what is missing from the previous paragraph, the phrase, “Anglican Communion”. If points 1-3 are dealt with faithfully, I will accept whatever name is finally attached to the grouping of Christians, bishops, dioceses, and provinces of which I am a part. If 1-3 are not being addressed as a priority and an essential reality, then any name such as “Anglican Communion” is just so much irrelevant window-dressing.

Ten years’ delay, while radical TEC takes over parishes, declares dioceses (such as, for instance, South Carolina) vacant and inserts their own heretical bishops, would be no solution at all. Radical TEC has no intention of going into neutral. It will continue its heretical non-Christian agenda unabated, no matter what happens. Although this is only, of course, my opinion about the future, I would suggest that if the same predictive opinion had been stated 1, 2, 5, 10 or more years ago, it would be found to have correctly predicted the status of TEC today. Recent history of TEC would lead to such a prediction about the future of TEC, unless there was a massive awakening and repentance by a majority of the TEC House of Bishops and House of Delegates, the bicameral source of “truth” for TEC.

I agree with Greg Griffiths that TEC is “hell-bent”. That is not a direction to which a church of the faithful should be joined.

September 22, 11:43 am | [comment link]
35. Ken Peck wrote:

I think the resolution would also have to be accompanied with a positive response to the requests of the last Primates’ Meeting—i.e., there would be a stop to the blessing of same sex unions and the ordinations of those involved in such unions until such time as there is a consensus among Anglicans that such actions were appropriate in Anglican provinces.

September 22, 11:57 am | [comment link]
36. Daniel Lozier wrote:

The “radical solution” began when orthodox Christian bishops turned down TEC dollars and welcomed clergy and parish refugees.

September 22, 12:12 pm | [comment link]
37. Philip Bowers wrote:

Good idea, but TEC has neither the awareness nor integrity to do such a selfless and gracious act.  Their awareness is that of comment #34.  They are prophetically right; 99% of Christendom, past and present is wrong.  TEC could do this if the HoB understood catholicity, and were in fact catholic, but equating catholicity with the modern eviscerated concept of tolerance instead of the whole of the gospel belies their hand.

September 22, 12:27 pm | [comment link]
38. Kevin Montgomery wrote:

Well, for a few moments, a small bit of sunlight shone through the clouds, but now the sky appears just as dark and overcast as before.

As for the TEC being “hell-bent,” well, I’m not in the position of casting anyone into the outer darkness; but maybe God will forgive us all for our weakness and inability to see past our limitations and narrow ideologies. Given how bad all sides have been behaving, perhaps we deserve to be toasting marshmallows w/ Lucifer.

Kevin Montgomery

September 22, 12:29 pm | [comment link]
39. John Wilkins wrote:

Kendall, what do the conservatives offer in return?  Did you check out Stephen Bates note in religious intelligence?

September 22, 12:37 pm | [comment link]
40. Spiro wrote:

I think Canon Harmon’s suggestion has some merit. However, I don’t quite see this as a “radical solution”.  A starting point, maybe.
It is really sad we have come to the point where an idea such as this is termed “radical.” (This is not a criticism of KSH, though).

Here is my suggestion for a “radical solution”:

Now that it is abundantly clear and more solidly obvious that TEC has never approached, and is NOT approaching, this matter from even the minutest of any known Christian fundamental principles;

Now that TEC totally disagrees with the Catholic and Apostolic Christianity on this matter of Human Sexuality, Marital Relationships, the Authority of the Bible, and OTHER fundamentally important Christian Truths and Teachings;

Therefore, let the faithful, Bible-believing Episcopalians and Anglicans in Canada, working with CLEARLY Orthodox bishops and clergy in the Church of Canada and in TEC, and in collaboration with Orthodox Primates from outside of North America, form a New North American Anglican Province (Church); and

Since the ABC is actually a “primus inter pares” rather than a Pope, this proposal and the prospects for this proposed New North American Province shall NOT be dependent on the ABC’s approval; and

Finally, as the probable consequences likely to result from this “radical solution” may include a split (along THEOLOGICAL, rather than geographical lines) in the Anglican Communion, the Faithful Orthodox in NA and the rest of the world shall be prepared to accept this likely aftermath, as well as the probability of losing some significant material assets, as our sacrifice and part of God’s plan for the preservation of His Truth and His Saving Grace to/for those who so believe and accept His Word.

Respectfully submitted by:
The Rev. Kingsley Jon-Ubabuco
St. Philip-the-Apostle
Arlington, TX
(Diocese of Fort Worth)

September 22, 12:47 pm | [comment link]
41. Alice Linsley wrote:

Radical problems require radical solutions.  Sin required the Cross.  Death required HIS Resurrection. This is an excellent suggestion!  Isolation of the offending party fits the crime.  When repentance is complete, the isolated party must be fully and joyfully welcomed back into the community.  It is the ancient wisdom.  Wherever this is practiced, there is a holy mediator between the community and the offender who sees that the proper sacred rituals and prayer are offered and that there is true repentance and restitution.  Who will do this for the Anglican Communion?

September 22, 12:50 pm | [comment link]
42. Walkerhound wrote:

Something like this idea came up at an ACI conference in Colorado Springs a few years back, in the context of Kenosis - the emptying of one’s own will in a sacrificial manner to become at one with God’s will. (Philippians 2:7).  What we know and can see is that terrible destruction is taking place in the Anglican Communion.  If we take a Kenotic solution, we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about who caused it and so forth (except that we acknowledge our own guilt) we just empty ourselves and become servants. 

Thanks, Kendall for this proposal!

September 22, 12:51 pm | [comment link]
43. carl wrote:

What I would like to see more of is constructive proposals for actually moving us forward. If you do not like my idea, then what is yours?

The fundamental problem in this formulation is the requirement to “move forward” - by implication together.  But we should not go forward together.  The liberal gospel is not a Christian gospel.  The revisionist who believes this gospel is not a ‘wayward brother.’  He is an enemy of the gospel, and needs to be treated as such.  The model we must follow is Paul’s treatment of the Gnostics.  Once this is understood and accepted, then truly radical solutions can be envisioned.

September 22, 1:00 pm | [comment link]
44. Walkerhound wrote:

Kevin Montgomery, please don’t give up!  We need thoughtful people like you.

September 22, 1:27 pm | [comment link]
45. Sherri wrote:

Kendall, what do the conservatives offer in return?

The proposal is for *all* bishops, reasserting and reappraising alike.

September 22, 1:34 pm | [comment link]
46. Jeffersonian wrote:


The problem with this proposal is that it seems to operate under the assumption that the Episcopal Church has acted wrongly and somehow needs to absent itself as an act of repentance.  It does not understand that the Episcopal Church is acting prophetically and now more than ever needs to lead by its presence.

Precisely the mentality that makes this proposal DOA.  815’s grandees have gotten the word from the Holy Spirit (acting through Louie Crewe’s dreadful poetry, no doubt) and the rest of you “pre-modern” homophobes need to pick up the pace.

TEC delenda est!

September 22, 1:53 pm | [comment link]
47. Craig Stephans wrote:

#48 hits the nail on the head as to why agreement is impossible unless “815’s grandees” repent of their stated beliefs that contrast the Bible. They have stated that they are acting on God’s “new thing” and the rest of us are backwards and need to catch up to what “God is doing.” If they momentarily set aside those assertions for the sake of an ambiguous agreement that allows avoidance of discipline, it is not helpful to Biblical Episcopalians. 

For Christians in this situation to avoid identifying those acting as wolves in sheep’s clothing is problematic.

September 22, 2:17 pm | [comment link]
48. miserable sinner wrote:

Canon Harmon:
How about starting a bit smaller.  With something like this:

We the Bishops of the Episcopal Church, here assembled in New Orleans, united under the banner of Christ are called to reach out to all persons.  We regret that some of our reaching out has caused pain and discord with some among our number, many in our church both in this nation and throughout our worldwide communion.  In the spirit of humility and inclusion we hereby resolve to;
Begin by supporting those near us whom we have caused pain, and offer to support the Pastoral Council proposal of the Primates of the Anglican Communion as articulated in Dar Es Salaam,  and further resolve;
To endeavor to declare a moratorium on all legal actions for a period of not less than three years, to seek a mind of the Communion on certain matters, and further resolve;
To take no action that is knowingly not within the mind of the Communion as articulated by our Godly Primates and the Archbishop of Canturbury, and futher resolve;
To heartily endorse the ministry of the Diocese of South Carolina and its patient resolve to work within the canons of the Episcopal Church to again elect a bishop of this church and communion, and therefore,
Do, as a majority among us, seeking a voice of consensus, endorse and certify the election of the Rev. Mark Lawrence as the Bishop of South Carolina and do hereby attach individual canonically sufficient attestations of consent to this resolution, and further;
Prayerfully request a majority of Diocesan Councils, also seeking the spirit of consensus and peaceful co-existence, also endorse and canonically certify the election of the Rev. Mark Lawrence, at the earliest possible time, and within all timelines required by the canons of the Episcopal Church.

September 22, 2:30 pm | [comment link]
49. usma87 wrote:

I like the idea…especially if it is offered from a position of repentence by all.  As stated, there is blame to be spread all around.  BUT, why is Lambeth so important.  We continually ignore the results (1.10).  Based 1.10, there should not be a priest, let alone a bishop, who is living in a sexual relationship outside the bonds of marriage.  Yet, around the world, there are plenty of examples of this statement of the communion being violated.  Lambeth is important to bishops.  I could care less about it.

September 22, 2:32 pm | [comment link]
50. Janis wrote:

I concur with #48 and #49. The statement by #34 TPaine sums up TEC’s stance to a tee. The most radical solution I can think of that might stand a chance would be along the lines of what Brer_Rabbit, BillS, and Bill Cool are saying, i.e., a split. The question is, would those who are of the same mind as #34 also consider it a viable (and radical) solution?
I like Greg’s pungent words, too…

September 22, 2:37 pm | [comment link]
51. FrJake wrote:

An interesting proposal, Kendall.  It would certainly change the nature of the debate.

To get through the House, the first part would have to be tweaked.  Maybe, instead of “huge damage,” something along the lines of “Recognizing the strain in the bonds of affection our actions have caused…” or other such language drawn from GC2006 resolutions.

Our PB has asked us to make sacrifices, to take up our cross.  Instead of the sacrifice being made by a minority group within the Church, what if it was made by the House of Bishops?  Donning ashes and sackcloth for a season is certainly within their authority to do. 

I’m not sure the reasons why a particular bishop might accept this matters that much, as long as they all agreed to do it.  It would be a powerful statement to the world. 

I have some reservations, but will give voice to those in other settings.

September 22, 2:38 pm | [comment link]
52. Dan wrote:

Assume that the HOB fails to do what Kendall has proposed and instead comes up with its traditional mushy response. Further, assume that the Common Cause bishops develop a strong statement distancing themselves from the actions of TEC followed by a somewhat weaker statement from the Windsor Bishops.

One approach that ABC might take, along with the rest of the communion, is to disinvite all American bishops regardless of their jurisdiction from Lambeth. They would indicate that this is a form of discipline on all parts of the church here, designed to provide time for the rest of the communion to put into place the framework for a longer-term response.

This would begin with a pastoral board of bishops from the Anglican communion to provide oversight for those dioceses and parishes that cannot in good faith remain with TEC or that have left, AND to counsel those that are unsure toward a decision. Over five years, the board would draw together structurally those who separate from TEC. Those parts of TEC that after reflection accept Anglican teaching would then have a developing entity to which to turn.

Its status would remain provisional, however, until the five years has ended, in hopes that TEC would turn from walking out of the communion.

This would not end the lawsuits because it is not likely to be a course of action that TEC will accept. But it would set a direction that, while it may lead to a split within the US, would make the communion-wide split much less likely. As Kendall has said, we all bear guilt on this, and the lawsuits may be the price we need to pay to make amends.

September 22, 2:48 pm | [comment link]
53. Bob from Boone wrote:

This proposal would only succeed if the ABC carries out his plan to have this Lambeth Conference so structured that no resolutions would be proposed and voted upon. None whatsoever. It would need to be organized in such a way that bishops from traditionalist provinces sit down at table together with bishops sympathetic to TEC’s open espousal of what so many quietly agree with, and talk Bible together. This would have to be a conversation Conference.

The disadvantages I see are these:  (1) discussion on the Draft Covenant would proceed without the presence of those at whom certain parts are clearly aimed. Not good. Voices like Archbishop Morgan’s would need to be heard. (2) Since the heart of the debate lies in the “presenting issue” of human sexuality, bishops of other provinces would not have the opportunity to hear first hand the views of TEC bishops who make their case for GLBT inclusion on biblical grounds, and they would not be there to challenge the tar-brushing falsehoods that “TEC” is no longer Christian, or is teaching another religion (a la Anis), or is neo-pagan.” These slanderous accusations need also to be challenged. The HOB would have to rely on colleagues in other provinces to challenge them and set the record straight.

As a help to my last point, I should like to see the HOB at this meeting pass a resolution explicitly affirming the TEC episcopacy as loyal to the Holy Scriptures as containing all things necessary to salvation, to the Incarnate Word as the telos and plenitude of salvation (not “Jesus,” as salvation comes from God through Christ), and to the Nicene Creed. I think the overwhelming majority of bishops could assent to such a resolution with complete sincerity. It would be a clear response to the multitude of attacks on their common theology and on their character, most of which are distorted and in my view aimed at undermining them and the Church.

September 22, 3:12 pm | [comment link]
54. HCLD wrote:

The “problem” has not really been properly identified. Just about every argument or case one reads in this matter contains a “they did this” sort of thing. But the “they” have changed, and so have the many “this-es.” Some problems, still with us, cropped up when TEC was very much “the Republican party at prayer” and those were never fixed—like, say, divorce. So, first, we have to get people to designate what the real problems ARE. And that will indeed require more listening. After we do that—and I am deadly serious here—convene the entire House of Bishops again, with children present. I’ll bring my 10-year-old son, if that helps. And have the Bishops discuss the problems with the children and explain, first, why these problems are problems. And, second, how they believe Jesus would deal with these problems. “What would Jesus do?” (Just leave the cloth bracelets home.) EVERY SINGLE BISHOP must do exactly that. And once they’re done, let’s go from there.

Respectfully submitted,

September 22, 3:14 pm | [comment link]
55. Timothy Fountain wrote:

The morning OT lesson (‘28 daily office) was Solomon threatening to split the baby, in order to identify the real mother as the one with true compassion for her child.  The real mother made a radical solution, offering to give up her “parental rights” to save the baby.

Analogies (and allegorical interpretations of Scripture) are imperfect, but here are a few efforts to identify “the baby” and the loving mother:

If the baby is the Canterbury-centered Anglican Communion, TEC and the GS are both willing to let it be split up.  The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Windsor Bishops and some of the provinces become “mother church”, willing to concede some of their priorities in order to preserve a Canterbury-based entity - to function as mediators instead of leaders and, eventually, to cede some of their autonomy via an Anglican Covenant.

If the baby is “TEC’s unique polity”, TEC is willing to give up its status in the AC.  TEC is mother church to the unique polity baby. 

If the baby is the LGBT movement, TEC is willing to sacrifice its AC status and even its own vitality as an organization to protect the baby. 

If the baby is Biblical authority, the GS and realigners have shown themselves ready to sacrifice all kinds of stuff to keep it alive - western money, church positions, property, comfort, etc.  The GS and realigners become mother church in this version.

Standing before Solomon, the true mother came up with a radical solution to save the baby - but all in the room agreed that there was a baby to save and all pointed at the same baby.  We just don’t have that common starting point.  Walking away from one another as gently as possible is about the only way to spare our various babies a lot of trauma.

September 22, 3:15 pm | [comment link]
56. Sherri wrote:

As a help to my last point, I should like to see the HOB at this meeting pass a resolution explicitly affirming the TEC episcopacy as loyal to the Holy Scriptures as containing all things necessary to salvation, to the Incarnate Word as the telos and plenitude of salvation (not “Jesus,” as salvation comes from God through Christ), and to the Nicene Creed. I think the overwhelming majority of bishops could assent to such a resolution with complete sincerity.

Wasn’t something like this proposed at GC2006 and it sank like a lead balloon? And since salvation does come from God *through* Christ, why leave him out?

September 22, 3:22 pm | [comment link]
57. Timothy Fountain wrote:

Sherri - leave out the name “Jesus” because his title, “Christ” brings in the Biblical revelation of what Jesus did, who he is and how he will be.
Revisionists like to use “Jesus” because they can mold him into a symbolic figure to suit this or that agenda.  The Diocese of South Dakota replaced “Gospel” with “Jesus” in its vision statement, for example.  Instead of the fullness of Jesus’ mission and message, we get a cut-out figure to stick where he suits our feelings at any given moment.

September 22, 3:32 pm | [comment link]
58. drdanfee wrote:

This solution is hardly as radical, nor as much of a solution, as it aspires to be.  Anybody now, not already conformed to closed realignment communities preachments, immediately sees two sticking points.

One.  Such a withdrawal allows the realignment campaign to continue stacking their decks, and kicking their spin doctor machinery into even higher gear - not least by holding a Lambeth apart where they are almost certain to avoid dealing with the virtues being lived out alternatively by alternative or non-realignment Anglican believers.  At best such a hiatus would appear to cool things down while actually helping the conformity campaign to continue its home invasion of traditional Anglican leeway, while the realignment campaign continues to lay its dubious sole claims to any and all treasure of our shared Anglican faith lives.

We are still in communion with everybody else, even while realignment believers loudly claim that our relationships have been disrupted that their only ethical resource is for them to raid the treasuries, yelling, Fire, and Save Jesus from the new pagans.

One passing clue to this sticking point is the repeated language about the rest of us needing to publicly repent of our changed good conscience, stemming from the obvious and continuing facts we live daily in life as we see and weigh all the particular goods being lived out by the queer folks, right next to us in our families or parishes or work teams.  We are supposed to be terribly sorry that we alternative Anglican believers now see our queer neighbors, pretty much just as we have always seen people in general: as people who need to repent of this or that, but not necessarily of their sexual orientation per se.

You can exaggerate this change, to spin and to drum up a sense of threat and outrage and increase your chances for target practice against us - but we simply putting queer folks in the same frame for ethical and religious discernment that we have customarily put straight folks - nothing more, and surely nothing less.  People still have to shape up and take a look at how they are living, each and every day, but the ethical and theological standards are pretty similar.  This collapses the special negative frameworks we have had for understanding queer folks as especially filthy, especially sinful, and especially dangerous - to themselves, and to others, with a heritage of false talk about how especially dangerous queer folks were, somehow, to the sanctified straight folks.

The more loudly and rotely you persist in calling our changes, Bad with a capital B, the more you push missing the point. 

We changed for the better in this regard, and we did not get there, lightly, or without recourse to the available empirical data published over the past four or five decades in peer reviewed journals - laying out two crucial sets of empirical data. 

One data set is about the completely UN-predicted, surprising competencies that queer folks continue to demonstrate, despite not being straight.  This data upends so much of our traditional, negative heritage of (mis-) understanding about them that we cannot act as if nothing of these incompetency claims our heritage customarily made about queer folks had ever been tested and published. Nor can we cleverly soft-pedal that this disconfirming empirical data has so frequently met sufficiently high hypothesis testing standards for good methods, according to widely held frameworks for best practice. 

A second set of solid data tests and reports just key features from whence our negative heritage derives - i.e., the more tested, the more clearly these negative beliefs are reported to be functioning as brute traditional straight prejudices.  Holding strong and deeply pledged beliefs about the innate incompetency of queer folks, despite all the published data to the contrary, suggests that some part of that holding is operating, just as prejudice operates regardless of the true, tested facts about the target group against which any prejudice is aimed.

Anybody of the rest of us Outsiders who has been watching and listening carefully will have already noticed that, covertly, the negative discourse about queer folks is shifted and shifting.  VERY Yes, old claims get made related to our heritage of understanding queer folks as filth and danger, but then more quickly retracted and qualified than ever before in church history.  The news that the sexual orientation topography of human nature is not really flat, and that this is a neutral correction, morally speaking, is getting around - even invisibly and covertly without mention among very conservative believers.

A second sticking point

September 22, 3:36 pm | [comment link]
59. Kendall Harmon wrote:

Look, I accept that it is a starting point.  But a journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step.

For those criticizing the proposal, I would be grateful to hear of other better alternatives. FatherJake in #53, thanks for the comment—I will be interested to read what other things you have to say.

September 22, 3:46 pm | [comment link]
60. Timothy Fountain wrote:

Step one is a common acknowledgement of what we are trying to save, which by definition defines what we are willing to give up or at least not insist upon as a universal.
If we are trying to save a Canterbury based AC, then it means NO MORE INNOVATIONS, anywhere, until a Covenant is ratified.  Sydney is modelling this approach vis a vis lay presidency.

September 22, 3:59 pm | [comment link]
61. Timothy Fountain wrote:

Sorry, hoping around threads I’ve not given a decent answer to the host’s proposal (and Jake’s modification)
Let’s not argue about “damage” vs. “strain” - let’s use the honest confession that “by our present divisions we are not able to contribute to the unity of the whole Anglican Communion.”
I also agree with others (Matt Kennedy, I think) who suggest that bishops like MacPherson and others who have seriously applied the Windsor process need to serve as the ones to carry dialogue between voluntarily-sidelined TEC and the AC.
Also with Midwestnorwegian - we need to suspend some of our legislative melodramas until we are ready, by some intervening work, to come together and actually do something with some unity.  The present political posture-fests are useless.

September 22, 4:11 pm | [comment link]
62. Kendall Harmon wrote:

John Wilkins in #41, the proposal would have other pieces which would need to be there also which would involve mutual sacrifice from both sides.  The initial step is intended to be by all and to involve all, thereby giving the example to follow in the rest of what would need to be proposed.

Timoth Foundation—this is terrific:

let’s use the honest confession that “by our present divisions we are not able to contribute to the unity of the whole Anglican Communion.”

September 22, 4:21 pm | [comment link]
63. Kendall Harmon wrote:

Bill Cool in #36 my proposal would have other parts to deal with the need for a safe space.  Things like that and the lawsuits, etc. would have to be taken on seriously.

September 22, 4:24 pm | [comment link]
64. BillS wrote:

Creating a second orthodox province in North America has one great advantage. The great advantage of a second orthodox province in North America is that it does not require anyone to repent for positions that for which they are not inclined to repent. The reasserters can go on being homophobes, and the reappraisers can go on being being apostate heretics, and we can all continue as co-equal members of the Anglican Communion.

Divisions of diocese by geography is an accident of geography established in the days when all travel and communication was by horseback or by foot. In today’s age of instant communication, it is possible, if radical, to establish diocese by theology, but all still under the big tent of Anglicanism, and no one has to be kicked out.

We already have a division of diocese by ideology between the Catholics, Baptists, etc so we are not really plowing entirely new ground, we are just doing it within the existing Episcopal Church.

Given that we theoretically all serve the same God, and that the assets of the Orthodox Churches will be used to continue the mission of serving God, perhaps Schori, Beers etc can make the personal sacrifice of diminished personal power (they can keep 815) for the greater Glory of God by preserving Anglicanism both in the US and preventing schism in the AC worldwide.

September 22, 4:26 pm | [comment link]
65. robroy wrote:

Bob from Boone, “This proposal would only succeed if the ABC carries out his plan to have this Lambeth Conference so structured that no resolutions would be proposed and voted upon.”

Which is to say make Lambeth conference have no relevance. And why would someone, especially from a poorer province waste precious resources to come together to do nothing?

Thus we are led to ABp Akinola’s solution. Postpone Lambeth.

Non serviri, sed servire.

September 22, 4:27 pm | [comment link]
66. edistobeachwalker wrote:

One advantage of this proposal not mentioned is that it allows reappraisers to stand in solidarity with their gay sisters and brothers, to use their language.  Marc Andrus would be with Gene Robinson if something like this were actually to happen (which seems highly unlikely).

September 22, 4:28 pm | [comment link]
67. Sherri wrote:

We changed for the better in this regard,

And yet, somehow we have wrecked our whole church and endangered the communion. If communion means anything it should mean that we work through things with mutual respect, not making our own independent decisions about major issues with total disregard for our brothers and sisters around the world ... if indeed communion with them matters to us.

September 22, 4:29 pm | [comment link]
68. Peré Phil wrote:

Canon Harmon,

Of course this is a good starting place, because it immediately places blame on all of us as Americans.  The PB said this herself in the opening homily.  I believe on both sides of this issue (and I hate doing this dichotomy thing because there are great number in the middle) have thrown enough verbal bombs to last for a very long time.  “You’re an unitelligent homophobe!” “You’re an pompous unitarian!” (you get my drift).

Anyway, there has not been enough talk about the cost that we all need to give up for this.  Part of the problem is most of us want easy answers that require little or no work on our part (but those other folks are gonna pay). 

At the end of the day, we have all hurt each other.  We are, frankly, all wrong.  Jesus came to share his love with us all, and to call us to holy lives as disciples.  We interpret that diffirently in TEC (past of the problem), but again and again Jesus beckons us closer to him. 

Acknowledging we’ve all caused harm and taking a time out for a bit might allow us a chance to reflect on all that has happened and how bent we all are to prove that we are right.  If we could practice a bit of humility, reconciliation might be possible.

September 22, 5:09 pm | [comment link]
69. Fred wrote:

TEC did the RIGHT thing in 2003. But I must agree with Kendall, that TEC has done some wrong things since. BO33 comes to mind. It was the wrong thing to do and it will go bye-bye in Anahiem in 2009. As for all the TEC bishops to staying home from Lambeth, won’t happen. No way will our Bishops stay home and cower. We did what we did because it was right. Period!  Get over it.

September 22, 6:20 pm | [comment link]
70. teatime wrote:

I think we’ve gotten to such a level of distrust and maneuvering that the only thing that will offer a remedy and lasting way forward is official disciplinary action from the ACC, the ABC, and/or the primates that isolates TEC. I hate to sound pessimistic and hardened, but I don’t think that anything TEC can do at this point would sufficiently convince the rest of the AC that it, indeed, values the Communion and would never again steam ahead, full of itself, on its own agenda.

And there’s another reason why the solution has to come from the AC and not TEC. One word: Canada. While our neighbors to the north may not be as “in your face” and insulting as TEC, Canada is still moving ahead on the same agenda. The only two reasons I can see for Canada not being on the same radar screen as TEC is the Canadian church has been more low-key and cautious and Canada already has a place for conservative Anglicans. If, after taking up the Communion’s attention for more than four years, TEC is simply lauded for voluntarily staying home from Lambeth, the problem of unilateral action remains and may, for a time, fall to Canada to keep the agenda going while TEC regroups.

September 22, 6:31 pm | [comment link]
71. libraryjim wrote:

And Canada doesn’t see any serious threat occuring to TEC’s place in the Anglican Communion—just talk and meetings and meetings and talk. No action, yet.

“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

September 22, 6:46 pm | [comment link]
72. Spiro wrote:

Further to my post (#42 supra), I think most of us are looking/hoping for ONLY solutions that may bring a resolution in the next few years, or in our life time – at most.

I am not one of those hoping for such a great, but unlikely possibility. But from what I have seen over these past decades and from what I am seeing, hearing and understanding from the other side now, there is not a chance in Hell that the Revisionists are going to sincerely and unequivocally change course.

Where that leaves us is clear: We either take a really “radical approach”, trusting God, looking and hoping for success that may not come in our life time; or we may continue to hope against all reasonable expectations that EcUSA will honestly change tomorrow morning by 8:15 am.

As for me, I am no longer fighting for a resolution that MUST come in my life time. But I am simply doing what Christians have been doing for the past 2,000 years, which is staying with, and upholding, the Truth, even at the point of death and other sacrifices - knowing that the future is as, if not more, important than the present. This is the moment of truth and of daylight. The choices are clear.

September 22, 8:49 pm | [comment link]
73. Jeff in Ohio wrote:

ARrrgh! You finally lured me into registering, I hate registrations.

What our Good Host is proposing is that we take our fight out back and stop disturbing the rest of the room. We form an agreement that we are causing everyone a problem and that is all we can agree on. We agree that we have nothing positive to contribute right now.

I think that would be a fine first step. It would only be a first step. It wouldn’t solve anything, but it would allow the AC to keep working on figuring out what being a communion means without our interuptions. More important, it would be a mutual agknowledgement that we need to work out our problems before we have anything to contribute to the AC.

I like the suggestion, I ain’t holding my breath, but I like it.

Jeffrey A. Roberts

September 22, 8:59 pm | [comment link]
74. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

Welcome, Jeffrey. We appreciate your voice and input.

The Rabbit.

September 22, 9:33 pm | [comment link]
75. frreed wrote:

I have a radical proposal that will address this crisis in an honest and orthodox manner.  There is one presupposition that must be accepted to make it work: Not all members of the house of bishops are responsible for the recent unpleasantness.  A short handful of diocesan bishops and a few retired bishops have held and fought for the orthodox faith without waivering.  Yes this does date back to the 1970s and the innovation of women’s ordination.  The same arguments that were used to forward WO are now being used to support the homosexual agenda of TEC.  Bishops Iker, Ackerman and Schofieild and retired bishops such as Pope and Wantland received ridicule and outright persecution from, so-called, moderate bishops for years becaus they stood against the spreading apostacy in all of its permutations.  They have persevered in this fight and there is no reason to place blame on them for the state in which we find ourselves.

The radical proposal is that the moderate bishops repent of the unorthodox teaching and practice that they have wrought upon our church and follow Bps Iker, Ackerman and Schofield as they lead the way to an orthodox “Anglican” church in the U.S.  These men have already begun the process of assuring sanctuary for their dioceses and have made it clear that no compromise of the faith is acceptable.  That along with the support of orthodox GS primates may bring about that which we all desire.  If other conservative, though not orthodox, bishops would repent and join in this movement, there would be some tangible hope for the faithful in the pews.  Waiting for Lambeth and the meetings/conferences/communiques…. that would follow will only prompt more good people and parishes to seek shelter.  TEC is a dead institution and anything that props it up and hopes for its future is necrophilic in nature.

September 23, 12:23 am | [comment link]
76. Larry Morse wrote:

I do no undersand all this talk. Why would anyone want TEC to return to the AC, for example. This is like telling Barry Bonds that if he sits out ten games we will forget the drug use and let him into the Hall of Fame. WE may forgive him, but that doesn’t mean he has met the H of F standards.

  The solution is right in front of you and I have said this twice (at least). They have put themselves outside the doors. This is done, regardless of whatever vacillations they may undertake. How to solve our “problem?” It is already solved. Leave them there and ignore them from now on. How can you not see that TEC is withering before our very eyes?  Close the door, and let us tend to our proper business; there are more things important in this world (and the next) than TEC. Larry

September 23, 12:34 am | [comment link]
77. William#2 wrote:

Well, it is “radical” to say that Anglicans can’t go to a meeting.  They do love meetings, committees, and resolutions.  Other people love actually doing things.  My “proposal” is to remind everyone that the church needs to be more than a corporation, institution, or pension fund.  It needs to be a called out people doing God’s will in a broken and sinful world.  So if you guys have a time out from Lambeth, whoopdeedo, what does that do to stop the false teaching in your church?  Precisely nothing.  Apparently that is not a matter of urgency to some, and there is the assumption that breaking up the institution is a huge tragedy instead of a pruning of dead branches.  Would any single parish in your church stay together for long if such radically different beliefs were under a single roof?  Anyone who has done serious parish ministry for a year would laugh at the notion; why is a church, or communion any different?  How much stomach would you have, Rev. Harmon, to fight CONSTANT, daily warfare within your parish between two totally different belief systems each competing for hegemony over the other?  Give me a break guys, lets get real.  Either the communion needs to break, or the orthodox need to sit down and shut up, its as simple as that.

September 23, 1:02 am | [comment link]
78. Br. Michael wrote:

I think TPaine is very clear and sums up the reappraiser position accurately.  That the fact is that they are absolutely in control of TEC.  The other fact is that there is no place in TEC for the orthodox/reasserter.  If we stay we will ultimately be forced to conform to their theology (manditory WO has already happened) and to support it financially.  The other fact is that the AC, at least institutionaly and in the form of the ABC will not help us nor will TEC be disciplined.  Personally I had wanted to stay in the AC, but now given the preformance of the ABC, I now suspect that is as much of a pipedream as hoping that the TEC could be reformed from within.

I suspect that we will begin to be leaving at our own pace in accelerated mumbers.

September 23, 8:20 am | [comment link]
79. Rocks wrote:

Canon Harmon or Elves,
  As there seems to be a robust and ongoing discussion of this, not only here as the updates how, could this be stickied and kept near the top? I know there is a great amount of breaking news but this at least is not just a reaction.

There is a tendency among many shallow thinkers of our day to teach that every human act is a reflex, over which we do not exercise human control. They would rate a generous deed as no more praiseworthy than a wink, a crime as no more voluntary than a sneeze . . . such a philosophy undercuts all human dignity . . . all of us have the power of choice in action at every moment of our lives—Fulton J. Sheen

September 23, 1:45 pm | [comment link]
80. John Wilkins wrote:

Kendall, after some thought, I think I’m beginning to appreciate what you are saying. 

This would also be good for TEC, in that it would render impossible, really to make any constitutional changes at Lambeth that affected the Episcopal Church.  As TEC doesn’t participate, it need not consider itself beholden to proposals made there.  This is part of the problem:  lambeth 1.10 to TEC is not a law.  It is the mind of the Bishops. 

The idea that moderate or liberal bishops would repent, however, is a non-starter.  It is simply not how progressives see the world or engage Jesus Christ.  Orthodox Anglicans are going to have to work a bit harder (as liberal ones also) to listen to what is really going on.  There is a conflict between the two:  it is, as James Alison notes, a conflict between purity and grace. 

Brother michael does exemplify the problem.  I wouldn’t drive him from my church.  I would accept him with open arms.  I’d even let him preach.  If he had a good idea to serve the community, we’d finance his programs.  I get the sense he wouldn’t be as charitable.  Because I don’t share his views.  This is the bind we liberals see ourselves in.  We don’t mind orthodox churches - we just want them to play by the rules.  They can change the rules if they make a good enough case at convention. 

But my resistance to Kendall’s suggestion has little to do with its wisdom.  It is, in my view, a sagacious idea.  But it also reveals how fundamentally immature bishops are.  That they can’t be in the same room together illustrates their poor witness to the world.  Western secularists, in the end, just say this is another example of how church people are as bitter and angry as everyone else.  Kendall may be right, but he is right because human sin makes it impossible to be together.  It has little to do with God or what God says, or what we say God says in the book we claim searches our hearts.

September 23, 2:42 pm | [comment link]
81. Sherri wrote:

I wouldn’t drive him from my church.

John, isn’t it a little less than forthright to claim that the reasserters are the “pure” ones, as I assume you are? You don’t address Br. Michael’s comment about WO being made mandatory, but this is a case of reappraisers being pure and demanding that all believe as reappraisers believe, is it not? There is no reason for a reasserter to believe that the same won’t occur in every area of reappraising precepts, is there? Which leaves the question of what “accepting with open arms” really means.

Western secularists, in the end, just say this is another example of how church people are as bitter and angry as everyone else.

Perhaps because we have turned our attention too much to the secular?

September 23, 3:14 pm | [comment link]
82. Pernoctate wrote:

I suppose if anyone had reason to believe that GC was of a mind to “repent”, dramatic actions of repentance might be of some consequence.  Instead, what I hear is talk of what circumstances might be acceptable to each individual in order to persuade of the importance of joining together.  Not unlike Tillich reinventing a faith ameniable to his thinking.  Folks, the Body of Christ already exists and to be part of that means joining oneself to the existing holy, universal church.  Not reimagining an organization which fits each individual’s scruples.  Thinking has digressed so far into the American Protestant wilderness that we don’t even recognize a fatally flawed else absent ecclesiology when it smacks us upside the head.  The question in my mind is whether the sundry congregations identifying with the Anglican tradition, however loosely, are even churches.  The disease of Protestantism is not in reform but in walking apart and behaving as if the individual man is the whole.  Not even Jesus Christ is the wholeness of His Body the Church even though He is God.  It is my thinking that this disease has so poisoned Rome that all that has followed the Great Schism proceeds from that essential wound.  In these strange late days there seems to be nowhere in Christendom where the faith is entirely intact.  No matter how hard you press, you can’t make a complete loaf out of the crumbs.  I would not begrudge anyone those crumbs but neither would I look for the fullness of the faith under the table with the dogs.  Pastorally, the life of each Anglican is as important as the life of any of the apostles but in terms of the Church, the Anglican communion is a lost cause since it’s one motion towards wholeness was to divide against itself in separating from Rome ... yet another entity that has chosen to walk apart from conciliar catholicity by the failed means of securing the authority of the Church not in its Tradition but in atavistic and spasmodic appeals to secular authority by the absurd means of promulgating papal infallibility and the constellation of behaviors designed to buttress Augustine’s misguided sense of Original Sin.  Even today, Augustine’s “Cognite Intrare” remains the functional principle of unity and the curse which precludes realization.

Fortunately, the living Church is not rooted only in today’s struggles but is rooted in eternity.  If you would seek unity in the Body of Christ, seek Christ in the Eucharist, in the prayers of the Church, led by bishops who are unified not as the world would know it but in right worship and right belief, not putting themselves before their brothers nor abnegating the apostolic vision.  This cannot be found in committees, General or not.  It must be imagined, if we are to be honest, that we might not find it…not because God is not knocking at the door but because we have not the ears to hear.  Speaking as plainly as possible by way of example, if we were a group of Mormons arguing about how to live and worship together, would we by that means find our way to the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church?  Only by realizing we are fundamentally on the wrong track.  Only by looking in a different direction.  Not by negotiating an advantageous divorce settlement. 

As Christians, we should understand the inherent problem in a claim that only in Jerusalem can true worship be offered up.  We are a pilgrim people and our home is with Jesus in His father’s house.  Yes, we consecrate material things including our bodies to God’s work but these things become idols when we come to believe we possess them.  Not because our worship places are not hallowed but because our possession of them has possessed us.  How many years will you wait before the sea takes them ... the sea that is time?  Whether you invest your hopes in stewardship of the building, your body or your seed, all that fades like the grass. Politics!  Egos!  Opinions!  Is there a sane person left in all the world?  I suspect we simply cannot bear the compassion of Jesus speaking to us from the Cross.  He blesses us that we might accept His blessing and be a blessed people.  In my frustration with myself and probably you, my implulse is to say, “So be blessed, damn you.”  But that sounds like the unhelpful emoting to which I am unfortunately inclined.  It would appear I am not alone.  smile

September 23, 3:41 pm | [comment link]
83. Timothy Fountain wrote:

Good observation in #86, Sherri.
The more secular we are, the less we offer to anyone.  Those seeking God won’t encounter him, and those who are secular in their world view don’t need to join a church to have it confirmed.
The NT warns us against acting just like (or worse than) those who don’t know Christ.  “Judgment begins with the household of God.”  More reason to give a serious look to Kendall’s idea.  There’s much to repent of all around - perhaps by self-restraint, we can “bear one another’s burdens”, which in Galatians refers to gently leading one another out of sin in the humble assumption that we all need help:
6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Don’t know if it still possible.  It is, as Kendall says, a radical move, and my sense is that all kinds of separations are innevetable given the unreconcilable positions.  The leaders need to step up and lead if a radically new approach is to emerge - but even if the HOB steps up, GenCon could arrogantly scuttle the whole thing.

September 23, 4:08 pm | [comment link]
84. john scholasticus wrote:

Hello, everyone, and good-bye.

We’ve been away on holiday for a couple of weeks or so and are now back. After long thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that T19 is bad for me (and, I think, bad for Kendall and for every one else on the blog, but I’m strictly only speaking for myself). So I’m saying good-bye. In the future, I shall be thinking of you all and of some of you - including many reasserters (you know who you are) - with great affection. If you ever find yourselves in Durham, UK, you can find me at St Margaret’s Church, Crossgate. Ask for John, Ruth and Tommie. You will be very welcome.

All best, John.

Elves, please take me off the list. Thanks.

September 23, 4:19 pm | [comment link]
85. RickW wrote:

Proposal for TEC in the face if being kicked out from Lambeth:

Consider Jesus’ baptism.  Jesus went to John the Baptist for his baptism.  John, a seer prophet, who could look into the hearts of men, looked into Jesus’ heart and said, “I have need to be baptized by you.”  John looked into the pure heart of Jesus and recognized that Jesus was someone different.  Jesus, who knew who he was – the Son of God – went through with the Baptism.  In being baptized by John, Jesus was submitting to someone with a lesser anointing.  This was an act of Humility on the part of Jesus and is a model for us.  We need to submit, even to someone or something that may be beneath us.

It is a tall order to ask someone else to submit.  Therefore it is not for me or anyone else to demand your submission or humility.

You ask for Radical?  How about this:  It is the current Bishops, Clergy, governing and seminary structures which have gotten TEC to where it is today, on the verge of being kicked out of the communion.  If they as a leadership group volunteer to stand down from their positions; top to bottom, and engage in a season of prayer, fasting and consideration of their vocations.  In order to finance this, all groups could use their litigation funds. 

This means – each vestry quits, each priest quits, each bishop quits, each deputy to convention quits.  Each Parish can continue by using the morning prayers and lay led services.  After a season of about 6 months, vestries reform (through the vestry selection process), they call priests (or appoint priestly people doing field ordinations for called people), elect delegates to conventions (no previous delegates - my only rule).  Each convention would create new canons and constitutions, and each diocese would send delegates to recreate the polity for TEC.

The people in leadership in the Episcopal Church are all responsible for the demise, Re-asserter and Reappraiser alike.  The seminaries are responsible for the limited understanding of the ways of God among the clergy.  The Clergy are then responsible for not teaching their people about Jesus.

Skipping Lambeth is a side show compared to the radical surgery necessary.

If your reaction is to reject this out of hand – let me ask you – are you confident in your God enough to allow him to restore you to your position if you, in humility, back down?  How far are you willing to test your faith?  Is this for you a job, or are you sold out for Jesus and willing to go where He goes and Say what He says?  Some people may not be restored in their positions.  But if that happened to you, can your pride handle it, or are you not able to set aside your pride and place your faith in Jesus?

Fat chance of this happening, but Kendal asked for radical.

September 23, 4:47 pm | [comment link]
86. DonGander wrote:

I don’t know….

All that I do know is that the current proccess is terribly un-loving. It is eternal death - it is Hell.

The choice is simple; whom do we follow those that feed the sheep or those who feed on the sheep? It would seem to me that a more loving thing to do would be for a few people to point at the sheep-feeders and condemn the practice.

As it is, no one wants to be guilty of condemning anything (no matter how vile and destructive).  But Jesus said:

Luk 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

But we haave a leadership who finds godly “rebuking” abhorent. But Christ calls us to rebuke and be ready to forgive. Who will love as Christ has called our leaders to love? If, what we are doing is not “love”, then can we call what we actually do “hate”?

Yes, as Dr. Harmon says, we are all guilty. But we are not all guilty of the same sins. Some of us that know better are guilty of a particularly presumptuous sin.

God help us.

“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”


Please forgive my atrocious spelling.

September 23, 5:08 pm | [comment link]
87. Terwilliger+ wrote:

It really seems to me that the “radical solution” you propose can only exist in the “ideal.”  There is no buy-in for the liberal wing of TEC since, as things stand right now after +Williams visit, there is no consequence enforced upon the TEC for not only not being Windsor compliant and Lambeth 1.10 compliant.  To have TEC do as your solution counsels would mean that it (TEC) inherently values its relationship not only to Canterbury but to the whole Communion.  If it did this to begin with, it wouldn’t have ended up in this place that it is.

September 23, 5:55 pm | [comment link]
88. Rocks wrote:

I don’t agree that TEC should be forced to repent. But they should either repent or declare that they will stand by their prophetic views.
Prophecies seeking a community change were almost always to return to a correct path by those in authority. TEC’s fault is that it seeks to be prophetic and use it’s authority over it’s members and it’s bonds with it brother church to accept this prophecy as valid. It must relinquish any authority which would bind those who do not yet accept that prophecy as from God. Prophets can not be their own witness.

There is a tendency among many shallow thinkers of our day to teach that every human act is a reflex, over which we do not exercise human control. They would rate a generous deed as no more praiseworthy than a wink, a crime as no more voluntary than a sneeze . . . such a philosophy undercuts all human dignity . . . all of us have the power of choice in action at every moment of our lives—Fulton J. Sheen

September 23, 5:56 pm | [comment link]
89. azusa wrote:

Vale, Iohanne Scholastice!
Although I have often (and profoundly) disagreed with you on many issues, you have always been courteous and benevolent and never shown rancour.
Dominus tecum.

September 23, 6:40 pm | [comment link]
90. Br. Michael wrote:

As much as I disagreed with John, I too sadly say Good By.  I wish you and your family well John.  Pax et bonum.

September 23, 7:04 pm | [comment link]
91. DonGander wrote:

89. john scholasticus:

I am not sure if T19 is good for either you or me, but I do know that you have been both an encouragement and a challenge to me. As God has used you to bless me may he also bless you.

As I have a hard time seeing someone in Illinois, it is not likely that in this life we should see each other, but we shall surely meet again in a better way.

“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”


Please forgive my atrocious spelling.

September 23, 7:06 pm | [comment link]
92. Christopher Wells wrote:


The latest contribution from our end to this fruitful line of reflection is Doug Leblanc’s new piece, just posted at Covenant. I’d be interested in your take on it. He compares yours and +Howe’s, and finds yours rather more practicable.

I am myself still hoping for some more direct address of and assent to the WR moratoria, led by the PB—B033 writ large.

September 23, 8:12 pm | [comment link]
93. Marshall Scott wrote:

RE: Episcopal Chaplain:

Kendall, no apologies necessary.  And as I said, the thought that this came from (at least) two different persons, and two different perspectives, at two different points in the discussion might indicate something about the value of the consideration.

September 23, 8:14 pm | [comment link]
94. Walkerhound wrote:

Is there any way to get Kendall’s proposal submitted officially so that it can be voted on by the HoB?

September 23, 8:16 pm | [comment link]
95. Bill Cool wrote:

# 99.  “Is there any way to get Kendall’s proposal submitted officially so that it can be voted on by the HoB?”

Of course there is - we simply have to ask +KJS, +Bruno, or perhaps +Sauls to propose it.

Although this discussion, and the one about Howe’s proposal are intellectually interesting, given the reality of who is in charge and in power in the HoB, GC, TEC , etc., all proposals do seem a bit quixotic.

September 23, 8:47 pm | [comment link]
96. Dave B wrote:

The innovations in TEC and when +VGR was consecrated as Bishop the reappreasers only anchor was the idea of it being a prophetic, they could not claim a scriptural or a traditional base so these new things are called prophetic.  How do you repent from what you think or claim is God’s revelation as given by the Holy Spirit?

September 23, 8:49 pm | [comment link]
97. Larry Morse wrote:

John S, I was sorry to read your email, and you probablywon’t read this. But I am sorry to see you go.  Larry

September 23, 9:24 pm | [comment link]
98. Larry Morse wrote:

I still don’t understand the necessity for 101 entries.
You know my suggestion. What is wrong with it? We simply turn our backs on TEC and invite them nowhere. What can TEC do? What more [need] we to do? Nothing. The suits will continue, I suppose, but we have given TEC very little reason to crank out more of them. Isolated, more parishes will leave, and in our lifetimes TEC will die. If they speak, no one responds. If they threaten, no one responds. Since no one has responded to this idea, there must be something wrong with it. But what?

  Don’t we have better things to do than continue to suffer the miseries of TEC’s intransigence? And if we do not turn our backs on TEC, we will continue to have them in our ear, like a black fly one cannot get out.

  But why is it necessary and desireable tht TEC actually perish. Because what it has come to stand for has broad ramifications for the Christian denominations and for secular society. There are actually some people watching this New Orleans dog and pony show who have a real interest in its outcome, and interest which is personal, an interest wwe shall never know anything in any direct fashion. And this will have an impact on the far Left which now runs the bulk of all faculties in all colleges and universities. They will watch one of their favorite pasttimes - namely, pandering to homosexuality - shrivel and die, not with a bang, but with a whimper. This is no mean side effect.

  I do hope someone will speak to this.  LM

September 23, 9:36 pm | [comment link]
99. Larry Morse wrote:

Beg everyone’s pardon but I left out a piece.

  The most important effect may be this, that the broad culture is in the position wherein it is afraid to speak in any way negatively of the Left’s nurturing of all things homosexual. On campuses, such opposition is very strongly regarded as inherently reprehensible and worthy of suppression.
For the AC to turn its back on TEC, for TEC to wither on the vine, will set a precedent for the rest of America, that the homophile steam roller is not an irresistible force, and this lesson must be clear and incontrovertible. Somehow, somewhere, the soft tyranny of political correctness needs to blocked, and we have it in our power so to act, so to set that precedent. Our silence will be our best defense, and, as it will turn out, our best offense.

September 23, 9:44 pm | [comment link]
100. AnglicanFirst wrote:

First of all, my sense of this situation created by the revisionists is a sense of sadness.

Sadness because there is a lack of bi-partisan willingness to deeply discuss the issues at the points of disagreement between the revisionist and the orthodox/traditional factions within ECUSA.

The revisionist camp is firmly dedicated to its ‘prophetic(?) ‘sense of mission to disavow almost thirty-five hundred years of Christian/Judaic beliefs regarding sexuality and to force all of us not ‘in their camp’ to accept as our clergy men and women who are participating in same sex relationships.  Relationships that contratict both Scripture and Apostolic Tradition.

When we talk about the Body of Christ of which I assume the Anglican Communion to be an important part, we must also discuss who is TRULY a part of that part of the Body and who has through his/her own wilfull actions and statements has separated his/herself from that body.

September 23, 10:28 pm | [comment link]
101. Pernoctate wrote:

Silence may be both an offense and defense in spiritual warfare, I grant you.  But it can also make space for prayer and that seems to me to be more needed than politics as usual.  Perhaps both “sides” should engage in a silent retreat for a few years or decades rather than business as usual.  If that isn’t possible, maybe neither side should be occupied.  I certainly wouldn’t choose to raise children in such an environment.

September 23, 10:31 pm | [comment link]
102. billtrianglenc wrote:

A “Radical Solution”—based, hopefully, on what has been and is being lost in the status quo, viz.: true COLLEGIALITY.  Dr. Williams has reportedly stated that he believes that TEC acted precipitiously (and certainly, by inference, irresponsibly) re Bp. Robinson’s consecration and thus, the HOB of TEC seems forced, however grudingly, to accept this judgment.  More recently, as reflected by Dr. Williams’ refusal to extend an invitation to Lambeth 2008 to Bishop Mimms, there is a clear impliction that the prospect of re-uniting TEC is hampered by the continuance of the consecration of bishops from the U.S. by provinces outside the U.S.  To accomplish a method of returing to true collegiality in TEC—and within the Communion as a whole—the Communion should (probably through a standing committee), (1) seek immediate agreement from the HOB that it recognizes the consecration of bishops by provinces from outside the U.S, specifically in the case of those consecrations that have occurred since Bp. Robinson’s consecration in 2003, and thus further accepts the attendance of those bishops at Lambeth 2008 if said bishops are invited by Dr. Williams, and (2) seek immediate agreement from bishops from provinces outside the U.S. that there will be no further consecration of bishops from the U.S. by bishops from provinces outside the U.S. prior to Lambeth 2008.  Although this approach avoids the aspect of vountary non-attendance at Lambeth 2008 by any bishop or goup of bishops, what it should quickly accomplish is at once beginning a “process” that gets collegiality in the Church back on track and that will stay on track to Lambeth 2008.

September 24, 12:33 am | [comment link]
103. The_Elves wrote:

Another blog response we’ve just come across by Anglican Scotist, here:

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

September 24, 12:56 am | [comment link]
104. Newbie Anglican wrote:

Hmm, the Inclusive Church response made my browser crash.  Seriously.

now Wannabe Anglican again

September 24, 2:37 am | [comment link]
105. badman wrote:

God bless you John Scholasticus.  I think you are right.

September 24, 5:59 am | [comment link]
106. John A. wrote:

A separation is not merely a tactic for creating room it is the inevitable outcome of this confusion.  We have two religions and two agendas under the same roof.  It cannot last.  We need to respect and listen to each other but we do not have to be part of the same organization.

I do not take the implications lightly.  Jesus wanted us to be one but that unity is defined by his headship and the understanding of his mission for us is central.  So the decision to separate must not be taken lightly.

Issues of church and state complicate matters.  In the US this discussion is against the backdrop of the debate about the legal definition of marriage.  In England the church/state issue is problematic.  If the queen really did give Williams a mandate to keep the AC together ‘on his watch’ and he is compliant then a strategy of delay makes perfect sense.  This is a very different goal than recommitting to Christ, even if that includes substantial debate about his vision for us in the 21st century.

September 24, 8:42 am | [comment link]
107. Jimmy DuPre wrote:

I doubt if this will work because it is a little like Japan asking to negotiate peace terms after Hiroshima. The answer was Nagasaki.

Another radical solution is to acknowledge defeat and leave. The only thing at stake is an organization. God will sustain his Church, but not churches. If this is not so we should all be Roman Catholics. I think he has already given us ( Episcopaleans) over to our own desires, and TEC is where the Congregationalists were as they slid towards Unitarianism.

I agree with Kendell that God’s judgement is on us reasserters as well as reappraisers; we are no more in unity on the nature of the Good News than the reappraisers.

Can the 3 sons in the Prodigal son be used to illustrate? But there are only two sons you say? No, 3; the older son, the younger son prior to leaving, and the younger son after he is reborn. The wrangling over the past few years has mostly been between the younger sin ( surfer dude, whatever, man), and the older son ( I follow the rules, why can’t you).

The gospel, as witnessed by the reborn younger son, is a dim glimmer of light in TEC today.

September 24, 10:10 am | [comment link]
108. Pernoctate wrote:

I think it likely that the Scotist review of the situation found at #109 response here will carry the day for the HOB.  Persistence in the logic of prophetic witness is the only course that really makes sense given the internal logic of the ascendency in TEC.  Therefore, there will be no dramatic gesture of repentance such as proposed by some in hopes of saving the communion…for there is no repentance.  Calculation certainly.  Why do we not imagine what sort of dramatic gesture of conversion would be necessary on the part of all the rest of the world?  I submit that it is only in TEC where the luxury to be faithful to Christianity else be prophetic for the new age is even an option. 

In the midst of this crisis imposed by the do-gooders of TEC, the genuine pastoral catastrophe that is the reality for those with homosexual orientation elsewhere in the world reels drunkenly onwards.  Africa with its widespread AIDS (not to mention the Muslim threat) has good reason to respect bibilical morals but the cultures there seldom come anywhere near to what we might recognize as “just” much less loving. 

We need to understand that there is a difference between an orientation to sin which we all share and the ongoing action of participating in sin that precludes us, unless repentance turns us to a new course, from participation in the Kingdom.  Sin is a non negotiable reality and no true pastor can hand over his flock to the powers of hell.  What does the Church have to offer, qua Church?  The *means* to the Kingdom… “life in communion with God through keeping His commandments.” 

No Christian pastoral teaching is sufficient unless it demonstrates such a means to do what is necessary to control lust…including the lust for violence and dominance over others.  Asceticism.  “Crucifiy the flesh with its passions and desires.”  Some of us stand on steeper slopes and balance is more difficult.  It seems very difficult for a bi-polar personality or perhaps a person with same-sex attraction.  Judging by the prevalence of fornication, adultery and divorce (in fact, all of the seven deadlies) in our churches and in society, this is not unique to homosexuals.  Perhaps you have exorcized exorcism!

At any rate, our responses if they are to be Christian, must proceed from Christianity.  Christianity is not simply the right rules ... it is the adequate medicine for what ails us.  What would we do with a pharmacist that adulterated cancer medicine?  TEC has hobbled its understanding of Christianity for all the best reasons.  And so we see that the best of reasons may become millstones around the neck and a betrayal of the very children of God we sought to protect.  It is no wonder the Africans and Global South see TEC as a serpentine mess.  Without a Chrisitian asceticism, there is no cure for the spiritual delusion that afflicts the HoB and TEC.

September 24, 10:14 am | [comment link]
109. Rocks wrote:

Actually Anglican Scotist’s analysis doesn’t make a a lot of sense.
IF the GS doesn’t go to Lambeth then anything passed there becomes almost worthless. How does a group of Bishops stand on the steps of Lambeth and claim to speak for the mind of Anglicanism when half the world’s Anglican’s aren’t represented? Lambeth sans GS will have a lot of press, mostly reporters asking about the absence of the GS, but it won’t have much credibility. TEC’s absence would leave out about 2% of the world’s Anglican’s. It would be a very hard argument to make to suggest that anything conservatives got passed at Lambeth sans TEC would not have passed anyway.

There is a tendency among many shallow thinkers of our day to teach that every human act is a reflex, over which we do not exercise human control. They would rate a generous deed as no more praiseworthy than a wink, a crime as no more voluntary than a sneeze . . . such a philosophy undercuts all human dignity . . . all of us have the power of choice in action at every moment of our lives—Fulton J. Sheen

September 24, 12:12 pm | [comment link]
110. Mike Bertaut wrote:

Tricky, tricky, I agree with +Harmon’s idea, but some things will have to be handled clearly to have the desired effect:
1.  A written statement signed by all the HOB that indicated the reasons why they aren’t there, i.e. a self-imposed 40 days in the desert to pray, fast, and repent for threatening and stressing the AC for our own selfish desires.
2.  A statement indicating that we desire forgiveness.
3.  A statement indicating our strong desire to continue to participate and be in communion with Canterbury.

I like it.  It has the “kissing of the feet” requirement to help them understand how important Communion really is.  But is 815 ready to kiss Africa’s feet?  THAT is CHRIST’s own humility.  What a challenge.


Mike Bertaut
Time to Go

September 24, 1:16 pm | [comment link]
111. Pernoctate wrote:

Perhaps Anglican Scotist’s analysis doesn’t make sense because it is apologist for TEC.  I don’t believe the ascendency in TEC and much of the rest of the Anglican world can really have a conversation because they do not share a common theological language.  In that light the Communion is _de facto_ already broken if not also abandoned.  Even the appeal to Scripture cannot unite when there is no common mind as to its meaning. 

Just as the Jews and Christians share a common set of scriptures, more or less, that doesn’t make them one religion.  Similarly, as the Pharisees’ and Saducees’ experience made perception of Jesus’ divinity a near impossibility so the fleshly communion of gay couples excludes understanding of the communion that is the life of the Church in the Holy Spirit.  For Christians, chosing another communion is a form of idolatry. 

Perhaps conditioned by legalistic thinking, we believe it is “rules” that can be broken or repealed based on our perception of injustice but this isn’t about that kind of rules.  When the Church authorizes its tradition in sacrament, it isn’t doing a “new thing”.  Even Christ does not do “new things” but rather He makes all things new.

Marriage (in terms of sacrament) is not in fact something we do.  If it is a sacrament, and I grant you western tradition is weak (or missed the boat) on this, the actor is God.  The Church qua Church does not offer sacraments except in terms of what it sees God doing…and that construed in particular terms.  It is not otherwise competent. 

TEC has confused individual pastoral kindness that the suffering individual not be broken by the weight properly born by all the Church (especially our Lord) with a change in God’s law.  It is a common human failing that having been forgiven, resentment should arise.  It takes humility to accept mercy.  Perhaps we have only been humiliated by our manifold shortcomings without learning to accept the gift of humility.  It is telling that language of the Lordship of God is being dropped from some experimental liturgies.

September 24, 1:16 pm | [comment link]
112. Larry Morse wrote:

Iit the midst of all this to-oing an fro-ing, may I sugest you look outside the The Anglican inward facingness and ask,” What will the effect of TEC being cast out have on the 99% of the res of American that isn’t Anglican in any sense? You commentators live inside a hermetically sealed bottle, it seems, and therefore appear oblivious to the rest of the world - which is, a vast majority. There are only 77 million Anglicans, after all, a drop in the bucket of mankind’s teeming numbers. Doesn’t anyone care what the real majority thinks, doesn’t anyone care about the effects of whatever actions - I use this word grimly and sarcastically - we take? Larry

September 24, 2:14 pm | [comment link]
113. Nick wrote:

Not going would also save our diocese $15,000 next year, on what looks suspiciously like a vanity trip to England.

September 24, 2:46 pm | [comment link]

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