Friday, September 22, 2006

Letter from Camp Allen

Not much new here ... my boys call it SSDD: Same "Stuff" Different Day ... but check it out if you're in the mood:

[ENS] Twenty-one bishops sent a letter September 22 to their colleagues in the House of Bishops following a meeting held by the letter's signatories at the Episcopal Diocese of Texas' Camp Allen Conference and Retreat Center. Read it all here

P.S. That would be twenty-one out of HOW many????


John Gibson said...

Anyone who needs a good list of places in the country where you never want to go near an Episcopal church, it's probably pretty safe to look at who signed this report and check out other worship opportunities when you're travelling to one of those dioceses. There might be some individual parishes that are welcoming, but not many.

Tony Seel said...

21 bishops wish to remain in the Anglican Communion according to the terms set out by the AC. The rest of ecusa can continue to become more and more like the Unitarian Church, the United Church of Christ, and the Metropolitan Church, but will do so on their own, or in less in impaired communion status.

Will said...

Though they will deny it, for me the difference is between a Christian Church and a Fundamentalist Church. I don't know what Unitarian, UCC or Metropolitan Community Churches Tony has attended, but none of them resemble any Episcopal Church I've ever seen. Bruce Bawer was right in the subtitle of his book Stealing Jesus: HOW FUNDAMENTALISM BETRAYS CHRISTIANITY.

Tony Seel said...

I think I understand what you're saying, Will. Anyone who believes that Scripture is authoritative (like the majority of the Anglican Communion, for example) is a fundamentalist. The shrinking liberal mainline churches (a minority not that all significant by numbers for the worldwide church) are the ones who have it right.

Will said...

Tony, I was in error to leave any room for you to assume what I do or don't mean by the term Fundamentalist. To me Fundamentalists are those who consistently abuse scripture and only call it authoritative when it fits their particular agenda. That's only part of the picture, but since you bought up scripture, it's what I'm addressing. Simplistic, yes. True, also yes. Fundamentalists were addressed by Christ in John 5:39,40 and again Paul wrote of them to the Galatian Church when he warned the Galatians of the "Judaizers" who perverted the Gospel with their message of Jesus + Law. Please dont assume that my view of Fundamentlists in the Episcopal/Anglican Church has anything to do with the authority of Scripture. IMHO the "Orthodox Anglicans" in the Episcopal Church are using that as a smokescreen for those who don't know better.

Hiram said...

20 diocesan bishops and one coadjutor represent 20% of the Episcopal Church. They are not a majority, but they are not a neglible percentage, either. At least one of the bishops who signed the letter, Bp Wolfe of RI, voted to confirm Bp Robinson, and I think that Bp MacDonald of Alaska may have as well.

These bishops think that being a member of the Anglican Communion means having not only a common historical origin, bishops, and a liturgical form of worship, but also a common core of doctrine that is unmistakeably Christian and recognizeable as such by other historical Christian bodies.

I do not know how all this will shake out. But ordaining same-sex-partnered bishops is not something that is simply going to "blow over" with time. And, as the theology that supports and/or accompanies the moral acceptability of same-sex sexual relationships is examined more closely, I do not think that it will be accepted as fully Christian theology.

Ecclesiastical life is going to be confusing and painful for a while. I wish it were not so, and neither do those who support the changes in beliefs that have come in recent decades. But the Episcopal Church cannot uphold two mutually contradictory convictions about what it means to be a Christian.

Tony Seel said...

Will, I hope that you understand that you stand within a tiny minority in the worldwide Church. I guess that makes the vast majority of Christians fundamentalists. At least that seems to be the way you see it. So, I wonder whose lens need adjusting.

Bill said...

Hi Will,
I am sure that you would call me a fundamentalist. I think I would agree with you. But I see myself as a fundamentalist because I believe the truth of all the words of Jesus. For me, among the most important are when Jesus says "... I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man comes to the Father except by Me..." and John 3:16. Those words are the fundamental base of my life, since if these words are not absolutely true all the rest is a joke and a lie. Since, to me those words are absolute truth
everything else He says is absolute truth and I worship Him as Lord and God (adapted somewhat from C.S. Lewis but then I guess Lewis was a fundamentalist like me). That's my smokescreen. :)

Will said...

Tony, Sorry again that I didn't address this when you addressed it previously. I guess I should tell you that I am quite un-insultable in this matter. With all the insult you may lay at my feet over TEC being a tiny minority in the worldwide church, my thoughts immediately to the One who had the audacity to proclaim to those who "knew it all" that HE was Emmanuel, God come in the flesh Who, along with his most unlikely crew of 12, changed the course of history forever. By comparison what did the vast numbers of Pharisees leave us? Numbers only count when we are talking about elections, not validity in the Kingdom of God. Now, Tony, since I don't believe there is anything further to be gained by this discussion. I have made my final post about it. God be with you.

Will said...

Sorry to take up so much space here ... this will be my final post REALLY. This is in response to Hiram's comments about the confusion resulting from ordaining same-sex partnered Bishops (that entire paragraph). All I can say (since I realize that scripture plays a most vital role in the decisions that are being made) are these words quoted from St. Paul in Galatians 3:27-29
27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

29And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Now I really promise to bow out of this conversation with good will to all.

Tony Seel said...

Will, you sound a bit testy. Just to clarify, I meant the entire worldwide church (Roman Catholic - 1 billion plus, Eastern Orthodox - numbers vary, but say 200 million, Anglicans - say 70 million, Protestants - who knows?

And Jesus left the task to the Church to interpret Him to the world, and it has been the Church that Jesus gave authority to pronounce or withhold forgiveness. Will, the Church calls you in the Name of Christ to repent of your sins (as He does me) and follow Him. You need not reply, especially since you feel no more need be said.