There just isn't world enough and time -- nor, quite frankly, inclination! -- to answer every question, respond to every comment or defend every opinion on this blog. There are sites where one can go to do that and I commend them to you. However, my "policy" in that regard is aligned with my sister Elizabeth Kaeton over on Telling Secrets and so I recommend her "Friendly Little Reminder" post for your edification.
That said, from time to time issues arise from comments that I think do bear responding to -- and here are few from my post-retreat mailbox:
Dear Susan: Can you give me an argument based in Holy Scripture and/or the unbroken tradition of the Church for blessing same sex unions or ordaining men or women involved in them?
Dear Phil: Why yes, yes I can. I can give you the link … here … to “To Set Our Hope on Christ” – the Episcopal Church’s “case statement” we took with us to Nottingham in 2005 and presented to the Anglican Consultative Council. There’s even a study guide you can download … here … to use for parish study. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Thanks for asking. Have a great day.
Dear Susan: [You] quote Kendall: “The Episcopal Church is not moving ahead but instead moving away from Scripture and the Church and a significant majority of their fellow Anglicans worldwide.” I'm not sure, Susan, whether or not you're claiming that some part of this statement is false (and if so, which part), or whether you just don't like it.
Dear Craig: Thanks for the chance to clarify. It’s actually kind of a “both/and” – I don’t like it and it’s false. Number one, rather than “moving away” from Scripture we believe we are embracing Scripture by living out the Gospel agenda of God’s inclusive love. (See my note to Phil above and do check out "To Set Our Hope on Christ.")
Number two, having no desire to “walk apart” (a favorite sound bite from the other side of the aisle) from the wider communion we reject the “spin” that puts the responsibility for its mounting divisions at our feet. To “walk apart” one has to leave … and the American Church has threatened only to stay. If the increasingly likely “split” happens it will because the fabric that is "rent" is the historic comprehensiveness of classical Anglicanism: willfully torn by those committed to exploiting differences into divisions in order to achieve their schismatic ends.
If that schism happens it will not be because the American Church has lived out the Gospel differently in its context than, oh, let’s just pull one out of the hat: Nigeria has. Rather it will be because of the orchestrated efforts of those who grew so weary of holding a minority position in their church that they determined to split it if they couldn’t control it. And to give credit where credit it due, it’s looking like they might just pull it off. Pity.
So that’s why I reject Kendall’s assertion as “spin.” Hope that helps clarify.
Dear Susan: Just to clear up one point: Steve Gushee (Another Reporter Gets It) is not, as your heading says, a "reporter." Gushee is a long-term member of TEC who is taking sides in his own church's schism. That is his right and he is entitled to any views he may have. But he is NOT an unbiased, professional journalist.
Dear Ellie: Thanks for taking time to write. The piece in question is an op-ed. The "op" stands for "Opinion" and, as you note, Mr. Gushee (a Palm Beach Post Staff Writer) is entitled to express his. Which he does. Clearly and, to my mind, helpfully.
Just add him to the list of those stepping up to say "the emperor has no clothes" AKA "the Episcopal Insurgency has no integrity." Rather it is a long planned, well financed power grab that, sadly, seems to be working. At the moment, anyway.
But voices like Gushee’s are precisely the ones that I believe the Holy Spirit is calling to step up and name this travesty for what it is and call the church back to the mission it should be about rather than the mania that currently consumes it. Which is why I posted the piece. Thanks again for taking time to write and giving me a chance to clarify!