Thursday, August 30, 2007

Komments on Kenya

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi consecrated two conservative American priests as bishops on Thursday to lead U.S. congregations who have split from the Episcopal Church over its stand on homosexuality. Read the Reuters report here.

The consecrations today are one more sad indication of just how far those committed to splitting the Episcopal Church are willing to go to acheive their goal of a church created in their own image.

Bill Murdoch is reported to have said, "This is a missionary action brought to this point by four years of frustration." The very idea that four years of "frustration" on the part of a small percentage of the American Conservative Fringe justifies the consecration of bishops across national church boundaries with the express intention of using them as intercontinental ballistic weapons of schism and division is a shocking abandonment of all that is genuinely Anglican Traditionalism.

In point of fact, this schism has much more than four years in the works -- I believe it is, in fact, the schism they couldn't pull off in 1976 over the ordination of women. The Episcopal Church survived the saber rattling of the seventies and it will survive the schism mongering of these times as well.

But on the second anniversary of Katrina, with a war still waging in Iraq, and new staggering numbers of children without health care in this nation, I believe the fact that Bill Murdoch's "frustration" at being on the losing side of the theological debate -- over whether or not all of the baptized are entitled to be fully included in the Body of Christ -- manifests itself in the episcopal power grab we saw today grieves the heart of God.
Jesus said, "Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these" you have done my will, not "Inasmuch as you have excluded the gay of these."

As the nominations for bishop in the Diocese of Chicago this week demonstrate, the Episcopal Church is not going to turn back on its commitment to serve the Gospel as it lives into its mission and ministry.

There is much on the list of things to rejoice and be glad in on this day that the Lord has made. The consecrations in Kenya are NOT on that list!
========
Press Reports:
Michael Paulson (Boston Globe), Consecration in Kenya widens rift

32 comments:

RonF said...

... a shocking abandonment of all that is genuinely Anglican Traditionalism.

There's certainly different ways of looking at what's going on. But for a group of people who are deliberately defying and opposing thousands of years of Jewish and Christian teaching to appeal to "traditionalism" seems rather incongruous to me.

amfound said...

Not 4 years. Not 28 years. Try 40, when I was first told the creeds were fiction. I have nothing but pity for you.

uffda51 said...

I guess what stuns me the most about this new development is the claim by the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali and the more than 30 members of the Church of England's General Synod that the commitment to full inclusion for LGBTs within the AC represents “a determined capitulation by The Episcopal Church to the forces of contemporary North American culture.”

Nonsense.

The issue is, should TEC and AC continue the historical scapegoating and demonizing of the LGBT community, or, should we work to stop it?

We believe that God is working through us to end the marginalization of the worldwide LGBT community. I don’t know of anyone who has taken into account “contemporary North American culture” in reaching their decision.

Jim said...

I watched the web cast. I am left with a few questions:

How in the world can anyone including Bp. Katherine continue the idea that Bp. Duncan has not abandoned the communion of this church? What possible justification for not presenting him can be offered?

How in the world can ABC Williams explain having a 'covenant commission' led by men who do these things?

How can anyone suggest the holier-than-god fudipiscopals are 'Windsor compliant?'

Just things I should like to know.

FWIW
jimB

Anonymous said...

You write: "The consecrations today are one more sad indication of just how far those committed to splitting the Episcopal Church are willing to go to acheive their goal of a church created in their own image." This is something that I have said nearly verbatim about VGR and you.

Doug Desper in Virginia said...

Breaking News it Ain't:

This is news? The Episcopal Church SPLIT SOME TIME AGO. The split was produced by the perserverations of those wedging American counter-culturalism into the world-wide Anglican mainstream. Watch the massive defections after September 30th. This is no knee-jerk reaction. I'll make you a deal. Gain strongholds in each diocese if you can. Push on with the pro-Integrity agenda. Gain followers and prosper. The rest of the 71 million will go away to be ill-informed, bigoted, and intolerant. You can have the name, the property, the symbols, the signs, and the bank accounts and be the most prosperous microChurch in America. One day somebody in TEC will wonder how to re-establish relations with the rest of the Anglican Communion. By then no one in the Communion will even remember the erstwhile Episcopal Church.

Lorian said...

Susan, thanks for your continued faithfulness to this task. It feels like banging one's head against the wall at times, but the advantage, of course, is how good it will feel once we can at last stop. ;)

Brian F said...

I wonder how you would classify sending gay- friendly missionaries from ECUSA into African provinces if not as intercontinental ballistic weapons of toxic American culture?

Also - can you not spell Comments properly - why use Komments? What exactly is the point you are trying to make as a Christian?

I doubt if Bill Murdoch is frustrated at being on the losing side of theology - when in fact the vast majority of the Christian church, of all denominations around the world and throughout church history - would stand with him. In that sense, ECUSA is on the losing side, and will find itself in opposition to God. I suspect he is frustrated at the loss of so many souls through ECUSA's heresies.

Anonymous said...

Lots of lovely hate spewing here.
I am so proud of the Episcopal Church, which is faithful to the gospel (where, by the way, no one is condemned for sexual orientation.) It is the fundamentalists who have been captured by the culture where bigotry still thrives.

cp said...

Not 4 years. Not 28 years. Try 40, when I was first told the creeds were fiction. I have nothing but pity for you.

Yeah, that Enlightenment thing really sucks, doesn't it? Especially since it's the logical continuation of a process started by Jesus Christ Himself when he gave us a litmus test of two measley commandments.

Gerti said...

Anonymous write: "This is something that I have said nearly verbatim about VGR and you." The difference is that LGBT folks aren't looking to exclude anyone from full inclusion. I am continually distressed by the vision of God that revolves around sexuality - can anyone rally believe that is what God is most concerned about?!

The Pilgrim said...

"bishops ...as intercontinental ballistic weapons of schism and division ..."

Look at it this way: These Bishops are coming over as a result of the relaxed immigration laws. They've come to do jobs that American Bishops aren't willing to do.

Anonymous said...

What concerns God is the well-being of each individual person. Will you all please give up playing the ostrich? Can't you open your eyes to the emotional turmoil of these rapidly shifting liaisons among gay men? Won't you even consider the appalling reality of epidemic infection? How could it possibly be the will of God for us to throw holy water on it all?

-- J

Anonymous said...

Gerti said "LGBT folks aren't trying to exclude anyone from inclusion". What about those of us who still believe that the Bible is the word of God and cannot be changed? What about those of us who feel that any sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is a sin? I certainly feel excluded by the LGBT folks as well as TEC.

Viriato da Silva said...

"I wonder how you would classify sending gay- friendly missionaries from ECUSA into African provinces if not as intercontinental ballistic weapons of toxic American culture?"

Um...HUH?!?!?!

What evidence have you, brian f, that TEC (not "ECUSA" anymore) has ever sent missionaries into Africa to preach against the homophobic ragings and rantings of certain (by no means all) of the bishops there?

Trust me, if they *had* done so, I'd have written a check to support the effort -- but they *haven't*.

If you know otherwise, kindly produce the evidence, as well as a mailing address to which I can mail my financial support for such work, which would be every bit as justified as anti-racism work, anti-gender-discrimination work, etc.

Except that . . . it hasn't really happened, has it? So please stop bearing false witness.

On the other hand, the minute the Communion officially splits, I pray that LGBT-friendly TEC missionaries will be send overseas (and inside the US too) overnight, in a massive effort to evangelize the homophobes (or at least their more liberal-minded 20-something-and-up offspring) of Nassau and Kingston and Lagos and Nairobi and Buenos Aires and Kampala.

(And will the Aussies please re-evangelize Sydney?)

What brian f and friends don't understand is that, as the whole world globalizes and modernizes, the younger generations of the "Global South" (which is actually neither, and certainly doesn't speak for all of those nations; just ask Brasil!) will come to view them much as we do: latter-day incarnations of Southern US preachers blocking black folk from the front pews, and of Afrikaner Calvinists proclaiming that God mandated apartheid.

The dust of history will cover their whitewashed tombs filled with coruption.

Anonymous said...

for anonymous (9:20AM) -- Let's try this one more time:

There is a BIG difference between feeling excluded because you aren't agreed with (which you do because you aren't) and BEING excluded because of who you are (which is what Atwood, Murdoch et al advocate for GLBT Christians)

Got it????

Feeling excluded
Being excluded

Apples
Oranges

Any more questions?
Fred

Susan Russell said...

for brian f --

Actually, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar ... and sometimes an alliteration in a headline is just for fun.

Are you inferring some deeper intent I'm blissfully unaware of?

Anonymous said...

Fred,

I have "been" excluded, and not only "feel" excluded. As a bible believing Christian (which is who I am, not just what I believe), I have been called a hateful bigot and accused of wanting to incite violence against the LBGT when all I am doing is standing on the word of God and praying for those I believe are being led astray and in danger for their eternal souls. Tolerant? Inclusive? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Sorry "anonymous" -- getting your feelings hurt sucks. No doubt about it.

Having your vocation and relationship denied by the church, scapegoated by the communion and knowing that there really ARE places where telling the truth about who you are will expose you to potential violence is another kettle of fish altogether.

Apples.
Oranges.

Fred

Anonymous said...

Fred,

Yes, I have another question. Who is excluding anyone for who they are? I've been around this for years and I'm not seeing it! Where do you see it? I have certain inclinations that seem quite firmly established in me, and no one is excluding me, although I think my family, my church, and society in general are better off if I don't exercise these tendencies, even if they are a part of who I am. -- J

Anonymous said...

"J" -- you're kidding, right? Is this one of those "devil's advocate" things? In 33 states you can be fired just for being -- or being "suspected" -- of being gay. In the Episcopal Church if you have a call to ordination and you're gay or lesbian you can forget it in many (no I don't have the numbers but I'm sure somebody who reads this blog can get them) dioceses. If you're a priest called to the episcopate never mind about your gifts for ministry -- what they want to know about is your "manner of life" (which is code for sex life.)

How about you worry about whatever "tendencies" you need to control in order not to disturb the balance of society and let faithful gay and lesbian people get with living their lives as the full and equal citizens of the kingdom God made them to be.

Fred (who can't seem to get the darned blogger site to accept my login/password which is REALLY annoying!)

uffda51 said...

“Can't you open your eyes to the emotional turmoil of these rapidly shifting liaisons among gay men? Won't you even consider the appalling reality of epidemic infection? How could it possibly be the will of God for us to throw holy water on it all?”

Apparently all gay people engage in promiscuous anonymous sex all the time. And emotional turmoil and shifting liaisons do not occur in the heterosexual community.

The “appalling reality” of the AIDS epidemic is that it is, on a worldwide basis, primarily a heterosexual disease. Viruses do not discriminate.

Why would God not throw holy water on all of us? I believe that is exactly what he did. Why would God deliberately create a sub-class of humanity for the majority to demonize? And where does one obtain the psychic energy required to spew venom at an entire category of people?

Believe or not, the LGBT folks I know within TEC are not looking to turn airport bathroom sex into a sacrament. They simply want to participate in the same sacrament of marriage that my wife and I did. They would like their baptisms to have been irrevocable and non-conditional, as ours are.

Even if one studies scripture and concludes that the message of the Gospels is to scapegoat the LGBT community, and even if one is convinced that “tradition” is both fixed and provides justification for the marginalization of those different than the majority, what about the people themselves? How large a sampling of the LGBT community does one employ before opting for LGBT exclusion? What about reason and experience? These are the same people that were in your Sunday school class and are now in the choir and in the pulpit. Are they really so different than the rest of us? Do our respective positions within the spectrum of human sexuality have a moral component?

Imagine the conversation we would be having if, when Gene Robinson was selected as bishop, the closeted gay bishops within the Anglican Communion took the opportunity to welcome Gene into the group by coming out themselves.

Anonymous said...

Fred --

Maybe I've missed something, but if a person happens to have that inclination but doesn't engage in homosexual practices, then there isn't any bar to ordination, is there?

-- J

Cranmer49 said...

A couple of boys playing dress-up. And a minor distraction to spreading the Good News.

I admire your willingness to play on the edges of the mud with them, Susan. It's an incredibly draining activity. But we know they can obviously be quite dangerous if left to their own wiles.

I'm still waiting to hear when God appointed these schismatics the holders of The One and Only Truth.

Anonymous said...

J -- Can you not hear how demeaning, dismissive and heterocentric comments like "happens to have that inclination" are to GLBT people?

What if the tables were turned and those who "happened to have the inclination" for form attachments to persons of the opposite sex were denied access to equal civil rights and full inclusion in the Body of Christ in their church because they "chose" to exercise their "inclination" by daring to live a life that included being all of who they are?

I keep coming back to these pages thinking there's a way to reason with the unreasonable but I'm about ready to throw in the towel. If Ash Wednesday wasn't so far away I'd be giving it up for Lent!

Fred

Brian F said...

Viriato da Silva - thankyou for your heartfelt desire to see Sydney re-evangelised. May I assure you that this is exactly what the Anglican Diocese of Sydney is presently doing as part of its 10 year vision and plan to increase average Sunday attendances by a minimum of 10% of the total city's population - which on present numbers would be an extra 400,000 people in church every Sunday - almost half of ECUSA's total ASA; and in one city. What a wonderful plan, with a glorious gospel.

Viriato da Silva said...

brian f, as you no doubt know, I was referring to re-evangelizing Sydney using the Gospel of Christ, not that of Calvin and the Brothers Jensen.

But in any event, surely the Sydney Diocese has more important things to worry about, such as enforcing its ban on the great evil of the chasuble, while pushing for lay presidency innovations likely to cause their own split within Anglicanism.

Brian F said...

Viriato - every time I've heard the Jensen brothers preach and teach, or read part of Calvin's commentaries - they are preaching the gospel of Christ. What is your gospel of Christ?

Viriato da Silva said...

brian f, thank you. Quod erat demonstrandum.

Calvinism/Jensenism is the Gospel of Christ as viewed in a funhouse mirror, i.e., distorted.

The Gospel of Christ is more accurately transmitted through Hooker and Cranmer, Luther and Melanchthon, Kung and Schillebeeckx, John XXIII and Francis of Assisi, Julian of Norwich and ++Michael Ramsey, Jeremy Taylor and Lancelot Andrewes, ++William Laud and ++Desmond Tutu, John Macquarrie and Bede Griffiths, Ramon Panikkar and Paul Tillich, Dom +Helder Camara and Gustavo Gutierrez, and so many more in this great Cloud of Witnesses for the Church catholic.

Calvin, and his heirs such as the Jensens, stand outside this catholic Cloud, along with Zwingli and others.

I know you do not agree with this, and I nonetheless respect you as a brother in Christ (though not sure that you reciprocate that). And no amount of further back and forth is likely to induce one of us to shift.

However, surely you will concede the objective history: Within Anglicanism, at least, Calvinism has always been a fringe position even within the Evangelical stream, and Sydney's take on Anglicanism is quite idiosyncratic and would be more comfortable for Separatists and Puritans back in the day, than for, say, the Caroline Divines.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go chasuble shopping so I can send a care package to Sydney's Anglo-Catholics for the moment that the yoke of the Sydney Puritans' sillinesses is lifted from their necks, when the Diocese of Sydney aligns with the rest of the Purer-than-Thou secessionists from the Communion and joins the new Akinolan Communion, leaving Sydney open as a mission field. The large gay population there would be a nice place to start, followed with all the other progressive Christians there for whom Anglican is currently synonymous with "Not Welcome."

Brian F said...

Viriato - well that is certainly a broad spectrum of different perspectives on the gospel that you've listed, so it's a wonder you don't have the tolerance or inclusiveness to include Jean Calvin. I'm not sure that you could hold to the same theological system as Thomas Cranmer if you also believe the same as John XXIII or Paul Tillich for example - if you believe in everything, then in effect you are believing in nothing. I would have thought that Cranmer was much closer to Calvin in his theology than to many of the others you've included on your list.

May I suggest that rather than wasting your money on chasubles for the poor oppressed folk in Sydney, that you join in the program to provide a Bible in every Sydney home, in contemporary language of course - as that has the potential to provide much more comfort than a chasuble. I've found that using a Bible is far more effective in bringing people to know the love of God in Jesus Christ than a chasuble whenever I'm meeting with nonChristian people.

Viriato da Silva said...

Cranmer was closer to Luther, dear fellow. And yes, Calvinism *does* seem to many of us to present a bridge too far from what unites otherwise differing folk under a catholic umbrella.

Thanks for the offer re the Bibles, but in my own experience the sacraments, rightly celebrated, are of greater comfort and disciple-making effectiveness. Certainly, connecting with the Church's Tradition is important for those of us who are Anglican in eschewing sola-scriptura-ism.

And of course you realize that the chasubles are metaphoric. What is more real is the oppressive stifling of Anglo-Catholicism in the Diocese of Sydney, in favor of the regnant Calvinism. Elsewhere in the Communion, evos seem far more generous in their tolerance for the catholic-minded. In this, as in so many things, Sydney is really an "Anglicanism" apart.

Bobinswpa said...

I always find biblical literalism and the ugliness that comes with it very disheartening. I don't think Christ ever wanted the discord we find ourselved in.

But a question to the literalist here.

If God is real and present, is our relationship set in stone based on writings from 2800 to 2000 years years ago? What I'm hearing is that God has spoken and doesn't still speak to us. A healthy relationship grows. I've always been proud of the fact that the Episcopal Church isn't afraid to make us ask questions, sometimes with no clear answers. For me, the uncertainty makes me run after God.

As someone who teaches special education, I see first hand that not everyone is given the same game card. Even in say the autistic world, there are many sub classifications. To think that we can have such a variety of human conditions but not sexual orientations is simply not realistic.

The bible/scripture should be a starting place, not and end. A personal relationship with God, for me, isn't static.

Personally, I'm glad we have variety in life. It challenges us to find what we have in common. God has a purpose and I don't believe it's exclusivity.

As for presenting Duncan, No one wants to make him a martyr is what I've been told. He's my diocesan. As much as I've tried, I don't dislike him. I certainly don't agree with him. I've often asked why can't we work from some common ground. We're never going to have the same opinion/beliefs. We have different needs.

I am a Christian although I'm sure some will question my beliefs. It's just my priorities are different.

God's Peace to all.
Bob