Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Giuliani's straight talk about terrorism

Rudy Giuliani’s speech last night at the Republican convention was a breath of fresh air. Common sense and the guts to say it are too rare among politicians.

His words about terrorism especially stood out:

Terrorism did not start on September 11, 2001. It had been festering for many years.

And the world had created a response to it that allowed it to succeed. The attack on the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics was in 1972. And the pattern had already begun.

The three surviving terrorists were arrested and within two months released by the German government.

Action like this became the rule, not the exception. Terrorists came to learn they could attack and often not face consequences.

In 1985, terrorists attacked the Achille Lauro and murdered an American citizen who was in a wheelchair, Leon Klinghoffer.

They marked him for murder solely because he was Jewish.

Some of those terrorist were released and some of the remaining terrorists allowed to escape by the Italian government because of fear of reprisals.

So terrorists learned they could intimidate the world community and too often the response, particularly in Europe, was "accommodation, appeasement and compromise."

And worse the terrorists also learned that their cause would be taken more seriously, almost in direct proportion to the barbarity of the attack.

Terrorist acts became a ticket to the international bargaining table.

How else to explain Yasser Arafat winning the Nobel Peace Prize when he was supporting a terrorist plague in the Middle East that undermined any chance of peace?

Before September 11, we were living with an unrealistic view of the world much like our observing Europe appease Hitler or trying to accommodate ourselves to peaceful co-existence with the Soviet Union through mutually assured destruction.

President Bush decided that we could no longer be just on defense against global terrorism but we must also be on offense.

I almost shouted “Amen!� For years, I watched with anger as Europeans coddled terrorists and as Presidents Carter and Clinton were soft on terrorism. I knew that was not the way to deal with terrorists. And we finally found that out the hard way on September 11th.

Now, finally, we are warring against the terrorist scum who have warred against us for years, something we should have done many years ago. And we have made progress.

So why should we let those Europeans who were friends of terrorists run our foreign policy? Why should we let the world, for that matter, run our foreign policy? Frankly, with few exceptions. the governments of the world were wrong in dealing with terrorism before September 11th. Heck, many of them were appeasers and even collaborators with terrorists.

Anyway, I’ll stop hyperventilating here and say I loved Rudy’s common sense about terrorism. Bush’s hard line against terrorists is indeed the right policy. And Europe and certain past presidents were and are wrong.

Monday, August 30, 2004

�a cordial divorce�

You may have noticed, just maybe, that I’m not a big fan of liberals.

But something that may surprise you is that I enjoy coming across liberals and leftists even who think and communicate well and don’t rush to toe the party line. I appreciated one or more of my Duke professors for that reason. I’m likewise a big fan of Christopher Hitchens.

I present to you someone who, at least back on August 25th, was one such liberal, Hugo Schwyzer. On that day, he made a very thoughtful post on handling ECUSA divisions even though he’s a liberal Ep*******lian himself.

Most liberal Ep*******lians I’ve come across take a winner-take-all approach. Having thoroughly defeated the conservatives on denomination policies, they want to take the parish property of conservatives who can’t conscientiously stay. Some even give conservatives a good shove out and seek to keep the property as well. Reconciliation, and tolerance, and dialogue and other good liberal words are just that – words that serve as sheep’s clothing over their wolfish attacks on conservatives.

And both liberals and conservatives get a bit contentious in their disagreements (I’m never that way myself.), which often is not the best witness to the world.

Mr. Schwyzer takes a different approach though: instead of all this fighting, why not have a “cordial divorce� or what a conservative Presbyterian has called a “gracious separation.� The money paragraph of his post:

…I see no reason why two independent members of the Anglican Communion, one progressive and one traditionalist, cannot coexist together in the United States. I'd rather have a cordial divorce with some finality than a rancorous, angry, uncivil marriage in which two parties grit their teeth and stay together despite irreconcilable differences.

Amen! (Oh my! Did I just say “amen� to a Lib-er-al??)

Sadly, a more common liberal approach heard nowadays is denigration and denial, as displayed by Bill Countryman: Oh we really aren’t all that divided. And besides those troublemakers are just a few mean-spirited, legalistic, oppressive, theocratic, right-wing Evangelicals. (Note that all those adjectives are found in Countryman’s article.)

*Sigh* Such attitudes are all the more reason to separate, as Mr. Schwyzer suggests.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Emerging Bull Manure

I wasn’t planning to post today, but the Pontificator does such a good job of cutting through the bull . . . I mean . . . the “emerging paradigm� of the Jesus Seminar’s Marcus Borg and like-minded heretics that I want to bring it to your attention.

Friday, August 27, 2004


Catholic, Orthodox, and many Anglican churches make more use of images, such as icons, crosses, and stained glass, than do most Protestant churches. I like having more images around myself. And I’ve always loved well done stained glass.

And images do help me worship. For example, bowing to the cross during processions at the beginning and end of services helps me worship Christ with the respect and honor due him. Though, I have to admit, it took a few Anglican services before I was comfortable with even that. (Now, I never felt pressured to do that. And some Anglicans bow to the cross and others don’t. But it became something I wanted to do.) And the beauty of artful images adds to the atmosphere of worship, I think.

There is, however, sometimes a nagging question in the back of the mind of this Protestant. When does use of images come too close to idolatry? I think it’s fair to say medieval use of images did cross over to idolatry provoking often violent (over)reactions against them in the Reformation with the defacing and smashing of images.

Here’s an interesting and helpful thread on images over at Pontifications.

And, as always, observations are welcome here as well.
�Kerry’s Lost Opportunity�

For those who still don’t get it (and for those that do) that Kerry has asked for the Swift Boat Veteran ads and other Vietnam-related attacks on him, I highly recommend this piece. Instead of helping lay Vietnam divisions aside as other political leaders have sought to do, Kerry has sought to exploit them even though his own Vietnam conduct was highly questionable to say the least, especially when he trashed American soldiers as war criminals when they were still on the field and when many were suffering as POWs.

As I mentioned yesterday, the divisions from Vietnam and from various other culture wars of the Sixties were (and clearly still are) deeply felt. Kerry has thrown a lighted match – heck – several lighted matches on that gasoline for political gain. Why am I neither surprised nor sympathetic that it is blowing up in his face?

(hat tip to titusonenine)

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The culture wars of the Sixties continue . . . and continue and . . .

David Broder has a perceptive column out stating that the battle over Kerry’s and Bush’s Vietnam service are part of the continuing baby boomer culture wars that began in the Sixties.

I think he’s right. And I understand the animosity among those who were in the middle of the Sixties.

I’m in something of a no man’s land myself. I’m maybe at the very tail end of the Baby Boom, but am too young to have much in common with other baby boomers. Yet I’m too old to be Generation X. But I’m glad I didn’t come of age in the Sixties. First of all, I would be even older than I am, of course. But also I would have ended up alienated from my own generation.

For I find the actions of the hippies and the left in the Sixties despicable (if at times comical). Getting strung out on drugs, chanting for Communists, etc. Count me out. But I don’t relate to the values of the Fifties, and suspect I might not have had too much in common with children of the Fifties, either. However Bill Clinton fits in among boomers, I know I despise him. So it’s probably best that I did not grow up among them.

In any case, I fully understand how there is still alienation among baby boomers from the divisions of the Sixties. Even when I went to college ten years later, the divisions rooted in the Sixties were still sharp and deeply felt among many students -- including this one.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Ugandan Imperialism!

That’s what Chris Johnson calls it, God bless him.

The Archbishop of Uganda has taken a third parish from the Diocese of Los Angeles under his wings. Bishop Bruno loses another one. And there’s speculation of more to come.

I got a prediction for you: By the end of 2005, the Archbishop of Uganda will have authority over more U. S. Anglicans than the Bishop of Los Angeles.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Made for Hollywood

Where do these liberal bishops get their wonderful names? If I get confirmed, can I choose a really cool new name? I’ve mentioned Bishop RRRMM aka the Rt. Rev. Robert M. Moody of Oklahoma.

Now the latest big fight over two parishes leaving the Ep******l diocese of Los Angeles and the ECUSA altogether centers around one Bishop J. Jon Bruno. It’s appropriate that he’s over Hollywood and is in a fight because that sounds like the sort of antagonist you have in a cheesy movie – Bishop Bruno. He just sounds like a burly bishop trying to crush anyone fleeing his power.

Or maybe he’s the Right Reverend J. J. That might be even better. I can see him wearing platform soles under purple vestments and a huge ‘fro under his miter. DYN-O-MITE!

Anyway. Fortunately the Archbishop of Uganda, who has taken on the two parishes, is more sensible and is standing his ground. He’s told Bishop Bruno to back off -- those parishes aren’t his anymore.

Pass the popcorn.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Kerry’s gamble (cont.)

It looks like John Kerry’s Democrat Convention bid – a gamble as I’ve called it -- to be a war hero is unraveling.

But, as this column from the Daily Telegraph elucidates well, Kerry and his media sycophants just don’t get it. . . . or don’t want to get it.

You don’t come home and slander your fellow troops as war criminals, then years later try to exploit your war service for political gain without royally ticking off a lot of good people.
The adventures of Mark's pick-up truck

Sorry I haven't posted in almost a week. There just hasn't been a time where I had both the time and energy to do it.

Among other things, this has been an interesting time for my pick-up. I wrote this yesterday afternoon waiting for a tow truck:

There’s been quite the attack on my truck lately. It’s getting funny.

First, a random small but deadly rock penetrated my windshield while I was on my way back to my motel in Corpus. I thought, Well, I’ll have to mess with that. Then after a bit, I remembered that I needed to stop at this glass shop to chose glass for my shower to be in my new place (Is it grey or white or …..?). I then thought they would know a good windshield place to go to.

So when I stopped in, I asked, “You wouldn’t happen to work on windshields, do you?� I expected the answer to be no, but they did. And even though it was 4:30pm, the repair guy was there and wasn’t busy. They got me taken care of in 10 minutes.

Can you say “God’s providence?�

Second, my truck was broken into last night (Saturday). But all they stole was my digital camera case (They probably thought they were going to get a digital camera.), a Fossil watch, and . . . my Bible. It was in a nice leather case, so they probably thought they were getting something special. I bet they were surprised later.

I have a feeling God is going to use that Bible.

Third, I’m sitting on the back of my pick-up waiting for a tow truck. I got bad gas. I won’t make it back to Denton tonight. DON’T ever get gas from the Grandy’s/Shell in Alvarado. The state department of Weights and Measures will probably hear from me tomorrow.

It will be interesting to see how God uses this. I was able to witness in a very minor way to a guy with two sons. He had the same gas problem at the same time. Who knows?

The gas station still hasn’t put up signs warning people not to use the premium. Like I said, the state will hear about it.

UPDATE: Well, actually I did make it back to Denton. Towing it to Denton wasn’t as expensive as I thought it would be, so I went for it, and I'm glad. It's nice to be home, and there's a muffler shop I always take my truck to nearby.

The readings at Small Continuing Anglican Church yesterday morning included Romans 8:28. Very appropriate.

I'm not upset over the stolen Bible. The way I see it, when a Bible is stolen, God will use it for repentance or for judgement. And I can rejoice either way.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Two California churches say good-bye to the Ep******l Church

And these aren’t small churches. And they don’t intend to let the Ep******l Church keep their property. Read the last paragraph of each release.

They are taking a strong stand for orthodoxy and against apostasy. Yes, there are orthodox churches in California. And they are taking a resolute stand against the property grabbing policies of the ECUSA and its infamous Denis Canon.

I suspect a few lawyers have just gotten some new business.

This might get interesting. God be with those two parishes.

(Housekeeping: It’s unlikely I will post tomorrow.)
Well, he is a smart guy.

An encouraging word from Virtuousity:

And from England comes this word on STEPHEN HAWKING. The brilliant scientist whose studies in general relativity and cosmology has made him a household name and who suffers from ALS, a motor neuron disease, occasionally gets wheeled into an evangelical Anglican church in Cambridge for a family service, said a source. He is often quoted as saying that nothing in the laws of physics is inconsistent with the idea of God. I suppose there are no atheists in black holes.

Monday, August 16, 2004

How to destroy Boy Scouts

Canada (and ECUSA bishops) shows the way.
Being Michael Moore means never having to say you’re sorry.

Michael Moore lie? Nooooo!

Michael Moore apologize? Are you kidding?
Boycott Citgo

Well, it looks like Fidel Junior supposedly won the referendum in Venezuela.

My boycott of Citgo gas continues.

(Citgo is owned by Venezuela.)

Friday, August 13, 2004

AAC hacked?

I'm no techie and am certainly not a hacker. But I think the American Anglican Council's web site may have been hacked. I visited it tonight with two different browser programs. And both times the browsers quit almost immediately. I can't recall that ever happening with any web site before.

Being an upteenth generation Texan, I certainly don’t want to even appear to engage in unseemly Oklahoma bashing.

But reading this makes me wonder how the hay Oklahoma got such an ass as Ep******l bishop. Yes, I’m talking about the Rt. Rev. Robert M. Moody. . . or RRRMM for short.


O.K., I didn’t get enough sleep last night.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

So much for my idealism

One result of my inquiry into Anglicanism is the loss of much of my idealism about the Reformation and now Anglicanism as well.

I used to see the Reformation as Protestants – good guys and Catholics – bad guys. Now I see it as Catholics – bad guys, but not all bad, and Protestants – mostly good guys, but not so great either. (No offense to my Catholic friends. I fully recognize Catholicism today is quite different from Catholicism in the 16th century.)

Experiencing Anglican worship with its ancient and medieval roots opened my eyes that even medieval Catholicism wasn’t all bad. I soon saw that the Protestants, in throwing out what was wrong with the church, threw out much that was good. And today, us Protestants still suffer from the consequences, such as impoverished worship, gravely frayed connections to our past, and divisions and fights over matters that shouldn’t divide in the first place.

So, seeing that Anglicanism rejects much of Protestant excess and practices (at least in many parishes) beautiful worship, rooted in the church’s past, I naturally transferred my idealism to Anglicanism.

Well, wouldn’t you know, studying Anglican history has now disabused me of that idealism! An Anglican on the Ship of Fools boards I frequent had in her signature something like the following: “It’s a mess, but it’s our mess!� And Anglicanism has often been a mess from the beginning. The English reformers were often guilty of the excesses of their continental brethren with their obsessive iconoclasm and papaphobia, and, yes, persecution of Catholics. In light of the abuses of the medieval Catholic Church, the excesses are understandable, but still wrong, in my humble view.

Anyway, I’m necessarily oversimplifying things here. And I don’t mean to step on any toes. My point is that I’ve lost much of my idealism about both the Protestant and English reformations.

But I still love orthodox Anglicanism. In my view, it accepts most of what is good with both Protestant and Catholic Christianity and rejects most of what is wrong with both. And it helps me to worship and be connected with the saints across the world and across time.

My current (non-Anglican) pastor likes to say that God can “hit a straight lick with a crooked stick.� And, although I don’t think Anglicanism has any monopoly on healthy orthodox Christianity, I do think God has “hit a straight lick� with the Anglican reformers and with orthodox Anglicans through the years.

But they and their church are still a mess. I just might fit right in!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

�I want to live, and by God’s grace, to die an Anglican. Will you find a way for me?�

So ends Diane Knippers’ moving and eloquent testimony to the Lambeth Commission.

She begins by pleading, “I want to remain an Anglican. I am an Anglican. I believe what most Anglicans believe. But today, I am an Episcopalian in name only. I cannot remain in the Episcopal Church in its present state. I pray that you will find a way for me to remain an Anglican, but not an Episcopalian. I beg you for this.�

As I’ve stated before, the Lambeth Commission and the Archbishop of Canterbury must provide a place in the Anglican Communion for North American orthodox Anglicans such as Diane Knippers.

Read her whole testimony.
English Reformations

For some months, I’ve been educating myself about Anglicanism. In so doing, I’ve discovered the hard way that Anglican histories are sometimes not the most readable or well written books around. English Reformations is a happy exception to that.

That it’s written by Christopher Haigh, a self-described “kind of Anglican agnostic,� yet was recommended and given to me by a very orthodox professor (Thank you, good doctor!) illustrates its broad appeal among Anglicans. And as this amateur student of history and of historiography read, it soon became clear the book is exceedingly well researched. And the research is very well presented in a lucent and approachable manner. I even devoured the bibliography!

Haigh pointedly chose to use the plural “reformations� in the book’s title. For, as he documents well, the direction of the Church of England went back and forth even under Henry VIII and all the more so under Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth. There was indeed more than one reformation in the Church of England. In reading, I could sense the awkwardness (to say the least) of Britons in every walk of life being caught in the middle of the struggle between Catholics and Protestants. One on the “right� side could all too easily be on the wrong side in a matter of weeks even. And to raise the stakes (Pun intended.), the struggle was often as much political as religious, a frequent theme of Haigh’s.

I can’t emphasize enough how well written English Reformations is. Haigh never writes down to his audience nor waters down his presentation. At the same time, the book is really a fun read. Even details, such as his frequent citing of church warden records, are set forth in a manner that is actually entertaining, often with delightfully dry humor.

If you want to get beyond the basics of the tumult of 16th century Church of England without your patience being tried by dusty and turgid writing, I highly recommend English Reformations.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The battle over Kerry’s military record

I wish I would have posted it at the time, so I would look all the more prophetic now. But when I watched the last night of the Democrat convention, the main purpose of which was to portray John Kerry as a military war hero “reporting for duty,� I thought, “Wow, this is a gamble!� For I knew that Kerry’s record both in the military and as an anti-war activist was hotly disputed behind the scenes.

Well, now we’ll see how that gamble works out. For the dispute has finally gotten too big for the news media to ignore. I freely concede this could play out in Kerry’s favor. There are plenty who would dismiss the attack on Kerry’s truthfulness as dirty campaigning. I do think the attacks are justified and fair game in light of Kerry wrapping himself in his supposed war hero status and in light of, well, the facts. But people aren’t flocking to ask me. And I only have one vote and don’t have a T.V. camera pointed at me most of the time.

Anyway, a number of blogs are following this matter closely. Go over to titusonenine for some salient links to both sides of the battle.

I do have to add one more thing. Move-on, Michael Moore, George Soros and a multitude of other assorted lefties have been vilifying Bush for months, with some even calling him “Bushitler.� So take any indignation from them over the questioning of Kerry’s honesty and record with a boulder of salt.

Monday, August 09, 2004


In Fr. Montgomery’s letter posted Friday, he mentioned that even the name Ep******l had become a burden to his parish. He wrote (And I apologize for actually spelling out the name in his quote.):

On a local level the name “Episcopal� has become an embarrassment and a point of disgusted comment from outsiders. Though our signs include the word “Episcopal,� this designation has been quietly dropped in conversation.

I’ve noticed he’s not alone with this awkwardness with the name. And some parishes have changed their signs. An orthodox *CUSA parish that I sometimes attend replaced its street direction sign with a nice new one that designates itself as a “parish church.� I think the old sign was one of those ubiquitous “The Ep******l Church welcomes you� signs. Similarly, the church name on the front of its bulletin is now, in full, “The Parish Church of St. David of Wales.� And I’ve read of other orthodox churches taking the name out of their name.

That doesn’t speak well of the Ep******l Church that its name has become a byword to be danced around. I feel it necessary to do some explaining myself when I tell people I’m interested in joining a Reformed Ep******l church. I tell them its not that Ep******l Church.

It’s getting to the point where I think the R*C ought to change its name. I mean . . . Reformed Ep******l – does that designate a church or a 12 step program?

Friday, August 06, 2004

A rector’s plea to the Lambeth Commission

I bring your attention to an excellent and moving submission to the Lambeth Commission by Rev. Ian Montgomery, the Rector of St. Thomas Church in Menasha, Wisconsin.

I encourage you to read it for yourselves. I will say this submission is interesting for a number of reasons. Note the cross currents Fr. Montgomery’s parish is experiencing with people leaving and coming and preparing to leave over Episcopal revisionism. It’s a microcosm of much of the ECUSA.

This submission is right on target, particularly in two areas. First, Fr. Montgomery has all the talk of “reconciliation� and “dialogue� nailed:

Why not reconciliation?

For the last twenty years in which I have been involved in dialog on either a local or national level there has been one goal. That goal has been the conversion from a biblical, orthodox and traditional view into a more liberal and revisionist one. Coupled with this we have seen increasingly intolerant and totalitarian rule by bishops who bring all their canonical authority to intimidate and force out clergy and congregations whose only “sin� is to conform to the doctrine and teachings of Scripture and the Anglican Communion at large. Dialog effectively ended on November 2, 2003.

To put it another way, so-called “dialogue� has been merely a tactic the liberals use in consolidating control of the Episcopal church (and other mainline denominations for that matter). That a number of bishops are indeed driving out orthodox clergy without a word of protest from Mr. Dialogue And Reconcilation himself, Presiding Bishop Griswold, speaks volumes about what a sham “dialogue� is in the ECUSA.

Finally, Fr. Montgomery sets forth eloquently what the Lambeth Commission must do – discipline the ECUSA and provide a place for orthodox North American Anglicans out from under the liberals. For . . .

Not to both discipline ECUSA . . . and to give our people a choice as to where to go will be to abandon us.

I would go further and say the Anglican Communion doesn’t deserve to stay together and will probably never receive my allegiance if it doesn’t provide a place for those faithful to traditional orthodox Anglicanism in North America.

Fr. Montgomery, my prayers are with you and with your kind. God bless you.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Missouri Marriage Amendment passes . . . BIG

Last week, I pointed out that the Episcopal Bishop of Missouri opposed the referendum there to amend the state constitution accordingly: "to be valid and recognized in this state a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman."

Well, this week the amendment passed with over 70% of the vote. So if the bishop is right, then over 70% of the Missouri electorate are haters.

But the reason I bring this election up is not to gloat at the bishop having egg on his mitre, but because the result could have implications far beyond Missouri.

First, some relevant facts. Missouri is not a reliably conservative state by any means. It is a swing state. Further, in this election, there was a high Democrat turnout due to a hotly contested primary for governor. Then there is the money spent. The pro-gay marriage side spent almost $400,000 to defeat this amendment. The pro-amendment side by some estimates spent only about $10,000, relying mainly on a word-of-mouth campaign. You read that right – the pro-amendment forces were outspent by up to 40 to 1.

Yet the amendment passed by well over 2 to 1.

This margin has implications far beyond Missouri, I think. It is likely the U. S. Supreme Court will rule on gay marriage in the next year or two. Now it’s long been said by wags that the Supreme Court watches the election returns. There is a reason for that. Supreme Courts know that that their authority would be weakened if their decisions provoke enough opposition. It’s not that they care about democracy so much. (At times, a majority has shown just the opposite.) It’s that they don’t control the means of enforcement. Elected officials do. The Supreme Court is only as powerful as the willingness of elected officials to enforce their decisions. Public tolerance of their rulings is therefore also an important component of their power.

(Now that willingness and that tolerance and the Court’s will to test it has gone far beyond what the Framers of the Constitution envisioned. But that’s a whole ‘nother piece.)

So the Court would prefer not to go beyond that willingness and tolerance. One wonders if the result of Roe v. Wade would be different if the Court would have envisioned that ruling still being widely vilified and abortion still very much a contested question over 30 years later.

My point is that the Missouri results indicate that a Supreme Court ruling mandating gay marriage could provoke wide and strong opposition. Now it may be faint hope and I’m not an optimist on this. But crucial Court Justices might think twice before so risking their authority at the altar of gay marriage.

The other possible implication I would like to point out is perhaps even a longer shot, but still . . . . If any governor or president is of a mind to defy a Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide, results such as Missouri’s will strengthen their hand. Given strong popular opposition to gay marriage, a Supreme Court could have difficulty having their ruling enforced in every state, particularly if a President is unwilling to send in the National Guard or use the lever of federal funds against a defiant state. (Marriage is a matter generally handled by the states.) And popular outrage against a ruling could make a governor or even a president more willing to defy that ruling.

Don’t laugh at me too hard. Supreme Court rulings have been defied before. And the arrogance of a majority of the present court may provoke defiance sooner than you think.

Again, these possible scenarios are still unlikely. I still expect the Supreme Court to impose gay marriage and for weak-minded citizens and their cowardly elected officials to fuss a little, but still go along, just like they did with Roe v Wade and other judicial outrages since 1962. Like I said, I’m not an optimist on this.

But the surprising margin of the Missouri results shows that the gay marriage battle might not be as much of a foregone conclusion as some think and as I recently thought. I wouldn’t be shocked if they give even this Supreme Court pause.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004


As you can tell from my Monday post, it’s a high priority for me to have healthy and supportive relationships in my next church. I realize more now than in the past that I need closeness and the support of others as I seek to follow God in my life.

In a way, this is my highest priority in seeking a new church. Yes, a new church must be orthodox, but that’s a given. That’s kinda like saying my food must not be poison. Your response might be, “Well, that’s nice. But do you want to eat Mexican or Italian or Seafood tonight?�

And, yes, you can probably tell that good worship is a priority, a much greater priority than in the past. But I’d still say good relationships are still my highest priority.

To review a bit, this priority has changed. Remember that when I was seeking a church back in 1988, it was a very high priority that it had a good singles group, because finding a Christian wife was a very high priority for me. When I sought a church in 1994, I figured I could always go to different singles groups (And I already was at the time.). And I was more of a loner than I am now. So the area of relationships wasn’t much of a priority in picking a church.

Today, it’s front and center. Maybe as I get older I better realize I need others. Heck, I want others in my life more.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Yesterday afternoon, I asked the rector of Small Continuing Anglican Church tough questions about his attitude toward singles. And he answered well and without hesitation. If there is some reason I shouldn’t join SCAG, I sure don’t see it now.

We talked about other weighty matters, both personal and theological. Then, when I thought he probably had enough of me, he challenged me to a chess game, making it clear he would be disappointed if I declined. It was a long complicated game that we called a draw because coming to a clear conclusion would have taken even much longer. We’re now 1-1-1 in our games.

It amazes me that he enjoys spending so much time with one of the congregation on a Sunday afternoon. I would have wanted to crash!

Earlier, communion at the church really moved me. I felt so united with the others. As I watched the others take communion after I did, I felt like I really loved them in a way I hadn’t felt at any church service anywhere before that I can remember.

I guess it’s easier to be that way at a small church.

I’m really glad that it looks like I’m going to join this one.