Monday, October 31, 2005

A note I have to post

I can’t put off posting on this any longer. No, I’m not talking about the new Supreme Court nominee (whom I wholeheartedly support) or ++Rowan’s public recognition of the Network or ++Frank’s putting the Koran right beside the Bible.

Last night at Irving Bible Church, I saw they had this big door where people posted notes of encouragement or prayer. This one note by a guy named Shawn blew me away. Judging from the handwriting I would guess he’s a young teenager. Here’s what he wrote (The underlining was his.):

Dear Lord, my name is Shawn ________ and I want to declare that I do not understand you!

And nothing in my life pleases me more than that. I truly feel closest to you when I contemplate my lack of understanding. I will never in my life fully know or see or hear you. And to this I vow to never stop trying to know-see-hear-understand you. I love that you are so much greater than I, that I have not the tools or capability to figure it all out. My futile attempts to solve your mystery are the warmest embrace on a winter’s day. I love every countless snowflake that give me the opportunity to contemplate your magesty.

Always Your humble vessel, Shawn

I think Shawn understands more than he knows.
A post from the Undead…

Actually, I’m not dead yet. And I’m feeling much better. But I have been a bit under the weather and busy at the same time. That’s why I haven’t posted.

Yet there’s so much I could post on! Arg!

But be patient. November should be interesting . . . especially when I travel to England for Advent.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Frank Griswold’s Korean Outrage

Before I wrote this, I had to calm down after reading this.

In South Korea, Frank Griswold has called on the U. S. to stop “demonizing” North Korea and to “make every effort to invite the DPRK into the international community as a full member.”

In light of North Korea’s horrific and systematic human rights abuses, Griswold’s statements are an outrage on the level of those who defend Nazi Germany. He is a “useful idiot” at the very least.

One of the things that drove me away from the mainline denominations is their propensity for using the name of Christ to defend pure evil. There’s a word for that: blasphemy. And it’s blasphemy of the worst sort.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

a request

I expect to be in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area on Tuesday, All Saints Day. Does anyone have recommendations for All Saint's Day services for DFW?
Sung Prayers

Some time back, I posted that in prayer I’ve sometimes found myself slipping into a mode where my mouth is saying the words, but my heart and mind are somewhere else. In other words, my prayers were at times too much like “Oh Lord, we beseech Thee, etcetera etcetera etcetera. Amen.”

I’ve found a good remedy for that in sung prayers.

The first time I can remember coming across sung prayers was listening to BBC3’s Choral Evensong. I found myself moved by the singing of the collects even before I knew that they were collects or that collects were not times to take an offering.

Reasons I like sung prayers:

1. They bring out that these are carefully chosen words addressed to a holy God.

2. They emphasize the serious nature of the church at prayer.

3. They slow the prayer down, so one can dwell on the words more.

4. If sung well, they add to the sacred atmosphere of a service and to the emotion of the prayer. (One pitfall is that poor chanting or singing can instead be hard on the ear and distracting.)

5. They help the listener (certainly, this listener) get into the prayers with the heart and emotions.

And this weekend, God willing, I will get to visit a favorite church of mine that sings the prayers, the Gospel, and Lord knows what else, Smokey Matt’s!.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Greg Griffith’s Analysis of “Via Media” Memo

Greg Griffith has posted his very interesting and close to exhaustive analysis of the already infamous “Via Media” memo.

I may comment on some points at a later time. Those who were around me yesterday know I’m not 100% myself, so I don’t trust myself to pontificate much at the moment.

Friday, October 21, 2005

How to take Communion like a kid

This past Sunday when I was waiting at the Communion rail, I looked across the way, and I saw three year old Pablo taking the wafer. And he received it into his hand with such a happy smile.

And right then, it occurred to me that his was the way to receive the Eucharist. Little Pablo (Well, actually, he’s quite big for a three year old.) doesn’t pretend to understand all that goes on in the Eucharist. But he trusts. And he receives it with great joy.

We shouldn’t pretend to understand all that goes on in the Eucharist. Christ is there in a very real way because He said so. But we need to leave room for mystery. And church history has shown that insisting on a particular view of the Eucharist usually has been fruitless and has led to disunity and worse instead of the unity and grace the common table calls us to.

We should trust. We trust that Jesus really did give his Body and Blood for us. And that He thereby forgives us and gives us new life in Him.

And we should receive that forgiveness and new life that comes from His Body and Blood with joy, even though with tears.

Pablo, though, always seems very happy at the Communion rail and when being led by the hand back to his seat. It’s like he just knows something special happens somehow.

Often when I take Communion, I try to make my prayers and thoughts just so. But after I saw Pablo, I immediately decided to take the Sacrament just like him, knowing I don’t understand, but trusting and receiving with great joy.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Via Media Sinistra* plots a coup.

Well, well, well, it appears “Via Media” ain’t so media after all. It’s come out that they’ve been planning a possible coup against the Network bishops in case those bishops are compelled to choose the Anglican Communion over ECUSA after GenCon ’06.

As you can tell by the ensuing comments on the link, this further bumps up the temperature of the conflict in the Episcopal Church.

Which brings me back to my contention of earlier this week: a “gracious separation” is needed in the Episcopal Church. Otherwise, the two sides will indeed “rip each other to shreds” as Dr. Jack Estes warns. Heck, Via Media Sinistra is planning to do some ripping themselves.

The problem is it’s doubtful enough liberals in ECUSA leadership have the grace to choose a mediated separation over raw power plays. “Via Media” sure doesn’t.

*Thanks to Irenaeus (comment 9 on the link) for the more appropriate name.

UPDATE: The relevant "Via Media" memo has been leaked. And here it is.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

”Inclusiveness” doesn’t include homophobic Bible thumping bigots like you.

I’ve long noticed that those church leaders who talk the most about inclusiveness like to stack key church committees to exclude or at least marginalize orthodox views. I’ve seen this time and time again in the mainline Presbyterian Church. And
--Griswold of ECUSA apparently likes engaging in the same tactic.

The latest case in point is the new Special Commission on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. As the Living Church notes (with a viewpoint less cynical than mine), it is thoroughly stacked both theologically and geographically.

It’s such an outrage, Province VII has officially protested. (More comments here.)

That seems to be how it works in the Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches. The leaders want your money and property – and you better fork it over -- but you can keep your orthodox viewpoints to yourself, thank you. That’s what “inclusiveness” and “listening” looks like.

And Griswold has been the leading proponent of “inclusiveness” and “listening.” But by stacking the new commission, he is clearly excluding and refusing to listen to the voices of conservatives who want to stick with historic Anglicanism.

Monday, October 17, 2005

A common sense proposal for ECUSA

Rev. Jack Estes has written a straight talking piece about the current situation in the Episcopal Church. In it, he calls for both the Orthodox and Progressives to be honest and seek what others have called a “gracious separation.”

The money paragraphs:

The two distinctly different theological visions of ECUSA must be separated from one another otherwise they will rip each other to shreds. By agreeing together to reform ECUSA into two distinctive bodies, we have the opportunity to maintain integrity, without completely sacrificing our relationships.

Let the Progressive parishes keep their property, and be overseen by the Progressive Dioceses and Bishops. Let the Orthodox parishes keep their property and be overseen by the Orthodox Dioceses and Bishops.

And I completely agree. Too much energy and strife has already been expended in fighting each other without hope of any resolution, save the Orthodox being steamrollered. Both sides have better things to do.

The Orthodox could have perhaps avoided this impasse by vigorously contending for the Faith against heterodoxy in ECUSA decades ago. But that opportunity is long past. Today, you might as well contend for Auburn at the University of Alabama Booster Club.

I do differ with Estes’ piece in one small, but significant way. He states that Orthodox who feel compelled to leave ECUSA now have “no cohesive means to accomplish what most of them are longing for - a vibrant expression of Orthodox Anglicanism in North America.”

I respectfully disagree. There are vibrant expressions of North American Anglicanism in the continuing churches. I know firsthand that the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Province of America in particular, though small, are certainly “vibrant” and growing.

But as to the main points of the piece, Rev. Estes is right on target – a gracious separation is called for in ECUSA.

(More comments at titusonenine.)

Well, look what formed in the Caribbean overnight. Yep, we’re at “W.”

Looks like next week might get interesting around here.

For what it’s worth I think the NWS has the projected path going too far northeast. My gut feel is she goes more through the Yucatan, holidays at Cancun, then waves at Texas.

I don’t see her becoming a major hurricane either. The Gulf water is over five degrees cooler than with Rita.

I’m ready for some more big surf (Heck, I almost always am.). So bring her on!

(Pop quiz: Which cartoon character should I apologize to?)

Friday, October 14, 2005

”Oh Lord, we beseech Thee, etc. etc. etc. Amen.”

One pitfall of liturgical prayer is it’s easy to get into a mode where your mouth is saying the words, but the heart and mind are somewhere else.

Then, as I pointed out to my youth Sunday School class, our prayers can become as in the Monty Python sketch “Bruces”. In it, these outback Aussies, all named Bruce, are having a faculty meeting. The “padre” among them is called to end the meeting in prayer. Whereupon he quickly puts on a wraparound collar, stands and prays, “Oh Lord, we beseech Thee, etcetera etcetera etcetera. Amen.”

And I’ve noticed myself slipping into such prayers. That did not happen at first. When I was first discovering the liturgy, the prayers were so wonderful and new to me, I took in every word.

I still love the liturgy and am learning. But now that it’s more familiar, it’s easy for my mind to drift. That’s part of being human, I guess.

So I don’t beat myself up too much over it, although I do get annoyed at myself at times. But I usually catch myself quickly and rivet my attention back to the prayers.

Actually, I think my mind drifted more when all my prayers were ex tempore or non-liturgical. A strength of liturgical prayer is it does guide the mind. Without such guidance, it’s much easier for the mind to float hither and yon.

But even spiritual giants from both liturgical and non-liturgical backgrounds have complained of the mind drifting during prayer. So I’m in good company . . . , and I guess the Monty Python troupe is good company, too.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Pick-up trucks and Communism

I’ve been looking to buy a new pick-up truck. My 1997 model has 215,000 miles on it, so maybe it’s time, maybe.

Well, I’ve discovered that the auto makers don’t like to make pick-up trucks with 4-wheel drive and standard transmission. The first two models I’ve looked at flat do not come in that manly configuration.

It’s a sad day when an American can’t buy the pick-up of his choice with 4-wheel drive and a stick. That just goes to show the Communist influence on this country.
The Second Lesson last night

The Second Lesson reading last night at Evening Prayer as Lector was a powerful experience. The scripture was Mark 15:1-15 – Pilate and the mob turn Jesus over to be crucified.

Reading such a scripture aloud to a service adds power to it somehow. And it’s sad beyond words to recite, “Crucify Him!” It’s as if we were among that mob shouting for His death.

I felt a profound gravity and sadness as I read and immediately afterwards.

I think the Holy Spirit got ahold of me, too. It was the best reading I’ve done so far.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

If I wanted to watch rigged “sport,” I’d watch pro wrestling.

The game the White Sox and the umpires stole tonight brings me back to a point I was a few years ago: I hate major league baseball.

The White Sox 9th inning 3rd batter was called OUT for the third out. The umpire called the third strike, THEN made the motion that any reasonable person who is familiar with baseball recognizes as “out.” There was no sign that the third strike hit the ground, no dust kicked up, nothing. He was OUT. Yet somehow he's awarded first base. And with an extra out, the White Sox allegedly win.

Why is it teams like the Yankees and White Sox get always get crappy calls like this to win playoff games instead of teams like the Rangers and the Astros? Hmmmm?

I don't know if a baseball game has ever made me so mad. To hell with the White Sox and Major League Baseball.

Maybe I ought to become even more Anglican and switch to cricket.
More on Ecclesiology: Truth Comes First

This past Sunday, Canon Chris Sugden, Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream International. gave an excellent speech on the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the consecration of the Bishop of Recife. You may recall that bishop and most of his clergy have been excommunicated by the ECUSA-kissing liberal Primate of Brazil.

The speech reflects an ecclesiology at least slightly more evangelical than I would hold to. For example, I would not say, “Is the bishop a successor to the apostles? No.” The Apostolic Succession of bishops holds more weight for me than that. But I would agree with him as he goes on to say,

Continuity in apostolic faith is fellowship with the apostles, with their gospel, and with their true and lively word. We look with them at Jesus and seek to follow him as they teach us to. It is the local ministry of the word that is more directly and fundamentally apostolic. It brings the word of life to congregations. It is where the word of God is lived and taught and obeyed and builds up the people of God.

Who then are the successors to the apostolic faith? It is all of you as you remain faithful to the apostolic witness within scripture.

In other words, being in line with apostolic truth is more important than who did or did not place hands on you.

He doesn’t place much stake in geographical diocean boundaries, either. In fact, he seems to rejoice in boundary crossing:

Globalisation is the end of geography and the old geographical jurisdictions. Parishes in the US are under the oversight of the Bishop of Recife who is part of the Southern Cone. This is what the Anglican Communion will look like all over very soon. You got there first.

I think a fair summary of his speech is truth trumps offices and geography. And I completely agree.

This area of ecclesiology is one where my frankly Fundamentalist background and my new small c catholic Anglicanism come together and perhaps collide a bit. Unlike before, I feel the office of bishop is a Biblical one. And I think the apostolic succession is Biblical as well. And when I decided to make the switch to Anglicanism, one of the first things I did was get confirmed by a bishop in that succession, the Rt. Rev. Ray Sutton.

And, all other things being equal, I feel it is preferable that a bishop be somewhat nearby so he can perform his oversight and pastoral responsibilities more readily.

But, as in the past, I still firmly feel the authority of God’s word trumps any churchly authority. Yes, I know that’s a “low” ecclesiology that many of my new Anglican brethren would disagree with.

And I do realize there is the issue of who interprets God’s word. Ideally, the church interprets it, avoiding “private interpretation.” But the church has been seriously wrong before, even on central doctrines of the faith. There have been times when the proverbial plowman can read scripture better than a prelate. In cases where central doctrines are at stake, such as the Gospel or the authority of scripture itself, it is necessary for Christians to stand up for truth, even if the authority of a whole church is arrayed against them.

Yes, I know -- very Protestant. And this is one way, the chief way actually, I remain somewhat Protestant.

And I am admittedly quite radical on this, as I always been. When a church officer, even a bishop, willfully and repeatedly goes against scripture on central doctrine, he forfeits his authority. Frankly, I wish laity had the gumption to physically throw such officers out of the pulpit, if not the church altogether. (I’ve never done that although I did confront a liberal guest preacher at a former church on the church steps after a service.)

As for geography, with the internet, it’s now better to have a far away orthodox bishop than a nearby apostate one. The old canons about geography are outmoded and never did trump orthodoxy in the first place. I continue to be amused at how some who are orthodox on hardly anything else are raving Fundamentalists when it comes to geography.

So as my views on church authority and structure have become more catholic, I still quite firmly maintain that the authority of scripture trumps any human or churchly authority.
My Number One candidate for spending cuts

Congress seems to be about to do something about it, but it’s an outrage that Medicaid and Medicare funds are going to buy Viagra and other E.D. drugs.

Yes, our instinct may be to laugh (although I’m NOT laughing). But sex offenders getting their E. D. drugs paid for by taxpayers is no laughing matter. Heck, ANYONE getting their E. D. drugs paid for by taxpayers is no laughing matter.

Those responsible for this better stay out of my way, or they may need Medicare very fast.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Ecclesiology and Church Sins

Over at titusonenine , Kendall Harmon has provoked some discussion by posting a quote from Dean Paul Zahl:

The church, as an institution, punishes its own, and generally martyrs its own. If you really set a lot of store on entities such as “The Episcopal Church,” you get disappointed, and deeply so. Because my theology focuses on other things than ecclesiology, I just don’t lose so much sleep over the church, institutionally speaking. Meddling and intrusive bishops, punishing and exiling bishops, give me the creeps. But again, you can find big sins among the Lutherans, the Methodists, the Presbyterians, and the Roman Catholics, and especially with their official leaders.

As you can see from the comments there, some feel Zahl’s ecclesiology is a bit too low.

Until very recently, I could have said something very similar to Zahl’s comment. Moreover, like many from a Protestant background, I haven’t given much thought to ecclesiology for most of my Christian life. And what ecclesiology I possessed was quite low.

One reason – I became a Christian almost in spite of the church. My childhood church experiences were not positive. And even the church events that led to me hearing and comprehending the Gospel for the first time – I was there because they sounded fun and because of a girl I liked. Hey, I was 13.

I also was very individualistic, and probably still am more than most people. I didn’t view my relationship with God as having much to do with the church. It was the Lord and me. I went to church because I wanted to and because I felt that’s something Christians should do. But through my college years, the core of my spiritually was well outside the church. Bible study was the focus. And at Duke, I was more involved with InterVarsity than with my church. And I really didn’t see why it was that important to go to church since I was involved in an on-campus group. (I went anyway because I wanted to.)

Church became more important to me after Duke. My ecclesiology maybe slowly rose higher. But not that high. I still had a sour view of most of the institutional church. There were very few denominations I was doctrinally compatible with. And even some of those had a culture I wanted to stay away from. I grew more and more fed up with the liberalism of the mainline denominations. Neither Catholicism nor Orthodoxy was close to an alternative either although I felt more kin to a conservative Catholic than a liberal Protestant.

And my church search of 1988 revealed it was hard to find even a local church I felt comfortable in even in the buckle of the Bible Belt. And after six years, I felt compelled to leave that one. And I witnessed power plays that steamrollered good Christians in my first two post-Duke churches.

So in my view, most of the institutional church wasn’t the work of God, but a noxious hindrance to it. Yet, at the same time, it grew more and more important to me to be involved in a good church. My ecclesiology grew “higher” in that way. That desire, combined with my distrust of most of the church, including about all the large denominations, is probably a big reason I was a member of two independent Bible churches for 16 years.

Now that I’m Anglican, my view of the church is a bit higher and, yes, more charitable. But, after years where ecclesiology was not at all the focus of my beliefs, I still don’t have a deep, articulate ecclesiology, much less a particularly high one.

But I’ll probably write more on that another time.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Sick Racism

As I’ve noted here, I have little but contempt for those who like to play the race card, who shout “Racism!” at the drop of a hat.

But the real racism that the new Archbishop of York has had to face is truly sick and sickening.

May God protect him from such evil and deal with its perpetrators.

Friday, October 07, 2005

”The Middle Finger of Collegiality”

If you are a bit sleepy-headed today and need something to rile you up, of if you are just one of those mean orthodox homophobic schismatics, then I recommend this missive from a certain Rt. Rev. Sergio Carranza, who cares a great deal about modesty, prudence, and charity.

The Diocese of L.A. and its bishops aren’t very careful about what they put in their newsletters, are they.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Ronnie Earle, Tom DeLay, and Grand Jury Shopping.

I’m helping run a youth retreat this weekend. (PRAY!) So I’m a bit busy, but I can’t let pass the latest on D.A. Ronnie Earle’s unethical vendetta against Tom DeLay.

It’s now come out that one grand jury declined to indict DeLay (Dallas Morning News article – registration may be required) on money laundering. So Earle found a more pliant grand jury and had them issue a rushed indictment. And calling it rushed is putting it very nicely. The new grand jury hardly had time to find out where the bathrooms are.

This can only be called grand jury shopping and a serious breach of legal ethics. It even goes against the spirit of constitutional prohibitions against double jeopardy.

Ronnie Earle is Exhibit A in my frequent contention that few things are worse than a D.A. who is more interested in scalps than justice.

The Captain’s Quarters is again on top of this. And I agree it may be getting close to time to disbar Ronnie Earle, especially since the liberal idiots voters in Austin won’t do the right thing and get rid of him.
William Tyndale

Today is the 469th anniversary of William Tyndale’s martyrdom.

William Tyndale and others who suffered to get the Bible into the hands of the common people in their own language have been heroes to me almost as long as I’ve been a Christian. And those who burned them have always been great villains. I still shake my head when I consider that the church so strove to keep the Bible out of the hands of the people.

Titusonenine brings a collect for this day to my attention:

Almighty God, who didst plant in the heart of thy servant William Tyndale a consuming passion to bring the Scriptures to the people in their native tongue, and didst endow him with the gift of powerful and graceful expression and with strength to persevere against all obstacles: Reveal to us, we pray thee, thy saving Word, as we read and study the Scriptures, and hear them calling us to repentance and life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Avian Flu, Lawyers, and Me

I’m not going to rehash all the news (panic?) about Avian Flu and a possible pandemic. There’s plenty on that out there and more coming. But there’s an important angle that is being ignored, and there’s a (much less important) personal angle as well.

First, we are not in a good position to prepare for a flu pandemic. The U. S. just doesn’t have much ability to produce needed flu vaccines. And a big reason why is the lawyers.

Vaccines are not risk-free. After all, a vaccine does consist of the virus you are trying to protect people from. People have gotten sick and even died from vaccines. And there are other ways they are far from foolproof, especially when aiming at moving targets such as mutating flu viruses. Combine these scientific facts with a legal environment that rewards ambulance chasing trial lawyers, and the lawsuits have gotten so bad, there is at best one or two large vaccine makers left in the U. S. Our courts are simply too hostile to such a risky, if needed enterprise.

There are been modest legislative efforts to protect vaccine makers from unscrupulous trial lawyers. But those efforts have been too slow in coming.

So if we run out of flu vaccine this winter, you know one group of jackals to thank.

On a personal note, in the past few days, I’ve been wondering if a pandemic might put a crimp on my plans to travel to England for Advent. Now I see the possibility of travel restrictions is entering conversation in the news media. CNBC has been talking about Avian Flu a lot today, by the way.

I sure hope the UK keeps Avian Flu out, especially between now and Christmas. I suspect it won’t spread that far that fast, but who knows. It may only take the wrong guy taking the wrong flight.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Harriet Miers Profile

There’s an interesting profile of Harriet Miers over at Ethics Daily.

Reading it makes me feel better about her nomination for the Supreme Court than I did yesterday.

Plus I seriously doubt President Bush wants to risk appointing another Souter.

Hat tip to titusonenine.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Tony Campolo clarifies remarks on the omnipotence of God.

I’m very pleased to have received an e-mail from Tony Campolo this morning clarifying his post-Katrina remarks on the omnipotence of God:

Dear Mark,

Thanks so much for your thoughtful e-mail in relation to what I wrote on BeliefNet.

The problem becomes a simple one, and that is that if God is all-loving and all-powerful, why doesn’t He prevent such tragedies? My hope is that God has chosen to limit Himself. That seems to be the meaning of Philippians 2, in Christ God took upon Himself the form of a servant. That passage talks about God emptying Himself of power in order to express love. I think that’s the way it has to be. We would not have freedom if God controlled everything, and thus He limits Himself in order to provide us with free will. One day God will reassert Himself and establish absolute dominion. Between now and then the powers of darkness are operative in the universe. To me that means that God does not control everything that happens. I hope this provides some clarification of my views.

Tony Campolo

At the risk of seeming to nitpick, a couple issues of note:

I don’t know if I agree that God has emptied himself of power in order to express love. Certainly as Philippians 2 teaches, Christ in a very real way emptied Himself in the Incarnation. (Of course, of what and to what extent Christ emptied Himself is a matter given to much discussion.) But to say that the whole Triune God emptied Himself and today remains emptied to some extent is a different matter.

I would also say God is in control, but realize that more traditional view creates problems that many, including Dr. Campolo, have wrestled with through the centuries.

Of course, God does restrain his power. There’s no question about that. And thanks be to God!

But reluctantly putting those issues aside for now (as they do provide food for thought), I’m very glad to see Dr. Campolo state that “God will reassert Himself and establish absolute dominion.” To me, that certainly suffices as a clear enough affirmation of the omnipotence of God. And I’m glad and satisfied to see it.

And as I e-mailed him in reply, I appreciate his succinct and gracious clarification.

(And my post of September 27th is now inoperative. I will amend that post accordingly. And I apologize to any, including Dr. Campolo, who found that post overly harsh.)
Reflections on Fr. Eric Dudley’s sad letter.

Last night, I was struck by Fr. Eric Dudley’s letter of resignation as rector of St. John’s Episcopal, Tallahassee, Florida.

It reminded me of several points I’ve made on this blog. First, that a number of good, faithful men feel compelled to leave ECUSA is yet one more indicator not only that something is very wrong with it, but that its condition is getting worse.

Which brings me to the second point. Although leaving ECUSA (or any mainline denomination) is not a decision to be taken lightly, neither is a decision to stay. No matter how good one’s motives may be to stay in ECUSA, the costs can be great. Fr. Dudley’s account of the costs to him personally and to his family reminds me of Fr. Al Kimel’s account. (In fact, note Fr. Kimel’s comment #56 on the above link.)

And I think good men like Frs. Dudley and Kimel leaving should make orthodox people think twice about staying.

Eric+ also notes the potential spiritual costs to upcoming generations, as well as the very practical costs of striving for the Faith in a denomination headed for utter apostasy. That’s like praising the virtues of Auburn in an Alabama booster club. There may be better things to do. As he says, “I would much rather pour my life and ministry into building a strong Anglicanism in America based on the solid Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Finally, having an orthodox bishop does not give one immunity. The Diocese of Florida had a staunchly orthodox bishop, only to have him succeeded by a “moderate” loser – an apparent factor in the timing of Fr. Dudley’s departure.

In any case, it is another sad day in the Episcopal Church USA, and one that should give those who remain pause.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Hurricane Otis

Now there's a Hurricane Otis off Baja California. It might go into Arizona of all places as a depression after it slams the Baja hard.

I find Otis a funny name for a hurricane. Sounds kinda like Hurricane Leroy, or Hurricane Billy Bob.

On the other side of Mexico, Tropical Depression 20 is supposed to become a tropical storm in the Gulf. No, I won't evacuate.