Friday, October 20, 2006

No Safe Place: PCUSA joins ECUSA to gang up on St. James.

At the beginning of this No Safe Place series, I noted the similarities between how the mainline Presbyterian and Episcopal Churches treat orthodoxy and the orthodox, particularly in going after the property of orthodox congregations. In fact, the similarities prompted me to begin this series.

Now thanks to the Layman and Brad Drell, it comes out that not only are those denominations’ property grabs similar, they are in cahoots with each other. The Presbyterian Church has filed a court brief backing the effort of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles to grab the property of St. James parish and kick the congregation out on the street.

Leaving aside the question of how vile it is that these two denominations don’t have the common decency to leave St. James alone but are instead ganging up on the parish, this action backs up my contention that the similarities in the actions of these two denominations are no coincidence. They both have been taken over by a liberal new orthodoxy that claims tolerance and inclusion while it works to crush the orthodox.

Further, that lawyers for the two denominations are working together in at least this case begs the question: what other times have lawyers from the two been working together? Episcopal and Presbyterian efforts against orthodox congregations indeed often seem to working out of the same playbook.

This story also illustrates the insufferable arrogance of the new orthodox liberal leadership in mainline denominations. The Presbyterian Church acts as it has in this case even though a majority (I hope) in Presbyterian pews would want nothing to do with such an action. This is far from the first time the Presbyterian Church has acted and made statements that many or most Presbyterians would find repugnant -- a subject that calls for further posts.

As if that isn’t enough, some statements in the brief are just flat out false.

It makes a strong assertion that the vote by the congregation of St. James Parish in the Diocese of Los Angeles was schismatic and that, “Since 2003, the congregation of St. James Parish has been torn apart by a schism regarding theological/ecclesiastical issues.”

Eric C. Sohlgren, attorney for St. James, took strong exception to the PCUSA’s depiction of the congregation as being schismatic.

“It is understandable that PCUSA is completely ignorant of what really happened at St. James, but I hardly think a packed sanctuary with hundreds of people leaping to their feet in spontaneous shouts of joy and praise at the disaffiliation announcement, and a near unanimous vote of the members to disaffiliate, as being ‘torn apart by schism,’” Sohlgren said.

But hey, Presbies and Piskies, don’t let the facts get in the way of going after those eeeeevil orthodox.

“It’s interesting how the PCUSA, like the Episcopal Church, is quick to vilify local churches who are simply trying to be obedient to the historic Christian faith.”

It’s interesting indeed. But for those familiar with the leadership of those two denominations, it is no surprise.

No comments: