Thursday, May 31, 2007

Scripture, False Teachers, and Lambeth Invitations

I was tempted to title this post “The Bible Says Don’t Invite Those Lib’ruls to Lambeth.” But I’m Anglican now you know.

So I’ll follow Matt+ Kennedy’s excellent lead and point out that clear and emphatic teaching of scripture is being overlooked in the discussion and deliberation about Lambeth invitations – you don’t coddle or aid false teachers; you anathemize them and don’t invite them into the councils of the church or even into your home, even if it is Lambeth.

This isn’t an obscure teaching, but is even the focus of an entire epistle, 2nd John:

Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.
2 John 9-11

Paul had some, um, strong words about this matter:

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed [anathema]. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
Galatians 1:6-9

And you thought I was hardboiled.

These emphatic scriptures are being overlooked in Anglican discussions even though P. B. Schori and at least many of her allies have proven themselves time and again to be false teachers, often brazenly so.

But there’s no getting around it. Inviting Schori et al to Lambeth is flat not compatible with scripture. Instead it violates it.

And after all the meetings and statements concerning the Episcopal Church, this violation is particularly inexcusable.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

On the Continuing Anglican Front, More Unity

A helpful commenter pointed out that the archbishops of The Anglican Catholic Church (ACC) and the United Episcopal Church (UECNA) signed an agreement of formal communion last week.

I’m glad to see this. The need for more unity among continuing Anglicans is urgent.
BREAKING: Uganda will not attend Lambeth if TEC Invitations Stand.


Church of Uganda will uphold Road to Lambeth Statement

(Church of Uganda)

In response to the recent announcement that the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Rowan Williams, has sent out invitations to the 2008 Lambeth Conference of Bishops, the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi, made this statement:

On 9th December 2006, the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda, meeting in Mbale, resolved unanimously to support the CAPA Road to Lambeth statement, which, among other things, states, “We will definitely not attend any Lambeth Conference to which the violators of the Lambeth Resolution are also invited as participants or observers.”

We note that all the American Bishops who consented to, participated in, and have continued to support the consecration as bishop of a man living in a homosexual relationship have been invited to the Lambeth Conference. These are Bishops who have violated the Lambeth Resolution 1.10, which rejects “homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture” and “cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions.”

Accordingly, the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda stands by its resolve to uphold the Road to Lambeth.

The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi


I’m glad to see this. And I appreciate the quick timing. Right now, the large and influential Church of Uganda is letting Canterbury know that any hope that Uganda will attend as the invitations now stand is illusory.

And, as you can guess, I think the time is nearing for a separate orthodox Anglican Communion at least for a time. The Archbishop of Uganda’s statement is yet another good step in that direction.

Hat tip to Stand Firm.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Collect for Tuesday in Whitsun Week

GRANT, we beseech thee, merciful God, that thy Church, being gathered together in unity by thy Holy Spirit, may manifest thy power among all peoples, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

This collect (from the 1928 and REC prayer books) links well church unity to effectiveness in making a difference in the world and to glorifying God.

With the Anglican Communion becoming a less likely feasible venue for orthodox Anglican unity, it becomes all the more urgent that we pray and work for said unity without depending on Canterbury to provide it. For Our Lord of Canterbury seems to be becoming an instrument of disunity.

The alphabet soup of continuing Anglicanism is a scandal we must not allow to continue or increase. Now, like Dunkirk, continuing boats to evacuate the faithful may have to increase for a brief time. But our Lady’s Cathedral of the Anglican Jurisdiction of Antioch in My Apartment is not God’s will for the church.

I may have further thoughts on Anglican unity in due time.

(Right now, my mind is bit frazzled from a chess tourney. And I have a lot to catch up on.)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Losing Hope for the Anglican Communion

I’m getting ready for a big chess tournament, so I can’t post a long piece now. But further reflection on the Lambeth invitations has further deepened my disgust and darkened my pessimism.

Sarah Hey sums up well many of my concerns.

I, too, wonder what has been the point of Windsor, Dromantine, Tanzania, etc. etc. If +++Rowan hasn’t used them to buy time and string along the orthodox, only then to undercut them, I’d like to hear a more charitable and plausible explanation.

And I agree that now that the invitations have gone out, it’s exceedingly unlikely that the Archbishop will withdraw his invitations to the bishops of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada.

So it now seems that those churches will not be disciplined in any significant way. And most or at least many orthodox Anglicans will rightly find that unacceptable.

Further, +++Rowan has now more clearly shown his preference for apostate persecutors of the faithful over those seeking, and seeking to provide, a safe place for orthodox Anglicans. Withholding invitations from Bishops Minns of CANA and Cavalcanti of Recife speak volumes in that regard. I personally find this more upsetting and deplorable than not disciplining the Episcopal Church.

I hesitate to jump the gun. But, having once been hopeful and even optimistic at times, I now think the Anglican Communion as we know it is probably close to finished. And, frankly, any communion that won’t stand up for the truth enough to discipline and won’t defend the persecuted faithful deserves to be finished.

I hope I’m being too pessimistic. I’m think I’m not.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

+Minns’ and Robinson’s Responses to Not Being Invited to Lambeth

Two of the many notable statements in the midst of yesterday’s tumult surrounding the announcement of Lambeth invitations were those of Bishop Minns and Gene Robinson. Both were not invited to Lambeth and released statements addressing that. Here’s some succinct commentary on the contrast between the two responses.

To sum up, while +Minns focused not on himself but on the troubles of the Communion as a whole, Robinson’s response was typical, focusing on gay this and gay that and on himself, of course.

By the way, my decision to dub Robinson “the Gayest Gay Bishop” is not just to be snarky. When he became “bishop,” he said he wouldn’t be “the Gay Bishop.” But with his frequent refrains of “gay gay gay me me me” in his statements and speeches (He’s quite an item on the uberlib speech circuit.), that is exactly what he has become. So much so that he has well earned the title “the Gayest Gay Bishop.”

Hattip to Stand Firm.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lambeth Invitations Going Out

Invitations to Lambeth are going out.

The talk is that +Minns and –Robinson won’t be invited, but that practically everyone else will.

I hesitate to comment much before more details come out. Plus I am, to be honest, quite ticked off about this. So take the following as a FWIW and subject to change.

+++Rowan says, “At this point, and with the recommendations of the Windsor Report particularly in mind, I have to reserve the right to withhold or withdraw invitations from bishops whose appointment, actions or manner of life have caused exceptionally serious division or scandal within the Communion.”

If he’s going to follow his own words then he should disinvite many more than just two or three bishops. If the actions of Schori and company haven’t caused “exceptionally serious division or scandal within the Communion” then I don’t know what it is.

Or maybe apostasy and persecution of the faithful has become par for the course and isn’t “exceptional” anymore.

But for these years of reports, meetings, and communiqués to result in no discipline would be a grave disappointment, a betrayal really.

And to undercut Bishop Minns and to undermine his parishes as they are being sued by the Episcopal Church would be despicable. Is Rowan Williams going to be complicit in persecuting North American Anglican faithful?

I’ll probably say more in due time. Right now I’m so disgusted, I don’t trust myself to say much now.

UPDATE: +Minns, CANA, AMiA, and the Gayest Gay Bishopare indeed not invited.

I guess providing a safe place for orthodox Anglicans is an intolerable enormity in the Anglican Communion now, causing “exceptionally serious division or scandal.”

If that’s the case, you can imagine what I’m beginning to think of the Anglican Communion and of Canterbury.

Monday, May 21, 2007

. . . And if anyone takes away from the words of the book . . .

It speaks volumes that yesterday’s suggested Episcopal Lectionary reading from the last chapter of Revelation omits the following verse:

and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

To willfully “take away” that very verse from the reading demonstrates a contempt of the word and an utter lack of fear of God’s judgement that boggles my mind at least.

But then I guess universalism is a lack of fear of God’s judgement almost by definition.

Kendall Harmon goes into more detail, including more omitted verses, here.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Why I Think the Anglican Covenant Process is Useless

The following report is making some waves:

One moment in the morning session brought the house to a standstill. In a long series of illustrations of the principle that "Covenant is making promises and keeping promises", Archbishop Gomez related how TEC has earned the distrust of the rest of the Communion. He recalled how former Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold had agreed that proceeding with the consecration of Gene Robinson would "tear the fabric of the Communion at the deepest level," then thirty minutes later told a press conference that the American Church had no intention of canceling its plans to proceed with the consecration a month later.

His next illustration was the real shock. He explained that at the recent Primates' Meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the Archbishop of Canterbury had broken the usual precedent of decision by consensus and required each of the Primates to stand and declare whether or not he (or she) agreed to the text of a Communique that contained the Primates' shared commitments for the future. Each of the 38 Primates said "yes" to the Communique. The American Primate, The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, said "Yes, but I'll have trouble selling it" to her fellow American bishops.

The point is, as Archbishop Gomez stressed, she said "Yes." She could have, but did not, issue a minority report. When she returned, and when the House of Bishops Convened in March, Jefferts Schori claimed she had only consented to present the text of the Communique to her bishops. She took no responsibility for agreeing to it. One of the conference participants recalled she had claimed that "she never signed it." Archbishop Gomez cut in: "None of the Primates signed it." The Primates' Communiques are never signed. Their verbal responses are taken at face value. The Presiding Bishop's public statement that she hadn't signed it would appear to be a deliberate misrepresentation of the process.

One of the diocesan clergy stood in stunned amazement, and fluttering with emotion said he didn't realize the extent to which we had been lied to. Bishop Howe stood, and with equal emotion insisted that the Presiding Bishop may very well have believed that she was agreeing to deliver the message and not that she was agreeing to the content itself, and that we should be very careful not to infer that she was lying.

Archbishop Gomez interrupted the Bishop: "Sir, that was not the question she was asked by the Archbishop."

So Archbishop Gomez straight up said that PB Schori’s honesty and trustworthiness about Tanzania is . . . lacking.

As notable as that is, I want to focus on what the Primate of the West Indies said earlier: “Covenant is making promises and keeping promises.”

Though coming from the chairman of the Covenant committee himself, that statement sums up why I think the current Anglican Covenant process is useless. Even if one puts an extremely, uh, charitable spin on the words and actions of PBs Griswold and Schori, making covenants with those who for all practical purposes lie every time they recite the Nicene Creed is hardly a useful undertaking.

And, of course, the problem isn’t just the personalities involved but a post-modern environment in which words can mean anything or nothing. Covenants with the children of liberalism and post-modernism are problematic at best. For they likely will intend something entirely different than the plain meaning of the Covenant.

Some have said the problem is that the Anglican Covenant will end up so weak that anyone will sign on to it. I say the problem is slightly different -- that it’s almost impossible to create a Covenant so strong and clear that it avoids everyone signing on to it. If the Nicene Creed can’t seem to weed out the new post-modern heretics then how can a covenant written up by the Anglican Communion, even if it follows the recommendations of Archbishop Gomez himself? How can we make promises and keep promises in an environment where the words of the promises can mean whatever we want them to?

And then if the problem is compounded by a lack of trustworthiness . . .

I’m glad Archbishop Gomez is chairing the committee and recognizes the problem. But I don’t think even he and likeminded primates can overcome it with an Anglican Covenant.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ascension Day Morning with Bishop Iker

This morning, Bishop Iker drove over to Camp Crucis to celebrate Mass of the Feast of the Ascension for the Youth Ministry Summit. His celebration was impeccable, as is to be expected.

His sermon, given without notes, was excellent and succinct. Standing among us before the Lord's table, he taught that the Ascension finished the cycle of the Incarnation and was needful so that Christ would bring his sacrifice to the altar of God, be enthroned in heaven, and make intercession for us.

He began by lamenting that churches don’t emphasize the Feast of the Ascension as they should, even though it is rightly a major feast day. He told us of a time years ago when he eagerly went to an Ascension Day service at a large parish, expecting it to be a big event, only to find it in the chapel with a handful of people. Worse, the priest taught that the Ascension didn’t really happen. +Iker told us he considered it a bit of a waste of time to drive across town to a service to celebrate something that supposedly didn’t happen.

I’m sure you’re wondering . . . . He made no mention of the big event yesterday, except that he agreed with a wry smile when at breakfast I remarked that he had “a busy day yesterday.”

I can be impertinent that way.

As you can guess, I greatly respect Bishop Iker, but had never met him. So this definitely is a special red letter day for me, indeed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

CONFIRMED: Ft. Worth is Breaking Away.

I get offline for 30 hours and look what happens. The Diocese of Ft. Worth, with other dioceses, is breaking away from the Episcopal Church. Here’s Ruth Gledhill’s report.

It so happens that I’m at the Diocese of Fort Worth’s Camp Crucis for the Network’s Anglican Youth Ministry Summit as I type this. The diocese’s priests here are quietly excited. And at least one has confirmed the report is accurate for the most part. But that one said it’s not necessarily an African primate the diocese will be going under.

I don’t know which primate it will be. And I don’t think the priests here know. If they do, they aren't telling. But don’t be surprised if it’s ++Venables.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Latest Anglican Gossip News

The talk of the Anglican blogdom today is that Ruth Gledhill and the TEC Bishop of Mississippi both have it “on good authority” (anonymous, of course) that everybody, including the Gayest Gay Bishop himself gets invited to Lambeth.

Like Chris Johnson, I’m skeptical about this. Didn’t the Archbishop of Canterbury say he would let the Primates decide?

This report smells like someone trying to manipulate the news. But I’m not sure what to think. And I’m not jumping to conclusions.

I do know this. I can think of no quicker way to split the Anglican Communion than to invite all the TEC bishops.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Social Gospel, Another Gospel

The Opinion Journal has posted an interesting article on the 100th Anniversary of the publication of Christianity and the Social Crisis, an influential book by Walter Rauschenbusch that pushed the social gospel.

I’ve always had contempt for the social gospel. Francis Schaeffer called it “another gospel,” and he was right. At the least, it has always distracted from the real Gospel. More often, it has opposed the Gospel.

And, sure enough, even back in 1907, that was the case.

It is hard to see, though, how Rauschenbusch's theology could be called Christian in any meaningful sense of the term. It required no repentance or atonement and carried no fear of judgment or bracing hope of eternal life. He famously denied the doctrine of Christ's Second Coming--with its promise of perfect justice and enduring mercy.

But do Rauschenbusch’s errors discourage the usual suspects from praising his handiwork? Nah.

The centennial edition of "Christianity and the Social Crisis"--just published by HarperSanFrancisco--includes essays from various liberal and progressive admirers. Tony Campolo, a left-leaning evangelical, praises Rauschenbusch's "holistic gospel" for offering both eternal life and dramatic changes in the social order. Stanley Hauerwas calls him "an evangelist of the Kingdom of God." Jim Wallis likewise lauds Rauschenbusch's "Christian social ethic" as an "eloquent and necessary corrective" to privatized faith.

As for what I think . . . heck, let’s see what St. Paul thinks.

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Galatians 1:8,9

Hat tip to Stand Firm.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Georgetown Lets InterVarsity Back on Campus

You may read about the good news here. But the following set off my B.S. detector:

"It wasn’t theological issues that led to the decision [not to renew affiliations], but rather a lack of communication," Boroughs said, in a Georgetown University news release…

I don’t believe that for a second. Georgetown did what liberals do -- living out their “tolerance” by running roughshod over those not as “tolerant” as they.

I suspect what really happened is that alumni (and perhaps lawyers? Note the resolution of a lawsuit under similar circumstances at the University of Wisconsin.) *ahem* assisted Georgetown in seeing the light enough for the university to relent.

I’m glad to hear the news. And I fully understand InterVarsity is wise to play nice unlike me. But I don’t buy that this episode was an aberration brought on by “a lack of communication.” Not for one minute.
Pope Backs Excommunication of Pro-abortion Politicians

I’m going to have to start praying for a lllllong life for Pope Benedict! He has now publicly backed excommunication of “Catholic” politicians who support abortion. Good on him!

About the only thing that infuriates me more than politicians who support such monstrosities as partial birth abortion are clergy and churches who are soft on them or even agree!

Support for abortion is one reason I wiped the dust off my feet when I left the mainline Presbyterian Church. And I find the Episcopal Church’s support for the Religious Coalition for Baby Killing Reproductive Choice more egregious than giving a mitre to an unrepentant homosexual.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Using the name of Christ to support abortion on demand is blasphemy of the worse sort. And I’ll go further and say that publicly supporting abortion yet expecting to remain a member of Christ’s church in good standing is presumption of the worse sort. Unfortunately, most church bodies at the very least enable such presumption, and many engage in such blasphemy.

Can you tell this area is a hot button for me?

Anyhow, in such a morally and spiritually bankrupt environment, may the tribe of those who have the guts and moral clarity to excommunicate those who publicly support abortion increase! Long live the Pope!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Where I’ll Be Next Week

Next week, Tuesday evening through Ascension Day morning, I’ll be attending the Anglican Youth Ministry Summit near Granbury, Texas. The Anglican Communion Network is putting it on and the Diocese of Forth Worth is graciously providing facilities.

So I may not post much next week. But I hope to meet a few of my kind readers there.

If you might be interested in attending, contact Fr. John Gabig: jgabig at acn-us dot org.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Video of +Minns Installation

AnglicanTV has the best video of the +Minns installation service that I’ve come across.

Archbishop Akinola was so resplendent, the door-knocking ceremony so cool (in a traditional kinda way, of course), and Bishop Minns’ sermon so excellent . . . that I choose to overlook his use of a tambourine.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Where’s +++Rowan’s Letter?

The talk of the Anglican blogdom at the moment is just what happened to the letter the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote to ++Peter Akinola. No text has been made public and even ++Akinola didn’t see it until after the +Minns installation service in question.

Well, Dave Walker may have solved the mystery here and/or here.
BREAKING: ++Akinola’s Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury

Archbishop Peter Akinola has written to Archbishop Rowan Williams. And his letter clears up some things I was puzzled about last night.

++Akinola did receive the letter from +++Rowan after the installation of Bishop Minns. Yes, the timing doesn’t pass the smell test very well on Lambeth’s part.

In any case, ++Akinola’s reply is excellent. He has been patient, but states that provision for orthodox Anglicans in North America can wait no longer.

It is imperative that we continue to protect those at most risk while we seek a way forward that will offer hope for the future of our beleaguered Communion.

And however good his motivations may be, +++Rowan has been too slow to provide for distressed orthodox Anglicans. His slowness may be out of his overriding priority of keeping the Anglican Communion together, to avoid sharpening divisions. But his slowness has already cost North American Anglicanism many good faithful people. And shepherds should defend the flock regardless.

Archbishop Peter Akinola sees that and is right to say there’s been enough delay already in providing for orthodox Anglicans in the U. S. Good on him!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Interesting Tidbits on the +Minns Installation

By all accounts, the installation of Bishop Martyn Minns yesterday was remarkable, quite the event. Baby Blue has posted a lot of video she took of the service with her Mac. (Macs rule!)

She also has a “puzzled” post. Remember that letter the Archbishop of Canterbury is supposed to have sent to ++Akinola asking him not to go to the U. S. to install +Minns? ++Akinola apparently has said he did not receive the letter. (I don’t know exactly what he said though, so be careful.) And Baby Blue thinks it may have been Anglican Communion Office people, not Lambeth people who said the ABC sent the letter.

I don’t know what to think of all this. I’m “puzzled” myself and am certainly not jumping to conclusions. But since I questioned +++Rowan Williams’ wisdom in this, I felt I should pass on to you that this matter may not be what it seemed at first.

Lost in all the controversy and ceremony is that the Presiding Bishops of the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Province of America participated in the service.

And that reminds me. My friend Father WB has wondered out loud about whether CANA is replacing the Anglican Communion Network as the most likely leader of an attempt to form a new orthodox Anglican province in the U. S. He has a point, particularly since the Network is still rather quiet of late. His post has provoked a rather lively discussion.

Friday, May 04, 2007

BREAKING: +++Rowan Williams Sides with PB Schori Against ++Akinola

In this story from Anglican Mainstream is this disturbing news:

Lambeth Palace today confirmed the Archbishop of Canterbury has written to the African Primate [Peter Akinola] asking him to cancel his trip to Virginia to carry out the service [installing Martyn Minns as bishop]. A spokesman for Dr Rowan Williams confirmed a letter had been sent to the Archbishop of Nigeria . . .

I am somewhat aghast that +++Rowan has chosen to take sides in this matter. And it is certainly not an encouraging indicator of where his priorities lie. For one thing, it once again shows providing for distressed orthodox Anglicans in North America is rather low on his list of things to do.

His taking sides already is exacerbating divisions in the Church of England:

…Around 30 members of the Church of England General Synod have signed a message of support for the new head of a breakaway Anglican denomination who is due to be installed this weekend.

And I suspect it will harden divisions in the Anglican Communion as well. In any number of ways, this is a very questionable move on his part.
BREAKING: Network Moderator +Duncan to Attend Minns Installation with ++Akinola

This should annoy 815.
The Evangelical Push for Adoption . . . and Singles

There’s interesting news out of an evangelical push for churches to start adoption and foster care ministries. Focus on the Family and Rick Warren are among those backing this push.

That is certainly commendable. There is an important need. And God Himself adopts us. (e.g. Romans 8:15, Ephesians 1:5)

But I can see this creating tension in some churches, particularly with singles.

It rarely is out front, but there is a prejudice against singles in some evangelical circles. It is usually at least somewhat subtle – naming a church “family church”, insisting on married pastors, etc.

But there are times when it’s not so subtle. I know. It became clear at a previous church that a key leader was prejudiced against singles. That was one factor in my leaving.

I’m glad to say, positive biblical attitudes toward singleness have been important in choosing churches since then. And, yes, I asked pointed questions of leaders at those churches before joining. Hey, you know me . . . .

Anyway, if a church holds prejudiced attitudes toward singles, starting an adoption/foster care ministry will make it more difficult to obscure that. What if a church makes it clear in some fashion that only the married need apply? What if a godly, mature single who is well thought of is turned away from seeking to adopt through a church adoption ministry? Or what about single parents who aren’t seeking to adopt but simply find their church considers them not qualified to adopt regardless of how well they are doing with their own children?

(And, please, spare me the “A mom and dad are better for kids than a single parent” bit. All other things being equal, that may be true. But when are all other things equal? And such bromides marginalize single parents.)

For all their family orientation, the large evangelical churches most likely to take on an adoption ministry tend to have a lot of singles in their midst. Those churches which consider mature singles unfit or unqualified to adopt or give foster care may find their prejudice backfiring on them. A lot of singles will then have their eyes opened to their church’s prejudice against them. Many of them may not put up with such prejudice once an adoption ministry makes it more out front. Of course, the issue with most won’t be that they want to adopt. The issue will be the prejudice against singles that would then be more clear and institutionalized.

I don’t know if such discord will make the news. It will likely be behind the scenes for the most part. But I predict this will become an issue between singles and some churches.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

++Akinola Zings the Heretic Responds

Many have been anxiously awaiting ++Peter Akinola’s response to PB Schori’s letter. Well, his response is out, and it is excellent.

He exercises remarkable restraint, but he zings her vapid letter quite well, particularly her use of “ancient customs of the church” mentioned yesterday.

I . . . find it curious that you are appealing to the ancient customs of the church when it is your own Province’s deliberate rejection of the biblical and historic teaching of the Church that has prompted our current crisis.

And he puts her appeal for “reconciliation” in its place.

You mention the call to reconciliation. As you well know this is a call that I wholeheartedly embrace and indeed was a major theme of our time in Tanzania. You will also remember that one of the key elements of our discussion and the resulting Communiqué was the importance of resolving our current differences without resorting to civil law suits. You agreed to this. Yet it is my understanding that you are still continuing your own punitive legal actions against a number of CANA clergy and congregations. I fail to see how this is consistent with your own claim to be working towards reconciliation.

And by the way, “my dear presiding bishop,” expect more border crossings.

You will also recall from our meeting in Dar es Salaam that there was specific discussion about CANA and recognition – expressed in the Communiqué itself – of the important role that it plays in the context of the present division within your Province. CANA was established as a Convocation of the Church of Nigeria, and therefore a constituent part of the Communion, to provide a safe place for those who wish to remain faithful Anglicans but can no longer do so within The Episcopal Church as it is currently being led. The response for your own House of Bishops to the carefully written and unanimously approved Pastoral Scheme in the Communiqué makes it clear that such pastoral protection is even more necessary.

Would all the Primates have such backbone to stand up for the faith and for the faithful against the predations of heretics such as the leaders of the Episcopal Church.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

PB Schori, That Great Defender of the Ancient Customs of the Church

It never ceases to amuse me when heretics cite “the ancient customs of the church” as cover. But Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Schori takes the cake.

As you may know, she has written to the Primate of Nigeria Peter Akinola asking him not to install Martyn Minns as bishop of CANA here in the U. S., saying it “would violate the ancient customs of the church.”

The day Episcopal News Service chose to release the letter illustrates that she wouldn’t know “the ancient customs of the church” they bit her on the mitre. ENS released the letter on May 1st, the Eve of the Feast of St. Athanasius.

As I mentioned yesterday, Athanasius ordained orthodox clergy in the territories of heretic bishops without their permission – the very thing ++Peter Akinola is doing.

Apparently, Schori lacks an irony detector as well. She certainly seems not to realize that her timing on the eve of the very ancient saint who most buttresses what ++Akinola is doing makes her look even sillier.

The only thing that would make this story better is if the installation of Martyn Minns itself would be today on St. Athanasius Day.

Oh well. Can’t have everything.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

St. Athanasius, My Hero

Tonight is the Eve of the Feast of St. Athanasius.

Athanasius is one of my few heroes. I revere him for opposing heresy no matter what the personal cost to him. And it did cost him. He was exiled several times.

As the Good Professor has noted, Anglicans would do well to take note of Athanasius’ example. There is much whining coming from Episcolibs about polity and “boundary crossings” by orthodox bishops into Episcopal Church dioceses. And the Council of Nicea is used to decry such violations of + Holy + diocean boundaries.

But Athanasius, a staunch supporter of Nicea, had no problem intervening in dioceses led by heretical Arian bishops. As the Good Professor writes:

Athanasius was willing, as the conflict intensified—in his case, as early as the mid-340s—to intervene unilaterally in dioceses whose bishops were Arians or compromisers. The historians Socrates and Sozomen, writing in the middle of the next century, record that he ordained men in dioceses whose bishops were tainted with Arianism to serve the orthodox upholders of Nicea, and that he did so without seeking or obtaining the permission of those bishops.

No permission? Horrors!

Sounds like today, doesn’t it? Such opposition to heretics made people scream back then. And it makes people scream today.

Too bad. Athanasius treated heretic bishops as no bishops. If a so-called bishop wasn’t going to uphold the faith, then he would. And that’s the way it should be.

And for that, St. Athanasius will always be my hero.