Thursday, September 28, 2006

More Sad News from the Pontificator

Some time back, I lamented Anglicanism losing Al Kimel, aka the Pontificator. Now, the Blogdom of God is apparently losing him as well.

He has announced that he is scaling back his blog and closing the comments.

I’ve dared to disagree with the Pontificator more than once. I certainly wish he had not made this decision. And I’ve noted that his solution to everything is “Join the Catholic Church,” ribbing that he takes with grace.

But his posts, responses and comments have always been deeply thoughtful in every sense of the word. His blog has been great nourishment and exercise for both mind and spirit for many for years, including for me. And . . . and, dang, he will be greatly missed.

May God bless Father Al and all his endeavors.
Presbyterian Layman Special Issue on PCUSA Hardline Property Tactics

I’m a bit behind on some things, so I won’t post much detail now. But in my mail today is a Special Edition of the Presbyterian Layman focusing on PCUSA’s hardline property tactics against orthodox congregations who are considering leaving that denomination. Here’s online access to the articles.

It’s an eye-opener, even for those who (like me) look with great disdain on the mainline Presbyterian Church’s national leadership.

I may have more to say about the contents of this issue, but it’s clear what the pattern in PCUSA is:

1. Jam liberal aims down the throats of conservatives, precedent, scripture, unity, and church law be damned if necessary.

This once again occurred in the last General Assembly when that august body bypassed the presbyteries to, for all practical purposes, make its constitution’s moral requirements for ordination of none effect.

2. When 1. predictably causes orthodox congregations to be fed up and consider leaving the denomination, use ungodly means of coercion, suppression, and outright punishment, including lawsuits and property grabs.

Hmmm, sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

In fact, this familiar pattern may be leading me to a conclusion about the viability of orthodox congregations staying in the Presbyterian Church and in you-know-where.

I want to sleep on this first, though. But stay tuned. I will likely say more in due time.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Jordan Hylden on Recent Anglican Developments

Jordan Hylden has written another thoughtful piece for First Things, this time focusing on recent statements from +++Rowan, Camp Allen, and the Global South Primates. I won’t go into the article in detail. But do read it for yourself.

There are two issues I and some others have with the article. First, I found it a bit optimistic about the current Anglican mess getting worked out. I hope he’s correct, and on a good day I might agree with him. But I think him too optimistic. Frankly, I think +++Rowan is too unwilling to let those hell bent on walking away from orthodox faith and polity walk away. I hope I’m proven wrong.

Second, I do not think staying within the Episcopal Church is a viable long term course. Hylden thinks it may be.

There is an interesting discussion carried on a refreshingly honest and high level on these and other aspects of the article here. Note the anguish of comment 5. It reflects what many orthodox Anglicans feel, that they cannot much longer endure being tied to what they see as an “apostate rotting corpse.” Mr. Hylden’s thoughtful reply is comment 14.
BREAKING: Terrell Owens Reportedly Attempted Suicide

A report just came out a few minutes ago that Terrell Owens attempted suicide overnight via an overdose of pain pills. Here’s another report.

I’ve made no secret that I’m not a fan of his. But my thoughts and prayers are with him. Whatever Terrell is going through, may God bring him through this darkness into His light.

UPDATE: Well, now there are issues concerning the accuracy of the reports. Terrell Owens is expected to have a press conference in just over an hour around 2:30pm CDT.

UPDATE: What a crazy mess! I give up. I don't know what to think.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Understanding Our Friends With BDS

I have a confession to make. I am sometimes not very understanding toward our liberal-left friends.

Yes, yes. That confession must shock you I know. But we should confess our sins, so there it is. I hope it’s not too traumatic to know that about me. Some of you may find this “disturbing” as one has told me. I am truly sorry.

What opened my eyes to my sin? This thoughtful piece. Read it, and you, too, will have understanding and compassion toward our liberal-left friends stricken with BDS, a tragic condition they just can't help.

Monday, September 25, 2006

More on the Camp Allen Letter

I dismissed the Camp Allen Letter rather quickly on Friday. Perhaps, I dismissed it too quickly.

Bishop Iker has commented on the meeting and the letter in an interview with Greg Griffith. His comments make me and others feel better about the letter.

I still have serious misgivings about it, though. I think I can understand the wisdom of getting as many genuine “Windsor bishops” as possible on board. But we cannot water down orthodox leadership to make the more timid bishops comfortable. The Network bishops must lead and lead with strength whether or not that makes other bishops uncomfortable.

Deferring to the usual timid, tepid churchly leadership of non-Network bishops who try too hard not to offend and want too much to remain part of an apostatizing denomination will not do and will further alienate the remaining orthodox.

As a sample of that alienation, read some of the comments to the above linked interview. North American orthodox Anglicans have had enough. And they are ready to be led with trumpets, not with timid statements calling for more meetings, more patience, and yet more working within the Episcopal Church.

Yes, there is a time for patience. But there is also a time to say, “Enough!” That time is close to . . . now.

These non-Network Windsor bishops should be welcomed to follow. But, as the Camp Allen statement illustrates, they must not be allowed to lead.

Friday, September 22, 2006

BREAKING: On the other hand, there’s the Camp Allen Letter.

The Camp Allen meeting of “Windsor bishops” has just issued an open letter. The contrast of it with the bold Global South Primates' communiqué is striking.

The Camp Allen letter says . . . not much of anything really. In fact, I consider it not worthy to be posted on this blog. So if you want to, you may read it here or here.
BREAKING: Global South Primates Issue Communique

The Global South Primates have issued their Communique from Rwanda. Here is the text, courtesy of titusonenine:

Global South Primates’ Meeting
The Anglican Communion
Kigali, Rwanda September 2006

1. As Primates and Leaders of the Global South Provinces of the Anglican Communion we gathered at the Hotel des Mille Collines in Kigali, Rwanda, between 19th and 22nd September 2006. We were called together by the Global South Steering Committee and its chairman, Archbishop Peter J. Akinola. Twenty provinces were represented at the meeting*. We are extremely grateful for the warm welcome shown to us by the Right Honorable Bernard Makuza, Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda, and the hospitality provided by Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini, members of the House of Bishops of the Church of Rwanda and all of the members of the local organizing committee.

2. We have gathered in Rwanda twelve years after the genocide that tragically engulfed this nation and even its churches. During this time Rwanda was abandoned to its fate by the world. Our first action was to visit the Kigali Genocide Museum at Gisozi for a time of prayer and reflection. We were chastened by this experience and commit ourselves not to abandon the poor or the persecuted wherever they may be and in whatever circumstances. We add our voices to theirs and we say, “Never Again!”

3. As we prayed and wept at the mass grave of 250,000 helpless victims we confronted the utter depravity and inhumanity to which we are all subject outside of the transforming grace of God. We were reminded again that faith in Jesus Christ must be an active, whole-hearted faith if we are to stand against the evil and violence that threaten to consume our world. We were sobered by the reality that several of our Provinces are presently in the middle of dangerous conflicts. We commit ourselves to intercession for them.

4. We are very aware of the agonizing situation in the Sudan. We appreciate and commend the terms of the Sudanese Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the North and the South. We dare not, however, close our eyes to the devastating situation in Darfur. We are conscious of the complexities but there must be no continuation of the slaughter. We invite people from all of the Provinces of the Anglican Communion and the entire international community to stand in solidarity with the men, women and children in Darfur, Sudan.

5. We are here as a people of hope and we have been greatly encouraged as we have witnessed the reconciling power of God’s love at work as this nation of Rwanda seeks to rebuild itself. We have been pleased to hear of positive developments in the neighboring country of Burundi as they have recently completed a cease-fire agreement between their government and the Palipehutu-FNL. We are also beginning to see an end to the conflict in Northern Uganda and we note that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is approaching a historic election that offers promise for a peaceful future. All of these developments are occasions for hope for the future.

6. We have met here as a growing fellowship of Primates and leaders of churches in the Global South representing more than 70 percent of the active membership of the worldwide Anglican Communion. We build on and reaffirm the work of our previous meetings, especially our most recent gathering in Egypt in October 2005. We are mindful of the challenges that face our Communion and recommit ourselves to the abiding truth of the Holy Scriptures and the faithful proclamation of the whole Gospel for the whole world. We recommit ourselves to the vision of our beloved Communion as part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

7. We recognize that because of the ongoing conflict in the Communion many people have lost hope that we will come to any resolution in the foreseeable future. We are grateful therefore, that one sign of promise is the widespread support for the development of an Anglican Covenant. We are delighted to affirm the extraordinary progress made by the Global South task group on developing an Anglican Covenant. For the past year they have labored on this important task and we look forward to submitting the result of their labor to the rest of the Communion. We are pleased that the Archbishop of Canterbury has recognized the exemplary scholarship and leadership of Archbishop Drexel Gomez in asking him to chair the Covenant Design Group and look forward with anticipation to the crucial next steps of this historic venture. We believe that an Anglican Covenant will demonstrate to the world that it is possible to be a truly global communion where differences are not affirmed at the expense of faith and truth but within the framework of a common confession of faith and mutual accountability.

8. We have come together as Anglicans and we celebrate the gift of Anglican identity that is ours today because of the sacrifice made by those who have gone before us. We grieve that, because of the doctrinal conflict in parts of our Communion, there is now a growing number of congregations and dioceses in the USA and Canada who believe that their Anglican identity is at risk and are appealing to us so that they might remain faithful members of the Communion. As leaders of that Communion we will work together to recognize the Anglican identity of all who receive, hold and maintain the Scriptures as the Word of God written and who seek to live in godly fellowship within our historic ordering.

9. We deeply regret that, at its most recent General Convention, The Episcopal Church gave no clear embrace of the minimal recommendations of the Windsor Report. We observe that a number of the resolutions adopted by the Convention were actually contrary to the Windsor Report. We are further dismayed to note that their newly elected Presiding Bishop also holds to a position on human sexuality – not to mention other controversial views – in direct contradiction of Lambeth 1.10 and the historic teaching of the Church. The actions and decisions of the General Convention raise profound questions on the nature of Anglican identity across the entire Communion.

10. We are, however, greatly encouraged by the continued faithfulness of the Network Dioceses and all of the other congregations and communities of faithful Anglicans in North America. In addition, we commend the members of the Anglican Network in Canada for their commitment to historic, biblical faith and practice. We value their courage and consistent witness. We are also pleased by the emergence of a wider circle of ‘Windsor Dioceses’ and urge all of them to walk more closely together and deliberately work towards the unity that Christ enjoins. We are aware that a growing number of congregations are receiving oversight from dioceses in the Global South and in recent days we have received requests to provide Alternative Primatial Oversight for a number of dioceses. This is an unprecedented situation in our Communion that has not been helped by the slow response from the Panel of Reference. After a great deal of prayer and deliberation, and in order to support these faithful Anglican dioceses and parishes, we have come to agreement on the following actions:

a. We have asked the Global South Steering Committee to meet with the leadership of the dioceses requesting Alternative Primatial Oversight, in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Network and the ‘Windsor Dioceses’, to investigate their appeal in greater detail and to develop a proposal identifying the ways by which the requested Primatial oversight can be adequately provided.

b. At the next meeting of the Primates in February 2007 some of us will not be able to recognize Katharine Jefferts Schori as a Primate at the table with us. Others will be in impaired communion with her as a representative of The Episcopal Church. Since she cannot represent those dioceses and congregations who are abiding by the teaching of the Communion we propose that another bishop, chosen by these dioceses, be present at the meeting so that we might listen to their voices during our deliberations.

c. We are convinced that the time has now come to take initial steps towards the formation of what will be recognized as a separate ecclesiastical structure of the Anglican Communion in the USA. We have asked the Global South Steering Committee to develop such a proposal in consultation with the appropriate instruments of unity of the Communion. We understand the serious implications of this determination. We believe that we would be failing in our apostolic witness if we do not make this provision for those who hold firmly to a commitment to historic Anglican faith.

11. While we are concerned about the challenges facing our Anglican structures we are also very much aware that these issues can be a distraction from the work of the Gospel. At our meeting in Kigali we invested a great deal of our time on the day-to-day challenges that confront our various Churches including poverty eradication, HIV/AIDS, peace building and church planting. We were enormously encouraged by the reports of growth and vitality in the many different settings where we live and serve.

12. We received a preliminary report from the Theological Formation and Education (TFE) Task Force. We were pleased to hear of their plans to provide opportunities for theological formation from the most basic catechism to graduate level training for new and existing Anglican leaders. We request that all Global South provinces share their existing Catechisms and other educational resources with the TFE Task Force for mutual enrichment. We were pleased by their determination to network with other theological institutions and theologians in the Global South as well as with scholars and seminaries who share a similar vision for theological education that is faithful to Scripture and tradition.

13. We were blessed by the presence of a number of Economic Officers (Advisors) from around the Communion. Their determination to find creative ways to offer means of Economic Empowerment at various levels throughout the provinces of the Global South was an inspiration to all of us and resulted in the issuing of a separate summary statement. We note especially their proposed Ethical Economic and Financial Covenant that we adopted as Primates and commended for adoption at all levels of our Provinces. We were impressed by their vision and fully support their proposal to convene an Economic Empowerment consultation in 2007 with participation invited from every Global South Province.

14. We received ‘The Road to Lambeth,’ a draft report commissioned by the Primates of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) which they have commended to their churches for study and response. It highlights the crisis that now confronts us as we consider the future of the Lambeth Conference. We commend this report for wider reflection.

15. We were challenged by a presentation on the interface between Christianity and Islam and the complex issues that we must now confront at every level of our societies throughout the Global South. We recognized the need for a more thorough education and explored a number of ways that allow us to be faithful disciples to Jesus Christ while respecting the beliefs of others. We condemn all acts of violence in the name of any religion.

16. Throughout our time together in Kigali we have not only shared in discussions such as these we have also spent time together in table fellowship, prayer and worship. We are grateful that because of the time that we have shared our lives have been strengthened and our love for Christ, His Church and His world confirmed. Accordingly, we pray for God’s continued blessing on all members of our beloved Communion that we might all be empowered to continue in our mission to a needy and troubled world.

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy — to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (Jude 1:24-25)

* Provinces Represented:

Bangladesh**, Burundi, Central Africa, Church of South India, Congo, Indian Ocean, Jerusalem and Middle East, Kenya, Myanmar, Nigeria, Philippines**, Rwanda, Southern Africa, South East Asia, Southern Cone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, West Africa, West Indies (** Not present but represented)

Some initial thoughts:

I’m encouraged by the tone of the communiqué. The Primates sound committed to working things out as best they can within the Anglican Communion. Note in particular paragraph 7, which praises the development of an Anglican Covenant.

There have been recent rumblings from the Global South that haven’t been so patient with the Anglican Communion. I’m glad this communiqué shows more commitment to the Communion.

At the same time (And I find this also encouraging.), the Primates say nicely but firmly that they will work to provide a place for orthodox parishes in North America. They express the hope to work with the Archbishop of Canterbury on this, but I read between the lines that they will work for this regardless. I very much appreciate their commitment to orthodox North American parishes. (Paragraphs 8, 10, 10a, 10c)

Note in 10a the well deserved rebuke of the Panel of Reference.

In 10c, the Primates seem to support the formation of an orthodox Anglican province in North America. This is, needless to say, a significant development.

I find it interesting that only some will be unable to recognize Katharine Jefferts Schori as a Primate. (10b) But the Global South Primates agree that the orthodox North American Anglicans should have their own representative at the Primates Meeting coming up in February.

Those are my initial thoughts. I’m sure I and others will have much more to say about this praiseworthy communiqué.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Muslims Burn Down Nigerian Cathedral

Disturbing news I just became aware of: rioting Muslims burned down St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral in Nigeria the night of September 19th. Here’s a report from the Anglican Communion News Service.

I’ll keep an eye on this story. Many Nigerians are understandably fed up already with violent Muslims. The cathedral burning, awful as it is, may be just the beginning of a wave of violence.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

An Interesting Interview of Bishop Duncan

Over at Stand Firm, I came across this very interesting interview of Network Leader Bishop Duncan.

This online video is a ministry of

The interview contains some interesting tidbits about the failed New York Summit. Two things stand out.

First, I find it disturbing that the Archbishop of Canterbury’s representative to the summit hadn’t even bothered to read the petition asking for APO. That is incredible and begs the question: Does +++Rowan take the expressed need of orthodox North America dioceses and parishes for relief seriously?

His creating the Panel of Reference in such a manner that it has become a glorified circular file for petitions for relief and now this glaring omission by his representative is disconcerting. I sincerely hope I’m being alarmist, but still. . . .

I suspect I’m not the only one looking askance at +++Rowan’s attitude toward petitions for relief. Frankly, I would not be surprised if the Archbishop is told by certain Primates in February, “Enough! If you don’t take action to relieve the faithful in North America, we will!”

Second, speaking of action, the interview makes it clear to me that Network action on behalf of beleaguered parishes under revisionist bishops may be coming soon. There is Bishop Iker’s bold statement at the summit mentioned near the beginning of the interview that this was the last meeting about “process” he planned to attend and that “after this, it’s action.”

+Duncan drolly notes that after +Iker’s statement, “the nature of the meeting changed.”

Then watch Bishop Duncan beginning about 18:30 into the video. He pretty much says that now that the Windsor Report has been rejected by the Episcopal Church, the Network is no longer obliged to follow its restraints should parishes ask him or +Iker for help. He looks to me like a man who intends to take action on behalf of isolated orthodox parishes.

Methinks things are about to get even more interesting.
Christ Church Plano’s First Sunday Outside the Episcopal Church

As I hinted I would do, I attended the 9:15am service at Christ Church Plano on their first Sunday outside the Episcopal Church. But the only thing I noticed that was different from past Christ Church services was the sermon and the conclusion. Even 1979 ECUSA BCPs remained in the pew racks.

The sermon was noteworthy, however. Rector David Roseberry began, “Well, how was your week?”

The theme, taken from the Gospel reading of Mark 8:27ff., was “If you want to follow, then follow,” not attempt to lead or manipulate Christ as Peter did.

Fr. David told that in his first couple years as a Christian, he had a “God is my co-pilot” viewpoint. He later saw Jesus is to be followed, not made an assistant to one’s personal plans.

(If I have my chronology straight, Fr. David and I became Christians not many years apart. And I remember a popular book out called God is My Co-pilot. And even back as a newbie Christian, something struck me as not quite right about that.)

He also told of how he was thinking about retiring early in 2002 when God told him, “I’m not through with you yet.”

He explained what happened with Christ Church the preceding week. In the process he praised the leadership of Bishop Stanton of Dallas.

He tackled head on two possible objections to Christ Church leaving the Episcopal Church as they have:

1. The cash payment of $1.2 million

He stated Christ Church does not have that kind of money, that a short-term loan was taken out to be paid for by donations. And, though he was hesitant as first, it was an agreement good for both sides, securing the property for Christ Church and providing the Diocese of Dallas with “a soft landing.”

2. “Where’s your loyalty” to the Episcopal Church?

My memory about his answer is fuzzy, and Windows Media Player not working well as usual (I hope Christ Church leaves the Microsoft hegemony as well.) But he almost bristled as he said he had worked long and hard for the Episcopal Church and its reform. But that TEC was going down a road we can not follow.

It’s time for what he called “Chapter Two” in Christ’s Church life. And it’s time to follow Jesus.

If I heard correctly, he intends a sermon series on the future direction of Christ Church. Audio downloads and podcasts of Christ Church sermons may be found here. And this sermon is up.

At the end of the service, people joining Christ Church were invited up to be welcomed into the church. I counted 20 people who came up front! I didn’t think to ask if additional people were going to come up during the more heavily attended 11am service.

The Episcopal Church keeps losing people. And Christ Church keeps winning them.

The congregation was directed to receive packets in the Fellowship Hall on “Chapter Two” in the life of Christ Church. I would have very much liked to get a packet which included a DVD. But I think they were only for members, and I didn’t see anyone who seemed to be in charge to ask if I could have one.

Long time readers of this blog know Christ Church played a significant role in my pilgrimage to Anglicanism. May God bless them and continue to use them to bless many.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Which Theologian am I?

For our mutual edification and amusement, I took the “Which theologian are you?” quiz.

You scored as John Calvin. Much of what is now called Calvinism had more to do with his followers than Calvin himself, and so you may or may not be committed to TULIP, though God's sovereignty is all important.



John Calvin


Karl Barth


Jonathan Edwards


Martin Luther


Charles Finney


Friedrich Schleiermacher




Paul Tillich


J?rgen Moltmann


Which theologian are you?
created with

I’m glad to report that John Calvin won in a tiebreaker with Anselm. (But I'm not a TULIP man myself.)

That must be a well designed quiz; I do consider myself an orthodox Anglican with Anglo-Catholic and Calvinist tendencies.

Yes. To quote the Honda Element ad, I’m “a bit of a hodge-podge.”

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Christ Church Plano, Bishop Stanton come to separation agreement.

Most of you know by now that Christ Church Plano and the Bishop of Dallas have come to an agreement that allows the parish to formally leave the Episcopal Church. Christ Church will pay the diocese $1.2 million, so their freedom isn’t coming cheap.

But this is example of a bishop and parish working things out like adults, something that can't be taken for granted nowadays. Kudos to both parties.

Titusonenine has a couple entries on this, but they are having such server issues today I can’t access them now, I think because of an episcopal election in South Carolina. But Stand Firm has an entry here. And here’s the Dallas News’s artcle.

By the way, guess where I’ll be tomorrow morning at 9:15am?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sad News From New York Summit

The New York Summit has failed.

This statement has just been released.
”Tolerance” and the New York Summit

It has come home to me lately just how intolerant those who most like to talk about “tolerance” can be. The reaction of the Episcopal Left to even the convening of the ongoing New York Summit is a case in point.

Now a reasonable, genuinely (or at least somewhat) tolerant liberal Episcopalian might think something like this: “I’m unhappy with the actions and attitudes of those traditionalists. But I respect their consciences. And I agree the divisions are so bad now that a settlement or separation is needed. I appreciate the Archbishop of Canterbury’s effort to facilitate a settlement that’s short of bloodshed. I think both sides have had enough of the fighting. And both sides would be better off focusing on their missions than fighting.”

And I imagine and certainly hope there are liberals, particularly in positions to make decisions, who feel that way. But all too often their attitudes are something like this:

The Episcopal Church should take a hard line against the insurgents not because they are “conservative,” “orthodox,” “Evangelical,” or whatever—not, in fact, because of their expressed theology at all. These bishops and all who follow them, particularly those in holy orders, must be treated harshly because of the way they behave—because they are willing to lie, cheat, and, ultimately, steal, to achieve their goal of an independent “pure” American church—a church whose assets will, largely, be furnished by “liberating” them from The Episcopal Church. This is appalling and unacceptable behavior. All who engage in it demonstrate that they are unfit for Christian ministry, and The Episcopal Church has every reason to purge itself of people who behave in such a manner before they do more damage to it.

As I’ve mentioned here before, at least some of the Episcopal Left isn’t happy with merely winning their effort to modernize the Episcopal Church. They now wish to crush the orthodox. And they deeply resent +++Rowan’s intervention to try to help bring about a settlement that’s at least somewhat more civil.

Such intolerance is sad, no matter where it comes from . . . and no matter if it dresses up as “Christian” or “tolerant”.

Hat tip to titusonenine where there’s more thoughts.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The UN Millennium Goals are the solution to everything. . . .

Or so you would think if you have the endurance to read and the stupidity to believe recent pronouncements from the Episcopal Church. Every chance they get, TEC leaders have been touting the UN Millennium Goals.

And, sure enough, in his idiotic statement on the 5th anniversary of 9-11, --Frank Griswold touted the UN Millennium Goals as showing the way forward. That and “reconciliation,” of course.

Chris Johnson has a humorous take on this obsession:

It's odd how just about everything in the Episcopal Church leads back to the UN's Millennium Development Goals. Is that some kind of pastoral counseling move in ECUSA these days?

DISTRAUGHT MAN: Father, my wife, the love of my life, was just killed in an auto accident.

ECUSA MINISTER: I'm so sorry. Why don't you commit yourself to work for the implementation of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals. I'm sure your wife would have wanted it that way.

ANOTHER MAN: Father, I think I'm an alcoholic. What do I do?

ECUSA MINISTER: That's a brave admission. I'd recommend that you work toward the implementation of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals. It'll give you a sense of satisfaction that you can't get from alcohol.

AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT MAN: Father, lately, I've been overwhelmed with feelings about my best friend's wife. I want to sleep with her and I can't stop thinking about her. What do I do?

ECUSA MINISTER: That's easy, my son. Work toward the implementation of the UN's Millennium Development Goals. Which would you rather do, commit adultery with a hot woman or work for a plan that will bridge "the vast disparity between the wealth of nations such as our own and the extreme poverty of nearly half of the world’s people?"

Heck, “UN Millennium Goals” is becoming a more frequent Episcopalian phrase than “interfaith dialogue”!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Jordan Hylden on this Month’s Bishops’ Meetings

The New York summit of leading Episcopal bishops begins today. Pray.

There is a thoughtful piece by Jordan Hylden over at First Things on this month’s three major meetings among Anglican bishops. It summarizes well what’s at stake.

I agree with his concern that it’s not just inflexibility from liberals but also from conservatives that could cause problems going forward. Insisting that blatant apostasy be dealt with is one thing. Insisting (as I can be tempted to do) that apostates be booted now or else may be quite another.

(Unfortunately, I don’t see a way to make a permanent link to the article. But it’s on the front page of the First Things site for now as the September 11th entry of “On the Square.” So go there. In addition, there are comments at titusonenine. UPDATE: BabyBlue has posted the entire article.)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Problem with Christian Schools

Largely from my years of involvement in youth ministry, I’ve seen several Christian schools in action. And more often than not, I don’t like what I see.

The problem with Christian schools (and I’m referring to the K through 12 variety) is that they commit too many of the same prevalent sins against students and families as secular schools. And since those sins now have a “Christian” label stamped on them, they often drive students away from Christianity.

For now, I’ll tackle one of those sins: excessive homework, particularly when given over weekends. Few things angered me as a student than being assigned a lot of homework on Friday due Monday. That practice can still make me get a good rant on too many years later.

My current anger stems largely from seeing one family’s experience years ago. They had a two high school kids at my church -- the main reason I knew this family – and a good-natured 5th grade little brother. This good family often took me into their home on Sunday afternoons.

But more often than not on these visits, the 5th grade boy, who went to a prominent Christian school, had busywork homework taking up most of his Sunday afternoon . . . in 5th grade. And it was indeed busywork. I often saw little point to it.

What this homework did accomplish was make it more difficult for him to interact with family and friends and just have some relaxed weekend time that everyone needs.

The kid took it well, but I thought that something was very wrong.

There’s a girl in my current youth group that goes to another Christian school. She couldn’t go to her brother’s football game today because she had two essays due Monday, one of which was assigned Friday!

These are supposedly Christian schools. But what happened to the Judeo-Christian concept of Sabbath? What happened to respecting families and their time? Instead, most of the “Christian” schools I know engage in a one-sided competition with family time and weekends with their homework.

The typical school, Christian or otherwise, has their students for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week. If they aren’t using that time well enough that they feel they must take up multiple hours of a kid’s and family’s evenings and weekends with homework . . . . Well any school that tries to pull that on any kid and family of mine is going to hear about it.

And that’s goes double for Christian schools. They should know better. Christian schools more than others should know enough to respect family time and the need for Sabbath. Excessive homework does neither.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


The truth can now be told. Earth is being invaded by Space Aliens. And by their crop art, it’s clear they are . . . ROMAN CATHOLICS!!

So that’s why I’ve been having Catholic thoughts and why so many are swimming the Tiber.

Don’t forget to wear your tinfoil hat!
There is hope yet for the future.

If this video is any indication of what today’s youth think of liturgical dance and “Praise and Worship” music, there is hope for us yet.

Hat tip to this meandering monk.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Outrage in the Cathedral (yawn)

I haven’t posted on it yet. But, yes, I’ve been watching the controversy over former Iranian Khatami being invited to speak at the Episcopal National Cathedral.

Three bishops have now spoken out against this outrage.

But it may surprise you that I’m not particularly outraged about it. Oh, it is an outrage. But this sort of thing is what I’ve come to expect from libchurches. Instead of outrage, my reaction is more “There they go again. :yawn:”

For libchurches have a wonderful talent for aligning themselves with evil. Back in the Cold War, they aligned themselves with Communism. They for many years have aligned themselves with abortionists. (Those two outrages were among those driving me out of the Presbyterian Church years ago.)

Where do they get that amazing talent? Well, as the Church Lady would say, “Could it be SATAN!?”

So now they are beginning to align themselves with Iran’s propaganda effort. How predictable.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Speaking of Captions . . .

This is always a good place to go for good laughs.

A few of my creations are there. Can you find them?
Caption of the Week

Well, I don't really have a "Caption of the Week" on this blog. But if I did, the caption attached to the following picture would be it.

Guess what the appropriate caption is, then click here to see it. :snicker:

Friday, September 01, 2006

It’s September. Do you know where your bishops are?

It’s the first day of September, and this may be a big month for Anglicanism, particularly in the U. S. For there are two big meetings of bishops in the U. S. this month.

There’s the Camp Allen, Texas meeting of TEC “Windsor bishops” called by +Wimberly and to be attended by two prominent Church of England bishops. In recent days, Brad Drell and Greg Griffith have engaged in interesting analysis of this “consultation.” Both conclude more than just talk is likely, and I agree.

While the Windsor bishops are meeting in Texas, the Global South Primates of the Anglican Communion will be meeting in Rwanda. They, too, will focus on how to proceed now that the Episcopal Church has made its direction known at GC06. You know more than just talk will be forthcoming from that meeting.

The second earlier meeting in New York called by the Archbishop of Canterbury will consist of a much broader if select spectrum of bishops. There’s been discussion in the Anglican blogdom that nothing much will come from this meeting, especially given the prominent role that liberals Canon Kearon, PB Frank Griswold, and PB-elect Katherine Schori will play.

I, too, look askance at Kearon being appointed to represent the Archbishop. And you know what I think of the current and incoming Presiding Bishops. But I’m not so pessimistic about the meeting.

First, it’s clear that Archbishop Rowan is asking the combatants in the Episcopal Church to reach a settlement. Although he won’t personally be there, his desire will be the elephant in the room.

And if nothing will likely come of this meeting, then why is the Episcopal Left oh-so upset about it?

On the other end of the Episcopal spectrum, traditionalist Ft. Worth Bishop Iker is publicly encouraged about the meeting and will be attending. +Iker is not one to be overly optimistic about episcopal meetings. And he often refrains from participating in those he deems useless. Nor does he put on a happy face for anyone. He’s so honest and frank, it’s . . . it’s . . . downright unAnglican! So if he is encouraged, then there is reason to be encouraged about the New York meeting.

But maybe I’m naïve. I’m still a Newbie Anglican; I haven’t been one for years and years and seen meeting after meeting come to nothing. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to seeing how God uses these two meetings along with the Global South Primates meeting (and other behind-the-scenes meetings?) this month. I think this will indeed prove to be a big month for North American Anglicanism.

(Housekeeping: There seems to be a problem with comments this morning. That's one reason the blog may be loading slowly. This has happened before and should be temporary.)