We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: http://www.amazon.com/Book-Common-Prayer-Biography-Religious/dp/0691154813/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417814005&sr=8-1&keywords=jacobs+book+of+common+prayer. January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Cranmer-English-Reformation-1489-1556/dp/1592448658/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420055574&sr=8-1&keywords=A.F.+Pollard+Cranmer. February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at: http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Cranmer-Jasper-Ridley/dp/0198212879/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422892154&sr=8-1&keywords=jasper+ridley+cranmer&pebp=1422892151110&peasin=198212879
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
There's Another Reformed Anglican...Unbelievable!
Episcopal Watch: TEC Goes Where the Faithful Cannot
|Man-Baby TEC Clerics|
The liberal Dumb Asses, with leaders and their secularist herd, bray on. The braying is insufferable to the ears. They are honking donkeys and can't hear their own cacophany.
Or, to switch the metaphor from Dumb Asses to Man-Babies. Keep the baby bottles and diapers on hands for these retrograde whiners and opponents of classical Christendom. If they were honourable, they'd surrender their collars and go off into la-la land to celebrate their un-Christian beliefs with whatever rituals they desire. But, they choose to steal the name, "Christian." They want to be lawless squatters claiming land that is not their own. They are trespassers and interlopers.
A solid 12-step program is needed for theological liberals. Principle 1 of the 12 steps: "I am a forlorn, hopeless, stupid, blind, and ignorant theological liberal. I am beyond help apart from God. I've been in denial for decades having following too much the desires of my own depraved mind and heart..." You get the idea.
Attorney A.S. Haley offers his review. The apostates go where the faithful cannot. Haley gets it. Indeed.
For Confessionalist reviewers, you get it. We are sorry for the continuuing reports on the braying donkeys, honking donkeys, braying asses, but resistance and reportage is the order of the day. For the young, there are resources for learning, thinking, resolution, confirmation and affirmation of the faith.
In 2006, the Episcopal Church (USA) said to the rest of the Anglican Communion: "We will urge our bishops and standing committees to 'exercise restraint' in confirming bishops who might upset you, but we cannot do any more than that. Nor can we be sorry if you were offended by our actions -- that is your problem." Some of the dioceses in ECUSA still were very piqued, and announced they would not elect or confirm any more bishops, straight or gay, until the voluntary "moratorium" requested of them by the Lambeth Commission was declared to be at an end.
By 2009, the Episcopal Church (USA) had abandoned any vestiges of its so-called "moratorium." Two more clergy in same-sex partnerships were elected as bishops, and despite a personal plea from the Archbishop of Canterbury, General Convention approved them for consecration. They, too, may not officiate in the Church of England, or in any of twenty-one other provinces of the Anglican Communion.
At the same time, ECUSA in 2009 decided (without advertising the fact in the least) to change the rules, and to make, starting in 2011, its diocesan bishops subject to the pastoral supervision and authority of the Presiding Bishop. When they learned what the new disciplinary canons purported to do, a number of dioceses, starting with the Diocese of South Carolina, refused to recognize General Convention's authority to change the rules without going through a formal amendment to the Church's Constitution.
In 2012, the Episcopal Church said to the Diocese of South Carolina: "Goodbye -- it's been nice knowing you." They adopted more changes to the rules, which they already knew that the Diocese of South Carolina could not, and would not, accept. Most of that Diocese's deputation to General Convention walked out of the gathering in Indianapolis, and its bishop, the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence, informed the House of Bishops that he could not, in good conscience, remain in their company any longer.
The problem with ECUSA's actions over the past nine years is that it refuses to regard what it has done as in any way disruptive to the one, true, holy, catholic and apostolic church of Christ. It has asserted its power to annul and set aside the holy orders of bishops, priests and deacons who were each ordained, not into ECUSA particularly, but into that one catholic and apostolic church. And as if in retaliation for the fact that its gay and lesbian partnered bishops cannot be recognized by most of the other churches in the Communion, or invited to the Lambeth Conference, ECUSA has refused to allow clergy from other provinces to serve in its dioceses without their first renouncing their allegiance to the churches which licensed them, and then swearing a new oath of obedience solely to the "doctrine, discipline and worship" of the Episcopal Church (USA).
In sum, ECUSA has acted as though it was not in any shared relationships with the other provinces of the Anglican Communion. And recently, as pointed out above, it has begun to act as though it is no longer in any kind of shared relationship with its own member dioceses (except for those who agree with what it is doing internationally and domestically).
But to listen to those in ECUSA, it is the ones who reject its actions as unscriptural who have "departed from tradition," and certainly not ECUSA itself. Here is a dissident within Bishop Lawrence's Diocese of South Carolina who publicly puts the blame on him for the separation that has happened (my emphasis):
Whatever could motivate a churchgoing and God-fearing Christian to jettison two thousand five hundred years of theology and orthodoxy in such an obstinate way baffles me. Their attitude leaves the rest of us with no choice: if we play along with them, we compromise our faith irretrievably; therefore, we must refuse to recognize what they do. They are fully engaged in writing their own judgment-book, and the rest of us can have nothing to do with it.
This is the dilemma currently facing Bishop Lawrence, and no doubt a good many (but alas, not all) of the clergy who serve under him, as well. As the chosen leader of his flock, Bishop Lawrence has the heaviest responsibility -- but the responsibilities of priests for their parishes are, though not as all-compassing as the bishop's, nevertheless still every bit as solemn, and severe. As a lay person, I do not envy them the burdens imposed upon them by ECUSA's perverse and poisonous obtuseness.
Man is a fallen creature, and ECUSA -- just like any other branch of the church catholic -- is a fallen church. One cannot find perfection on this earth, no matter which church one joins, but perfection, as such, is not the standard. Rather, faithfulness to Scripture and tradition is. And by that measure, ECUSA falls far short of the mark. It is led by the false teachers of whom first Jesus Christ, and later his apostles, warned their first disciples, who then handed down those warnings to us.
Where can Bishop Lawrence go from here? Where can the Diocese of South Carolina go from here?
ECUSA has purposefully and heedlessly left them both with very limited choices. ECUSA simply does not care what it is doing to them. (It has far more important things to concern itself about -- things such as these.)
First, Bishop Lawrence could simply resign (but not without first obtaining, paradoxically, the consent of the apostate bishops who are driving him out of their fellowship). I do not believe he will do this.
Why not? Because it would leave his Diocese -- his flock, whom he has sworn to guide and protect -- at the mercy of ECUSA, who will seize any such opportunity to install someone much more to their liking. (Perhaps, just to rub it in, they would push forward one or more of their transgendered clergy from other dioceses, who so rejoiced at the remarkable contradiction which they maneuvered General Convention into making: "Every creature of God is good; hence partnered gays and lesbians make good bishops; but when it comes to transgendered persons, God somehow erred, and they know better than He does what they should have been.")
Well, what will Bishop Lawrence do, then? Although the responsibility for the spiritual welfare of his diocese lies heavily on his shoulders, the one thing Bishop Lawrence cannot do is to reach a decision on his own about the next steps for it to take.
He has to involve his clergy and his faithful parishioners in that process. (Those adversaries, like Melinda Lucka quoted above, will refuse to view things from his perspective. Instead, they will continue, ad nauseam, to play the victim to the willing ears of the national Church.) Any decision for the Diocese as a whole can be taken only by the whole Diocese, and that will require time for reflection, deliberation, and careful listening.
The decision has to be the Diocese's as a body, but Bishop Lawrence has the responsibility to guide it into the right decision. They elected him as their bishop, and he must consequently advise and lead them. No doubt that is why he has first taken some time off to ponder the options in prayer and solitude. He must be firm and steadfast in his own resolve before he can inspire others.
There are of course many faithful leaders in his Diocese who will make themselves available when he is ready to hear and meet with them. And my hope is that some of his fellow bishops who voted against the unscriptural measures approved by General Convention will extend their hands to him, as well. Indeed, it would be far better if some other dioceses expressed their solidarity with South Carolina, and if they together faced down ECUSA's apostasy as a determined group, rather than just one of them by itself.
The days ahead will be momentous for the Diocese of South Carolina -- and for any other dioceses that undertake to find their way along the same path. All of us who can perceive the dilemma into which the activism of General Convention has put them must be ready and willing to help in any way we can, as well.
For my part, I pledge to use my legal abilities, and understanding of Church law and history, to assist anyone caught in this dilemma to gain a better understanding of its parameters, and of the options available for consideration. In the weeks and months to come, I will devote more and more of this blog to that endeavor (while not omitting, of course, to blog about and comment on the equally momentous choice facing the entire Nation this November).
There is much work to do. Let not your hearts be troubled -- for we know, if we work together in the abiding faith of Our Savior, Jesus Christ, that God's will shall be done.
Rome Watch: Jumping into and Swimming Across the Turgid, Brown Tiber River to Rome
By the way, having been to Rome perhaps a dozen times, the Tiberine River is brown and turgid. Quite literally. To add more literality to it, while living in Naples, reports surfaced that the sewer system had failed and was dumping--well, you know what--stuff into the brown and turgid Tiber River. Floaters. Big brown floaters with heavy grease content giving them buoyancy and visibility. Result? Visible floaters to those walking alongside the Tiber. A good metaphor too. Marines will approve. Limp and squeamish pietists won't. God, give us a modern Luther, earthy, gutsy and scholarly. A man with steel cajones that hang low, to the knees!
I am swimming back to Rome!
Old Princeton Watch: 31 Jul 1859, Passing of A.A. Alexander's Son, James Waddell Alexander
The consequences are with us in 2012. Lest we forget! Oh, how the mighty have fallen! The proud have had their faces smashed into the dirt and dust!
Hello, liberals, eat the dust you Dumb Asses. Your days are numbered as your leaders are being, as we speak, passing to another world, being held accountable. Enjoy His August Majesty's justice, truthfulness, and holiness. Motions to dismiss and motions for clarification will be denied. You've made your contribution to the eternal reprobates. Better folks will jump ships for the hopes of better thinking.
A Model Preacher and a Faithful Pastor
Through the Standards: The Sixth commandment: Sins forbidden
A. The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life of ourselves, or of others, except in case of public justice, lawful war, or necessary defence; the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful and necessary means of preservation of life; sinful anger, hatred, envy, desire of revenge; all excessive passions, distracting cares; immoderate use of meat, drink, labor, and recreations; provoking words, oppression, quarreling, striking, wounding, and whatsoever else tends to the destruction of the life of any.”
A. The sixth commandment forbids the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbor unjustly, or whatsoever tends thereunto.”
Theo-Lib Watch: PHILADELPHIA: Association of Anglican Musicians Feature "Drag Queen"
By David W. Virtue
July 30, 2012
The Association's Journal in review of the daily events described "Ramona" as the "First Lady of the Hammond". (See foto) Reports from the floor of the Exhibit hall described "Ramona" as "she" held forth on a Hammond Organ leading those gathered in a mockery of gospel hymns including "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," "[There is] Power in the Blood," and "Wonderful Grace of Jesus".
"I was appalled at what I saw," said an organist who asked not to be named. "I could not stay to the bitter end."
The opening event, a concert by The Crossing began in the gay flaming parish of St. Clement's whose priest, the Rev. Gordon Reid, has been exposed by VOL as having a long history of homosexual activity that included sex with hundreds of partners, group sex orgies, extreme sadomasochistic sex acts and prostitution when he was in Scotland.
On Wednesday, Clergy Day, which PA Bishop Charles Bennison underwrote, Ana Hernandez, an alumnus of the Center for Emerging Visual Arts in Philadelphia, proceeded to lead the conference in "sacred chant" - in bare feet at Holy Trinity Rittenhouse Square, which appalled many. As Ms. Hernandez's own book and website makes clear - her concept of sacred chant is a strange New Age mix of Hindu and Buddhist chant and philosophy intermingled with Christianity.
In a letter to the editor of the AAM Journal, a commenter noted, "... the real error of 'A Day for Clergy and Musicians' at the conference (an error that did not help the workshops) was that we went to Holy Trinity Church (where O Little Town of Bethlehem author Phillips Brooks was rector before being elected Bishop of Massachusetts, and composer Lewis Redner was organist) and experienced 'the hopes and fears of all the years' in a liturgy where we were asked to do things that were downright uncomfortable."
David Brensinger, in a letter to the editor of the Journal of the AAM, described the event as a "disappointment and an embarrassment" describing some of the music as "under rehearsed and ill prepared as it did with the music choices themselves."
The conference preacher, Bishop Paul Marshall (Diocese of Bethlehem), in his Monday sermon went so far as to suggest that belief or unbelief in the historic Creeds of the Church Catholic might be optional for Christians. He stated in the reprint of his sermon, "Not all of us believe with words. Perhaps the dogmatically hesitant have a vital point to make, at least in the present culture that speaks so trippingly of the uncertainty principle and parallel universes. I have to remember that for the orthodox Christianity of Mahler's day, the creed was for the most part data, not a song.
So perceived, it ultimately reduced God to an object, capable of study, dissection, and definition, the fuel for debate and even persecution. Such talk of a domesticated and definable God does not invite the ecstasy of music. Who would want to set the periodic chart of the elements to music? Well, of course, Tom Lehrer did just that, but you get my point."
Five current or former bishops of the Episcopal Church present at the conference were: The Rt. Rev'd Neil Alexander, retired Diocese of Atlanta, The Rt. Rev'd Keith B. Whitmore of the Diocese of Atlanta who was formally installed as the AAM chaplain, The Rt. Rev'd Douglas Theuner, retired Diocese of New Hampshire (under whose careful engineering Gene Robinson was selected as his successor), the Rt. Rev'd Paul Marshall, Diocese of Bethlehem, the Rt. Rev'd Charles Bennison, Diocese of Pennsylvania and the Rt. Rev'd George Councell of the Diocese of New Jersey.
William Bradley Roberts, professor at Virginia Theological Seminary, in his Banquet keynote address praised the The Book of Common Prayer and its use by others in nondenominational churches.
He said that an emerging church with no denominational ties wanted to deepen their worship and found it in the Book of Common Prayer. "Other churches are doing some things that are very, very effective. People are starving for what you and I take for granted, for the food that is sitting right in our cupboard. But waiting for them to walk through our red doors is not going to work anymore."
He said Brian McLaren, a leader of the Emerging Church Movement, calls this period we live in: "The Episcopal Moment." That is nothing short of extraordinary. "Brian McLaren was talking to Dent Davidson who is music chaplain to the House of Bishops, music coordinator in the Diocese of Chicago, and one of the most creative musicians in the church. McLaren wanted Dent to meet one of the musicians at Willow Creek, the independent mega-church just outside Chicago. What he's looking for is a liturgical, mystical dimension to feed his spirit and his creative life. He turned to the little Book of Common Prayer."
Later at the closing banquet at Philadelphia's prestigious Union League club, men were seen dancing with men which speaks to the level of depravity to which the parish leadership within the Episcopal Church have fallen.
Monday, July 30, 2012
Theo-Lib Watch: Sarah Morice-Brubaker Tries Her Hand on "What's Ailing Episcopalianism?"
Recommendation, Sarah: start from scratch, start over, and actually deal with the issues, not worthless anecdotes. Give the history of 19th-20th century liberalism, exegesis, systematics, confessions, liturgies, creeds, the Bible and get to the real issues. Dreary and pathetically weak, I tell ya.'
We apologize for the formatting that is irregular and incorrigible for some reason.
For Douthat, Church Either Uncompromising or a Secular Den of Promiscuity and Irrelevance
Mrs. Ernestine Peck, the lady who directs the morning bus traffic. She is wealthy enough that she doesn’t need the income, but she does this out of the goodness of her heart because she thinks kids today—with their fancy phones and their Facespace-or-whatever-it’s-called—need to see someone like her. Maybe it will inspire them to something better in life. Of course, it’s not really their fault. It’s the parents. They’re too permissive, and they work far too many hours, and they’re not reliable, and they don’t limit screen time, and even the liberal ones do activism all wrong. She and her friends marched, way back in the day, and this is the thanks they get! Mrs. Peck is the sort of person who sincerely can’t fathom why poor people don’t wear natural fibers; take up yoga; or cook fresh, organic, locally-sourced produce every day. Religiously, Mrs. Peck basically thinks that the more spiritually evolved you are, the more you come to resemble her and her friends: vague, spiritual, comfortable, and tastefully harrumphy. She likes hymns from the 1970s and is convinced they will appeal to “the youth.”
Theo-Lib Watch: TEC Bp. Stacy Saul's Laughable Defense of GC 2012
In one sense, it's not our fight. In another, we have a duty to speak and that we do. May God be faithful to our children and grandchildren in their generations according to their birthright and the divine promises in the baptisms. May they raise the faithful and manful banner.
Decadence Watch: Marriage Redefintion Platform Will Disadvantage Democratic Party
On this end, it is time for increased academic involvement, work and readings on the "sociology of the family," e.g. divorce, single-parent homes, poverty as a result, absence of theological catechesis, integrity issues in government and media, and another review of Edward Gibbons's The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. It is time to add sociological studies in the inter-disciplinary inquiry to our ignorance of the Ten Commandments. The Family Research Council believes the Democratic platform favouring sodomy, lesbianism and trans-generism will result in an electorate shift. We wonder about the impact amongst blue collar Dems in MI, for example, or black evangelical churches, faithful Roman Catholics, Mormons and Jews. 32 of 32 states, that is, 64% of all U.S. states have passed legislative variants of the view that marriage is between one man and one woman. North Carolina just passed their version a few months ago. Time for readings in lawlessness, moral relativism, and the other fruits of indifference, incompetence, indecision and narcissism. The same-sex marriage is one in a larger constellation of issues that need review. We can surely add liberal theology in the mainline as an ingredient in the dynamic. Imagine if the mainliners were in resistance to "going with the flow?" But, what do dead men and women know, unable to free themselves from themselves, unable to see, unable to hear, unable to sense, unable to feel and utterly disabled from re-ordered and re-orienting thought, affection and volition. 1000s of leaders are dead (Eph. 2.1, inter alia ad significum.)
CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Darin Miller, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866) 372-6397