Thursday, October 20, 2011

Abandoning the Episcopal Church? Who? What? Where?

Imagine this from a church body that tolerated Bishops James Pike, John Shelby Spong, and Gene Robinson!  Talk about abandoning the Episcopal Church!  But it seems that in this case "abandoning" refers not to the 39 Articles nor the Book of Common Prayer nor the positions of world wide Anglicanism.  No, here it refers to the GLBT agenda and the nebulous faith that is practiced with great ceremony in the once noble Episcopal Church in America.  This is one diocese (there are others) that has slowed the pace of modernization of the faith and apparently that is more sinful than being on the forefront of apostasy and heresy.

What is so gosh darn frustrating is that the Episcopal Church in its present incarnation gives ceremony a bad name and gives the false impression that those who are interested in smells and bells have forsaken the truth that accompanies liturgy and practice.  Anyway, take heart, though, because I have been told that these charges are on the fast track and not likely to die of old age as they wend their way through the ordinarily lazy structures of the Episcopal Church.

It came out of the blue with lightning speed, though not entirely unexpected. On Thursday [Oct. 6], the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, Bishop of South Carolina was informed that he is being investigated on accusations of abandoning the Episcopal Church, charges many believe are spurious, designed solely to bring down an orthodox bishop who will not play ball with certain resolutions passed by General Convention.

He and his diocese received the communication from the President of the Disciplinary Board for Bishops, the Rt. Rev. Dorsey Henderson, saying that "serious charges" have been made under Title IV of the Canons of The Episcopal Church. They released a 63-page document [PDF] of the evidence brought against him that includes, among other things, the diocesan convention's decision in October 2009 to "begin withdrawing from all bodies of the Episcopal Church that have assented to actions contrary to Holy Scripture, the doctrine, and worship of Christ as this Church has received them, the resolutions of the Lambeth Conference which have expressed the mind of the Communion, the Book of Common Prayer, and our Constitution and Canons, until such bodies show willingness to repent of such actions."


William Tighe said...

This is a sad situation, but, since Bishop Lawrence is a proponent and practitioner of the pretended ordination of women, it shows how relative "orthodoxy" as well as "conservatism" has become in the Episcopal "Church."

Laura said...

My comment is unrelated to the Bishop Lawrence situation, just wanted to pass on this link to some posters created for Christ Church New Haven. Only relationship to your post is that they are from an Episcopal Church. Pretty creative way to promote traditional liturgical worship, so thought you might be interested:


Terry Maher said...

IMHO the information Dr Tighe has supplied puts an entirely new light on this story. Which is, that this is not at all a story of conservative versus liberal, orthodox versus heterodox, but rather a dispute among the liberal and heterodox, all of whom have abandoned the Episcopal Church, about how much and how far.

Terry Maher said...

"that those who are interested in smells and bells have forsaken the truth that accompanies liturgy and practice" is not a false impression at all. It is only false if "those" is taken universally, since not all those who are interested in smells and bells have forsaken the truth that accompanies liturgy and practice.

But generally, they have. What one sees, whether the Episcopal Church in this story, or the RCC, the EO, the ELCA or whoever, are those who in various and different ways have indeed abandoned what we confess as the truth that accompanies liturgy and practice, the only argument being about how much and how far.

The point being, smells and bells guarantee nothing whatever and are absolutely worthless in themselves, having meaning only when connected to that truth from which they are supposed to proceed, and apart from which they can and usually do proceed quite nicely to the delusion and destruction of souls.

Anonymous said...

Neither does the lack of smells and bells since most of liberal protestantism doesn't like them either (unitarian to methodist to non-denominationals to evangelicals doing worship lite). So what's your point?

Terry Maher said...

Are you Catholic or something? Straw Man, genetic fallacy and slippery slope are not characteristic of Lutheran argumentation.

The point was exactly as stated: the news story cited is not an example of orthodox versus heterodox or conservative versus liberal; it is an example of difference in degree among heterodox and liberal; it occurs among the smells and bells crowd regularly and demonstrates that indeed quite often an interest in smells and bells is unattached to orthodoxy or conservatism.

William Tighe said...

Some things are beyond parody – except in the Episcopal “Church” (where it has been proposed to "rehabilitate" Pelagius):

But perhaps they got their history from this film:

in which Pelagius is brought in at the beginning as “Arthur’s” teacher and mentor, and advocate of freedom, equality, democracy and “free will.”

After Pelagius, Marcion (and perhaps Montanus, patron of “new things” and especially WO), then Valentinus, Basilides and Nicholas of Antioch. The Sethians and Ophites might take a while to rehabilitate, but give it time; I’m sure the Bishop of New Hampshire finds much to favor in their ethics.

Broad Churchianity, indeed.

Rev. Allen Bergstrazer said...

It is a bit difficult to stifle one's schadenfreude when you see old school liberalism reaping what it has sown. The means and methods by which Bishop Lawrence and others got what they wanted (women's ordination et. al) are now being used by Bishop Jefferts-Schori and her fellow travelers to get what they want, which is leading to a cat fight over how far afield the Episcopal church may go with their errors. How does one have sympathy for someone who is essentiall saying 'I'm apostate, but I'm not THAT apostate!"

William Tighe said...

I must own up to both error and unintentional slander, in my comment above, the first one on this thread. I have been informed that Bishop Lawrence has never ordained a woman and that there are no women in the pipeline to ordination in the Episcopalian Diocese of South Carolina. The good bishop has "seen the fruit" of women's "ordination," and, it appears, drawn the right conclusion.