Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Presiding Bishop: "General Convention was wonderful!"

Wonder if she attended the same one I did? From the Gazette Times:
GT: Last month you were at General Convention in Anaheim, Calif. How did it go?

Jefferts Schori: General Convention was wonderful! People were careful with each other, and respectful — it was a different convention (from the last one) in that sense. There was no animosity. People treated each other appropriately. We had so many visitors from around the Anglican Communion (the worldwide organization that includes the Episcopal Church and 37 other provinces) — 15 primates and a number of other bishops, and lay people too! We invited them to come see how we make decisions. A lot of them were surprised at the strength of our House of Deputies (one of two legislative houses of General Convention, made up of clergy and lay people; the other is the House of Bishops). In many places, the bishops tell everyone how things are going to be, so we were delighted that people came and saw the way we work.
And lay people too! Oh, the spin makes me dizzy.



And just in case we forget how it really was:

80 comments:

TLF+ said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQiBop5ns8k

An anthem that fits.

Don said...

How wonderful it was depends on how you look at it.

She got pretty much what she wanted, so it's little wonder she's happy.

Mercifully for the rest of us the last word isn't hers. Not in this life. Not in the next.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

Lucky for us the last word isn't BabyBlue's or Don's either.

What makes mentioning the lay people who visited from other Churches in the Communion "spin." Or was it spin when BabyBlue reported on the visitors to the ACNA convention?

The PB doesn't need me to defend her, but perhaps BabyBlue needs someone to help her avoid sounding silly with her sarcastic remarks.

Anonymous said...

Tee-hee... Fr. Weir tries to spin the spin. Yes, everone was so polite... NOT! We can go back and watch the videos.

God gets the last Word. No spin or sarcasm there. You can't legislate God's will.

Londoner said...

It was wonderful in that revisionists finally stopped pretending they were in line and said clearly that they were going to do what they have been doing anyway......more honesty, that is wonderful (shame it also means TEC leaving the AC.... but still, more integrity in that than bo33- which nobody ever intended to obey for more than "a season")

Sibyl said...

It is NOT wonderful when the Church teaches and condones evil.

It is deadly.

These are terrorists, equivalent to the islamic ones.

Just as deadly, just as violent, just as evil, just as responsible for the harm they are doing in God's eyes.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

Sibyl,

Your comments remindmeof a response that Rep. Frank made to a young woman who described the health care reform efforts as Nazism: On what planet do you spend most of your time? I agree wirh Mr. Frank that it is a tribute to the First Amendment that nonsense such as your comment is tolerated in the US.

Your comments are, I think, an insult to those who have been killed by terrorists.

the snarkster said...

TOP FIVE BIGGEST LIES

5. I'll still love you in the morning.
4. The part will be here tomorrow.
3. Don't worry, all cars smoke a little when you first crank them.
2. The check is in the mail.
1. General Convention was wonderful.

the snarkster

Whitestone said...

It is just as deadly to lead people to disease, deception, damnation and eternal hell.

It is more subtle, but no less deadly form of terrorism. Sin IS spiritual death and separation from God.

The homosex lifestyle is also a subtle seductive hell in itself.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Sibyl used the word "Nazi" in her comment.

"Terrorists" may be a little over the top. How about "Agents of Satan"?

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

Anonymous (whoever you may be),

It is my conviction that faithful people have after serious of Scripture reached different conclusions about same-sexuality. This is not unheard of in the Church - we saw it in the matter of slavery and in the matter of military service. I do not characterize those who disagree with me as "Agents of Satan" and I would rather not be characterized in that way. I beleive that we will enjot eternity together and I have no desire to begin that experience with endless apologies to those I have treated uncharitably.

Whitestone is quite right that Sibyl never used the term Nazism, but then I never said that she did, but only suggested that saying folks like me were the equivalent of Islamic terrorists was as silly as calling health care reform a Nazi policy.

I believe the discussion of sexuality is a serious business for serious Christians and I'm sorry but I don't think "Agents of Satan" and comparison to terrorist contribute anything to this discussion.

Jill C. said...

Seeing as how this is Baby Blue's blog, I think she can say what ever she darn well pleases, including (but not limited to): snarky remarks, witticisms, personal observations, predictions, theoretical nonsense, deep thoughts, off-the-cuff one-liners, pithy statements, profound paragraphs, hilarious gut-busters, dire warnings, and the like.

(Thanks, BB. Your cafe is still a cool place to visit! ;)

Floridian said...

Actually, Jesus used 'synagogue of satan' and Paul used 'synagogue of Libertines.'

None of these, nor Sibyl's was an understatement.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

Jill C.

I have not suggested that BabyBlue should be stopped from posting anything she wants here, nor have I suggested that anyone else be stopped from posting twaddle. I have simply enjoyed the freedom whih BabyBlue graciously provides to express my opinions about her sarcastic and, IMV, silly somment about the PB and to suggest that borrowing Pauline invective to dismiss me and others like me as evil or satanic is not really going to further the discussion of sexuality in the Anglican Communion.

Of course, all of this dismissive language suggests to me that at least some of BabyBlue's visitors don't want such a serious discussion, don't want to listen to the experiences of partnerd gay and lesbian Episcopalians, don't want to entertain the possibility that the lives of those couples have anything of holiness in them. If this is true than I might echo another comment of Congressman Franks and say that trying to discuss this with you is like trying to have a conversation with a dining room table.

I hope I am wrong about this.

Don said...

"...partnerd [sic] gay and lesbian Episcopalians..."

Isn't that unfair to people like Davis Mac-Iyalla?

BabyBlue said...

Maybe it's time to get some Cafe Cream Pies and the Shrove Tuesday Special Pancakes out of the oven, just remember, throw the pancakes, but eat the pies - not the other way around.

bb

Anonymous said...

A serious discussion regarding acceptable/blessed sexual behaviours is missing because there is no more discussion. The debate is over. It has be legislated. It is done.

Criticism of TEC will not be finished, however, until TEC drops the property litigation and stops suing individuals for the sole purpose of intimidation and harassment.

Anonymous said...

Father Weir,

Talk is cheap.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

Anonymous,

Talk may be cheap, but it is one of the ways that we can use to resolve disagreements. I do not believe that the actions of the General Convention have ended the discussion and I am willing to continue with any who are willing to move beyond name-calling into respectful discussion. I continue to learn from those with whom I disagree and to be blessed with friends on all sides of the issue.

Sibyl said...

TEC most certainly are like terrorists - they are spiritual terrorists who have taken over and weakened the bridge upon which people must escape from evil and death.

BabyBlue said...

Sibyl, I think a case can be made the type of litigation that has been underway is a type of violence. The type of litigation that Schori's administration has been practicing is in no way an illustration of passive resistance. It is quite violent and that has been a shock. It's difficult for me to understand how some at 815 might call for a pacifist response to international aggression and yet at the same time engage in the type of litigation that at it's heart is quite violent.

On the other hand, calling an entire denomination "spiritual terrorists" comes across as quite violent as well. While we might make the case that the bridge is weakened and perhaps even set on fire, even then there are some rather heroic Episcopalians who are leaping upon the burning bridges and attempting to save them from the flames before the whole structure collapses.

I am not inclined to peg all Episcopalians as engaging in violent acts of litigation or to classify them as some sort of "spiritual terrorists." In fact, some of the 815-aligned leadership has named-called the ACNA leadership as akin to an Anglican Taliban. That kind of rhetoric, on both sides, is hardly reflective of Jesus teachings.

Oh, he had a sharper tongue when he needed it ("brooding vipers" comes to mind). But at the same time, he kept the door open for repentance. We are not so inclined to keep that door open when we brand our opponents any kind of terrorists when in fact, we may comment on actions but we have no insight into some else's heart.

bb

Anonymous said...

I think of the litigation as hardly violent at all, but simply an effort to protect continuing congregations against dispossession and an act of stewardship for properties that have long (i.e., long before we all got into a dither over the theology of same sex blessings etc.) in Episcopal hands. The litigation is a very small part of this breakdown in unity within the Church and is easily avoided by those who depart departing. They, like Good Shepherd in New York belatedly found, will do well.

Sibyl said...

The actions of TEC are destructive to the Gospel and are leaving people (some of them clerics, even bishops) to believe they are spiritually 'ok' when they are living in grievous mortal sin.

This is equivalent to terrorism and violence.

Those within the TEC system who are silent are complicit in this.

Evil is evil, whether it is polite or not. I'm tired of niceness and tolerance and compromise that gives place to the devil.

Allen said...

Father Weir hoped...

"I do not believe that the actions of the General Convention have ended the discussion..."

We heard that about Women's Ordination. There was supposed to be room left for the conscience and objection and all could dwell together without holding the same opinion....but just for a while...until TADA!! General Convention stopped discussion by forcing dioceses around the country to have just one opinion...and you know the rest.

We've seen this flick before.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

Allen,

There were years between the decision to ordain women and the move to open the door to women in dioceses whose bishops did not accept women in orders. I believe the question was not whether or not a bishop's convictions should be honored, but whether his convictions trumped those of everyone else in the diocese. Bishops could make it impossible for parishes to call women priests or to propose female parishioners as candidates for ordination. I would never force a bishop to ordain a woman in violation of his conscience, but I believe that it si wrong for a bishop's convictions to trump everyone else's, especially the faith laity of the diocese.

Anonymous said...

The Lakeland Two says...

Part of the problem is that the left (and particularly Fr. Weir here)refuse to see that these bishops speak and spoke for many people in the pews - faithful laity of the diocese - who didn't agree with women's ordination either. Many of the other bishops spoke ignoring people in the pews as well. Many people and churches left. TEC's new masters didn't like the minions fleeing. How do you keep from that happening? Take the building since the building can't pick its feet up and walk. Ta –da – Dennis Canon. Interesting how the local parish was never given the option of signing onto/out of this puppy. No wonder God had the Temple destroyed.

There are people in the pews who didn't want a female priest. And some who still don't. My moderate church is searching for a new rector and several people in the congregation have voiced if a female comes, they're gone. This is in spite of submitting two female candidates for the ordination process. Anyone not agreeing with women's ordination has been thrown under the train. As have those who don't agree with the same-sex bandwagon are also being thrown under the train. The carrot is thrown out as "We can all get along and exist" - and then the right to object is taken away. Bait and switch. You can only go back to that well so many times before the people get wise.

The suing of those not wanting to be a car on TEC's train, and IMHO going off the cliff at full speed, is extortion and intimidation to both those being sued and to those who may have the temerity to even think about leaving. It isn't Christian or Christ-like in any form. But us conservatives telling you that is useless. You simply do not have the same value set. You simply do not believe in Christ's words at the same level that we do. You fail to see it, or for some reason, choose not to. What’s worse is that you denigrate us for believing differently – that we are required to believe your way for some unnamed reason other than your will and “polity” to do so. It is not faithful to us to stay tied to a church that doesn't stay tied to the same basic beliefs.

The polity of democracy at GC is fine until it doesn't play at home. Then democracy is thrown under the train as well. Everything is fine for the new agenda unless real dissent shows up. The physical properties are hostage. The people leaving in protest paid for those properties - and TEC got their cut already through these same peoples' donations to their churches, who in turn paid their assessments to the diocese who paid their assessments to TEC. If I didn't like what the US is doing, I can SELL my house and get my investment out of it and leave the US and go elsewhere. I leave with my investment.

I don't see TEC paying to have the roof fixed on the church, nor the grass cut. I don't see TEC paying anything at all to upkeep the property or the congregation. So suing to take a property where TEC has no investment and is contrary to the beliefs of the parish is the real theft.

That people like Fr. Weir or Scout don't agree doesn't surprise me or anyone else. What does my church building have to do with you? Brand protection. Because it isn't about Christ.

Anyone can call something blessed - but only God blesses. TEC isn't growing, it's decreasing. The faithful laity are walking with their checkbooks. Hate to go Star Wars on you, but it is too fitting: "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers." God has mercy, God listens. TEC doesn’t.

The PB can paint whatever rosy picture of GC she wants. Doesn’t make it true. As was said before, we have the videos and eyewitness accounts to prove it.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

I am sorryn that Anonymous (The Lakeland Two) misunderstood my point. Yes there are lay people who agree with their bishop on the ordination of women - it would surprise me if there weren't. But there are also lay people who have found that their desire to call a woman as rector is thwarted by the bishop. I know there are bishops who work hard to keep conservative or liberal clergy from being called to parishes in their dioceses, but nothing I have posted here should lead anyone to think that I apporve of those bishops' actions. Even though I think there is a danger in some place of a congregationalist mentality, I believe the freedom of parishes to call rectors is a good thing.

Allen said...

Fr. Weir noted re: W.O.....

"I believe that it si (is) wrong for a bishop's convictions to trump everyone else's, especially the faith laity of the diocese".

Does this include the Presiding Bishop?

Your premise about bishop "trumping" others forgets that at least four WHOLE dioceses have left after a majority vote of laity/clergy...not just the vote of a bishop. The departing convention votes have been the fodder for much derision by 815 and other wizened entities around the wider Church, so it isn't at all about even respecting the consciences of whole majorities in dioceses. It's about thought conformity with the revisionist agenda.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

Allen-

You have moved a long way from the point that I was raising about the conscience clause provided by GC when it apporoved the ordination of women to the presbyterate. After some years,it was clear that some bishops understood the conscience clause as not only as permission to refuse to ordain women, but also as permission to deny parishes the right to call women rectors. It was that to which I objected and which was eventually addressed.

The situations you mention are very different and I have no argument with people who decide to leave the Episcopal Church. There is a question, still unresolved, about whether or not the decision to leave includes a decision to leave all Episcopal Church behind. I think it does, but I respect those who argue that it doesn't and I am willing to wait for a definitive answer.

Anonymous said...

No, Fr. Weir, I didn't misunderstand your point. And you know that. I just don't agree with it. Which is one of my points. Conversation can go on and on as long as the left wants to make their points. What the left, you in this case, refuses to understand is the word "No".

Forcing a "conversation" beyond even a position that "granted space" and go back and now say these bishops are being unfaithful by denying a parish's "rights" under his authority is ridiculous. The bishops you speak of were well known for their positions as they were in the selection process and were chosen for such. Their dioceses chose to leave - democratic votes.

Except, of course, when the left wants what it wants. Anyone in disagreement is supposed to bow down and submit and surrender any objection or feelings of anger. Resistance is futile. No. No. and No.

Anonymous said...

TL2: I think it fallacious to equate your ownership of your house to your position as a parishioner in an Episcopal Church which you decide to depart because you are not comfortable with particular directions of the national church. The better analogy would be that you attend meetings of a social club in a building that has been in the ownership of the club for generations. You contribute funds to the upkeep. You and some others leave because you are miffed at the current leadership. Do you get title to the building when you go? I doubt it. Your emphasis on "my" in a possessory sense seems out of place unless you have title in your own name to the church. This is not the situation that has been the subject of litigation.

Scout

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

Anonymous (it's a bit hard to keep track of which anonymous poster you are):

You have - as Allen did - moved to the question of bishops and convention delegates that have chosen to seek to remove their dioceses from the Episcopal Church.I have views on that, but they are not really related to my comments about bishops' convictions trumping those of everyone else. In fact, most or all of the conventions that have taken those have allowed individual parishes to stay in the Episcopal Church - a case where neither the bishop's nor the convention's trumped everyone else's.

If you have assumed that I am in favor of silencing the voices of those who dissent in the Episcopal Church, you are mistaken. While I respect the decisions of those who have left, I miss the presence of conservative friends and colleagues from whom I have learned much. I am sorry if your experience has been of being silenced or marginalized.

BTW, what do you disagree with about my point about bishops' onvictions trumping everyone else's? If it was something else, then I have lost track of the thread.

BabyBlue said...

It might be helpful, Anons, if you just tell what color hat you are wearing. ;-) Unless one of you is Rowan.

You never know - that's why we love our Anons. You just never know.

Seriously, I think I need to take issue again scout with your word choices. You write that people have left the Episcopal Church, "because you are not comfortable with particular directions of the national church."

It's not about comfortable. If it was just about comfort, we'd get some cushions and pillows and add them to the pews. People don't put themselves at risk or vote to leave the church they've known since babyhood because they are uncomfortable. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson didn't vote to separate from English rule because they were uncomfortable. Martin Luther King Jr. didn't get himself thrown into the Birmingham Jail because he was uncomfortable. No.

It's not about comfort, it's about right and wrong.

The world views, the biblical views are incompatible. The Episcopal Church has been told this over and over and over and over again by all the instrument of unity of the Anglican Communion.

The General Convention of 2009 witnessed that Rowan Williams is in impaired communion with the Episcopal Church. That is a fact. We have a schism on our hands and it will only get worse unless we stand down from the violence of litigation and begin to find a way to peace.

That may not be with this current Boomer generation of leadership. I pray that the next generation will get their heads and their hearts together, that we might sit down and find a way to remain in as close a communion as possible. We are so far from that now, so very very far.

bb

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Padre Wayne said...

...and people who issue such a comment without the courage to include any sort of name are... well, they're at least cowardly.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

"But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult£ a brother or sister,£ you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire." (Matthew 5:22)

I wonder what Jesus would say is the penalty for calling Bishop Katharine "a bitch"?

Allen said...

Fr. Weir may be missing the point of my posts. The idea is that several majority memberships in dioceses haven't been respected in THEIR objection to W.O.. So let's just stop chalking the level of dissent on a few bishops who were supposedly standing in the way of W.O. Whole segments of the Church have objected and have likewise been shoved around...and now out...by the likes of our current PB due to heavy-handed policies.


Whew!

The PB might wear a dog collar but that doesn't make her a b... .

But look. Some of her pictures, notably in the NYT, often show her in the posture of near condescention. That NYT pic of her photographed from below with arms crossed in a business suit is nothing that I would put on the wall of a church library or on a welcome page of a church website. The image is a bit chilling.
Another uninspiring shot that looks more about power/self rather than pastoral leadership...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/00686/katherine-jefferts-_686713c.jpg

Certainly not a "b...", but still chilling.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

Allen,

I think you and I would agree that dioceses aren't monochrome and that even in a diocese where the majority of clergy and lay members of convention are opposed to women's ordination there may well be parishes where a majority are in favor. All I have argued for is allowing those parishes the freedom to call a woman priest to serve them. You don't have to agree with me, but don't assume that I haven't noticed that it isn't just some bishops who object to women's ordiantion.

I think we are on dangerous ground when we base - even partially - our opinion of a person on news photos. I have met Bishop Katharine and found her to be a gracious person, but I would not presume to say that my brief encounter with her was a sound basis for a real assessment of her character. Much less would I make an assessment on the basis of press photos. BTW,I think two of the bishops of ACNA look really unattractive in news photos, but that impression has not lead me to make any assessment of their character. Bishop Michael Marshall once suggested that Jesus might not have been particularly attractive and the Greek text of the Zacchaeus story can be read to say that it was Jesus was short and not Zacchaeus.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

In addition to my lack of enthuisiasm for anonymous comments, I find personal attacks on people, especially people who aren't here to respond, cancerous.

Don said...

One thing that I'd like to add as something of an aside is that the PB's game plan via litigation isn't, IMHO, a long-term winner for TEC.

I explain one reason for this here.

Robert said...

Fr. Weir, is there any tipping point for you on a congregation or diocese voting to leave? Clearly 50+1 percent is not good enough and I would concur, but in all the cases in Virginia over 80 percent and in most cases over 90 percent of the congregation had had enough. Is there any point at which you would argue that a congregation should be allowed to leave with the property it maintained and paid for? If there was just one person, should it be turned over to her because she decided to remain Episcopalian?

For the record, I stood up as a member of one of those congregations and urged patience. The actions of the Presiding Bishop since then have proven to me that I was wrong and the 90+percent were right.

Droopy Dog said...

Where in the world was Hagrid on the last Anonymous comment? Out looking for giants? Good grief, Anon, get a vocabulary. There are more creative ways to get your point across before jumping straight to profanity.

BabyBlue said...

Hagrid has been dipping heavily into Old Ogden's Fire Whiskey. We brought out one of the Boston Cream Pies in honor of Senator Teddy and that was enough to wake Hagrid up and alas, the Last Anon has ceremoniously tossed out the window. Fortunately, the garden is right there and if you peer out the window you'll see the Last Anon's feet sticking out of the rose bushes.

bb

Anonymous said...

The Lakeland Two says...

Fr. Weir, We were the Anonymous at 8:20 following your comment to Allen. Also the 6:43 following your 5:14. No others. Forgot to add the above line. We are not the one who called the PB a bitch. Don't care for her. We try to be polite even though we question her on multiple levels.

Did not specifically single out those bishops that left as I also wrote about those bishops that violate the conscience in the pew -those who force a woman in over the wishes of others in the diocese. This could get round and round messy. But what really started the mess are bishops like Pike and Spong - and those bishops who refused to do anything about them.

Anyone who denies the divinity of Christ has absolutely no business being a leader in any church, much less this one. If anyone has to cross their fingers to say the creed, get out. Go find another venue for social/political activities.

My point is that there is a standard...or was. Two questions that I have asked over and over again and yet to get an answer: At what point to YOU - Fr. Weir - draw a line as too much/too far. And what will YOU- Fr. Weir - do?

There is a reason there is a Nicene creed, 39 Articles of religion, etc., much less the Word of God. Either you sign onto it, or you don't. If you don't - what are you doing in this church?

We L2 find it interesting all the hoopla over ACNA when +KJS (and it does pain me to type a + for someone who can't say Jesus is THE way....) has made it clear that TEC reaches out of the US national borders and is willing to go into Europe and elsewhere the Anglican Communion exists to cultivate a presence. The ever-present double standard TEC uses is epitomized by this stance. TEC can do anything it wants with no accoutability, but holds others to a standard which it is unwilling to hold itself.

Anonymous said...

The Lakeland Two also says...

Scout, BB said it quite well - it is beyond comfort. I tried to use yet another analogy to get across a point in which you proved: The left does not care how its agenda pains anyone else.

What TEC has done on multiple levels makes both of us L2 physically ill. It violates us. Seeing a raisin cake liturgy on the TEC website... a book of love spells on the TEC book store website... Promised that no one would be forced to accept women priests and that taken away. Having women priests rammed down our throats - Philadelphia 11. Having to listen to neutral language during a service. Listening to a female priest tell us on Christmas that Christ's birth wasn't divine, that it was a myth. We've seen some women who make great priests, and men that should never have been allowed in seminary. For us personally, it's not something that we would die for. But to be told one thing and then when the moment is convenient to the left to change it - ka pow.

That you and most of the left don't care how these actions have ripped our souls and the souls of others - that it offends us on a deep level is bad enough. Yet the building we and others have built and cared for means more to you. We orthodox/conservatives/whatevers didn't ask for the changes. We spoke against them. Yet we are not allowed a place of spiritual safety on the terms we were taught.

+KJS's comments solidifying her GenCon remarks are beyond heresy to us. They are in conflict and two-faced. That she could write them and yet have initiated the vast number of lawsuits is hypocrital.

What would be the ethical thing to do would be one of two options:

1. Have a vote by parish of the Dennis Canon by a certain date, say one year. Vote in or out. Then from then on - you're in. A leveling point.

2. Have a vote by member. Then we could really see how it flies versus the political process that's taken over.

We remain L2 and not by name at the request of our family. When I was a parishoner under +John-David Schofield in +Swing's diocese, he was told at diocesan convention "wooden churches burn". Our church was a wood building. We honor our family and their safety by not giving our name. But understand why we are vocal. There are many who are not and/or can not be vocal. There are many of those who don't know there's community out here in cyberspace...yet.

BB - thanks for this site and what you do. That you got sued is illustrative of +KJS's showing her love of others.

Anonymous said...

BB: As a friend and brother, I think you focus too much on small things and miss the big ones when it comes to my word choices. "Comfort" doesn't mean (in this context) physical comfort and seat cushions. It meant comfort of conscience. I assume that you grant me a similar strong sense of right and wrong about the error of departing congregations laying claim to properties.
Which leads to Robert's query to Fr. Weir - how many votes does it take to win the property prize? I would say that it at least has to be unanimous, and that even unanimity might not be sufficient. The process would have to be scrupulously fair (in my parish it was a very one-sided, carefully orchestrated campaign over a period of many months to herd the parish to a YES vote) and I think that anything less than unanimity leaves the departees on very shaky moral ground in asserting ownership of property. (For sake of brevity I leave to one side whether, as a legal matter, even unanimity is sufficient). I suppose I could fan the fires from week to week on any number of tough theological issues and cobble together majorities that would cause ownership to dance like a jumping bean, but I don't see the good of that for God's Church.

L2 - I have great concern and sympathy for your feelings. God's church should not leave folks feeling that way. To the extent you have thought it through and prayed it through,and I have no doubts that you have sincerely done so, you should leave, and I support your decision to leave. I also strongly support the use of pseudonyms on blogs - I think it leads to a freer exchange of ideas. That anonymity can be abused is something we are all aware of. But if someone consistently uses a "handle" and has an idea to exchange, I have no complaint (my comments here always have my nom de blog at the end because I haven't figured out how to record the name on BB's system).

I am a conservative, traditional Anglican whose views about some of the directions of the American Episcopal church are probably perfectly congruent with some of yours. My faith also leads me (I may be wrong in this, it's just where my heart is positioned in these vexing times) to abhor the atomization of Christian groups into smaller units based on particular issues. My prayer makes me sense that the better arc of history for the Church is and arc of increasing unity (I may be wrong about that, too, but, for now, I've got to go with it).

I would not be "comfortable" (conscience, not cushions, BB) worshipping in church property that I had voted to leave and over which I assert possession by virtue of my being "right" or being "against evil." It would bother my conscience terribly to know that there are Christians who had no desire to leave the church who are dispossessed. If I am the one who feels compelled to leave, I should gladly bear the full consequences of that decision. I would feel better applying money used to litigate to the construction of shining new churches that witnessed for all the dedication I brought to my decision to be done with a previous church that I felt had lost its way on core doctrinal issues that I feel are central to my faith.

Scout

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

Robert asked,
"Fr. Weir, is there any tipping point for you on a congregation or diocese voting to leave? Clearly 50+1 percent is not good enough and I would concur, but in all the cases in Virginia over 80 percent and in most cases over 90 percent of the congregation had had enough. Is there any point at which you would argue that a congregation should be allowed to leave with the property it maintained and paid for? If there was just one person, should it be turned over to her because she decided to remain Episcopalian?"

I have never stated that members of a congregation are not allowed to vote to leave the Episcopal Church as a body. I would leave it to the good sense of the congregation's leaders to determine what kind of majority would be needed. However, the question of property is not always simple. I think there are significant difference between congregations formed recently or with new buildings which the members paid for and congregations that have decades or even centuries of history. No one can say with any certainty how the members of a parish who made their offerings in 1900 would vote on the question of leaving the Episcopal Church. With that uncertainty, I think the property must remain with the Episcopal Church.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

One of my comments got lost in cyberspace and I will try to recreate it - although I will be briefer.

The Lakeland Two raised the important question of honoring the convictions of those who oppose the ordinatin of women. I doubt that any parish has been forced to call a woman as rector, but if there any, please post the details. I think that the freedom of parishes to call or to refuse to call women priests is worth defending. In a diocese, however,I don't think that the will of the convention or the bishop should prevent a parish from calling a woman as rector.

Some people assume that a person who supports so-called progressive positions will deny the basic doctrines of the faith. I know Episcopalian who are as thoroughly orthodox as could be on the Trinity, the Divinity of Jesus, the Incarnation, and the Resurrection, but who support the blessing of same-sex unions.

There has, however, been a tendency of some to label as heretics those who don't sunscribe to a particular understanding of one or the other of these doctrines. This has been especially true in the case of the Atonement because of the dominance of the substitutioinary theory in Protestant and Roman Catholic circles. Disagreement with that theory has been said by some to be heresy.

Anonymous said...

The Lakeland Two says...

Scout,

I wish I could get through to you the understanding that most of the communities I and others have been apart of in TEC built our communities on principles previously taught. We didn't leave the church, TEC's innovations cause the problem. We are as we were. Why should we as a community have to leave? Why is the building such a trophy if not an idol for TEC? And why do you see it that way? The gulf that exists in you understanding that just blows me away. I don't mean it mean, it just confounds me that in all the discussion about conversations and common ground, that there is none or so little in this area.

I/we stay in TEC for several reasons. First, God has not told us to leave. When and if He does, we'll go, no matter how hard on us. And at times we stay no matter how hard it is on us. Other Christians have suffered far more than we have serving God where He puts them. Not all the innovations touch us personally, but they are shameful to us. Second, we stay to reach others who are falling between the cracks - to share and teach Jesus Christ. Third, there is no alternative that we are able to get to. That means a complete break from Anglicanism. There is much that is rich. But if God calls us to leave it, leave it we will. And knowing that people like Scout and Schori feel entitled to the building, we feel less likely to want to maintain it, but maintain the programs instead. No good for the building, now is it?

I had an occasion to encourage another Christian today as a caregiver. When I asked him where he went to church, he spoke the name of a local St. _____'s..... LONG hesitation.....Episcopal Church. Don't think he's been on line here - but that shame is out there.

Fr. Weir - When I spoke of having a female forced on a congregation, I was reminding us of one of the Connecticut Six. I speak of conservatives driven out of Nevada and other areas where the bishops chose and choose to drive out conservatives. We allowed the tent to be so big we conservatives have no room left.

If you hear nothing else, please hear this: Many of the left say they are inclusive - yet have no room for those who do not agree with them/you.

We L2 wish you all well. We pray for you all and Schori & Company. And we do wish you, as everyone else in our lives, Jesus. Because when we wish you Jesus, we've wished you everything. (A Scott Wesley Brown song that has meaning in any age.)

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

L2 wrote, "When I spoke of having a female forced on a congregation, I was reminding us of one of the Connecticut Six."

It is my understanding that the church to which the bishop sent a woman priest was one where the rector and a large part of the congregation had left the Episcopal Church. I never heard that the remaining members had any objection to the bishop's appointment.

I do make a distinction between choosing out of conscience to leave and being driven out. I think that the majority of those who have left the Episcopal Church did so because their consciences would not allow them to remain. To say they were driven out dimninishes,IMV, their witness to their convictions.

Anonymous said...

I guess, L2, that a difference between you and me is my lack of confidence that my views on spiritual issues are so resoundingly infallible that they should control legal title in a secular context. I see many problems in applying that sort of principle throughout the society. I am particularly reluctant to assert myself that way against fellow Christians who feel no compulsion to leave a given church. The more obvious and simple solution is for me simply to act on my conscience and depart if I feel I cannot associate with a given group.

Scout

Anonymous said...

The Lakeland Two says...

Yes, Scout, exactly. If those not liking the Episcopal church the way it was should have left or never joined instead of making it obvious they could not tolerate those in the church the way it was, and has been for 2,000 years. And made those changes by political hacking over the objection of many.


And yet your solution is anyone still in who doesn't agree should leave post haste - and leave the property behind. A total hijacking. If you can't see that, it is because you choose not to. And the same with Fr. Weir. If you didn't want to leave, all you had was a female priest assigned to you. This may not have been an issue for some. But it blew me away to hear in my own parish the reluctance to have a female priest after floating two females for ordination. Interesting, that. How many people do you think will honestly tell you what they think based on watching how others who speak up are treated: labled "fringe", "fundamentalist", mentally ill, etc.

I can understand that y'all choose to go TEC's path - don't understand why on most levels, but respect your decision to do so. But I don't respect people forcing ideas contrary to other's heritage down the other's throats and then they be told get the _____ out and let the door hit you when you leave.

Obviously, we aren't going to change each other's minds. Good night.

Anonymous said...

Leaving seems to make a lot of sense in the situation you describe, L2. But if a few folks leave, surely they are not entitled to stuff chalices, hymnals and kneelers in their rucksacks on the way out. If a whole bunch of people leave, they can't stuff the building in their rucksacks either. That's just wrong.

Scout

rwk said...

Fr. Weir, first you are always courteous and I appreciate that I long since abandoned many websites thanks to the mudslinging.

Regarding your response to my question on property you cite the wishes of the dead and buried. You assert the wishes of the dead should be considered with regards to property. If this is the case the wishes of the dead should also be considered when changing the teaching and doctrines of the church. You can see that this is absurd since the dead can neither vote nor walk away nor comment, although we will be able to ask them at the resurrection. For that matter, the dead also set up the system of trustees and titles that they entrusted to the current congregation. If that group of trustees chooses a course of action do they not speak for them?

Put another way, the dead have their rest, hopefully in Abraham's bosom, but the living are here and now, the church militant.

Don said...

Although I understand the ability to form perpetuities in American law, I think the appeal to the dead by reappraisers is, on the whole, misplaced.

Since I have at least some of my ancestors buried in Episcopal cemeteries (not so far from BB, BTW) and still hold my great-grandmother's Episcopal baptismal certificate, I think I can speak to this with some semblance of reality.

I simply can't see most of those who inhabited PECUSA as being in sympathy with most of the changes that have taken place, be they doctrinal or even liturgical.

It's one thing to say, "This is what their legal documents say, we are TEC, therefore we are legally correct, and they (and you) are stuck with the results." It's quite another to say, "They left it to TEC, thus they wanted to support the organisation, thus they approve of what has happened."

It's not unusual for trust and perpetuities to be used in ways contrary to what the founders would have done if they were still living. But let's be honest about the situation.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

I think I need to be need to be more clear about the question of past generations of Episcopalians in the context of property disputes. Neither said can,IMV, make a convincing argument about how those Episcopalians would view the current conflicts. I have often been surprised at how much more ready to embrace change some of my 80 year old parishioners are than some of the 50 year olds. In the absence of any compelling evidence, e.g., a bequest that was left with the requirement that the BCP of 1928 be used in the parish, the truly conservative position is to leave the property in the care of the parish that remains in the Episcopal Church. Money and other property was given to parishes of the Episcopal Church and there would have to be clear and compelling evidence, IMV, for a court to rule in favor of those who have left.

Anonymous said...

But, according to Scout, it's perfectly fine a group at odds with the basic fundamental principles of the organization to come in, use any political means possible to take over the governing structure, gut the structure of any resemblance to the organization in the past and then expect everyone, including the original members, to fork over the assets.

Matthew 24: 42-44 came to mind when I read Scout's last reply. "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

The church did not keep watch. TEC is the strongman here, and those who's treasure is the building and not God. Scout's emphatic accusations of theft show me where his is, the same as +KJS. Her lastest emission contradicts itself.

I came to accept that the building will not remain in the hands that built it. We currently give our donations toward active ministry. When we give a physical gift, it is done so that TEC won't get it.

My mother had intended to be interred in the memorial garden in the church of my youth. Since all of this mess, she has chosen not to be. This took some peace of her last days from her. She would be somewhat a moderate if still in the church.

Personally, here's my robe and the cloak, too. They are far more important to you guys than my soul or the souls of my family or anyone else. Have at it.

Anonymous said...

Oops! 10:34 PM comment only was The Lakeland Two.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

The Lakeland Two raise what I have called the "cradle Episcopalian" argument against change. Of course that argument could have been raised - and was! - against everything from changes in the BCP or the Hymnal, to allowing women to serve on vestries, to changing the color of the church doors. The argument falls apart when we notice that there are cradle Episcopalians on all sides of the issue - I am not only a cradle Episcopalian, but the great-grandson of a priest whose father and uncles were bishops. But that lineage doesn't mean much in the discernment of where God is leading the Episcopal Church.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

The Lakeland Two raise what I have called the "cradle Episcopalian" argument against change. Of course that argument could have been raised - and was! - against everything from changes in the BCP or the Hymnal, to allowing women to serve on vestries, to changing the color of the church doors. The argument falls apart when we notice that there are cradle Episcopalians on all sides of the issue - I am not only a cradle Episcopalian, but the great-grandson of a priest whose father and uncles were bishops. But that lineage doesn't mean much in the discernment of where God is leading the Episcopal Church.

Anonymous said...

The Lakeland Two says....

Actually, Fr. Weir, the argument doesn't fall apart. That's just your opinion. Which, like Scout and TEC, is the only valid opinion in your eyes, in your experience. You sweep any opposition with a wide swat under the train. We disagreed. So what, you say. Who cares. You do - only to beat a dead horse even "deader" with more "conversation". As I wrote previously: No.

You can pretend all you want, but there is no grace or mercy from you, Scout or TEC. Strip the orthodox/conservatives bare isn't enough for some reason. What part of any of what TEC is doing is Christ-like? That is the real issue. MDG's? Thrown under the bus when it wasn't convenient.

In nothing that you've written have you understood the side opposite you enough to show compassion to them to allow them a "safe" place. I thank God that Jesus is not like that.

As more and more conservatives/orthodox continue to leave one, two, families at a time, please feel free to continue trying to rewrite history to your convenience.

Oh, but wait - people like Babyblue, StandFirm, T19 and those posting on it haven't let whatever contrivances uttered stand. Those pesky individuals!

I'd be curious how your bishop ancestors would feel about raisin cake liturgies to foreign gods listed on the national website as a resource. Or a book on "Love Spells" in the national book store. Or how about a sermon on Christmas telling the parishioners that that born-of-a-virgin thing was just a myth.

One thing I agree with you. All the lineage you have doesn't give the will and discernment of God. If this direction was blessed by God, there wouldn't be so many bodies strewn in its path. Be careful of what you wish for, you just may be given it by God Himself and you will find you won't like where you are headed.

And I noticed that neither you nor Scout answered my questions: How far is too far for even you and what will you do when that time comes. Will you do what you are expecting me and others to do?

Anonymous said...

I'll know too far when I see it. And then I will leave. That's what I'm expecting you to do. If enough people leave with me, we'll build new church buildings. If not enough leave with me, I'll find a new church home.

BTW, the first graph of your 2234 post, TL2, is a wildly inaccurate statement of my views. I assume that is deliberate.

Scout

Anonymous said...

The Lakeland Two says...

Actually, Scout, I did not deliberately make a wildly inaccurate statement of your views. As the Christian I was raised to be, if I have offended you, I truly apologize.

What I wrote is, IMHO, a frank assessment of what you have said over the course of time - without throwing in your (IMO wild and inflammatory) accusations of thievery anytime someone writes that they want to continue in what they were taught, not the present course of TEC.

How am I wrong? Please take it sentence by sentence if you like. Either you understand that the church that a lot of us knew has been hijacked and that we not only disagree with its course but find it is tyranny to us or you don't. If you can't see that, you need to look more closely at the tent you are under - because it will happen you eventually.

Or is it that as long as you agree with the course you really don't care about those of us who don't? Why do you feel the need to accuse those of us objecting: "But if a few folks leave, surely they are not entitled to stuff chalices, hymnals and kneelers in their rucksacks on the way out. If a whole bunch of people leave, they can't stuff the building in their rucksacks either. That's just wrong."

That's pretty harsh language there, Scout. Not very charitable, is it?

When it's a super majority, where is your problem? After all, isn't that what TEC has done? Gained a majority? Or is it yet again only if you agree?

As far as you'll "know it when you see it" - isn't that a very individualistic point of view? And contrary to what +KJS is espousing now? And again, just when you agree? Those of us who see the problems now and have seen them in the past seem to be of no account or value to you: hence the thievery comments you make. They are inflammatory and hurtful. You know this yet persist. What are you trying to do? Why do you want to be hurtful? It isn't the Christ I was taught. Nor is the twisting that +KJS is doing the Christ I was taught. There is no accountability, either. I don't know you, so I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that you weren't taught. Those that weren't taught are representative of the failure of the current system to teach Christ.

And yet you expect me and others to just pack up and leave and hand over the assets that our understanding of worship brought together. That appears to be our worth to you.

Accusing people of thievery is the same as bearing false witness - and that remains a no-no on God's Big Ten List. I was taught that that was wrong.

So, if I have misread you, I apologize. But due to the nature of most of your remarks, I find it highly unlikely.

Unless you have something new to add to the discussion, I'm done on this thread. I don't see the point of rehashing the same things over and over again.

In any event, may the Lord bless you (and us all) with His wisdom, love and peace. In the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't offended. Your summary of my views was simply grossly inaccurate. Happens all the time in blogdom. Pity.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, as I think is apparent, the last post was from Scout.

Scout

Anonymous said...

The Lakeland Two says....

OK, Scout, rather than just saying my summary of your views is "simply grossly inaccurate", how about you take my summary and fisk it? I'd like to know how you can believe what you do.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

TL2,

I am sorry if I have seemed ungracious and uncaring. I have tried to state quite clearly that I am gkad that those who have left TEC have found a safe place to follow Jesus. I have also stated as clearly as I can that I do not dispued the right of any of the parties to property disputes to seek to protect what they see as their property rights.To me that is simply a question of stewardship. I have my opinions about which parties have the stronger case, but I don't think people are wrong to present the best case they can.

I think you actually agree with me about the cradle Episcopalian argument. We may listen with more care to those who have been arond the longest, but in the end both you and I would assert that we are trying to discern God's will.

Unless I am mistaken and slipped up,I have never used, as you have terms like "theft" or "hijacking." I think such terms add nothing to the discussion.

Finally, I suspect that my participation in this thread is no longer productive. I have expressed my views as clearly as I can in hopes that at least some of bb's guests might discover that there are people in TEC who love Jesus and respect those with whom we disagree. If I have failed in showing respect, I apologize.

Anonymous said...

The Lakeland Two says...

Thank you, Fr. Weir, for your last comments. No, you haven't used theft or hijacking. Scout has repeatedly, over the course of time and on other threads, accused those who want to leave with their property as he described above - accusing them/us of theft - stealing the church silver, etc. Part of the problem with this form of communication is that some things get lumped together. That is where theft and hijacking come from, not at you. For that confusion, I apologize.

I do agree that we both are trying to discern God's will. But I don't believe that throwing out quite a bit from the last 2,000 years is a good thing. And those who pick and choose what parts of the Bible apply or get conveniently dropped isn't good either. Nor is doing things over the objection of others isn't either. While you personally may not do that, others are.

This trend is something that has been progressing at an exponential rate. Some of us have said "Stop it!" to no avail. Some left on their own. Some as a group as a church or diocese. While some may not agree with that course, those taking it are trying to act honorably and being good stewards. The discernment of many on the right is that a lot of what TEC is doing these days is not of God. I feel if the multiple areas in question were of God, there would not be dissention. When I've seen the Holy Spirit move, it is in unity and accord. Not wearing and whittling down the opposition.

Does TEC do some good? Yes. Otherwise me and my other half would have been gone a long time ago.

May God bless you and encourage you and give you His wisdom in the days ahead. May you be a Good Shepard to your flock.

Anonymous said...

TL2: I was referring to the first paragraph of your 2234 comment. I said no such thing. That's you talking, not me. Like the English and the Americans, we appear to be divided by a common language.

Scout

Anonymous said...

The Lakeland Two says...

Scout, as I have already said, the first paragraph of my 2234 comment is my frank assessment of what you have said over the course of time. And specifically because of your multiple accusations of those wanting to leave and be free of TEC's current course of conspiracy to "steal the church silver" in a "rucksack", etc. But you have accused me of "a wildly inaccurate statement of my views" and "simply grossly inaccurate". I invited you to fisk - you choose not to.

While I understand there are some, Fr. Weir among them, feel the church has been on this path for generations upon generations, there are a lot of us who aren't on that path and never have been. We have disagreed vociferously. Yet GC/TEC has chosen to go on its path full steam ahead. Millions have left and the church has declined while the population of the US has grown.

Yet your only solution is to fork over the assets and leave. You refuse to understand that we are being good stewards of what others and have given in the name of the faith we have received. To hand it over to a group that is operating contrary to our beliefs in multiple areas - leave homosexuality issues aside, just review those I've listed above - is not acting in good faith.

One of the things that we L2 have done and encourage others to do is to review what you believe and what is it's cost. What is your faith worth to you? What are you willing to defend and how? How much is Jesus worth to you? If you were asked to choose between Jesus and your own life, are you willing to choose Jesus?

Scout, we are separated by more than words. I've known that for a long time. I was hoping that in some engagement you would comprehend and have compassion for those like me and BabyBlue. Yet your words alone have shown me where your heart is. I do wish you well and I pray that one day you will comprehend what I've tried over the course of time to get you to understand. I pray it will be soon and not when you have to walk in the shoes others of us are walking in. But from what I've read of your words, I fear you will walk away with ease, and those after you even easier. I know Jesus loves you and values you as much as He does us.

I agree with what Timothy Fountain+ said on his site:

On the church front, there's this observation from a friend who walked out on the Episcopalian melodrama:

"There's really not much to say that people haven't heard; people have chosen their directions and are not changing their minds."

There have been enough words, and plenty of warning. Most ideas are simply recycling now.


Peace be with you.

Anonymous said...

"While I respect the decisions of those who have left, I miss the presence of conservative friends and colleagues from whom I have learned much.'

just wondering what it is Father DW that you learned from those of us who have left or are leaving....

Thanks

KC

Daniel said...

KC,

I am not ignoring your question, but it will take time to answer, time that I don't have right now. Later....

Anonymous said...

TL2: I don't doubt Jesus's love for all of us. It sustains me constantly.

My position is simply this: When one finds oneself, for whatever reason, incapable of remaining in a given church group, leave. I did this when I became an Episcopalian. I left my previous church and took absolutely nothing with me other than a conviction that my soul was better off in an Anglican environment. I didn't feel entitled to anything I left behind. All that stuff was earthly dross.

When you leave, don't grab stuff and take it with you. Don't assume that your conviction that your view is so correct that it conveys earthly property rights. Just leave and follow your conscience. That advice applies to everyone - to me as well as to you. If I decide I need to leave a church, I will leave. I won't take stuff when I go.

Scout

Anonymous said...

The Lakeland Two says...

And that, Scout, is your opinion. It does not bind anyone. Even if the courts - which Jesus said not to do - decide in favor of TEC, it does not mean that it pleases God. That should be your desire. Or is that just my opinion again?

Don't assume your conviction that your view is so correct that it doesn't convey earthly property rights. And we don't have to leave. That's what you just don't get. Don't take stuff when you go - you didn't invest in it like others did. That you don't get that is where we talk past each other.

You and I are not going to agree. Duh. Following my conscience I will do as others do. Sorry it seems to aggravate you so much.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

KC,

Here is one story of how I learned a great deal from a more conservative colleague.

Several years ago I presented a paper to the clegy of the diocese on the authority of Scripture. In it I mentioned a concern I had about the interpretation of those passages that speak about the Virgin Birth. My concern was that there is a danger when asserting that Jesus had no human father of seeing Jesus as not fully human. In my paper I mentioned that I had shared this concern in a sermon. Two colleagues approached me later, one who chewed me out for preaching heresy and doing spiritual harm to my parishioners. I learned nothing from him. The second priest said that she saw the assertion that Jesus did not have a human father as a statement about the soverignty of God. Idiot that I am, I had never seen that clearly. Now, when I speak about the Vrigin Birth, I mention both concerns. Jesus is fully human and his conception and birth was a sovereign act of God.

For some months in 2003-2004, several of us from both sides of the sexuality debate gathered to study 1 Corinthians. It was a valuable experience and I still find insights from those friends surfacing when I read that letter.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

There is in Lutheran thought the concerpt of a bound conscience.
Luther made this statement before Emperor Charles V:
"Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in the councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience."

Lutherans are called to have respect for the bound conscience of the neighbor, even, or perhaps especially, when they disagree with the neighbor.

I think Anglicans would do well to have such a respect for the bound consciences of those within the Communion with whom they disagree about same-sex intimcay. I believe that we have reached our different conclusions after careful study of Scriptures. I also believe that none of us have the "correct" interpretation and understanding, but that our consciences - which Luther understood as our entire being before God - are bound.

Anonymous said...

TL2 - to be clear, I don't view my support for my parish as an "investment." I view it as puny gifts that are trivial compared to the gifts I have received from God. But, if you want to use that terminology, I have no doubt that I have "invested" in the same way and in equal magnitude as my friends who left and who nonetheless want to hang on to my place of worship. I'm not sure that an investment analysis illuminates much.

Scout

The Lakeland Two said...

Scout, I think you have misrepresented what I wrote. But I'll be more clear.

Agree with you my gifts to God through my church are puny compared to what God has done for me, especially through His Son. But I do know that they are part of my "talent" that He gave me for me to use wisely. When we give, we are to give wisely as we will be expected to give Him an accounting as Jesus told us in the parable about the talents. Hence "investment". Our L2 gifts, and those who gave to "church" were done under that understanding - from a teaching of the faith that we received that TEC has purposefully chosen to mover away from and is now inconsistent with what we were taught. Your solution is to leave, but it is a position that does not treat the "talent" we are responsible to God for properly. You disagree - I get that. I understand your position, I just disagree with you.

From your next to the last sentence I would guess that you are part of a parish that left with the property and you chose to stay with TEC. If I'm wrong, I'm sorry. But if not, I would say that there should have been a solution that met both of your needs. But, as in divorce, should and do are two different things. My question to you in this case is what is the difference between TEC voting to do what it wants versus your church doing the same thing except that you are adversely affected as the minority?

I don't think you've liked any examples I have tried to use, but I think that's because you don't like our position. But I'll leave it as this: Our gifts of money, time and talents are gifts from God and we are responsible to Him, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to use them and see that they are used according to His will. This we are trying to do. You and I are not going to agree, but your accusing people of theft not only fails to illuminate, but causes more hard feelings. That's why I have engaged you - to try to get across the pain of your words.

I've tried to get this across to you in various ways. I ask you to pray and ask God to give you an understanding of how people like me believe. Personally, Scout, I'd give it all to you, but it isn't mine to give. I shouldn't have to, but I would, because that's what Jesus said - if anyone wants your tunic, give them the robe also. I think part of it was to make a point that they weren't entitled to the tunic either, but Jesus consistently tells us to be a servant to the point of sacrifice.

Jesus said:

You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

—Matthew 5:38-42, NIV

So, Scout, what would you give?

Anonymous said...

TL2:
Love, respect and prayer, but not the church buildings, the bank accounts, or the contents of the buildings (although I would be willing to let departing groups use the facilities on a temporary basis until they can get settled elsewhere). In my church, however, they didn't ask for that - they just took it.

By the way, re your comment above, I am not at all aggravated. I come here to relax, exchange views and am a generally serene fellow known for generally good humor and spirits in all things.

It is a matter of conscience with me that I could not worship in a church that I had chosen to leave at the expense of even one person who had chosen to stay. I simply do not comprehend that mentality or the ethics or morality behind it. But, obviously, this is my view. All I have done here is express it.

Scout

Anonymous said...

The Lakeland Two says ...

Scout, don't know if you will see this, but finally had the time to respond.

Your last paragraph states more than you realize. Those of us who are standing up for the Faith as received see and know that TEC is the one who left. We are the remnant. We are the "one" who has chosen to stay. We are the ones that TEC has discarded. That you don't/won't/can't see that is where the gap remains. Because (if) you weren't taught the core beliefs for which we remnant are fighting for, you don't understand. We get that.

What I am expressing goes far beyond the same-sex issue. It goes into spiritual warfare. Something that most people don't even want to discuss. A little compromise here and there - and then more. This is giving the devil a foothold. Next we/you have priests and bishops in the church who don't even believe the basics: Virgin birth, Jesus' divinity, His death for our salvation. These are not small theological points to debate. This is the heart of the Faith. To have leadership that can't sign on the basics once taught signals that too significant a portion of TEC has left the building (sorry, Elvis! and double meaning applies).

That is the mentality, ethics and morality behind those of us who have not left following all the others who have. We see YOU as more valuable. YOU deserve to be taught what we were taught. YOU have been deprived of much.

If you don't see it, I'm sorry. Because it is a reminder to us of the fact that others did not guard the Faith as they should have and they will be accountable on Judgement Day. It is a failure that all of us bear.

This is the best I can give you, Scout. That you don't agree saddens us L2. I just hoped that you would understand a little more. And that as much as you feel you are guarding, so are we.

May God bless you bountifully and give you (and us!) His wisdom. We pray this through His Son Jesus with the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.