Sunday, February 06, 2011

Katharine Jefferts Schori appointed to President Obama's Faith Advisory Council for one-year term

The President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships mission according to the White House website, "brings together leaders and experts in fields related to the work of faith-based and neighborhood organizations in order to make recommendations to government on how to improve partnerships.  Each Council serves a one year term.
The Council is charged with:
  • Identify best practices and successful modes of delivering social services;
  • Evaluate the need for improvements in the implementation and coordination of public policies relating to faith-based and neighborhood organizations; and
  • Making recommendations to the President and the Administration on changes in policies, programs, and practices.
The Council, after conducting its research, reviews, and deliberation, will submit a written report of its recommendations.  A new Council will be appointed by the President every year.  

The last council wrote a report which can be viewed here.  Their recommendations were:
Strengthening the Effectiveness of Partnerships
* Perform a strategic review of government-supported technical assistance and capacity building.
* Convene and encourage learning communities of social service programs and providers.
*Develop a strategy to partner with State, county, and city officials.

Strengthening Constitutional and Legal Footing of Partnerships
* Strengthen constitutional and legal footing of partnerships, and improve communications regarding White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and Agency Centers.
* Clarify prohibited uses of direct Federal financial assistance.
* Equally emphasize separation requirements and protections for religious identity.
* State more clearly the distinction between “direct” and “indirect” aid.
* Increase transparency regarding federally funded partnerships.
* Improve monitoring of constitutional, statutory, and regulatory requirements that accompany Federal social service funds.
* Assure the religious liberty rights of the clients and beneficiaries of federally funded programs by strengthening appropriate protections.
* Reduce barriers to obtaining 501(c)(3) recognition.
* Promote other means of protecting religious liberty in the delivery of government-funded social services.

According to the report, the last council was divided over "charitable choice," signed into law by President Clinton in 1996 as part of the Welfare Reform Package. President George W. Bush followed up by adopting and widely extended the basic charitable choice model through executive action. It appears that this the last council did not agree on charitable choice and so the report does not make official recommendations on that issue.

The White House website says that the new council was to be appointed in Spring 2010, but it seems to have been delayed for some reason for nine months. 


From here:
The White House announced a dozen appointments to its faith advisory council on Friday, with the leader of the nation’s largest evangelical group and the head of the nation’s leading Christian denomination serving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people are both on the list.

National Association of Evangelicals President Leif Anderson and Nancy Wilson, head of the and Metropolitan Community Church - the nation’s largest denomination expressly serving LGBT Americans - are among the appointees to the panel, which was launched by President Barack Obama in 2009.

Lynne Hybels, wife if megachurch pastor Bill Hybels – who leads the Willow Creek Community Church outside Chicago, Illinois – is also on the list.

The White House also named Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, Executive Vice President of the Rabbinical Assembly and prominent Jewish organizational leader Susan Stern to the advisory council, which is officially called the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Stern was appointed to serve as chair of the council.

United Way CEO Brian Gallagher is also on the list.

Two other notable appointees are The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori and Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis. Jefferts Schori is the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church and the first woman to hold that role. Trakatellis is the head of the Greek Orthodox Church of America.
Read it all here.  Here is the list of 12 appointees, down from twenty-three that served last year:
Susan K. Stern, Special Advisor on Government Affairs to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)

Leith Anderson,  President of the National Association of Evangelicals

Andrea Bazán, President of Triangle Community Foundation

Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Policy Link

Brian Gallagher, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of United Way Worldwide

Bishop Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Lynne Hybels, co-founder and Advocate for Global Engagement at the Willow Creek Community Church and wife of Bill Hybels.

The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, Executive Vice President of the Rabbinical Assembly

Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis, Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of America,

Sister Marlene Weisenbeck, member of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration

Reverend Elder Nancy L. Wilson, Moderator (Global Leader) for the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches


There were twenty-three people appointed to serve in the last council (2009-2010).  They were:
  • Diane Baillargeon, President and CEO, Seedco
  • Anju Bhargava, President, Asian Indian Women in America; Principal Director, Global Synergy Associates 
  • Bishop Charles E. Blake, Presiding Bishop, Church of God in Christ
  • Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association
  • Dr. Arturo Chávez, President and CEO, Mexican American Catholic College
  • Rev. Peg Chemberlin, President-Elect, National Council of Churches; Executive Director, Minnesota Council of Churches
  • Fred Davie, Senior Director, The Arcus Foundation
  • Nathan J. Diament, Director of Public Policy, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
  • Dr. Joel C. Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland, A Church Distributed
  • Harry Knox, Director, Religion and Faith Program, Human Rights Campaign Foundation
  • Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, Bishop of the Thirteenth Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Dalia Mogahed, Senior Analyst and Executive Director, The Center for Muslim Studies, Gallup
  • Rev. Otis Moss, Jr., Pastor Emeritus, Oliviet Institutional Baptist Church
  • Dr. Frank Page, Pastor, Taylors First Baptist Church; President Emeritus, Southern Baptist Convention
  • Eboo Patel, Founder and Executive Director, Interfaith Youth Core
  • Anthony R. Picarello, Jr., General Counsel, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Nancy Ratzan, President, National Council of Jewish Women
  • Melissa Rogers, Director, Center for Religion and Public Affairs of the Wake Forest University Divinity School
  • Rabbi David Saperstein, Director and Counsel, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
  • Reverend William J. Shaw, President, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
  • Rev. Larry J. Snyder, President and CEO, Catholic Charities USA
  • Richard E. Stearns, President, World Vision United States
  • Judith Vredenburgh, President and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

68 comments:

Steven (not) in Falls Church said...

Congratulations, Hindus of America, for finally getting representation on this august body. **snicker snicker**

The Underground Pewster said...

Let's hope they decide to meet frequently for lengthy sessions.

Hah, the word verification was "pewate."

Anonymous said...

@ Steven - the entire Hindu comment only discredits your cause. Who could agree with anything you say when you say things that are so clearly and utterly false. How could you or anyone who thinks like you be considered a potential partner in negotiation?

Bookguybaltmd

Dale Matson said...

I agree with the pewster on this one. KJS is well suited for such a role.
@Bookguybaltmd,
"How could you or anyone who thinks like you be considered a potential partner in negotiation?" I believe I've seen this in one of your previous posts on a different thread. "cut and paste" rebuttal?

TLF+ said...

This appointment is likely in recognition of TEC's involvement in Federal immigration/refugee resettlement programs. The Anglican Curmudgeon, I think, had a piece on the substantial part of TEC's funding that comes via Federal program funds.

Anonymous said...

oh yes Bookguybaltmd
Steven is now thoroughly discredited
And in fact any blog allowing him to post is discredited
And any blog linking to any blog allowing him to post is discredited
/irony

Dude, you don't even know WHY he's snickering here.

Now I'll quiet down as the world collectively wretches at how out of touch this Obama guy is with religion.

Bookguybaltmd said...

@ Dale Matson - Not cut and paste, but a continued and unanswered concern.

How can we expect a possible win-win negotiation if such comments lead one to irrefutably recognize that:

1. there are few or none on your side with the personal integrity and moral seriousness to be a fit partner in negotiations (BB and others commenting here seem to be possible exceptions - which is why my comments are made on this blog)
2. these libels might be legitimzed by accepting such a person as a fit partner in negotiations (or even a fellow traveler of someone who might otherwise be such a fit partner), damaging our orthodox catholic faith even more than the falsehoods and legalisms of the departing individuals have already done...?

So far, TEC has stood to it's guns with considerable firmness, integrity, and success. To negotiate with such people is to in some way legitimize their point of view. Words have meaning and consequences. If you want to utter these falsehoods, you danged well better have some facts to back them up. So far, I've seen none.

These are ligitimate, factual, and serious concerns. I hope that I insist on them with love, but firmness.

The cheap attacks against the PB in themselves are not so much the issue and are not really worthy of response. But the question of how we can possibly move forward in light of these unrelenting falsehoods is a question that concerns me and that needs an answer.

This seems to be particularly true in the case of the VA litigation. Who is TEC supposed to negotiate with? The sort of person who would pronounce and then repeat such a libel? Minns who repeats this sort of falsehood regularly? Duncan who has consistently done the same things?

If we are to look for a win-win, isn't it necessary to look at the facts on both sides in the face and stop making up foolish libels that may 'score points' in the short run on a blog but which also scorch the earth of any possible common ground?

Now, for all your disagreements with her, which mostly seem to be political, you don't SERIOUSLY think she's a hindu, do you? If so, why did some of your representatives help to vote her into office at National Convention?

bookguybaltmd

Steven (still not) in Falls Church said...

Bookguy -- Why do you assume I am referring to Schori? In poker we call that a "tell."

Dale Matson said...

bookguybaltmd,
I do not believe you are a real person. I believe you are a computer generated response.
Please take this word verification test. You need to respond by including the word "Heretic"

John said...

BB. At times, I find that reading your blog raises my blood pressure.

Are you still an Episcopalian?
If not, why are you concerned with the doings of PB Schori.

The posting of articles about and the repeated use of that picture of PB Schori would appear to be a deliberate attempt to undermine her position and authority as a respected leader in the Episcopal Church.

Your actions bring out, from under their rocks, all those who profess to be Christians but in my opinion have forgotten what being a Christian means. For example- Thou shall not cast aspersions.

On a lighter note, will you next be asking PB Schori to show her birth certificate

Dale Matson said...

John,
"On a lighter note, will you next be asking PB Schori to show her birth certificate." No, but I'd like to know if her pilot's license is valid. It also seems disingenuous to me for you to call it a lighter note and then lump critics of KJS with "birthers".

John said...

Dale Matson.
I have seen your comments on MCJ. I think I have hit the nail on the head.
You are as anti President Obama as you are PB Schori.

Steven in Falls Church said...

"On a lighter note, will you next be asking PB Schori to show her birth certificate."

I assume the birth certificate can be found in the same desk drawer containing a stack of unused diplomas from Schori's tenure as dean of the "Good Samaritan School of Theology" in Corvallis, Oregon.

Kevin said...

The only reason this would be of interest is that she the Presiding Oceanographer of PECUSA (still legal entity name) and this Blog tends to follow things in that realm. Other that that, "yawn."

If there is a Faith advisory council, there is little reason why she should not be on it. I think there might be screening on the level who is invited but the government really can't be faulted for not screening for Hersey, as in the US there is the negative right of the "Establishment Clause" means there is no dogma to compare against.

Thinking from that side, I think it's far better she allowed to serve than not, for it would be a bad idea to establish some sort of precedent. As to if she should have been invited, well, it's the administration call.

Personally, I'm usually cynical about these types of status jobs. I'm not sure what the Presidential Council on Fitness has ever really done, I view this in the same light.

Anonymous said...

You all should be ashamed. What immature, ridiculous comments. B B you really should tell Steven and Dale to go elsewhere with their hatred and bigotry. Your blog deserves better than that. And book guy...than ks for at least trying to bring civility to the conversation. I just cant believe hownthis conversation has detrioratred. Christians you are not.

Anonymous said...

"TEC has stood to it's guns"
Interesting choice of metaphor here.

"Christians you are not."
ha ha ha ha

Dear so so so sincere people,

You've probably been gone for a while.

People are just so sick of this woman there is little left to say.

Anonymous said...

Trolls abound. Do not feed them.

RalphM

Anonymous said...

Steven (still not) in Falls Church -

totally rad diploma. I'm envious. The school motto rocks.

"picture of PB Schori would appear to be a deliberate attempt to undermine her position and authority as a respected leader in the Episcopal Church"

- you show 'em her piccy and they get mad!

"as a respected leader in the Episcopal Church" - those persons referred to here, who confer such respect, should go take a night class at the Good Shepherd School of Theology of Corvallis and pick up a coupla diplomas themselves, a PhD in church history and another one in theology might help.

Anonymous said...

John -

"Are you still an Episcopalian?
If not, why are you concerned with the doings of PB Schori."

You seem intent upon shielding TEC & +KJS from the opinions of non-Episcopalians.

Your church could do a lot to make this much more possible. A current problem is that TEC is a member of a group called "The Anglican Communion," and +KJS is therefore one of the Primates of that Communion.

This means that people in that Communion share your Primate. And that TEC shares with them in that Communion.

You can get rid of a good deal of this grief by simply leaving that Communion. In fact, that Communion has made this rather easy for you in that regard. No urgent summons has been issued regarding the guidance the Communion needs by your Primate. In fact, much to the contrary.

Then these pesky people in the Anglican Communion will not have the current reason they now do for following news about TEC and +KJS.

BabyBlue said...

I think the portrait was originally published by the Guardian, not know for being particularly conservative. I know people like to let off steam and such - it is a cafe after all and we're sitting around tables and sometimes venting ensues. But we should also remember what it might be like if a certain carpenter from Galilee walked in - would we speak the same way? As a local minister here says, "not a sermon, just a thought."

bb

Lapinbizarre said...

In a couple of years time, maybe President Palin will get to appoint Bob Duncan & Scott Lively?

Steven in Falls Church said...

Anon @ 9:21 -- Poking fun of the embarrassing bit of resume puffery that Schori engaged in -- which puffery has been scrubbed from her official TEC bio -- does not "hatred and bigotry" make.

Dale Matson said...

Steven in Fall Church,
This is a part of her biography on Wikipedia and is not kind to her.
http://victorhanson.com/articles/bernthal041708.html.

Observer said...

John - where do you get 'thou shalt not cast aspertions' from? Perhaps St Paul did not understand this in his writing to the Corinthians and the Galatians....when he was quite critical of some on the basis of their teaching....... and his Lord was not complimentary about some teachers and leaders..... you may have created a new commandment to suit your argument, but you have not made anything like a strong point....

John said...

Observer.
I neither claim to be a theologian nor a Bible expert.
I am however in my seventies and have seen the comings and goings of many ideas and people.
I have not met you but I have met PB Schori. She is an attentive listener with a good mind and an all around delight.
It's great to be an Episcopalian.
Bible, tradition and common sense.

Bookguybaltmd said...

@ DaleM

"I do not believe you are a real person. I believe you are a computer generated response.
Please take this word verification test. You need to respond by including the word "Heretic"

Heretic: one who distorts the word of god to suit their particular needs, libeling the people of god with their fabrications.

One example of a group of heritics are those who follow Donatism: those who claimed that their own self apointed and politically driven opinion of the moral standing of a particular individual invalidated their consecration as a Bishop or priest. They place themselves in the role of God;s judgement, falsely claiming the authority of God to make such judgements.

Now, can you tell me in what way YOU have authority to make a judgement about someone else? Can you show me evidence? I've not seen any anywhere on these comments....

bookguybaltmd

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Bookguybaltmd said...

@ Observer. "John - where do you get 'thou shalt not cast aspertions' from?"

I think the commenter may have been trying to give you the benefit of the doubt and was, as a result, 'pulling his/her punches. What she or he was really referencing was "thou shalt not bear false witness."

So far, that's all we've seen from you folks regarding the PB. Obviously BB's post is just a news article and the picture just stock; but the invective you guys come up with out of thin air astonds any reasonable person.

What concerns me is the charge of heresy where there clearly there is none (there IS disagreement on politics and there IS disagreement on style - but those aren't heresy). You don't have to like the woman nor do you have to agree with her. You do have to respect a fellow human being and you do have to allow her to speak for herself.

What does concern me is that such wild statements, especially when they are completely without substance or justification, are a tactic that scordches the earth of any possible win-win negotiations.

Words have meaning and consequences. Your words, heretic and the like, are not only untrue and deliberately hurtful, but actively prevent the possibility of any conversation or compromise.

bookguybaltmd

Bookguybaltmd said...

@ Annon 10pm
"Then these pesky people in the Anglican Communion will not have the current reason they now do for following news about TEC and +KJS."

It is true that TEC is the only organization that is a member of the Anglican Communion. If you are in the US and you are not a member of TEC, then you are NOT an Anglican.

Those who left TEC have never been recognized by the Archbishop of Canterbury, regardless of what Schofield, Minns, Anderson, Duncan et al say. If you look at the facts and the recent comments of your 'leaders' on the ABC and the recent communion activities (and not your own wishful thinking), you will find that you are moving inexorably away from even an association with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Your leaders PROMISED you that the split would bring you closer not further away from the communion? How much more information do you need to see that you have been grossly mislead? Perhaps you should consider finding more reliable leaders? Come on home, we have left the light on.

Bookguybaltmd said...

OOPS. I meant to say "It is true that TEC is the only organization IN THE US that is a member of the Anglican Communion."

Bookguybaltmd said...

@ annon 9:21 "And book guy...thanks for at least trying to bring civility to the conversation."

Thank you annon. I try to be civil. I am genuinely interested in BB's ideas on a win-win settlement; albeit I am somwhat skeptical of the possibility fos such a solution given the invective I see from the leaders of the departing congregations. I have come to respect BB's sense of fairness, though I don't always agree with her point of view.

I try to add a little common sense into the discussion. I also try to make a point of being civil, but firm (even emphatic when necessary). I try to avoid answering some of the 'cheap shots' I see in the comments regularly.

I look at primary sources as much as I can (from both sides) and try to be as even handed as I can (though standing up against the intemperate remarks I hear sometimes probably makes me sound more "liberal" than I actually am).

I recognize that I'm a little long winded sometimes (I'm typing off the top of my head) and am a terrible speller. For those and other failings I humbly apologize to BB.

Wilf said...

Bookguybaltmd, I'm a Church of England Anglican and I can tell you that most people here think the whole situation in the States is ludicrous and ugly and we really don't in general want to think about it or refer to it much.

Yes, recent events seem to "favour" TEC, it looks like a TEC power grab in the instruments of the Communion, which is something we don't like here. It looks like our Archbishop caved in for some TEC money for the Anglican Consultative Council.

What's happening here is likely to result in a split in the whole Communion. There are a few fervent TEC supporters in the CofE, but in general we have very little sympathy for the type of religiosity TEC stands for.

No matter what you do, look to Christ. If you look to Christ and you analyze what your church's top leaders are teaching the flock of TEC - and others - you will cry out in despair.

The Spong stuff is becoming more popular in Western provinces where the faith is weak.

It is too late. TEC will not pull back, the Communion will split, most likely the Church of England will split. This could have been avoided if TEC did pull back. Now we're left with the smarmy machinations in the ACoC with nobody really being happy about TEC, but there being no "plan" other than the TEC one which the others will probably grudgingly and lifelessly comply with.

I read your PB in her own words. I know what she says about Christ. We in the Church of England want nothing to do with this kind of thing (and Scripture tells us we should have nothing to do with it, nor persons who teach this). That's one of the major reasons the Primates of 2/3 of the Communion didn't show up.

Wilf said...

Bookguybaltmd,

Don't you think it would be better for TEC to leave the Communion given its explicit consent via its PB of the last few Primates Meetings, and its failure to comply - and of course the big moratoria issue raised at Lambeth which it has explicitly flouted?

Even if we're all shakey on the theology and might want to join the Jehovah's Witnesses and Muslims in the kind of Christology we embrace - it still can be said, there's an outstanding issue here and TEC is essentially acting in an imperialist fashion. America has a lot more money than the other provinces, and that makes it easy to buy rather weak officials off - the ones in the Western provinces. The Southern provinces didn't believe the West would manipulate the Communion in this way - that's why they consented to the structure of the ACoC in the first place. The West, led by TEC, kinda barged in - with no means for the Communion to get them out except basically yelling at them.

I'd be inclined to think: if TEC values its partnerships with these other churches as it says - it would do well to acknowledge that issues have come up which have made membership in the Communion, at the current moment, a bad idea ... with the hope that there will be reunion sometime in the future.

Doesn't this make sense, doesn't it sound like more a way of peace, than what TEC is currently pushing through?

What's happening also will never go through. The Church of England doesn't want to become Unitarian. We are by far the largest Protestant body, and we don't have TEC's freedom to start doing things which are profoundly contrary to what Christ taught us - denying the resurrection and the divinity of Christ. We won't be able to accept this. You are going to be disappointed somewhere along the line, no matter how you cut it. I think +KJS realizes this, but just doesn't want things to break up "on her watch." There will be a break up between TEC and CofE, and it will be very, very, very ugly - much uglier than the current warfare we're seeing between parties.

Wilf said...

Bookguybaltmd,

I think it can be said that the ACNA's actions bring it closer rather further from the Communion. TEC is essentially splitting the whole Communion, my church may also split because of its actions. People are trying to be civil and non-divisive, but when push comes to shove, there will be a lot more animus against TEC, especially if we are still inside the same Communion with them. Bishop Gregory told us that there was deception about reasons for not coming to the Primates Meeting, and very likely the next Primates Meeting will represent only 15% or so of the Communion. The Communion in reality will probably be formed around the Global South, with TEC's chances of joining being postponed to a much later date than would have been possible if TEC had simply said, "ok we'll do as is obvious everyone wants us to - and leave the Communion for a while."

TEC really doesn't care about its Communion partners or its agreements - it's all about power.

Bookguybaltmd said...

@ WILF - I think you need to substantiate some of this stuff. I don't think the ABC has shown himself to be suborn-able by mere money and that's a pretty stiff charge. You need to prove it if you can.

I (and I gather BB - though I don't claim to speak for her) would agree with you that "the whole situation in the States is ludicrous and ugly."

TEC has a responsibility to defend the polity, ecclesiology, and patrimony of our historic faith. Our history and polity are both significantly different from the CoE; some of that is a good thing, in my view. I quite like democracy, for example; honoring the priesthood of the lay and presbyters in the councils of the church seems a quite reasonable and responsible way of doing that.

I agree that the court cases need to be dropped. I gather BB does too (that's the point of the entire win-win conversation, no?). But, since these cases were started by the departing parishioners, that is from whence the halt must originate. I don't see any way that TEC can accept a settlement that will compromise the historic faith.

My mother was English, as it happens. When my brothers and I were having a tussle and started the classic "he started it.... No HE started it...." rounds (kids are the same everywhere, no?) she would reply: "Well then YOU end it."

I can't see what the PB can have said to have raised your ire. I've been reading her sermons on-line (their are LOTS of them posted for anyone to read) and I've been thumbing through her books. It seems to me that she preaches pretty standard Anglican theology. It's true that she tries to avoid the 'shibboleths' of the historic faith that have no meaning for the unchurched whom she's trying to reach. But that's just pretty standard evangelism, used by faithful and orthodox evangelists for millennia.

I don't always find some of that kind of stuff always completely comfortable. Often it seems to break down into some pretty bland stuff (and, worse yet, can get so vague as to be too easily the subject of misunderstanding). I prefer something a little more challenging. What's more, I tend to be a pretty 'high church.' I quite LIKE the ancient shibboleths and ceremonies of the faith, thank you very much. I think people can and should be challenged to think more deeply and more spiritually and talking down to them is sometimes counter-productive.

But the PB's approach is not, in itself, any more heretical (and is far less extreme) than was moving the date of Christmas to December 25th (to co-opt Saturnalia); or adopting the "greening" of the house, the ule log, or erecting Xmas trees as Christian symbolism; those were not heretical when they were first used to reach the unchurched millennia ago.

Bookguybaltmd said...

I would agree with your statement that "no matter what you do, look to Christ." But I would also point out that "by their fruits you shall know them." When I look to what the leadership of TEC is preaching and doing every day (from our earnest corporate emphasis on the 'millennium goals' to our missions all over the world), I do find orthodox Christian preaching, love, charity and a deep sense of hope for mankind in the Christian message. That is both my personal experience and my experience from everything I have read (everything that is primary to the church, that is, of course...). I particularly note that this entire difference seems to arise from the insistence by TEC that we MUST include EVERYONE in our pastoral mission and we MUST include the voices of all the baptized in our faithful structures. Yes, including those of women and gay people.

I just got back from more than six months in Haiti, for example, where TEC is much in evidence, spending enormous amounts of money (more than on the legal cases, I understand) and the ANCA folk are completely absent. I grant you, the appearance of absence was based only on what I personally I could see or encounter - anecdotal and personal evidence, I grant you - but, in the end, that's all one has, no? I certainly saw religious groups that were much smaller than ANCA who were much in evidence.

I certainly don't find despair in the preachings and active mission of TEC. Have a LOOK at what the PB is actually SAYING, for example, NOT what others are saying ABOUT her. It seems pretty standard orthodox preaching, albeit clearly couched toward those with little or no theological education/background.

On the other hand, when I look at the ANCA folk (I am resisting the word 'thugs' here) and their association with some folks in Africa who are openly advocating laws that would sanction the murder and imprisonment of gay people, I am deeply appalled. How can the ANCA folk sit silently while this is happening? Remember, morally and legally, silence is affirmation.

Bookguybaltmd said...

As for the Anglican Consultative Council, I can only agree that, one thing you have to notice is that TEC showed up and others did not. Our Mark Twain pointed out that 99% of life (and orthodox communion?) is just showing up. I do not see that KJS was especially pushing any particular message at that meeting; she seems to have spent most of her time listening (from what I can gather in the press). I try to read all the press, including the English press (my goodness but aren't you all scurrilous!), and I've not seen anything to indicate to me that the PB was dominating the meeting. On the contrary, it sure sounds as though those who absented themselves did so primarily because they were not given a veto over how the conference was to operate. That DOES seem more than a little presumptuous to me.... Not to mention a power-play....

I'm not sure where you get your assertion that "the Primates of 2/3 of the Communion didn't show up." The way I count the primates, only about 1/3 didn't show; most of those who were absent gave other reasons than TEC's participation. Only four primates expressly used that as a reason.

I'm also not altogether sure of your statements about CoE attitude to the situation is totally antipathetic to TEC. I would point out that at the last CoE conference the delegates only "noted" that those in the ANCA have an earnest wish to be part of the Anglican Communion. Maybe I'm reading too much into a personal relationship. But, when my English mother said "Yes, I understand that you REALLY want that piece of candy" what she meant in american-ese was "Yes, I hear that you want that candy, but it's still not yours and it'll be a cold day in heck before you get any...."

What is really disturbing to me and others is the prospect that the communion (and the church in the US) are to be broken up by a very small and determined minority simply because they are not able to force the vast majority to adopt their side of what are essentially political and stylistic differences. Even the scripture being used to justify this departure is not only very obscure, but downright contradictory of the basic foundational commandments of our lord. Now THAT seems more than a little wanton to me.

It should be noted that the majority in both TEC and the communion are not interested in imposing their point of view on the minority. They've even been allowed to continue discriminating against the faithful vocations of women for nearly 30 years now. No one is forcing anyone to accept a gay priest, let alone a bishop, and they are far from forcing them to to elect one for themselves. Of course, any Bishop has the right to control their diocese and no one may celebrate or preach in that diocese without the approval of that bishop. I have real trouble understanding why there is such a to-do about simply not getting their own way. As BB pointed out (from the other side, of course), that seems an awful lot like the antics one would see in junior high school.

bookguybaltmd

Bookguybaltmd said...

Oops. I meant ACNA. Sorry....

Bookguybaltmd said...

@ WILLF
"Don't you think it would be better for TEC to leave the Communion...."

No, I absolutely do NOT think that TEC should leave the communion. I think TEC has absolutely NOT flouted anything substantive and, what's more, the other side has done so persistently and egregiously.

I think you need to substantiate these wild accusations of imperialism and money influence by TEC. I don't see any evidence. I especially don't see even the slightest evidence for the charges of heresy or Unitarianism, or such.

In fact, the presence of those statements in your post without evidence to back them up pretty much completely discredits you as a witness on the matter. Can you show me, from PRIMARY sources, WHERE TEC has been heretical or unitarian? I have not seen anything from you or anyone else that would make me agree with that assertion.

It seems very much like the kinds of libels that I have heard from the other side. Pony up son, or stop bearing false witness.

In fact, diametrically the opposite seems to be to be true. It's clear to anyone with integrity that TEC will not want to leave the communion and, in fact, should not even consider doing so. They have certainly taken action several times to make clear that they will not leave and I see no reason at all for them to do so. TEC is in the communion to stay.

In fact, I would point out that TEC and Fr Huntington basically initiated the foundation of the communion. What's more, leaving the communion would legitimize some of the falsehoods you have offered here.

In many respects, the absence of TEC would kill the communion as we know it faster than anything else ever possibly could. There simply is no communion without TEC.

It is clear to me that a few primates are willing to leave the communion behind if they do not get their own way. They seem to feel that they can bully their way into authority over the entire communion through some kind of power-play, threats, and intimidation.

That kind of thug-ism sounds very much like what one would expect from a bunch of junior high school children.

And this is all over an issue that is far from the central tenants of our orthodox Christian faith.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Wilf said...

bookguybaltmd,

Christology is utterly important. Have a look at: http://bit.ly/asdZPO

and then answer this question -
Which top-level leader of a prominent Trinitarian church in the last 1,500 years has gone so far as +KJS in denying the resurrection or in denying the divinity of Christ?

+KJS seems to get her Christology from Marcus Borg. You could have gathered that from her introduction to "Wing and a Prayer." It's not because she is "avoiding" these things for evangelistic purposes.

You should also look over the reports of the Primates Meetings from shortly before 2003 until present, and any summary of Lambeth 2008.

Steven in Falls Church said...

Inexorably draining of legitimacy it can claim through adherents, TEC clings to other talismans of legitimacy, such as polity and (for now) formal connection to Canterbury. In this respect, TEC's parlous condition today is much like the state of the Holy Roman Empire in the 1700s, which Voltaire famously said at that time was not "Holy, Roman, nor an Empire." Man-made indicia of legitimacy, however, cannot hide the fact that TEC has alienated itself from a majority of Anglican adherents and that ACNA is in full and unimpaired communion with more Anglican worshippers around the world.

Regarding my first comment on this thread, I hope most of you saw it as a tongue-in-cheek carryover from the previous thread. Rest assured that I do not think Schori is a Hindu. Likewise, I frankly don't find her much of a Christian either, at least in the traditional, creedal sense. In this respect, I find this commentary compelling. I also went back to review the portion of the transcript of Schori's interview with Frank Lockwood where her infamous "God in the small box" comment was discussed, which makes clear enough to me that she denies the uniqueness and universality of Christ as the means to salvation:

ADG: I want to ask you about a couple of other things you’ve said in interviews. One of those was in the 10 questions in TIME magazine about the small box that people put God in. Could you elaborate a little bit on your take on “Jesus is the way, the truth and the life” [a paraphrase of John 14:16]?

KJS: I certainly don’t disagree with that statement that Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. But the way it’s used is as a truth serum, or a touchstone: If you cannot repeat this statement, then you’re not a faithful Christian or person of faith. I think Jesus as way — that’s certainly what it means to be on a spiritual journey. It means to be in search of relationship with God. We understand Jesus as truth in the sense of being the wholeness of human expression. What does it mean to be wholly and fully and completely a human being? Jesus as life, again, an example of abundant life. We understand him as bringer of abundant life but also as exemplar. What does it mean to be both fully human and fully divine? Here we have the evidence in human form. So I’m impatient with the narrow understanding, but certainly welcoming of the broader understanding.

ADG: What about the rest of that statement —

KJS: The small box?

ADG: Well, the rest of the verse, that no one comes to the Father except by the son.

KJS: Again in its narrow construction, it tends to eliminate other possibilities. In its broader construction, yes, human beings come to relationship with God largely through their experience of holiness in other human beings. Through seeing God at work in other people’s lives. In that sense, yes, I will affirm that statement. But not in the narrow sense, that people can only come to relationship with God through consciously believing in Jesus.


"[I]t tends to eliminate other possibilities." Well, yes, that's the intention. After all, God sacrificing his only Son is a big deal. Or put another way, if Christ is ultimately superfluous because there are "other possibilities," doesn't that turn God into a chump for sacrificing him in the first place?

Wilf said...

Steven in Falls Church -

Glad you find the article compelling, thanks for reading. Re. your quote of +KJS:

She interprets "no man comes to the Father but by me" to mean: "human beings come to relationship with God through their experience of holiness in other human beings"

Let's forget about the first phrase of that sentence, and focus on 'through their experience of holiness in other human beings." This is, for her, coming to God through Christ. Christ, for +KJS, is essentially the moral (or ethical) goodness of human beings.

I do not dispute that we in a sense can "see Christ" in other people - and to some degree, in their ethical goodness - but this is but a small part of who Christ is.

For +KJS, it seems that Christ can be fully reduced to being a metaphor for the ethics which the church promotes, and no more than that.

There are some possible rebuttals here, but one should really look at the various appendices of the article before totting off a rebuttal to save time - the major rebuttals there are covered. Though there could be problems with the coverage; any well-thought-out counterpoint is, of course, encouraged.

BabyBlue said...

Bishop Schori's theology on Jesus has often struck me as being neo-Christian Science without all the bother of practitioners and doctors. Jesus is the "Way Shower" as Christian Science sees him, not The Way.

bb

Wilf said...

great summary, bb

Anonymous said...

bookguy - I agree totally that TEC should not leave the Communion....from its perspective....without the AC, there is no global platform for TEC to pretend to be a major church.... in the US, only 0.26% (and falling) of the population goes along on a Sunday (avg age over 50).... TEC is slowly heading to extinction ....TEC has to stay in the Communion because its revisionist message is so unattractive to Americans and the AC allows it to pretend to be much more important thant it is. You are right, TEC should not leave the AC.

Whether the AC majority view that TEC should be kicked out (as it is out of line with 'the mind of the Communion') is implemented is another question.

As for 'fruit' - if you read the passage which talks about knowing people by their fruit and the passages surrounding, you will find the one who used the image of fruit talks about lots of beliefs about him being required....not sure Katie agrees with him on all of those....not sure the one who spoke of fruit meant the MDGs without all the rest of the stuff he said!

Bookguybaltmd said...

As I read some of the comments above, I see some citations of the libel sites discussing Schori, but I don't see a single situation of what she herself says. I see a note of an interview and some quotes from that interview (notably taken out of context), but I don't see a link to the actual interview and it's follow-up.

Really, the "Anglican Ecumenical Site" (A libel organization of two people!)??? You can't be serious????

Really, people, don't you even know what a PRIMARY SOURCE is? Really, can't you come up with EVEN ONE quote directly from the PB? No? Well, that's just pitiful.

There is no more legitimate source on the PB than the PB herself. There are PLENTY of sources available too.

I've read her books and I just don't see what all the libel can possibly be about. It seems like pretty standard preaching. It is abundantly clear that she recites and firmly believes the creeds every day. If you read what she actually writes and says, you would abundantly know that she regularly and strongly affirms the resurrection and divinity of Christ. Do you think she somehow has her fingers crossed behind her back when she says these things?

Can you really be such dupes as to believe this stuff without even checking it out for yourself????

@Steven in Falls Church - no. I didn't believe that you actually really do think Schori is a hindu. But my original questions stands: if you don't believe it (and, in fact, you clearly know it to be a libel), why did you say it????

Now, if there are any others in the UK who believe as WILLF does, this is another urgent reason TEC needs to stay in the communion: so as not to abandon the British to the unchristian false-witness of the libelers and to continue to witness to the truth about TEC.

Bookguybaltmd

Wilf said...

Bookguybaltmd,

Now you are looking like a false witness.

The article linked contains plenty of quotes from primary sources - from the site of The Episcopal Church itself.

It is not a "libel site" any more than The Episcopal News Service is a "libel site" - I would say much, much less so - quotes are very carefully sourced from primary sources and analyzed - insinuation is avoided - alternative perspectives are considered.

That said - I do not want to accuse you of deception, and I'll suppose that you simply had some misguided first impressions and got a little bit carried away.

I had a very specific question to ask you above about +KJS. If you can't answer this question - then why are you still cheerleading for her?

This is a very serious issue. The Anglican Communion may well be the most awful church in Trinitarian history, from a New Testament standard. We may be bringing "anathema" down upon ourselves. And you, Bookguybaltmd, as a part of TEC, are more in a position than most of us to do something by having a word in your church about this.

Wilf said...

Bookguybaltmd,

The thing is - it's very important for Trinitarian Christians not to "bring another gospel" into the church by having leaders teach non-Trinitarian things.

E.g., it's very important that we avoid teaching that Jesus is a man who lived a long time ago and died, but the "resurrection" and his "life" can be powerful metaphors for the ethical imperatives which the church wishes us to follow.

Marcus Borg's Christology is more or less like this last bit. He does at one point say that he doesn't want to reduce the resurrection to the idea that Jesus' teachings as a "meme" became better known - but all in all, it does look like all the sacred-sounding things he says about Jesus, are really terms that can be applied to his ethics - e.g., "eternal," "transcendent," etc. etc. There are a lot of vague "sacred-like" words which could more or less mean anything which he associates with Jesus - but the teaching which is actually useful, and can be rationally comprehended, is reductive; and Borg never compellingly tells us how it is that this dead Jesus is anything more than the church's moral injunctions, as he sees them.

You may not read a lot of theology or maybe aren't capable of seeing what people are sometimes "doing" to theology with their words. But this is also generally what +KJS is doing.

Now, some people believe they are Christians, and that this kind of teaching is wonderful - much better than Trinitarian Christology. But for Trinitarian Christians - such people shouldn't be teaching and leading in the church.

It basically means that TEC will need to leave Trinitarian Christianity if it is to avoid terrible conflict - for while it remains a part of us, we are "anathema" in allowing another gospel into the church.

The good news is you are safe in any other Trinitarian church - Presby, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, Anabaptist, Catholic - only us Anglicans are bringing down this awful anathema on ourselves. Then you also won't have to deal with all this Anglican bickering.

Wilf said...

Bookguybaltmd, I'm willing to address your other concerns, but I think it's prudent to deal with issues one-by-one, so let's first deal with Christology in TEC and in particular with +KJS. After reading http://bit.ly/asdZPO (primary sources & full context linked from there, contrary to your first perception - and if +KJS ever responded to the critiques of the Primate of Nigeria to these quotes, I would have thought I would know about it - in that case, I will be very happy when you provide links). And then answer the question:

Which top-level leader of a prominent Trinitarian church in the last 1,500 years has gone so far as +KJS in denying the resurrection or in denying the divinity of Christ?

Wilf said...

Bookguybaltmd, I hope you do not read what I write as personal animus against you, and also see that when I say you "appear" to be deceiving, that I don't suspect you of such.

You seem to me like one of the thousands of Episcopalians who devotedly goes to church and wants to worship the Risen Christ and realizes that the bodily resurrection of Christ is important - but probably isn't able to connect all the dots of interrelations between the teachings of the church ... and thus, alarm bells don't go off when +KJS says certain things; or you genuinely believe that her, e.g. studied avoidance of mentioning the bodily resurrection of Christ, even in Easter sermons, is some kind of concern with "evangelism," as you state. It's easy enough to come to these conclusions when one doesn't have a thorough grounding in theology - I'd guess that plenty of "orthodox" TEC priests don't even have this grounding - I know my last TEC priest didn't (a TEC priest in a Church of England parish - yes, I know, confusing). It was actually this priest who sparked my interest in what was happening in TEC - which I was a part of, 20 years ago when I lived in the U.S..

Bookguybaltmd said...

Once again, you fail to demonstrate that the PB is not trinitarian or that she is preaching anythingother than standard anglican theology.

You make up a lot os stuff about Marcus Borg (a misrepresentation of Dr. Borg and completely irrelevant to the PB as far as I can see)and make a lot of wild, unsubstantiated accusations, using a bunch of terms you seem to only barely understand, and then you expect to have even the remotest credibility.

No go. Try again? If you want to know what we in TEC, INCLUDING THE PB, believe, have a look at the Book of Common Prayer sometime. I think you will find it an eye-opening experience. THAT is what we believe and the PB affirms that every single day of her life.

I have PERSONALLY heard the PBr say the creeds and CLEARLY she believes them. The creeds are CLEARLY trinitarian. Anyone who says she believes otherwise, needs to show me where SHE said otherwise herself. More of your trial by internet misdirection and false witness doesn't cut it with any reasonable person.

TEC does not need to leave the Anglican communion because we are safely within the bounds of historic Anglican Theology. So is the PB. Not emphasising the trinity when preaching to the unchurched is not the same as denying it.

On the other hand, you and your followers have clearly decided that you are leaving the Anglican church. Even though the leaders in the US claimed that

As it happens, I do read a goodly bit of theology. I have learned to recognize a foolish and false argument such as yours when I see one. I am also, at the moment, studying Greek and reading the Testaments in that language.

You need to come up with something that documents that this is the PB's actual belief and not just more of your "trial by internet" false witness. ONLY a primary source, the PB speaking for herself, can accomplish that. You have so far failed to do so. It is clear that there is absolutely and difinitively no evidence whatsoever to support your libels.

I did answer your question, the PB has not deneyed trinitarian beliefs at all. You have failed to demonstrate that she has. ONLY a link to the PB HERSELF will satisfy the requirements for such a charge. A link to a deliberately libelous web site will not work

Here are some links to the PB's sermons. Can you show me something non-trinitarian here?
http://www.episcopalchurch.org/presiding-bishop.htm#

http://www.anglicansunited.com/?p=8000

http://www.ecusa.anglican.org/79425_122868_ENG_HTM.htm

http://cccdub.ie/index.php?/sermons/sermon-by-the-most-rev-katharine-jefferts-schori-sunday-30-january-2011.html

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_79214_ENG_HTM.htm

Wilf said...

Bookguybaltmd,
Now you are truly being evasive. The article contains quotes from the PB whose context is provided in sources which were taken directly from the official TEC website.

You may have your own favorite sermons of hers, which I can understand; but these may not be the best for demonstrating, e.g., what she thinks of the bodily resurrection of Christ or His divinity.

My two questions for you (I left you with only one question, now I leave you with only two):

1) Why do you refuse to answer the question I asked, regarding +KJS's quotes (with context provided, from the TEC website itself)?

2) Provide a single source in which she clearly affirms the bodily resurrection of Christ.

Re. Borg: It is very clear that he denies the bodily Resurrection - he may have changed, now perhaps saying that "he doesn't believe one way or the other" - but it's clear he doesn't find it to be important. "Resurrection" for him means something else. He, like +KJS, when they say the creeds, simply make "rose again" refer to something else - I believe their referent is the moral doctrines of the church, from my analysis of their statements.

We can talk about whether or not I misrepresent Borg later - I was simply trying to help you understand +KJS, as Borg seems to be the most important theological figure for her. Please, the two questions above, since you are unwilling to answer the first.

Steven in Falls Church said...

"Here are some links to the PB's sermons. Can you show me something non-trinitarian here?

The problem is that I can't find anything unambiguously trinitarian either. We can examine cherry-picked sermons by Schori, but what is really insightful, as the saying goes, is what happens in the unscripted moments. In this respect I recall this real hum-dinger of an interview on NPR:

RY: TIME Magazine asked you an interesting question, we thought, "Is belief in Jesus the only way to get to heaven?" And your answer, equally interesting, you said "We who practice the Christian tradition understand him as our vehicle to the divine. But for us to assume that God could not act in other ways is, I think, to put God in an awfully small box." And I read that and I said "What are you: a Unitarian?!?" [laughs] What are you-- that is another concern for people, because, they say Scripture says that Jesus says he was The Light and The Way and the only way to God the Father.

KJS: Christians understand that Jesus is the route to God. Umm-- that is not to say that Muslims, or Sikhs, or Jains, come to God in a radically different way. They come to God through... human experience... through human experience of the divine. Christians talk about that in terms of Jesus.

RY: So you're saying there are other ways to God.

KJS: Uhh... human communities have always searched for relationship that which is beyond them.. with the ultimate.. with the divine. For Christians, we say that our route to God is through Jesus. Uhh.. uh..that doesn't mean that a Hindu.. uh.. doesn't experience God except through Jesus. It-it-it says that Hindus and people of other faith traditions approach God through their.. own cultural contexts; they relate to God, they experience God in human relationships, as well as ones that transcend human relationships; and Christians would say those are our experiences of Jesus; of God through the experience of Jesus.

RY: It sounds like you're saying it's a parallel reality, but in another culture and language.

KJS: I think that's accurate.. I think that's accurate.


I don't see how you can read this and come away with the conclusion that Schori believes that Christ is the unique and universal means to salvation, a basic tenet of creedal faith. This can then mean one of two things. First, that Jesus really isn't the divine son of God, who was sacrificed on the cross for our salvation, but was just an exemplar of how we can manifest holiness in our own lives as a "route to God," and that there are other, equally valid "route[s] to God" out there. Or alternatively, that Jesus really is divine and was sacrificed for our salvation, but which sacrifice was superfluous because you can find salvation through other means, such as this idol. But the latter begs the question of why God would sacrifice his only son if that sacrifice is just one of several, equally fulfilling options at a buffet line.

Wilf said...

Steven, I agree with you in the centrality of importance of the uniqueness of Christ. But for Episcopalians I usually assume that we'll first need more stepping stones, that they probably won't fully appreciate this doctrine, though they will realize that something's wrong if the resurrection or the divinity of Christ are being re-defined simply to mean the things the church tells us we have got to do.

Your first quote, above, was very telling since +KJS there directly equates "Christ" with the experience of ethical goodness in people.

bookguybaltmd, I'm still awaiting your answers to the 2 questions. With your rather luscious descriptions of me above, I think you can provide at least this, in defense of your position that I am a dangerous "un-Christian false witness." Though I can understand your passion here - this topic is a painful one. And I'm confident that if you look at it with open eyes, you will see the concern that the Communion is doing the one thing which no church must do. N.b., I do not blame +KJS for this - all Anglicans, including myself, are to blame.

Steven in Falls Church said...

Wilf, thanks. I think the stepping stone is to accept that Christ is divine; the subsequent expressions in the creeds should flow from that. Not to pile on, but here is an excerpt from a 2007 interview of Schori (full interview here) where she pretty unambiguously throws cold water on the virgin birth as well as Christ's divinity:

P: What does someone do when they believe that Jesus is divine but that some things that are defined as creeds—that Mary was a virgin, for example--don’t seem right? Can one still be a faithful Christian?

BK: I hope that’s an invitation to deeper encounter. One can begin to look at where those creeds came from and the traditions they drew on. Luke’s story about the virgin birth draws on a story in Isaiah that talks about a young woman who will conceive and bear a child and save Israel. Our post-Enlightenment insistence on utter definition detracts enormously from the mystery of faith. Again, those creeds are not about checking off a bunch of propositions. They are about giving our heart to a sense that Jesus shows us what it looks like to be a divine human being.

I don’t think they’re talking about parthenogenesis [reproduction from an ovum without fertilization, a normal process in some invertebrates and lower plants] .

If you begin to explore the literary context of the first century and the couple of hundred years on either side, the way that someone told a story about a great figure was to say ‘this one was born of the gods.’ That is what we’re saying. This carpenter from Nazareth or Bethlehem—and there are different stories about where he comes from--shows us what a godly human being looks like, shows us God come among us. We have affirmed ever since then in this tradition that each one of us is the image of God. We are all the sons and daughters of God. I think there is an invitation to look below a superficial minimization to what the story are really about. It makes some people very uncomfortable to do that, I recognize.

Wilf said...

Thanks, Steven. bookguybaltmd, note how here the notion of the divinity of Christ is completely consistent with the quote Steven cited above, where +KJS equates coming to the father by way of Jesus as simply recognizing good deeds accomplished by people - i.e., ethical imperatives. This is the quote the article analyzes in its second part - it would help to read the second part of that article in analyzing the quote in its context.

The first part of the article deals with material from here: http://episcopalchurch.org/78695_96294_ENG_HTM.htm

I await responses to the two questions. You needn't feel compelled to interact with anything I've said, except those two questions.

John said...

According to this we are all doomed- http://www.catholic.com/library/Salvation_Outside_the_Church.asp

Even there, you will find discussion about heaven for the unbaptized. You will find subjects such as "innocent ignorance" and Baptism of Desire.
Who goes to heaven and who is condemned is beyond our pay grade. The Holy Spirit has no boundaries.

Wilf said...

Still waiting for your response to the 2 questions, bookmanbaltmd. Actually I am not sure myself what to make of the ACNA. You bring up some things here which I guess make a prima facie case, but given other issues, again become questionable. There are surely other outstanding problems there, as well. I do know of some within TEC who are profoundly troubled by +KJS's Christology who nonetheless would never consider joining ACNA. We could perhaps have a fruitful discussion of the problems of the ACNA. This is all though rather irrelevant to me as long as you continue to think I'm a liar, libelist, etc. etc..; the issues regarding ACNA are mere quibbles on minor issues compared to reform of Christology within TEC. One can remain a faithful Trinitarian Christian within TEC as long as one is willing to do one's part in raising a voice regarding the problems of its Christology, imho. As for the issue of apostasy and denying Christ - in a way, all Anglicans who are a part of the Communion are complicit in this, it's a problem we all share - I do not somehow magically "escape" this charge and the blame that is to be had.

Josh Hagquist said...

baldguybaltmd,

You posted this:

"TEC does not need to leave the Anglican communion because we are safely within the bounds of historic Anglican Theology. So is the PB."

So you desire the brand name "Anglican" but you have a PB, and many churches, preaching that the God of the Bible isn't The only Way. People like you confuse me...you so cling to your "Anglican" name, yet you don't care to follow out the BCP, the 39 Article, and most importantly Scripture. It's like saying you want to be Catholic but you deny Papal Supremacy, Trent, and most Catholic Dogma. Sorry, but you aren't Catholic if you believe that. You'd be excommunicated in a heart beat for preaching something that flies in the face of Catholic dogma. So the PB can say whatever she wants theologically without fear of Church discipline. This is the problem with Anglicanism...it's become this free-for-all...a "choose your own adventure" group that allows it's churches to subscribe to one thing and deny another. The Bible, along with the 39 articles are clear on WHO Jesus IS, and that the ONLY means of Salvation is through Him...not "experience of the devine in others"...not "seeing God in Allah", and not "reason" or any other bit of theological nonsense yourPB decides to come up with when pressed.

Until the Anglican communion decides that it is no longer permissible for such "theological" liberties...you will continue to have the chaos that we have now. You will continue to have liberal Anti-Reformation/Anti 39 Articles/Anti-BCP movements that still want the brand-name, but want little to do with what true Reformation Anglicanism is. I'm not calling for a Pope-like authority, but for me, an Anglican who is Reformed theologically, the idea that you can be "Anglican" and not subscribe to the 39 articles, or the creeds (and mean them), and the BCP...is a joke. It's bad theology, and it has more of a resemblance with a social club than with a Church...and in my opinion that is what ecusa is. It's a social club for theological waffling and promoting liberal causes.

Josh Hagquist said...

I understand that there are different "flavors" of Anglicanism...but Reformed Anglicans, Evangelical Anglicans and Charismatic Anglicans can still agree on the 39 Articles, and the BCP. It is liberal, humanistic theology (episcopal unitarians like the PB etc...) that is NOT compatible with what Anglicanism IS. The Scriptural integrity of the BCP has been gutted by ecusa leadership for a more easy-going, easy to digest prayer book. Spong, Schori and their ilk do NOT represent Anglicanism, regardless of how you would prefer to spin it. BTW, the quotes above are directly from your PB...it isn't internet spin but your PB denying that Jesus is THE ONLY WAY. Denying the virgin birth. If you don't have the virgin birth...if that somehow was a lie...or an "experience" (same with the bodily resurrection of Christ being talked about more as an "experience" and not really happening by your church leaders)...not the supernatural God act...then you have nothing. The Bible is a lie. Jesus, from his creation, is a lie. Why even have a church or a creed? The whole thing fails when your leadership teaches you the things it does because they don't believe in the Bible as being the inspired, literal Word of God. Period.

Wilf said...

bookguybaltmd,

I'm thinking we probably won't see you again on this thread, as it's been a while since we've heard from you.

Just in case you're still reading -

I know I put a lot on your plate here. Some of the above about e.g. the ACC and TEC and money was not substantiated here - I'd need time to show you the evidence I've seen, and tell you why this is the case. But you also make some rather big assumptions here - you have your own view of how the Communion was formed, and what the function of the Communion is - in a way that TEC seems quite central to the Communion. Soit, we could discuss this as well I suppose.

I'd suggest: there are perceptions about the state of the Communion which are so radically opposed to one another, they are far more opposed to one another than the typical differences of opinions on things amongst groups of people which tend to drive them to war. E.g., some believe TEC to actually be "the whore of Babylon" - others think that TEC is the only party capable of saving the Communion and bringing enlightenment to Christianity. What we are dealing with are indeed weighty issues.

However - I think no matter how one looks at this question - one must also acknowledge that there are persons on both side of the fence who are innocent. One must honestly look at the presuppositions, the motivations, the information available - and not presuppose that the opposing party is evil, deceitful, or purposefully destructive.

You have respect for bb, and I think you will come to get to know others here who I respect, and whose virtual company I enjoy and would love to share with you as well. And we can get to know you better, too. You have insights from which we can learn. They may not necessarily be the ones you're presenting in this thread, but you are smart and you obviously are passionate about issues; and I hope you aren't so dogmatic that you are willing to employ reason and think through things.

Unfortunately, it is true that we often get "hot under the collar" and sometimes engage more in spewing, than in offering helpful approaches, or new ways of seeing things.

But we often get beyond this as well.

Blessings to you.

Anonymous said...

Wilf - I've seen you go through this question drill before. I've explained my view that I don't consider her theological grasp to be particularly meaningful or the answers to your questions to be particularly useful in terms of defining anyone's relation to the Episcopal Church. Ms. Schori has just become some kind of reflexive pinata for folks who like to think about these things on a superficial level. My own preference (TEC doesn't, alas, allow me to pick its PB) would have been for someone with a much better theological foundation, but these people come and go. We are still creedal Christians and the occasional weak reed at the parish, diocesan or national level doesn't change that. In any event, because it's a matter of intense continuing interest to you, I have personally heard the current Presiding Bishop state her belief in the resurrection of Christ. She has done so many times, as have we all, when we recite the tenets of our faith, as countless others have done since the Fourth Century.

As I am in England these days, I'll be doing so again five hours ahead of most of BB's readers, but possibly not Wilf, who is probably just down the road from me.

Scout

Wilf said...

Scout,

You and Fr. Weir have gone "on the record" saying you do not find the paper convincing, but then offering no real criticism of where it is wrong.

I am pleased to hear that she has said something about her belief in the resurrection to you and to others present; however, if she is truly able to affirm the bodily resurrection of Christ, some statement where she does so should be posted on the net. If you can find such, please let me know. I do not want to be saying false things about this woman.

See the point in the appendix, the rebuttal "she says the creed." We can continue the discussion from there if you have additional remarks. This type of answer also makes it seem as if you've never heard about Bishop Spong.

I should also add - I've seen others who have told me "she affirms the resurrection" only to read that she's mentioned the word "resurrection" somewhere in a sermon. This isn't the same as what she would need to affirm for me to accept that she does indeed affirm the bodily resurrection; it's completely consistent with her continuing to use "resurrection" as a metaphor.

One may believe that the resurrection is a metaphor, yes; this however doesn't "fit" in Trinitarian Christianity; such persons shouldn't be teaching their beliefs in churches.

It is true, Scout, that there are still many Episcopalians who believe the creeds - perhaps even most of them.

You are right about people of deficient faith "coming" and "going." One of the problem in TEC is the attitude - that it's not really a problem, or only a very small problem. This is what led to the progression from Pike to Spong to +KJS. No other Trinitarian church thinks of this as "no biggie," only TEC tends to think that Trinitarian Christianity plus a mix of a few other religions is best for the church. Everyone in TEC tries really, really hard to be very broad minded - that may be a bit of the problem as well - that there is too much of a focus on the appearance of broad mindedness, rather than the actual cultivation of it.

The actual cultivation of a broad minded perspective brings one to looking outside of the church, as well as inside of it - in fostering an attitude of proper ecumenism with our Christian neighbours. It also involves properly evaluating the robust claims of scripture and tradition.

If you want to contribute to this, Scout - you could find a place where +KJS plainly affirms the bodily resurrection of Christ. Or you could point out errors in the article. Or you could do some research on the "challenge" and find another top-level leader of a Trinitarian church in the last 1,500 years who has gone as far as +KJS in denying the resurrection or the divinity of Christ.

Any of these things can help.

Wilf said...

Scout,

"Ms. Schori has just become some kind of reflexive pinata for folks who like to think about these things on a superficial level."

I have seen examples of people seeming willing to discredit TEC with just a sentence or two about +KJS, and can understand why you might find this "superficial." However, I think it's equally superficial to simply note, "she says the creed" or to assert that she has adequately affirmed the bodily resurrection of Christ, without providing evidence, while it has already been addressed how one may say the creed while believing that each of these words are mere metaphors for ethics.

I'm also not trying to engage in "defining anyone's relation to the Episcopal Church." The questions I ask are more relevant for determining: what is the status of the Communion today, from a New Testament perspective? What would Jesus or the apostle Paul have said about us?

This also isn't just a TEC issue, it's a Communion issue. We share the PB in her functions as a Primate, which defines the whole Communion.

This means we all need to repent corporately of denying Christ within the church and bringing down upon ourselves "anathema" as Paul describes it, for bringing into the Church a different gospel.

I hope you enjoy your time in England. It's a pity you and I can't grab a coffee somewhere. I'd really dig that. (and not for the purposes of speaking of all this horrid stuff - it would be nice if we could get to know one another outside of this loathesome context, but unfortunately, this is the context where we find ourselves)

Anonymous said...

Wilf - Your position requires us to attribute to her a conscious mendacity when she recites the Creed. I have no basis on which I can do this. This is the context in which I have personally heard her embrace orthodox doctrine.

Lovely day yesterday, yes?

Scout

Wilf said...

Scout, (I/II)

Elizabeth I is said to have said that as Anglicans, we do not presuppose to look into the window of the soul. I.e., we make judgments on the basis of words and deeds, and not so much regarding speculations about what people intend and feel.

Actually, Episcopalians tend to have inherited a lot from the pietists, which goes quite contrary to this trend.

I don't think we need to inquire to whatever intentions or motives +KJS has when saying the creed. Part of it could be the belief that seeing these things as metaphors is not as contorted as you or I may consider - perhaps partly due to having been genuinely misled by some who claim something like the following:

"The notion of literalism is a modern invention. We should under no conditions assume that the writers of the New Testament wrote, assuming their readers would read their works with this modern framework of presuppositions. Instead, we should realize that they were engaging in the richly metaphorical practice of midrash" (or something akin to this - and if you have any questions about this type of argument, I'd be very happy to respond).

There are places in the essay which do a bit of hypothesizing about the intentions of +KJS, which of course, is not helpful.

The other day, I was thinking about the notion of forgiveness, and forgiving +KJS in particular. I think this is something that many "orthodox" will have to learn, and will need to deal with.

My own thoughts are, +KJS probably doesn't really care all that much the one way or the other. It's obvious that what she's passionate about, are issues that have to do with people coming together: how do we treat the "odd man out?" how do we build community so that everyone is respected and heard? how do we maintain the environment so we can continue living in harmony? These are the things which lay closest to her heart, and occupy her mind the most. Things like: "Did Jesus rise from the dead or not?" don't. I do not think she is terribly passionate about the idea that the resurrection MUST be a metaphor for ethics, and only that, to the exclusion of the event itself - as is, e.g., John Shelby Spong (though this is complicated with him - he goes through a logical "twist" that includes what he calls the resurrection of a "spiritual body," but ends up leading to more or less the same conclusion - "Jesus" more or less being ethics and no more - the same old 18th and 19th century preoccupation).

Wilf said...

(II/II)

I think you will also find within TEC rather prominent, in some circles this type of thinking: "If teaching the creeds are metaphors for other things doesn't hurt anyone, well then why forbid it? It's becoming quite Episcopalian anyways with Spong etc., and wasn't it quite popular with some in the 1960's? Wasn't this what MLK believed?"

Mark Harris, on executive council, in a recent blog entry was citing one reason for rejecting the Covenant, that it would mean that TEC (and the Communion) would be forced to abandon Spong's position re. the creeds - and he found this would be a great pity.

So no, I don't think you need attribute any mendacity to +KJS in this regard. I think that +KJS probably believes that the positions, as she's laying them out, offer a kind of reconciling and peace-making teaching which allows for both Spong and people who believe in the bodily resurrection to remain in the church without fighting. And that's simply, "the event of the resurrection (that which we disagree on) is unimportant; what's important is its meaning (and we agree that it has a meaning)." So there are some "good intentions" behind it. But good intentions do not always make for good teaching and good theology.

I think that if +KJS at some point realized that unity with the rest of Trinitarian Christianity would require inhibiting Spong, issuing retractions for some of these statements she's made, and clearly emphasizing that the church teaches that the bodily resurrection of Christ is central to the faith and important ... she would probably decide this was the best thing to do, and do this. Not because of her own conviction, but simply because it's "the right thing to do." And doubtless many other bishops have acted in such a way before as well, who struggled with the belief, or personally even rejected it, but nonetheless wished, for whatever reason, to play an important role in the church.

Of course, this is all speculation on my part, based on my assessment of her character & priorities in what I've read.

You know, when you're back in the states, maybe you could give bb your contact info, some of the things we discuss might go faster / better verbally, like over skype. And we could also chew the fat about things that are fun and beautiful.

Yes, beautiful day yesterday. Today has been very nice here as well, had lunch with some churchy people. They were ripping on Catholics some of the time. I decided to shut up this time, though, they already think I'm half Catholic. Protestants in Belgium tend to ... have issues with Catholicism. There are reasons. Still sad, though.

Blessings to you,
Wilf

Wilf said...

above, 4th para, substitute "if +KJS at some point realized that" with "if +KJS at some point came to the conlusion that" - sorry for my mistake & unclear langauge here. I don't mean to insinuate that inhibiting Spong is the only way that TEC could have unity with the rest of Trinitarian Christianity - this could lead conversation down an unfruitful path so I won't hold out for the one side or the other here.