Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Episcopal Priest - who is not leaving the denomination - warns that its terrible leaders are destroying the church

Fr. Dan Martins writes about "Burning Bridges." He's reflecting on the mess in Central California, but his insights apply to the whole Episcopal Church mess.

Here's the best quote:

"The acrid odor you are smelling is the aroma of bridges being burned. As I have already noted more than duly in this space, the executive leadership of the Episcopal Church has tragically chosen an ideological purge over not only canon law and not only common sense but even over their own long term self-interest."

The Episcopal Church, in its crazed effort to get rid of clergy and people who live under the authority of the Bible and traditional Christian interpretation of its teachings, is spending well over $1,000,000 this year alone to sue dissenting congregations.

What you are not being told is that many of these congregations have offered to pay for their freedom - to negotiate a fair market purchase of their properties and to provide other financial considerations to the Episcopal Church in order to join Biblically faithful Anglican bodies.

Stop and think about that - what your church gives to your diocese, your diocese turns around and gives a good chunk to the Episcopal Church, which is using this money to sue congregations, clergy and lay people. Is this why you give?

And consider Fr. Martin's point about self-interest: because a negotiated separation would involve only minor legal work, and would generate property proceeds to the denomination, the Episcopal Church would actually gain more money by negotiating than by suing (and TEC has lost many of the first round cases and is now into the spendy world of appelate courts). Not to mention that these negotiated settlements could create good will and the opportunity for some kind of reunion in the future.

You are told that your denominational leaders are high-end intellects, that they value peace and justice, that they want to include everyone in the church. It's all lies. As Fr. Martins, a loyal Episcopalian, points out:

(TEC's leaders want) "a showcase for the brand of liberal puritanism that has become the order of the day, and they're not interested in the care and feeding of any conservative POWs."

And how about church growth? There's a church development maxim: "A fighting church won't grow." As Fr. Martins writes about TEC denominational warfare:

"...searching souls for whom the Anglican way of being Christian might just offer them the most efficient way to be made a saint will be repelled by the air of conflict that envelopes American Anglicanism."

The donations of God's people used to sue God's people. A purge of people who disagree with the direction of the denomination. Constant, bitter fighting that turns away potential converts. Please pray for the leaders of the Episcopal Church. I mean that. They are destroying their own souls. Leaders who neglect the people, serve only their circle of friends and who are ashamed of the Gospel of Christ will be judged most harshly when they have to give an account to the Lord. May TEC's leaders repent, return to Christ and be saved.

6 comments:

prairiewords said...

I repost this from an Canadian Anglican Dean.

The "blame game" affects all of human society, even the church! And that to me is a scandal: the body that is called to celebrate and live out God's forgiveness of sins is so often unable to forgive its own members. God is giving us opportunity to learn, I guess...

Alice C. Linsley said...

"May TEC's leaders repent, return to Christ and be saved." AMEN.

May Kate, Ken, Gene, Stacy, John, and others in the circle be used of God to renew the Church. And may God have mercy upon their eternal souls. AMEN.

And let us confess our own sins also, that we too may receive mercy.

TLF+ said...

Thanks for your posts - and the important reminders carried in both.

Jesus teaches that the measure of mercy we can expect from God is based on the servings of mercy we distribute in this world.

We are all being tested in perhaps the hardest discipline - forgiving those who harm us.

Prayer is a specific tool in this - "Pray for your enemies" is a Biblical teaching.

So are "do good to them" and "leave revenge to God."

This is tough work, but as we saw in the recent Sunday lesson from Acts, St. Stephen saw Christ and became Christlike as he prayed for those who covered their ears against his message and killed him.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Most High God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Malcolm+ said...

I'm glad to see you actually linked to Fr. Dan's blog. Reading yours, one might come away with the completely false impression that Dan was blaiming only one side for the unpleasantness. You conveniently closed your quotation just before his comment that the bridges are being burned from both ends.

TLF+ said...

malcolm+

Nice try but Fr. Dan's identification of "liberal puritanism" as the driving force is hardly a statement of moral parity.

Yes, bridges burned on both sides. But as Fr. Dan said, it could have been avoided if the poobahs in NYC had allowed more gracious separation models to be put in place.

And the egregious lie - "We are exercising fiduciary responsibility for future Episcopalians" - when in fact TEC and subservient local entities are offsetting any gains with horrific legal expenses (and a slew of defeats at the trial court level, necessitating appeals) is all the more reason to pray for TEC leaders to repent.

Anglicat said...

TEC: ubuntu epitomized (NOT)!