Saturday, May 23, 2009

Is the Episcopal Church protesting Anglican "border crossings" while setting up to do the same thing?

Anglicat is doing a nice job of bringing forward various quotes and ideas from the Presiding Bishop's recent visit to Minnesota.

The PB wants to downplay the term national church and point to Episcopal Church - presence? mission? authority? - in various countries. This seems another evolution (or at least acceptance) of the disintegration of the Anglican Communion world wide, with at least two new groupings of Anglicans based primarily on competing belief systems rather than some form of Communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury and long gone "bonds of affection."

There's a degree of hypocrisy in what the PB is putting out there. She has been one of the major voices opposing "border crossing" by Bishops from other Provinces, but ever since the "Episcopal Church USA" (ECUSA) surreptitiously changed its name to "The Episcopal Church" (TEC), it has been positioning itself to both separate from and meddle in off-shore churches.

What she's saying reflects the anti-Biblical form of religion TEC is practicing. She seems to be setting up to take revenge by inflicting on others what she would not want inflicted on TEC. The church that sues other Christians, takes revenge, redefines marriage, downplays the cross of Christ... well, you get the picture. TEC's national leaders have gone beyond error into active betrayal of even the most basic of Jesus' teachings around the globe. TEC not only teaches things alien to most Christian churches, it behaves in ways that are counter to what Jesus said.

On another matter, the PB held up the emergence of TEC "regional offices" (one is down the road in Omaha) as a sign of "decentralization." That is manifest propaganda. The regional office model is due to the financial problems of the denomination and a growing inability to afford a headquarters in New York City. And dispersing the staff does not undo the fact that denominational power is more centralized than ever, with the PB poised to become a kind of Pope.

I wonder if the Minnesotans who heard this realized the irony. The PB looked them in the eye and said, "I am decentralizing," while she was standing there in their diocese to meddle in their Bishop election process.


David Handy+ said...

Hmmm. So much for displaying a mellower attitude toward our foes in TEC. (Just teasing).

Actually, I think occasional venting of anger and frustration is appropriate, given the shameless and inexcusable way our denominational leaders have betrayed the sacred trust that is in their care, by utterly perverting the gospel, and engaging in all sorts of treachery and hypocrisy.

I have no respect for the Presiding Bishop. Zip. Zilch. None. And I'm glad you and Kathryn/Anglicat are doing your part in exposing some of her wicked ways.

After all, as Ecclesiastes 3 says, "There is a time for everything." There is a time for being mellow and conciliatory, and a time for righteous indignation and downright inflammatory words too.

TLF+ said...

Hi, David+. I found myself quite unemotional - mellow, even - while posting this. I think the facts speak for themselves. Ezekiel 2 & 3 came up in the Morning lessons last week. We need to sound the warning, whether or not the people choose to respond.

Anonymous said...

But the point is...If TEC does this, it's bad (as you believe everything TEC does is, but are loath to admit) but is an African Bishop does this it's good (because everything they do, such as polygamy, sexism, etc is good as you proclaim over and over). Are you even aware of what a hypocrite is?

TLF+ said...

No, anonymous, the position that we've ALL frittered away in the Anglican Communion is called "bonds of affection." That's the net loss, no matter who we support on this or that issue or behavior.

There has been much impatience, declaration of "emergency", refusal to listen... on and on. Innovations, border crossings, breaking of fellowship, giving people authority not given in our canons... I could type examples for days from both "sides."

As I've quoted again and again from I Corinthians 6, we are all losers, spiritually, in what is going on. This or that group will meet its perceived needs. But the body of Christ is broken again.

I've also written in other places that we have good things to share with African Christians, just as they have good things to share with us. I have no fantasy about African sociopolitics as perfect or superior.

But I do admire their churches. They practice a costly fidelity under pressures we fail to acknowledge, and which some of our actions have exacerbated. We say much about "dialogue" be we are not good at listening. A bit of humility and restraint on our part might have gone a long way.

But now we are doing "post-mortem". The fragmentation is real and any of us who claim to be above it and can't see some way in which we've contributed are hard hearted fools.