Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Over the Top

John David Schofield, William Wantland, Jack Iker, Robert Duncan, John Guernsey, Stephen Noll, George Conger, David Virtue, Keith L. Ackerman, Geoff Chapman, and on and on. This is just the tip of the iceberg, think about the thousands (at least according to their numbers) of Americans involved in the greatest give away in American history. It is with and through these clergy and their laity that a huge struggle for our unique democratic Episcopal Church is now underway. Nikita Kruschev once said, "America will fall without a single shot being fired." The Episcopal Church is not, strictly speaking America per se, but a microcosm of this idea is currently being brought to fruition by these truly anti-democratic clergy and laity.

How is that you ask? Well, the destruction being waged by these folks is being waged primarily because they were not able to convince the majority of the House of Bishops and a majority of the House of Deputies that women were second class citizens, not worthy of the sacrament of ordination. They were unable to convince the majority of the house of Bishops and the House of Deputies that LGBT persons really weren't persons, more like second class citizens. They were unable to convince the majority of the House of Bishops and a majority of the House of Deputies that the 1979 prayer book was an abomination before God. They were unable to convince a majority of the House of Bishops and a majority of the House of Deputies that most seminaries were "heaven forbid" ordaining "heretics". They were unable to convince a majority of the House of Bishops and a a majority of the House of Deputies that electing a woman presiding bishop was a mistake.

When none of that succeeded they moved on to stealing the name and trying to abscond with the Church. When that didn't work they tried to convince a majority of the House of Bishops and a majority of the House of Deputies that the Episcopal Church had moved too far to the left -- you know , too "l-i-b-e-r-a-l". When that didn't work they tried to convince a majority of the Standing Committee and a majority of the Diocesan Council of their own diocese that they owned the property and that they could take it with them to a more "Anglican" place. When that didn't work they tried to convince a majority of the Anglican Communion that all they need is their own province and and they can eliminate "those" heretics.

The fact of the matter is that those who have left have done so because they cannot bear to deal with democracy. They do not like the Episcopal Church because they cannot control it, like any good bishop should. They perceive democracy to be weak, slow and muddled. they reject reason because they cannot convince a majority of people in TEC that their reasons are the correct ones. They reject TEC because their egos will not let them accept the process. Sure women, handicapped, LGBT are all not to their liking but what really galls them is the process -- the very foundation upon which TEC is built. They reject laity participation and they reject power-sharing with those of us that "know nothing". They accept that a magisterium, a Primate's Council, an Anglican Consultative Council, is the only way to get things done. They want to go back to the 1662 prayerbook because most people could not read at that time and just took for granted that the bishops would do what is best for everyone. (Okay maybe this is over the top but not too far-fetched).

Truth be told we did not warm up to the Archbishop of Canterbury for quite a number of years, maybe we have outstayed our welcome. Since when do we need an Anglican Consultative Council to tell us whether we are in the communion of out of the communion. We are who we are and we know what we know -- translation, the two greatest commandments are Love God with all your heart and mind and soul and love thy neighbor as thy self. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

You know, we could be angry -- but why? Why not simply finish what we began (actually simply continue our journey) and pass the Episcopal Bill of Rights? Why not simply, clearly and unequivocally completely live in those two commandments? Do we need a communion of Anglicans or do we need a communion Christ"ians"? I pick the later. Who do you pick?

4 comments:

Leonardo Ricardo said...

¨We are who we are and we know what we know -- translation, the two greatest commandments are Love God with all your heart and mind and soul and love thy neighbor as thy self. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.¨ Fred Schwartz

Well described. Thank you Fred.

I too am not pleased with ANY structure that starts deciding what WE ought be beliving, doing/including at TEC. Frankly, most of the critics from abroad (read parts of Africa, SE Asia and Egypt) have horrible and corrupt, deadly, superstitious environments to minister through...they need help, freely given help and not of the ¨looting¨ of TEC variety...they need not expect to find self-healing while perpetuating greed and corruption. I cringe to think of the depth of sick behavior that we are witnessing as many (see above) attempt to justify ugliness and ill-character/bigotry and lawlessness in the name of God...justifying fear and hate, justifying thievery, justifying false witness and vicious deadly witch hunts...pogroms that ARE, today, being activated by Akinola/Nigeria, Orombi/Uganda against LGBT Anglicans and others.

Being personally responsible and accountable before God and one another will eventually be the outcome of these current abuses as they later have NO PLACE TO HIDE...abuse that is so over-the-top that it borders not only on blind arrogance but religious insanity and group spiritual instability that PROMOTE fear and organize hategroups at Church.

There may be much more ¨sorting out¨ to be done, more abuse attempted (sometimes achieved) but keeping our eye on those TWO Commandments will restore everyone to sanity at the end...everyone will find their way home, that is, except those who are incapable of being honest with themselves and those who REFUSE to stop exploiting and oppressing fellow human beings.

So be it.

Lord have mercy

Fr Craig said...

"Truth be told we did not warm up to the Archbishop of Canterbury for quite a number of years, maybe we have outstayed our welcome. " Good point, and one that I hadn't considered. But I have long thought that whether 'they' think we're Anglican or not is the most irrelevant thing I can imagine... We're still doing ministry from our parish to Uganda (don't tell ++Orombi) and still will be if 'they' kick us out...

Elizabeth said...

I am sadly coming to the conclusion that, as Fred said, we have overstayed our welcome. We cannot be TEC and sign a covenant where someone else tells us what we believe and what our ministry is. Democracy is messy; elections of bishops etc. is messy. We always pray for the work of the Holy Spirit. I look around at the recent elections and think "Thank God for the Holy Spirit" That candidate was not my choice, but time has shown it to be the right choice. We must keep one hand firmly in the Lord's hand and one reaching out to our neighbor. Without that we aren't what we say we are.

Caminante said...

Patriarchy, patriarchy... just can't stand all this change that diminishes its power.