Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Cornerstone has been laid -- And it Ain't Jesus

Our favorite miscommunicator which shall remain virtueless, has opened up his pulpit to one Charles Raven. Mr. Raven takes the opportunity to espouse more of the stuff that the Anglican Mission in England is all about.  And, what it is all about is supplanting the existing Church of England, and therefore by extension the Anglican Communion, with their own branded Anglican Communion.

Read this my friends and tell me if I am wrong.

There are no direct answers in the AMiE press release which has of necessity to be brief and there is no doubt much detail to be worked out, but I think we can join some of the dots. The logic seems to be the same as that of the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration which affirmed that the GAFCON movement was very firmly staying within the Anglican Communion, but would not allow biblical conscience or mission to be held captive by the discredited Lambeth governance structures. It is worth quoting a section of the Jerusalem Statement at length:

'Our fellowship is not breaking away from the Anglican Communion. We, together with many other faithful Anglicans throughout the world, believe the doctrinal foundation of Anglicanism, which defines our core identity as Anglicans, is expressed in these words: The doctrine of the Church is grounded in the Holy Scriptures and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular, such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal. We intend to remain faithful to this standard, and we call on others in the Communion to reaffirm and return to it. While acknowledging the nature of Canterbury as an historic see, we do not accept that Anglican identity is determined necessarily through recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury.'
There is no doubt that virtually everyone can and should be able to read the handwriting on the wall -- The Church of England and the Anglican Communion as we know it and have known it for centuries is about t o disappear.  Our friend stationed in Canterbury has lost his battle.  It is now time to turn to a new partnership -- that of the Church of England and The Episcopal Church in the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada to lead us into a more complete and inclusive communion.

Much more later.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Manifesto and A Course of Action

The multi-pronged assault on both the Episcopal church in the United States and the latest incursion into jolly old England is part of an unfolding plan by the Global South and the Conelonialists to literally reshape the face of the Anglican Communion.  The British, from the Archbishop of Canterbury down to the nice little publications on the web seem to want to alternating discount what Robert Duncan and Peter Jensen and Peter Akinola et al are doing and help them.  The help is not unlike climbing on the boxcars back in 1939 Since the AMiE is now in their backyard.  The help them also is sitting on the fence and not resoundingly denying any and all priestly/episcopal actions of those that have been deposed a way back when.  Help them is sending "observers" to a convention of a province that does not exist the view something that has no real bearing on the Anglican Communion and will not play nice even if the silly British think that is the civilized thing to do. 

This would be laughable except many of the Episcopal writers, blog and otherwise, have a longstanding history of wanting to appease -- can't we all just get along.  Those of us in places like San Joaquin and Pittsburgh and Fort Worth and Qunicy have seen first hand the utter devastation of people places and things that these folks have brought down all the while they lust after more and more power.  The comments like we need to move slowly, they mean us no harm, the Covenant needs to be thoroughly reviewed are all delaying tactics designed by the Conelonialists to confuse, distract and diffuse any opposition while their plan is put in place.  Well Jim and Mark and Lionel and Tobias the time is now upon us and we as well as the Anglican Communion as we know it is about to cease to exist.  Please do not "pat me on the head and send me on my way" once again -- the writing is on the walls. 

We need to come to grips with the facts of Anglican life.  We need a course of action that will steer us through these waters with or without the Archbishop, Rowan Williams.  We need to stop playing with the godforsaken Anglican Covenant and unbury ourselves long enough to face facts.  We are being attacked from all sides and must do something soon else we shall cease to exist -- at least as we know us now. 

First, and foremost, we need to grab ++Williams by the lapels and tell him life is not "a bowl of cherries" and you are not Neville Chamberlain so stop acting the part.  If everyone is so desperate to keep the Anglican Communion, and it seems the majority of the Episcopalians here seem inclined to do so,  then lets officially be rid of those in ACNA and tell GAFCON/FCA/CANA/AMiE/AMiA and all the other alphabet soup folks to get with the program or get off the damn bus, now!

(I have no idea why we are so struck with the Anglican Communion.  We went from 1786 to about 1868 or so without them and I think we can probably do it all over again.  When they come to their senses about women and LGBT participating fully in the life of the church then we can talk but not till then).

We, the Episcopal Church, needs a reformation of our own and it needs to start now.  Everyone needs to know what we stand for, why we stand for it and we need to get about our Father's business, like right now.  Leave these other poor fools to play with each other.  Let's get on with a new course of action!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Chickens Come Home To Roost

Just a short period  of time ago, Father Mark Harris asked this question/made this statement,
I have heard nothing of the CofE sending anyone from Faith and Order to ask The Episcopal Church what it thinks of ACNA in its midst. One day, when the CofE finds its own Anglican Church in England, Scotland and Wales (ACESW) claiming to be the Province of record in the Islands off the coast of Europe, they will understand.
Well, Father Mark, it did not take long --

AMIE has been established as a society within the Church of England dedicated to the conversion of England and biblical church planting. There is a steering committee and a panel of bishops. The bishops aim to provide effective oversight in collaboration with senior clergy.
The AMIE has been encouraged in this development by the Primates’ Council of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GAFCON) who said in a communiqué
The AMIE is determined to remain within the Church of England. The desire of those who identify with the society is to have an effective structure which enables them to remain in the Church of England and work as closely as possible with its institutions. Churches or individuals may join or affiliate themselves with the AMIE for a variety of reasons. Some may be churches in impaired communion with their diocesan bishop who require oversight. Others may be in good relations with their bishop but wish to identify with and support others.

Sure, sure, sure, they "said" they will do this all "within the Church of England" but I am from the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin and I say, if you believe that I have some swamp land in Florida just for you!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's Time To Put New Lipstick On The Pig

Early on, like late 1998 or 1999 John David Schofield began his machinations to eventually move "his" diocese from the Episcopal Church to, ultimately, The Southern Cone.  Mark Lawrence is in the process of tearing a page right out of John David Schofield's book and write his own chapter.

Here is how this has started:

Early in 2009, Bishop Lawrence called for the creation of the Anglican Communion Development Committee to replace the World Mission Committee (WMC). The intention was to create a committee that would serve to reflect the changing environment of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion in this global age and to reflect the vision that Bishop Lawrence believes we as the Diocese of South Carolina are called to fulfill - “To help shape the future of Anglicanism in the 21st Century through mutually enriching missional relationships with dioceses and provinces of the Anglican Communion (Romans 1:11-12; 2 Corinthians 9:1-15), and through modeling a responsible autonomy and inter-provincial accountability (Philippians 2:1-5; Ephesians 4:1-6) for the sake of Jesus Christ, his Kingdom and his Church.” 

Bishop Lawrence has decided to create a world vision that reflects the Anglican Communion?!  Oh, really, and who died and left him Archbishop of Canterbury?  Really, where do these folks get this stuff from?  Do they stay awake nights trying to think up the next thing to outfox our Presiding Bishop, the Archbishop of Canterbury and grab as much worldly power as their two hands can possibly hold?

So, now we get to the real takeoff:

A recent visit to the diocese by The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Anis, Bishop of Egypt, and Archbishop of the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East resulted in a partnership and new companion relationship between South Carolina and this province of the Anglican Communion. Additionally, because Archbishop Anis’ province is already in partnership with the Province of South East Asia, by extension, the door has opened wide for further exploration and relationship -building there as well. While the ACD Committee will support and facilitate both existing missional relationships, and many of these exciting new initiatives, it will remain parish-based missions and relationships that yield the fruit of building up God’s Kingdom.
So, figure this one.  A local bishop, Mr. Lawrence,  makes a deal with a primate from another  province in order "explore and build relationships".  For those of you not accustomed to "Conelonialist speak" this is the kind of happy nonsense John David Schofield used to spread on the ground, ultimately leaving the Episcopal Church for the Global South.  (And make no mistake, the Communion Partners, including our favorite new bishop, Dan Martins, are knee deep in this. But that is for a later posting).  The language and the approach is classic Chapman Memo crap that has been used over and over by those who would try to crush the Episcopal Church in the United States.  But I digress.  Mark Lawrence is the bishop of South Carolina and to be sure he is NOT a primate.  He has entered into a relationship with a Primate, the equivalent of our Presiding Bishop.  Who is lusting for power?  Well, I will leave that up to you.  The inexorable march continues!

Anybody want to kiss the pig now?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day

I know this will turn out to be just a tad early, but I thought I would be in a hurry to salute Father's Day. 

So, allow me to begin with a picture of my father. 

As one might surmise, this is a picture of my dad shortly after he was promoted to Battalion Chief.  He died about two years after that, I was seventeen at the time.  What I remember most vividly is when he would go out as a mutual aid department to the fires in the Santa Monica mountains.  He would be gone for a week or more sometimes.  (This was before people actually lived in this area.)  He was usually gone for a day or so but that was to be expected on shift work.  Our house had what we referred to as the "doghouse" which was nothing more than a partitioned section of the garage where our washer and dryer were.  At any rate, When he would get back after 10 or more days my mom would insist his clothes be removed in the "doghouse".  However, you cannot imagine what a warming smell burnt weeds and grass can create until your dad is gone for days.  That is how we knew he was home.  And I have always had that memory whenever I smell burnt grass. 

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Don't Look Now!

Sometime help ccomes from some of the strangest places.  Ever think that bankruptcy would forge gay rights issues? Well look at this "Bankruptcy Court Blasts Defense of Marriage Act"   
In Los Angeles the  judge stated, "This case is about equality, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, for two people who filed for protection" from creditors, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles said Monday.
The Defense of Marriage denied certain rights to same-sex couples wed in other states.  It allowed for the denial of claims for joint income tax filing,  Social Security survivor benefits and even joint bankruptcy filings.  Thaat is all over now.

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing."  Matthew 23:37

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Shout To the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy

The Episcopal Diocese of Quincy is now talking with the Executive Council about the destruction and the hurt and the pain of the "schism" that befell them in 2008. See The Lead for the complete story.  Quincy is one of those diocese that just like us, suffered a catastrophic disaster in 2008.  Those left behind were, I am sure disgusted, dejected and dehumanized by the group of Conelonialists that left for Greg Venables Southern Cone.  We in San Joaquin know the feeling and first wish to convey to our brothers and sisters in Quincy that we know how you feel, we have been there and we want you to hang in there because a new dawn is coming.  Right now, it may seem bleak, and we are not completely out of that very dark spot that could be called "hell on earth" but we know there is a Jesus Christ and we know that the Episcopal Church will not let you down.  They certainly did not in our instance.

Please keep in mind that there were only a few people on Calvary that dark and gloomy day way back when and numbers are not important.  It is your faith that must be strong and your faith that will set you free.  We know that here in San Joaquin and I am sure you must know that even in the midst of chaos and ruin.

To the Quincy Conelonialists, you cannot win and when you realize that please come home.

To our Executive Council, Father Mark and the whole group, you have been patient, generous and loving for us here in San Joaquin please extend that same grace and mercy to our brothers and sisters in Quincy. 

To our brothers and sisters in Quincy, let us know where and how we can help.  We are also small but mighty.  Put us to the test.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We Are Headed Into The Dark Ages!

Hey, Archbishop Peter Jensen is at it again.  By it, he is spreading his words of wisdom all over Sydney and the world.  This time (as usual) it is about same sex marriage.

The article has the embarrassing title of:
Should the Marriage Act allow two people of the same sex to be married?
This is just like asking the question, "Should African-Americans be married?".  Why does Peter Jensen think HE can give or take inalienable rights?  We are talking about nothing less, marriage as a basic human right.

Here is Peter's first "logical" argument:
Think what marriage is. Marriage is the union of a man and a woman, from different families, publicly joined through an exchange of promises committing them to life-long exclusive fidelity. That marriage involves a man and woman is by design.

In that last line there is a leap of epic proportions that is not based on facts.
If you liked that leap here is an even better one:

 It is the unity of different sexes that alone creates marriage.

Again, Mr. Jensen assumes facts not in evidence. and here is his "kicker":

One of the essential public purposes of marriage is to ensure the necessary commitment to bring children into the world and to nurture them through the special things that a mother and father contribute to their upbringing.

Again, assumes facts not in evidence.  For example, any couple can adopt and provide for the child(ren) and it does not OF NECESSITY need to be a man and a woman.  and, it does not OF NECESSITY take a man and a woman to establish a complete and loving relationship. 

Mr. Jensen then uses the negative of one of the above lines to establish a further argument against same-sex marriage.  Same-sex unions, by definition, can never qualify as marriages 

What Mr. Jensen has done is establish his own, non-researched unsubstantiated definitions in order to write a bunch of nonsense.

Why all of this?  Well, buried deep in the lack of logic comes the real argument.

We now treat real marriage as one of the indispensable foundations of community. Ensuring public honour of same-sex relationships by calling them marriages is an abuse of marriage itself. It imposes, through social engineering, a newly minted concept of marriage on a community that understands it in quite another way.

What single word do conelonialists hate more than anything else?  Social whether it be social science, social engineering, social mores, social customs, they just hat the word in all its connotations but particularly in this context.

Then, in an attempt to scare the you know what out of all the little Conelonialists he (Jensen) comes up with this brief diatribe:

There will be other consequences that, even with our ‘live and let live’ philosophy, we will regret. If same-sex unions are declared to be marriages, there will follow a demand for equal treatment in sex education. The normalisation of homosexuality will be assumed. Children will be instructed that there are no moral or other grounds for preferring ‘heterosexual marriage’. This claim for a ‘right’ to be married could open the way for other forms, such as polygamous marriages or perhaps even marriage between immediate family members.

Here is where Mr. Jensen must get a great deal of his exercise.  He jumps to more conclusions in one paragraph than a panelist on Whats My Line.

Mr. Jensen then wraps this whole long time consuming nonsense with this:

 Our society reserves honour for marriage where lifelong vows are exchanged, between a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others. This is a painful subject but we must continue to uphold real marriage as an act of love for our neighbour and for future generations.

This is not a painful subject and why he thinks we should uphold real marriage (as if there are fake marriages??) as an act of love for our neighbor and for future generations??? How about granting the basic human right of marriage to all persons including LGBT members of our society.

In all of this, we, the members of the community that are heterosexual must stand shoulder to shoulder with all peoples in order to secure these basic human rights.  We cannot ask our LGBT brethren to do this by themselves.  We all need to speak out and we all need to speak out now. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Same Sex Blessings

We are rapidly approaching a time when same sex blessings will become the norm for not only California but for all the Episcopal Church and most of the Anglican world (communion if you please).  For some reason we are struggling with just the right words and just the right ritual and just the right everything to be inclusive.  Does anyone know that by doing this we appear to be setting up separate but equal arrangements.   Does this lead the Episcopal Church to LGBT restrooms and LGBT drinking fountains and LGBT coffee hours?  I am hoping  not.

See, here is the thing.  We do not have separate rite for Baptism for LGBT members of our community.  We do not have a separate rite for communion for LGBT members, we do not even have a separate rite for ordination or for that matter consecration of bishops that are LGBT.

So, why are we doing this with same sex blessings.  Is this not obvious enough that we can simply use the existing blessing of a marriage found on page 423?  Certainly makes sense to me.  If the couple wants to alter the wording then let them go ahead and do so but the basics are all right there.  We do not need to isolate and separate our LGBT members for the purpose of blessing their union.  Can we just get with it, please.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pretty Harsh For A Thursday!

Well, the Anglican Covenant thingy continues to live a life of its own.  How, I am not sure.  It makes little or no sense.  The covenant was born out of the desire by the Global South to punish the anyone in the "Anglican Communion" who transgresses.  The idea of transgresses is one in which I do not know how to define it but "I know it when I see it" -- just ask the Primates, they would judge who is or is not transgressing.  And pray tell, how is the actions of first the Global South and then the Archbishop of Canterbury different from say, Germany grabbing the Sudetenland in 1938?  The Chancellor simply wanted to relieve the privations suffered by the German people at the hands of the Czechs.  And this differs from the Global south wanting to relieve the privations of Anglicans in Nigeria and other places?  And, the rest of the world giving in to them figuring that all they really wanted was to "relieve the privations".  So let's all debate and discuss the Anglican Covenant in order to relieve the privations of certain Anglicans throughout the world?  Are we absolutely sure appeasement is the answer?  Or appeasement is even the question?  Do you all believe that?

Those who continue to debate this question, for real or for imagine, strike me as helping load the boxcars.  Surely no one knows what is at the end of the line, right?  No one knows exactly how this Covenant thingy will play out?  Could be good for all of us, right?  Just like it could be good for the LGBT folks of the world, right?  We know better, at least I think we do?!  Why help load the boxcars when we know exactly what is at the other end of the rail line, especially for the LGBT community.  How do we know this?  Because the folks that took the Sudetenland told us so.  Just ask Bobby Duncan or Mr. Orombi or Mr. Venables or old what's his face from Nigeria. 

If the content of this post is pretty harsh it is only because the Anglican Covenant was conceived and born out of hatred. Is being pushed to suppress women and LGBT and others under the guise of Communion (appeasement) and the net result is a form of death to those who do not conform to the guidelines devised and administered by a bunch of ruthless Primates who wish nothing more than as much power as they can possibly muster in this world (and how is that different from 1938).

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Prince of the Church versus Prince of Peace

I have watched and read as several new bishops were consecrated.  The writings they use and the verbiage in their applications seems to be mimeographed (copied for you all too young to remember mimeograph machines) and circulated among those who lust for the office.  Frequently heard and copied are "I am not worthy but I am willing to heed the call.  The spirit moves within me to make this journey, and a host of other trite and trivial phrases that merely smacks of a fake sense of humility and godliness in order to gain power.

I got to thinking and this brief blog is the result.  For some reason, mostly medieval, many of these would be power grabbers are enamoured with the concept of the "Prince of the Church".  This medieval term that allows them to believe that somehow they have this great political power that allows them to roam around their "fiefdoms" unfettered and unmuzzled and with some false sense of royal blessing.  These folks do not seem to care as much for the idea of the shepherd as they do for the idea of the politician.  They want the power and seem to ignore the real work they are supposed to do, "feed my sheep." 

Let's look for just a moment at the Prince of Peace, yep that would be Jesus.  He simply went about his business of feeding the hungry, healing the sick, clothing the naked and occasionally ridding the world of a demon.  The real "political" reference that sticks out in my mind is when Pilate asks him if he is king and Jesus replies that his kingdom is not of this world.

So, why the disconnect between the Prince of Peace and the Prince(s) of the Church?  Can we get back to the idea the bishops are shepherds and not princes?  The shepherds crook is a good reminder but it seems to not have any impact on bishops anymore.  They lust after the power that comes from the office and the ability to fly around the country, the world and play at being royalty.   Isn't it time for a change?