THINKING ANGLICANS

PB visit to South Carolina

There have been varying accounts of this event.

Episcopal News Service On the road in South Carolina with the Presiding Bishop by Neva Rae Fox

Statement from Bishop Mark Lawrence in response to the recent ENS article on the Presiding Bishop’s visit to South Carolina (original here, URL temporary):

I have read the recent article from the ENS regarding the Presiding Bishop, The Most Reverend Katherine Jefferts Schori’s visit to the Diocese of South Carolina. It was a gracious and accurate description of much of our time together. Indeed, there was a warm hospitality which we were most intentional in cultivating through our prayers and our hearts. What the article failed to convey, however, is the depth of the theological chasm that lies between many of us in South Carolina (and others within the church for that matter) and the trajectory of so much of the leadership of The Episcopal Church. To explore these cavernous depths is indeed the great work that lies before anyone in leadership today. Along with showing hospitality and witnessing to God’s work among us, the earnest exploring of this chasm was and remains one of our chief objectives.

—The Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence

Audio recordings of events during the visit can be found here.

Video recordings of Bishop Mark Lawrence’s opening remarks are here and here.

The reports of the Episcopal Forum of South Carolina can be read here:

1. Bishop Lawrence Approves Release of Edited Tapes of Clergy Meeting with Presiding Bishop Katharine (3/5)

2. Day Two of Bishop Katharine’s Visit: Disaffected Clergy Challenge Presiding Bishop (2/25)

3. Day One of Bishop Katharine’s Visit: Efforts by St. Philip’s to Humiliate Presiding Bishop Backfire (2/24)

Comments on the visit by others:

The Reverend Al Zadig

The Reverend Mike Lumpkin

The Reverend Steve Wood and also here.

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JCF
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JCF

“the depth of the theological chasm that lies between many of us in South Carolina (and others within the church for that matter) and the trajectory of so much of the leadership of The Episcopal Church”

Can anyone PLEASE explain to me, briefly, what the heck +Lawrence is talking about?

I feel confident in asserting that ALL of “the leadership of The Episcopal Church” profess the Nicene Creed, every Sunday.

This can only beg the question, what are they professing in South Carolina?

BobinSwPA
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BobinSwPA

++KJS wasn’t allowed to celebrate holy communion or preach during her visit to South Carolina. Why? Not because they were afraid of sharing HC with a heretic, no, not at all. They did this so the laity would be excluded from really seeing what is at hand. This is the a clergy driven division and keeping the people in ignorance is their goal. We’ve seen this kind of control in the former Soviet Union. Pravda and only Pravda gave the news reports. They must truly fear what she could really destabilize their little empire. bob

Weiwen
Guest

Let’s go back to Eliza Griswold’s article for a minute. At the end of the article, you see one evangelical Muslim, and one evangelical Christian, preaching peace together. They struggle with their views of each other’s faith. There is a chasm. And yet, they’ve renounced violence. It is a struggle just being human. It will be a continual struggle for liberals and conservatives in the Episcopal Church (although I suspect that like most of the U.S., most of the EC is moderate). It will be a struggle for Muslims and Christians in Nigeria. But if we are willing, God gives… Read more »

4 May 1535+
Guest
4 May 1535+

I haven’t listened to the audio recordings all the way through, yet, and am thus write (more than usual) subject to correction: but listening to the exchange about Christology, I was struck by the cadence and style, by the tone, of +Lawrence’s question. I didn’t disagree with the content, at all, but his way of speaking didn’t sound like the way I’m used to hearing Episcopalians sound (the more surprising, as we are, or were, in the habit of saying that the American church had a somewhat narrower range of churchmanship than the CofE); moreover, it didn’t sound like someone… Read more »

Margaret
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Margaret

JCF — you asked: “the depth of the theological chasm that lies between many of us in South Carolina (and others within the church for that matter) and the trajectory of so much of the leadership of The Episcopal Church” Can anyone PLEASE explain to me, briefly, what the heck +Lawrence is talking about? It appears that +Lawrence provided his own definition of what he saw as these issues. To quote him according to Steve Wood’s account: “Bishop Lawrence then talked about the four main issues needing to be addressed. He said we first need to talk about the spin… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

Margaret: The first issue is not theological (how many orthodox and have they left?); it is political and demographic. The second is theological, but to argue against it, the orthodox must attempt to prove that the Holy Spirit would never do such a thing–I look forward to what proof they can deliver. The third is also more political than theological, since it speaks to the governance of the church, not to what the church believes. The fourth is, indeed, theological…but I think it is closely related to the second. The orthodox seem to think that the Holy Spirit acts only… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

So why doesn’t this man leave if he is so unhappy? I am sure that the Southern Cone or other of the fundamentalist infiltrators would welcome him with open arms

he won’t be missed

Deacon Charlie Perrin
Guest
Deacon Charlie Perrin

Bishop Lawrence states: “I have read the recent article from the ENS regarding the Presiding Bishop, The Most Reverend Katherine Jefferts Schori’s visit to the Diocese of South Carolina. It was a gracious and accurate description of much of our time together.”

Can’t anyone spell her name correctly? Or is this now one of the standard ways in which the self-proclaimed orthodox are now using to denigrate the PB?

trooper
Guest
trooper

Why should he leave, Merseymike, lots of room in the big tent, and all that, yes?

JCF
Guest
JCF

“To quote him according to Steve Wood’s account: ‘Bishop Lawrence then talked about the four main issues needing to be addressed. He said we first need to talk about the spin that is coming out of the national church regarding the orthodox in the church…'” Yes, Margaret, as I said over at Steve Wood’s site: “+Lawrence’s questions (inquisition, really) amount to, essentially ‘Have you stopped beating your wife?'” Rude. Disgusting. Contemptible. [That ++KJS *didn’t* walk out, shaking the dust from her sandals, displayed FAR more charity than I ever could!] These are not “theological chasms”: they are *political* chasms (attempted… Read more »

Steven
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Steven

Well, she showed up and got an earfull. For her, it was water off a duck’s back. There is and can be no change unless someone gives up ground here. No one is willing to do so, so that’s it. And, that’s it for me too. So long folks. In truth, I’ve been coming around less and less anyhow, so its not much of a change for me to say goodbye for good. My only point initially was to encourage an amicable and even-handed parting of the ways between the disputing parties. But, after a time, one does become involved… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
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Leonardo Ricardo

It was all a overtly smoozey “pay back” directed at Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori…they continue to RESENT her in their little corner of hostle-Dixieland for questioning the first vote for +Mark (formerly of Bakersfield/+Schofield, and The Episcopal Church Diocese of San Joaquin)…oh, how they strive in South Carolina to be “different” and more “righteous” and “holy” sounding than the rest of us…I suggest they find a comfy chair to sit it out…never is a very long way away.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

No. Trooper. I think, like Steven, that there should be a split. The views are simply too far apart to find a point of consensus

Cheryl Va.
Guest

The irony is there will be change simply because she did not capitulate.

There will be change because key players refuse to give up ground.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

The hardening spin of opposing believer camps, often framed as a closed left vs a closed right, may or may not be the whole of the real church life story on the global ground. I am more interested at the moment in what this polarization might suggest to us as an index of ongoing change. In small group decision-making, heightened polarization is a fairly reliable marker, along with expanded ranges of possible views/outcomes, and emotional heat stoked by hot button differences. If this goes according to the most frequent group dynamics path, though it may not always do so, the… Read more »

david wh
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david wh

“the theological chasm that lies between many of us in South Carolina … and the trajectory of so much of the leadership of The Episcopal Church” +Lawrence was being very polite to describe Liberal TEC’s approach to religion as “theology”. Most of what passes for LibTEC theology is plain humanism; indistiguishable from the beliefs of mainline Liberal America except for some religious relabelling. I can’t imagine that LibTEC commentators really believe the Nicene Creed. How about: “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ… true God from true God … he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

David: What has anyone here–or anyone in a position of authority in TEC–ever said that leads you to think that we do not believe what we say in the Nicene Creed, particularly in regard to the parts you cite? In particular as to the last: Inspiration is not authorship. The Spirit worked through human minds and hands, minds and hands not incapable of error, minds and hands that–by virtue of their very humanity–could not possibly thoroughly understand what the Spirit was telling them. Further…and perhaps more importantly…to say that the Spirit has spoken through the prophets is not to say… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

“I can’t imagine that LibTEC commentators really believe the Nicene Creed.”

And that, David Wh, is the root issue: you don’t TRUST us.

Lord have mercy!

Doubting Thomas
Guest
Doubting Thomas

!st visit to the site. I sit to the right of center but not far right (although fast becoming such as those on the right leave). Astounded by the vitriol nature of the comments from apparent regulars towards S Carolina. I listened and thought they were gratious, courteous and civil to a fault to the PB. Thought the PB responded more like a lawyer then a cleric. One specific comment for Pat O’Neill re proof of the Holy Spirit….if as TEC’s controling faction claims the HS is “doing a new thing”, why isn’t it doing it with such vigor in… Read more »

ErikaBaker
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ErikaBaker

You’re not wrong, David Wh, many liberals believe that.
What’s your point?

Cheryl Va.
Guest

I’m with you drdanfee The book of Revelation has been fulfilled as far as God wants it to be fulfilled. There are some who are disappointed that God did not kill all the non-Christians, feisty matriarchs, GLBTs and others. There are some who purport that some souls do not belong on this planet and that they have no legitimate needs nor aspirations. Poppy cock. Every single soul on this planet is here because God wants them to be here. God did not form this planet to be empty but to be inhahabited (Isaiah 45:18). Naughty priests and angels might try… Read more »

Ian Montgomery
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Ian Montgomery

Pat O’Neil writes: The orthodox seem to think that the Holy Spirit acts only through personal inspiration or personal actions like speaking in tongues and the like. Many of the rest of us believe the Spirit acts in many other ways, including communal decisions about who should lead the church and how. That is not accurate. We – orthodox – but I can only speak for myself and yet am backed up by the 1979 catechism which asks how we know when the Holy Spirit has spoken. Its answer is when it is confirmed in the Scriptures. The innovations that… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

I also thought that Bishop Lawrence, generally, conducted himself with some grace – as did the presiding bishop. A small number of “conservatives” appear to have behaved like particularly nasty toddlers, stopping just short of calling the Presiding Bishop a stoopy-poopy-head. And honest effort was made by liberls and conservatives to have an honest and respectful dialogue, and it managed to survive attempted highjacking by a few jackasses. Now, David, I could tell you that I believe the creeds. I could tell you again and again until I was blue in the face. I won’t bother, because you prefer to… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

David Wh wrote: “”I can’t imagine that LibTEC commentators really believe the Nicene Creed.” Well, David, I don’t believe that ConEvo pseudo-Anglican commentators even understand the message of Jesus, much less are they following it in their religious lives. And, as to the Nicene Creed, I don’t know any Episcopalian who does not believe it, and I certainly do. But I also would expect that individual Christians, and Anglicans, could understand different elements of the Creed somewhat differently. But as to the message, and as to the essence of Jesus, this is where I believe that the fundamentalists and neo-Puritans… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“One specific comment for Pat O’Neill re proof of the Holy Spirit….if as TEC’s controling faction claims the HS is “doing a new thing”, why isn’t it doing it with such vigor in the rest of the AC, or does TEC hold some higher calling then our brothers & sisters in Christ elsewhere?+” Perhaps in other parts of the AC the authorities are so sure of themselves they simply aren’t listening to the Spirit when it speaks to them. Or, alternatively, the Spirit knows they aren’t ready for what it has to say. I don’t presume to know definitively what… Read more »

Margaret
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Margaret

Pat The first is theological — whether it is acceptable for ENS to distort the truth, if not lie either with its words or with its omissions depends on whether you believe in “You shall not bear false witness” and “Let your yes be yes and your no be no” The second we agree is theological The third — whether the canons over-rule scripture or scripture over-rule canons is decidedly theological. It depends on your theological position on what the scriptures are or are not ie are they the Word of God or just some ancient text about God. The… Read more »

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

JCF — in response to your comment: Yes, Margaret, as I said over at Steve Wood’s site: “+Lawrence’s questions (inquisition, really) amount to, essentially ‘Have you stopped beating your wife?'” You seem to be implying with your comment that the questions were not of serious concern to Bishop Lawrence nor to the people he represented. Whatever happened to “listening” to other people’s perspectives? Actually I would have thought the answer to the “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” question was clearly “No” given the number of court cases, suspensions of orders, and dismissals of priests and laity currently underway.… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

lIBERALISM IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

If you look at STAND FIRM and Virtue on line, you will see that many ” traditionalists” view Lawrence as a dangerous liberal.

They find his trajectory on womens ordiantion unacceptable and compromise with TEC…..

Sydney Diocese would never accept him as a serving bishop in their diocese…..

No ” traditional” anglicanism is a very confused and mixed bag.

Cheryl Va.
Guest

Jeremiah 8:8 “‘How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the law of the LORD,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?” Faith transcends the law. Faith existed before literacy or the Torah, see Hebrews 11. Luke 8:43-48 or Matthew 5:24-34 “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” Jesus’ response to the unsolicited Canaanite woman “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” (Matthew 15:22-28) Luke 18:1-8 “…will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Margaret:

By your theory, then, all disagreements become theological ones–even disagreements having nothing to do with the church. But we do not live in a theocracy.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Margaret:

Oh, and regarding your response to Lawrence, can you please cite specifics on liberals suspending the orders of conservative clergy, or dismissal of same, or of laity? I know many examples of conservatives doing the same to liberals in places like San Joaquin and Fort Worth, but none in the opposite direction, except where the conservatives brought it on themselves by actions such as rejecting the authority of their duly elected bishop.

Bill Channon
Guest
Bill Channon

I thoroughly believe that many, many liberal members of the Episcopal church are true believers -and, as has been denied by some here, recite the Nicene Creed, believing every word of it. However, I folloq the HoB/D listserv and am astonished and saddened by the vitriol and sometimes disbelief that many on the listserv discuss. Some of the liberal visitors on Titus1:9 and SFIF clearly do not, and are largely there to foment disagreement. Hence those eventually are banned since their purpose in being there is not constructive. I agree with Malcolm+ comment. I think +Lawrence was gracious to the… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“The innovations that Mrs. Schori and those that are with her attribute to the HS that which is contradicted by the Scriptures.”

This argument “The Church Apostate”, that the Church condemns what God (Leviticus) has blessed and blesses what God (Leviticus) has condemned, is not new – it was invented by Saint Pierre Chanteur, School Master at Nôtre Dame de Paris, in the late 12th century.

It wasn’t true then, it’s not true today – unless you substitute “translations” for the real thing…

david wh
Guest
david wh

JCF, Erika, Pat, Truth is the issue, trust is the outcome. How can I trust LibTEC’s claim to have a Christian theology, based on the Nicene creed, if it turns out that the truth is that they interpreted it to mean something quite different from its original meaning? Similarly, how Christian is an organisation that picks and chooses among the values of Christ and the Apostles based on the values of this age, and adopts values of this age that are contrary to those of Christ and the Apostles? – Giving everything a liturgical gloss, or voting for it to… Read more »

JPM
Guest
JPM

David, many of us look at the fundamentalist faction of the Anglicans, such as the Virginia Secessionists and the T19 and Viagrablog crowds, and marvel at how closely their teachings just happen to track those of George W. Bush and the Republican Party. It seems to us that they are themselves wallowing in the spirit of the age.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“How can I trust LibTEC’s claim to have a Christian theology, based on the Nicene creed, if it turns out that the truth is that they interpreted it to mean something quite different from its original meaning?” Oh God–I thought we only had to deal with “original intent” and “strict constructionism” when talking about the US Constitution. “Similarly, how Christian is an organisation that picks and chooses among the values of Christ and the Apostles based on the values of this age, and adopts values of this age that are contrary to those of Christ and the Apostles?” I’m amazed… Read more »

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

Hi Pat I wasn’t asked to comment on EVERY disagreement — but these four are theological at their base, not political (ie the political position taken is determined by the underlying theological positions not the other way round). I must admit that I find it hard to provide a strong theological base for when I argue with any of my four teenage sons about the state of his bedroom floor — but that wasn’t what I was discussing above. While I agree we do not live in a theocracy as defined by the dictionary, I do take seriously the injunction… Read more »

bls
Guest

David WH, I notice you’re moving the goalposts now; your original claim was that “LibTEC” didn’t believe in the Nicene Creed. Now that all of us have said you’re wrong – you’re wrong in my case, as well, FYI – the problem all of a sudden becomes that we “pick and choose among the values of Christ and the Apostles based on the values of this age.” Once we dispense with THAT argument, will it be something else that you object to? I really think it might be good for you to inspect the beam in your own eye, rather… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

David W wrote: ”… if it turns out that the truth is that they interpreted it to mean something quite different from its original meaning?” Everybody does that, you know. I t seems to be because indeed they i n t e r p r e t differently: Neo Platonism, or… something else ; = ) It’s the same thing (I suppose) with the picking and choosing ;=) Different interpretations. Take for instance the Creed-S: We say A Holy General Church; the Society of the Holy… Rome says ONE Holy CATHOLIC Church – making it Rome and only Rome… The… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Margaret wrote: “… the political position taken is determined by the underlying theological positions not the other way round.” By the degree of Neo Platonism of the parties involved, Margaret! And the Idea that the Male Academic can c o m m a n d (and judge/condemn) what others do… (derived from the Gnosticist Idea that the celibatarian can – and must – do so). ; = ) Margaret wrote: “I think your second comment that “the conservatives brought it on themselves” ignores the fact that it is the TEC that has changed the teaching of the church for the… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“I think your second comment that “the conservatives brought it on themselves” ignores the fact that it is the TEC that has changed the teaching of the church for the last 2000 years. In precisely what sense did the conservatives bring this change in theology on themselves?” The question is whether an acceptance of same-sex unions is a change in theology or merely a change in our understanding of humanity. If theology is, literally, “the study of God” then our theology has not changed–only our interpretation of what we have learned. To ignore the past 50 or so years of… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

David in re to “LibTEC” (sounds like a combined two year associate’s degree): “…if it turns out that the truth is that they interpreted it to mean something quite different from its original meaning?” Now David, you surely realize that ALL of us, you included, interpret things that are not necessarily what the authors intended. That’s the problem with the written word. Secondly, it is SOME very few “factions” (oh god, do I sound like Bush & Co?) of the AC that have objected to our “duly elected Bishop”. Face up to it David wh, you sound just like those… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Margaret wrote: “… the political position taken is determined by the underlying theological positions not the other way round.” By the degree of residual Neo Platonism of the parties involved, Margaret! And the Idea that the Male Academic can c o m m a n d (and judge/condemn) what others do… (derived from the Gnosticist Idea that the Celibatarian can – and must – do so). ; = ) Margaret wrote: “I think your second comment that “the conservatives brought it on themselves” ignores the fact that it is the TEC that has changed the teaching of the church for… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

The funny thing is that the Scholastics “proved” their Heathen teachings (pretended “Christian”) with Bible quotes (these had to be manipulated, to be sure). The “need” to “prove” Scholastic Socio-political and Ecclesiological Policies from the Bible is the reason for the great differences between the Vetus Latina, the old Latin translation from North Africa of the 2nd century onwards, and the late 12th century Verso Vulgata of Paris ; = ) Lev 18:22 was re-written abandoning the Greek for the damaged Hebrew (a thousand years younger) and transformed into Latin. Koimethäsä; to lie, to sleep (also to die), was changed… Read more »

bls
Guest

Anyway, do any of the “authority of Scripture” folks actually READ the Bible? God commands Holy War in there, you know. It’s also OK for men to raid neighboring villages to steal women for wives, and of course slavery’s not a problem. Abraham impregnated his maid and then, with the help of his wife (who may have been his half-sister) kicked her out of the house to die in the desert.

And of course everybody’s a polygamist; there are rules about how that works, too.

So then: you were saying?

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

bla
I suggest you do a very, very, very, very basic course in Biblical interpretation and then you will be able to answer the questions you have raised. I am currently doing the issue of progressive revelation, and the relationship of the Old and New Testament, with the 10 and 11 year olds in my youth group, so I assure you it is not hard.

As I said above many of these discussions go back to the view the person making the comment has on the Bible. Your view is very clear.

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

“Bad manners, Margaret. Just like the bedroom floor. ; = )” and “By the degree of residual Neo Platonism of the parties involved, Margaret!” Goran — what are you saying ??? It may be that the idiom of English is different hear in New Zealand than wherever you are typing from but: 1. We do not have any saying that relates to bedroom floors so I have no idea what you mean 2. I was not in any case talking about manners, but about theology. I hope you haven’t caught the “you must be wrong because I am offended by… Read more »

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

Pat “The question is whether an acceptance of same-sex unions is a change in theology or merely a change in our understanding of humanity.” If the question was the acceptance of same-sex unions then I would agree with you (and in fact I supported the legalisation of same-sex civil unions in New Zealand). But that is not the issue. The issue is whether a Bishop can be in a same-sex union ie whether his behaviour is acceptable to God and the issue is whether the church pronounces blessings in the name of God on same-sex unions. Both of these have… Read more »

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

PS to Pat

I realise I have presumed in my most recent post that the Episcopal church intends to bless in the name of God. These days that presumption is perhaps a bit dangerous.

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

“I realise I have presumed in my most recent post that the Episcopal church intends to bless in the name of God. These days that presumption is perhaps a bit dangerous.”, says Margaret. How irrational, delusional, disingenuous, and diabolical can Margaret be? I have what may be as vitriolic a view of neo-Puritan fundamentalists, like Margaret, as she obviously has of most Episcopalians, but I would not presume to say that those neo-Puritan fundamentalists do not act in the name of God, as they interpret scripture to be correct. Each of us is acting according to our belief about what… Read more »