Thinking Anglicans

South Carolina bishop makes proposals

The Diocese of South Carolina is in the news.

Associated Press via The Sun News Meeting to mull future of SC Episcopal diocese

Living Church S.C. Bishop Proposes Diocese Withdraw from TEC Governing Bodies

The full text of Bishop Lawrence’s Address to the Clergy, August 13, 2009

A summary of this can be found at Episcopal Café, see Bishop Lawrence speaks.

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Pat O'NeillGöran Koch-SwahneFather Ron SmithMarkBrunsonFord Elms Recent comment authors
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Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

As some on the Episcopal Café site note, it would seem to be impossible to remain a part of the Episcopal Church and simultaneously “withdraw[ing] from all bodies of governance of TEC that have assented to actions contrary to Holy Scripture…”–which in Bishop Lawrence’s view clearly means the actions taken at last month’s General Convention. That seems to mean withdrawing from GC itself. If you don’t accept the governing power of GC, I don’t see how you can be part of the Episcopal Church. And how kind of him to “give space” to those parishes not ready to take this… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

As some on the Episcopal Café site note, it would seem to be impossible to remain a part of the Episcopal Church and simultaneously “withdraw[ing] from all bodies of governance of TEC that have assented to actions contrary to Holy Scripture…”–which in Bishop Lawrence’s view clearly means the actions taken at last month’s General Convention. That seems to mean withdrawing from GC itself. If you don’t accept the governing power of GC, I don’t see how you can be part of the Episcopal Church. And how kind of him to “give space” to those parishes not ready to take this… Read more »

harvardman
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harvardman

This man is really good. Not overreacting, but working to stay true to his theology and convictions. Agree with him or not, it seems a balanced and thoughtful approach.

William
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William

No worries, mates. The good bishop, when initially lacking the necessary consents for consecration, clearly stated he intends to stay in The Episcopal Church, and, such assurances having been received and believed, proceed to secure those consents. It’s all here in writing:

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/2507/

Can anyone doubt he is a man of his word? I thought not. Carry on!

Neel Smith
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Neel Smith

It certainly seems as though Lawrence’s first “Guiding Principle,” although entitled “The Lordship of Jesus Christ and the Sufficiency of Holy Scripture,” is really more clearly pinpointed in the following paragraph: “When the ordinand pledges himself to ‘… solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline and worship of The Episcopal Church.’ and variations thereof, ‘in accordance to the canons of this Church…’ does that imply adherence to these recent resolutions of GC’09? The Standing Committee and I are proposing a resolution for Convention to approve the reading of a letter prior to the spoken vow, and attached with the… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

Sad. Another leader that thinks that they can get closer to Christ by buying into bigotry and dividing the church. Pathetic.

JCF
Guest
JCF

Here we go again… o_O

Lord have mercy!

God bless the Episcopal Church!

pete
Guest
pete

Nice try, Mark. Unfortunately, abandoning the communion of the church is still abandonment no matter how cleverly you try to couch it. Fortunately, Mark Lawrence’s episcopate will be a short one after he is inhibited and deposed by +KJS.

Pluralist
Guest

Interesting that Mark Lawrence uses Nazir-Ali, Wright and Williams in his arguments.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

It is interesting to note, on Father Jakes blog, that Bishop Lawrence of South Carolina only secured his episcopal office (after 2 tries) on his assurance that he was determined to keep his diocese within the ranks of TEC. What he seems now to be doing, wuith his charge to his diocese, seems similar to the tactics of former Bishops Iker and Schofield – repudiating his assurance that he would be a loyal bishop in TEC by opening up the possibility of allying himself and his diocese with the dissidents of ACNA, who have removed themselves and their diocesan structures… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

There are very few semi-detached houses in America.

I think bishop lawrence realises the disaster that is going to culminate in San Joaquin, Quincy, Fort Worth and Pittsburgh..once the cash and buildings go.

Commentator
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Commentator

The TEC Bishop of South Carolina, Dr. Lawrence, speaks of those who ‘think’ they are Gay or Lesbian. Does Dr. Williams now realise the looseness of his own language about ‘life-style choices’ and where that leads. The only people who choose are those who choose to be heterosexual when they are naturally homosexual or vice versa. And I echo the sentiments of so many before me about how the TEC Bishop of South Carolina secured the confirmation of his election. If he is to chide General Convention about the brevity of its self imposed discretion, he should measure it against… Read more »

ettu
Guest
ettu

I have not put Lawrence’s “promises”- made prior to his approval by TEC as the SC Bishop- under a microscope recently but,as I recollect, they were couched in terms that allowed him to recant if things TEC did were unacceptable to him. I both laughed and cried when I read his “promises” then so I am not at all surprised – indeed expected – this. Unfortunately, his strategy is quite intelligent and Machiavellian so I suspect the legal and PR battle to be worse in SC than elsewhere. Finally, this is a further indication of the sociological basis of so… Read more »

ettu
Guest
ettu

I should clarify one thing in my previous post. My comments regarding the “rebelliousness and clannishness” of the regions in question were not intended as a slur or to insult anyone but are a cold blooded and scientific assessment of the areas in question . This is not to take anything away from the positive qualities of the area – there is a strength and a love of family there that I have often observed first hand — nevertheless with unbridled strength comes risks and we ae seeing that downside here. I believe the Anglican communion wil be well served… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“Agree with him or not, it seems a balanced and thoughtful approach.” Really? Well, let’s see. He is suggesting the diocese withdraw from all TEC structures that “have assented to actions contrary to Holy Scripture” yet, by virtue of associating with whatever the current acronym is for “his side”, his diocese and he have “assented” to lies, slander, and misrepresentation about gay people, to unjust imprisonment and persecution of gay people, and slander and lies directed against those he judges less pure than himself. These are, I assume you agree, “contrary to Holy Scripture”. This is besides the more “traditional”… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

And this coming from a state whose Republican governor got caught jet-setting to Argentina with a mistress, the wife just moved out of the governor’s mansion in Columbia, due to her disgust with him, but he still holds on to his position as he “tries to reconciles his shortcomings”. What’s truly sad is that the region is dynamic, growing and a logistical focal point for the southeastern U.S. I was privileged to ring for an absent tenor soloist in a famous church in Charleston, while working a shipyard deck officer job just to the north, so this hits personally. A… Read more »

JPM
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JPM

Did anyone really believe Lawrence’s promises?

I’m surprised it took him this long to contradict them.

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Ettu has a real point. The sociological aspect of the TEC “wars” ought to have been brought to the fore much sooner. It is true that wars don’t start until or unless someone, somewhere, has an interest in fanning the normal differences and disagreements into angry polarization and, finally, violence. Still, over and over again, the same people in the same places are involved in these civil disturbances. Angry South Carolinians burned down Catholic convents long before they fired on Ft. Sumter or tried to bring down TEC. Western Pennsylvanians fought the Federal government in George Washington’s time. Now they… Read more »

Thomas+
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Thomas+

If I read him right, I understand he is saying that “(…) Withdraw[ing] from all bodies of governance of TEC” will mean to withdraw elected members (if any) from Executive Council and/or CCABs, refraining to send deputies/alternates to GC, do not continue giving to the General Budget and, for himself, may be, stop attending the HOB meetings. It is a shame, because no one can say “I have no need of you.” However, none of those are canonical/constitutional offenses, and no one can be forced to attend meetings against their will. Further, he will not breaching his promises. This is… Read more »

Marshall Scott
Guest

I would agree with Thomas+ that in this there is nothing that would result in a presentment (allegation of malfeasance). In fact, there’s nothing in this that violates what he said before his finalized election, as long as when he leaves he and anyone following him leave as individuals, and not as institutional entities (as, for example, the Bishop Steenson, previous of Rio Grande, who resigned *before* taking his steps to swim the Tiber). That said, I think someone ought to send him the Executive Summary of the recent report of the American Psychological Association that states explicitly the results… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Look, Bishop L is being clear as far as ….. He’s obviously keeping his options open for now, and above all keeping his powder dry. The clear things right now include: (1) buying whole hog into spin doctor repeats of the (mis)-readings the conservative realignment is using as high justifications for their fundamentalist Anglican power grab. (See Martin Marty’s work at Chicago U., about global fundamentalisms in major world religions. Marty’s work helps spell out, just what this fundamentalism is, along with its aims and patterns as a global surge movement.) What is being read and spun is less important… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

“That said, I think someone ought to send him the Executive Summary of the recent report of the American Psychological Association that states explicitly the results of research that being gay or lesbian is not about “belief.” “

I doubt it would do any good. Let’s see what happens about property. Either he is convinced that the APA is controled by homos, in which case this is a waste of time OR it’s really all about money and property and power, in which case this would be a waste of time.

I put my money on the latter. We’ll see.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Well now I’ve had a few more moments to read beyond the excerpts, and the whole of Bishop Ls address is worth your attention, posted on the diocesan website. I must say, after reading his whole statement, I’m even more deeply perplexed than when I read the excerpts. It would no doubt be an instructive way of digging deeper into these gnarly matters, just to juxtapose Martin Marty’s historical-analytic study of fundamentalism next to the bishop’s address. I think we would find it all there. The rigid complexities of gospel life as a set of rules to be followed. The… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“And this coming from a state …”

Proverbial wisdom about SC:

Too small to be its own country; too big to be its own insane asylum.

South Carolinians are like the ancient Chinese: they eat rice and worship their ancestors.

North Carolina: a valley of humility between two mountains of conceit. [VA where I live and SC]

In fact, much is good about the state these days, as others have noted. And low country cooking is to die for. She-crab soup … shrimp … mmmmmmm!

Jim Cowan
Guest

I don’t remember where SC fell in the debate back at the Revolution about whether our church should have bishops but I suspect they were aligned with Virginia, which opposed bishops but finally relented. I also seem to remember reading that SC was settled by second and third sons of Cavaliers and Hugenots by way of the Caribbean, rather than immigrants from the British border lands who settled upstate NY, western PA, and the Appalachian regions, and then spread out from Indiana down to Texas. I do think that this is an interesting idea that the border culture of Britain… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

After readings all the comments, I am still wondering whether the House of Bishops deem Bp. Lawrencee’s remarks to be in any way inflammatory and worthy of corrective discipline? In other words, what can be done with this troublesome cleric before he does more damage to the Church?

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

“Western Pennsylvanians fought the Federal government in George Washington’s time. Now they threaten and shout down Sen. Arlen Spector at his town hall meeting. In between, they back +Bob Pittsburgh and ACNA.” Whoa Charlotte, I don’t tell many of this, but I came from “copperhead” country in eastern Ohio. As I said about South Carolina, Western PA was (and to some extent still is) a great historical example of the great beginnings of industry in the U.S. Pittsburgh early on transformed itself from a pollution-ridden city to a model of clean air years before the EPA was heard of. With… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

“Did anyone really believe Lawrence’s promises?”

I did. At least, I *wanted* to.

I’m an optimist. At least, I’d *like* to be.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Having just watched a video of ‘Anglican TV”s take on a meeting of AAC Bishops (with people like David Virtue asking the questions) after the definitive statements of TEC at GC2009, I must say I was highly impressed with the measured responses of Bishop Love (Albany), who when asked whether he would want to take his diocese out of TEC, said that this was not, nor would be, his intention. What he was intent on doing was to remain faithful to what he interpreted to be the ‘Great Commission, but remaining within TEC. He also said that we should not… Read more »

Lee
Guest

“Bishop Lawrence of South Carolina only secured his episcopal office (after 2 tries) on his assurance that he was determined to keep his diocese within the ranks of TEC”

Didn’t work with our Standing Committee and, believe me, we spent literally hours discussing whether or not to grant consent to the election. Ultimately, pre-election writings spoke the future: it seemed highly likely that down the line, he’d bolt TEC.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“Now Cynthia will probably understand this joke…do you suppose +Mark Lawrence is a S. O. B.? It’s an old Charleston joke.”

South of Broad [a street name] but can’t remember whether this is good or bad!

Jim Cowen reminds me of an excellent book about the results in the U.S. of where immigrants from various places in the British Isles landed. The title is “Albion’s Seed.” I don’t remember the author. It’s quite interesting.

MarkP
Guest
MarkP

‘He is suggesting the diocese withdraw from all TEC structures that “have assented to actions contrary to Holy Scripture”‘ OK, this is not a rhetorical question. I don’t know the answer; I’m not looking for a “gotcha”. Maybe Bp Lawrence has a consistent answer to my question, in which case I’m happy to honor him for his integrity, even if I disagree with him otherwise: Does anyone know what Bp Lawrence’s position is on remarriage after divorce? Would his diocese withdraw from that practice as well? It’s very clearly contrary to Holy Scripture — Dominical words on top of everything.… Read more »

Edward Craig
Guest
Edward Craig

Question: I visit so called Liberal blogs and conservative blogs and this is what I ‘v noticed and don’t fully appreciate the significance of it. On the more conservative blogs; they really seem to argue among themselves about the significance of a position: example + Wrights comments on TEC’s Gencon. I read every conceivable interpretation of his postions (from right on the mark; to he ‘s way off base). On this blog and those similar to it. + Wright was just way off base. I’m not saying that I don’t notice common assumption on those blogs, but it seems to… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Billy D werote: “”Did anyone really believe Lawrence’s promises?”

I did. At least, I *wanted* to.

I’m an optimist. At least, I’d *like* to be.”

Maybe you need to be more careful in the future…

ettu
Guest
ettu

Cynthia Gilliat et alii – “Albion’s Seed” is by Fischer — South of Broad depends on your point of view – the family I am well acquainted with from SOB is excellent – we spent some time prowling that area’s cemeteries, including the Huguenot one, recently. Huguenots were part of that region but not dominant just as the Dutch were part of but did not dominate the Hudson region. PS is this too much Americana for the Brits?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“it seems to me there are a more diverse set of arguments getting tossed around. Does anyone have an explanation of why that might be so?” Might it be your perception? It is easy to read one’s perception into what people are blogging. For instance, I get on conservative blogs, and what I read is deep fear focused at the “Evil Liberals”. To read some blogs, you’d swear they believe there is an army made up of lesbians, gays, feminists, child molestors, and other assorted “liberals” right outside of town armed and on their way to burn everything down shouting… Read more »

JPM
Guest
JPM

Mark Lawrence is a native Californian. Surf’s up, dude! In fairness to him, he does recognize that it is hypocritical to hammer GLBT people nonstop while treating divorce as a mere faux pas: We are approaching this whole GLBT issue as if it is in a vacuum, rather than in the whole context of human sexuality. And I think that until we, as a Church began to deal with our own compromises we will always come across as somewhat hypocritical to the world and to those who press its agenda. When we recognize that the divorce level among evangelicals and… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

“Maybe you need to be more careful in the future…”

Maybe. They do say that a pessimist is never disappointed.

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

“Albion’s Seed” was written by David Hackett Fischer. Don’t mention Fischer around Sen. Jim Webb (D-Virginia), who is proud of his Borderer/”Scotch-Irish” ancestry and has written a book to confute what he regards as Fischer’s slurs. Actually, I don’t read Fischer as slamming the Borderers particularly; he’s pretty evenhanded with his praise and blame across all four of the British root cultures, but the Borderers seem to have taken his book particularly hard. (New Englanders like myself just made notes in the margins.) What intrigues me, though, is the thought that the very groups who believe they are doing battle… Read more »

Edward Craig
Guest
Edward Craig

Thank you Ford,

I actually read your comments on Anglican Left. I’m always challeged by your perceptions

Peace,
Edward

KC
Guest

B. Lawrence is welcome to take his folks and go. The rest of us here in SC will pick up the pieces and carry on.

KC
Charleston

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“On this blog and those similar to it. + Wright was just way off base. I’m not saying that I don’t notice common assumption on those blogs, but it seems to me there are a more diverse set of arguments getting tossed around. Does anyone have an explanation of why that might be so? This is not a rhetorical question.” – Edward Craig – Perhaps, Edward, We ‘liberals’ tend to unite on the value of freedom in the Gospel; whereas as the ‘conservative’ bloggers are intent on showing us how wrong we are. Liberals tend to be just that –… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“My hope and prayer is that those orthodox Anglicans within TEC and those orthodox Anglicans who have departed to the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) will be able to work charitably together for the good of the global communion. The orthodoxy of the entire Anglican Communion is now at stake. TEC is pressing its false gospel overseas, and trying to keep the Archbishop of Canterbury in a state of paralysis. It is time for all the orthodox Anglicans in North America, Canadians and Americans together, to work with the orthodox Anglicans represented by the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA)… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“to build a stronger, more cohesive, orthodox Anglican Communion that will be able to challenge the culture, the religion-of-the-day, and indeed Islam itself” What? “Islam itself”? That’s a rather odd thing to say. Referring to something “Itself” is a discourse strategy that serves to focus attention on something already assumed to exist in the universe of discourse, not unlike definite articles. So, for him and his audience, I take it that Islam is an assumed SOMETHING in their universe of discourse. That SOMETHING, of course, is to be part of the Axis of Social Evil along with teh gays and… Read more »

MarkP
Guest
MarkP

Bp Lawrence says, “[We must recognize] that we can not keep putting forward this standard for gay and lesbian people and allow ourselves to live in such profound compromise ourselves.” Fair point. Now all he has to do is declare that anyone who is divorced has to either remain celebate or go back to their first spouse. As for remarriages: “A person living in such a union is in the same case as a heterosexual person living in a sexual relationship outside the marriage bond; whatever the human respect and pastoral sensitivity such persons must be given, their chosen lifestyle… Read more »

phil swain
Guest
phil swain

MarkP, you left out two possibilities for a divorced person marrying. One condition is death of the divorced spouse and the other is annulment. Ford Elms, I was surprised by your comment that you have never read on a conservatve blog any acknowledgement that homosexuality is other than a chosen perversion. I assume your statement can be ascribed to rhetorical excitement. I’ve been reading Titusonenine, Stand Firm, and the blogs to which they connect for at least the past five years, and I don’t recall even once any of those responsible for those blogs ever saying anything remotely like what… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Thank you Mark P, for your deadly irony in your last post. The trouble is, that those who oppose the inclusion of the LGBT community turn a very blind eye to the hetero-sexual anomalies of divorce and re-marriage – most of which seems to be about infidelity to the first avowed partner. The anti-gay crowd seemingly don’t see this as a sin equal to that of whatever homosexuals get up to in the bedroom. This neutral blindness on the part of the leadership in our churches needs to be treated with the notoriety it deserves.

JPM
Guest
JPM

Regarding the hypocrisy over remarriage, there’s an interesting exchange in the comments thread here: https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=23327221&postID=4307758196375900886&isPopup=true Here’s a particularly good one from an “orthodox” priest: The second marriages at which I have officiated have come only after a season of mourning and repentance, with renewed intention that the second marriage be lived in the grace of God and that it not meet the fate of the first. That is a far different situation than a same-sex marriage which is conceived in sin to begin with, with the intention to live together in defiance of the plain teaching of scripture. In other… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

phil swain Have you been reading here? I confess that I find it difficult to read conservative blogs, it’s hard to be faced with that degree of hatred for one’sself, especially when it is accompanied by falsehood, misinformation and selfjustification. I stopped doing it with any regularity for just that reason. I occasionally look now, but I usually stop when I encounter the propaganda that passes for “information” on most sites. So, I usually don’t get very far in any particular thread. Perhaps the compassion is buried further down among the hate than I am able to reach without losing… Read more »

John Spencer
Guest
John Spencer

I think that many of you on this thread should be ashamed of yourself and how you are treating Bishop Lawrence through your writing. Most of you have no idea about the man, his devotional life, his spiritual walk and his heart. Even if you did you are disobeying scripture that demands you love your enemy and you do good to them. Even if you feel that Bishop lawrence has attacked you you should forgive him, love him and honor his position. I suggest many of you figuratively wash out your mouths with soap!