Wednesday, 30 August 2006

Episcopal Majority

The website of the lobby group, Episcopal Majority now contains two major articles that taken together explain what the stance of this new group is:

Christopher Wilkins has written Still Remaining Faithful.

Mark Harris has written Necessary but not Sufficient.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 30 August 2006 at 6:49pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA
Comments

Finally, the "Sensible Center" of TEC--the majority of Episcopalians--are beginning to get better organized and to assert themselves againt the extremes that are holding the church hostage.

Memo to Duncan, Iker, Akinola and Co.--The free ride is over. Either work within the system to achieve the change you desire, accommodate yourselves to the decisions of General Convention, or leave. You won't get to blow up TEC and keep property that doesn't belong to you. I hope the PBs will deliver this message loud and clear to the Rebels next month.

Posted by: Pete on Wednesday, 30 August 2006 at 11:36pm BST

I am extraordinarily heartened by The Episcopal Majority's site. As Pete mentions, we're finally hearing from the "Sensible Center" of TEC in a firm and unambiguous fashion.

I had hoped that either the national church or the various Via Media USA affiliates would have taken on this role, but for the most part they seem to be caught up in a "why can't we all just get along ?" miasma while the extremist neo-orthodox walk all over them.

Posted by: David Huff on Thursday, 31 August 2006 at 2:58pm BST

"You won't get to blow up TEC and keep property that doesn't belong to you." Pete

And, you won't get to keep denying the existance and integrity of fellow LGBT Christians and Women just because you are Scripturally "selective" and push for/encourage fear, hate, discrimination and damnation at all levels of OUR Church life.

Minority bigots in TEC insisting on their "immoral" obligation to "defend" the "Body of Christ" are different than the loving welcoming/inclusive and faithful "Episcopal Majority."

No means no.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Thursday, 31 August 2006 at 5:04pm BST

"Finally, the "Sensible Center" of TEC--the majority of Episcopalians--are beginning to get better organized and to assert themselves againt the extremes that are holding the church hostage."

Hmmm. The quoted language speaks of extremes (i.e., plural, more than one). The term "center" also assumes a position intermediate two other positions. However, everything I have heard from the prior posters and the site indicates that this group is just another liberal and/or homosexual lobbying group. Nice name and possibly an accurate name as TEC has mostly purged itself of its conservative members.

However, a "sensible center"?--I think not. That's probably closer to what RW and his cronies are still trying to locate. For my part, I think it's a lost cause.

Steven

Posted by: Steven on Thursday, 31 August 2006 at 6:23pm BST

The name of the organization may be Episcopal Majority, but I wouldn't bet money on it being an expression of the mind of a majority of Episcopalians. The majority of Episcopalians in some areas, quite probably, but most Episcopalians seem more tunnel visioned and parochial than Episcopal Majority.

Jon

Posted by: Jon on Thursday, 31 August 2006 at 6:50pm BST

"I am extraordinarily heartened by The Episcopal Majority's site. As Pete mentions, we're finally hearing from the "Sensible Center" of TEC in a firm and unambiguous fashion."

Just because an organization calls itself "majority" or "mainstream" or even "orthodox" dosn't mean that it really is. An organization reflects its membership. A new organization reflects its organizaers.

Posted by: ruidh on Thursday, 31 August 2006 at 6:55pm BST

He who rends and divides the church of Christ cannot possess the clothing of Christ.
– Cyprian of Carthage (?200-258)

Council of Hertford, 673, Canon II: That no bishop intrude into the diocese of another, but be satisfied with the government of the people committed to him. (Hertford was the first council of all the bishops of the Church in England)

I pray that none will be offended if I seek to make the Christian Religion an inn where all are received joyously, rather than a cottage where some few friends of the family are to be received.
– Richard Hooker (1554-1600)

Posted by: Steve Lusk on Thursday, 31 August 2006 at 11:09pm BST

At long last the Episcopal Majority are standing up to the bullies. The sooner the AC Network dioceses are declared vacant the better. 'Drama queens' +Iker, + Duncan, +Schofield et al. have pushed the envelope too far. It is time for presentments and inhibitions. Bishops Mathes, Bruno, Swing and Lamb are to be commended for having filed a presentment against +San Joaquin after its diocesan allowed his convention to change its canons governing the election of a succesor bishop, making the bishop-elect eligible to serve as the bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin without the consent of the HoB, the majority of TEC standing committees and/or the GC's House of Deputies (cf. The Living Church [August 20, 2006], p.8).

The California bishops are to be commended for 'truth telling' and standing up to the spineless, mis-match Cantuar, who panders to those who wish to destroy the Episcopal Church in order to appease ++Peter Abuja and his fellow-conspirators.

Posted by: John Henry on Friday, 1 September 2006 at 1:21am BST

I have always been uneasy with the terminology of democracy (majority/minority) in the Church. It can easily spill over into a 'might is right' mindset and may even stifle critique of a position that is deemed to be held by the 'majority'.
Furthermore, such terms are meaningless depending on how one draws the boundaries. From across the pond, ECUSA/TEC looks like an out of step minority within the Anglican Communion. One could easily set up an organisation called 'Anglican Majority' and so on....
(And yet you have made your decisions in properly consituted synods and Conventions so one hesitates to write you off or invite you to leave, as Chris Wilkins suggests.)
The majority/minority mindset also seems to give rise to more intemperate language as witnessed on this blog. In 'standing up to the bullies', just make sure you don't become one yourself.

One welcome part of Wilkins' piece is that he still has a good word for Rowan Williams, in contrast to the continued sniping appearing on some TA posts.

Posted by: ChrisM on Friday, 1 September 2006 at 11:42am BST

Steve Lusk - thankyou. Wonderful quotes.

Posted by: kieran crichton on Friday, 1 September 2006 at 11:53am BST

And, as it is, the "Sensible Center" has invited President Mohammed Khatami (retired) of Iran to 'preach' on human rights issues. This true champion of human, and gay, rights has all of a sudden become the center of ECUSA's "mission" to the rest of the world. I wonder what world view you must have to believe that you somehow belong to the "Sensible Center" or the "Majority" do act like this. (Perhaps only members of structures that are soo utterly well rooted within the "Empire's" (read the USA's) nomenclatura as ECUSA is, will be naive enough to produce this kind of nonsense).

Posted by: ordinand on Saturday, 2 September 2006 at 12:50am BST

Aargh! that dubious Hooker quote that nobody seems to be able to provide provenance for.
I wonder if Steve can?

Posted by: obadiahslope on Saturday, 2 September 2006 at 5:51am BST

It seems that the rising swell of dissatisfaction in TEC/ECUSA has passed the tipping point. Formerly quiet, dutiful and accommodating people have dug in their heals and are crying: "Enough!"

The Episcopal Majority is a manifestation of our anger toward those who think nothing of destroying what they don't understand; and the love we feel for the beauty of our church, however imperfect it may be. As one who has been priviledged to have an insider's view, I can say that we have long since passed the tipping point and are approaching critical mass.

We will not be silenced, we will not hide or be relegated to the secondary positions. This is our church and we love it. And we fight for what we love.

Be aware, those who seek to do ECUSA harm: that cacaphony you hear at your heels is the rising chorus of The Episcopal Majority. Our voices, now combined, will be heard. We have sufficient momentum to deal quickly and deliberately with those who stand in opposition. Our strengh, numbers and reach continue to grow.

To all in The Episcopal Majority and those who support us in our efforts to preserve the good and grow our church into the mission-driven agent of Christ we are meant to be, I say thank you and God bless you.

Posted by: Jeffrey on Saturday, 2 September 2006 at 3:25pm BST

Ordinand said: "And, as it is, the "Sensible Center" has invited President Mohammed Khatami (retired) of Iran to 'preach' on human rights issues."

Oh, puh-leeze!

It continues to amuse me when some folks draw out unusual -- perhaps even unpopular -- statements or actions and say, "Aha! See, this is what they *all* believe." It's just a pitiful ruse. Worse, it's a lie.

Tom Woodward did a good analysis of such tactics in a piece called "Falsely Accused" at http://episcopalmajority.blogspot.com/2006/08/falsely-accused.html.

As most probably know, the National Cathedral has a delicate position between religion and politics. I have no idea who invited him, nor do I know anything about him, so I have no opinion about the wisdom of this move.

But don't try to pin an isolated action like that on The Episcopal Majority. I expect it was the act of someone at the Cathedral.

Posted by: Lisa on Saturday, 2 September 2006 at 10:14pm BST

I am still a few posts back wondering why God cannot work as well through the admittedly peripatetic and fallible processes of modern democracy or citizenship in the 21st century, at least as well as God was supposed to be able to work through the divine right of Kings to Rule over us?

What is this deep, continuing conservative modern love affair with domination arrangements? Why do conservatives always gush so, about how the top levels are uniquely called and blessed and endowed (by special orthodoxist presuppositions and definitions) with pure, undefiled truth or godliness or rights to opportunities and resources which nobody else alive or dead can ever have in any equal way?

If this is the complete and exclusive new/old revelation meaning of God for us, Emanu-El, I am thinking you can just count me out. That just is not the Jesus of Nazareth to whom I am pledged, nor whom I follow. To thrive humanly, to stand effortfully at your fallible best, to be ethical so far as you know and you can, to explore this admittedly new frame of democracy and citizenship - none of these can truthfully be innately defined as empty rebellion against God.

Or, shall we turn off all the little light bulbs that we painstakingly lit in the west over several centuries of great political, intellectual, and economic conflict - so that the nobility can return to their lavish homes, and the rest of us who are nothing but peasants can return to our thatched hovels?

I for one did not spend years and year in school, community, and church - learning to yearn for Medieval patterns of submission, inferiority, and fear. Not to mention the enforced or deliberate ignorances that tended to blithely accompany those historical tragedies at every tangible level.

I like the 21st century, all in all. I'd rather be here, now, than way back in, say, C. E. 1122, any day of the week, probably. Especially when I get a toothache.

Posted by: drdanfee on Sunday, 3 September 2006 at 6:16pm BST

Drdanfee wrote:
I'd rather be here, now, than way back in, say, C. E. 1122, any day of the week, probably. Especially when I get a toothache.

Though I recently acquired the excavation report of the C7 AS cemetery a few metres from our back garden, and agree that the various agues, plagues, poxes, hexes, etc which afflicted the residents were unpleasant, at least they were all good conservative flat-earthers who are guaranteed a place in heaven. Oops, silly me, they were all pagans, so it's the red-hot poker up the wotsit for all eternity after all.

I wonder whether much of the 'power talk' is related to that US mindset where, because (in theory) anyone can aspire to high office, underdogs accept the cruelties of the system because one day they may be at the top of the heap? What else could explain the apparently enthusiastic acceptance of an abusive system by those at the bottom?

And (in praise of the Middle Ages), at least there were real levellers in society like plague and famine, where money and power were nothing like the prophylactic against suffering that they are now.

I wonder also whether there's a spirituality issue here — akin to those psalmists who witter on about being poor and downtrodden and afflicted, while having the time and the privileged educational background which enabled them to be sitting writing about their existential angst in the first place. To perceive oneself as downtrodden while occupying the driving seat is a symptom of a spiritual dis-ease, and so much of the material coming out of the new puritan movements inhabits such a topsy-turvy world.

Posted by: David Rowett (= mynsterpreost) on Tuesday, 5 September 2006 at 9:47am BST

There is maybe a certain spirit of luxury and self-indulgence in the schemes and plots of realignment campaigns and realignment campaigners, just to the extent that the new conservative leaders will probably bear few of the deprivations or other burdens which their new conservative beliefs strictly impose upon other people. Other peoples' suffering is not important to them, maybe, until and unless they have steered it, twisted the knobs and levers that lessen or heighten it, and generally gained as much from that suffering as it can be made to yield, in an S&M dungeon master sort of way. Ah, to be blessed by God to be called, to call ALL the shots. Pat Robertson's Regent University preaches this to all its believing students. And the current Anglican realignment is not so far away as it likes to presume from Pat Robertson. Let the churches be empowered to inflict and control all human suffering, that would be just the ticket.

Posted by: drdanfee on Wednesday, 6 September 2006 at 3:15pm BST

P.S. In our current century, we probably have great levellers, too. Global warming, ODC's. Mass extinctions of species. But, these cannot be headed off, except through large scale efforts at changed living, and money is only one part of that political, social, religious, and economic equation.

After the dinosaurs bought the farm, the mammals got their heydey. Who might be next? If we fall silent, God will speak through the stones.

Posted by: drdanfee on Wednesday, 6 September 2006 at 3:19pm BST

Ooooooooooooooh, John Henry! Such angry words!

That Tom Woodward and Lisa Fox are two of the founders of the 'sensible' center of the Episcopal Church speaks volumes for the liberal extreme that this site really represents. Orthodox Christians may be in the minority, but I rather think that man, many people in the moderate camp of ECUSA would not be too excited to be represented here.

"...ay, C. E. 1122, ...". David , aren't you referring towant to 1122 A.D. (Anno Domini), the year of our Lord?

Posted by: Bill Channon on Friday, 29 September 2006 at 10:36pm BST
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