Comments: Low Sunday Opinions

"The upshot is that the GAFCON revolution, the minibus, what you will, will continue to progress with or without an audience of journalists. Conservative Christians don't, by and large, worry what other people might think" - Paul Handley, The Guardian -

Paul Handley, the lonely journalist at the recent 'press conference' of the GAFCON indaba group meeting (Primates/FCA Council) at the Heathrow 'Renaissance' Hotel, seems to have got the gist of what GAFCON is really all about. Their intention is to undermine, and not consolidate, the Anglican basis of Scripture, Tradition and Reason.

With the likes of former Bishop Robert Duncan at the helm, the newly-proposed North American Province of ACNA has mounted a challenge to TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada as being the authentic representation of Anglicanism in the USA and Canada. If their precocious bid to be accepted by the Anglican Consultative Council as as a new Province of the world-wide Anglican Communion of Churches gets Canterbury's and the ACC's seal of approval at the next meeting of the ACC, then this would pose a serious threat to the inclusive nature of historical Anglicanism.

This conservative 'mini-bus' is set to provide a significant traffic hazard for those whose course is set on the broad highway of evangelism based on the all-pervading Love of Christ in the Gospels. Exclusivism was always a problem for Jesus in his ministry. It is still a problem for those who wish to help in his task of redemption of the whole world.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 20 April 2009 at 1:22am BST

"Thousands are stepping forward to be officially "de-baptized" because they are tired of the charade that says they are Christians just because some vicar said some words over their heads when they were incoherent to make a decision (sic)" - virtue-on-line -

David Virtue, in his response to Paul Handley's masterful take on the so-called 'Primates/FCA' Press Conference' in London, see above, continues to portray his vitriol on line as he goes on to belittle the Catholic practice of Infant Baptism which is one of the great traditions of the truly Orthodox Churches of East and West.

Mr Virtue, by continuing his rhetoric in support of GAFCON and FCA initiatives, places himself squarely outside of the Anglican 'norm' he pretends to represent, which by its very nature is inclusive rather than exclusive by tradition.

The 'incoherence' he mentions here might well apply to his constant denigration of the Church into which he presumably was once ordained, and which he now chooses to slander and vilify. Such behaviour must surely make his own congregation (if he has one) in the USA cringe and wonder at his relentless criticism of mainstream Anglican tradition.

Presumably, when the autonomous ACNA Province of GAFCON becomes a reality - outside of mainline Anglicanism - and without the properties of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada to any further exploit, Mr Virtue ansd his web-colleagues will have to get a real job somewhere else, where his gift for abusive satire can be better exploited.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 20 April 2009 at 3:27am BST

"The 'incoherence' he mentions here might well apply to his constant denigration of the Church into which he presumably was once ordained..."

Oh, my word - he's not ordained, is he?!

Posted by BillyD at Monday, 20 April 2009 at 10:31am BST

"Oh, my word - he's not ordained, is he?!"

Not really. He is an Episcopalian layman and an ordained Baptist! Aren't they but one and the same?

Posted by David |Dah•veed| at Monday, 20 April 2009 at 8:00pm BST

I have heard that David V. is an ordained Baptist minister. It would certainly explain a lot.

Posted by JPM at Monday, 20 April 2009 at 8:47pm BST

"an Episcopalian layman and an ordained Baptist"

And he whinges about a woman who claims she is both an Episcopalian and a Muslim?!?!?! The man has more nerve than a toothache!

Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 21 April 2009 at 1:04pm BST

Indeed, David Virtue is in fact an ordained Baptist minister, and was pastor of a Baptist congregation in New Jersey for two years.

Why he suddenly got so involved in Anglican church politics is frankly a mystery to me. At any rate, according to his bio on a couple websites (just Google his name...), he and his wife attend the (Episcopal) Church of the Good Samaritan in Paoli, PA. Amusingly, none of this gets a mention in the bio on his Virtue Online website, but it does include a link to his now-deleted Wikipedia page.

Yeah, it rankles a bit to have someone who's apparently been Anglican for no more than a couple years proclaim himself the "Voice for Global Orthodox Anglicanism".

Posted by Walsingham at Tuesday, 21 April 2009 at 2:40pm BST

"Why he suddenly got so involved in Anglican church politics is frankly a mystery to me."

Really? Conservative Fundamentalist Christians believe George Bush Jr. was something akin to the Second Coming. Not to vote for him was accepted, if not officially proclaimed, as a sin. To vote Democrat, after all, was to kill babies. "Demoncrat" wasn't intended to be even half humourous. IRD has been active for quite some time silencing any opposition to Bush's extreme, fundamentalist supported policies. That's why they have been so involved in TEC's internal conflict. Can't have an essentially Liberal Church claiming that it speaks for God, yet opposes Republican policy, now, can we? Besides, any good fundie knows those TEC people aren't Christians anyway. And we know that a significant number of the congregants of the Virginia schismatic congregations are not confirmed Anglicans at all, but members of various fundamentalist groups. As to why they attend places like Falls Church, I don't know. Social climbing? Concerted effort to weaken TEC? What odds? The fact is that conservative elements in TEC have been supported for quite a while by Fundamentalists with ties to the extreme end of the Republican party. Is it any surprise, then, that DV is a part of that? His reasons are somewhere on a spectrum between thinking himself a valiant defender of the Gospel called to protect the True (read fundamentalist) Christians of TEC from the heathen, unsaved hoards, all the way to someone receiving reward from the Republican party for doing their dirty work. Personally, I think his reason for doing this is more toward the former end, I doubt there's a well constructed "conspiracy" per se to destabilize TEC, but these things aren't just concidental either. And these people's capacity to believe the most preposterous things as long as they support their fears and bigotry never ceases to amaze. He might just actually believe that he is a Great Christian Hero, and that his behaviour actually IS Christian.

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 22 April 2009 at 1:37pm BST
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