Thinking Anglicans

Fort Worth development

Updated Wednesday

The Diocese of Fort Worth, which earlier had submitted an appeal to the Panel of Reference, and more recently had also asked for “Alternative Primatial Oversight” has now announced that it proposes to withdraw from the regional association of dioceses, known as Province VII: Standing Committee resolves to leave Province VII.

Province VII consists of twelve dioceses in the South West of the USA. They are said to be “the most orthodox province in ECUSA”.

For the background on these internal provinces see this paper (PDF) by Lionel Deimel. This was written about Pittsburgh, which invented the concept of a “Province X”, and that concept is presumably equally applicable here.

Update a further report in the Living Church Fort Worth Dean: General Convention is ‘Outside the Faith’. The Dean of St Vincent’s Cathedral said:

…General Convention is essentially an illegal body now. They have stepped outside the [apostolic] faith.”

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StevenFord ElmsLaurence RobertsDavid Rowett (= mynsterpreost)Jimmy Culp Recent comment authors
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drdanfee
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drdanfee

Recent developments in both San Joaquin and Fort Worth show us that abstruse-seeming hermeneutical issues – about what a presuppositional reading of scripture might be, or about what might be the alternative interpretive strategies for reading scripture – have real world impact. So much for the pleasant notion that hermeneutics is an armchair pasttime for liberal thinkers/believers who just cannot enjoy the lovely world, nor seek to heal its wounds, nor submit to the painful pieties and disciplines of following Jesus – without gussing things up in unneeded complications. The nearest clear reference for these pronouncements or statements from the… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

The plan/plot for a “new” more radical 10th Province by ultra conservatives has been in the works for over ten years:

http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/coup02.html

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

A little further word on hermeneutic discernments. In the Appendix of the PDF essay by Deimel, you will find an alternative discussion which tries to discern just what the interpretive strategy most often used in current new conservatisms is. Diemel concludes that he is seeing a mix of literal hermeneutics and creative constructionism. So maybe elements which seem to be dervied from presuppositional history/strategies for reading scripture can also be fleshed out by these two additional possible frames for inquiry. I bet once we can see some key hermeneutic wheels turning, the matter of readings will get a bit clearer,… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Present! Present! Present! How dare they *do anything* about their preference for the authority of Scripture over the Votes of the majority of GC delegates?!

Marshall Scott
Guest

Leonardo: Thanks for the reminder about “PECUSA, Inc,” ESA and First Promise. We haven’t heard from them for some time. I wonder what the status would be of each of those organizations/events. They do seem to include many, if not most, of the current players. To some extent it seems a bit silly that these different efforts at detaching dioceses of the Episcopal Church from that institution. However, these are perhaps experiments – opportunities to try out strategies, to be maintained if they work in any meaningful sense, and to be replaced with new efforts if they don’t. In context… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

drdanfee wrote: “Deimel…. discern[s] just what the interpretive strategy most often used in current new conservatisms is” Dear drdanfee, thanks for bringing this to my attention. At the start of his appendix Deimel seems to show incredible disdain not just for conservatives, but even for the teachings of Our Lord! I quote: “They [conservatives] often find monumental significance in the “plain meaning” of passages others view as being of only minor importance. They sometimes construct elaborate theological positions from such passages. For example, the Theological Charter of the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes cites passages from Genesis and… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

It might be a good exercise to step out of the habitual chicken little (sky is falling) mentality for a moment and actually consider some scenarios. Let’s say liberals around the world just let traditionalists around the world go, taking their church buildings with them. And, traditionalists around the world did the same for liberals, and all the rest of the property was equitably divided. (Think of a fair and friendly divorce). Then, the TEC sets up as a new “purified” liberal communion world-wide, including liberals from COE and elsewhere, while dem bad ol’ traditionalists do something similar. Is this… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Well, Dave, the Orthodox position is that Scripture is but one part of Tradition and it is in Tradition that authority lies. Furthermore, according to my reading of Kallistos Ware’s The Orthodox Church, since the laity are the ones to accept or reject what councils and synods say, it is the laity which acts as the final underpinning of Orthodoxy. While we Anglicans give the laity a voice in a very different way than the Orthodox do, it is a far more Orthodox practice than giving to one part of Tradition, namely Scripture, greater authority than it can rightly claim.
Ford

J. C. Fisher
Guest
J. C. Fisher

Dave, re “their preference for the authority of Scripture over the Votes of the majority of GC delegates”—if I may make an analogy? As *I* read/interpret Scripture, to be a Christian, is to be a *pacifist*. A Christian may NOT properly carry arms, or engage in physical violence in any way. As I read/interpret Scripture, so do I practice my personal faith and Christian morality… …but my interpretation is NOT (as yet anyway) the *authoritative interpretion* of Scripture, for the Episcopal Church. ***ONLY GENERAL CONVENTION*** (and probably several successive GCs, to change the canons) could do that. Ergo, I have… Read more »

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

Drdanfee mentions the script followed by +Duncan and +Iker. I assume he is referring to the Chapman Memo. It can be read on the Diocese of Washington, DC’s Website (www.edow.org). The Chapman Memo makes for good reading, illuminating the duplicitous actions of Pittsburgh and Fort Worth. I for one have a great deal of respect for the former Lord Bishop of London, Dr. Graham Leonard. When the CofE GS permitted the ordination of women to the priesthood, which he could not accept in good conscience, he quietly resigned or retired from his position in the CofE, leaving behind all the… Read more »

thomas bushnell, bsg
Guest

as it happens, withdrawing from the province is one of the things that the canons do permit. i’m sure this is merely accidental on ft. worth’s part, since they normally just ignore the canons.

as for creating a new province, that is not something they can do without the consent of the general convention.

Tim
Guest

Well Steven, what exactly is so bad about that is that the liberal side is (meant to be) (more) inclusive & welcoming.

What kind of a joke would it be to have two camps, where the words “inclusive and welcoming” (and tolerant, if you want) are stripped of meaning and only used to define a faction? “We welcome LGBT people but not our supposed brethren”? That would be a very silly state of affairs, and it’s only the non-inclusive-nor-welcoming party who can impose it on the remainder, too.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Tim: Neither side is any (more)”inclusive” than the other, and it would be blatant hypocricy to claim that either is. Liberals are “inclusive” and “tolerant” of all opinions, behavior and positions that agree with their pre-existing standards. Traditionalists are OK among them–as long as they don’t get out of the. It is a grotesque bit of hypocricy for liberals to try to claim that they are more “inclusive” in any kind of absolute sense–actually it is pure idiocy. People are inclusive of the types of behaviors they consider to be good. The list of “sins” may change, but not the… Read more »

Columba Gilliss
Guest
Columba Gilliss

Just dividing up money or other property along the lines of a friendly/fair divorce — whatever that looks like — is made difficult, perhaps impossible, by the fact that even the smallest congregation may not be of one mind to stay or leave and by fiduciary/legal requirements. No bishop, even with the standing committee owns the property in such a way as to be able to give it to another without considering restrictions by original donors, etc.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Columba: Good points, but certainly no insuperable obstacles. As to congregations being of divided mind–that is expected. Let them take a vote of the people that have been members there for at least a year (to keep anyone from trying to influence votes by last minute packing of membership rolls). The majority vote determines the result. As to other legal issues–There are bound to be legal issues that affect determinations related to one congregation and not another, but these can be dealt with as they arise. This may take some careful drafting and crafting, but nothing–I hope–that some good lawyering… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Steven, First, as to “intolerance” of “liberals”, where are the Liberals who have organized a “Church within a Church”, or who have demanded that Conservatives be “disinvited” from Lambeth, or who have declared themselves in “impaired communion” with those with whom they have strong disagreement? Where is the liberal equivalent of David Virtue? Frankly, you have often referred to the “liberal’s paranoia”, but has always struck that it is the conservatives in this who buy into the presecution complex of the American fundamentalist churches, not the liberals, to the point of fabricating such persecution when needed. As to a peaceful… Read more »

Jeff Martinhauk
Guest

Steven – I don’t think that is an accurate explanation of real inclusive theology. I think that recently the inclusive among us have given over to exasperation and anger and impatience- sin, if you will, and not been so inclusive. But I think inclusivity at its best does mandate that we accept all in the church and learn how to live side by side embracing our differences rather than dividing because of them. I actually believe that is what we are called to do in relationship with each other within the Body of Christ- learn how to be good neighbors… Read more »

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

What follows is quotations from a letter by the Bishop of San Diego, Dr. Mathes, after the defection of yet another parish shopping around for another Global South schismatic Anglican bishop. The reasserters’ deception has to be made public, so that proper action may be taken to stop their madness. The godly bishop describes his reaction to the defection and personal betrayal by the schismatic priest, via VirtueOnLine: “When I specifically questioned the rector about whether they had taken any actions or were planning any actions to move the parish out of the Episcopal Church, he assured me that nothing… Read more »

Tim
Guest

For the record, and not surprisingly, I agree with Ford Elms and Jeff Martinhauk. The nature of modern fundamentalism is such that issues will crop up, causing splits until every human has a denomination unto themselves. Sometimes you have to learn to put up with others, or even appreciate ’em too.

I do not see TEC pushing Fort Worth out, I see Fort Worth choosing now to reject allegiance with TEC.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Ford: Why would liberals need to form a “church within a church” when they already own/control the instruments of church government? It is those on the “outside”–those whose opinions and viewpoints are ignored or supressed–that have to band together for power and protection against oppression by the majority. Traditionalists are marginalized in TEC, not liberals. Jeff: You’ve just proved my point, as you quietly and carefully define what is “righteous” behavior and what behavior is, therefore, “sinful” in comparison. It doesn’t matter whether “sin and error” are defined as being the consecration of practicing homosexual bishops, or the failure to… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Dear Tim, If TEC weren’t making changes on issues of Faith and Sin that clearly contradict Scripture and Tradition faithful conservative Christians would not find themselves having to risk defying TEC’s GC !

For instance… if GC voted that wife beating was actually a good thing, you too might find yourself urging churches and diocese to stand firm and reject TEC’s “sinful innovations”.. especially if most of the rest of the world’s Anglicans agreed with you!!

Susan
Guest
Susan

Hi, Gay Episcopalian here. But let’s see me in a slightly more rounded sense as someone who has a beloved brother who has just (thank God) returned safely from Iraq. I live in a very conservative Southern city where every Sunday I go to the altar with people I regard has having broken the Sixth and Ninth Commandments because of their continued support for Pres. Bush and his monstrous wars. I have just recently escaped from the nightmare of possibly regarding them as indirectly responsible for the death or maiming of my brother. I’m really tired of having Lev. 18:22… Read more »

Jimmy Culp
Guest
Jimmy Culp

Thank you, Susan. I applaud you.

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

“I live in a very conservative Southern city where every Sunday I go to the altar with people I regard has having broken the Sixth and Ninth Commandments because of their continued support for Pres. Bush and his monstrous wars. I have just recently escaped from the nightmare of possibly regarding them as indirectly responsible for the death or maiming of my brother.” Good point, Susan. The US Christian Right are delighted to have a ‘merry warrior’ President and a VP who insists on extending the powers of the Presidency to include torture in violation of international law and conventions.… Read more »

Ford ELms
Guest
Ford ELms

Steven: “Why would liberals need to form a “church within a church” when they already own/control the instruments of church government?” What? From where I sit, those who are pulling the strings right now are anything but liberal. Even within TEC, the debate is, to say the least, lively, indicating at least two sides talking. Here in Canada, there has been a much more measured approach, with only NW acting openly, and most dioceses lying low. The Arctic has behaved as expected, and in a more authoritarian fashion than most, pretty much balancing out the radicality of New Westminster. In… Read more »

David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)
Guest
David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)

all European leaders are calling for an immediate cease-fire

not quite, observes this dejected Brit…. But the dreadful impact of Darbyism on human wellbeing is far too rarely talked about in conservative circles.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Susan:

You are certainly a wonderfully righteous person to be able to forgive these awful, horrible sinners. Your fortitude and forgiveness are truly an example to us all! Wouldn’t it be nice to have a church of your own where you didn’t have to associate with such degraded deluded degenerates? Republicans! Traditionalists! Yecch!

Steven

ruidh
Guest

I agree that there’s no impediment to Ft. Worth withdrawing from its current province. The Constitution of TEC provides that no diocese may be included in a province against its wishes, so constitutionally, they have every right to withdraw. Similarly, they can create whatever informal structure they desire. Here’s the real significance of the move to withdraw from the present provincial structure into a new one. Ordinarily, the Presiding Bishop is the principle consecrator of new bishops. Under Frank Griswold, he has increasingly delegated this duty to the bishop in charge of the province in question. But, if Ft. Worth… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

Ford:

I don’t know how things stack up in Canada, but in TEC, liberals rule. You are right that they don’t rule world-wide, but within TEC they is definitely de boss! And, I am talking about the state of things in TEC, not elsewhere.

Steven

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

But, Steven, the Church isn’t limited to one country. So, the Liberals have control in the US. The Conservatives very much have control in Nigeria. That’s why breaking up, however attractive it may look to us at times, is a bad thing. We need to drag each other back and forth. That’s how you find the Via Media. Sorry to sound so sanctimonious, but I think it’s important not to be like minded on most things.

David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)
Guest
David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)

Ford said:
That’s why breaking up, however attractive it may look to us at times, is a bad thing. We need to drag each other back and forth.

Well said! Anglicanism is like the proverbial family, complete with bits that won’t speak to other bits because of What Uncle Peter Said About Our Jeffrey (or whatever). Squabbles are a sign that we still matter to one another, no?

Steven
Guest
Steven

Ford and David:

Your wicked stepfather is beating up and abusing Mom (Scripture), kicking around your big sister (the traditions of the Church), and whoring around (syncretism) with every new trend the World has to offer. However, of course, the “family” should ALWAYS stay together! Yeah, right, give me a break!

Steven

Tim
Guest

Dave writes: `Dear Tim, If TEC weren’t making changes on issues of Faith and Sin that clearly contradict Scripture and Tradition faithful conservative Christians would not find themselves having to risk defying TEC’s GC !’ They aren’t, and they shouldn’t, respectively. There have been groups of folks around for over a century who’ve quite reasonably questioned folks’ approach to the bible; indeed, the viewpoints many conservative/evangelical/traditionalists hold are probably more influenced by Victorian-era / colonial thoughts than thought-out rationale. (Eg: so Paul slags off `sexual immorality’. Where does the Bible define this as `homosexual inclination’, or `homosexual practices’, or `sex… Read more »

Jimmy Culp
Guest
Jimmy Culp

Simon,

I believe that Steven’s remarks in response to Susan are rude and totally out of line. I wish you had not allowed them. Personal attacks by two or three people here are becoming really annoying.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Jimmy:

My post was aimed at posts, not people. And, you apparently fail to realize that it was aimed at (and lampoons) your comments and those of the rest of the praise brigade far more than the comments made by Susan. Seemingly, you have no taste for either irony or my sometimes less than subtle humor.

I was recently accused of having had a “humorectomy” by another poster on this board when I (maybe, just a little bit, possibly) over-reacted to something he said. Perhaps I’m not alone . . .

Steven

Dave
Guest
Dave

Dear Tim, Hope that the following helps with your thinking about these questions.. if you are sensitive about personal freedoms and “oppresive” morality you may not wish to read on.. To answer your question, nowhere does the Bible condemn homosexual inclination (though this is implied to be a sinful desire by the following). However same-sex sex is condemned in both the NT and the OT – not as sexual immorality but as 1. “perversion” in Romans (of God’s intentions for human sexual relationships I understand) and 2. “detestable” in Leviticus (again I understand this to be “in God’s eyes”). There… Read more »

Jimmy Culp
Guest
Jimmy Culp

I have no taste for rudeness from anyone, and I have no problem recognizing it when I see it.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Jimmy:

Rude I may be, but I still think that heaping praise on someone for their “tolerance” just because they are able to bear up under the incredible(?) burden and strain of going to Church with ordinary God fearin’ folks is absurd.

Steven

David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)
Guest
David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)

Steven mentioned
“burden and strain of going to Church with ordinary God fearin’ folks”

But have you ever experienced being ‘preached against’ or being described as ‘not a Christian’ by another member of the faith? I very much doubt that anyone has questioned your place in the Kingdom — try to listen a little to those who have undergone that sort of experience!

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

I have two things I need to say:

1. Pius XII

2. I don’t find personal abuse or invective, even slightly humourous; nor am I prepared to tolerate them. To try to justify invective by pretending it is humour is itself, a form of manipulation. I do not intend to allow myself to be manipulated any further, and can not bear, seeing the treatment, here, of Susan most recently, and of others.

Consequently, with regret, I shall not be posting here again, or participating in this forum.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Steven,
The wicked stepfather (the Imperial Church) has been beating up Mom and whoring around with every new trend the world has to offer for the past 1700 years! It is no more right now than it ever was, but why pretend it’s new? Why is it that certain sins aren’t sins anymore? As to big sister tradition, she grew up in an environment where she was expected to toe the Imperial party line. At the Reformation, a good many went so far as to disown her because of that.

Ford

Steven
Guest
Steven

Ford:

It is said that immitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I take your adoption (and adaptation) of my earlier analogy in this spirit. However, it doesn’t help me in understanding what you are trying to say.

What do you mean by the “Imperial Church” and how has it been beating up Mom (the Bible) and “whoring around with every new trend the world has to offer for the past 1700 years!” I’m just not following you.

Steven

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

I’m surprised you don’t know the term, I thought it was common. It is the Church after Constantine.For some reason, God led us to a place where a Roman Emperor not only made us legal, but made us official. In accepting this situation, understandable, especially with what had gone before, the Church proceded to compromise. Empires need to fight wars, and can’t have a state religion that opposes the taking of human life in all circumstances, so we fought and argued, and came up with a theology of a “just war” claiming that the taking of human life is alright… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

Ford:

So, your position is that since it’s not new for Dad (the Church) to innovate against Scripture (as he has already been whoring around with the world and beating up on Mom (Scripture) for 1700 years) there’s no point in trying to stop him now? Hmm. I’m not sure this constitutes a great way to rally the masses to the liberal cause.

Steven

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Not being a liberal, I’m not trying to rally the masses to any cause. I’m merely pointing out the hypocrisy of pretending that the Church has never compromised her principles before. As I’ve said, I am the only one in my immediate circle who does not consider Christianlty to be, as one friend puts it, “a despicable religion”. The tradition they grew up in told them the Church was holy when they could look at 2000 years of history that plainly said otherwise. They can see the hypocrisy very clearly and have no qualms, nor should they, about pointing it… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

Ford: You’ll have to forgive me if I doubt your conservative/traditionalist credentials. You sound like a thorough going liberal to me. But, you are of course free to label yourself as you like. As to the people you quote–hmmm. I have to say that I’m not impressed. They sound like a fairly typical group of twits . . . oops, I meant “group from the intelligentsia”. (I’m just going by your description). And, like the rest of us twits, intelligentsia or otherwise, if they don’t like hypocrites they should avoid looking in the mirror. From this you will discern that… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Well, Steven, that’s what you get for seeing only liberals and conservatives! I didn’t claim to be a conservative either, if you notice, just to have such tendencies, and I don’t repent of them, any more than I repent of my homosexualist tendencies. There are other things to be, you know. What makes you think I’m a “liberal”? For the record, I don’t want to marry my partner, wouldn’t do it even if the Church said I could, and have a sneaking suspicion that sacramental matrimony is really only made for heteros. I also think that a lot of this… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

Ford: You always give me some interesting things to think about. I find your positions on some issues challenging as I see in them a drive towards complete Christian fidelity and commitment that challenges the usual status quo. Others I just find flakey. But, don’t ask me to sort out which is in each category. Frankly, I’m just not sure about some of them. Others I’ll avoid because you already know what I’d answer and there’s no need to foster hostility. Still, you’ve got me thinkin’ . . . As to the cohorts you mention–well, you’ll notice that I included… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Steven,
Agreed on all points! I doubt there’ll be too many posts between you and me where either of us’d be able to say that! These occasional episodes of fraternalism between us might be evidence that there can be good come of the whole Anglican mess after all! I too can get snarky with those who don’t seem to get what to me is so clear. But of course, the clarity of the situation is just a product of my outlook. Anyway, enough of the lovefest, people will talk:-)

Steven
Guest
Steven

Ford: Well, it may be the last time for a while anyhow. I’m going to try to keep up with the lead item on Duncan’s announcement for a few more posts, then I have to take a substantial break for the rest of the month for work purposes. I probably won’t be back again ’til sometime in September or thereafter. So, since some of your views are–gee whiz!–pretty conservative, try to throw in a traditionalist remark or two in my absence. And, if you or anyone else has any way of getting in touch with Laurence Roberts let him know… Read more »