Thursday, June 15, 2006

Stolen Looks at the ECUSA General Convention

I have not followed the General Convention of ECUSA in Columbus, Ohio, but I just peered at some of the coverage: it is not encouraging for those who, against all recent history, continue to work "inside the system." Two quick items.

Bishop Robert Duncan has noted ECUSA is, at last, in the valley of decision:
I believe, with the greatest of heartbreak and sadness, that the day has arrived where those who have chosen the Episcopal Church because of its catholic and evangelical reliability, and those who have chosen the Episcopal Church for its revolutionary character, can no longer be held together.

But IMHO, he completely blows the analysis:
The future in Communion rests only with the former of the two. It cannot be both ways into the future.

Actually, everything in the past several decades of ECUSA history demonstrates the "revolutionary" faction is ECUSA's past, present, and will progressively elbow out all others to become its lone future.

Oh Yeah, Jesus, Too....

A blogger at GenCon notes ECUSA has a new agenda:

Last night it suddenly dawned on me that the Episcopal Church has moved on from a focus on human sexuality issues. [! - BJ] We are doing an unexpected and wonderful new thing. We have a new vision emerging. We have seen the movement of God’s Spirit, and are beginning to join that dance. What are the specifics of this vision? Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation spells things out well for us, and offers practical suggestions of what we can do. The vision is focused around making the Millennium Development Goals a reality:

1. Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty.
2. Achieve universal primary education.
3. Promote gender equality and empower women.
4. Reduce child mortality.
5. Improve maternal health.
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases.
7. Ensure environmental sustainability.
8. Develop a global partnership for development.

We are not going to retreat from where the Holy Spirit has led us in the past. But we’re not going to allow the debate of those decisions to dominate our current discussions. The wind of the Spirit has moved on, and so must we.


Notably absent: proclamation of the Gospel, celebration of the sacraments, and pursuit of spiritual well-being. (Note also the affirmation that "the Holy Spirit has led" them to ordain mitred homosexuals. And "empower women" likely means funding abortion around the world.)

Why anyone believes these kinds of differences can be papered over -- that the "revolutionary" faction and the traditional faction of ECUSA are in fact members of the same church as it is -- is beyond me. To repeat one of Ari Adams' favorite quotations:

"When the ship is holed, let the man who can swim swim" -- St. Gildas the Elder.

6 Comments:

Blogger James the Thickheaded said...

Actually, as a political party, ECUSA is a fine old organization and its agenda will suit many and probably do much good. As a church...it's a different religion whenever they actually get around to that thing...what is it? Oh, yeah, celebration.

But the fact is that today's studied avoidance of the word "God" let alone the words of God makes folks who will actually use the word and words - seem like religious folks - even when they aren't or don't mean the same things Orthodox Catholic christians understand them to mean.

4:46 AM  
Blogger gadflea said...

You have completely missed Duncan's point. Duncan, currently heading up the Network, is saying that while ECUSA will continue down its current path it will no longer be part of the Anglican Communion. There are signals, not only from Africa, but from Lambeth, that the AC is prepared to leave ECUSA to forge ahead on their own...Duncan hopes that the Network will be recognized as the true branch of the AC in America. My prayers are with him.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Ben Johnson said...

Gadflea, I understand his point. It would be an interesting development if Canterbury were to break communion with ECUSA -- but I definitely wouldn't hold my breath. Much less will Canada, Australia, or the rest of the "first world" AC churches, which are further into apostasy than America. There comes a point when one tires of whipping a dead horse and looks elsewhere.

9:12 AM  
Blogger gadflea said...

The Telegraph is reporting that "several American dioceses have held secret discussions about leaving the Episcopal Church and realigning themselves to a sympathetic conservative province." Three in particular. I am pretty sure that means Duncan, Iker, and Stanton....

Sounds like they are leaking their plan to the press for a reaction - trying to determine what would happen if they did not wait for the Archbisop to make a decision between them and ECUSA (or TEA if the proposed name change goes through) and do an end-run around him by hitching their wagon to Akinola, et al.

As for the Archbishops willingness to break communion, I would point to the warning present in the address that he sent to GC, the letter from the Bishop of Durham that received his blessing, and the presence of the Archbishop of York John Sentamu at the Convention. All of this suggests that the Archbishop wants the House of Bishops to understand what the risks are... and that leads one to suspect that he is thinking hard about the post-GC reality and making the case for breaking communion.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Aristibule said...

I don't understand the perceived need on the part of a religious organization to duplicate the efforts of the UN?

10:56 AM  
Blogger gadflea said...

COLUMBUS, OH: Fort Worth Appeals To Communion Leaders And Panel For Alternate Primatial Oversight

6/19/2006

A Statement from the Diocese of Fort Worth, Read on the Floor of the House of Deputies this morning, June 19 "The Bishop and Standing Committee of the Diocese of Fort Worth appeal in good faith to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the primates of the Anglican Communion, and the Panel of Reference for immediate alternative primatial oversight and pastoral care, following the election of Katharine Jefferts Schori as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church."

"This action is taken as a cooperative member of the Anglican Communion Network in light of the Windsor Report and its recommendation."

Read by Judy Mayo, Deputy

9:08 AM  

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