Episcopalians vs. Anglicans

Lutheran journalist Mollie Hemingway has a fascinating piece in the Wall Street Journal about how the Episcopal Church in the USA is trying to thwart the new conservative Anglican denomination:

When the Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton, N.Y., left the Episcopal Church over disagreements about what the Bible says about sexuality, the congregation offered to pay for the building in which it worshiped. In return the Episcopal Church sued to seize the building, then sold it for a fraction of the price to someone who turned it into a mosque.

The congregation is one of hundreds that split or altogether left the Episcopal Church—a member of the Anglican Communion found mostly in the United States—after a decades-long dispute over adherence to scripture erupted with the consecration of a partnered gay bishop in 2003. But negotiating who gets church buildings hasn’t been easy. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said she’d rather have these properties become Baptist churches or even saloons than continue as sanctuaries for fellow Anglicans.

The Episcopalian congregations that want to break away are part of a larger movement of Anglicans world-wide who are concerned by the liberalism of the official New York-based Episcopal Church on sexuality and certain basic tenets such as Jesus’ resurrection. Of the 38 provinces in the global Anglican Communion, 22 have declared themselves in “broken” or “impaired” fellowship with the more liberal American church.

In 2009, breakaway Episcopalians in the U.S. and Canada formed the Anglican Church in North America, which now reports 100,000 members in nearly 1,000 congregations. This group has been formally recognized by some Anglican primates outside of the United States.

Bishop Jefferts Schori says this new Anglican group is encroaching on her church’s jurisdiction, and she has authorized dozens of lawsuits “to protect the assets of the Episcopal Church for the mission of the Episcopal Church.” The Episcopal Church has dedicated $22 million to legal actions against departing clergy, congregations and dioceses, according to Allan Haley, a canon lawyer who has represented a diocese in one such case.

Now the Episcopal Church has upped the ante: It has declared that if congregations break away and buy their sanctuaries, they must disaffiliate from any group that professes to be Anglican. . . .

“We can’t sell to an organization that wants to put us out of business,” said Bishop Jefferts Schori, who added that her job is to ensure that “no competing branch of the Anglican Communion impose on the mission strategy” of the Episcopal Church. Indeed she has no complaint with Muslims, Baptists or barkeepers buying Episcopal properties—only fellow Anglicans.

via Mollie Ziegler Hemingway: Twenty-First Century Excommunication – WSJ.com.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • TT

    “…the congregation offered to pay for the building in which it worshiped. In return the Episcopal Church sued to seize the building, then sold it for a fraction of the price to someone who turned it into a mosque.”

    If that’s not a vindictive move, I don’t know what is. Sickening…

  • TT

    “…the congregation offered to pay for the building in which it worshiped. In return the Episcopal Church sued to seize the building, then sold it for a fraction of the price to someone who turned it into a mosque.”

    If that’s not a vindictive move, I don’t know what is. Sickening…

  • helen

    That is not Christianity. That is the devil at work inside the church.

    But after Oakland and Minneapolis, what can members of the LCMS say?
    Apparently the Minn. So DP would rather have a church turned into commercial property than allow them to continue teaching historic liturgical Lutheranism. In the case of University Lutheran church, they accomplished it. In Oakland the church won but may be lost in the long run because the congregation was drained of resources in their lawsuit to keep it (and the district spent millions of “mission” money in the attempted ‘land grab’).

    The difference between those DP’s and Bishop Schori is that she has stated her intentions in public.
    Our liberal DP’s may say the same things, hiding in “executive session”.

  • helen

    That is not Christianity. That is the devil at work inside the church.

    But after Oakland and Minneapolis, what can members of the LCMS say?
    Apparently the Minn. So DP would rather have a church turned into commercial property than allow them to continue teaching historic liturgical Lutheranism. In the case of University Lutheran church, they accomplished it. In Oakland the church won but may be lost in the long run because the congregation was drained of resources in their lawsuit to keep it (and the district spent millions of “mission” money in the attempted ‘land grab’).

    The difference between those DP’s and Bishop Schori is that she has stated her intentions in public.
    Our liberal DP’s may say the same things, hiding in “executive session”.

  • Spaulding

    I have not trusted the MN South District President since 2003 when he said one thing to our pastor and did something completely different. I keep wondering why he (DP) keeps getting re-elected when he does things like that. I would still like to see my church transfer from MN South to the English District.

  • Spaulding

    I have not trusted the MN South District President since 2003 when he said one thing to our pastor and did something completely different. I keep wondering why he (DP) keeps getting re-elected when he does things like that. I would still like to see my church transfer from MN South to the English District.

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  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    So opposing gay marriage puts you in competition with the Episcopal church, but teaching that Jesus neither died nor rose and that Mohamed is God’s prophet does not.

    Whatever Mrs. Schiori’s religion is, it’s clearly not Christianity.

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    So opposing gay marriage puts you in competition with the Episcopal church, but teaching that Jesus neither died nor rose and that Mohamed is God’s prophet does not.

    Whatever Mrs. Schiori’s religion is, it’s clearly not Christianity.

  • Kirk

    Argh! We did not break away because of gay bishops! We broke away because the leadership of the Episcopal Church denies “certain basic tenants” of Christianity, like, oh, the deity of Christ, sola scriptura and the virgin birth.

    But more to the point, yes, this has been Schori’s strategy all along. She said that she would rather see my old church, Falls Church, turned into a night club than remain in the hands of the 90% of parishioners that voted to break away. Her disagreement with conservative Anglicans is beyond theological and she’s willing to take any action to stop the ACNA, reformed Episcopals and mission Churches from spreading.

  • Kirk

    Argh! We did not break away because of gay bishops! We broke away because the leadership of the Episcopal Church denies “certain basic tenants” of Christianity, like, oh, the deity of Christ, sola scriptura and the virgin birth.

    But more to the point, yes, this has been Schori’s strategy all along. She said that she would rather see my old church, Falls Church, turned into a night club than remain in the hands of the 90% of parishioners that voted to break away. Her disagreement with conservative Anglicans is beyond theological and she’s willing to take any action to stop the ACNA, reformed Episcopals and mission Churches from spreading.

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    Kirk,

    Please forgive me if I’m incorrect, but hasn’t the Episcopal leadership denied that sort of thing for a long time (e.g., Bishop Spong) whereas the breakaway is rather recent?

    Don’t get me wrong, denying basic tenets of Christianity is a better reason to leave, but the timing certainly made it look like a response to the recent changes in their treatment of sexuality.

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    Kirk,

    Please forgive me if I’m incorrect, but hasn’t the Episcopal leadership denied that sort of thing for a long time (e.g., Bishop Spong) whereas the breakaway is rather recent?

    Don’t get me wrong, denying basic tenets of Christianity is a better reason to leave, but the timing certainly made it look like a response to the recent changes in their treatment of sexuality.

  • Kirk

    @Matt

    Yes, the leadership has been apostate for something on the order of two or three decades, and there’s been a reform movement within the Episcopal church for nearly as long. Ultimately, many reformers who are now old men, concluded that the leadership won’t be reformed and that division was the only option.

    As to the timing, it didn’t really coincide with the acceptance of homosexuality within the church. Openly gay priests have been serving in the episcopcal church since the 1990s. Most churches didn’t split off until 2004 or later. This did coincide with the election of Gene Robinson to Bishop, so for many churches I’m sure the issue of homosexuality within the church was catalyst, but it’s more a symptom of the broader issue than the actual issue itself.

  • Kirk

    @Matt

    Yes, the leadership has been apostate for something on the order of two or three decades, and there’s been a reform movement within the Episcopal church for nearly as long. Ultimately, many reformers who are now old men, concluded that the leadership won’t be reformed and that division was the only option.

    As to the timing, it didn’t really coincide with the acceptance of homosexuality within the church. Openly gay priests have been serving in the episcopcal church since the 1990s. Most churches didn’t split off until 2004 or later. This did coincide with the election of Gene Robinson to Bishop, so for many churches I’m sure the issue of homosexuality within the church was catalyst, but it’s more a symptom of the broader issue than the actual issue itself.

  • Dan Kempin

    Careful, Helen, #2, (and Spaulding, #3),

    The “devil is at work” also in slander.

    “you shall not go around as a slanderer among your people . . . you shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people . . .”

    (From the Old Testament reading for this coming Sunday.)

  • Dan Kempin

    Careful, Helen, #2, (and Spaulding, #3),

    The “devil is at work” also in slander.

    “you shall not go around as a slanderer among your people . . . you shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people . . .”

    (From the Old Testament reading for this coming Sunday.)

  • Cincinnatus

    Kirk@7:

    I’ll beg to differ with your historical narrative slightly. The grandiose account of doctrinal apostasy and theological heresy is a bit post-hoc. I was actually a member of the Falls Church at the time of its separation, and, while broader doctrinal disputes were latent in the debate, the very public straw that broke the camel’s back and upon which most people focused was, indeed, the comparatively narrow issue of gay ordination. I rather think that separated Anglicans like to console themselves now that the fight has not been in vain because the Episcopal Church is irredeemable from a broadly creedal perspective. Whether this is true or not is up for debate, in my opinion, but one must believe so, I suppose, when one has lost one’s building, funds, membership, etc., in a fight like this.

    But I have decidedly mixed feelings about the fracturing of the Communion as it is embodied in the United States, not least because congregational voting on a matter of such gravity is directly contrary to the episcopal manner of ecclesiastical order. I currently attend an Episcopal Church (due simply to the fact that there are no other satisfactory Anglican options in the vicinity). My rector is orthodox (if not conservative otherwise), and the Bishop of Milwaukee is reputed to be a strong theological conservative. All is not lost.

    Nonetheless, you are correct: it has been a shameful testimony of the Episcopal Church in general and Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts-Schori in particular that they have expended so much time, energy, and treasure in attempting to foreclose the exit of specific congregations as vindictively as possible. Of course, the real loser will be the EC itself, in more than just its public image, because it has nearly bankrupted itself with these lawsuits, etc.

    Helen@2 is somewhat correct: the devil is at work here, as he is in all churches struggling to maintain faithfulness to Christ. But to claim that the entire denomination is “unchristian” is, indeed, slander to all those good souls who attend liturgy every Sunday and have never indulged the theological fancies of some of their Bishops.

  • Cincinnatus

    Kirk@7:

    I’ll beg to differ with your historical narrative slightly. The grandiose account of doctrinal apostasy and theological heresy is a bit post-hoc. I was actually a member of the Falls Church at the time of its separation, and, while broader doctrinal disputes were latent in the debate, the very public straw that broke the camel’s back and upon which most people focused was, indeed, the comparatively narrow issue of gay ordination. I rather think that separated Anglicans like to console themselves now that the fight has not been in vain because the Episcopal Church is irredeemable from a broadly creedal perspective. Whether this is true or not is up for debate, in my opinion, but one must believe so, I suppose, when one has lost one’s building, funds, membership, etc., in a fight like this.

    But I have decidedly mixed feelings about the fracturing of the Communion as it is embodied in the United States, not least because congregational voting on a matter of such gravity is directly contrary to the episcopal manner of ecclesiastical order. I currently attend an Episcopal Church (due simply to the fact that there are no other satisfactory Anglican options in the vicinity). My rector is orthodox (if not conservative otherwise), and the Bishop of Milwaukee is reputed to be a strong theological conservative. All is not lost.

    Nonetheless, you are correct: it has been a shameful testimony of the Episcopal Church in general and Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts-Schori in particular that they have expended so much time, energy, and treasure in attempting to foreclose the exit of specific congregations as vindictively as possible. Of course, the real loser will be the EC itself, in more than just its public image, because it has nearly bankrupted itself with these lawsuits, etc.

    Helen@2 is somewhat correct: the devil is at work here, as he is in all churches struggling to maintain faithfulness to Christ. But to claim that the entire denomination is “unchristian” is, indeed, slander to all those good souls who attend liturgy every Sunday and have never indulged the theological fancies of some of their Bishops.

  • Cincinnatus

    Oh, and, while the separation did not coincide with general ordination of open homosexuals, it did explicitly coincide with the appointment of Gene Robinson as bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003. He assumed office in March 2004. Not coincidental.

  • Cincinnatus

    Oh, and, while the separation did not coincide with general ordination of open homosexuals, it did explicitly coincide with the appointment of Gene Robinson as bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003. He assumed office in March 2004. Not coincidental.

  • –helen

    Sorry if I misspoke. I did not intend to say that everyone in your church or mine was devil possessed. But someone who will say that a mosque is preferable to Anglican “competition” for her parishioners (and their dollars) is not talking like a Christian, whatever she may be.
    And the people who put ULC on the block are not acting in the best interests of the church either.

    Dan Kempin,
    I was describing acts which have occurred.

  • –helen

    Sorry if I misspoke. I did not intend to say that everyone in your church or mine was devil possessed. But someone who will say that a mosque is preferable to Anglican “competition” for her parishioners (and their dollars) is not talking like a Christian, whatever she may be.
    And the people who put ULC on the block are not acting in the best interests of the church either.

    Dan Kempin,
    I was describing acts which have occurred.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson


    I really cannot fathom how hard this must be on so many congregations. I think there is probably a bit of truth to what both Cincinnatus and Kirk have to say. But I am glad to hear Kirk say it. I want that to be true for so many of the congregations breaking with the ELCA. Perhaps ordination of a homosexual Bishop is the Catalyst. And perhaps that isn’t the best of reasons for breaking, yet I can’t help but think it is the sort of in your face move that jolts a person into thinking a bit more deeply, and examining their doctrines and what they have been taught etc.
    my hope is that it does open up some genuine ecumenical dialogue between church bodies that perhaps have more in common than not. I was glad to hear that LCMS was having talks with Anglicans, not to long ago, and that those talks are supposed to continue. Hopefully they go better than my dialogue with Cincinnatus.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson


    I really cannot fathom how hard this must be on so many congregations. I think there is probably a bit of truth to what both Cincinnatus and Kirk have to say. But I am glad to hear Kirk say it. I want that to be true for so many of the congregations breaking with the ELCA. Perhaps ordination of a homosexual Bishop is the Catalyst. And perhaps that isn’t the best of reasons for breaking, yet I can’t help but think it is the sort of in your face move that jolts a person into thinking a bit more deeply, and examining their doctrines and what they have been taught etc.
    my hope is that it does open up some genuine ecumenical dialogue between church bodies that perhaps have more in common than not. I was glad to hear that LCMS was having talks with Anglicans, not to long ago, and that those talks are supposed to continue. Hopefully they go better than my dialogue with Cincinnatus.

  • Cincinnatus

    Bror,

    I too hope these dialogues between Anglicans and Lutherans are fruitful. Our aim, of course, is communion and unity–both in doctrine and fellowship.

    This, of course, is one reason I am so conflicted about the attempts of many supposedly conservative Anglicans to fracture the Anglican communion. I of all people understand the seriousness of their complaints, but there is nothing conservative about breaking fellowship.

  • Cincinnatus

    Bror,

    I too hope these dialogues between Anglicans and Lutherans are fruitful. Our aim, of course, is communion and unity–both in doctrine and fellowship.

    This, of course, is one reason I am so conflicted about the attempts of many supposedly conservative Anglicans to fracture the Anglican communion. I of all people understand the seriousness of their complaints, but there is nothing conservative about breaking fellowship.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Helen,
    I’ll agree that those who put ULC up for sale in the manner they did are not acting in the best interest of the church. However, that is a mistake that is the logical consequence of what is being passed off as a theology of missions in our synod. The people doing it have had their minds rotted with enthusiastic, read schwarmerei, type garbage, synod these days calls one who has had this done to him, Missional minded. So yes the devil is at work there. But I don’t think this was done from a purely malicious motive, as it would seem is being done in the Episcopalian realm. This is just naivety at work. Of course, one could present the Minnesota south with the alternatives of him being perceived as an idiot or malicious and see what he chooses. Either way, the best construction one can put on that fiasco is not a very good construction.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Helen,
    I’ll agree that those who put ULC up for sale in the manner they did are not acting in the best interest of the church. However, that is a mistake that is the logical consequence of what is being passed off as a theology of missions in our synod. The people doing it have had their minds rotted with enthusiastic, read schwarmerei, type garbage, synod these days calls one who has had this done to him, Missional minded. So yes the devil is at work there. But I don’t think this was done from a purely malicious motive, as it would seem is being done in the Episcopalian realm. This is just naivety at work. Of course, one could present the Minnesota south with the alternatives of him being perceived as an idiot or malicious and see what he chooses. Either way, the best construction one can put on that fiasco is not a very good construction.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Cincinnatus,
    War is ugly too, sometimes though it is actually necessary.
    i don’t see the anglicans relishing the break up, but I do agree with them that in this case it is necessary. It comes to that at times. I mean, by your logic what are you doing hanging outside the auspices of Rome?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Cincinnatus,
    War is ugly too, sometimes though it is actually necessary.
    i don’t see the anglicans relishing the break up, but I do agree with them that in this case it is necessary. It comes to that at times. I mean, by your logic what are you doing hanging outside the auspices of Rome?

  • Dan Kempin

    Helen, #11,

    I know what you were describing. It is ok to disagree with the leadership of the Minnesota South District. It is permissible to think that their decision about the University Lutheran Chapel was misguided and foolish. It is understandable to have a visceral reaction to such a difficult decision.

    But to publicly characterize a man of God in my (our?) own confession as though his goal and delight is to shut down a lutheran church in favor of commercial property is, I think, a bit risky. To lump him in with “bishop” Schori in the article above is very close to a personal insult. Better to let him answer for his own failures than to risk sinning with words after the fact.

    (And no, I am not just trying to pick on you. That scripture from Leviticus really struck me earlier this week.)

  • Dan Kempin

    Helen, #11,

    I know what you were describing. It is ok to disagree with the leadership of the Minnesota South District. It is permissible to think that their decision about the University Lutheran Chapel was misguided and foolish. It is understandable to have a visceral reaction to such a difficult decision.

    But to publicly characterize a man of God in my (our?) own confession as though his goal and delight is to shut down a lutheran church in favor of commercial property is, I think, a bit risky. To lump him in with “bishop” Schori in the article above is very close to a personal insult. Better to let him answer for his own failures than to risk sinning with words after the fact.

    (And no, I am not just trying to pick on you. That scripture from Leviticus really struck me earlier this week.)

  • Dan Kempin

    Bror, #15,

    Wow. That’s REALLY the best constuction you can put on it?

  • Dan Kempin

    Bror, #15,

    Wow. That’s REALLY the best constuction you can put on it?

  • Cincinnatus

    Bror@16:

    Your concluding question is, of course, “the” operative question–quite pointed, quite personal, and quite convicting. But is it not the dilemma of Anglicanism and Protestantism as a whole? An old saying in political theory observes that all cities are founded in violence, but to our peril do we not soon stifle this violence. This is in a way “copping out,” but I neither want to ignite an extended debate as to the validity of the Protestant Reformation nor to state definitively my position on Anglican separatism–precisely because, as I have noted above, I am still in a condition of uncertainty on this question. After all, I abstained from voting in the Falls Church election. (and, as I said, I think elections are problematic fundamentally in this case)

    But can we not distinguish the Roman case from ours? Roman Catholicism, at least in the eyes of the Protestants like Luther who separated from (or were separated from) the Church, had definitively and explicitly departed from the essentials of orthodoxy, preaching a false Gospel, etc. How can one commune in good conscience with those who preach a false gospel?

    Contrary to Kirk’s claims above, and contrary, of course, to the missteps (I don’t use this language to minimize their actions) of certain Episcopal Bishops, the Episcopal Church has not so departed from orthodoxy. At this moment, I will vehemently dispute any claims that TEC is rotten to its core. It’s not. TEC still maintains the essential tenets of Christian orthodoxy, including the following: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Episcopal_Church_(United_States)#Doctrine_and_practice

    In other words, the Episcopal Church contains corruption, even at high levels (e.g., PB Schori), but is not itself wholly corrupt. Remember: a Church like the Anglican Church is not defined solely by those errant humans who happen to fill its offices at any given time. In my opinion, this is compelling cause at least to consider seriously the moral obligation to seek reformation rather than separation. I’m not denying that those who have separated did not seriously consider or even attempt reformation, but my conscience is not satisfied with the move for separatism in general. There are so many problems, theological, practical, and traditional–probably too extensive to delineate here–that foreclose my allegiance to these conservative Anglican breakaway groups.

    Accordingly, I can absolutely sympathize with early attempts to halt the departure of individual congregations from the Episcopal fold. But, on the other hand, I think we can all agree that there is no best construction that can be put upon this particular act of violence in New York.

  • Cincinnatus

    Bror@16:

    Your concluding question is, of course, “the” operative question–quite pointed, quite personal, and quite convicting. But is it not the dilemma of Anglicanism and Protestantism as a whole? An old saying in political theory observes that all cities are founded in violence, but to our peril do we not soon stifle this violence. This is in a way “copping out,” but I neither want to ignite an extended debate as to the validity of the Protestant Reformation nor to state definitively my position on Anglican separatism–precisely because, as I have noted above, I am still in a condition of uncertainty on this question. After all, I abstained from voting in the Falls Church election. (and, as I said, I think elections are problematic fundamentally in this case)

    But can we not distinguish the Roman case from ours? Roman Catholicism, at least in the eyes of the Protestants like Luther who separated from (or were separated from) the Church, had definitively and explicitly departed from the essentials of orthodoxy, preaching a false Gospel, etc. How can one commune in good conscience with those who preach a false gospel?

    Contrary to Kirk’s claims above, and contrary, of course, to the missteps (I don’t use this language to minimize their actions) of certain Episcopal Bishops, the Episcopal Church has not so departed from orthodoxy. At this moment, I will vehemently dispute any claims that TEC is rotten to its core. It’s not. TEC still maintains the essential tenets of Christian orthodoxy, including the following: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Episcopal_Church_(United_States)#Doctrine_and_practice

    In other words, the Episcopal Church contains corruption, even at high levels (e.g., PB Schori), but is not itself wholly corrupt. Remember: a Church like the Anglican Church is not defined solely by those errant humans who happen to fill its offices at any given time. In my opinion, this is compelling cause at least to consider seriously the moral obligation to seek reformation rather than separation. I’m not denying that those who have separated did not seriously consider or even attempt reformation, but my conscience is not satisfied with the move for separatism in general. There are so many problems, theological, practical, and traditional–probably too extensive to delineate here–that foreclose my allegiance to these conservative Anglican breakaway groups.

    Accordingly, I can absolutely sympathize with early attempts to halt the departure of individual congregations from the Episcopal fold. But, on the other hand, I think we can all agree that there is no best construction that can be put upon this particular act of violence in New York.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I of all people understand the seriousness of their complaints, but there is nothing conservative about breaking fellowship.”

    This is the part that always confuses me.

    Who is breaking fellowship? It seems that those who innovate are the ones breaking fellowship. They reject the common belief or practice in favor of something unbiblical. How is that maintaining fellowship?

    Just wondering.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I of all people understand the seriousness of their complaints, but there is nothing conservative about breaking fellowship.”

    This is the part that always confuses me.

    Who is breaking fellowship? It seems that those who innovate are the ones breaking fellowship. They reject the common belief or practice in favor of something unbiblical. How is that maintaining fellowship?

    Just wondering.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Cincinnattus,
    For one you are not a Lutheran nor in a Lutheran Congregation. Referrencing that reformation to justify your membership in TEC is therefore not a permissible line of argument.
    Second, what defines TEC anymore? A mystical adherence to some ancient liturgy? In any case, my guess is I’d be more comfortable at this point in an RC parish than in an Episcopal. Though I have problems with both. Luckily for me there is the Lutheran Church, which has its own problems, but at least has a confession.
    Of course you will see my dilemma. I believe the Episcopal church does stand for a false gospel, and this is made all the more apparent with apostate bishops, and though I believe there are Christians in TEC, I believe that about R.C and E.O and well I can even hold out hope for Calvary Chapel. But there is a reason I don’t commune with those churches.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Cincinnattus,
    For one you are not a Lutheran nor in a Lutheran Congregation. Referrencing that reformation to justify your membership in TEC is therefore not a permissible line of argument.
    Second, what defines TEC anymore? A mystical adherence to some ancient liturgy? In any case, my guess is I’d be more comfortable at this point in an RC parish than in an Episcopal. Though I have problems with both. Luckily for me there is the Lutheran Church, which has its own problems, but at least has a confession.
    Of course you will see my dilemma. I believe the Episcopal church does stand for a false gospel, and this is made all the more apparent with apostate bishops, and though I believe there are Christians in TEC, I believe that about R.C and E.O and well I can even hold out hope for Calvary Chapel. But there is a reason I don’t commune with those churches.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Dan,
    I don’t see you coming up with a better construction. The very best construction I can put on this is short sighted idiocy. Though I cannot help but to perceive a bit of maliciousness in it as well, as the president and board of that district proceeded full steam ahead, in your face, even at the discouragement of a joint pastors conference of Minnesota North, and South, and an uproar of Emails etc from across the synod.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Dan,
    I don’t see you coming up with a better construction. The very best construction I can put on this is short sighted idiocy. Though I cannot help but to perceive a bit of maliciousness in it as well, as the president and board of that district proceeded full steam ahead, in your face, even at the discouragement of a joint pastors conference of Minnesota North, and South, and an uproar of Emails etc from across the synod.

  • Cincinnatus

    Bror@21:

    As to your first question, I’m not sure what you mean. I wasn’t using the Lutheran church to “justify” any of my own decisions–or anything in general. I was merely pointing out that the tension between separatism and communion is one that all Protestants must always attempt to mediate. Anglicans are at least partly in the Protestant tradition. Obviously, from our foundation, we recognize that separation is sometimes unavoidable or necessary, but at the same time, we hate separation and we wish to avoid it if at all possible, yes? Thus, simply to point out that separation is sometimes necessary, as you did, doesn’t really prove anything.

    But to your second point, I must disagree. What defines the Episcopal Church at its core are the same things that define Anglicanism as we’ve noted in previous discussion. Episcopalians are Anglicans. TEC still explicitly acknowledges the the creeds, the liturgy, and the other essentials of orthodoxy (cf. the link I posted above). The problem is apostate bishops, as you note, not the public beliefs of the church itself. Thus, one might lodge an identical complaint against the Roman Church, in which you would allegedly feel more comfortable: it happens to have a “conservative” pope at the moment, and it subscribes to its ancient orthodoxy, but it is chock full of apostate bishops and clerics at all levels (and I’m not simply referring to sexual deviants). So no. I, on its face, deny that TEC as a whole preaches a “false gospel,” unless you care to elaborate on what you mean by false gospel.

    And I wasn’t aware that you had a dilemma. What exactly is the nature of this dilemma? I, along with all the other Anglican faithful who still attend Episcopal churches–and there are many–am the one with the dilemma.

  • Cincinnatus

    Bror@21:

    As to your first question, I’m not sure what you mean. I wasn’t using the Lutheran church to “justify” any of my own decisions–or anything in general. I was merely pointing out that the tension between separatism and communion is one that all Protestants must always attempt to mediate. Anglicans are at least partly in the Protestant tradition. Obviously, from our foundation, we recognize that separation is sometimes unavoidable or necessary, but at the same time, we hate separation and we wish to avoid it if at all possible, yes? Thus, simply to point out that separation is sometimes necessary, as you did, doesn’t really prove anything.

    But to your second point, I must disagree. What defines the Episcopal Church at its core are the same things that define Anglicanism as we’ve noted in previous discussion. Episcopalians are Anglicans. TEC still explicitly acknowledges the the creeds, the liturgy, and the other essentials of orthodoxy (cf. the link I posted above). The problem is apostate bishops, as you note, not the public beliefs of the church itself. Thus, one might lodge an identical complaint against the Roman Church, in which you would allegedly feel more comfortable: it happens to have a “conservative” pope at the moment, and it subscribes to its ancient orthodoxy, but it is chock full of apostate bishops and clerics at all levels (and I’m not simply referring to sexual deviants). So no. I, on its face, deny that TEC as a whole preaches a “false gospel,” unless you care to elaborate on what you mean by false gospel.

    And I wasn’t aware that you had a dilemma. What exactly is the nature of this dilemma? I, along with all the other Anglican faithful who still attend Episcopal churches–and there are many–am the one with the dilemma.

  • Dan Kempin

    Bror, #22,

    “I don’t see you coming up with a better construction.”

    That’s because I haven’t presumed to comment on someone else’s responsibility in someone else’s district. That is kind of my point.

  • Dan Kempin

    Bror, #22,

    “I don’t see you coming up with a better construction.”

    That’s because I haven’t presumed to comment on someone else’s responsibility in someone else’s district. That is kind of my point.

  • paul

    Bror,

    As a Pastor in the MN South District, I take offense to your characterization of our District Board of Directors, President, and District Staff. From what I know, the decision to sell the building on the University of Minnesota campus is purely financial. I don’t see the MN North District or any other District contributing to the capital maintenance or improvement of that site. Would you rather we cut outreach to Hispanics (it’s been cut) or to the Mankato campus (some 15,000 students), or to mission congregations, the Synod, or what? Have you suggested an alternative to balance the books? While selling the facility is regrettable, it is necessary to continue and expand Mission and Ministry in other locations. We have zero “campus ministry” on any campus other than the UofM and MN State – Mankato and yet there are many campuses, public and private, on which our LCMS students are being pulled away from the faith for lack of ANY LCMS presence. Would you exchange those souls for bricks and mortar? The blame-game can go both ways, but it is neither profitable for either side nor Christian to characterize others as less than sincere without a more firm basis than the name-calling which you have done. From where I sit, you toy dangerously with the fourth and eighth commandments.

  • paul

    Bror,

    As a Pastor in the MN South District, I take offense to your characterization of our District Board of Directors, President, and District Staff. From what I know, the decision to sell the building on the University of Minnesota campus is purely financial. I don’t see the MN North District or any other District contributing to the capital maintenance or improvement of that site. Would you rather we cut outreach to Hispanics (it’s been cut) or to the Mankato campus (some 15,000 students), or to mission congregations, the Synod, or what? Have you suggested an alternative to balance the books? While selling the facility is regrettable, it is necessary to continue and expand Mission and Ministry in other locations. We have zero “campus ministry” on any campus other than the UofM and MN State – Mankato and yet there are many campuses, public and private, on which our LCMS students are being pulled away from the faith for lack of ANY LCMS presence. Would you exchange those souls for bricks and mortar? The blame-game can go both ways, but it is neither profitable for either side nor Christian to characterize others as less than sincere without a more firm basis than the name-calling which you have done. From where I sit, you toy dangerously with the fourth and eighth commandments.

  • Helen K.

    following…

  • Helen K.

    following…

  • kerner

    Whoa! I’ve gotta read up on ULC in Minnesota.

    I wonder if it would be wrong for us Lutherans to buy Episcopal church buildings, and then re-sell them to their congregations? It probably would be, but I’ve been practicing law for a very long time and ideas like that just come to me.

  • kerner

    Whoa! I’ve gotta read up on ULC in Minnesota.

    I wonder if it would be wrong for us Lutherans to buy Episcopal church buildings, and then re-sell them to their congregations? It probably would be, but I’ve been practicing law for a very long time and ideas like that just come to me.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Paul,
    I am aching to hear how you think I’m toying with the 4th commandment. in any case I might be edging on the 8th. I did have a conversation two weeks ago with one of your board members that brought some previous unknown details of the deal to light. However, I still thik the whole thing is short sighted idiocy and that is the best construction I can put on it. And I do think that there was some maliciousness in the way it was handled. The pres. and board saw dollar signs. did you ask Mn. North if they were willing to help? no. You didn’t even wait to speak with the president of the synod, and the Fondow to see what options they might have presented.
    So in short, I really don’t care if you are offended. I’m not sure why you think that would make a difference to me.
    I put the best construction, I explained to helen above that this is the result of misguided but accepted thinking in regards to Missions these days, and it is naive. That the board wasn’t trying to be out and out malicious, not on the same level as the Episcopalian fiasco. (That said, I do believe there was some maliciousness that rose up after whole thing was being leaked to the public. I don’t think it started that way, I could be wrong.
    But you all but prove my point about naive “mission mindedness.” You rant and rave about all the other missions that were being depraved to help keep this one a float. They became a congregation just a couple years ago, and thereby should have become self supporting, at least to a point. I don’t see why Mn. South should have had to continue supporting that congregation the way they support other mission activity. However, this could have been discussed with them, and changed, without selling a landmark church out from underneath them. And this does effect all of synod. You then refer to the building as brick and mortar as if that is all a church building is. This is nuts. It is also insulting to all those who gave of their hard earned dollars to build the place and locate a ministry there. This isn’t a walmart we are talking about here. The church building stands as a testimony of the good will of countless faithful who wanted to provide that community with an aesthetically appealing place to hear God’s word preached to them. It is a testimony of the good will of countless towards that academic community that they would have these students also learn of the love of God. Church buildings speak, just as the temple of God in Jerusalem spoke to all the nations that traveled through. To sell a building like that, is to give up ground in a very real spiritual war. But hey, it wasn’t really your birthright, so enjoy the bowl of porridge.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Paul,
    I am aching to hear how you think I’m toying with the 4th commandment. in any case I might be edging on the 8th. I did have a conversation two weeks ago with one of your board members that brought some previous unknown details of the deal to light. However, I still thik the whole thing is short sighted idiocy and that is the best construction I can put on it. And I do think that there was some maliciousness in the way it was handled. The pres. and board saw dollar signs. did you ask Mn. North if they were willing to help? no. You didn’t even wait to speak with the president of the synod, and the Fondow to see what options they might have presented.
    So in short, I really don’t care if you are offended. I’m not sure why you think that would make a difference to me.
    I put the best construction, I explained to helen above that this is the result of misguided but accepted thinking in regards to Missions these days, and it is naive. That the board wasn’t trying to be out and out malicious, not on the same level as the Episcopalian fiasco. (That said, I do believe there was some maliciousness that rose up after whole thing was being leaked to the public. I don’t think it started that way, I could be wrong.
    But you all but prove my point about naive “mission mindedness.” You rant and rave about all the other missions that were being depraved to help keep this one a float. They became a congregation just a couple years ago, and thereby should have become self supporting, at least to a point. I don’t see why Mn. South should have had to continue supporting that congregation the way they support other mission activity. However, this could have been discussed with them, and changed, without selling a landmark church out from underneath them. And this does effect all of synod. You then refer to the building as brick and mortar as if that is all a church building is. This is nuts. It is also insulting to all those who gave of their hard earned dollars to build the place and locate a ministry there. This isn’t a walmart we are talking about here. The church building stands as a testimony of the good will of countless faithful who wanted to provide that community with an aesthetically appealing place to hear God’s word preached to them. It is a testimony of the good will of countless towards that academic community that they would have these students also learn of the love of God. Church buildings speak, just as the temple of God in Jerusalem spoke to all the nations that traveled through. To sell a building like that, is to give up ground in a very real spiritual war. But hey, it wasn’t really your birthright, so enjoy the bowl of porridge.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Cincinnattus,
    It is such a strange thing. You see when you accuse the Catholics of preaching a false gospel, I see the pot calling the kettle black.
    I simply don’t get Anglicanism any more. Perhaps I never have. My conversations with you though seem to obfuscate more the elucidate, but then I feel the same way about Heidegger…
    However, you defend the orthodoxy, not by pointing to any distinct confession of the anglican church, but by pointing to those very things you have in common with the Roman Catholic Church, even as you accuse them of heterodoxy. Rome has the creeds and the liturgy too, and a grand tradition of not separating over “minor things.”
    I honestly don’t get your constant pointing to the liturgy as verification of your orthodoxy. You seem to elevate it to a place that seems silly to Lutherans, at least to this one. I love “the liturgy” and could give you a million reasons as to why, and why I think it is the better form of worship. I actually detest “contemporary worship services.” But I cannot see “the liturgy” as being a basis for unification with another church body that has a hard time explaining the gospel, or what the sacraments are about. Adn the whole thing seems a little compromised when it is being led by the very people Paul so explicitly said were to remains silent as in all the churches. Which is really the bigger issue, because it indicates that one is now taking God’s word even less seriously than the Catholics. The Zeitgeist is blowing, and the doctrinal boat is blowing about with every wind. This is not a hallmark of Christianity.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Cincinnattus,
    It is such a strange thing. You see when you accuse the Catholics of preaching a false gospel, I see the pot calling the kettle black.
    I simply don’t get Anglicanism any more. Perhaps I never have. My conversations with you though seem to obfuscate more the elucidate, but then I feel the same way about Heidegger…
    However, you defend the orthodoxy, not by pointing to any distinct confession of the anglican church, but by pointing to those very things you have in common with the Roman Catholic Church, even as you accuse them of heterodoxy. Rome has the creeds and the liturgy too, and a grand tradition of not separating over “minor things.”
    I honestly don’t get your constant pointing to the liturgy as verification of your orthodoxy. You seem to elevate it to a place that seems silly to Lutherans, at least to this one. I love “the liturgy” and could give you a million reasons as to why, and why I think it is the better form of worship. I actually detest “contemporary worship services.” But I cannot see “the liturgy” as being a basis for unification with another church body that has a hard time explaining the gospel, or what the sacraments are about. Adn the whole thing seems a little compromised when it is being led by the very people Paul so explicitly said were to remains silent as in all the churches. Which is really the bigger issue, because it indicates that one is now taking God’s word even less seriously than the Catholics. The Zeitgeist is blowing, and the doctrinal boat is blowing about with every wind. This is not a hallmark of Christianity.

  • Cincinnatus

    Bror,

    Your first mistake is in presuming that I accused the Roman Catholic Church of preaching a false Gospel. I did not. That is a discussion for another time. I only stated that Luther and other Protestants severed themselves from the Catholic church in the 15th and 16th centuries because they believed–with some validity–that, at the time, Catholicism promulgated a false Gospel that had infested the entire Church. Such a corruption is not the case in the Episcopal church. We have our creeds, we have our liturgy, we have our catechism as all Anglicans do. Aside from a few apostate bishops–which is not an unserious problem, of course–the Episcopal Church has not repudiated its orthodoxy in the way that Catholicism (arguably) did in the Middle Ages. Thus, the claims of separatist Anglicans is a tad compromised: this isn’t akin to what was going on in 1517.

    Meanwhile, no one here is arguing for fellowship and communion with other denominations. That’s an entirely separate argument, and I don’t know why you’re bringing it up. I do continually point to the liturgy as evidence of our orthodoxy because our liturgy (as does yours, I imagine) contains Scripture, doctrine, truth. It’s not simply a series of meaningless motions. You’re Confessional: you prefer to have things systematized in a handy propositional guidebook; we do not, because we believe that most of what we need, doctrinally speaking, is already contained in the liturgy. Can’t we leave it at that for now? I’m not so concerned that you don’t understand Anglicanism–mostly because you have thus far expressed no desire to correct specific misperceptions and uncertainties. But until you express them, that discussion is irrelevant to the question of Anglican separatism.

    And I’m not sure what the term zeitgeist has to do with any of this.

  • Cincinnatus

    Bror,

    Your first mistake is in presuming that I accused the Roman Catholic Church of preaching a false Gospel. I did not. That is a discussion for another time. I only stated that Luther and other Protestants severed themselves from the Catholic church in the 15th and 16th centuries because they believed–with some validity–that, at the time, Catholicism promulgated a false Gospel that had infested the entire Church. Such a corruption is not the case in the Episcopal church. We have our creeds, we have our liturgy, we have our catechism as all Anglicans do. Aside from a few apostate bishops–which is not an unserious problem, of course–the Episcopal Church has not repudiated its orthodoxy in the way that Catholicism (arguably) did in the Middle Ages. Thus, the claims of separatist Anglicans is a tad compromised: this isn’t akin to what was going on in 1517.

    Meanwhile, no one here is arguing for fellowship and communion with other denominations. That’s an entirely separate argument, and I don’t know why you’re bringing it up. I do continually point to the liturgy as evidence of our orthodoxy because our liturgy (as does yours, I imagine) contains Scripture, doctrine, truth. It’s not simply a series of meaningless motions. You’re Confessional: you prefer to have things systematized in a handy propositional guidebook; we do not, because we believe that most of what we need, doctrinally speaking, is already contained in the liturgy. Can’t we leave it at that for now? I’m not so concerned that you don’t understand Anglicanism–mostly because you have thus far expressed no desire to correct specific misperceptions and uncertainties. But until you express them, that discussion is irrelevant to the question of Anglican separatism.

    And I’m not sure what the term zeitgeist has to do with any of this.

  • Cincinnatus

    Also, who’s having a hard time “explaining the Gospel and what the sacraments are about”? Apostate bishops? Sure. But the Anglican Church as a whole? I pray not.

  • Cincinnatus

    Also, who’s having a hard time “explaining the Gospel and what the sacraments are about”? Apostate bishops? Sure. But the Anglican Church as a whole? I pray not.

  • kerner

    Cincinnatus @29-30:

    I’m just an outsider looking in, but from that admittedly distant vantage point I think Episcopalians are on the horns of a dilemma that I think the separatists are resolving in the only way possible.

    So far you have articulated to important principles of Anglicanism in play here (well maybe more, but these are the ones I’m picking up on). The first is that the creeds are your defining principles. The second is that your polity is more than convenience, but is part and parcel of your doctrine, as is your liturgy. But your polity is the , well, episcopal, model. Bishops rule the church from the top down, they are not generally called by the congregations.

    Assuming your polity to be doctrinally manditory (as a Lutheran I don’t, but I gather that YOU do) “a few apostate bishops” is no small matter. It is a dissaster. When those called to lead the Church according to your creeds actually are leading you away from them, and when your loyalty to those leaders is not subject to correction from below, I only see one way out, and that is to become subject to some different called leaders whom you can in good conscience follow. This can only be done by appealing to some higher authority that could replace them within your province, or if that alternative is infeasable, you have to find another province, or create a new one. Given your relationswhip to your bishops, I understand that such a move could never be taken lightly. And if your own bishop is orthodox, maybe it would not be necessary. But I read somewhere that entire dioces have withdrawn, which I assume means that their bishop went with them.

    The idea would be to isolate the unorthodox from the orthodox, at which point Anglicans world wide could decide whether the exclusively apostate Episcopalians would remain accepted by the Anglican communion. As long as orthodox laity and clergy are co-mingled with the apostate leadership, it sounds as though Anglicans world wide will be powerless to remedy the situation.

  • kerner

    Cincinnatus @29-30:

    I’m just an outsider looking in, but from that admittedly distant vantage point I think Episcopalians are on the horns of a dilemma that I think the separatists are resolving in the only way possible.

    So far you have articulated to important principles of Anglicanism in play here (well maybe more, but these are the ones I’m picking up on). The first is that the creeds are your defining principles. The second is that your polity is more than convenience, but is part and parcel of your doctrine, as is your liturgy. But your polity is the , well, episcopal, model. Bishops rule the church from the top down, they are not generally called by the congregations.

    Assuming your polity to be doctrinally manditory (as a Lutheran I don’t, but I gather that YOU do) “a few apostate bishops” is no small matter. It is a dissaster. When those called to lead the Church according to your creeds actually are leading you away from them, and when your loyalty to those leaders is not subject to correction from below, I only see one way out, and that is to become subject to some different called leaders whom you can in good conscience follow. This can only be done by appealing to some higher authority that could replace them within your province, or if that alternative is infeasable, you have to find another province, or create a new one. Given your relationswhip to your bishops, I understand that such a move could never be taken lightly. And if your own bishop is orthodox, maybe it would not be necessary. But I read somewhere that entire dioces have withdrawn, which I assume means that their bishop went with them.

    The idea would be to isolate the unorthodox from the orthodox, at which point Anglicans world wide could decide whether the exclusively apostate Episcopalians would remain accepted by the Anglican communion. As long as orthodox laity and clergy are co-mingled with the apostate leadership, it sounds as though Anglicans world wide will be powerless to remedy the situation.

  • Cincinnatus

    kerner:

    You’ve provided an excellent summary of the dilemma in its form and content. It is a sticky situation, to say the least, and our Archbishop in Canterbury has been a bit dithering about the whole affair.

    Yes, our episcopal ecclesiology is normative, but bishops are subordinate to doctrine and orthodoxy. If Bishops are apostate, I’m still not convinced that the problem is as grave as you state. Bishops guide the church through its temporal circumstances, but they themselves are not the church, and they do not make doctrine.

    In short, I don’t begrudge those who have separated, but I am not sure that I can justify to myself the process of separation (though, as long as a congregation is in official communion with Canterbury, at the moment, I have no qualms about attending). In any case, the Communion will soon have to take a side, as the Communion acknowledges geographical exclusivity (i.e., two churches in the same geographical province cannot both be officially Anglican). In that regard, perhaps the separatists will be successful!

  • Cincinnatus

    kerner:

    You’ve provided an excellent summary of the dilemma in its form and content. It is a sticky situation, to say the least, and our Archbishop in Canterbury has been a bit dithering about the whole affair.

    Yes, our episcopal ecclesiology is normative, but bishops are subordinate to doctrine and orthodoxy. If Bishops are apostate, I’m still not convinced that the problem is as grave as you state. Bishops guide the church through its temporal circumstances, but they themselves are not the church, and they do not make doctrine.

    In short, I don’t begrudge those who have separated, but I am not sure that I can justify to myself the process of separation (though, as long as a congregation is in official communion with Canterbury, at the moment, I have no qualms about attending). In any case, the Communion will soon have to take a side, as the Communion acknowledges geographical exclusivity (i.e., two churches in the same geographical province cannot both be officially Anglican). In that regard, perhaps the separatists will be successful!

  • Shane A

    Not to bring up the whole 1928 vs 1979 Prayer Book argument again, but the 1979 tellingly omits the charge of bishops to drive away “strange and contrary” doctrine.

    (I, like Cincinnatus, am sympathetic to the concerns of North American Anglicans; likewise, I am also skeptical of any grassroots movement to break away from Church authority, since it goes against the very structure of Anglicanism.)

  • Shane A

    Not to bring up the whole 1928 vs 1979 Prayer Book argument again, but the 1979 tellingly omits the charge of bishops to drive away “strange and contrary” doctrine.

    (I, like Cincinnatus, am sympathetic to the concerns of North American Anglicans; likewise, I am also skeptical of any grassroots movement to break away from Church authority, since it goes against the very structure of Anglicanism.)

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Cincinnatus,
    as long as those apostate bishops are the ones making your headlines, and receive no admonition or defrocking, no out cry from the laity, then yes they speak for your whole church body, and have corrupted the whole thing.
    And after your statements above, i’m not sure how you could stay in communion with Anglicanism, I don’t see your justification for a split with Rome.
    Other than that, I think Kerner hits the nail on the head.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Cincinnatus,
    as long as those apostate bishops are the ones making your headlines, and receive no admonition or defrocking, no out cry from the laity, then yes they speak for your whole church body, and have corrupted the whole thing.
    And after your statements above, i’m not sure how you could stay in communion with Anglicanism, I don’t see your justification for a split with Rome.
    Other than that, I think Kerner hits the nail on the head.

  • Cincinnatus

    Bror@34:

    So, you’re making a generous assessment of the state of my church–from media headlines? That’s deeply charitable of you, since the American media is famously knowledgeable and fair when it comes to reporting on matters of religion and church politics.

    And as for the outcry of the laity–well, there’s been a huge outcry, on a broad array of fronts. The Anglican separatists are obvious evidence of outcry. There are also countless Episcopal blogs, etc., that critique Church policies. There are the millions of souls who have simply given up on Anglicanism altogether and moved elsewhere. Then there are the folks like me and Shane who have not yet found justification for grassroots separatism (if, indeed, there is any) and prefer to seek reform from within. Time will tell, but to claim that the Episcopal Church is a monolithic unit, united in heretical apostasy, is absurd and uncharitable.

  • Cincinnatus

    Bror@34:

    So, you’re making a generous assessment of the state of my church–from media headlines? That’s deeply charitable of you, since the American media is famously knowledgeable and fair when it comes to reporting on matters of religion and church politics.

    And as for the outcry of the laity–well, there’s been a huge outcry, on a broad array of fronts. The Anglican separatists are obvious evidence of outcry. There are also countless Episcopal blogs, etc., that critique Church policies. There are the millions of souls who have simply given up on Anglicanism altogether and moved elsewhere. Then there are the folks like me and Shane who have not yet found justification for grassroots separatism (if, indeed, there is any) and prefer to seek reform from within. Time will tell, but to claim that the Episcopal Church is a monolithic unit, united in heretical apostasy, is absurd and uncharitable.

  • kerner

    Cincinnatus:

    two churches in the same geographical province cannot both be officially Anglican

    Is that in a creed I don’t know about, or is that, like so many other things Anglican, negotiable?

    I ask because the LCMS has 2 nongeographical districts, with churches scattered throughout the geographical districts. We haven’t noticed any principle from scripture, reason, or even tradition that requires all provinces to be geographical.

    I’m not going to argue with you about how serious it must be for an Anglican to be bound to an apostate bishop, until I have studied a little more your doctrine on your duty to obey your bishops. But I do think that must be a bigger deal than it would be for a congregation in the LCMS. With our more congregational polity, congregations are not bound to follow the district or synodical leadership nearly as much as you seem to be.

  • kerner

    Cincinnatus:

    two churches in the same geographical province cannot both be officially Anglican

    Is that in a creed I don’t know about, or is that, like so many other things Anglican, negotiable?

    I ask because the LCMS has 2 nongeographical districts, with churches scattered throughout the geographical districts. We haven’t noticed any principle from scripture, reason, or even tradition that requires all provinces to be geographical.

    I’m not going to argue with you about how serious it must be for an Anglican to be bound to an apostate bishop, until I have studied a little more your doctrine on your duty to obey your bishops. But I do think that must be a bigger deal than it would be for a congregation in the LCMS. With our more congregational polity, congregations are not bound to follow the district or synodical leadership nearly as much as you seem to be.

  • Cincinnatus

    kerner:

    Geographical exclusivity is not doctrine, per se, and it’s certainly not in any of the creeds (our creeds are the ecumenical creeds; no secret knowledge there). But it is deeply rooted in both the English and Catholic character of the Anglican Church. Quite simply, there cannot be two representatives of the Church of England occupying one territory, with each claiming different bishops and perhaps distinct doctrine. That would defy logical sense. Similar logic holds in the Roman Catholic Church. I could go on, as this is an issue I care about, probably inordinately, but I think I’m making sufficient sense. Is it negotiable? Only insofar as it’s never been negotiated before–there’s been no need for that, and since it defies Anglican logic, it hasn’t until now even popped into the heads of most Anglicans.

    In short, the Episcopal Church is the official embodiment of the Church of England in the United States. There can be no others. That’s why the separatists are causing a problem, since they are essentially claiming that they are now the “real” American Anglicans. For now, however, they are avoiding being excessively radical by claiming fellowship with the Archbishop of Nigeria and other conservative provinces elsewhere in the globe (thus, these separatist Anglicans now have “missionary bishops,” etc.). Really, it’s created a very difficult and tragic situation, and Canterbury will have to decide soon. For reasons both theological and ecclesiastical, I hope the principle of geographical exclusivity isn’t abandoned, but I’m not strongly invested in which side Canterbury ultimately chooses.

    Interestingly, some of the more radically liberal Episcopalians are mumbling about breaking communion with the Church of England altogether on the grounds that the Anglican Communion isn’t sufficiently liberal for them (skeptical of ordaining women, more skeptical regarding homosexuality, etc.). If that happens, I will most decidedly be going wherever ties of communion are maintained.

    But for now, this isn’t so much of an issue for me. The Bishop of Milwaukee isn’t apostate, so far as I know, nor is my own rector. Again, time will tell. Challenging times for all involved.

  • Cincinnatus

    kerner:

    Geographical exclusivity is not doctrine, per se, and it’s certainly not in any of the creeds (our creeds are the ecumenical creeds; no secret knowledge there). But it is deeply rooted in both the English and Catholic character of the Anglican Church. Quite simply, there cannot be two representatives of the Church of England occupying one territory, with each claiming different bishops and perhaps distinct doctrine. That would defy logical sense. Similar logic holds in the Roman Catholic Church. I could go on, as this is an issue I care about, probably inordinately, but I think I’m making sufficient sense. Is it negotiable? Only insofar as it’s never been negotiated before–there’s been no need for that, and since it defies Anglican logic, it hasn’t until now even popped into the heads of most Anglicans.

    In short, the Episcopal Church is the official embodiment of the Church of England in the United States. There can be no others. That’s why the separatists are causing a problem, since they are essentially claiming that they are now the “real” American Anglicans. For now, however, they are avoiding being excessively radical by claiming fellowship with the Archbishop of Nigeria and other conservative provinces elsewhere in the globe (thus, these separatist Anglicans now have “missionary bishops,” etc.). Really, it’s created a very difficult and tragic situation, and Canterbury will have to decide soon. For reasons both theological and ecclesiastical, I hope the principle of geographical exclusivity isn’t abandoned, but I’m not strongly invested in which side Canterbury ultimately chooses.

    Interestingly, some of the more radically liberal Episcopalians are mumbling about breaking communion with the Church of England altogether on the grounds that the Anglican Communion isn’t sufficiently liberal for them (skeptical of ordaining women, more skeptical regarding homosexuality, etc.). If that happens, I will most decidedly be going wherever ties of communion are maintained.

    But for now, this isn’t so much of an issue for me. The Bishop of Milwaukee isn’t apostate, so far as I know, nor is my own rector. Again, time will tell. Challenging times for all involved.

  • kerner

    This probably doesn’t apply to your situation, but as a curiosity, the two non- geographical LCMS districts (the English Dstrict and the Slovak District) were once independent synods that sought, and were granted, union with the LCMS. Both, however, asked to be allowed to keep their internal polity as “non-geographical” districts within LCMS. This request was honored, and as far as I know, it hasn’t caused any problems. The hierarchical structure is the same. The English District has a Bishop instead of a District President, but his duties and relationship to the synod is the same. There are adiophranal differences in minor matters, I suppose. The Slovaks have an ethnic heritage that the rest of us don’t. But as I said, it doesn’t seem to have caused any problems.

    And sooner or later, North American Anglicans will have to decide if they are one fellowship, or two. If they are really two, then the groups will have to clearly set the lines of demarkation, and Canterbury will have to make a choice.

    I know it’s tough but Lutherans, fragmented as you now can observe us to be, have been through the process, and sometimes it has to be done.

  • kerner

    This probably doesn’t apply to your situation, but as a curiosity, the two non- geographical LCMS districts (the English Dstrict and the Slovak District) were once independent synods that sought, and were granted, union with the LCMS. Both, however, asked to be allowed to keep their internal polity as “non-geographical” districts within LCMS. This request was honored, and as far as I know, it hasn’t caused any problems. The hierarchical structure is the same. The English District has a Bishop instead of a District President, but his duties and relationship to the synod is the same. There are adiophranal differences in minor matters, I suppose. The Slovaks have an ethnic heritage that the rest of us don’t. But as I said, it doesn’t seem to have caused any problems.

    And sooner or later, North American Anglicans will have to decide if they are one fellowship, or two. If they are really two, then the groups will have to clearly set the lines of demarkation, and Canterbury will have to make a choice.

    I know it’s tough but Lutherans, fragmented as you now can observe us to be, have been through the process, and sometimes it has to be done.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror erickson

    Cininnatus,
    As a Lutheran, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to grasp the allegiance Episcopalians have to the archbishop of Canterbury, or any of the other lackies the queen appoints over her church. Nor can I understand the justification for it.
    What I do notice there, is a particularly daft archbishop, and many other bishops who live, preach, and operate contrary to the gospel, withwhom you are supposed to put because he/she it is in communion with this daft archbishop, who seems rather hesitent to do anything about these bishops who are not ony compromising any unity if faith, but the unity of the church as well.
    As for your thing about the catholic nature of the church not allowing for more than one body in a geographical area both being officially anglican. This would not be in contradiction to the catholicity of the church. as there can be many reasons for such a split. Even RC has unionate.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror erickson

    Cininnatus,
    As a Lutheran, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to grasp the allegiance Episcopalians have to the archbishop of Canterbury, or any of the other lackies the queen appoints over her church. Nor can I understand the justification for it.
    What I do notice there, is a particularly daft archbishop, and many other bishops who live, preach, and operate contrary to the gospel, withwhom you are supposed to put because he/she it is in communion with this daft archbishop, who seems rather hesitent to do anything about these bishops who are not ony compromising any unity if faith, but the unity of the church as well.
    As for your thing about the catholic nature of the church not allowing for more than one body in a geographical area both being officially anglican. This would not be in contradiction to the catholicity of the church. as there can be many reasons for such a split. Even RC has unionate.


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