The Episcopal Church –Train Wreck

In one’s fondest dreams, one could never make this stuff up. It goes beyond parody, because with utterly no effort of any kind, it parodies itself.TrainWreck01

The Task Force appointed pursuant to Resolution 2012-C0195 to develop plans to restructure ECUSA has now released its opening statement. And, wonder of wonders: (a) they have themselves a new acronym; and (b) their statement is a prime specimen of Episcospeak in its purest form observed to date.

Their new acronym—“TREC”—is based on their deciding to call themselves the “Task force for Re-imagining the Episcopal Church.” Of course, the rest of us may simply refer to it as “T-REC”—short for “Train Wreck”.

Here is a classic example of Episcospeak from their statement:

We have started the process of developing an engagement strategy that will enable us to live into our commitment to transparency while preserving the sanctity of holy conversation….

This is Episcospeak at the pinnacle of its ability to say nothing in many words. They have started the “process” of developing (whoops, we’re not there yet) an engagement strategy to live into their “commitment to transparency”—why, of course they have. Translation:

At some point we will have to be open about what we are doing. But we are not there yet, because our talk among ourselves at this stage is still “holy.” (We are being led by the Holy Spirit, remember?)

We hope eventually to have a strategy to dip our toes into the water. But first we have to develop such a strategy, and before we can do that, we have to undertake a process for developing such a strategy.

As of today, we may confidently state that we have entertained the beginnings of that process.

Their statement continues in the same vein:

We further aim not only to provide a window into our work, but to provoke a parallel process of dialogue around questions of identity, structure, and culture at all levels of the church….

Translation:

We do intend to be transparent; the question is: to what degree? We think that we might provide a window of sorts. (But not a real big one, because those conversations of ours are “holy” [see above].)

Well, we’re thinking about it. At least, that is our present intention.

And, hey—guess what? At the very same time we’re thinking about providing a small window on our doings, we’re going to see if we can stir up [“provoke”—sic] another process—this time, one that is focused on dialogue around certain questions, i.e., without actually answering those questions. They’re the usual ones of who we are, how we are organized, and what each of us brings to the table. Lots and lots of opportunity for talking here—maybe we’ll even see if we can stir things up using media like Twitter and Facebook. [Translator’s note: that last bit comes from reading between the lines; it’s not in the literal text. But then we are talking Episcopeak.]

And we are not done yet:

To facilitate that discernment, we plan to offer a range of opportunities to obtain input and feedback from all corners of the church, and we urge all members to reflect prayerfully alongside us and to offer their insights and wisdom. These opportunities will be unveiled in the coming weeks….

“Facilitate discernment”? Through a “process of dialogue” that talks about questions, but does not answer them? (So now, [ECUSA-style] indaba = discernment?)

“Reflect alongside us”? (While we are looking through that little window you graciously provided?)

“Unveiled”?  (Sigh.)

sick

I cannot go on—I have to stop here. My apologies.

You will have to get through it on your own.

The Lies and Spin of Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson

News Analysis

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
February 14, 2013

“There is a wide-spread ‘gullibility’ among professing Christians: every heretic who tells his story plausibly is sure to be believed, and everybody who doubts him is called a persecutor and a narrow-minded man. All these things are peculiar symptoms of our times. I defy any observing person to deny them. They tend to make the assaults of false doctrine in our day peculiarly dangerous. They make it more than ever needful to cry aloud, ‘Do not be carried away.'” — Bishop J.C. Ryle

Wherever he goes and whenever he speaks, the former Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, V. Gene Robinson preaches the same lines with the same set of lies and spin.

First of all, he announces that the given and received moral order is now obsolete; by declaring it to be so, he promotes his own moral disorder. Then he says that his sexual behavior has not caused the Anglican Communion to break up (a gross over simplification). He concludes with the sweeping notion that God loves absolutely everybody regardless of how they behave, thus exempting any need for repentance and newness of life, nullifying the claims of the cross that demand we change to meet and do His will, and not accomplishing our own “devices and desires.” His movie “Love Free or Die: How the Bishop of New Hampshire is Changing the World,” is a paean to his own narcissism and self-absorption.

So thus it was this past week that Robinson made his way to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to push acceptance for his homosexuality once more.

Robinson delivered the lecture “Being a Prophet in Times of High Anxiety”. He took questions from a crowd of hundreds that touched on his controversial election as the ninth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, as well as continued gay and lesbian involvement in the church, while a number of denominations including the Southern Baptist Convention, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod the United Methodist Church and the monolithic Roman Catholic Church have not, nor will ever (perhaps the Methodists will rollover in time) believe that sodomy is good and right in the eyes of God.

The issue, of course, is not about accepting the fact that there are gay, lesbian, transgender and bi-sexuals in the church; there have always been a small handful of such persons. What the church believes and teaches, however, is that any form of sexual behavior outside of marriage between a man and a woman is unacceptable, is without biblical foundation, and has no historical precedent allowing for it.

I have met dozens of gay and lesbian celibate folk over the course of 40 years who believe that celibacy is their calling, whether they like it or not. They look to the “eternal weight of glory” as the guiding principle of their lives and of their present circumstances.

Scripture is also very clear that people who practice sexual behaviors outside of marriage will not inherit the Kingdom. (1 Cor. 6:9, Gal 5:21)

Robinson began his discussion by saying that he tried not to be known as “the gay” bishop, but to no avail. “I stopped resisting it and just started taking advantage of it.” Robinson says he chafed for several years at being branded the first openly gay bishop of the Anglican Church until he realized that he was wasting a pulpit from which he could advocate for equality.

VOL: If you self-identify as a “gay man”, and your whole personhood is wrapped up in self- justification for your behavior, which has never been accepted by the church universal, why would you not? If your total identity is not that your life is hid with God in Christ, but is with what you do with your sexual organs, of course, you would advocate for it. To say that it is about “equality” is, of course, patently absurd. That 1.5% – 2% of the population who say they have same sex attractions and therefore need equality is about as absurd as saying babies should vote because they are, after all, human beings.

Robinson advised audience members to stop worrying about causing conflicts in the church, just as he had stopped worrying about his role within the church. Conflict, he said, may actually be what is needed in certain situations.

VOL: A self-inflicted wound is one thing; pushing your behavior onto a church, which in 2,000 years has never ever entertained the idea that homoerotic “love” has validity, is ridiculous and blasphemous beyond words. And then he adds fuel to the fire by saying that that what is needed, in certain situations, conflict might be needed. This is a bit like saying that the heresy of Arianism propounded by the priest Arius in Alexandria, Egypt, who denied the divinity of Jesus Christ and, more recently, Bishop Charles Bennison who said that Jesus was a sinner who forgave himself, is a conflict the church really needs. It’s enough to make one draw one’s breath and run in the opposite direction lest lightning struck.

“In the midst of conflict, God has a chance of being heard,” Robinson explained.

VOL: God is heard in the “still small voice”, not in strident demands for pansexual acceptance or turbulent discussions about homosexuality. God has spoken clearly and precisely and for which He has no intention of changing his mind just to suit the disordered sexual appetites of Louie (Crew) and Ernest, Vickie and Mark, Susan Russell or Mary Glasspool et al.

In explaining how he believed God’s voice could be heard in the middle of conflict, Robinson told the story of a letter he received shortly after his election. The letter came from a woman who had killed her mother at the age of 15 and was in prison.

She wrote Robinson to explain how his new position within the church had touched her life, even though she was not gay or overtly religious.

“There was something about a church raising up a gay bishop that made her think that there may be a community that could accept (her),” he said.

VOL: Attempting to change the moral order is not remotely on the same level as murder. History is replete with murderers who have asked for forgiveness and gone to their deaths forgiven by God. King David had Bathsheba’s husband killed to gain access to his wife; still David is described as a “man after God’s own heart”. Sexuality touches the very warp and woof of who we are, as God made us. Therefore, homosexuality is ontologically impossible, theologically unacceptable and undefendable, medically dangerous and reproductively impossible. Furthermore, there is ample evidence that sexuality is malleable and people can change. Despite the fact that a liberal media either refuses to report on it or chooses not to believe it, or condemn it outright – reparative therapy has changed the lives of thousands of men and women.

Robinson shared with the crowd how there were many negative sentiments from both inside and outside the Episcopal Church that could have harmed him. Robinson also said many people had asked him to not accept the position of bishop, even after he had been elected by the diocese.

VOL: They did so because they saw it is a blasphemy that would weaken the church’s message, dumb down the gospel narrative, and enslave the church by caving into the culture and much more.

ROBINSON: “I was told the Anglican Communion would break apart upon my election and that didn’t happen,” he said. “Ten years later, it hasn’t happened. The truth is, we are far more diverse then we have been willing to admit.”

VOL: Absolutely not true. Because of his 2004 consecration, FCA/GAFCON was formed; it encompasses at least eleven Primates and their Anglican provinces, fully 80% of the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA) was formed in 2000. There is now a new Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) that includes the Convocation of Anglican Churches in North America with four dioceses (CANA); five Episcopal dioceses have left TEC; an Anglican Network in Canada has formed (ANIC); and a body in England – the Anglican Mission in England (AMIE) — all pointing to a worldwide realignment of Anglicanism. That is precisely because Robinson and those who preceded him and now follow him have, in fact, caused a de facto (but not a de jure) split in the Anglican Communion. This is NOT about diversity; it is about a united Anglican Global South that is 90% evangelical and 100 percent heterosexual along with a fast failing western Anglican Communion that is withering and dying and will soon be on life support. The Episcopal Church can barely muster 700,000 on any given Sunday, the equivalent of one diocese in Nigeria. (That African province has over 21 million practicing Anglicans).

One observer, Thurman Metcalf of Rogers came to the speech because he said Robinson had a way of reaching people with the message of Christ in a way unlike others. VOL: Robinson is not remotely reaching people with the message of Jesus Christ because if he did, Robinson would have a different message – of a life changing encounter with Jesus Christ – and would cease his behavior, repent of his ways and offer up that Christ’s death and resurrection had liberated him from the bondage of his sexual chains… Read this story, My Train Wreck Conversion: As a leftist lesbian professor, I despised Christians. Then I somehow became one. http://tinyurl.com/ao5kujf

Robinson is the author of “God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage” and is the subject of the new documentary film “Love Free or Die: How the Bishop of New Hampshire is Changing the World,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2012.

This is a total capitulation to one’s own unholy desires, of a deformed Eros, (see C.S. Lewis’s The Four Loves), of my will be done, not “thy will be done”. It is saying God cannot change the direction of the seeker who desires heartfelt change, redeem the lost soul and bring joy to the sexually broken.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” (II Cor. 5:17). Sadly that is not the message of V. Gene Robinson.

THE QUESTION OF CONSERVATIVE EVANGELICAL ‘AGGRESSION’

Conservative evangelicals in the Church of England are increasingly perceived as ‘aggressive’ over church planting and the allocation of parish evangelismshare or ‘quota capping’, as it is usually described by our denominational detractors. So it is worth exploring the question of godly motivation in these two areas.

Aggression should not be confused with contending for the truth. That confusion is often made by moral relativists who wish to tar evangelicals standing up for biblical truth with the brush of hostile aggression. For the purposes of this discussion, aggression is defined as an arrogant, destructive approach to theological conflict that refuses to ‘speak the truth in love’, as the Apostle Paul teaches in Ephesians 4. Godly contenders want to win the person as well as the argument.

What should – and Cranmer’s Curate is convinced mainly does – motivate conservative evangelical net-giving churches over the allocation of their parish share is the desire for good stewardship of the financial resources God has entrusted his people with and biblical faithfulness. Such churches do not wish to be sending money to ministries that are sponsoring ungodly teachings and activities such as multi-faith worship, same-sex blessings and revisionist denial of the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

However, given the human sinfulness afflicting us all across the churchmanships, it is possible for ‘quota capping’ to be motivated by resentment or anger at the current difficult position of conservative evangelicals in the Church of England. It could thus be used as an aggressively destructive move against the denomination. Clearly, such hostile, negative motivation is not godly – we should be concerned to reform the Church of England and rescue it not destroy it – but the stewardship and biblical faithfulness concerns are godly.

Generally speaking the large conservative evangelical churches are very generous and pro-active in establishing gospel partnerships in many places both overseas and in the UK, including in their own dioceses. Conservative evangelical churches cannot justly be accused of being stingy or of not being team-players.

Over church planting, the motivation should be the pursuance of Christ’s mission to the lost. Your curate is fully persuaded that, in the overwhelming majority of cases, that is the motivation of conservative evangelical church planters and their supporting mother churches. But again it is possible for church planting to be basely motivated and to be done with hostile intent. Your curate recalls one Anglican-ordained church planter talking about locating a new church next to a diocesan church house as a way of teaching the local bishops a lesson, who he felt were not sufficiently supportive of church planting initiatives.

Whilst the choice of that particular location could provide a good outreach opportunity to diocesan house staff, perhaps through a lunch-time service, the motivation there would appear to be somewhat compromised.