Tuesday, December 16, 2008

An Episcopalian Grand Remonstrance

I was enjoying the Gypsies, Liars and Thieves thread at Stand Firm, on a leaked post at the House of Bishops/Deputies LS, when right in the middle came this grand remonstrance from a revisionist priest. Note the point-by-point indictment of individual criminals, which adds weight to the gravity of the charges. But the best part comes right at the beginning:
When you write “However, I can state with complete honesty that I have rarely read such a collection of heresy, dissimulation, half-truths, lies, hyperbole, distortion and bile as is regularly spewed onto the Internet by the leaders of my church.” referencing me and others you are wrong—and exhibiting the kind of behavior you say is wrong. I would advise you gather a few people at Stand Firm and bring charges of heresy against me and the others you cite. That is how heresy is defined, not by hurling phrases about.
Ah, those grand old days in the briar patch - how the revisionists must miss them! Those were the good old days, when conservatives did what was expected of them, and trotted obediently off to the killing fields to await gracious dispatch at the hands of their betters!

A trial - that's what will clear this all up. A heresy trial! It's about time we had a trial where the revisionists control all the rules - the other kind hasn't been nearly as much fun. For them, at any rate.

You can sense the frustration that the conservatives are refusing to play their allotted role in this play. What's supposed to happen is that conservatives are cast as the bull in the arena, lurching about heavily and clumsily, and charging stupidly at a red cape. Then the revisionists, playing the role of the bullfighter, will give a dexterous twitch of the fingers, and presto! The cape vanishes from view, the bull blunders about in confusion, and receives a sharp thrust with a rapier before he knows what has happened, all to the delighted applause and cheers of the elegant crowd in the stands. I can almost overhear the delighted chortles rising from restaurant tables that first evening after the trial, as the word "skewer" is repeated with relish.

It's hard for people who have so little experience of self-denial or discipline to abandon the hope of tasting such pleasures again. So they are reduced to going on conservative blogs and pleading with their enemies to lean into the sucker punch. "Come on, charge me with heresy! Maybe you'll win this time!" I'm sorry to say that people on SF couldn't even be bothered taking the bait long enough to squash it flat. They were more intent upon telling him to take the Code of a Yale Gentleman regarding "Communications Made (Sorta) In Confidence" and cramming it. Only one person mentioned the Righter trial - everyone else is so bored with the play they just ignored it.

By the way, am I the only one creeped out by the way revisionists like this Ann Fontaine person indulge in the most malicious, vengeful sentiments, and then without embarrassment smear on a pious smiley face like "I offer prayers and blessings on their journey wherever we all end up." Whom do they think they're fooling? The Swan of Newark likes to finish off her poison pen letters with a sanctimonious "Blessings" as well. It might be as well for people to check their spiritual bank accounts before writing big checks with their mouths that their souls can't cover.


Blogger Matthew said...

As the author of the comment to which our dear friend Father Woodward took umbrage, I'm in the process of shaking the Piskie dust off of my sandals and moving on.

The Rev. Woodward and his pals have won. The Episcopal Church is all theirs. About the only thing they can do to get to reply these days is pretend to be Christian. That mask always needs to be torn off lest others be deceived as I was once.

3:39 pm  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

You are correct, Matthew. More and more people are realizing that the only "creed" the objectors have is their hatred of the Episcopal Church.

We will continue to work against those who are seeking to steal the assets of The Episcopal Church.

But it's already clear that you objectors will sink into the dust of history along with REC and the other splinter groups. Enjoy your sense of rectitude.

9:59 pm  
Blogger Thomas B. Woodward said...

Matthew, in all honesty you left the Episcopal Church a long time ago.

The Episcopal Church does not belong to me and my pals -- never has and never will. It will survive your and others' attacks. You snide comments about others "pretending to be Christian" only exposes the enormous hubris and self-righteousness of those who incorrectly refer to themselves as "orthodox."
Tom Woodward

12:11 am  
Blogger muerk said...

The irony is as a Catholic, all protestants are heretics, even if they do have nice vestments.

"The Episcopal Church does not belong to me and my pals -- never has and never will."

The Church belongs to God, Christ is her Bridegroom and our Head. The Church lives out the revealed truths of the Trinity and scripture and tradition hold that sexual activity is moral when it is between a husband and a wife.

Jesus gives us the ideal of marriage, a man and a woman cleave together to become one flesh.

The US Episcopal Church has not been faithful to God's revealed truth in regards to marriage and human sexuality. It's not just openly homosexual clergy, but also the openly divorced and remarried ones.

Personally I think that those leaving the Episcopal Church should leave behind the material assets (although I'm in two minds when it is a diocese). Material assets mean little, fighting legal battles is just a drain on the mission of the Church, and the Church is people, not things.

And nor do I think people who are happy to have homosexuality as a morally licit behavior are not Christians. But they are Christians who are being blind to their acceptance of sin.

Homosexuality was sin in the Wilderness, it was sin when David was king, it was sin when Jesus was on earth, it was sin in the time of the Early Church Fathers, it's sin today.

And it's not as though we have some revolutionary understanding of human sexuality or behavior, read Juvenal's Satires for example. What arrogance to switch 180 degrees on how Christianity views homosexuality and then to grump when called on it.

By all means, follow your personal conscience on this matter, but don't be surprised or offended when this innovation is resisted and leads to strife.

6:23 am  
Blogger Matthew said...


At its current rate of growth, the Episcopal Church will not survive my lifetime (assuming a normal life expectancy). That's not theology, that's maths.

As for the theology, I, and others like me, can not remain yoked to non-believers. Since the non-believers run the show in the Episcopal Church, we have left. You won. Go you!

As for where I have gone. It's more where I am going. I may 'swim the Tiber'. I may 'swim the Bosporus'. I may wind up in ACNA. Whatever happens, the church I wind up in will not be a perfect church (or they wouldn't have me), but it will be a Christian church, run by Christians for Christians.

I pray that you too may come to know God and come into His fellowship.

6:54 am  
Blogger TLF+ said...

Hi, Dr. Here's what I posted at Stand Firm :

Believe it or not, in 1980 there I was en la sombra (in the shade, which is how seats are priced) at the Plaza de Toros in Madrid.

The one bull that didn’t die that afternoon stood in the middle of the ring, turning this way and that to face any perceived threat. He charged only once when a mounted picador got sloppy and turned sideways near the wall. Almost instantly, the bull got its head under the horse and dropped it to the sand.

Illustrates Dr. Mabuse’s point rather nicely, I think.

10:28 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

It does indeed, TLF. It's so frustrating when one's calculations are dumbfounded by the other side refusing to be predictable.

3:51 pm  
Blogger Thomas B. Woodward said...

Matthew, when you refer to fellow Christians as "nonbelievers" I know you have gone over the edge and that is too bad. Where you get off with that kind of judgmentalism is beyond me. Don't say it is Scripture, because everything Jesus stood for is the opposite of your triumphalism and condemnation of those who disagree with you.

"Run by Christians for Christians?" If that is the case maybe they can talk you out of characterizing faithful followers of Jesus Christ as "non-believers" and non-Christians. Really, Matthew, shame on you.

Muerk, I would advise you to page through Matthew 5-7, the Sermon on the Mount. There you will find an interesting phrase "Judge not, that you not be judged."

That the Roman Catholic Church labeled everyone else as heretics (actually, they don't do that any more) was laughable. Their doctrinal development is in the hands of a group of wizened old men and they continue to struggle with scientific facts.

For your information, the early church's view of marriage has very little resemblance to how we look at it now -- we view it now as a partnership between a man and a woman, the early church saw it as a man acquiring property and the wife as subordinate in all things. Also, the early church and up until recently the Christian Church had no stance on long-term, faithful and loving committed relationships between people of the same gender.

I wish you well in your Christian journey, but let go of the judging of those Christians who see things differently from you.

11:52 am  

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