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ECUSA in steep decline...EAMES betrays true feelings...Diocesan news...

“We live in an age whose chief moral value has been determined by an overwhelming consensus to be the absolute liberty of personal volition, [which is] the power of each of us to choose what he believes, wants, needs, or must possess…the will we believe is sovereign because [it is] unpremised; free because [it is] spontaneous, and this is the highest good…And so, at the end of modernity, each of us…stands, not facing God…but an abyss over which presides the empty, inviolable authority of the individual will, whose impulses and discussions are their own moral index.” David B. Hart, Eastern Orthodox theologian

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

No group of ecclesiastical persons in modern history has done more to demonstrate the truth of the above statement than the Episcopal Church House of Bishops and its chief pluriform operating officer, Frank T. Griswold. Over and over again he and they have argued and fought for the right of individuals, including and especially its bishops, to behave in a manner that they think liberates oppressed people in the name of justice and peace, when in fact what they are doing is the exact opposite - obeying the devices and desires of their hearts, fulfilling the lusts of the flesh, thereby quenching the (Holy) Spirit (I Thess. 5:19) - in short keeping people in bondage to the will thus negating the very liberation in Christ they were called upon to proclaim.

And the end result has been not liberation at all but oppression, and for the past 35 years the orthodox constituencies in the Episcopal Church who have fought against this false liberation have been slowly vilified and mistreated, its priests marginalized, or constructively dismissed, with parishes bullied and browbeaten, and what was once advertised as permissive legislation has become not just mandatory but dismissive realpolitik.

And the worst example of this has been women's ordination. What began as optional now has been made mandatory, and no cleric who aspires to wearing a purple shirt will get consents from the House of Bishops if he or she does not consent to women being ordained to the highest offices in The Episcopal Church. A latter day Bishop Iker or Bishop Ackerman might have a prayer of being elected in Quincy but they would not get the necessary consents.

And it has not stopped there. Pansexual behavior (lesbitransgay) already brokered in with General Convention resolutions D039 and C051 and a homoerotic bishop already in place is now the final frontier of neo-Fascist demand for acceptance. The steam-roller of revisionist hegemony has begun its final descent into the pluriform hell of Frank Griswold, ECUSA's presiding bishop.

HE'S BEEN CALLED THE PRIMATE OF LIES, the Sultan of Duplicity, and this week Robin Eames Archbishop of Ireland and chief muckity muck of the Windsor Report lived up to all his names; he declared his hand and said what many of us knew all along about what he really believed - that the Windsor Report was a shield for his pal Frank Griswold. He told the Church of England newspaper that the American Church would 'never likely to face discipline' and that he would not now or ever yield to the church's orthodox believers on sexuality issues.

The Irish Primate warned that the Communion's conservative provinces should not expect calls to be answered for the American Church and diocese of New Westminster, which authorized same-sex blessing rites, to be punished. So there you have it. The Chair of the Lambeth Commission, urged the warring factions to avoid recriminations and look to the future. "I think we need to move on in terms of what have we learned from this - I'm a great believer in trying to learn the lessons of these things. I think we must move on." In short Eames' message was, get over it. Eames' blarney won the day with a little help from Mark Dyer, the smooth talking American theologian. They were made for each other. Just imagine for a moment what the outcome might have been if the American on the Lambeth Commission was the Rt. Rev. Dr. C. FitzSimons Allison (he actually has an earned Ph. D from Oxford) or the Rev. Dr. Ephraim Radner, the whole thing would have turned out differently. But Rowan Williams knew exactly what he was doing when he made that fatal call to Dyer asking him to sit on the commission. The Archbishop of Canterbury did not want a 'biblical fundamentalist' anywhere near this crowd it would have been a denial of his Affirming Catholic beliefs.

But within days of the CEN report, the blarney-driven Irishman cried foul and said he was misquoted. From his Church of Ireland Press Office came this: "I have been dismayed that certain remarks of mine in a telephone interview with the Church of England Newspaper have been taken completely out of context to mean I believe the Windsor Report will not have much effect. Nothing could be further from my hopes and convictions for the Windsor Report which contains the unanimous recommendations of the Lambeth Commission after a year's prayerful work."

"I would again emphasise that the Lambeth Commission Report contains the unanimous recommendations of a widely representative body of Anglicans from around the world."

Rubbish. It does not. It does not speak for those truly committed to orthodoxy and even revisionists like Spong and Louie Crew hated its conclusions. In short the Report pleases nobody, except a handful of ECUSA bishops who think it will help them sidestep the issues and keep decimating the remnant orthodox priests in their diocese. It's a win, of sorts, for them, but the orthodox got little or nothing.

AND THEN A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE COLISEUM, a sudden announcement was made from Lambeth Palace this week that the next Lambeth Conference in 2008 was now going to be held in Canterbury instead of Cape Town South Africa where it was formerly scheduled.

The Archbishop of Canterbury announced the news with this oblique statement: "New times require a new kind of Lambeth Conference and I am grateful to Archbishop Ellison and the Design Group for the innovative work that they have done. I have great hopes that the Lambeth Conference in 2008 will equip and empower the leadership of our church for participation in the Mission of God in the world."

"New times require a new kind of Lambeth Conference!"….what the blazes does that mean? INTERPRETATION. We live in a post-Christian, post-Newtonian, post-evangelical biblical literalistic world and we need to educate the Africans into that enlightened universe of pansexuality which I, Rowan Williams, helped along by my Affirming Catholic friend Frank Griswold in company with Freud, Kinsey, Mead et al will now enlighten you. Pay attention. In the meantime the Nigerian Church will double its numbers from 18 million to 36 million in the next three years preaching that old time religion while the Church of England and the American Episcopal Church continue to whither and die with their inclusive religion. Now who would you cast your lot with in this life and the next? If you wait longer than three seconds to answer this STOP READING and hit the delete button, you failed the test.

The PR puff said it was about "financial and logistical considerations." Really. Try this instead. Cape Town is in South Africa, (on the African continent) where the whole African Anglican Church is solidly orthodox on faith and morals. Eames has just put both feet in his mouth with the CEN and Williams is frightened of losing control of the Communion on a continent that does not agree with him about sexuality and doctrinal issues. (He insulted the CAPA Africans by not turning up at Lagos recently). Earlier this year Southern African Archbishop Ndungane had a kiss and make up photo op with Nigerian Primate Peter Akinola, thus bringing into the fold the only holdout for western post modern Anglicanism on the African continent. Also Ndungane has just come out blasting gay marriages. Williams is suddenly looking very vulnerable, so what does he do - have it in his own backyard where he THINKS he can control the Africans. He's dreaming of course. He hasn't talked with Nigerian Archbishop Akinola lately. I have, and Williams had better watch out, the Africans will no longer be spoken down too, no longer accused of homophobia, no longer patronized and, gosh darn, they like me - a mean-spirited, homophobic evangelical!

The choice of venue and date for the next conference follows a meeting between Archbishop Williams and the Lambeth Conference Design Group, an international panel of advisers which is chaired by the Most Rev. Sir Ellison Pogo, Archbishop of Melanesia.
Pogo himself lives in the Solomon Islands, his country is in a mess, the economy is weak. According to a source he is personally weak orthodox wise but friendly. He has a bishop (Canadian originally) who is homosexual friendly. Pogo will go with the flow. Now you know why he was on the "design team."

The Design Group recommended Canterbury as the conference venue for 2008. Don't you just love the language….a "design group" no less, a sort of gaggle of queer interior designers complete with their own Pogo stick. In the good old days a bunch of bishops sat around, drank too much and then said after their third bottle of Scotch, "My God Winslow, you mean there's a place OTHER than Canterbury that we would think of meeting." The deal was done by the fourth bottle. Now we have design groups. What's next?

THIS WEEK IN ECUSA the body blows against orthodoxy continued apace. In the DIOCESE OF CONNECTICUT, The Living Church reports that Bishop Andrew Smith said that parishes that wish to take advantage of the House of Bishops’ plan for Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight (DEPO) must first pay their full financial assessment or risk being reduced to mission status. Meeting at their diocesan conference in Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford Oct. 23-24, Bishop Smith said he “wish[ed] to implement delegated oversight for parishes which dissent from my decisions as bishop regarding human sexuality. If a parish refuses to live within these covenants, then I will conclude that it has abandoned communion with its bishop and with the Church, and I will ask appropriate bodies within the diocese to initiate actions available in our constitution and canons to ensure that the congregation remains an Episcopal parish.”

This is too clever by half. By reducing a parish to a mission status the rector becomes a vicar who functions at the whim of the bishop who can fire him at will without using either canon 10 or canon 4, thus he avoids a protracted legal battle that Pennsylvania Bishop Charles Bennison is currently embroiled in. This is the single sleaziest device a bishop can use to get rid of faithful priests. Hell hath no fury like a revisionist bishop scorned. VirtueOnline has learned that at least six orthodox parishes are contemplating alternative action and are weighing their options in that diocese. Stay tuned.

ON NPR RADIO this week, Terry Gross of "Fresh Air" interviewed V. Gene Robinson of homoerotic fame and Bob Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh.

GROSS: “On Nov. 2, 2003, Bishop Gene Robinson became the world’s first openly gay Episcopal bishop. He was elected by the Diocese of New Hampshire. His appointment and confirmation have caused some division in the Episcopal Church. Robinson was married for 13 years. He continues to be close to his ex-wife and two daughters. For more than 16 years, he’s been in a relationship with a man.”

GROSS: “Bishop Robert Duncan is the moderator of a group formed in opposition to the ordination of Bishop Robinson. It’s called the Network of Anglican Communion Diocese and Parishes. Their stated mission is to allow “Episcopalians to remain in communion with the vast majority of the worldwide Anglican Communion who have declared either impaired or broken communion with the Episcopal Church USA.” For many Episcopalians, the ACN has come to represent the hope for a return to the historic faith and order of Anglicanism.” Duncan is Episcopal Bishop of Pittsburgh.’

A CHOICE QUOTE FROM ROBINSON: “The Holy Spirit is that part of God that will not be boxed up.”

VirtueOnline: Heaven forbid, let's make the third person of the Trinity a party to a new sexual free for all, (lesbitransgay) so Robinson can believe that God approves of his behavior.

Other Robinson lines: “The Anglican Communion is all about relationships,” and “We’re all going to be in heaven together, so we might as well get along now.”

VirtueOnline: So when did Robinson think he could dispense so freely with Hell. Maybe because he fears that if the place exists he might go there? His argument is that if the Bible is wrong about sodomy then it is wrong about Hell. If so what else is it wrong about that Robinson will dispense with in time? God's wrath perhaps, the Devil himself?

And this has to be the all time winner line from Robinson: "The homophobia of the Religious Right grew out of the defeat of Communism. The Religious Right had nothing left to hate except gays!" Yes he really said that.

It should be noted in passing that Gross gave Robinson 20 minutes of air time while Duncan got about 10 minutes. So much for NPR's alleged neutrality.

Duncan came across as gracious, loving and told the painful story of his sister's lesbianism and alcoholism. She died at age 50. He attributed this to a painful relationship she had with her father. It is this writer's view that Duncan was warm and very believable while Robinson was there to push his agenda.

Gross made a big issue of Robinson's wearing a bulletproof vest at his consecration. One observer noted, "Is Vicki Gene, a man of the cloth that should exist in the constant peace of his Maker, afraid of death? Did Christ wear nail proof wrist protectors? Did He wear a spear proof abdomen protector? Did He wear a steel helmet to protect Him from the thorns? Did He wear a back protector while being whipped?" Frank also wore a bulletproof vest. Of course the whole thing was a fiction. I was there. The number of orthodox people present at the occasion you could count on one hand. Nobody was found carrying any weapons. It was all designed to make them look victims clothed in prophetic garb.

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS IN THE DIOCESE OF PENNSYLVANIA. Should Pelagius be added to the Prayer List? What would Charles Bennison do if a Church WANTED him to come? Are Druids high church or low church? And how committed a relationship must the bisexual have before Bennison will ordain him?

IN CANADA this week a ruling by the Canadian government now allows gays to marry. It has split Canadian church leaders. Canada's liberal and conservative churches broke into increasingly divided camps Thursday after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Parliament has the right to legalize same-sex marriages. Canada's liberal Protestants, including the United Church of Canada and Vancouver-area Anglican Bishop Michael Ingham, welcomed the decision, saying it would pave the way for gays and lesbians to be treated as equal members of the Christian church. They were joined by leaders of the Unitarian Church of Canada.

But Canada's evangelical and Roman Catholic leaders, including Vancouver's Archbishop Raymond Roussin, expressed great disappointment at the top court's judgment. They repeated their argument that homosexual marriage should not be legalized because it is forbidden in the Bible, with some conservatives warning the decision means Canada's Parliament will soon be required to legalize polygamy.

The only thing most liberal and conservative Christians generally agreed on is that it was useful for the Supreme Court to re-confirm that, under freedom of religion provisions in the Charter of Rights, no clergy can be forced to perform homosexual marriages.

Conservative Party MP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin) noted that the Supreme Court showed some restraint in that the court refused to declare the traditional, opposite-sex definition of marriage unconstitutional. That's a relief.

But in the ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF NIAGARA a decision on same-sex blessings has caused a rift with Roman Catholics and ruptured its relationship with local Roman Catholics. The Roman Catholic diocese of Hamilton in southern Ontario has decided not to take part in the renewal of baptismal vows with Anglicans and Lutherans during next month’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, expressing concern over the diocese’s approval of a motion allowing the blessing of gay couples.

In the DIOCESE OF NEW WESTMINSTER, Michael Ingham has invited dissenting parishes in the Diocese of New Westminster to “come back to the table” to find out whether reconciliation is possible. It's not of course and none of the dissenters are biting.

IN ENGLAND a senior adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury has issued an apocalyptic warning about the future of the Church of England, forecasting that Christianity in Britain will be driven underground and that the Church will fragment. In a private document presented to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Dr Rowan Williams and Dr David Hope, Jayne Ozanne suggested that a time of great persecution was coming. She gave warning that the outlook for the established Church was not good and that the Church would continue to implode and self-destruct over gay clergy and other matters. She says that its future will be one of an underground movement comparable to resistance movements during the Second World War. Her paper, leaked to The Times, was delivered as a parting shot to the meeting at Lambeth Palace of the Archbishops’ Council.

THE OUTGOING ARCHBISHOP OF YORK the Church of England's second most senior clergyman says he would be "hard-pushed" to say Britain was a Christian country.
Speaking on BBC's Breakfast with Frost Dr. David Hope said commitment to the church had diminished while secularist tendencies had increased. But he said he was encouraged by the numbers of people who did attend church regularly. "Large numbers of people still describe themselves as believing in God. Large numbers of people still say they are Christians. How they then express that Christianity has changed enormously." Dr. Hope will become vicar of St Margaret's in Ilkley, West Yorkshire.

BRITISH ATHEIST PHILOSOPHER ANTONY FLEW has had a change of heart. He now says he is a theist though not a Christian. His views fall well short of belief in the Christian God. But as one wag noted, to judge by his current profession of faith, Flew would have no difficulty being ordained in the PC-USA, ECUSA, UMC, UCC or ELCA. He'd feel right at home with pluriform Frank.

ON A BRIGHTER NOTE Anglican Global Mission Partners (AGMP), the world mission arm of the Anglican Communion Network (CAN), dedicated to pursuing the Great Commission through collaborating, exhorting, equipping, sending and receiving to increase the impact of one another’s ministries and the entire Body of Christ, has elected
Ray Howard as Director of Cross-Cultural Training for Gateway Mission Training Center. He was selected to be the Coordinator of AGMP. Howard brings decades of experience to this position as a mission mobilizer and trainer. This includes the development of the ServantPrep Seminar for short-term mission leaders. He will maintain an office in Denver and begins in January 2005.

For more about AGMP and its associate members go to its website: www.globalmp.net. The AGMP was formed after the General Convention of the Episcopal Church USA 2003 at which decisions were made hindering the ability to work abroad in many Anglican dioceses who severed relationships with ECUSA and for which many orthodox mission agencies felt were contrary to the gospel principles. If you would like to make a contribution to AGMP ministries in the year-end giving please contact Ray Howard at 915 252-3183 or by email at: servantprep@aol.com. Donations to AGMP should be sent to: ACN (earmarked for AGMP), 905 Oliver Building, 535 Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.

TODAY'S STORIES INCLUDE a look at recent figures showing a significant drop in membership, baptisms and attendance in The Episcopal Church for 2003. Another story takes a hard look at the options open to orthodox clergy and laity who want to flee the Episcopal Church. A report from the EPISCOPAL CHURCH FOUNDATION on the state of leadership among Episcopalians, which will never see the light of day in Episcopal Life, is that the worst possible tack is to disregard the concerns of the majority of those in the pew. William J. Sachs, one of the authors wrote in The Christian Century that if national leaders heed local priorities in tangible terms, the church's fragmentation can be minimized. Now what are the chances that revisionist bishops will listen to or concede that evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics have anything to tell them and their new religion? Zip.

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