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How to beat the Revisionists in ECUSA

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

If the orthodox in ECUSA want to beat the revisionists there is one simple way to achieve that. There is a strategy that will work. They must pick a certain Sunday and 50 orthodox bishops, (active and retired) and acting together, cross diocesan lines and go into claim faithful parishes against the local revisionist diocesan bishop.

If that happens there is no way that all 50 bishops would be presented against, (the HOB couldn't present either Bennison or Duncan, they are constitutionally impotent), and there isn't enough money in all those diocesan coffers for bishops to sue to take the parishes back in the likelihood the rectors would be deposed and inhibited. In short it would be a slam dunk for the orthodox. Alternative Episcopal Oversight (AEO) becomes a reality and not the wishy, washy "pastoral care" notions currently being floated by Frank Griswold to the Anglican Communion, and rejected by the American Anglican Council.

Why won't it work? Because there is no way the orthodox bishops could or are able to get their act together or focus on a single strategy and agree on a date and time. (So far only 13 bishops have signed on to the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes.)

But the simple truth is, it could work. Power lies in numbers. We know that. Over the years the revisionists went from a minority to a majority and they are using their power now to ruthlessly extirpate the orthodox while making sure that in the process the orthodox go on paying the bills for their liberal agenda even as they are being pushed out the door. (Please leave your buildings, the key and endowment at the front door as you leave). Have a Nicene day.

It is brilliant, clever, devilish and ultimately from the pit. It is the strategy of Satan in the human form of 62 revisionist bishops, with hundreds of priests fed from seminaries that have a reductionist gospel with no Good News to proclaim, except for something called inclusion and diversity and by extension the failure to preach that "gospel" declare those in opposition as "homophobic".

THE AMERICAN ANGLICAN COUNCIL statement is not without its errors. There are two fundamental mistakes in the AAC statement attached to the Bishop's letter. In the Frequently Asked Questions portion, there is a reference to "Philadelphia" and to not declaring that you have abandoned the communion of the church. This apparent reference to Father Moyer is completely incorrect. Father Moyer never abandoned the communion of the church. Bennison falsely and fraudulently used the abandonment of communion canon to deny Father Moyer a trial. Secondly, the AAC needs to recognize that Father Moyer was right and that AAC priests have the duty to reject the sacramental ministry of revisionist bishops. The present strategy of one bishop crossing lines to rescue one parish only leads to confusion, despair, the danger of presentment against that one bishop and inhibition and deposition of the priest. Power lies in the numbers.

IN CANADA, the 11 parish priests in The Anglican Communion in New Westminster (ACiNW) who have successfully been holding Michael Ingham the revisionist Vancouver bishop from acting against them are growing weary with the six-year old battle. Time is running out. Half of the priests are here in Destin at the AMIA conference trying to figure out their future. They hold no hope for the Task Force set up by the Canadian House of Bishops to save them and they are probably right.

Furthermore Ingham is ratcheting up the pain by moving against two parishes, Holy Cross in Abbotsford and St. Martin's in North Vancouver. He destroyed Holy Cross and has taken back the other. The lay leadership of St. Martin's parish in North Vancouver has decided to go through official Anglican channels to hire a replacement priest and to stop its protest of withholding annual dues to the diocese, according to a newspaper report. Ingham had thrown out the original vestry, retired the rector, locked the doors, and cajoled the parishioners so they either left or gave in. As most are fairly old and have nowhere to go they give up the fight. The bully Ingham won.

The big crisis will erupt when the remaining nine decide what they will do. But even they are divided. Big parishes like St. John's Shaughnessy have multi-million dollar properties, endowments and more to protect and don't see the AMIA as their savior. A Chinese Anglican congregation, on the other hand, meets in a warehouse. They have little to lose. But some of the other parishes do see the AMIA as their hope. We shall know more soon.

BUT THE BIG NEWS THIS WEEK OCCURRED when a bombshell was dropped over a private memo written by the Rev. Geoffrey Chapman an AAC board member and leaked to the Washington POST and picked up by the Associated Press and blasted around the Internet. (It is on Virtuosity's front page www.virtuosityonline.org.)

What he said was this. The AAC's ultimate goal is a realignment of Anglicanism on North American soil committed to biblical faith and values, and driven by Gospel mission. We believe in the end this should be a "replacement" jurisdiction with confessional standards, maintaining the historic faith of our Communion, closely aligned with the majority of world Anglicanism, emerging from the disastrous actions of General Convention (2003).

But Chapman does not speak or make policy for the AAC and their media man Bruce Mason stepped up to the plate to say as much. But the damage was done and reactions flowed think and fast. Louie Crew, ECUSA's First Sodomite likened it to Watergate and I have weighed in on Crew's false assessment.

Bishop Don Johnson of West Tennessee falsely accused the AAC of "deceitfulness and subversive sabotage" and vowed to purge his diocese of any association with the AAC. The AAC fired back saying, "We are deeply concerned about the individuals, clergy and congregations in West Tennessee who are affiliated with AAC, and we stand in full solidarity with them. We urge Bishop Johnson to refrain from punitive action, harassment or intimidation of the people under his care who uphold historic Anglican faith and order and whose affiliation with AAC provides them a place to stand. The American Anglican Council wants a "church within a church" which is not a parallel jurisdiction." This is just one more case where the ugly head of revisionism has reared its head.

But a lay person wrote crying "Help! We in West Tennessee are now under attack. Our Bishop has been constantly reminding us that he voted "No" in Minneapolis, but his real agenda is now apparent. I wondered how long it would take. We have some scripturally faithful clergy in this town, but they don't stand a chance." Another layman, a doctor, who knows the bishop said Johnson cried when he said he voted "no" at GC2003, he felt he had betrayed his gay brothers and sisters. It was the timing he didn't like.

AND IN VERSAILLES, KENTUCKY, Bishop Stacy Sauls outdid himself in stupidity when he dismissed the leadership of St. John's Episcopal Church in that town because he thought the parish was going to split over the consecration of openly gay bishop Gene Robinson. He downgraded the church from a parish to a mission. But the dismissed members of the parish's vestry said they never planned to take the assets and weren't preparing to abandon the denomination. All they wanted was "alternative episcopal oversight" from a more conservative bishop. And the result: The move split the church and led to the creation of a new, independent congregation. Sauls should see a brain surgeon.

HERE IN DESTIN, FLORIDA WHERE THE AMIA is holding its fourth annual winter conference, Kenyan Archbishop Benjamin M. P. Nzimbi sent his greetings saying, "God is in our midst in all we are doing. He knows our struggles. God wants us to walk in the light. Be encouraged brothers and sisters. Put your faith in God and you shall not be moved. Brothers and sisters here in Kenya are praying for you." The AMIA now has seven Primates on board, and while not formally endorsing the AMIA, their presence here and letters of support should give Frank Griswold heartburn.

And Bishop Thad Barnum turned up the heat on Griswold at an evangelistic worship service before 900 folk. He said he was not a wolf in sheep's clothing, "you can see his tail. He has spit upon our Savior." Indeed.

And in the ongoing struggle about who owns the property of All Saints, Pawleys Island, it would appear that Bishop Salmon may have overplayed his hand in dumping the vestry and appointing his own. On Friday morning after the overwhelming vote by the parish to secede from the diocese was passed, someone from the new parish went down to Atlanta and filed the new corporation papers in the State Dept. A State Dept. official stamped it validating the new corporate entity. If the bishop wants the parish he will now have to sue both the state and the new corporation. This comes hard on the heels of two rulings by Judge John Breeden that the diocese had no interest in the property. I am running Bishop Salmon's letter to the parish in today's digest, but there will be further commentary on it at a later date. This is a messy complicated business, but it would seem that in the near future the parish is safe in the hands of the AMIA until the next round of court action.

IN AUSTRALIA, The Anglican Church of Australia faces a major change of direction in the wake of Archbishop Peter Carnley's announcement that he intends to retire as Primate next year. The church's evangelical wing - based in the biggest diocese, Sydney - has its best chance in years to elevate a member to the top job. At 59, Archbishop of Sydney Dr Peter Jensen is a relatively youthful bishop and could win. If he does it would be the first Western province to have an openly orthodox primate running it. Don't pop the champagne cork yet, there are more liberal archbishops than orthodox in that country and the fat lady hasn't sung yet.

AND VIRTUOSITY has learned that there will probably not be a meeting of the Primates in March this year. They are waiting for the outcome of the Eames Commission report in September. Then they will decide if they are going to meet.

When I asked Primate Yong Ping Chung (South East Asia) if Frank Griswold turned up what he and his fellow orthodox Primates would do he said, "We have broken communion with Griswold and we would not break bread with him." Walking out is a real possibility. The wild card is Nigerian Primate Peter Akinola and he IS the biggest player in town. What he decides could swing all the other orthodox provinces.

Word has also been received that if the Communion does break up after the Eames report, the conclusion being unsatisfactory for the orthodox Primates, then it won't be a federation (touted by Rowan Williams) but a new Anglican Communion with Africa, South East Asia, Southern Cone (and Australia if Jensen wins Carnley's job). Now I wonder who will tell the Queen. "Your majesty we have some bad news for you. Dr. Williams is history and Lambeth Palace would make a nice hotel. Oh and by the way the next Lambeth conference will be held in Lagos, you are welcome to come...and yes we do have Lipton's tea bags, but bring your own water, ours leaves much to be desired."

The Organizing Convocation of the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes will be held next week on Monday, January 19 and Tuesday, January 20, 2004, at Christ Church, Plano, Texas. The Network is being formed within the Episcopal Church and the Convocation will include representatives from 12 Episcopal dioceses. Virtuosity will be there.

I am posting a number of stories verifying what I have written today. The power plays we now see issuing forth from revisionist bishops only highlights the fears they have that without a gospel to proclaim they have to resort to vicious underhanded political tactics to maintain their power over orthodox parishes and their rectors. Regrettably it will only get worse.

I do hope you will make a donation to VIRTUOSITY. The coming months are going to be crucial in the life of the whole communion. 2004 will be a decisive year. I will be traveling the globe to bring you the stories. PLEASE send your tax deductible donation to VIRTUOSITY, 1236 Waterford Road, West Chester, PA 19380, or you can make a donation through PAYPAL at my website www.virtuosityonline.org. Thank you.

All blessings,

David W. Virtue DD

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