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The Impact of Robinson's Consecration

"If there is no absolute moral standard, then one cannot say in a final
sense that anything is right or wrong. By absolute we mean that which
applies to all people, that which provides a final or ultimate standard.
There must be an absolute if there are to be morals, and there must be
an absolute if there are to be real values. If there is no absolute
beyond man's ideas, then there is no final appeal to judge between
individuals and groups whose moral judgements conflict. We are merely
left with conflicting opinions." - How Should We Then Live? By Francis
Schaeffer (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell, 1976), page 145.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Robinson consecration is coming home to roost. Slowly but surely, in
one parish after another stories abound of parishes suffering
financially, parishioners feeling betrayed and departing, and much more.
It is not just a matter of international opprobrium and rebuke or even
of orthodox bishops in ECUSA withholding monies from the national
church; The New Hampshire action is now filtering down to the parish level.

Virtuosity had predicted this would happen, as did many others, and now
it is coming all too sadly true.

E-mails coming into Virtuosity's mailbox by the dozen, tell stories of
individuals and families leaving in despair and disillusionment, taking
themselves off to the Anglican Mission in America, one of several
Orthodox branches of the Christian Church, the Roman Catholic Church and
more.

There is also the interesting side bar of orthodox Episcopal parishes
growing as believing families leave revisionist parishes that affirm
homosexual behavior or who cannot sign off on the creeds, Scripture and
more. So in order to remain in the Episcopal Church they sometimes drive
20 or 30 miles on Sunday to find a biblically faithful parish. And when
they do, they rejoice.

One laymen wrote to me his story and I have written it up for you in
today's digest. It is set in America's heartland, and it is a sad story
of the decline of a once proud parish into mission status and, by year's
end will, in all probability, close its doors.

The sad truth is that there are some 3,465 Episcopal parishes in the
ECUSA (nearly 50 percent of the entire Episcopal Church) have 37 members
actually attending on Sunday and the Robinson consecration will push
most of them into extinction. It is only a matter of time.

In Pawleys Island, All Saints will make a decision tonight (Thursday)
about what they will do, that is, will they leave the Diocese of SC and
ECUSA and officially join with the AMIA, or will they not.

"Liberal" bishops, who have sat on the fence, are suffering alongside
openly revisionist bishops as they watch the slow but inevitable
decline. It is now either/or; the middle ground of compromise is fast
disappearing. Many of the smaller parishes may stay temporarily propped
up now that ECUSA is in concordat with the Evangelical Lutheran Church
in America (ELCA), but that is a short-term stay of execution. The
former Bishop of Colorado now wishes he hadn't voted for Robinson.

One bitter former ECUSA employee wrote: "I am seeing the destruction of
two ECUSA congregations. . . bit by bit. The destruction is, I think,
part of the whole "death wish" syndrome of sodomites. They are so
anxious for "the church" -- any denomination -- to declare they are
sinless, that they are willing to reduce to ruin anything that appears
to be an obstacle. Here and there, the destruction does give them money
and power, both de jure and de facto."

A Lutheran pastor and Virtuosity reader wrote and told me this week,
that things were no better in his church, and says that what is
happening to ECUSA is happening to his own church as pansexualists take
over and biblically illiterate, theologically flabby Lutheran bishops
have no stomach to fight on scriptural grounds or hold back the flood of
sad sack, feel your pain stories from pansexualists.

There is even a story about a Presbyterian pastor (PCUSA) and editor of
The Presbyterian Layman about to be tossed out of his church because he
urged Presbyterians to withhold undesignated gifts to the denomination
because of its support for partial-birth abortion, homosexuality, and
other practices that violate scripture. For daring to stand up to the
powers that be, the Bible-believing Presbyterian minister may be
stripped of his ordination credentials for criticizing leaders in his
denomination.

Writers like George Orwell and Malcolm Muggeridge saw it all coming.

The truth is, we are just seeing the beginning of the decline.

On the other side there are wonderful stories of orthodox ECUSA parishes
(both Evangelical and Anglo-catholic) that are growing, because these
rectors have a vigorous understanding of what the gospel is, and how to
communicate it.

A group of some 20 top orthodox rectors in the country meet once a year
to exchange stories, to listen and learn what God is doing in their
lives and churches. These are parishes with 500 plus members, and while
I am not privy to their conversation, it hardly takes a brain surgeon to
figure out what they talk about.

The question is, do any of these men have futures as bishops in today's
moral climate? One doubts it, but one remains hopeful. No wannabe bishop
would ever obtain consents if he did not agree to the ordination of
women, and it is only a matter of time, if it hasn't already come, that
Standing Committees will want to hear words like "inclusion" and
"diversity" if a person steps up to the plate to be a bishop - buzzwords
for pansexual acceptance.

These world class rectors may have already reached the height of their
careers. It is a sad indictment of the current sick situation the ECUSA
finds itself in - hated by a majority of the primates, despised by
Global South bishops, several of whom now openly accuse ECUSA of using
money to bribe them.

The story of Jesus and the temple moneychangers now has a familiar 21st
Century ring to it. There is nothing new under the sun. Money (the
Western churches have it), Sex, (The Western churches are morally
bankrupting over pansexuality) and Power (revisionist bishops are
exercising it to abolish faithful orthodox priests) is now writ large
over the ECUSA.

All the while the Global South has no money, and their churches are
growing like crazy, sex stays within monogamous marriage between a man
and a woman, and power is interpreted as authority, not half-crazed
power-mad bishops like a Schimpfky or Bennison or Shaw who hate
orthodoxy with a living passion, and who would sooner see the church die
than compromise their heterodox unbelief.

What heart of darkness so fills these bishops that they can turn the
truth of God into a lie? Do they not understand the Last Judgment, the
final sorting out of those who believed and those who didn't. And what
of God's first judgement descending on the household of faith. Do they
honestly believe that God will wink and nod and say, "of course you
changed my mind, how brilliant and brave of you." And then the final
word, "depart from me I never knew you." Searing and sobering words indeed.

There is no denying it; no weaseling ones way round it. It is there for
all to see. The Episcopal Church has sown to the wind and it is now
reaping the whirlwind.

BUT OCCASIONALLY THERE IS A RAY OF SUNSHINE. This week the Queen
announced a new BISHOP OF READING. "We are delighted that Canon Stephen
Cottrell is to be the next Bishop of Reading. We warmly welcome the
appointment of a dedicated evangelist, a leader in mission and a
teacher-pastor to this important post," said Dr Philip Giddings,
Convenor of Anglican Mainstream UK. "His outstanding work at Springboard
has commended him widely as a Catholic Evangelist in the Church of
England" said Rev David Banting, vicar of St Peter's Harold Wood, Essex.
Canon Michael Green, Wycliffe college, Oxford also gave the new bishop
rave reviews. Score one for the Bishop of Oxford, Richard Harries who
made it possible. Jeffrey John is history.

I WROTE TO CANON PATRICK MAUNEY at National Church headquarters, the
church's chief dispenser of Episcopal largess to overseas provinces
seeking money for various projects, asking whether in light of the
Province of Uganda's dis-invitation to Frank Griswold to attend the
consecration of their new Primate, and alleged bribery charges, would he
still go ahead and send the money, (for the Gulu's) even though ECUSA's
delegation was not welcome at the new Ugandan Primate's consecration? He
wrote back saying "The DFMS has not declared itself 'out of communion'
with anyone and so all our budgeted grants remain on offer and will be
sent if accepted."

I'll write to the Primate in a couple of months and see if they got the
check.

MUCH IS BEING MADE ON THE INTERNET about how the AHMANSON FOUNDATION
(he's an Episcopalian) is busy funding conservative causes, some of
which are Episcopalian like the Institute for Religion and Democracy and
other orthodox groups as well. There is talk of sinister efforts by Mr.
Ahmanson to undermine ECUSA's liberal bias. Really. One wishes he had
that sort of power. He doesn't.

So here's turnabout for the books. Software entrepreneur Tim Gill of the
Gill Foundation is a Colorado-based nonprofit philanthropic organization
providing grants to nonprofit organizations, for people of diverse
sexual orientations and gender identities that make up American society.
Since its inception, the foundation has invested nearly $40 million in
nonprofit organizations throughout the country, with a focus on lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and HIV/ AIDS organizations and
non-LGBT organizations located in Colorado. With an endowment of
approximately $200 million, the Gill Foundation is the country's largest
funder of LGBT organizations. Does ECUSA's Integrity org. get money from
the Gill Foundation and where did the $300,000 war chest come from that
was used to push the PR campaign for Robinson's confirmation at GC2003?
Inquiring minds want to know?

THEN THERE'S THE NEW BISHOP-ELECT one James Cowan, 52, of the Anglican
Diocese of British Columbia – essentially Vancouver Island and the Gulf
Islands (13,400 souls) who said in an interview that it’s time for
Anglicans to take a page out of some of the New Age spiritual movements.
"I hope to set up, fairly soon, a discussion in the diocese about what
evangelism for this diocese looks like," he said. "This is a very
different age. Missionaries would talk about the faith and compare the
two faiths, and sometimes there would be baptisms and conversions and
sometimes there wouldn’t. But the dialogue was always between people who
believed in something. Now, for the first time, you have a complete
generation or perhaps more where they claim no religious affiliation."

He said the answer might be in the New Age movement. Perhaps he and New
Westminster bishop Michael Ingham can seek enlightenment together while
banging Native American drums and dancing in circles, or they could
invite Frank Griswold out to the Pacific Northwest teach them both how
to dance the Circle Dance of Dispossession. It did wonders for ECUSA's
House of Bishops, God knows what it will do for Canada's flaky lot of
Purple.

I AM POSTING A NUMBER OF STORIES in today's digest that should be of
interest to you. Based on the Biblical injunction "let another man/woman
praise thee and not thine own lips," I am posting a story from the
Washington TIMES about the Internet and its impact on The Episcopal
Church. VIRTUOSITY and this writer receives a favorable review. The
writer is Culture Editor Julia Duin.

PLEASE NOTE THAT STORIES ARE NOW BEING POSTED DIRECTLY TO THE WEBSITE
ON A DAILY BASIS. You can keep up with the news as it breaks. It's all
on the front page. www.virtuosityonline.org.

CORRECTION: In my last digest I said that four ECUSA dioceses -
Springfield, Florida, Central Florida and South Carolina held special
Diocesan Conventions to discuss the crisis in ECUSA. That was incorrect.
Springfield held it's annual synod in October. There was not a special
synod. The fourth diocese was Pittsburgh.

By the time you receive this digest I will be in Charleston, SC to cover
the Anglican
Communion Institute's annual meeting with scholars, Primates and bishops
coming together to discuss the issues of the day. I will post directly
to the website as the news breaks.

PLEASE MAKE EVERY EFFORT to cover this ministry with your prayers and
support it with your charitable dollars. For me to get you the news I do
need your support. You can make a tax-deductible donation at the website
www.virtuosityonline.org and hitting the PAYPAL link. You can send a
check by snail mail to: David W. Virtue, VIRTUOSITY, 1236 Waterford
Road, West Chester, PA 19380. Thank you for your support.

All Blessings,

David W. Virtue DD

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