Saturday, October 18, 2003

Hold Steady. There is a scene in the movie Braveheart at the beginning of the battle of Stirling. The Scottish nobles have just departed the battlefield on horses leaving the foot soldiers behind. The English have unleashed their cavalry and they are bearing down on the Scots. The Scots stand motionless -- it is an unnerving scene -- they are about to mowed "down like grass." William Wallace steadies his men yelling "Hold



And at last: "Now!" As the English close in, the Scots suddenly raise hundreds of long heavy spears from the ground. The horses crash into the spears throwing their riders. The first skirmish in the battle goes to the Scots.

If even one man breaks too soon, the battle would be lost.

This is the time we are in. It is time to hold steady.

Or, to put it another way, our eyes must be on the Lord and must not be distracted by the waves -- if we take our eyes off Jesus, we will lose faith and be swallowed by the sea.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

--Ecc 3:1-8.
I believe it is now a time to hold steady.
Family. I just got back home from a week in Oregon -- we had very beautiful weather, although I missed being in Virginia and I especially missed my family.

The Most Revd Peter Jasper Akinola On the flight back I read Philip Jenkin's brief profile of Archbishop Peter Jasper Akinola, of Nigeria. This is a key passage from that article and should shed some light on the recent Lambeth Statement of the Primates:
Although Akinola believes that American and British churches are in error, his Anglican roots condition how and when he feels he can intervene directly. This tradition gives him a strong sense of the global dimensions of Christianity. He heads not the Church of Nigeria but the "Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)," and that is a crucial difference. Anglicans everywhere fall within his area of concern. His communion is a family, and as he has put it, "That is where we belong." Yet Akinola is reluctant to speak out of turn. He venerates the Anglican idea of autonomous churches under their own primates and bishops, and feels that a primate has no right to interfere in another province, except in the direst circumstances. He has been remarkably moderate toward the North American churches—however difficult this may be to believe for those who know him only from his recent remarks. In interviews he has gone out of his way not to condemn the U.S. Episcopal Church, and he makes a point of praising Bishop Frank Griswold, its leader, and other American liberals. He refuses to ally himself with American conservatives who want to break away from their liberal bishops altogether. "You don't just jump from your diocese to begin to do whatever you like in another man's diocese," he told the Church of Nigeria News in 2001. "That is not done in our Anglican tradition."
Read the whole article -- it's available online.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Terri SchiavoCruel and Unusual. In this brave new world, where wealthy white American gay men are considered oppressed and the Africans are the oppressors -- it should not be shocking to realize that a woman is being slowly starved to death, with the full approval of the law. It's happening right here in America. In Florida. To Terri Schiavo.

Please see the following excellent comments on this case: The Barrister; Ben Domenesch.

Here is the home of Terri's fight.
Contempt. Now, having written what I did below, I turn to the statements and news reports to find out what, if anything the Apostates are going to do. Will they repent? Or will they continue to treat the rest of the Anglican Communion with contempt?

According to the Washington Times, in response to the primates' statement that they "deeply regret the actions of the Diocese of New Westminster and the Episcopal Church U.S.A." Bishop Griswold announced that he numbered himself among "those of us who are not part of that deep regret." He added that "I stand fully behind the Diocese of New Hampshire as to who it wants as its next bishop."

Utter contempt is what Frank feels for the rest of the Anglican communion.

Looking at the NewWest statement, I am astounded. These guys just don't get it. They have no shame. When you read this statement of total spin, it's hard to keep from retching. These guys are shutting down churches and firing ministers, yet they have the gall to say something like this:
The [October 2003 Lambeth] statement speaks of the pain caused in some places by the actions of New Westminster in supporting permanent, faithful relationships between persons of the same sex. We acknowledge this. We have taken great care in our deliberations to listen to the voices of others in the church. Our concern has not been to cause pain, but to end discrimination and prejudice.
I do not say this lightly or unadvisedly, but Michael Ingham deserves to spend eternity in the deepest rung of hell.
What was surprising In the Statement, the actions Diocese of New Westminster are somewhat downplayed. It should be clear that not only has the Bishop in NewWest adopted a liturgy to bless a sinful relationship, but he is taking agressive and forceful action -- persecution -- of those who dare to disagree. Those being persecuted by this apostate bishop (Ingham) need protection.

[There is this passage, however: "We have a particular concern for those who in all conscience feel bound to dissent from the teaching and practice of their province in such matters. . . we call on the provinces concerned to make adequate provision for episcopal oversight of dissenting minorities within their own area of pastoral care in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of the Primates."]

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Time to Choose. The Twelve included a homeboy lackey who was the tax collector for the invading Empire and a superpatriot -- a Zealot. It included a handful of simple fishermen and the worldly wise schemer who kept the money for the Twelve. They stayed together for the Master, until one betrayed Him. The betrayer -- chosen by the Master Himself -- later went out and hanged himself.

One out of twelve.

Extapolating that to a group of, say 38, you'd figure there will be at least three who will be willing to sell out the Master. [Do I have to mention the thing about controlling the money or being the simple, but faithful followers? Nah, didn't think so...]

Thanks to the comments by Craig, I could boot up tonight and read the Statement by the Anglican Primates first thing. I do not find much surprising.

In the ninth paragraph of the statement, we find the gravamen of the argument posed by Archbishop Griswold: ". . . it is not for [the Primates] to pass judgement on the constitutional processes of another province." The remainder of the ninth paragraph and the whole of the tenth paragraph is the key to this statement:
Nevertheless, many Primates have pointed to the grave difficulties that this election has raised and will continue to raise. In most of our provinces the election of Canon Gene Robinson would not have been possible since his chosen lifestyle would give rise to a canonical impediment to his consecration as a bishop.

If his consecration proceeds, we recognise that we have reached a crucial and critical point in the life of the Anglican Communion and we have had to conclude that the future of the Communion itself will be put in jeopardy. In this case, the ministry of this one bishop will not be recognised by most of the Anglican world, and many provinces are likely to consider themselves to be out of Communion with the Episcopal Church (USA). This will tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level, and may lead to further division on this and further issues as provinces have to decide in consequence whether they can remain in communion with provinces that choose not to break communion with the Episcopal Church (USA).
In short, it's time for Frank and his group to decide which way they want to go. They can go peddle to the metal -- damn the archbishops and go full speed ahead -- rip the fabric of the Communion to shreds.

Or they can repent of their arogance and hubris. They should repent of their decision to reject the Word of God.

Follow the Master.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Rowan Williams welcomes Archbishop Peter Akinola of NigeriaNews from London. The Telegraph is reporting:
. . .it appeared last night that their [i.e. the orthodox primates] united front was crumbling. One insider said that the conservatives no longer had majority support for their demand that the liberal American Episcopal Church be expelled for appointing Anglicanism's first openly homosexual bishop.

The mood of optimism was reflected by Archbishop Robin Eames, the liberal Primate of the Church of Ireland, who emerged briefly after seven hours of talks to say he believed the meeting was moving towards a consensus.

* * *

Sources close to the conservative camp, which is led by primates in Africa, said that they had hoped to have 20 signatories backing an ultimatum they presented to Dr Williams yesterday.

This called on the Archbishop to discipline the American Episcopal Church before the planned consecration of bishop-elect Gene Robinson, a divorcee who lives with his male lover, as Bishop of New Hampshire in November.

However, it is now thought that they have secured the backing of only 16 or 17 primates, with others calling merely for a rebuke for the Episcopal Church.

It is thought that the Asian primates have proved far less enthusiastic for an immediate showdown than the Africans and, while a split could still occur, it may not be as damaging as had been initially feared.

One Asian primate is understood to have walked out of a private meeting of conservatives on Tuesday because he could not accept the hardline position being proposed.

Canon Donald Anderson, the general secretary of the American Anglican Council, which represents traditionalist members of the Episcopal Church, said he no longer expected the liberal Americans to be expelled.

He added: "I hope that the Episcopal Church's current leadership will receive a significant censure and rebuke and at the same time there should be provisions for a safe place for orthodox Episcopalians."

Meanwhile, rumours are circulating that the Vatican has sent an emissary to America to see whether disenchanted Anglicans might convert to the Roman Catholic Church.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Gracious Father, we pray for thy holy Catholic Church.
Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace.
Where it is corrupt, purify it;
where it is in error, direct it;
where in any thing it is amiss, reform it.
Where it is right, strengthen it;
where it is in want, provide for it;
where it is divided, reunite it;
for the sake of Jesus Christ
thy Son
our Savior.

Anglican News. The folks at CANN have a new website carrying all the news from London and beyond.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Remember. Tomorrow is a day of prayer and fasting for the Anglican communion.