Saturday, November 01, 2003

I'm a Man. According to the Gender Genie, I write like a man:

Female Score: 507
Male Score: 1281
Too Late. According to this article in the Telegraph, "A Church of England spokesman said: 'One hopes . . . that no irrevocable steps are taken.'"

Umm, sorry Charlie, you're several months (years) too late. The ECUSA establishment officially made a mockery of the service of matrimony in Minneapolis, not to mention, blatently ignoring Scripture in selecting a clergyman living in a sexual relationship outside of marriage to be a bishop.

These were the irrevocable steps. What happens from here follows from those actions.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Anglican Essentials. I received a compact disc of Kendall Harmon's address to the AAC meeting in Texas. Unfortunately, there was a brief gap in the address near the end. The good news is that the full address was transcribed and the text placed on line here. Powerful address.

Tapes and discs may be ordered here.
Bunny Man. This WaPo article brings back memories of the Bunny Man, a much whispered story that circulated back when I was in 7th grade (too long ago).
Typical Suburban Witch. The WaPo has this article today about your typical suburban witch, which notes in passing that "20 years ago [she] rejected the Episcopal faith in favor of paganism..." Of course today the Episcopal Church is much more diverse and open. You can have your "alter [sic] to Titan, Anubis, Shira and the Lord of the Forest . . ." and still we'll welcome you. The article further notes:
They are witches who, noted Publisher's Weekly in a review, "tend to hold liberal views and be politically active, especially on environmental issues. . . They are broadly supportive of alternative lifestyles and sexualities, and tend to approve of group marriage, in theory if not in practice; but they split over the propriety of sex between spiritual teachers and students."
Yep, it sounds like the majority of those active at 815 and/or the majority of the House of Pancakes Bishops.

And let's not forget this blast from the past: Episcopal Church Appoints First Openly-Muslim Bishop.
Laugh At Satan Day. This is why I love All Hallow's Eve: we get to laugh at Satan. He has no power over us. An excerpt from this wonderful article:
Should the forces of evil be mocked? Should Satan be laughed at? He most certainly should be. At the beginning of The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis includes two telling quotations, the first from Martin Luther: "The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn."

The second comes from Thomas More: "The devil … the proud spirit cannot endure to be mocked."

The one thing Satan cannot bear is to be a source of laughter. His pride is undermined by his own knowledge that his infernal rebellion against God is in reality an absurd farce. Hating laughter, he demands to be taken seriously. Indeed, I would say that those Christians who spend the night of October 31 filled with concern over what evils might be (and sometimes are) taking place are doing the very thing Lucifer wants them to do. By giving him this respect, such believers are giving his authority credence.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Solar Storm? We got a call from my brother-in-law saying you could see the Northern Lights tonight. We saw them once before, here in NoVa, but wasn't sure about it tonight. Basically, what we saw was an area of redness, but without the clear definition as before.

Some folks -- even devout Christians -- take these as signs. I'm not sure what to think. I mean they occur very frequently in the northern regions. Still they are pretty.

More. I see from the front page of the WaPo, that redness was the northern lights. I'm deep-linking the WaPo picture, to the right, above.

Still More. Here's the link to the NOAA satelite and here's one to the estimated planetary K-index.
Crackdown. Kudos to Kendall Harmon and others for breaking the news about the crackdown on orthodox priests in Puerto Rico.

What I am going to say is pure speculation [WARNING, WARNING], but looking over the clues, I believe that Bishop David Alvarez has either been pressured on this -- either directly or indirectly (his own perception? -- this appears to be most likely). The Diocese of Puerto Rico was just brought into ECUSA at GC2K3 and +Alvarez was placed on the committee to select the next Presiding Bishop.
Right Thing. Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore did the right thing. I'm not sure why some conservative groups are criticizing him. No, I don't think these few conservative groups are anti-gay or homophobic, but they look that way. There are somethings that are outside the scope of a government agency that hires state workers -- sexual preferences or orientation is one of them.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

This surprised me:
The more than 200 delegates meeting in St. George over the weekend in the 98th Convention of the Diocese of Utah approved a resolution supporting the national's convention's actions and affirming the votes of the Utah deputation at that convention.
I didn't know there were 200 Episcopalians in Utah.
The Members of the ABC's Commission:
  • Archbishop Robin Eames, Primate of All Ireland, Chairman,
  • The Revd Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Director of Faith, Worship and Ministry, the Anglican Church of Canada,
  • Bishop David Beetge, Dean of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa,
  • Professor Norman Doe, Director of the Centre for Law and Religion, Cardiff University, Wales,
  • Bishop Mark Dyer, Director of Spiritual Formation, Virginia Theological Seminary, USA,
  • Archbishop Drexel Gomez, Primate of the West Indies,
  • Archbishop Josiah Iduwo-Fearon, Archbishop of Kaduna, the Anglican Church of Nigeria,
  • The Revd Dorothy Lau, Director of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council,
  • Ms Anne McGavin, Advocate, formerly Legal Adviser to the College of Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church,
  • Archbishop Bernard Malango, Primate of Central Africa,
  • Dr Esther Mombo, Academic Dean of St Paul's United Theological Seminary, Limuru, Kenya,
  • Archbishop Barry Morgan, Primate of Wales,
    Chancellor Rubie Nottage, Chancellor of the West Indies,
  • Bishop John Paterson, Primate of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and Chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council,
  • Dr Jenny Te Paa, Principal of College of Saint John the Evangelist, Auckland, New Zealand,
  • Bishop James Terom, Moderator, the Church of North India,
  • Bishop N. Thomas Wright, Bishop of Durham, the Church of England.

    The Revd Canon John Rees, Legal Adviser to the Anglican Consultative Council, will act as Legal Consultant to the Commission.

    The Revd Canon Gregory Cameron, Director of Ecumenical Affairs and Studies, Anglican Communion Office, will act as Secretary to the Commission.
  • I'm very pleased with several of these members. One I've mentioned recently -- N.T. Wright. Some might see him as a "conservative." And yes he is. But to see him as a partisan would be extremely wrong. If there were a "liberal" version of N.T.Wright, I would be extremely pleased to have him/her on the Commission. Wright has very high integrity and intellect.

    Bishop (Ret'd) Dyer, of VTS has been named to the Commission. Some class notes, prepared by students, are available for review on the internet. Pay attention to the Feb. 7 notes where Dyer states "The #1 heresy is schism." (quote from Dianne Carroll notes).
    The Mandate. As has been said elsewhere, this Commission is not yet another Commission to study "sexuality" (which seems to be the favorite of the ECUSA). The Commission will be looking at the deliberate tearing of the fabric of the Anglican Communion by the establishment of the ECUSA and the actions of one bishop in Canada.

    The Archbishop of Canterbury requests the Commission:

    1. To examine and report to him by 30th September 2004, in preparation for the ensuing meetings of the Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council, on the legal and theological implications flowing from the decisions of the Episcopal Church (USA) to appoint a priest in a committed same sex relationship as one of its bishops, and of the Diocese of New Westminster to authorise services for use in connection with same sex unions, and specifically on the canonical understandings of communion, impaired and broken communion, and the ways in which provinces of the Anglican Communion may relate to one another in situations where the ecclesiastical authorities of one province feel unable to maintain the fullness of communion with another part of the Anglican Communion.

    2. Within their report, to include practical recommendations (including reflection on emerging patterns of provision for episcopal oversight for those Anglicans within a particular jurisdiction, where full communion within a province is under threat) for maintaining the highest degree of communion that may be possible in the circumstances resulting from these decisions, both within and between the churches of the Anglican Communion.

    3. Thereafter, as soon as practicable, and with particular reference to the issues raised in Section IV of the Report of the Lambeth Conference 1998, to make recommendations to the Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council, as to the exceptional circumstances and conditions under which, and the means by which, it would be appropriate for the Archbishop of Canterbury to exercise an extraordinary ministry of episcope (pastoral oversight), support and reconciliation with regard to the internal affairs of a province other than his own for the sake of maintaining communion with the said province and between the said province and the rest of the Anglican Communion.

    4. In its deliberations, to take due account of the work already undertaken on issues of communion by the Lambeth Conferences of 1988 and 1998, as well as the views expressed by the Primates of the Anglican Communion in the communiqués and pastoral letters arising from their meetings since 2000.
    The Commission The ABC has announced the Mandate and Members of the Commission, promised in the Primates Joint Statement, October 2003. Both are important and need consideration and prayer.

    Tuesday, October 28, 2003

    Separation of Church and State? Thanks to poor, oppressed Rachel, we have a link to the latest attempt by the theological left -- bringing the full force of the federal government to bear on the AAC. In other words, they're seeking to have a full federal audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

    It's too bad that Janet Reno isn't around. She knew how to deal with fundamentalists, right Rachel?

    This site is certified 88% GOOD by the Gematriculator
    What’s Happens on November 3rd? The following is from Rev. Martyn Minns, Rector of Truro Church:
    By all reports it looks as if the consecration of Canon Gene Robinson as Bishop Coadjutor in the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire will go ahead as planned on November 2. The room has been booked, the guests are on their way and the media is poised for a big event. The expressed mind of the leaders of the Anglican Communion and numerous personal entreaties to step back from this divisive action have not resulted in any change of plans—although all such services have the caveat “God willing” and we may still be surprised! But working with the assumption that it will go forward, what then? In many ways much of the world will breathe a sigh of relief. When compared with all of the crises that face the world this particular issue will quickly fade into insignificance. The Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire will have had its moment in the world spotlight and will then go back to its former status of a relatively small collection of congregations who are struggling to stay alive. However, something serious will have happened.

    One part of the Anglican family will have told the rest that their heartfelt convictions don’t matter. A small group of Episcopalians will have declared that they no longer believe that something which has always been called sin is not sin and that the biblical teaching on marriage and family has been replaced by a vague appeal to inclusivity—the limits of which have neither been defined or explained. What happens next is that the Anglican family will begin to unravel. Or to use the language of the Primates “This will tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level.” Major parts of the Anglican Communion will separate themselves from the Diocese of New Hampshire and from the Episcopal Church. While the advocates for this action see it as a way to affirm and embrace those who consider themselves to be homosexuals one unintended consequence is that instead of offering a message of hope for transformation they will be celebrating brokenness and supporting rebellion. As in the aftermath of a divorce, people will be forced to take sides. It is already happening in churches around the world and we are already feeling the pain.

    What about Truro? The actions of General Convention and the Bishop of Virginia have already had a profoundly negative impact upon us and a number of families have left. Because of their own sense of an aggrieved conscience a large number of our parishioners have asked to restrict their financial support so that no portion of their contribution can be used to support or encourage this departure from Christian teaching. We have withdrawn a request for a scheduled Fall confirmation visit from Bishop Lee. The Vestry is meeting to pray and seek direction about our future role within the Diocese of Virginia and the wider Episcopal Church. We have no desire to act precipitously but we have now been placed in a situation of conflicting loyalties and we must stand against this affront. Our integrity as a congregation committed to upholding Biblical truth and longstanding relationships with our Anglican partners around the world leaves us no choice. The Truro Vestry will meet for retreat on November 15 to pray and prepare a plan for a way forward. We are determined to stand firm for the life-transforming message of the Gospel as we renew our commitment to mission here at home and around the world. While the occasion is painful, I remain convinced that God can use this time for great blessing …
    “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Rom. 8:28)

    Monday, October 27, 2003

    Calif. Fires. The fires are all over the area my family is from -- so far it looks like everyone we know is okay. We're concerned for the others.

    I had a note from my Mom saying that Dad told her that he knew one area where it was--he and his high school buddy Leo used to drink beer in that canyon: "Interesting enough Leo called shortly after that and told me they drank beer everywhere!"

    Sunday, October 26, 2003

    Madame Chiang Kai-shek, 1940Madame Chiang Kai-shek. I missed this in the paper yesterday: Soong Mei-ling, who married Chiang Kai-shek, passed away this week. She was arguably the most powerful woman to have lived in the 20th Century. Raised, in part, in the U.S., she was a member of the Soong family (think a less corrupt, but more powerful version of the Kennedys) and married the Nationalist Chinese leader, Chiang Kai-Shek. In 1943, she spoke to a joint session of Congess seeking aid for the Chinese in their fight against Japan. Through the 1960s she was known as one of the most admired women in the world.

    She lived to be 105 years old.

    Think about how different the world would be if the Nationalists prevailed in the struggle for China and the miracle of Taiwan took place on the Chinese mainland. Think what it would be like to have a world without Mao.

    Amazing, huh?

    (Also, as I have noted before, when I was a very young boy and my father was stationed in Taiwan as part of JFK's commitment to supporting Quemoy and Matsu, I was able to see Madame Chiang (I never saw her husband). )