Thursday, May 01, 2008

Fly by night Episcopalians

I hope you will all read the upcoming issue of the Christian Challenge, because it will contain many details of interest to Anglicans everywhere. When I researched information for the Special Report (the longest single feature of the magazine), I was not content to rely on what everybody else puts forth as the news. For part of it I examined the claims made by the Episcopal Church (TEC) regarding their new Diocese of San Joaquin. I found more than mere disingenuous spin; I found fraud.

When The Episcopal Church (?) (TEC) put up a website for their brand new Diocese of San Joaquin, they did so by stealing the website URL that belonged to the Diocese under Bishop John David Schofield (which is back up on its own). But, on TEC's S.J. website I found facts that are a true pleasure to expose.

TEC claims to have kept 18 churches out of 42 in their new San Joaquin diocese, when in fact they have only 12 with one new mission making it 13. A comparison of the two websites shows the Diocese of San Joaquin, Province of the Southern Cone, with 40 churches. Out of a diocese with approximately 8,000 members, the new TEC diocese has approximately 600 members. TEC had claimed that they had the majority on their side, somehow basing their conclusion on "new math" that dazzles the imagination: Six Hundred minus Seven Thousand Four Hundred equals a plus.

Further comparison shows that both dioceses list exactly five churches with the same names in the same cities, but with different addresses, such as the TEC St. Nicholas in Atwater with its address called a “temporary location.” Two St. Paul’s are in the town of Visalia, but the TEC St. Paul’s apparently has no address at all, just an e-mail address for its priestess. This new priestess-led St. Paul's will have a real problem holding services at an e-mail address. This begs the question, do these churches exist as real congregations, or is the actual number of congregations even lower than 13? Also, why have congregations in new locations (those that have locations) assumed the names of existing churches, instead of choosing new names as new churches? Meanwhile the San Joaquin Southern Cone churches all have the same fixed locations as before.

If anyone has grounds to sue, it is Bishop John David Schofield, along with the parishes whose names have been appropriated without justification. TEC has become a "fly by night" operation in its efforts to undermine Bishop Schofield.

As readers may know, the Diocese of San Joaquin left TEC in December, and realigned with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. This was done according to all of the provisions of Canon Law, with two votes a year apart to disaffiliate with TEC. The Diocese holds the deeds to the property, and of course Katherine Jefferts-Schori, whom some call the Presiding Bishop, but whom we call the CEO and Litigator in Chief, cannot let all that valuable property slip away. And, as expected, in efforts that TEC calls "reconciliation," they have filed a lawsuit to snatch it up.

The Episcopal News Service (which we may call The Anglican Spin Service, TASS) has announced (which they call reporting) that this lawsuit is to "reclaim" the property of the Diocese for TEC, when in fact the new diocese that TEC has planted there is only a few weeks old, and has never owned any property. It is the lawsuit that 815's puppet "bishop" Mr. Jerry Lamb, has spoken of in terms of "reconciliation." This euphemistic crusade follows an earlier TASS announcement that Ms. Jefferts-Schori was "reaching out" to churches in Virginia, also in the form of lawsuits; and in which crusade one of the new San Joaquin TEC spokesmen said that, in efforts at reconciliation, they may "invite the courts to enforce the law." How gracious.

TEC's unique mission

The above mentioned lawsuit was justified by Mr. Lamb with the excuse that TEC has an obligation to carry on the mission of the Church. What mission is that? If TEC is part of the Anglican Communion how can its mission differ from the mission of the Province of the Southern Cone?

The answer is in their new word for church growth. No longer do they speak of the mission of Evangelism, but instead they call it "inclusion." How does a mission of "Inclusion" differ from a mission of Evangelism? In the News Observer, reported on April 18th, we are given the answer from the horse's mouth (so it appears):

"Jefferts-Schori, 52, said Thursday she would not waver from forging a new way forward for the 2.4-million member Episcopal Church. That new way includes a commitment to the full equality of gays and lesbians, which she and many others in the denomination see as a new civil rights issue. ‘Our labors in this church continue to sing of hope for the full flourishing of all God's children, black, white, native, Asian, women, men, gay and straight,’ Jefferts Schori said. ‘As long as any of us is restrained by custom, law, prejudice or bigotry, we all remain in chains.’"

The new doctrinal spin on homosexuality, from TEC's originality department, is to tell people that it is only mentioned in the Law of Moses as one of the purity laws, the kind often called the Kosher laws. In fact, it is not mentioned among the laws of purity at all, but among the commandments against immoral behavior that was punishable by death. In the Torah, the worst sins are called "abominations," a word that means that we must hate, or abominate, the deed (quite so, for how can we love the sinner with true agape, and not hate the destructive deed?). They include not only homosexual practice, but offering one's children to Molech. No one was condemned to death for a monthly period, coming close to a corpse, or unintended spilling of his seed; for laws of purity required simply a bath (what Jews call a mikvah). But, the remedy for sexual immorality was execution. The remedy for impurity was purification, whereas the remedy for immorality was of a punative nature. The difference is quite significant.

Nonetheless, this ridiculous new doctrine will run until it has no more legs.

That about wraps it up concerning TEC-or so we hope.


Alice C. Linsley said...

It appears that many people are aware of and angry about 815's fraudulant actions. The inner circle would have to be blind not to see the writing on the wall. Sadly, they are blind, spiritually speaking.

Nicholas said...

Pseudo-Bishop Lamb has evidently sent letters to all of the remaining clergy on Thursday. The response at the cathedral was touching. Father Raines finished the morning service in the chapel then took the letter to the high alter in the Cathedral and there prostrated himself along with Father Ken.