Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Like the Swiss

About the following news, I find myself like the neutral Swiss.

The Pastor of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Rev. Matthew Kennedy, renounced his orders in the Episcopal Church (TEC) and realigned with the Anglican Church of Kenya, and Good Shepherd went with him. In April the diocese filed its suit in State Superior Court to seize the property, even though the parish had made two offers to purchase it. The Attorney for Good Shepherd, Raymond Dague, has denied that this is only about homosexuality. He said, “It's about the idea that the diocese can just ignore parts of Scripture and rewrite Christian morality to its own liking,” In a sermon, Matthew Kennedy said: "Homosexual behavior is considered so offensive to God that those who engage in it and do not repent cannot enter his kingdom…If we compromise on this matter, I think we also compromise our integrity, our faith and the Gospel of Jesus Christ…These things are far more important than buildings or assets or furniture."

Kennedy is known mostly for his writing for the blog, Stand Firm in Faith, and is part of that company of conservative Christians calling themselves Reasserters. Currently, the website for Good Shepherd provides a link to a legal defense fund, and lists Rev. Matthew Kennedy as Pastor, and his wife Rev. Anne Kennedy as Assistant Pastor.

Why am I neutral? First of all, I am not strictly neutral, inasmuch as TEC is resorting once again to filing lawsuits. However, even though TEC has progressed further into error and sin than the Reasserters can stomach, the simple fact is that any church with a woman "priest" has started down the same road as TEC. Dague is correct that we have no right simply to ignore scripture and rewrite Christian morality. But, as long as they ignore any portion of scripture, and rewrite any doctrine, they are simply on a time delay. They are not standing firm in faith, but dragging their heels into further error.

There remains, however, one important difference. At least the Reasserters appear to have retained one crucial desire. It appears that they want to have a good conscience toward God- or so we hope. TEC is guilty of willful sin, and these Reasserters seem to be suffering blindness in part. Whereas it remains a matter of no importance to me whether Good Shepherd is TEC or Kenyan (since the confusion and disorder caused by the presence of a priestess makes it six of one against half a dozen of the other), nonetheless, the partially blind Reasserters have my prayers that their eyes may be opened.

62 comments:

John said...

Rev. Kennedy suffers from more than blindness he obviously has a personal stake in ignoring plain doctrine and example. Is it blindness or it is because he is married to a priestess and therefore must 'protect' her position over the clear teaching of the church. I know other clergy who made the same error and to admit the error would likely crash the marraige. It may be decades before this heresy is finally put down because of personal pride and covetness.

In the end it is still cherry picking.

Sandra McColl said...

'renounced his orders in the TEC'? Er? A strange sacramental theology appears to be at work here.

poetreader said...

The claim is that homosexualoty is not the issue. If the claim were true, I'd be a lot more sympathetic, but I don't see that it is. As noted, they do accept the ordination of women, being definite enough as to this that any mention of opposition is sufficient to occasion banning from their website. Moreover, they have stayed this long with a church that has removed or made optional more of the central teachings of the faith than I would care to enumerate. What issue is left to occasion their departure? Only the one, and denying that is rather disingenious. That's the only one they couldn't live with, and I'm afraid that's not sufficient to turn their operation into a legitmate church.

ed

Anonymous said...

Matt has made the statement here and there that he has rethought the matter of WO and changed his mind on the subject. This was after he solemnly informed us that his defense of WO was based on the hermeneutics of Reformed theology. His theological acrobatics make me breathless.
Laurence K. Wells

Fr. Robert Hart said...

"Renunciation of orders" is an expression used to mean that a priest leaves one church body for another. The expression is a bad one because it is misleading. It sounds like bad sacramental theology.

Matt Kennedy is now opposed to women's "ordination," but not enough to act as either Rector or head of house. I suppose it may be difficult for him.

We have had private correspondence, and all I can say is, I could only feel very sad for him. I think he could not possibly see why I do; but, I do.

Anonymous said...

I don't feel especially sorry for Matt Kennedy. It is a matter of record that he published a vile and scurrilous attack on Anglo-Catholics in the Continuing Church movement, under the false authorship of J. I. Packer. This was easily recognized as a fraud. When Packer disowned it, Matt made a fulsome apology to Dr Packer, but adamantly refused to apologize to the people who were attacked. As far as I am concerned, he made himself morally the author of the slander (as perhaps he actually was). Knowing the hateful and high-handed manner in which numerous commenters (myself included) have been banned from his blog, I would be very fearful if I found myself in the same church with him. A Spanish Inquisition run by the SFIF gang doesn't sound like fun to me.
Laurence K. Wells

Canon Tallis said...

I understand your sadness, Father hart, as I have had my own run in with Mr Kennedy over a plain acceptance of the charge Jesus gave to the apostles at the end of the Gospel according to John. He found our Lord's words and their plain meaning in either Greek or English unacceptable and claim that other passages in the New Testament contradicted them.

Reformed Theology or unreformed, Holy Scripture still says what it says and I, at least, accept the words as those of Jesus and belive it and Him. So my sadness joins yours not only for Matt and Ann, but for all those who remained in the Episcopal Church after it became clear that they were no longer Christian in any proper sense of the word and refused the Old Testament and the New of its proper authority.

Ann, God help her, needs to follow the path of Alice and understand that she can be neither husband or father and so is ineligible for the office of presbyter or priest in the Church of God.

Ken said...

Outside the issue of women priestesses, having one's spouse in such a position reeks of nepotism.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

...over a plain acceptance of the charge Jesus gave to the apostles at the end of the Gospel according to John.

Hey, what did Jesus know? I'll bet he never read Calvin.

John said...

So he wrote that hatchet piece and attributed it to Packer??? I remember Packer denying it but never knew who wrote it.

What a low life jerk.

How does that even remotely reflect the life of a Christian or an ordained priest?

Mr. Kennedy might ought check his meat thermometer I think he may be done.

Anonymous said...

Someone forwarded me the link to this article.

And I see Fr. Lawrence is, as usual, having difficultly swallowing his malice and bile. This time he comes very close to false witness:

"As far as I am concerned, he made himself morally the author of the slander (as perhaps he actually was)."

I did not "author" that piece from Dr. Packer as Fr. Lawrence knows well. It was forwarded to me as if it were written by Packer and as I noted in this retraction:

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/5300

I wrongly believed those who forwarded the article were being truthful and that it was really written by Dr. Packer. It was wrong of me not to do more homework before posting and if I had done so, of course, I would not have posted. As soon as I realized that the article had been falsely attributed I wrote the above public apology to Dr. Packer.

The article itself would not have been worthy of publishing had I known it was not from Dr. Packer.

Fr. Lawrence believes that I also need to apologize for the hurt felt by Catholics. I do not agree since I did not write the article and SF regularly posts polemic articles from different perspectives, Catholic and Evangelical, that often cause consternation on both sides. We will post articles from Anglo-catholics and we will post articles from evangelicals and we generally assume that our readers have the maturity to handle differing viewpoints. Those who cannot deal with that and lose their temper also lose their posting privileges.

Matt Kennedy

Sandra McColl said...

"The article itself would not have been worthy of publishing had I known it was not from Dr. Packer."

That's not good editorial policy. Even if the article were by Dr Packer (which I happily accept is not the case), it would be doing no service to Dr Packer publishing it if the only good thing about it was its author.

A good editor is no respecter of persons.

Anonymous said...

Editors are responsible for what they publish. They are accountable to and for those who are defamed. J. I. Packer has written hundreds of short articles, but this one (full of more "malice and bile" than I could muster on a good day) has a special appeal to the SFIF gang. They plainly enjoyed running it, and were angry and resentful at being exposed as the perpetrators of a fraud.

So tell us more about your conversion on WO, Matt. Why has this never been acknowledged on Standfirm itself?
Laurence K. Wells

Death Bredon said...

Admittedly, I really don't understand the current "orthodox" Canterbury Anglicans' decision to draw the line at homosexuality, as it seems to me that once one tolerates cross-dressing (and that's what "women's ordination" is), its awfully hard to object to the consummation of such "legitimate transvestiture."

OTOH, 815 and apparently Canterbury are definitely on the wrong side of BOTH the transvestite issue as well as the buggery issue. (The mind boggles that either could be an "issue" among supposedly "Apostolic Christians.")

So, as between a lame horse and a DEAD one, I'd bet on the former every time. But, such Hobson's choices only prove that the Continuum is meet and right. Thus, I'll put my widow's mite on the gray mare, thank you.

John said...

In 1993 a radical feminist broadcast-faxed a similar letter on fake but official looking letterhead to the media who widely circulated it as being true without bothering to check veracity.

The letter claimed SuperBowl Sunday was the apex of domestic abuse against women in the USA. It did not matter that it was untrue, it met the test of reflecting the world view of the media; they all to willingly printed it with glee. The letter caused much consternation and was meant to to smear men. The press grudgingly acknowledged it was fraudulent only after it became apparent that the fraud was causing the media aggravation not because the press had discovered the mistake and wanted to set the record straight. In their minds the letter was true if a bit off in presentation- the accusations were more important than authorship. The author as well as the press promoted such ideas as 'wives having sex with their husbands amounted to rape'- I am sure you all will remember this. Kind of like saying all Anglo Catholics are all Papists etc.

This leads to a question: was the press just as guilty as the author in the slander?

I think so. The letter merely acted as a convenient proxy for the sentiments held by the press. They held the same views, the letter was simply a trigger mechanism. And they ran with the ball. As we know in football the Quarterback authors the pass but the Receiver scores the points.

Of course we Christians recognize this as sin in the Decalogue admonition against false witness and Christ pointing out such use of words is the same as murder.

Rev. K says:
" As soon as I realized that the article had been falsely attributed I wrote the above public apology to Dr. Packer."

and also:
... I did not write the article and SF regularly posts polemic articles from different perspectives, Catholic and Evangelical, that often cause consternation on both sides. "

The sentiments seem contradictory to me. One reflects some remorse but wrongly placed- MK did not injure Packer he injured those who the letter slandered. The second demonstrates MK's willingness to injure.

Brings to question in my mind is this a case of the mainstream media practice 'if it bleeds it leads'. Is saucy controversial content more important that the truth? Do the sentiments jibe here... truth vs. causing consternation?

I know this is off topic here but is "causing consternation" on both sides doing a work for the Gospel? Is causing consternation helping the quest for Anglican Unity or is the underlying thing practiced at SF a hate based in party politics of 400 years ago? Is Stand Firm a proxy for Neo Puritanism? It may be an unfair question but it sure seems so.

Apparently on Stand firm one can cause consternation and thereby division if the slander meets the world view of the editor? How is that any different than the sentiments of the players in the Superbowl Sunday thing above?

We all make these kinds of mistakes (I did in assuming that MK authored the piece because it was suggested and I apologize for that). The question is do we as Christians simply get a pass in acknowledging an act when caught but continuing to intentionally incite because people ought to be mature enough to handle it?

Matt you ought to know better, especially as an ordained priest, that these sentiments are clearly contradictory to the explicit and implicit teaching in the Gospel and the Epistles.

Being banning (Anglo Catholics) from a blog for pointing out the WO heresy is a mild sort of thing . Being banned from heaven for intentionally causing conflict in Christ's Church is quite another. Perhaps you ought reflect on your editorial habit.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Matt Kennedy wrote:
Those who cannot deal with that and lose their temper also lose their posting privileges.

First of all I thank Matt Kennedy for responding, and hope that he is aware that my criticism was charitable.

Sadly, I must reply to this part of his comment. Several of us are witnesses to the fact that SFIF censors most dissenting opinion, and bans anybody who presents a decent argument against something from any of its contributors. If SFIF were open to real blogging, which would require confidence and courage on their part, I would not object to differences I might have with some of their "editorials."

Matt Kennedy is free to respond. At this blog we are not afraid of honest debate.

Anonymous said...

From John's splendid posting:

"This leads to a question: was the press just as guilty as the author in the slander?

I think so. The letter merely acted as a convenient proxy for the sentiments held by the press. "

A precisely correct analogy, which only a morally obtuse person will fail to grasp.

And speaking of "bearing false witness," I was not banned from SFIF immediately after the Packer hoax. That occurred sometime later, after I privately e-mailed Greg Griffith in protest of his banning of the eminent scholar Dr William Tighe. My protest drew a potty mouthed juvenile reply from GG, employing the F word.

The adolescent atmosphere of SFIF possibly reached its nadir when they ran an unflattering photo of David Virtue in his swimming trunks
(for which, of course, they eventually made the routine apology).
LKW

Anonymous said...

Matt Kennedy's link to the Packer apology is not the correct link.

What always has amused me about SFIF is that it expresses the same revisionist proto-theology of The Episcopal Church up to the point of the Robinson scandal and associated issues. The guest writers of this highly restricted blogsite actually view themselves as theological conservatives, which they most certainly are not.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Matt and I have exchanged email communications as well. I'm grateful that he at least is willing to re-examine the issue of women's ordination. That is more than I've been able to get from other Protestants in the Anglican Tradition. (See this recent Church of Nigeria statement: "The Bible is very clear that homosexual practice is sin. But, nowhere in the Bible is being a woman described as a sin. The ordination of women and the ordination of practicing homosexuals cannot be compared. They are not the same issue. People of equally strong evangelical conviction come to different conclusions about the ordination of women, but we in Uganda have understood the Bible to teach that God created men and women in His image and both can be ordained to serve God in His Church." (From here: http://www.globalsouthanglican.org)

I left a comment/plea there for the Church of Nigeria to re-consider this untenable position, but GAFCON is absorbing their time.

As to casting stones at Matt Kennedy, I'm reminded of Jesus' words to those who brought before Him the adulterous woman, and there is also the scripture about a mote in the eye.

He is a gifted man in a difficult situation. Doubtless God will use this fiery ordeal to shape him further in the image of His Beloved Son. He needs our prayers.

Sandra McColl said...

So THAT's what a quarterback does! I learn something new every day.

Fr Odhran-Mary TFSC said...

The Anglican Continuum itself was begun by the Fellowship of Concerned Churchmen and its Affirmation of Saint Louis.

Such faithful Anglican Christians did not take the impossible step of walking away from their beloved Church lightly.

The issue was the need to preserve the validity of Anglican Orders. Such Orders cannt be transmitted to women, and so, alleged Sacramental acts by such putative priests are only pretense.

Sacramental acts by ordained men who practice homosexual behavior are valid. However, one is advised to avoid participation.

It is the female "clergy" who have been betrayed and who have become the significant error, no matter how much the error is denied. Priestesses dispense bread and wine and not the Real Presence.

Alice C. Linsley said...

In my comment above, I meant the Church of Uganda, not the Church of Nigeria, which as far as I know, does not ordain women priests.

John said...

Ok Ok Sandra I know I should have said the quarterback authors the pass and the receiver ' 'publishes' the touchdown. That is NFL lingo you know. Really! ;-)

If men and women are equal in the eye's of God and thus can equally become clergy how come men can't give birth?

Anonymous said...

Alice: I do not know of anyone posting so far who can be fairly described as "casting stones" at Matt Kennedy--although he certainly hurled a nasty brickbat in my direction. As for his "difficult situation," well, he created that situation for himself by voluntarily getting ordained in ECUSA. SFIF has a reputation which it has worked hard to earn.
Laurence K. Wells

Nevin said...

"Knowing the hateful and high-handed manner in which numerous commenters (myself included) have been banned from his blog, I would be very fearful if I found myself in the same church with him"

Funny, while you still posted on SF I often thought the same of you. Why would a priest be so angry I often wondered? Your comments were nearly always filled with rage and barely restrained hatred toward Matt, kind of like your frequent attacks on him here. I would have banned you long before you finally got the boot.

"So he wrote that hatchet piece and attributed it to Packer...What a low life jerk"

He didn't. So why don't you "remotely reflect the life a Christian" and apologize for that nasty remark?

"Several of us are witnesses to the fact that SFIF censors most dissenting opinion"

That comment is utter nonsense. Some people were banned because they made themselves completely obnoxious- but I guess it makes them feel better to believe it was because of their crushing superior arguments.

John said...

Nevin if you bothered to read my comments I did apologize.
Once again we see a case of personal opinion preempting facts.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I appreciate Nevin's sense of some kind of loyalty to his SFIF friends. The problem is that they really do censore every comment that presents any kind of challenge or disagreement. They get facts wrong, usually by being terribly incomplete, and will not allow any perspective that broadens or rounds out the details, and they certainly never put up with dissent or criticism. They narrowly define the problem in Anglicanism as nothing but homosexuality, as if no history whatsoever led to the current level of error. They forbid certain words and thoughts in truly Orwellian fashion. The result is, after sanitizing every thread, they maintain the false appearance of being responsible and professional, and above criticism. They are the CNN of reasserters- which is not a compliment. It is what they leave out, fail to report, and forbid that is the problem.

It is a disservice to everybody.

Unfortunately for Nevin and his endeavors, several commenters on SFIF took the precaution of copying and pasting their posted remarks, recording their deletions, and the harsh, swift, paranoid bannings that followed (except for the bannings that have yet to be admitted to publicly, despite their claim that they announce them). I have been sent a large amount of this evidence, which is absolutely accurate, impossible to fake.

I am not surprised that they succeed in painting a caricature of critics,such as Fr.Wells, as "angry." Tne probelm is, Nevin's assertions are merely assertions. What has been recorded from SFIF and preserved, comments before and after deletion, is evidence.

Sorry Nevin. The facts are a matter of record, and we have that record.

All the more reason why I agree with Alice: We must pray for these people. I said as much in the article that heads this thread.

Anonymous said...

No Christian can be opposed to prayer. We are emphatically commended for pray for all kinds of people, even our enemies.

But all too often, the expression that so-and-so "is in need of our prayers" is only a pietistic and sanctimonious plea for moral indifference. I am sure that St Paul did not fail to pray for Alexander the coppersmith, when he wrote (2 Tim 4.14) "Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord will render to him according to his works; of whom be thou ware also; for he greatly withstood our words." Our Litany has a particular petition for "those who err and are deceived." Those who have put out the dangerous notion that it is possible to promote WO and yet claim the name of "orthodox Christian" will have much to answer for. Yes, they truly need our prayers. I think of William Tyndale's plea, "Lord, open the King of England's eyes."
Laurence K. Wells

Fr. Robert Hart said...

The more I think back on the article fraudulently attributed to Dr. Packer, the more significant it is. When it first came out, it was obvious that he did not write it, since it could not have come from an educated writer. How it fooled anybody is beyond me (except for people who never read his actual works). I disagree with J.I. Packer here and there, of course. But, I knew right away that he did not write that garbage.

So, it is quite telling that it passed through a broken filter.

Anonymous said...

I don't recall many articles by J.I.Packer which drew the dubious honor of getting posted on Stand Wobbly. Packer once wrote a piece against WO (not on the best theological ground, but nonetheless against it). It ran in Christinaity Today several years ago. Naturally, that did not draw Kennedy's endorsement.
The spurious piece, however, evidently reflects the contempt for the Continuers harbored by the SFIF gang; and while Kennedy was not the ORIGINAL author, he adopted it as his own by publishing it and refusing to disown its sentiments.
He is entirely responsible and I pray that he will come to see how he has insulted and degraded his brothers in Christ.
Laurence K. Wells

nevin said...

"they really do censore every comment that presents any kind of challenge or disagreement...they certainly never put up with dissent or criticism"

Do you actually read SF? This is so brazenly false I can only conclude you are completely unfamiliar with SF. Every challenge? Seriously, SF features, on a daily basis, some of the most robust debates and discussions found anywhere on the web- and on a host of topics too. I see much dissent and criticism of the blog hosts in these debates. I have personally engaged in some very heated discussion and have never been censured at all. I believe what you really mean is that the hosts of SF refuse to let every thread turn into yet another contentious and fruitless debate over WO- which some banned commenters tried repeatedly to do. I suppose you feel oppressed by not being able to use the word "priestess" on that site but it is hardly "Orwellian". Get a grip.

"They narrowly define the problem in Anglicanism as nothing but homosexuality"

Well of course they don't. No one has made that argument at all. If you actually read SF you would know that denying the authority of Scripture is the presenting problem according to the blog hosts. You have chosen to mischaracterize the folks at SF with this ridiculous claim but that sure doesn't make it true. One could easily make the counter claim that the Continuum views WO as the presenting problem in Anglicanism... you wouldn't like that, I think.

Look, LP is one of the most passionate and articulate opponents of WO- and he is still posting at SF. Why isn't he banned? Because he makes his arguments in a polite and civil manner and doesn't make every debate personal. LKW made many very fine contributions to SF but they were frequently marred by his mean streak and personal animus against Matt Kennedy, which I called him out on several years ago.

I'm sorry William Tighe was banned. He contributed some brilliant material- some of the best posts ever on SF. I think banning him was a mistake.

I enjoy reading the Continuum. There is great material here. I just wish everybody here would drop the obsession with SF and cease the monthly post bashing them for some contrived reason.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Nevin:

I just wish everybody here would drop the obsession with SF and cease the monthly post bashing them for some contrived reason.

We have not mentioned them very much at all since late last year. And, even then, they made news that begged to be covered, first by banning William Tighe (which they never announced-embarrassed maybe?), and then with the four letter word comment from Griffith about "nobody" caring about WO (notice I cleaned it up again for him). Other than articles about the inherent theological weakness of the Reasserter position, which were not about SF specifically, please point out any post about them in 2008. The article that heads this thread was not about SFIF, but about the news from Binghamton, with the necessary reminder of why the Reasserter position is not sufficient to be considered as a stand for orthodoxy. That is our position, and it remains so.

I'm sorry William Tighe was banned. He contributed some brilliant material- some of the best posts ever on SF. I think banning him was a mistake.

Well, Nevin, please ask yourself one question: What kind of "blog" would ban this man and his learned comments? Most people have to pay tuition to learn so much from the good professor. What fear, what insecurity is at play? And, please be advised that to this day they have never announced his banning.

They were banning people at the rate of about 10 per week for a while. That is why their reputation is one of hysteria, paranoia, insecurity, and a need to control and manipulate. And, one man was banned for suggesting that maybe Greg Griffiths had been mistaken when ha attacked John Howe one day (which, in fact, he was). The comment was polite, but Griffith wrote a verbal temper tantrum for the world to read. Intelligent discussions cannot be run that way.

One could easily make the counter claim that the Continuum views WO as the presenting problem in Anglicanism... you wouldn't like that, I think.

Except that we cover many other topics. But let me ask you this- and it is not a hypothetical question: On what other subject (other, that is, than homosexuality) do they write regularly about "denying the authority of Scripture?"

TEC began that long ago, allowing people like Bishop Pike to deny the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection. Our main point is that TEC has long treated the Incarnation, and every dependent doctrine (including the authority-rather, Divine Authorship of scripture) as merely optional at best.

I have no doubt that many topics can be debated on SF, and that some of the contributors do not mind being contradicted or criticized. Nonetheless, it is also a fact that certain contributors have banned people from commenting simply because of being contradicted. Furthermore, all of the contributors have the power to ban anyone at any time, even if a fellow contributor might have wished otherwise. The charge that these comments were “rude” was never made, but rather that they were “off topic.” Clearly, “off topic” for some of the contributors simply means anything, even if very much on topic, that does not fit the agendum for a specific thread by the contributor (someone named Sarah hay was always the least tolerant, followed by Greg Griffith of Foulmouth).

However, in his comment here, Matt Kennedy has charged that bannings have taken place due to bad manners. Maybe so in some cases; but the records I have prove that perfectly polite and reasonable people were banned after having perfectly reasonable and polite comments deleted.

The case I know best involved a news report that Sarah Hay did not agree with, and so she was very brutal in her initial posting (later revised a bit), saying that a reporter for the Falls Church News was either lazy, stupid or a liar. The story she was trashing, however, was factual. The lazy, stupid or lying reporter was a little sloppy and left out a detail. Nonetheless, her version was even more inaccurate, based on the groundless speculation that the Archbishop of Nigeria is willing to have women "ordained" in the CANA churches. Well, her rage aside, that is not true. The Falls Church News reporter merely reported the fact that Bp. Martyn Minns cannot, at this time at least, "ordain" women because of the Canon Law of the Church of Nigeria. This is a fact, not a matter of opinion.

On this one occasion I was crazy enough to comment- a mistake to be sure. I pointed out only that the Falls Church reporter was mostly correct(Canon Law is Canon Law, except, obviously, in TEC), and also that verbal abuse of the reporter was uncalled for from a Christian writer. The comment was deleted as "off topic."

If, indeed, LP has been able to carry on debate about WO it is because of one of two possibilities (and perhaps he can tell me by e-mail, as he has written to me from time to time). Either it is a thread off in the corner safely out of the way, serving like a token minority group member for the sake of appearance, or after much embarrassment they have turned over a new leaf.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

The ever grumpy and cantankerous Fr. Laurence Wells wrote:

I don't recall many articles by J.I.Packer which drew the dubious honor of getting posted on Stand Wobbly.

Perhaps, as a public service, Matt Kennedy could let us all know the source of that article, as in who sent it. That way we could all be on our toes if they try it again.

Anonymous said...

Since the name of Sarah Hey has come up, it is notable how she kept the story of a conservative evangelical church in Spartanburg SC (I believe the name was St Christopher's) out of SFIF for quite some while (I believe about two weeks) after the tale of their departure from the Dio of Upper SC had been all over Virtueonline. Sarah enjoys a friendly relationship of the revisionist bishop of that diocese and frequently raves about how much she loves him. This church is only about 25 miles from the town where Sarah dwells. It was a clear-cut case of news management and intellectual dishonesty on the part of the SFIF gang. Eventually, the story was run on SFIF. But weeks after it had broken elswhere.
Laurence K. Wells

Alice C. Linsley said...

Banning people from one's blog is an inherent right of blog ownership. I've read blogs that I wished would bann certain invividuals. There was a real pest at Global South Anglican, a priest from New Zealand, who was finally banned after a year of harrassing comments. The strange consequence is that now he is gone, fewer people comment at that site (though many read it). Which suggests that allowing some confrontation is actually good for a blog. I don't bann anyone at my blogs, but I've deleted a few inappropriate comments.

The bad feeling that has grown between readers of Stand Firm and readers of The Continuum is unfortunate because both groups have something to learn from each other. This learning would be faciliated if you stopped banning each other and were to entertain discussion at both blogs of the issues over which you differ.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Alice:

We don't ban anybody, as is evident in that Matt Kennedy commented on this very thread. And, he may do so again. So may any of them. That openness is not mutual, or at least it was not when I last checked. They can comment here, however, because we are not afraid, and we don't try to micro manage and manipulate discussion. If any of them wants to dispute any of our remarks, they may do so. The only thing is, they won't have control over our replies. They can't delete our responses.

Some of our readers do have a bad feeling about SFIF, because they believe they were abused (and they sent me example after example for months before the banning of Bill Tighe-when I finally spoke up).

What I object to about SFIF is not their editorial stand, even though I am critical of how far from true orthodoxy they choose to draw the line. What troubles me is slanted reporting from an outlet where some of the contributors silence any attempt to tell the other side, or at least an alternative point of view. SFIF can change that, and change it right now. The ball has always been in their court. They can loosen up and let reasonable comments appear, even when they don't like what is said.

We do. So can they.

Anonymous said...

Alice writes:
"The bad feeling that has grown between readers of Stand Firm and readers of The Continuum is unfortunate because both groups have something to learn from each other. This learning would be faciliated if you stopped banning each other and were to entertain discussion at both blogs of the issues over which you differ."

Alice, I am a trifle surprised that you have failed to notice the difference in banning policy in the two blogs. Have you given this same lecture to SFIF?

As for my banning, it came without warning and without announcement, and is now known only because I myself announced it here. When they banned Dr Tighe, I just quit posting for over a month. I became aware only after I attempted to make a comment.

Please do not attempt to whitewash this situation as one of mere "bad feeling." Some of us have seen SFIF for what it is. We have indeed learned the distinction between "reasserters" and the authentically orthodox.
Laurence K. Wells

poetreader said...

We have indeed banned a couple of posters, both of whom desired to use this site to promote a venomous antisemitic program, corresponding in both cases with the offender and explaoning precisely why; and we have warned others whose attitudes have been very negative, to say the least, but we have not banned anyone for disagreeing with us, nor have we declared anyone to be "off-topic" for relating one issue to another.

SFIF has done this latter, and has banned several, including a highly respected scholar, for insisting that homosexuality cannot be discussed outside of the overall gender confusion that permeates our society. Manu of us are convinced that the toleration and even promotion of this sin in the church is intimately related to (and arguably caused by) the confusion of sexual identity that produced WO. That is a line of argumentation that is not permitted on SFIF. Issues thus cannot be presented in their fullness without the writer being shot down.

Yes, a remark was made about "banning" SFIF on this blog. But what did that amount to? We removed the link from our sidebar and ceased to recommend the reading of the site. That is all there was to that. Matt Kennedy and his friends are entirely welcome to post here (as is evident in this very thread).

Speaking of this thread, I, for one, am disappointed that it has devolved into an exchange of condemnations and defenses of particular individuals, boards, and procedures. That is off-topic. What is being sdscussed here is the considerable theological gulf between reasserters with all the baggage from decades of continuance with an increasingly apostasizing body as opposed to those who have rejected the whole package of errors. WO is not a peripheral issue in that context.

ed

Albion Land said...

Officially, as owner of this blog, no one is now or has ever been banned from this blog, and no one will be. However, comments may be and often are rejected because of their inflammatory content or their violation of the Galations Five Rule (See Gal 5.22)

And I agree with Ed, let us focus our discussion of "the considerable theological gulf between reasserters with all the baggage from decades of continuance with an increasingly apostasizing body as opposed to those who have rejected the whole package of errors. WO is not a peripheral issue in that context."

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I thank Ed and Albion for directing our attention to the whole purpose I had in posting this in the first place. We can easily sympathize with the Reasserters against TEC (at least I can). The same opponent is against us in a similar way. But, we have to maintain our theological position or lose everything. It is not negotiable.

John said...

The primary basis for all revisionist or 'reasserter' error is the 79 book of common errors.
My confusion is so many words are used in a plastic manner. "Orthodox" in this case may mean only that they wish to be PreGC03 Episcopalians. This orthodoxy generally means 'believe anything you want... just don't cause a fuss.'

As far as I can tell those self described re-asserters continue to use the 79 book of common errors as their spiritual guide.

It might be helpful to take opportunity here and list the errors in the 79 one by one, including those that aid in the development and sustaining of the error of WO since both the BCE.

I know these errors affect the Rite of Marriage, Baptism, Confirmation, Communion even the Creeds.

It seems to me that the one thing the re-asserters have not figured out yet is that they are working in and from such a thorough web of error by retaining the 'errorology' of the 1950/60' secular social justice agenda driven 79, they cannot easily see all the problems at once.

I think the best place to to start is with the false creed recited every Sunday.

The Nicene had two distinct changes: I Believe morphs to We Believe. There is no personal commitment here to the Faith once delivered but 'we' still seems to allow unfettered personal interpretation with emphasis on a democratic outlook.
Then there is the change in the nature of the Godhead "by the power of the Holy Spirit".

These are just two of the changes that combine to create a different religion then that of Anglicanism.

Maybe someone owuld like to comment further

Anonymous said...

The term "reasserter" baffles me. It is an evasive term, leaving unclear just what is being reasserted. Upon close study, it is plain enough that the reasserted thing is not exactly the Faith Once Delivered Unto the Saints. I have proposed elsewhere that a more appropriate term for this movement, which began to appear shortly after the St Louis Church Congress in 1977, should be termed "Neo-Anglican." This is analogous to "neo-orthodox" or "neo- conservative," -- similar movements which appear orthodox or conservative from a distance but upon close inspection are neither orthodox nor conservative. The position(s) vigorously maintained by the Neo-Anglicans are Anglican only in a superficial sense.

Some time ago I had the privilege of meeting and talking at length with a very orthodox priest of the Episcopal church who had had some involvement with the Neo-Anglicans of his diocese and in fact had been considered within their ranks. But after much thought he had made a conscientious decision to remain in a church he despairs of--because he has not yet found an acceptable alternative. (I am trying to show him one.) He had concluded that the Neo-Anglicans really have no theological substance; their only "Church Father" is Rick Warren; their "new Jerusalem" is the Protestant mega-church; and without VGR they would have no real raison d'etre. Whenever VGR retires or fades from the scene, they will have to find another outrage du jour to rail against.

It will not be possible for the neo-Anglicans to keep an Anglican veneer on Protestant Finney-ite revivalism for very long. That idea was tried by a group which popped up about twenty years ago but is rapidly falling apart.

I believe that the Continuing Churches are in a situation very similar to that of the Episcopal Church in the years following the Revolution, from 1783 to ca. 1830--a bleak period when many (like Bishop Prevoost of NY) were almost ready to give up on the theological enterprise called Anglicanism. Only God knows what the outcome will be for us. But our duty, at the present juncture, is simply to stay the course, to be what we have been, not to run after the "strange gods" of seeker- friendly religion (which is a humanism far more pernicious than anything spewed out by the 815 establishment).

We must not make the mistake of assuming that "the enemy of our enemy is our friend." We must be on guard against those who tells us they are opposed to WO, but "it's just not a salvation issue." There are many across the Protestant world who disapprove of WO, but do not hold a Biblical or Catholic doctrine of sacraments and priesthood. And that, as far as I am concerned, is the "great gulf fixed" between the genuinely orthodox and the self-styled reasserters.
Laurence K. Wells

Albion Land said...

John,

In quick response to you very valid query, I would suggest you have a look at Dr Peter Toon's site, where he writes extensively on the shortcomings and theological error of the 1979 "BCP."

http://pbs1928.blogspot.com/

John said...

Albion,

I have Dr. Toon's book on the matter and I hand out copies for free at local fairs. I am glad you posted the site.

I still think it would be a good idea to find out as LKW points out what is actually being 're-asserted.' I would hope Nathan would speak to us about this so we can understand clearly what they believe, why and where they are headed.

I would like to know if these folk simply reject homosexuals on a cultural basis or biblical and if they would explain the same for women's ordination.

I have never heard anything other than the Gal 3 23 argument which has nothing to do with ordination or role.

Maybe Nathan could outline the justification for WO for us as well as other positions on the theology his group professes.

I would like to hear what the re-assert believes with respect to 'the power of the Holy Spirit" and whether 'we' is sufficient to acknowledge a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I do not think Mssr's Warren or Finney ever used this language creed or no.

John said...

sorry I meant Gal. 3: 28

poetreader said...

In the interest of not accusing our brethren in the Eastern Orthodox Church of heresy,it needs to be pointed out that "We believe..." is not wrong in itself. In fact the original Greek form of the creed, as still used by the Eastern Orthodox, is plural. Early on, perhaps perhaps earlier than the actual formulation of Nicea, the Latin form came to be in the singular. Both are correct. The propositions of the Creed are defining doctrines of the Church as Church (The Eastern emphasis) and also binding upon the individual conscience (as emphasized in the West).

The question arises, however, of the intent of the revisers in altering the ancient Western formulation. If it were merely a reaching out to the East by conforming to their use (as some of the revisers seemed to intend). there would be no theological objection. However,some of the revisers (perhaps a majority) were of the school of Bishop Pike, who would not commit himself to believing every article of the Creed, but insisted it was a corporate statement of historic beliefs. Insofar as the change to "we" reflects this view and intends to dispense people from individuap belief, it can be assumed or at least suspected to be an apparently orthodox permission for heterodoxy. To that extent, a form that is orthodox in appearance must be judged top be serving a heterodox function, thus advancing heresy.

On the other hand, "by the power of the Holy Spirit" as a replacement of "by the Holy Ghost" is not a translation of anything and is in actuality a transparent use of weasel words to avoid requiring belief in the incarnation, and thus transparently heretical.

ed

Fr. Robert Hart said...

"By the power of the Holy Spirit" could be said about the conceptions of Isaac and John the Baptist. It is a step away from the Virgin Birth. "By the Holy Ghost" cannot apply to anyone who has a biological father.

Albion Land said...

Ed,

You say:

"In fact the original Greek form of the creed, as still used by the Eastern Orthodox, is plural."

The Divine Liturgy of John Chrysostom, a copy of which I have in front of me, says:

Πιστευω εις ενα θεον (I believe in One God) etc.

I have heard before this claim that the Orthodox use "we," but it is just not true. However, I think I once began to delve into the claim that it was originally in the plural, and found evidence to that effect.

Whatever the case, anyone claiming that we are "reaching out" to the East is speaking rubbish.

Moreover, the singular is singular because, unless I am mistaken, it is the only place in the liturgy where it is used. In my opinion, the "we" becomes all that much stronger because it consists of so many unhesitating "I"s.

Sandra McColl said...

As I understand it, the plural was used in the Creed as formulated by the Council, as what the Council authoritatively pronounced to be its agreed statement of belief. Liturgically, however, creeds developed in the singular, as baptismal formulae--each candidate individually subscribed to the articles of faith, rather than merely consenting to join a body which officially believed them. Consequently, when the Nicene Creed became a liturgical item rather than a conciliar pronouncement, it took the form of a liturgical statement of belief, which was singular.

Anonymous said...

Albion is correct about the singular "Pisteuw" in the Divine Lit. St Jno Chrys. I too own a copy with the same singular verb.

Actually, Albion there are two places where our liturgy reverts to the singular: at the Creed, and in the formular of administration: "given for thee ...preserve thy body and soul..." Think about it: at the climactic point of the "liturgy of the word" and "liturgy of the sacrament," the indivudal worshipper is addressed.
LKW

Albion Land said...

I like the symbolism. Very good.

Albion Land said...

Sorry, Sandra, I overlooked your comment. Naturally that was where I found the plural.

poetreader said...

I was indeed in error. It had escaped my attention that the plural used by the council had become singular in liturgical use. I've encountered translations of the liturgy by Orthodox that render it as "we", and had managed blissfully to miss the fact that the Greek is indeed singular.

Nonetheless, my observation that it is only the intent of the revisers that renders this plural use to be a problem, (as the conciliar text is plural, unlike the deliberate unorthodoxy of what is said about the Spirit's role in the Incarnation.

I believe in picking my battles, and fighting the ones with clear outcome rather than stress8ing out over every detail. There's enough in the 79 book that can be condemned without legitimate argument.

ed

John said...

Edifying!

Have the Re-asserters observed and addressed these problems in the revision of the Nicene Creed in the 79 BCE?
Are any of them using either Dr. Toon's modern language edition or any valid edition of a BCP?

Without being insulting it would be interesting to know how one could recite a 'cowbird' creed every Sunday and claim orthodoxy???

Especially in light of the fact that the very same GC that 'ordained' VGR also voted against acknowledging and recommitting to the "Historic Documents of the Church" (B-001).

VGR and rejection of the creeds by the overwhelming majority of the TEC HOB went hand in hand but it would seem that only VGR became an issue.

Can one assume that this blind-spot is due to the fact that the membership of TEC has not recited the Nicene Creed or made an individual commitment to Christ's Church in the singular in almost thirty years?

In contrast to what the Council of Nicea intended by affirming their assent, I can't help but think that "We" in this context allows the wiggle room necessary to have a subjective and relativistic outlook on orthodoxy in a sort of unspoken democratic sort of way.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Have the Re-asserters observed and addressed these problems in the revision of the Nicene Creed in the 79 BCE?

It seems that they have never noticed this, or "by the power of," or anything until Vickie Gene was given a purple shirt. The "authority of scripture" as they understand scripture, was not violated until the General Convention of of 2003.

"If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness."

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Fr. Hart: "Unfortunately for Nevin and his endeavors, several commenters on SFIF took the precaution of copying and pasting their posted remarks, recording their deletions, and the harsh, swift, paranoid bannings that followed (except for the bannings that have yet to be admitted to publicly, despite their claim that they announce them). I have been sent a large amount of this evidence, which is absolutely accurate, impossible to fake.

... What has been recorded from SFIF and preserved, comments before and after deletion, is evidence.

Sorry Nevin. The facts are a matter of record, and we have that record."

I don't know if Fr. Hart had me in mind or not, but I have sent evidence of my sinful and wrongful banning by Sarah Hey to Matt Kennedy+, Greg Griffith+, and to Sarah Hey.

Nothing was done. No apology and no restoration of posting privileges. They are a prideful bunch at SFIF.

Yet despite their moral lapses, I have no problem in stating that SFIF is one of the best, if not the best blog in the Anglican blogosphere.

Pax all.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Yet despite their moral lapses, I have no problem in stating that SFIF is one of the best, if not the best blog in the Anglican blogosphere.

Don't hold your breath for an amen from me. Their news is all copied and pasted from real news sources, and their analysis usually stinks. And no one is allowed to provide an alternative point of view, at least not on threads run by G.G., S.H. or. to a lesser extent, M.K.

And, TU&D, this sure doesn't sound like you.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"And, TU&D, this sure doesn't sound like you."

Heh, heh. Hearty laughter. I've been kidnapped! Or I've been taking hallucinogenics!

But seriously, the answer lies in what you wrote previously with "Their news is all copied and pasted from real news sources...". That's exactly the point. SFIF is a central gathering station for news feeds. SFIF is like a one-stop shop for TEC and AC news. Plus they do have interesting threads from time to time.

And although I strenuously object to Sarah Hey's sinful and wrongful banning of me, and I probably always will, that doesn't prevent me from acknowledging the things that she does good or well. I'm a fair-minded guy, trying to extend grace whenever I can. She did me wrong, and Greg Griffith and Matt Kennedy enabled her in committing that wrong. She could have apologized for her sin and reconciled, but her pride refuses to acknowledge her sin. Nothing I can do about that.

poetreader said...

I don't read SFIF anymore -- not because I disagree with it -- in fact that would be a major attractor. I read far more that I disagree with than otherwise, and this has been true ever since my teen years. Probably if they just ran their stories and opinion pieces to be read I'd still be looking in there. However, they continue to solicit opinion from readers, while making it very clear, most obviously by the wholesale banning of certain commenters, that my opinion is simply not welcome. If they have banned Bill Tighe for saying things I would have said, they have banned me, and I don't intrude where I am not welcome.

ed

LP said...

Ed --

You can add me to the list of the "ban"-ees at SFiF... they just don't want anyone articulately challenging their position from a more orthodox or catholic view.


Nevin --

I'm dropping this note here because you mentioned my example above. I'm afraid what others are saying -- that SFiF, and Sarah Hey in particular, are neither even-handed nor honest, is quite true.

I'm afraid I must agree with the others who have responded to you -- as well as let you know that you cannot use my example as someone who "disagrees" and yet has been treated honestly or honourably by SFiF.


It would be one thing if they said, up front, that they only want commentators from a particular point of view -- but they don't say that. They claim to value open discussion, but systematically ban anyone who is articulate in disagreement with their own positions.


On the "dishonesty" side, I can give you two examples.

First, I've posted an example on the follow-up thread to this one which demonstrates, no no uncertain terms, EXACTLY the kind of dishonesty by S.H. which others have described. I give explicit and direct quotes from both the post she banned and her subsequent public dishonest misrepresentations to document that fact. You can check those out in that post.


Second, if you look at the discussion in the long GAFCON Document thread over there, you'll see that one of several "themes" in that thread -- that was attracting lots of thoughful posts from quite a few readers (of differing perspectives) -- was the question of how anglocatholicism would fit in to the Declaration document.

If you go down to about 219, you'll see (I assume) S.H.'s hand removing my messages and banning me. You'll also see that some quite offensive, _ad hominem_ comments about the Continuum and its leaders were allowed to stand without comment. (#230).

My posts which were deleted were part of the on-going and active discussion -- among those many and varied posters -- about the issues raised by the GAFCON document. Hardly off topic. Further, the list she gives -- her usual bugaboos that she'll silence any criticism on -- were, in addition to being pertinent, mentioned only in passing, as elements of PEcUSA's practice (and, by extention, possibly a GAFCON practice) which is necessarily incompatible with a "theological anglocatholicsm" because of their bearing on issues of sacramentality and jurisdictional definition.

So in my first example above, you see a documented case of simple downright dishonesty about why a post was deleted -- in my second example, you see a case of where, because S.H. (who I assume did that banning) found the subject matter and poster's articulate exposition incompatible with her own "moderate revisionist" beliefs, deleted the posts and banned the poster, claiming it was "off topic" and irrelevant, DESPITE THE FACT that it was engaged in the active, on-going discussion being enjoyed by most of the posters there, and responding SPECIFICALLY to the issues, subject matter, and questions which those posters raised.


So no... I'm afraid you can't use my now-banned presence on SFiF to argue that they have that sort of honesty or integrity in who they chose to ban or why.

Unfortunate... because by increasingly reducing their "permitted" commentators (at least among the regulars) to "only those people with positions that S.H. approves of or the 'pet revisionists' who can be used as foils", they're turning the comments on that site into nothing more than a group of self-congradulatory navel-gazers who haven't the courage or intellectual integrity to honestly wrestle with any serious discussions of (or challenge to) their own "moderate revisionism".

Sad, but true.


And that's more than enough... and, having set the record straight, all I"m going to say on this (ultimately unproductive) issue on this thread.


pax,
LP

Sodbuster said...

I have to agree with LP. I was banned because I quoted the passage of Scripture that Matt K. was ignoring in his analysis of WO in a thread which they created specifically for the purpose of discussing WO. It -was- on topic.

It was God Who infuriated S.H. in that instance.

Since I was banned with no possibility of appeal, I have ignored their site since.

I had much valued SFIF and was rooting for those I thought were confessing Anglicans resisting the apostasy that had taken over their denomination. It would appear I had been mistaken about their purpose and views. Or at least of SFIF.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Banned for quoting scripture? That fits their pattern. The word of God is off topic.