Opening Comments 5-9-2001
DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Tue May 8 23:50:19 EDT 2001
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It was once said of Bertrand Russell that he loved humanity but hated
people. When the epitaph of the Episcopal Church is finally written one
day it may well be said of it that this church loved all religions and
all people, it just hated orthodox Christians. Such is the fate of
those who would stand for the uniqueness of Christ over pluriformity,
for Biblical morality over sexual inclusivity and diversity, and a
genuine liberality of spirit that allows for those with whom they
disagree to live in peace. Biblical orthodoxy once denied is biblical
orthodoxy soon proscribed.
The Episcopal Church through its liberal and revisionist bishops,
diocesan leaders and various Episcopal groups like Integrity and the
Episcopal Women's Caucus is waging an all out war on its Evangelical
and Evangelical-Catholic brethren and sisters. By doing so it is
poisoning the very chalice of its life and source, and denying the
bread of life - Jesus himself.
It is hard to imagine that a church with its links to history, liturgy
and faith, that holds within its grasp the book of books could go so
seriously astray. A Virtuosity reader recently described a visit he
made to Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. This is what he wrote: "In
the back of the nave, a labyrinth...and another in a courtyard.
Downstairs, in the 'Christian' bookstore, books on New Age, Wicca,
labyrinth 'spirituality' and totem stones for sale! Such a beautiful
building built to God's glory. One wonders how long He will allow the
current 'tenants' to reside, and how long before our Lord 'cleanses'
His Temple. How sad, that Obi Won Kenobi and Darth Vader are on staff
at Grace Cathedral."
How long indeed. And all this is done in the name of an inclusivity
that ultimately denies the very Lord that bought them and hates the
very persons who would uphold the doctrines they themselves promised to
uphold. Hell indeed will be filled with Episcopalians whose only wish
is to want to be there to keep company with other great theological
pluriformists, also people without a singular faith and hope.
THE GATHERING CRISIS IN ECUSA takes yet another turn this week with a
visit on May 15 of seven orthodox bishops trudging off to New York to
see Frank Griswold and two other bishops - Lee of Virginia and Theuner
of New Hampshire who will join them there. The announcement was made by
Fr. Moyer, rector and President of Forward in Faith--North America, of
the upcoming meeting at 815. The Gang of three will meet with the
seven bishops who include the following:
Bishop Jack Iker of Fort Worth
Bishop Keith Ackerman of Quincy
Bishop John-David Schofield of San Joaquin
Bishop Edward MacBurney of Quincy, retired
Bishop William Wantland JD of Eau Claire, retired (Cannot attend owing
to prior commitments)
Bishop Donald Parsons of Quincy, retired
Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh
Fr. David Moyer, President of FiF/NA
Now it is thought that L'affaire Accokeek is the primary agenda item
but there are many other items open for discussion such as GC2000
resolution A-045 (enforced women's ordination) that could also be high
on the agenda. Now the heavy thinkers at 815 have been decidedly
lacking in communication and somewhat impervious to the concerns of
orthodox Anglicans in ECUSA of late, but in the face of all that has
been happening in Washington and the negative worldwide publicity
generated by "jack boot" Jane, Frank might be willing to sing a
different tune or at least attempt a little harmony.
Now Theuner, who usually attends HOB meetings at General Conventions in
short pants while combing his hair, is so liberal it is thought he
would marry a thistle bush with a porcupine in the vain hope that they
might make beautiful music together. He sat on the "jury" at the
Righter Trial and declared the church had no canons on homosexuality
and apparently no morals either. Lee is a moderate though not
particularly trustworthy for the orthodox to place much hope in. He's
conservative without being evangelical, which means he's a team player
for Frank and won't rock the boat.
Griswold will pull all the pluriform cards he can out of his bag of
theological tricks, but it is unlikely this crowd will fall for it.
He'll try and sell them on diversity and inclusivity and feel the pain
of gays like Louie, but this crowd has heard enough of this nonsense
and so it could be hard ball time. The moment Virtuosity hears anything
about this meeting, you'll know.
THE LEAD STORY today concerns the Episcopal Bishop of Colorado, Jerry
Winterrowd. He's been taking it on the chin of late for coming out with
the totally original idea that homosexual clergy might not be what God
intends and he won't have any more gay priests and lesbians in his
diocese. Well the screams of outrage could be heard all the way to
Washington and Pennsylvania, so I have reflected on Winterrowd's rocky
road to heterosexuality and perhaps even a belated orthodoxy.
THE ACCOKEEK SAGA continues with Washington-based reporter Robert Stowe
England bringing us the latest from Dixon and Edwards. His story,
'Dixon's Weakening Position' puts you squarely in the picture.
ST. JAMES THE LESS got an unwelcome visit from Bishop Charles E.
Bennison on Sunday. You can read that as well. Bennison still thinks he
can negotiate with a parish that has not only left the diocese but the
denomination as well.
UP IN CANADA things are going from bad to worse. The Anglican of Church
in Canada is in real danger of going bankrupt with legal fees over sex
scandals involving native students in church run schools a number of
years ago. The Canadian Government won't step in and help. The Diocese
of the Cariboo has already gone under, more dioceses, it seems will
IN IRELAND, ARCHBISHOP ROBERT HENRY ALEXANDER EAMES reveals his true
colors and is fighting a parish that wants to hire an out and out
evangelical. He is nixing the idea. I first met Eames at Lambeth and my
instincts then said 'don't trust this man.' They were later confirmed
when I met him again in Oporto when he held a press conference, mid-
Primatial talks and inadvertently told the truth about what was going
on. The press never saw him again. He fits more comfortably into
Griswold's mold than Spong's, but Reform Ireland is giving him a run
for his money. He may look to early retirement as a way out.
And in a special report, CANON MICHAEL GREEN, the Archbishop of
Canterbury's consultant on evangelism weighs in on the difference
between proselytism and evangelism. I requested this story from Canon
Green following the pope's remarks this week about proselytism when he
visit both Orthodox and Muslim leaders. A good read.
I have posted a number of other stories for your interest and as usual
I close with a devotional.
CONVENTIONS AND CONFERENCES FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
CHRIST IS RISEN! A Festival of Faith.
An All-Day Celebration of faith will be held Saturday, May 12, 2001 at
St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Bladensburg, Maryland (Just Outside
Registration and Coffee at 9 AM
Pontifical High Mass at 10:30 AM
The Right Reverend Jack L. Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth, Celebrant
Luncheon at Noon
The Right Reverend Jack L. Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth
Father Geoffrey Kirk, Secretary, Forward in Faith / England
Father David Moyer, President of Forward in Faith / North America
Cris Fouse, National Field Director of Forward in Faith / North America
Evening Prayer and Benediction at 5:00 pm
Reception, Barbecue and Awards at 6:00 pm
REGISTRATION FREE DONATIONS ACCEPTED
Contact Father Michael Heidt, Rector,
Telephone: 301 927-6466
Email: michael_heidt at hotmail.com
The EPISCOPAL EVANGELICAL ASSEMBLY in conjunction with EFAC meets in
Pittsburgh Thursday May 31 to Saturday June 2 to consider the 39
Articles. One of the featured speakers is retired Bishop C. FitzSimons
I will be at this conference and would be happy to link up with
ESSENTIALS 2001 meet June 14 - 19 in Vancouver, BC Canada. A must for
all Canadian evangelical Anglicans. Leading Anglican thinkers from
around the world will discuss the essentials of their faith at Trinity
Western University in Langley, BC. The conference, title is Lift High
the Cross and is the first national gathering of Anglican
Essentials representatives since the coalition was formed in Montreal
seven years ago. ESSENTIALS is a group of Canadian Anglicans that hope
to direct the church back to its more orthodox roots and teachings.
If you live close to the US/Canada border either in Seattle or
Portland, or towns and cities nearby it would be well worth the nickels
to attend. I will be at this conference and hope to meet many Canadian
readers of Virtuosity. I can't recommend this conference highly enough.
A preparatory Essentials 2001 Video, involving Archbishop Reg Hollis
others, has been produced entitled "Essentials: What and How". People
can order this video for a cost of $19.95 Canadian plus $6 shipping*
either dialing into http://www.reason-for-hope.com , phoning
604-988-3441, e-mailing stuart at lightspeed.ca , or using regular mail at
Norlynn Audio Visual Services Box 86548 North Vancouver BC V7L 4L1.
The ANGLICAN INSTITUTE conference that was to have been held in May in
New York City will now meet in October. New details pending.
In an article I wrote in which I mentioned Spong's Koinonia statement.
I inadvertently said that no other Primate had signed onto it. I was
wrong. The Primate of Scotland Richard F. Holloway also signed it. Two
other bishops the Rt. Rev. Neville Chamberlain, Bishop of Brechin and
the Rt. Rev. Gregor MacGregor, Bishop of Moray Ross & Caithness also
In another story I said that the meeting of Episcopal Communicators
where Bp. Steven Charleston spoke occurred in Dallas. Not true. It was
near Houston, Texas.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK in the Living Church comes from the Rt. Rev. Paul
Marshall, Bishop of Bethlehem: "When micro-management is taking place,
the devil is not far away."
If you would like to support this ministry you may do so by sending a
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David W. Virtue
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