Opening Comments 5-14-2001

David Virtue DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Sun May 13 20:23:16 EDT 2001

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

"I think God has humbled the Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Church is
a sideline church today, whether we like it or not. In this culture,
people do not look to the Episcopal Church. The only time we make the
press is when we have a fight or when somebody does something wrong.
There is nothing about the church in terms of what we stand for that
this culture pays attention to. I believe that's God's judgment."

These words were penned by the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon; Jr. Bishop of
South Carolina in a book, The Truth about Jesus (Eerdmans) edited by
Donald Armstrong.

They are damning words indeed, the more so when you bear in mind that
general conventions spend two weeks every three years passing
resolutions that no one cares about the moment they are passed, and
that the only issues that really excites anyone has to do with sexual
behavior and how to dump on a dwindling group of bishops holding out
against women's ordination. Is it any wonder that Bishop Salmon's words
ring with such clarion truth.

But now a more sinister element has crept into ECUSA, and it is this.
For a number of years liberal and revisionist bishops have silently
persecuted, harassed and pushed pro-homosexual and sometimes avowed
homosexuals and lesbian priests onto unwitting parishes who don't know
their canonical rights. Cowed and bullied by deployment officers these
modern day Svengalis do the bidding of their revisionist bishops and
push their bishops' agendas. This is so in the case of the Diocese of
Washington where Bishop Jane Dixon has allowed her deployment officer
the Rev. Ted Karpf to interfere in the calling of orthodox priests to a
number of parishes. These letters have been published in Virtuosity's
digests and more, possibly, will come. The story on Mr. Karpf will
shortly be written.

This is the truth behind the truth, if you will, in what is going on at
Christ Church, Accokeek. It is not primarily about Fr. Sam Edward's
writings or his views on women's ordination, it is far subtler than
that. It is an attempt to broker in a whole new understanding of
Christianity that coincides with Dixon's views on what she perceives
the 21st century Episcopal Church should or will look like. She said as
much in a letter to Barbara Sturman the senior warden, who, with her
vestry had been looking for a rector for more than three years without
any help from the diocese, until, that is, they found Fr. Edwards and
recognized that he fit their understanding of biblical orthodoxy.

Here is what Dixon wrote: "[I want] plan for a richer and fuller
ministry [which] is essential to you and the larger church" and  "The
[Soper] Fund is available to help congregations prepare for the 21st

Now it doesn't take a brain surgeon to know what is going on here. What
Dixon wants this parish to accept as an appropriate rector, is someone
who will broker in and lead this congregation of faithful believers
into a new religion that is not historic Christianity at all. It is not
merely homosexuality and Lesbitransgays that constitute a "richer and
fuller ministry" it is a whole new religion that embraces other
religions without evangelizing them, of "inclusivity" of views that
stand in exact opposition to orthodox Christianity, and Dixon will move
heaven and hell to make that happen.

Her pathological hatred of Edwards is because of what Edwards
represents not just what he says and teaches. Edwards represents, in
Dixon's mind, a view of the Christian Faith that is now passe and
should disappear. The new church of the future will be lead by people
of mixed genders, multiple sexualities and beliefs that are as vague as
the North wind. It is a religion characterized by Spong's 12 theses not
the 10 commandments or the Sermon on the Mount, unless the Sermon is
interpreted as basically endorsing niceness or inclusivity. This
religion will endorse globalist thinking, Wicca, labyrinths, Gaia
worship and a whole host of different religions more in keeping with
Griswold's understanding of a 21st Century church in touch with its
electronic soul, massaged by Spong's 12 theses. This is what Dixon is
doing and in order to achieve that end she must demonify Edwards and
make him look so bad that she can get away with this.

It is Frank Griswold's pluriform religion. It is the religion of 70 or
more liberal and revisionist bishops bound and determined to
accommodate to the spirit of the age at all cost, and in doing so, toss
out the very essence of Anglican thought and wisdom though continuing
to cloak it all in the language of the Prayer Book, but using multiple
interpretations of Scripture based on the latest findings of "scholars"
in its seminaries.

This is at the heart of the trouble in Accokeek, and that is why this
small battle cannot be passed over or moved off center stage.

The importance of Accokeek is exacerbated by its clarity which leads to
the inescapable conclusion that this tiny domino set in the middle of
the field  will set the others falling either to the left or right,
says EKKLESIA General Secretary, Dr. Bill Atwood.

This past week Dixon told a group in Washington that she had broad
support from her clergy, and she further implied that two of the three
priests who don't accept women's ordination in the Diocese also support
her. "I am oppressed and under attack," she told the attendees. But,
she says, she is enjoying the full support and backing of the diocese's
priests in going after Edwards to get rid of him. "I'm oppressed
because I'm a woman, and he has a political agenda," she said. She was
quick to cite Edward's writings. Dixon delivered the party line. She
and the church, she says are under attack by schismatics.

Well, she may not be sustained in their support for much longer.

A seventh bishop, Paul V. Marshall of Bethlehem has weighed in against
Dixon and you can read his letter to the senior warden Barbara Sturman.
Adding to that is Canon lawyer Charles Nalls response to Diocesan
lawyer JoAnn Macbeth. He accuses Dixon of "obdurate refusal" in her
failure to recognize the plain language of the church's canons "and
abide by it."

On May 15th some eight orthodox bishops will descend on Frank Griswold
at 815 to hammer this whole mess out.

However, to bring this matter to a head, all it would take is for one
sitting ECUSA bishop prepared to cross jurisdictional lines, and when
Dixon appears at Accokeek next month to be there and, with the rector
and vestry, prevent her from going into the pulpit. The fat will truly
hit the fan. I am reliably told that there is one bishop who might just
do this. We will see.

The big news this week though was the revelation THAT SOME GAYS CAN GO

As most of you will have learned from news reports, a devastating study
explodes the myth of sexual orientation released by Dr. Robert L.
Spitzer. Based on new findings, Dr. Spitzer courageously states that
some gay people may turn straight.

This is devastating news to homosexuals especially Episcopal
homosexuals and their bishop supporters and gene theorists. Dr. Spitzer
headed the 1973 decision by the American Psychological Association to
remove homosexuality from the mental disorders list.

Homosexuals are, naturally enough, furious in denouncing Dr. Spitzer.
They are doing whatever it takes to censor and spin Dr. Spitzer's
statements, including intimidation and threats. Why is this so serious?
Because homosexuals claim that their sexual orientation is fixed and
unchangeable. The Koinonia statement argues that homosexuality is a
gift. If so it is a very fatal one, and one that you would not to want
to pass on to your worst enemy. I have posted a number of stories on
this into one continues read for your ease and education.


Jerry Winterrowd of Colorado has decided not to speak at the
commencement at Denver's Iliff School of Theology, a United Methodist
school, following protests over his recent decision on guidelines that
would preclude non-celibate gays and lesbians serving as clergy in the
diocese. The ceremony will still be held at St. John's Episcopal
Cathedral.  Iliff has an Anglican Studies Program and Winterrowd serves
as a trustee of the school. The relationship is due for a review, said
the diocese, without predicting whether the controversy would alter the
relationship. "The Anglican Studies Program is an important component
of the Iliff community," said Heather Fitzgerald, speaking for the
school. "The bishop doesn't want to do anything to interfere with the
special day for graduates," said the Rev. Bob Franken, speaking for the

Virtuosity has learned that the bishop's wife is sick and we urge all
our readers to pray for her and the bishop.

Now I have written a piece of commentary on what might be regarded as
Christianity's two deadliest enemies. This article might surprise you.
I've also waded into the muddy waters of Spong again. This time Spong
gave an interview with The State, South Carolina's largest newspaper.
The piece is entitled UNSPINNING SPONG. Syndicated columnists Terry
Mattingly and Mike McManus weigh in with their thoughts on Mother's Day
and the Pope's recent reaching out to the Orthodox and Muslims.

There's also an article on the defrocking of the Ugandan Anglican
bishop who tried to form an American Episcopal homosexual Integrity
chapter in that country. The Church of the Province of Ugandan has more
sense than the Episcopal Church on this issue and by their actions have
made a strong statement on how they view homosexual behavior in that
African country.

Other stories include Why Evangelicals back Cohabitation in the UK and
there is a call for a new kind of Church in the UK as well. I have
included a NEWS BRIEFS section of global news from around the Christian
world that will be of interest to Virtuosity readers.

Robert Stowe England, an Anglo-Catholic writer who lives in Washington,
DC gives us the scoop on the Festival of Faith gathering at
Bladensburg, MD on Saturday. The Rev. Geoffrey Kirk brought greetings
from Forward in Faith UK and the Archbishop of Canterbury. According to
England the event marks a turnaround of interest in Anglo-Catholicism
in the solidly liberal diocese. A number of bishops and archbishops
from various Continuing churches were present including ECUSA Bishop
Jack Iker from Fort Worth, Texas. I close as usual with a devotional.

WEBSITE GLITCH. Some of you wrote to me saying that you had difficulty
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All blessings,

David W. Virtue

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