Opening Comments 11-7-2001
DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Tue Nov 6 20:38:47 EST 2001
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
How to spend more than $638,000.00?
First, you could advance scholarships to 255 Ugandan students who want
to become pastors to their own people. At $2,500 a pop they could learn
the rudiments of the Christian Faith, be fed, housed and enjoy
communion with fellow students that they will enjoy only once in a
lifetime. The object, to advance the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ
unto the next generation of Ugandans.
Secondly you could, for over $600,000 bucks, build a hundred churches
in any Two-Third World countries that would stand as landmarks to the
unchangeably Good News that Jesus Christ is Lord. And you would fill
them all in no time at all.
Thirdly, you could, for a cool six hundred G's implement an ALPHA
program in the top 30 most revisionist dioceses in the Episcopal Church
USA and turn those dioceses around within two years to the glory of God
the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Fourthly, you could take all that money and feed thousands of men,
women and children in innumerable Afghani villages cut off by winter
snows, and a war, with food for several months.
You could spend that $638,000 dollars on a Washington, DC white glove
law firm to sue, persecute, hound and ultimately throw out a single,
godly, orthodox parish priest in a southern Maryland town, with a funny
name, that time forgot, by a bishop whose vitriolic hatred of orthodoxy
knows no limits or boundaries so that 80 men, women and children are
now without a priest who shares their faith.
Now it took this small orthodox parish, St. John's in Accokeek, Md.
five years to find Fr. Sam Edwards, an Anglo-Catholic priest who
believes as they do, and now he has been summarily tossed out of his
parish and home. It is a tragedy of Biblical proportions, and, at the
end, this handful of brave believers may too leave their parish home
forever, with generations of family members lying in the 300-year-old
Jane Dixon has earned her title "jack boot Jane." She snubbed an
archbishop, blew off a Presiding Bishop and then hired an expensive
$400 an hour law firm to rid herself of one pesky priest who refused to
roll over to her revisionist vision of the 21st Century Episcopal
Church, and then she was given powers by a judge that no bishop in
modern ecclesiastical history has ever had.
She has earned her place at the left hand of Lucifer.
It is hard to imagine, how, on any scale, a single woman bishop with so
much venom against orthodox Christianity and so much diocesan income at
her disposal could wreck such vengeance and havoc on one single parish
priest. And yet she did it because Edwards dared to tell the truth
about the Episcopal Church - that it is "hell bound."
Robert Stowe England's account of the last days of Fr. Sam Edwards and
the victory of Jane Dixon is sad reading indeed. He cites a figure of
$440,000 that the diocese spent on ridding itself of this one orthodox
priest, but canon lawyer Chuck Nalls says the figure with the insurance
fund money is $638,000 that the diocese has wracked up in legal costs.
But after the appeals, which could go to the Supreme Court, are made,
and probably won by Dixon's law firm, that figure may well be in excess
It is a massive triumph of evil and the misuse of money given by godly
Episcopalians over the years for the purpose of advancing the gospel.
Instead their money is now being used to punish a priest and destroy
the gospel and eliminate those who would uphold it.
"Our goal all along has been to unite this congregation," said Carter
Echols, a spokeswoman for the bishop. A hollow claim indeed. The exact
reverse in fact has happened. A private memo from the law firm of
Crowall and Moring said the bishop was "ecstatic" at her victory. So
raise your glasses and toast a victory for pluriform religion and the
diocese's sodomite priests, who will take their parishes to the very
gates of hell with the blessing of Jane Dixon and her successor.
In England, where I am briefly ensconced, it is beyond the
understanding of both vicars and Anglican academics alike that I talk
with, that this could have happened. First in London, later in Oxford
they said things like, "Whatever happened to your much vaunted free
exercise of religion," or "how could a bishop get so much power. No
British bishop would ever be able to do that here." "No court would
ever give a bishop that kind of power, and we have close church state
Or, "George Carey doesn't even have that kind of power. It is all moral
"How is it possible that a judge would vest that much power in a woman
bishop? Doesn't the vestry have the final say on who will be their
They are stunned, confused, with one individual saying that he felt
that the parish and priest had been hit like the two World Trade Towers
with an ecclesiastical bomb that could be repeated anywhere and at any
time by any revisionist bishop who wanted to wreck his or her personal
vengeance on a parish priest who disagreed with them. The American
Episcopal Church, he said, seems to be full of Taliban bishops just
waiting to destroy orthodox and evangelical priests. He may be right.
The issue is no longer apostolic authority it is one of raw naked
power, of who controls the purse strings and the levers to manipulate
into the diocese the kind of priests a bishop wants, indeed demands.
The proscribing of orthodox faith and evangelical witness aided and
abetted by Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold is now plain for all to see.
And if things were not confusing enough, Forward in Faith, NA, ECUSA's
Anglo-Catholic remnant met recently in Mundelein, Illinois and voted to
have flying bishops, hoping, no doubt, to push the worldwide communion
into recognizing their need for pastoral protection.
They have set in place a process whereby a new traditionalist bishop
can be elected to provide pastoral care to parishes in ECUSA. An as yet
unidentified Anglican province has agreed to sponsor the new bishop.
They will elect a bishop at next year's FIFNA assembly and thereafter
consecrated by the Archbishop of the unnamed Province of the Anglican
Communion, according to a press release from FIFNA.
Now this is fraught with problems. ECUSA's House of Bishops has
vigorously opposed flying bishops, and Frank Griswold himself opposes
the idea. And while he made promises to the Primates at Kanuga recently
to provide "sustained Episcopal oversight" for orthodox parishes in
liberal dioceses - a promise he has not kept - he hates the idea
because it would diminish the power of revisionist bishops like Dixon,
Shaw or Bennison who support his liberal agenda.
The crossing of boundaries which happened at a Confirmation service
last November at Church of the Good Shepherd, in Rosemont, PA only
occurred because a Primate in the person of Maurice Sinclair showed up
deflecting possible sanction and discipline by the international
Rather than fight it, PA Bishop Charles Bennison chose to give it his
approval, even though FIFNA did not ask for his permission. In
hindsight it was a shrewd political move by Bennison. He took the high
road and let it happen. Join 'em rather than fight 'em.
But there is no guarantee that he will do that again. None. Undoubtedly
buoyed by Judge Messitte's decision in Washington, DC and the massive
powers now given to Episcopal bishops, there is every likelihood that
should the Rev. David Moyer try to pull that off again, Bennison will,
without hesitation, depose him, tossing him out of his own parish just
as Dixon has done to Edwards.
Unless Griswold and ECUSA's House of Bishops get behind the idea of
flying bishops, which works well in the Church of England, there is not
a prayer that it will be allowed to happen in the US, and if the
attempt is made to enforce it, then it will be met with vigorous
ecclesiastical and civil action. Watch for it.
The truth is, George Carey and the Primates can no more intervene in
ECUSA's ecclesiastical affairs and stem the tyranny going on in the
church, than a hooker can stop turning tricks for money, unless she is
I will shortly examine the differences between the way American and
British bishops function - their powers and the limitations of those
powers. Today's stories have been gleaned from around the Anglican
Communion and those that I think will be of interest to Virtuosity
readers. Following the devotional I have enclosed a story
from Arkansas that might be classified as just plain rapturous.
With all the bad news around perhaps a little levity wouldn't hurt.
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David W. Virtue
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