Skip to comments.This is My Church. This is My Church Slimed By the Washington Post
Posted on 01/05/2007 6:30:35 PM PST by sionnsar
click here to read article
As you may or may not know from watching the Ford services at the National Cathedral, he was Episcopal, and one of the things Ford was concerned about before his death , which he had talked over with his pastor...was the division in his church.
As if the Washington Post cares whether a story is based on the truth.
The Division within the Episcopal Church is over gay Priests. Guess some don't like it.
Gay priests are the symptom; the drift away from The Bible and towards secular humanism is the root of the matter.
Don't turn your back on the Post.
Superficial statement: the division goes much deeper than that, and reaches far longer back.
The division within the Episcopal Church is who is authoritative in the Church, Christ through His word, or speculating bishops and priests, through their following avant garde social trends?
I did notice Fr. Certain's comment trying to make President Ford on the side those tearing the Episcopal Church apart with their shameful perversions. Whether they were true of Ford's thoughts or not, the priest's comments were wholly inappropriate.
Hey I am a Methodist, I am only telling you what my Sister who goes to an Episcopal Church , who married an Episcopalian told me .
I took note of his comments, and thought it was very interesting. I don't know that it was inappropriate? If it was , it was so tastefully done, who would be offended?
She goes to an Episcopal Church that married an Episcopalian? Explains much! *\;-)
Seriously, if that's her understanding she's badly misinformed -- and undereducated. It goes much deeper than that and far longer ago than that.
Sounds like it must be somewhere in the 1979 BCP, Rite II, Eucharistic Prayer C.
Sionnsar , look no need to insult my sister, she couldn't help it if her husband was an Episcopalian. You sure are an arrogant self righteous person.
Lookie here mr sionnsar, read it from Gay City what was said by Reverend Dr. Robert Certain.
'The Reverend Dr. Robert Certain, who gave the homily at the funeral for Gerald R. Ford at the National Cathedral on Tuesday, said when he told the former president that he was headed for an Episcopal convocation, "He asked me if we would face schism after we discussed the various issues we would consider, particularly concerns about human sexuality and the leadership of women. He said he did not think they should be divisive for anyone who lived by the great commandments and the great commission to love God and to love neighbor."
The worldwide Anglican Communion has begun to splinter over the acceptance of gay people, particularly the U.S. Episcopal Church's 2003 consecration of the Right Reverend Gene Robinson, an out gay man with a partner, as bishop of New Hampshire.
Ford was an Episcopalian and Certain was his pastor at St. Margaret's Church in Palm Desert, California.
Former President Jimmy Carter, later eulogizing Ford in Michigan, also made reference to their mutual concern over the split among religious people on issues of "sexual preference" that he said they both believed should not be central. "
I guess we know where you stand, don't we? That cheap shot you took at my husband is evidence enough.
The Gospel is inherently divisive. Jesus Christ himself predicted that "...a man's enemies would be the members of his own household." That certainly is true of the Episcopal Church. The choice is clear for those who have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to humbly receive the Truth. "By their fruits ye shall know them." God is dividing the sheep from the goats, and the wheat from the tares - like it or not, judgement is beginning with the house of God. It's not a pretty scene, but oh, so necessary. And to those who remain in apostate churches I recommend you get out while you still can.
Either she is ignorant of the issues, or you misunderstood her. Or she is theologically liberal.
No need for YOU to insult someone who knows more than you do.
The gay bishop was only the match to the powder train.
The rot in the Episcopal Church is much more basic and goes back 30 years or more. The issue is whether the church is going to believe in Christ, the Bible, and the traditions of the church . . . or just make it up as they go along.
The bishop of New Hampshire is simply one more example of making it up as they go along.
Probably explains why she's still there.
I was an Episcopalian for 47 years. What she is being told is completely untrue . . . but that's the kind of line the revisionists are slinging in order to keep people in the pews and paying money.
The revisionists would like everybody to think that it's just a "human sexuality" issue . . . because that's more defensible than admitting that they don't believe in God, and haven't for a long, long time.
As you know they were both media darlings and wrote numerous books denying the Trinity, the Virgin Birth, the Accession, the deity of Jesus, and everything else central to Christianity while they were being well-paid Espiscopalians bishops. Pike was censored and did resign his job as Bishop of California in 1966, but Bishop Spong is still drawing his pension as the retired bishop of New Jersey. Both should have been expelled from the Espicopal Church because they posed as Christian bishops and they weren't even Christian! You are right that this has been a long, long struggle and homosexuality is just the latest in a long line of straws that finally broke a whole lot of camel's backs.
AmericanMade1776: Re your post #16: Sionnsar , look no need to insult my sister, she couldn't help it if her husband was an Episcopalian. You sure are an arrogant self righteous person.
I will forgo taking a well deserved swat at your understanding and knowledge because your comment in #16 was too pitiful. Read this carefully: sionssar wasn't making fun of your sister in #12, he was casting a little pearl of a joke and you tried to bite him for it. He learns fast, I doubt he'll cast anymore pearls your way. You don't know the first thing about sionssaur, who's one of the stand-up Episcopalians fighting the good fight.
An apology to him would be in order if you want to maintain any credibility.
The one thing I hold against you is that you could have picked an easier name to spell; I managed to butcher it in my last post. Why couldn't you have picked something simple, something easy to spell like........xJones.:)
Too many of us thought that it was just those stupid Northeastern liberals acting up . . . our parishes were orthodox and conservative and Bible-believing and basically o.k. . . . so too many of us just looked the other way.
Of course, in the intervening 40 years or so, those stupid Northeastern liberals gained total control of the administration of the church and (most importantly) the seminaries. And that's where the problem really began to bite. The seminaries began refusing to graduate or ordain conservative/orthodox candidates, so after awhile the pool of candidates for ordination and consecration became completely liberal.
We were all fine until our orthodox/conservative rectors began to reach retirement age. Then you couldn't find a suitable replacement . . . in the case of my old parish, the radical revisionist candidate lied to get the job, pretending to be orthodox. Then he fired people right and left and put his own folks on the vestry and in administration of the parish. So the parish not only got a radical, it got a liar too. We left when he started preaching that anybody who disagreed with the national church's radical agenda was not only wrong, but stupid, backward and evil too.
Episcopalians tend to be hard to move . . .
Elements of it have been splintering LONG before 2003. Try looking back to St. Louis in 1979.
Please go back and re-read the statement and reconsider. I was neither dissing your sister nor her marriage to an Episcopalian. I too was once an Episcopalian, from a family of Episcopalians, married to an Episcopalian from a family of Episcopalians. (We're Anglicans now, but that's another story.)
I am also highly aware of the misinformation regularly fed to the laity of that church, because I was fed and believed the same. It was only after I became involved with the church outside the parish, at the diocesan level (the Diocese of El Camino Real, to be exact), that I saw the troubles deep within that church -- which led, within a couple of years to my encounter with a Continuing Anglican church, the discovery of how much misinformation I had been given, and my departure from ECUSA.
There are a lot of folks still back there (now called TEC) who remain unaware of much of what's going on, mainly because they aren't looking to what's going on in the larger church. Sometimes it is willingly (I don't think your sister is in this category), hoping the storm will blow over and pass.
But all too often one sees the cry of someone who has suddenly discovered the real state of affairs. On 11/20/2004 ago I posted one of the most poignant such, titled "Episcopal Church, I Cry For Thee" from the American Gazette blogger. It does not show up on FR's search, so I'll post it so you can read it, and pray your sister does not end up in this situation:
Episcopal Church, I Weep for Thee
I have not posted much since the election, though delighted that President Bush has won, I immediately had other issues of the personal type on my mind. Personal, yet it also has a mirror in the current conflicts in America.
I am an Episcopal, and the current conflicts happening within my church is causing me great spiritiual pain. My first complete dissonence with the church came about because of the Iraq war. Prior to the war a statement was read in my church from the Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold. For those who do not understand how the Episcopal church works suffice it to say that Bishop Griswold is the top of the hierarchy for Episcopal church, the American branch of Anglicans.
The anti-war tone of the pastoral letter was very keen, and while I do not recall the exact wording of the letter, I recall the Bishop noting that the US should act only in step with the United Nations. I found the tone of the letter offense. The whole thing nearly caused me to get up and walk out of church. I would have found it much more appropriate for a pastoral letter to note the difficulty of Christians in going to war, to note the issues that great theologians have wrestled with regarding war from St. Augustine to Thomas Aquinas to Martin Luther. I would have not been offended had the Bishop requested we pray for the President to find guidence, as Episcopals we pray for our leaders every week as a matter of course, but during times of National stress those prayers take on ever more importance. At least to me. Later Bishop Griswold made other public pronouncements that only served to anger me even more. In an interview with a religious magazine he not only denounced the war, but also found it necessary to apologize for being an American as this country was so "hated and loathed" around the globe. Later, along with the Archbishop of Canterbury he described the war as immoral and illegal. Bishop Griswold complained about those who invoke God's name and assume bleesings on our acts, and noted he was deeply disturbed that some Christians are animated by notions of a God of vengence and retribution, and adopt simplistic views of good and evil.
While I was upset about the pastoral letter and Bishop Griswolds later and ongoing pronouncements, I separated what the National Church was saying or doing from what was going on in my particular parish. Unlike the Catholic church pronouncements from the Bishops can be taken or not in each individual parish and I felt fairly comfortable with my own St. Thomas. So we continued in our own particular parish and took a wait and see attiutude. It had been rare for us to miss a Sunday at church, but as time went on and we were more upset about what was coming out of Bishop Griswold's mouth we missed more and more Sundays.
The next note of discord appeared for me when Gene Robinson was chosen as Bishop to the Diocese of New Hampshire. For anyone not following what has been happening in the Episcopal church, Mr. Robinson is gay. But not simply a gay man. This is a Priest who left his wife to go live openly in a homosexual relationship while still a Priest of the Episcopal church. The relationship Mr. Robinson has with his gay lover continues. His ordination took place in August of 2003. To say I was uncomfortable with this is an understatement. Discussing it has been difficult because to say I was opposed to this automatically meant for some people that I was obviously a homophobic demon.
If the man were not a church leader the issue is one of privacy and not one of my concern. Moral issues have to be between each individual and God, I do not want them legislated and at the same time I do not expect church leaders to blantantly contradict the teachings of the church that rely not just on the bible but on some two thousand years of theology. It is not an issue that has to do with gay rights, ordaining and then consecrating a man who is living in a gay relationship is a church matter and not a privacy or rights issue. Yet, his consecration in November was not simply a church matter, it has become not only an issue of deep contention in the church, it has national implications for the country. The Canadian Anglican church has their liberal end which are blessing same sex unions as do areas of the American Episcopal church.
There are now liberal leaders of the Anglican church of which America is only a very small part of, that believe by ordaining and consecrating a gay man in an ongoing gay relationship and the blessing of same sex relationships as the next step in fighting for various rights for various people. They intend not only to make all this an issue within their church, they intend to make it an issue for all of the societies in which they are active. An active liberal part of the Episcopal church are determined to make gay marriage legal despite the majority of America not considering that as appropriate. How do I know this? How am I so sure of this? Because when a ballot proposel was on my state's election schedule Nov. 2 that would make marriage between one man and one woman, at least 4 Bishops in my state very publically requested Episcopals to vote against it. They were on NPR doing so. I heard that on my way home from work one day.
That was in October. The following Sunday ended up being the last time my family would go to church at St. Thomas. I was disturbed by the Bishops appeal, not only because I consider it wrong, but because I do not want my church to be actively involved in the legislative process like this on what so many believe is a moral issue, not one of rights. We had not been in church for probably 2 months when we attended that Sunday, and part of my intent on attending that day was because I wanted to specifically speak to my priest about this. I needed to hear from that priest exactly what the thought process of St. Thomas was on this issue.
I had worked the night before so I was quite tired but determined that I was going to get some answers from my priest. Instead I heard a sermon that prompted me to lean over and whisper to my husband, "Jesus was NOT a socialist!" and during announcements I found out that the League of Women Voters were going to be in the Parish hall to register people to vote. What? My church has very few young people of an age that they would not have registered to vote for one, next again I simply do not believe that type of activity belongs in church. Yet, determined to have a private word with my priest I headed to the Parish hall after services anyway. At the doorway a young man thrust a paper into my hand, even though it seemed clear to me that I was attempting to walk by him and ignore his offering. I glanced at the paper and thrust it right back at him and said "I do not need a young man who is the age of my son telling me how important it is to vote, I have not missed voting since I registered at age 18, but thanks anyway." I was so irritated by this that I simply turned around and told my husband and children I preferred to leave.
I chewed on this for about a week, trying to decide what exactly I wanted to do and how. Then came the long awaited Windsor report. This is a report from the Lambeth commission that was to make a pronoucement on how the church would proceed concerning the consecration of Gene Robinson and the issue of some churches blessing same sex relationships. The vast majority of the Anglican Communion is against this activity, and it also contradicts the previous General Convention pronouncements. It happened that I was up late that night, not an uncommon occurance because I work nights and have trouble sleeping on a normal schedule. So I started reading the news announcements which basicly stated the American Bishops who had participated in the consecration needed to "apologize" as did those participating in same sex blessings, but it stopped far short of stating it was wrong and would not be tolerated. As I read the news on it I sat in front of my computer and cried. I cried because the report also notes that if those involved in activities that were against the teachings of the church' against the majority of orthodox Anglicans than the choice would likely be "to walk apart". There it was, in black and white, that the church that had survived 500 years was likely to break apart. It also was in black and white that all American Episcopals would also have to choose whether to continue to walk with the direction the church was going, or choose to walk apart as well. Because about half of the leadership of the American Episcopal church is on the liberal side of this divide it meant in effect that various parishes will either stay with the ECUSA or leave for the newly formed American Anglican Council that is orthodox, and by extension each member of the Episcopal parishes would have to choose to stay with their church or not depending on which group their parish would decide to go with. And it would be wrong to believe a parish may simply opt to take their church and leave the ECUSA. I won't get into all the legal specifics of it, suffice it to say that it is not a simple matter.
For me this meant that it was imperative that I speak personally with a Priest from my parish. I sat up that night writing a long, difficult letter to one of my Priests and requested he either call me or email back so we could set up a time to meet and talk things over. A couple days later I heard from him and we set up a time. In the intervening days I came down with a nasty upper respirtory infection and called the church to let him know I could not make the meeting and to get ahold of me to reschedule.
That was a Thursday. My intent had been to get back with him on Monday if I did not hear from him before that. Instead something occured that made me understand in a very visible manner that it would be impossible for me and my family to continue to go to St. Thomas.
That Monday morning my dad (stepdad) stopped by the house. He handed me a brochure and asked "Isn't this your church?" I took a glance at it and noticed it said "The Belles of St. Mary" and told him no, we go to St. Thomas. My dad requested that I really look at what was in my hand, so I looked at it again, and when I actually really looked I could have been knocked over by a feather.
On the front of the brochure was the Belles of St. Mary, in nearly all their glory. When I had simply glanced at the brochure it did not really come into my head that the Belles of St. Mary was the womens' group at St. Thomas, but on closer inspection of the brochure one could not miss it. 14 naked women sat in the back lit pews of St. Thomas, all women I know. Each is situated in the pews of the Sanctuary just so that while they have no shirt on, the nipples of their breasts are behind the pew. It was so shocking and inappropriate that I could not even form words. When I recovered the ability to speak the first thing out of my mouth was "Holy mother of Jesus" to which my dad said "I don't think Holy has anything to do with it."
The brochure is an advertisement for a calendar. I knew that the womens group was putting together a calender to raise money for the steeple that had been hit by lightening in July of this year and had caught on fire and I had even read announcements in the weekly church brochures for the "calendar girls" but chalk it up to lack of attendence that I did not realize they meant real calender girls. The money is also supposed to go to research for breast cancer. The reason to put out a calendar that had naked women from my church, taken in my church, mattered not to me. I can find no good reason for this to occur. When I opened up the brochure there was Ms. September. A woman I know not only from church, but as a medical assistant to one of the physicians I had known and worked with for years. Susan is completely naked, with a couple items in her hands held stategically to cover her nipples and herself turned just so that her "business" is not on full view. However tastefully done, it could have been a picture in Playboy except for the fact that is was a 60 something year old grandmother. While I spit and sputtered and murmered incoherant sentences it occured to me that perhaps the steeple had been hit by lightening for a reason. And it surely wasn't so that grandmothers and greatgrandmothers would take off their cloths and have their pictures taken.
I cannot even put into words how offensive and inappropriate I found this all to be. I then sat down and fired off an email to both Priests of St. Thomas and told them that my family would no longer be attending St. Thomas and exactly why.
Since then, I have alternately raged and wept. I am an orphan now. The church that my children were baptised in, that my oldest confirmed in and in which I expected my other two children to confirm in had rotted to it's core. The church I expected to see my children married in, to see grandchildren baptised in and the church I expected to have my and my husbands funeral in was no longer available to me. Not because of anything I or my family had done, but because of the lack of moral compass that I expect a church to have. I had been let down and pushed out of my church.
The American Anglican Council, the new orthodox branch, is fairly new, and there are only three churches in my state that have affliated with it at this time. None of which are anywhere near me. I do not want to go "church shopping" I know I will never feel comfortable in a "bible" church. My husband was raised a Baptist and for him that is a tradition he could return to easily. Not so myself. I am about as uncomfortable as can be in a church that does not have a traditional altar, that has bands playing on what I consider should be an altar. I don't want comtempary Christian music though I like to listen to it, just not in service. I am not comfortable in a tradition that people swing their arms and yell out Amen! I do not believe churches like that are wrong, but for me they do not give to me the spirituality that I long for. I grew up mainline Protestant and wish to remain mainline Protestant.
The problem though, is that for the most part mainline Protestant churches have become the abode of those who are just like the ones who are leading the Episcopal church. I have a dear friend who recently left the Methodist church for the same reasons as I left my church. Though at least her church didn't have naked women in the pews. One of her issues was that what would be termed preChristian pagan rites seem to have crept into the Methodist church as well as openly gay pastors of both sexes. By that I mean gay people who are openly living in a gay relationship while ministering to a flock. To my chagrin there are two PA Episcopal Priests that were recently caught as Priests in a Druidic cult as well, a married couple. The women also wrote a "eurcharist" for women that is straight out of the Druidic cult they were involved in, which ended up on the official Epicsopal womens site. But that is another post, call it chapter two to this one. I found this out after I had officially left St. Thomas, yet because I still consider myself an Episcopal it pains me deeply.
It seems to not matter which mainline Protestant church one looks it, it seems the insane have taken over. In their wish to makeover society to their own liking they have taken secular social issues into the church and twisted Christian teachings for their own aims. When it is objected to, then those who are steering their churches this way become indignant and accuse me and others like me as hate filled and clearly not a "true" Christian. Because I want my church to remain orthodox and true to the "faith delivered" by the clear tenats of the bible I am somehow awful, hate filled, homophopic, simplisitic and idiotic. Taking that one step further I am also a bad American. Since I will not go along with an agenda that it's proponents believe will lead to the "full rights" of gays and lesbians, as if this issue is also not laden with moralistic overtones that the church has traditionally upheld, I am un-American because I am denying "rights" to a minority.
It is as if by simply wishing the church to stand by 2000 years of bibically based teaching, I am now advocating the rounding up and placing into concentration camps all those who term themselves gay, lesbian and transgendered. Or maybe I am just advocating standing them up against a wall and shooting them. Why can't it simply be an issue that I believe people should be free to live their lives the way they want, between them and God if they believe in God, without the imposition of secular values into my church life? If I cannot seek solace and grace away from secular society in my own church where in God's name can I? Why can I not have just that one corner of a Christian life? Just one little corner where I do not have to turn the channel, turn off the radio and am allowed to practice the Christian religion as it has been practiced for 2000 years.
I have been forced back and forced back on issues that I believe deeply in. I have done all that has been asked of me. I have turned the TV channel. I have turned off offensive programing, I have banned certain movies and music in my home, I have diligently taught my children to respect ALL people regardless of color, religion and sexual orientation. I have taught my children the values of my morality while teaching them to respect others because I don't think there is a perfect path to God. I have taught them that people have a right to believe in no God if that is right for them. I have taught my children the value of education, of hard work, of personal responsiblity. I have taught my children charity and humility. I have taught my children the value of learning about other cultures, as well as the culture of their own family roots. And yet, now I find that I cannot even have what I consider the last fort against the sometimes overwhelming pressure on children to leave the morals taught to them for the fleeting and sometimes dangerous behaviors of the secular world.
I have been forced to the pinnacle and now I say not one more damn step am I willing to go. I am not an idiot as so many on the left side of the political divide call me. I am none of the names they call like kindergartners in a sandbox. I am no longer willing to have my values and morals denigrated. And that is what the left does not understand. It is not simply that I do not want a gay Bishop, it is not simply that I don't believe in gay marriage, though the other side seems to think the gay issue is what put Bush over the top in terms of getting out the vote from his base. The truth is that is not the issue. The issue is that while I have spent nearly 21 years teaching my own children to have respect for others views and beliefs, and to simply turn away from those things that are not the values and morals of ourselves, I find the other side is not willing to do the same for me and mine.
Just one little corner was all I asked for, and I couldn't even have that.
UPDATE: This article has been linked in many places, and I have received a great outpouring of support. To all who wrote to me thank you ever so much.
Many write to tell me what solutions there may be for the dilemma of a church, I would like to let all know that we were able to find a traditional Anglican church not far from our home. A small church of those who have chosen to leave the path the ECUSA is on. I found it by doing an internet search for Episcopal/Anglican churches in my area. The church is an Independent Anglican Church under the United Episcopal Church of North America. The only like church in my state. It was a blessing to be able to find it, and to also find that the Rector is an elementary teacher and floor hockey ref that both of my older children had in school, as well as knowing him through playing floor hockey. We were able to celebrate Christmas Eve there when previously I had dispared of having that important part of our family Christian life this year.
Many members at the church have come from St. Thomas, the Rector and his wife were married at St. Thomas many years ago. Again it is a blessing to be with others who understand. Thank you again all who have offered so much support and prayers.
I also wished to address a couple things that have come up from other blogs through comments sections.
The calendar, marketed as raising funds for breast cancer research, in reality also went to repair the steeple of the church which was hit by lightening in May 2004. 10% of the profits go to breast cancer research. The calendar costs $15 so one dollar and fifty cents from each sale goes to research. The vast majority of the money stays within the church.
Next, when we choose to leave the church I wrote a letter through email to both the Rector and the Assistant Rector, both had basicly the same things that are in this article. Mother Joy the Rector, never bothered to write back or attempt to contact this family at all. Father Chris, the assistant Rector wrote a brief note telling me there were two sides to everything and if I wished to I could contact him.
A couple people who thought I was a bit too unitarian in bringing up my children to be tolerant of other faiths and beliefs suggested that I do a bit of bible study with the Baptists. I had to chuckle at that one because first of all my husband was brought up in the Baptist faith, his grandfather was a Baptist minister, as are a couple uncles. My own great grandfather was a minister and assisted starting the Freewill Baptist church in Hannon Missouri oh so many years ago. As a Registered Nurse I work with and treat a great many people of various faiths. It is imperative in my work that I have a decent working knowledge of other faiths in order to appropriately treat my patients. One of the questions on any admission is to ask a patient if they have any religious or cultural values that we need to be aware of that would affect their treatment, such as faiths that do not accept blood. Understanding and being aware of others faith is simply endemic to the healthcare field. A dear friend of mine who is a physician who happens to be a Hindu from India nonetheless took his family to see "The Passion of the Christ". He believes it to be important for his children to see all sides of religion. We have had many conversations on religion, and while there are points that we do not agree on, we can still care about and respect one another. The ability to do this in America is one of the things that make us so unique, it is a strength of this country, not a weakness.
Thank you all for taking the time to read though this.
My dog will talk to me sooner than an Episcopalian will speak in tongues.
Your average old-fashioned main line Episcopalian, no.
(scuse me, I think I hear my dog calling me. . . .) ;-)
It looks like 1776 has slunk off to other threads.
Well, my second cousin's brother-in-law's ex-wife's dentist told my plumber.....
Seriously, I doubt that anyone here was trying to insult your sister. If you didn't grow up in the Episcopal church or don't in some way have intimate knowledge of the goings-on there, you are just inviting all manner of ridicule by making such statements about it all having to do with gay priests. And what in the world is Gay City?
The fact is, you can take this all the way back to the 1930's if you like, when the Lambeth Conference first gave its approval to artificial birth control. Things have unraveled exponentially ever since.
Finally, please refrain from making nasty comments about our friend Sionnsar. He is as knowledgable about things Anglican as anyone I've ever met, clergy included, and works very hard to bring us all the latest in this on-going crisis in the Anglican Communion. Sit quietly and listen.
I am from a Methodist background. I and my father were Elders in the United Methodist church. My father died in 1974 before it became obvious that the UMC is not Christian. I left the church in 1985 and began visiting a wide variety of Protestant demoninations. I have come to understand that religion has little or nothing to do with faith in Christ and religious institutions stand in direct conflict with the Holy Spirit.
It is, I believe, impossible to learn the Way of Jesus in a religious institution. Religious organizations are of the world. They are not of the Spirit.
I appreciate your desire for the trappings of religion. I miss hymn singing more, perhaps, than any other aspect of my life in the Methodist church.
In the final analysis, however, the UMC was not willing or even capable of supporting my ministry. Instead, they subjected me to institutional blackmail based on my "conservative and charismatic" attitudes. They became, for me, a curse on the body of Christ.
Life in Christ turns the believer against the world. We have seen, on this thread, the derision that worldly wise detractors heap upon believe. They did the same to Christ and will continue to war against the Way of Christ until they are relieved of their earthly burden.
We must recognize that all human institutions base their continued existence in the ways of the world, not the Way of Jesus. Even the very institutions that led us first to find the Lord, have become His enemy.
Our solace is with Christ and in spiritual fellowship with those believers He places in our path. We are meant to grow in His Spirit by looking for Truth from Christ alone and not from designated leaders in religious institutions.
Bless you on your journey in the Way of Jesus.
VERY true. I'm an "old-fashioned main line" version, and we can hardly bring ourselves to give the Peace to people to whom we have not been formally introduced. ;-D
As a Charismatic, I take Umbrage at the idea that it's "insulting" a church to suggest that the congregants are practicing Charismatic prayer.
Now if it's not true, then it's false ... but it would false to say that they were speaking Greek, too.
p.s., I got your joke about marrying the church. It was cute.
(Now excuse me, the Umbrage is making me dizzy and I have to lie down.)
It could have been better expressed . . . but the WaPo was clearly using the "speaking in tongues" as a slam. The writer understood (correctly, I think) that the WaPo holds no brief for charismatics and was just trying to make the church look as weird and Bible-thumping backwoods as possible. They probably would have claimed they saw people in overalls and brogans kissing rattlesnakes and drinking strychnine, if they thought anybody would believe them.
A mainline Episcopalian was insulted -- but the WaPo intended to insult him.
Quick - get 'em some borage!
I guess it's like calling someone a redneck: Some people will respond, "How dare you!" and others, "Yeah, so what?"
We're descended on the one side from some hoity-toity Charlestonians, a Signer, and a bunch of Augusta GA small tradesmen (shoemakers, sailmakers, grocerymen) -- on the other from a Scot on the run from the law and a bunch of Alabama dirt farmers who moved to town and made something of themselves!
Pretty typical Southern pedigree -- and as I told a black friend of mine, I won't be ashamed for my ancestors because they did what they thought was right according to their lights at the time.
LOL! We're descended from plain old farmers, except for my Irish grandpop who worked on the railroad.
My father said that when people from the city (St. Louis) would call him a "hillbilly," he'd say, "Well, my name's Bill, but there ain't no hills where I live!"
My husband OTOH is clear through aboriginal Irish on his mother's side. I met his grandpa when we were first dating - and a more Central Casting Irishman of the coal-heaving variety you would never meet. Great big huge man, even in his 80s, fair where the sun hadn't burned him red, jolly twinkling gray eyes (that he passed on to his grandson and to my daughter).
When my daughter was in Spain, everybody thought she was Irish, and when she said she was American they all exclaimed, "No! No! Impossible!" She could walk down a road in County Mayo barefoot and with a shawl on her head, and blend right in. She's more Irish than either one of us, got it from both sides.
We have a regular on the Undead Thread who lives in Mayo. It's very scenic, in a drippy way.
. . . if you're properly equipped, it's not bad. Sturdy waterproof shoes and a good rain jacket with vent zips and a hood!
Your dog has spoken to you then? *\;-)
Rather more seriously, my father (a now former Episcopal minister) has been a Charismatic since sometime in the 70s. Per AnAmericanMother's observation, he is definitely well out on the Evangelical wing of the church, which is where I was raised.
Dad accepts that I am now out on the Anglo-Catholic wing, though I think that saddens him a bit, even more so that I got there by leaving ECUSA. I wish I could show him the joy and beauty of our worship (he has even celebrated in our church as a supply priest, by dispensation of our bishop), but I also think that maybe that wish goes in both directions.
I am not a Charismatic and cannot envision being so (for all I've spent a couple of summer camps with many of same), but as an heir of the Elizabethan Compromise I'm not at all ready to pronounce anathema on them either.
AAM, may I say this in defense of AM1176? We don't know why she quoted that source: I saw it as a reach into enemy territory/propaganda. (Or maybe I misread her post...?)
Strange coincidence department - at that time her church (St. Dunstan's) was so small that it didn't have a building of its own. They set up a folding lunchroom table in the old gymnasium at the local Catholic parish, draped a tablecloth over it, and had their service there. The gymnasium was the weirdest building I ever saw -- it was round and the roof went almost down to the ground, it looked like a flying saucer and was known locally as "The Great Pumpkin". It was wrecked out when they built a real church, to make room for a parking lot and one of the classroom buildings of the parish school.
And now we are parishioners at that same Catholic parish. Go figure.
I stand in the dock, convicted. Decades of being a bagpiper and years of Scottish Gaelic classes have lent me a certain persuasion to things Gaelic. (My car's license plate frame is in Gaelic; at stoplights I've become really good at reading lips in the rear-view mirror, usually: "What does that say/mean"? - and many other variations on the theme.)
Gaelic orthography is substantially simpler than English, with VERY few exceptions; the problem is that the Gaelic rules are unknown to non-Gaelic speakers. Anglophones look at the proliferation of letters in Gaelic words without understanding that these "extra" letters tell you exactly how to pronounce the word.
English is a very expressive language. And so is Gaelic (calling in my multi-polyglot wife, LibreOuMort, on this!), though in ways hard to express to one who hasn't encountered it.
Paste & copy usually works: sionnsar
I wouldn't go THERE for an honest description of the controversy, which is what I thought we were trying to discuss . . .
. . . but, you could be right.
And I will say this, AM1776 probably just meant that as a passing comment . . . and had no idea that she was throwing a rock at a bunch of folks who had had rocks thrown at them since at least 2003 and were a bit sore and bruised . . . as Kipling said in one of his short stories, not knowing what djinns she should evoke.
I have been assured by other Freepers, that you were not trying to insult my sister, I am sorry if I took it wrong.
I really do not like to get into theological discussions with anyone, and especially here on Free Republic. AS I said, I am a Methodist, and raised a Southern Baptist.
I know what is going on within your Church is much more personal to you, than to me. With that said. Maybe I could make a joke about Southern Baptist, which I do know a lot about.
It seems that a Southern Baptist was stranded on an island out in the South Pacific by himself, for years before anyone found him. When they found him, they noticed he had built three huts. The Rescures asked the Stranded Southern Baptist what the three huts were for.
The Stranded Baptist, pointed to the first hut and said that is my Home, and then he pointed to the Second hut and said that is my Church.
The Rescurer said, well what is that third hut for? The Southern Baptist said that is my Old Church.
And concerning the use of the "gay City" it was the first resource I found, when I used the search engine.
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