Skip to comments.To Set Our Hope On Christ [ECUSA's presentation to ACC]
Posted on 06/21/2005 7:51:35 AM PDT by sionnsar
click here to read article
I'll wait for the DVD...
Starz will likely do a miniseries, maybe starring Liam Neeson.
[Episcopal News Service, Nottingham] Answering a request of the Anglican Communion's international Lambeth Commission, the Episcopal Church has today released a paper titled "To Set Our Hope on Christ: A Response to the Invitation of Windsor Report Paragraph 135."
Published in booklet form and online [www.anglicanlistening.org], the paper has been prepared by a group of seven theologians and one historian at the request of Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold. Booklets may be ordered through Episcopal Books & Resources [www.episcopalbookstore.org].
In his foreword to the 130-page text, Griswold writes: "The Episcopal Church in the United States welcomes the request made in paragraph 135 of the Windsor Report: 'We particularly request a contribution from the Episcopal Church (USA) which explains, from within the sources of authority that we as Anglicans have received in scripture, the apostolic tradition and reasoned reflection, how a person living in a same gender union may be considered eligible to lead the flock of Christ.'
"The Episcopal Church has been seeking to answer this question for nearly 40 years, and at the same time has been addressing a more fundamental question, namely: how can the holiness and faithfulness to which God calls us all be made manifest in human intimacy?"
The foreword continues: "Though we have not reached a common mind we have come to a place in our discussion such that the clergy and people of a diocese have been able, after prayer and much discernment, to call a man living in a same sex relationship to be their bishop. As well, a majority of the representatives of the wider church -- bishops, clergy and lay persons -- have felt guided by the Holy Spirit, a gain in light of prayer and discernment to consent to the election and consecration."
The paper was offered earlier today in Nottingham, England, to the international Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) as part of a presentation made by the Episcopal Church as invited by the ACC.
"As this paper is an explanation of how this action could have been taken by faithful people it makes the positive case," the Presiding Bishop states in the foreword. "It does not attempt to give all sides of an argument or to model a debate" or "to replicate or summarize the conversations that have taken place in the church over nearly 40 years. The Appendix does that."
The theologians who prepared the paper are:
Dr. Pamela W. Darling, a historian of General Convention legislation and Episcopal Church ministry, prepared the Appendix "which delineates the formal contents of the debate over these last four decades," the Presiding Bishop said.
The paper is divided into five parts:
Part II cites a "growing awareness of holiness in same-sex relationships" which "has caused the Episcopal Church to face some difficult questions we did not always want to face. Might Christ the Lord, unfolding the mystery of his redeeming work, be opening our eyes to behold a dimension of his work that we had not understood? In other words, might what we had thought to be a crucial and defining division within the human family -- between those of same-sex desire and those of heterosexual desire -- be in fact a biological or cultural difference or cultural difference (as between male and female, slave or free) that has been overtaken by our common Baptism into his crucified and risen Body? Many have begun to answer 'yes' to those questions (page. 25)."
The paper makes a case for "the universal call to holiness of life in human relationships," stating: "The Episcopal Church has called all in relationships of sexual intimacy to the standard of life-long commitment 'characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication' and the 'holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God' (Resolution D039, 73rd General Convention of the Episcopal Church). The experience of holiness in some same-sex unions has called for and deepened our sense of how these life-long unions of fidelity can be seen to manifest God's love" (page 26).
Two theologians, Margaret R. Miles and Bishop Frederick H. Borsch, have offered early comment on the paper.
Miles -- who is Emerita Professor of Historical Theology from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley is former Bussey Professor of Theology, Harvard Divinity School; former dean of the Graduate Theological Union, and 1999 president of the American Academy of Religion. Borsch who is Professor of New Testament and Anglican Studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia is retired Bishop of Los Angeles, former Professor of New Testament and Dean of the Chapel at Princeton University, former dean of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, and a past elected member of the Anglican Consultative Council.
Writes Miles: "In the context of 16th century religious conflict and violence, Anglican theologian Richard Hooker described the genius of Anglicanism as its willingness to ask its members only that they participate faithfully in the sacramental life of the community. In our own time, differences of conviction regarding homosexuality and the ordination of lesbian and gay Christians are again pressing Anglicans to reexamine the basis of communion and community.
"'To Set Our Hope on Christ' provides a rich and concrete account of what it means to live by faith. It describes the process by which the Episcopal Church has moved, in prayerful and thoughtful commitment to following Christ, from thinking of the Body of Christ as a community of 'mere like-mindedness' to envisioning a 'diverse and complex catholicity.' Urging that decision relating to sexual matters occur in the context of pastoral rather than ideological concerns, the document proposes that unity of participation and mission 'need not require uniformity of belief in all matters.'
"'To Set Our Hope on Christ' is a record of the thoughtful and prayerful deliberations -- theological, scriptural and experiential -- of Christians committed to seeking the mind of Christ. It is a powerful and moving statement."
Writes Borsch: "Not everyone, of course, will agree, just as Christians in the past have disagreed on certain matters involving both theology and faithful Christian living, as, for example, remarriage after divorce. But the Episcopal Church's response to the Anglican Consultative Council offers a gracious and well-reasoned biblical, theological and ethical case for the full discipleship and place in the Church of celibate Christians of same-sex orientation and those who are committed, alongside heterosexual disciples, to leading life in faithful relationships while seeking to follow the Lord Jesus.
"The report also sets the matter in the context of the lengthy discussions in the councils of the Episcopal Church."
Are you kidding? This would definitely be on my Do Not Watch list... *\;-)
I meant I won't have to wade through all the pages of gobblydygook..I can just fast forward..
One easy way to prove the sheer idiocy of this report...every time the report uses the phrase "same-sex"..subtitute either "polygamy" or "pedophelia."
It's faster to open the PDF and flip to the last page. *\;-)
Reading this appalling document, one remembers Shakespeare's saying: "the devil can cite scripture for his purpose". This wicked document is the clearest proof that the Satan has entered into the Episcopal Church. He has entered into other churches as well. Even the Catholic Church, of which I am a member, cannot feel safe. Remember what Pope Paul VI so chillingly said: he saw the "smoke of Satan in the Church". The sexual abuse scandals have shown how much diabolical activity there has been even among priests and bishops. However, in the Episcopal Church it seems that the gates of Hell are about to "prevail" in a final and definitive way. What a tragedy for the whole Christian world! What a tragedy for our country! Here is a Church that has played so prominent a role in the life of our nation. Eleven presidents, including the father of our country, and many of the founders were at least formally members of it. So many historic churches, including the National Cathedral, belong to it. If the Episcopal Church degenerates into a propagandist for perversion and a tool of Satan, which really appears to be happening, it will do profound damage
to our nation and --- much worse --- to the cause of Christianity in the world.
It appears that ECUSA has coined a new term for one of the left's favorite "disadvantaged groups"!
I was phantasizing with that in mind, to visualise the project in terms I would have the greatest ease in utterly dismissing.
(sometimes levity can be convenient?)
Wow, I made it to page 5 and I need a shower already. So far, the jist of it is: "Whatever you bring to the table (i.e., whatever deviancy) is fine with us since Christ prayed that there would be unity among his followers".
Well, I skipped to page 9 (11 in the document) because I wanted to see what use would be made of Scripture. So far:
1. We should take a lesson from St. Paul and just grow up and stop being infant Christians.
2. The fact that the Gospel demands that the Law be subordinated to grace generated two stories: one for the Christians who had been Jews and another for those who had been Gentiles. St. Peter was 'rightly' rebuked for not seeing this and came around to understand that the Gentiles were not unclean. Hence homosexuals aren't unclean either. You all see this, of course. (rolling eyes).
3. The Bible is always contradicting itself, but an agile mind can always reduce the problem. For instance, in Ezra Jewish men were commanded to divorce their non-Jewish wives. In Ruth (allegedly written about the same time (says who??)) Boaz is commended for marrying a non-Jewish wife. So clearly both ways are correct, depending on circumstances and hence homosexuality and heterosexuality are also correct, depending on circumstances.
4. So long as they live together, homosexuals are okay. We know this because no one ever had this phenomenon before. And we know that because....we say we know it. There is no documentation in the text supporting this, perhaps suggesting that there is text in the documents remaining to us which can be interpreted as discussing open same-sex relationships. For myself, I know one offhand: the Satyricon, written in the first century AD by a Roman senator who had a notably Fire Island-style life (Fellini made a memorable if not necessarily watchable film of this).
"That'll do, donkey", as Shrek says.
Just found another: as part of the deconstruction of Leviticus, the document says this: "Interestingly, Judaism and Christianity have agreed about this: the commandments that help us sift out and interpret the others are those to love God above all else (Deut 6:4ff) and to love our neighbor as ourself (Lev 19:18)." So the relationship of the Triune God is...I can't even say it, but I can say that here homosexuality compares with self-abuse, but then you knew that.
The hurts just keep on comin'! I really can't believe my eyes.
In Christ, Deacon Paul+
Now I'm sorry I posted this...
I couldn't take it anymore and stopped reading. It's minimized on my screen, so I may take another peek, but I just finished lunch so...
Truly you should not be. We must face this and call it for what it is. That, unlike the 'prophecy' ++Rowan fancies, is what actually constitutes the prophetic office of the Church.
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