Sunday, November 18, 2012

‘I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.’

The title for today's post comes from Hebrews 10:
And every priest stands day after day at his service, offering again and again the same sacrifices that can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, ‘he sat down at the right hand of God’, and since then has been waiting ‘until his enemies would be made a footstool for his feet.’ For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying,
‘This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds’,
he also adds,
‘I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.’
Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:11-25
I could not help but think of our brothers in The Diocese of South Carolina as the news came to us from their special convention held yesterday. It looks like they are going to put all the sins and lawless deeds of TEc behind them.
Special Convention Approves Canonical and Constitutional Amendments Regarding Disassociation

Today, Saturday, November 17, 2012, the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina met in Special Convention at the “mother church of the Diocese,” historic St. Philip’s Church in Charleston. There, an overwhelming majority passed three resolutions. (View Resolutions.)

The first, by voice vote, affirmed the act of disassociation taken by the Bishop and Standing Committee of the Diocese, in response to actions of The Episcopal Church (TEC).

Amendments to the Diocesan Constitution
The second resolution, also by voice vote, passed on first reading. It approved amendments to the Diocesan Constitution removing all references to TEC.

Amendments to the Diocesan Canons
The final vote, which was by orders, was for approval of amendments to the diocesan canons, likewise removing all such reference to TEC. It passed with an overwhelming vote of 96% (71 clergy) in the clergy order, with 3 abstaining. In the lay order, the vote passed with 90% in favor (47 yes with 5 abstentions).

“It’s Time to Turn the Page,” says Lawrence

“We have spent far too many hours and days and years in a dubious and fruitless resistance to the relentless path of the Episcopal Church,” said Bishop Lawrence in his address. “…I believe it is time to turn the page.”

The Bishop called those gathered to look forward. “I will be calling together a task force to link stronger parishes with congregations and missions in the diocese that may suffer the loss of members due to this departure from the Episcopal Church. If a smaller parish has lost 10, 20 or 30 percent of its membership it may not be able to afford a full time priest. So while continuing to keep the door ajar for disaffected parishioners to return, we need to find ways to enable that congregation to continue to support their rector or vicar; and not merely in order to keep ply wood from the windows but in order to reach their community for Christ and to grow his Church. That is what it is about. Let’s get on with it.

The Bishop said, “We need to explore new ways of preparing young men and women and even middle-age ones for ministry; especially those who know how to travel light. It is a new day and new ways of proclaiming the old truths need to be adopted.”
“Finally,” he said “I turn to our place in The worldwide Anglican Communion…We have heard from Archbishops, Presiding Bishops, and diocesan bishops from Kenya to Singapore, England to Egypt, Ireland to the Indian Ocean, Canada to Australia. They represent the overwhelmingly vast majority of members of the Anglican Communion and they consider me as a faithful Anglican Bishop in good standing and they consider this diocese as part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Ah friends, this has got to comfort us… We are not alone. Greater are those with us than any who may be against us.”
By my estimate, DSC may lose 5,000 of its 27,000 members, and the TEc remnant might be enough enough to exist as its own separate diocese (given the fact that TEc has a few other tiny dioceses), although it will be one doomed to the inevitable slow death of all liberal dioceses wedded to TEc's false teachings.

(Addendum, Bishop Lawrence in a letter of 01/04/2013 notes,

"Of our 71 parishes and approximately 30,000 baptized members, 22,244 members of you have decided to remain with the Diocese. Fifty Three Hundred say they want to be with The Episcopal Church- with nearly half of those from one church in Charleston, and 1900 are still undecided."

No doubt 815 will vow to fight to the death for all properties of DSC, but given the last South Carolina Supreme Court ruling, I think you should be comfortable in planning to worship at one of DSC's churches on your next trip to Charleston.

You should find a welcoming group of Christians there.


  1. Those "new ways of proclaiming the old truths" are what started the decline.

  2. More like new ways of proclaiming new falsehoods.

  3. Anonymous2:42 PM

    Will Sewanee's sick embrace of TEC's sexual innovations take a pause now that donors are impacted by South Carolina?

    An Open Letter to Sewanee Vice Chancellor McCardell Concerning Status of Diocese of South Carolina

    4. If you do expect Bishop von Rosenberg to replace Bishop Lawrence, or if such a change is probable, why have you not yet notified your alumni and donors in South Carolina of this pending material change in University governance, especially now when many families are considering year end gifts to Sewanee's annual fund?

    1. Anon,

      I suspect David's letter to Dr. McCardell will be marked "returned to sender." Dr. McCardell's residence in DSC puts him in a bit of a bind, but I suspect he will stay with TEc.

      And who in their right mind would donate to 'Sewer'anee anyway?