Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Whatcha Think?

His Grace, Archbishop Cranmer, blogs on Reformation Day on Hallowe'en. I could not resist commenting on his last two lines,


"Father Gabriele Amorth, exorcist-in-chief at the Vatican, has said: 'If English and American children like to dress up as witches and devils on one night of the year that is not a problem. If it is just a game, there is no harm in that.'"
"One wonders if he holds the same generous view of those children who like to dress up as Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Foxe, Huss, Knox or His Grace to celebrate Reformation Day.."  

I posted,

"I may keep the house lights on tonight in hopes of seeing children who like to dress up as Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Foxe, Huss, Knox or His Grace to celebrate Reformation Day!"

Get thee hence and add your comments! 

Nine Bishops Waiting... hurry, hurry...


I can't remember what year it was, but somewhere back in Jr. High we were assigned "Nine Coaches Waiting" by Mary Stewart as part of our summer reading list. This was the cover of my copy,



I was one who would typically put off reading the assigned books until the last week of summer vacation, and unless a book really gripped me, that week became a high anxiety torture chamber that I knew had to be followed by the required book report and examination by the Chief Inquisitor (the scary English teacher for our next level in school).  

The only grip I ever got on "Nine Coaches Waiting" was the grip of my fist as I threw it across the room every time I read the recurring verse, "Nine coaches waiting, hurry, hurry..." 

Unfortunately my teacher loved the book, and we spent the first week of school dissecting every painful chapter.

I guess more people loved the story and Mary Stewart's style than hated it because it was a best seller. A recent on-line review is making me re-think one or two of the themes that our English teacher wanted us to pick up on as we were reading the book that summer. The reviewer writes,

"And it’s a story about trust and how much or little you can afford of it. The main characters suffer deeply because they find themselves out of their depth and must face decisions that cost them dearly."  

I think that reviewer has identified a theme that can be found in the ongoing disaster novel that is The Episcopal church, especially the latest rounds of "disciplinary actions" taken by TEc's leadership. 

At present, there are nine innocent bishops awaiting "conciliation" for speaking or writing something that goes against the current agenda of the "National" office as regards property disputes. George Conger's report at Anglican Ink tells it all and came in via e-mail to many of us this past week. Here are some excerpts,

Panel recommends "conciliation" between the accused and the Episcopal ChurchArticle | October 22, 2012 - 11:46pm | By George Conger
A Reference Panel has found that a prima facie case of misconduct can be made against nine serving and retired bishops of the Episcopal Church for having endorsed an amicus brief presented to the Texas Supreme Court, or for having given testimony in a trial court proceeding involving the Diocese of Quincy.
The Rt Rev. Peter H. Beckwith, the Rt Rev Maurice M. Benitez, the Rt Rev John W. Howe, the Rt Rev Paul E. Lambert, the Rt Rev William H. Love, the Rt Rev D. Bruce MacPherson, the Rt Rev Daniel H. Martins, the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr, and the Rt Rev James M. Stanton have been informed the Reference Panel had reviewed the charges brought against them by the provisional bishops of Fort Worth and Quincy and by lay and clergy accusers.
In an 19 Oct 2012 email Bishop Matthews wrote:"The Reference Panel unanimously decided according to IV. 6.sec.8 that the complaint will proceed with option (c), Conciliation pursuant to Canon IV.10."
One of the nine told Anglican Ink he has yet to be told what it was about his actions that violated the canons. Is it the "issue" or "expressing the issue in court" he said.If it is the issue, the bishop noted the position set forth in their brief was identical to that put forward in 2009 in the Bishops Statement on Polity. If it was stating this belief in court, "what is illegitimate about that," he asked.
One commentator asked "why it is OK for some bishops or dioceses and TEC itself to seek to have the courts interpret the C&Cs, but when others specifically advise the courts that they cannot get embroiled in these issues, it is a canonical offense. 
It is my guess that nobody really understands what "conciliation" in the TEc dictionary really means as this is the first time this will be done on such a scale. The Chief Inquisitor holds all the cards, and the decisions that the nine bishops waiting face could be ones that might cost them dearly. Are they in it too deep? Will those who stick to their guns and not do a "conciliatory tango" with 815 get dealt some real punishment? 


O, think upon the pleasure of 815!

Secur├Ęd ease and state! The tableau of same sex blessings,
Ready to spread before the provinces, that e'en now
Beckon to be fed...
Banquets abroad by torchlight! Feasts of the Solstices! All manner of pleasures!
Nine bishops waiting — hurry, hurry —
Ay, to the devil....

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Morning T.V. Preaching Blues

I have been under the weather the past few days and I've vegetated on the couch for two straight days, and as a consequence, I was able to watch several different television preachers do their thing. There was the Atlanta megachurch and a preacher who hopped around the Bible in search of support of his point which I think was that even though we all are saved there may be a different reward at judgement day for those who don't use that salvic grace to do God's will.

And then there was the Charlotte contemporary church and its blue jean clad preacher from Monks Corner SC who came out with a few choice quotes of his own but was much less concerned with scriptural citations. Here are three good ones,

"The holy spirit is the operating system and not the app."

"Some people say there was a lot of spirit in Williams Brice Stadium last night. Let me tell you, the spirit of God ain't been to that place since it was built."

"Ask somebody next to you. 'Are you full of it?'" (the Spirit).
And there were the obligatory DVD offers and invitations to come back next week for more.
It is also clear that if you give somebody a stage and a microphone for 30 minutes, they will mess up somewhere.

I wonder if I could get the networks to sponser a reality show where different preachers are pitted against each other in a preach-off.

While I have no doubt that the preaching is not all there is to these ministries, and I do know that such styles of preaching may be effective means of spreading the Gospel of Christ, I worry that too much emphasis is placed on the preacher himself rather than the reading, study, and worship that we all have as our individual duties, alone and in groups.

Today, I was reading the Sunday lectionary readings, and the Epistle reminds me to turn my eyes away from the high priests of television.

Furthermore, the former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues for ever. Consequently he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he has no need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for those of the people; this he did once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests those who are subject to weakness, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect for ever. Hebrews 7:23-28
 

Thanks be to God!

And thanks be to God for chicken soup and chamomile tea!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Who Lights Up Your Life?

Trick question?

No, really, what was your first thought when you read the title?

Was it Debbie Boone or Whitney Houston?

If so, read on...

I was reading Psalm 18 the other day, and a little light went off as I read,

"For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness" 
(Psalm 18:28)

Number one, I cannot light my own candle.

Number two, nobody other than the Lord can light my candle.

Number three, it isn't my candle in the first place.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Lay Preachers, Servants?

Followers may have noticed that for the past several months our church has been drafting lay homilists from members of the congregation, most of whom have been involved in Christian Education in the past, to give one Sunday sermon a month. Most of these sermons have gone over well (with one notable exception which was a classic example of modern revisionism). This is an experiment at our church, and I am not sure how long it will last. This may be a case of our new priest in charge getting to know more about the congregation than this becoming a new standard operating procedure. Whatever it may be, I am hearing some rumblings from the congo.


                       (Scroll to 1:00 for a little chuckle)

It was appropriate that today's Gospel reading contained the following verses about the servant ministry.

"So Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’" Mark 10:35-45

So, all you potential servant ministers sitting out there in the pews, be on the alert, and check your draft cards.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’



The readings for this day, the feast day of St. Luke, speak to my friends in the Diocese of South Carolina as they and their Bishop, Mark Lawrence, are under assault from the unrighteous, and ungodly horror that infects the Episcopal church in this generation. If the good Bishop and the Standing Committee of DSC are removed by the actions of a tiny minority of revisionist activists, the result may be the release of thousands of good Christian souls currently held captive and tainted by the bloodsport of TEc. Thousands who may now be free to go forth into the upstate and "proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Let us pray,
Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.
 When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: 
 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
   because he has anointed me
     to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
   and recovery of sight to the blind,
     to let the oppressed go free,
 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ 
And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’ Luke 4:14-21

Cathedral of St Luke & St Paul, Charleston SC

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Give Ye Them to Eat"

I have been reading the KJV this year, and something struck me in today's Gospel reading, Luke 9:1-17.

Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.
And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart.
And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.

And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.

Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead;
And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again.
And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him.

And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.
And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.
And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place.

13 But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.

For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.
And they did so, and made them all sit down.
Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.
And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.


It was verse 13 that reads, "Give ye them to eat" which sounds a bit odd to the modern ear. The newer translation, "You give them something to eat" does seem to make a bit more sense, but the strangeness of the KJV version caused me to reflect on this command of Jesus to his disciples, a command which some may overlook because of the important miracle in the next verses.

The disciples had just returned from their first successful mission trip during which they themselves had performed healings (a foretaste of Acts?). Now they are stumped by Jesus' demand that they feed the multitude. Of course they had not yet been filled with the Holy Spirit, and they were unable to comply, but was Jesus testing them? Or was he teaching them (and us)?

Jesus would feed the multitude with bread and fishes, but ultimately he feeds the world with His body and blood.

The KJV, "Give ye them to eat," has this eerie ring to it that perhaps Jesus is teaching his disciples to give to the multitude their very being as the food that they truly need.

Much later, following the Resurrection, Ascension, and Pentecost, most of them will do just that.

Disciples taste better when they are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Holy Cow Cake, on the other hand, tastes better when you don't know what it is filled with.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

That Harsh, Cutting Word


 Today's reading from Hebrews starts by cutting us down to size but ends by building us up.
"Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.
Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:12-16
Therefore, we should both fear the Word of God and at the same time be thankful to God for it.

Attempts to dull the sharper than imaginable sword of the Word of God is characteristic of not only Biblical revisionism but also of well meaning denominations that omit some of the more difficult Bible verses from the Sunday readings (as documented in previous posts).

A dull knife leaves a nastier and more painful wound that takes longer to heal.

Thank you Lord for your sharp sword.


 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Enneagrams and Episcopalians' Search For Self Awareness


The following notice about an "Enneagram conference" came from the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina Newsletter, and it led me to think about why pop-psychology and Episcopalians tend to go together.
Enneagram conference at Kanuga to offer teacher training, self-discovery October 21-24
Enneagram expert Joe Howell to lead Oct. 21-24 program at WNC retreat center

Clinical psychologist Dr. Joe Howell of Anniston, Ala., will bring his 25 years of Enneagram study to Kanuga Conferences October 21-24 for three days of reflection, transformation and understanding of this ancient spiritual tool of self-discovery.

“The Power to Change: The Enneagram and an Emerging Consciousness” will offer two tracks of study: Enneagram basics and Enneagram for trainers.

For those intrigued by the Enneagram, the basics track will provide an introduction and an opportunity for individual exploration and expression. While paper Enneagram tests and online quizzes show basic personality types and dynamics, Howell will take a deeper, more prayerful stance when teaching.

“The Enneagram is a tool of self-inquiry of the spirit, not of the ego, not of the external personality,” he said. “It’s a spiritual tool to understand how we were … when we were fresh from heaven and what happened to us.”

For those who wish to translate what they have learned into transforming the lives of others, the track for trainers will give practical tools for teaching the Enneagram system on a church or community level. Participation in this track will count toward Enneagram teacher certification.

“There are not adequate numbers of teachers of this spiritual system,” said Howell, a regionally known expert on the Enneagram, which he has studied and taught for more than 25 years. “In fact, the system has lost much of its power in the recent past because it was packaged and reduced to a static psychological personality typing system. It is actually an amazing spiritual transformational tool and can be brought forth only by those who understand the soul of the Enneagram.”

In addition to large and small group discussions, morning yoga and daily worship, the conference will include workshops on dream exploration, the body-mind-spirit connection, using the Enneagram with children, mandalas and meditation.

Affiliated with the Episcopal Church since 1928, Kanuga is a 1,400-acre retreat center near Hendersonville, N.C. Financial aid and discounted rates for commuting Western North Carolina residents are available. For more information, visit www.kanuga.org or call 828-692-9136.
A little research into the subject of enneagrams left my head spinning, 
h/t pointbonitabooks.com.

It is understandable that Episcopal priests who, in their pastoral roles engage in a lot of counseling of troubled souls, might find themselves looking for help from whatever is popular in the psychology circles of the day.

But is that where we should be looking for answers?

I have, from my mother's collection, an autographed copy "Beyond Anxiety" a 1953 book written by the late Bishop James Pike. It is strong on 50's pop-psychology, and in it I can see hints of the desire to escape from "repression" imposed on us from external forces. This was a harbinger of what was to be the push for freedom from "inhibitions," the sexual liberation movement of the 60's, and the ultimate journey of Bishop Pike into divorce, remarriage, a call for a heresy trial, censure, madness, and death in the desert of the Holy Land.




Madalas, Dreams, and the likes of Bishop Gene Robinson have all been featured at Episcopal camp conferences in the past, and in the Church Publishing Company (they have cleaned up their catalog, but you can still find  things like From "Sin to Amazing Grace: Discovering the Queer Christ" by Patrick S. Cheng) so it seems to me that the further "out there" something is, the more likely an Episcopalian will be found nearby.

For example, you may have missed the SUMMER DREAM & SPIRITUALITY CONFERENCE:
GOD’S FORGOTTEN LANGUAGE
held at Kanuga on May 27– June 1, 2012. Here are some of the workshops:

Dreamscapes: Integrating Sandtray with Dream Work
Spirit Guides in Dreams
Native American Spirituality: Plants & Animals, Health & Sickness, Heavens & the Earth
Just Who is the “I” [Dream Ego] in Our Dreams?
Writing Your Own Book of Life
Hieroglyphic Thinking: The Symbolic and The Real
Taming the Inner Tyrant
Quantum Science: The Mystics got it Right
How Shadow Effects Our Contribution to the Universe and Our Connection to God
Sacred Feminine Oracle
Implications of Tibetan Lucid Dreaming Practices for
Western Dreamers
Body/Soul Integration
Myth and Dreams
The Self and Mandala Motifs in Dreams
Radical Incarnation and Unity Through Self, Symbol and Dream
The Healing Power of Poetry: Using Poetic Forms to Work Through Difficult Times
The Luminous Woman
Issues in Shadow Work
The Future in Quantum Mechanics & Dreams
Your Life Stages as Determined by your Meyers Briggs
Wisdom in your Dreams
Six Magic Questions
What is the Significance of Color in Dreams
Six Principles of Dreamwork
Who are You in The Tarot?
Exploration of Dreams and Prayer
Dream Archetypal Architecture: The Staircase
Starting a Dream Group at your Church
While a certain amount of self reflection can be a good thing, this Episcopal obsession seems to tell me that we Episcopalians must feel that we are missing out on something important in our lives. You will notice that the name of Jesus is missing from all of the spiritual realization false pathways outlined above. Knowledge of the "authentic self" must be what we are being taught as "missing" and the cause of our spiritual emptiness. Such efforts to know the authentic self are things that can misdirect us from what might otherwise be the desire to totally surrender to and to grow in Christ.

As I was reading up on Enneagrams, I came across something from another figure popular in progressive Episcopalian circles that pretty much sums it up,
"You’ve been fearful
of being absorbed in the ground,
or drawn up by the air.
Now, your waterbead lets go
and drops into the ocean,
where it came from.
It no longer has the form it had,
but it’s still water.
The essence is the same.
This giving up is not a repenting.
It’s a deep honoring of yourself."  The Essential Rumi, translation by Coleman Barks (HarperSanFrancisco, 1995) p. 153.
There is nothing to repent after all. Those things you were taught to think of as sinful were just oppressive ideas imposed on you from outside. Let go of all those repressive things. Look to the truth inside. Its all about yourself.

I'll close this reflection with a look at the back cover of James Pike's book, "Beyond Anxiety" to give you an idea about how the 50's attempt to merge Pyschology and Religion had a larger audience than just Episcopalians:


"SELF-UNDERSTANDING will be of invaluable aid to everyone confronted with the pressing problems of today's living."

That may not be exactly what the Rev. Hiltner intended, but if kind of sums up my thoughts on the trajectory and focus of the quest for self awareness, and the dangerous temptation to become more self-centered and less Christ-centered.

I find myself sighing everytime recommendations for programs like these show up in our Diocesan communications.

The sighing must mean that it is time for me to work on my "ennuiagram." 

Sunday, October 07, 2012

The Last Temptation of the Gnostics

On a Sunday when we heard about God creating Eve from Adam's rib and Jesus' stern teachings on divorce and adultery in Mark 10, I was taken aback when our preacher chose to begin her sermon by bringing up the "was Jesus married" schlock that has been in the news recently. If the subject is to be discussed in church on Sunday, it should be to debunk it and not to give it a passing nod, and certainly not to pass on the impression that it is at least a possibility. And to compound the error, we had to hear about the "DaVinci Code" and the "Last Temptation of Christ" (the latter in far more graphic detail than I ever wanted to know).

I just don't understand why Episcopalians love this stuff, or maybe I do. I wonder if the fascination with novel ideas and extracanonical "discoveries" is due to a deficiency of love for the Bible, a deficiency that has as its basis inadequate teaching and preaching.

I had followed the story of the recently "discovered" fragment of papyrus, but I had never intended to waste blog space on it. I will refer interested readers who were confused by today's sermon to Albert Mohler's more sensible commentary on the subject in which he concludes,

“'The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife?' Not hardly. This is sensationalism masquerading as scholarship. Nevertheless, do not miss what all this really represents — an effort to replace biblical Christianity with an entirely new faith."
 
Shame on anyone who gives this fragment of gnostic nonsense the time of day, particularly on a Sunday morning.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Task Force 10 to Gomorrah: A Little Backtracking From +DUSC


One week after announcing his Task Force on Unity, Bishop Waldo of Upper SC must have heard some protests and sent out the following explanation:

"The Task Force on Unity has been named and will begin its work in late October. In mid-August, I sent an email in to all clergy of the diocese – active, retired, supply, licensed – with attachments that included a letter, nomination form, and biographical information sheet for persons to be considered for the Task Force."
Stop right there. Given the make up of the clergy in this Diocese, people who easily elected Bishop Waldo all the while knowing his position on the major issues of the day, can anyone guess who they might nominate to be part of a task force?  
"After receiving nominations from these clergy and others in Upper South Carolina,"
Whoa! Just who might these "others" be? Folks who didn't get the e-mail? Folks who got it forwarded to them by a friendly priest?
"I asked applicants to respond in writing to several questions about their qualifications. In selecting the members, I looked for five primary qualifications, in the following order of priority:

1. Astute theological acumen;
2. Theological diversity;"
If these characteristics are being sought from the same individual, this would be non-sensical. For one thing, I don't know what Theological diversity means unless the Bishop is actually desiring the group to be "Theologically diverse," but if all members possess "Astute theological acumen" wouldn't the group by definition be limited in theological diversity?  
"3. A desire to find a way forward;"
Forget the diversity talk. This means that all those do not desire for the rite of same-sex blessing to move forward need not apply.
"4. Additional skill sets and experience that would help the Task Force in its work – writing, editing, research, etc., and..."
Spin-meisters will be desperately needed.
"5. Geographical diversity."

Nobody from our neck of the woods was even nominated. So did the Bishop get on the blower and call anyone? I wouldn't think so since he won't even reply to a simple letter from a mere pewsitter.
"I have heard concerns from a few of you in the diocese that there are more participants from the Midlands than from the Upstate. The simple truth is that I did not receive many applications from the Upstate and received none from the Catawba convocation. There are two individuals on the Task Force from the Upstate – one from Greenville and one from Boiling Springs."
So qualification #5 is a bust.
"I have also heard questions about the theological diversity of the group. I assure you that the Task Force participants represent the broad diversity of this diocese, as you will read in the bios each member submitted with their applications."
 All assurances aside,  there is no statement of the members' theological positions in the bios. We can guess from their prior history, and this leads me to conclude that +Waldo's idea of theological diversity is weighted heavily on the revisionist side.
"The diversity and qualifications are important and will guide the Task Force in its work over the next many months. With that said, the more important aspect of the Task Force is the result that comes from it – God willing, a way forward that articulates the boundaries within which all of us can live and serve Christ together, even as we disagree about same-sex blessings."

I think he should re-phrase that "God willing" to read, "Waldo willing."
"This whole process is challenging: the work ahead is hard; some believe we shouldn’t be asking these questions; some believe we can’t get the work done fast enough; many simply want us to do our work with the integrity, compassion, and rigor that it deserves. Much is at stake and we all know it. And yet by our baptism into Christ Jesus, we are called to 'lead a life worthy of the calling to which [we] have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.' –Ephesians 4:1-3

 Oh, those Ephesians... I am glad he brought them up. I think there was something in 1 Timothy about them.

“…stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God’s work–which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about our what they so confidently affirm.” (1 Tim. 1:3-7)
I call it false doctrine when certain men teach that a man shall lie with a man like a woman.
I call it false doctrine when a leader of the Church permits such teaching to be promulgated. 
I call it meaningless talk to teach that two opposing doctrines can be united in one Church.

"So I ask for your trust and for your prayers, as this work is about our unity in Christ. We can and will find a way forward if we stay together and trust in the peace of God that passes all understanding.

The following link (http://www.edusc.org/Resources/Task%20Force%20Announcement.pdf) will take you to my letter announcing the Bishop's Task Force on Unity and offering some details about the Task Force's charge as well as biographical information submitted by each member of the task force so that you might know something more about them. I ask you to support and pray for each member of this group in this difficult work."

Yours in Christ,
W. Andrew Waldo
VIII Bishop
The Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina
Ultimately, the question boils down to this, "Can a Church remain united in Christ when its leadership fails to stand firm upon the Gospel of Christ, and when that leadership insists on elevating unsound doctrine to the level of sound doctrine and holding both up simultaneously as equal?"

Sound doctrine is like a fire that won't be quenched.

Unsound doctrine is just so much T.P.

Why can't paper and fire live together?  


Because they can't!

Let me close with an answer or two from some reliable sources.


"For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." Matthew 10:35 (KJV)
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.  Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron” (1 Tim. 4:1-2).
“If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing.  He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain” (1 Tim. 6:3-5).
“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.  Guard the good deposit that was entruted to you–guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us” (2 Tim. 1:13-14).
“They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.  Just as Jannes and Jambres oppose the truth–men of depraved minds, who, as fas as the faith is concerned, are rejected” (2 Tim. 3:1-8).
“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.  For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.  But you, keep you head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry” (2 Tim. 4:2-5).
Elders “must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.  For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group.  They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach–and that for the sake of dishonest gain” (Titus 1:11).
“Rebuke them sharply, so that they may be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth” (Titus 1:13-14).
“You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1a).