Monday, March 16, 2009

Does This Make Zense to You?

(Image From Ann Huey's website)

In the most recent case of Episcopalian strange bed fellows, the Diocese of Northern Michigan elected a man as Bishop who is both an Episcopal priest and a "lay ordained" Buddhist. There are also procedural questions about the election which our EDUSC Bishop and Executive Council have to consider before issuing a consent to the election.

I have read with interest the blogging going on about this story. Read Anglicat's take here, or the opinion of the rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Pine Bluff Arkansas,

More to the point is the text of the Rev. Forrester's Trinity Sunday sermon that the people at StandFirm transcribed. Here is an illustrative sample,

“That’s what we heard today, right? All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Well, we could slightly rephrase that and keep it, keep its true meaning, I think, if we would say: Jesus realized that all that He is, He had received from God. Jesus is the one that realized all He is, “all I am, I have received from God.” And in response, we read in the gospels later on His response, to having received everything from God is that, “into Your hands I commend my spirit and Thy will be done.” He receives everything from God and He returns everything to God. That is what it means that everything has been given to Jesus, all the power. His very center, the center of His heart, of His body, of His mind, is the living God. All things come from the divine source for Jesus—who He is, His self identity, His soul, that just means His understanding of who He is, He has come to realize and it’s key in that baptismal moment, that He is the very presence of the living God. That is who He is. He is one who is unified with God. That’s what the Syrians are getting at. Jesus realizes that God dwells in His very being, He is one with God, and He is one with you and me. And because He is one, He is the lifegiver. He can show us the path of life, which is the path to realizing that we are one with God. We are one with one another.”

I named this "Buddhistic Adoptionism."

The same StandFirm post included the service Bulletin which had this interesting bit of information at the end,

May 13, 2008
The discernment process is moving along on schedule. Our first few sessions were led by Marcia Franz, Kevin Thew Forrester, Fran Gardner and Hazel Satterly. Formation and team building were on the agenda for the first few meetings. Kevin led us through a brief oversight of the Enneagram showing us how our personality traits impact group process, how we receive and give information and how we make decisions.

So the Rev. Forrester was in on the discernment team for the next Bishop which may very well wind up being himself.

It will be interesting to see how our Executive Council and Bishop in Upper South Carolina handle this.

I advise all to write to Bishop Henderson and the members of D.E.C. and let them know your opinion.

As for me, I will meditate, and pray for the Diocese of Upper Michigan that they will find a clear minded Bishop who can lead them through the spiritual minefields ahead. I pray that they have also seen this video,


  1. Seattle has a priestess who is also a Wiccan. It's not such a large stretch to have a priest who is also Buddhist. The Episcopal Church has devolved into a theological mosh pit and pewsitters are charged an admission fee to watch the action.

  2. Hi Cato,
    What is the name of the woman in Seattle?
    How do you know she is a Wiccan?

  3. The druids/wicca whatevers Cato was referring to might have been the East Coast variety the Rev. William Melnyk and his wife, the Rev. Glyn Ruppe-Melnyk, in the Diocese of Pennsylvania in 2004 who came out as it were. In Druid circles, he was “Oakwyse” and she was “Glispa.”

    Cato, did you mean the Muslim/Episcopal Priest? I believe that was a left coast construct.

  4. Not a mosh pit, Cato, but a muddle. Though E.M. Forster was not an advocate for Anglicanism, his character Mr. Emerson hit it on the head with the line "there's nothing worse than a muddle in all world."

  5. There might be one thing worse, but that was excused by the Kinks a few years back in "Lola."

    "Its a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for lola
    Lo-lo-lo-lo lola"

  6. I had to go back and re-read the source material and the Pewster is accurate. The Seattle Episcopal/Muslim priestess situation is being handled by Bishop Wolf of Rhode Island where the priestess is canonically resident. Apparently, the druid/wiccan couple in Pennsylvania continue on their merry way as I have found no reference to any disciplinary action in progress. I assume the recently deposed Bishop Bennison has more on his plate than to worry about something so minor.

  7. Friend4:03 PM

    Underground Pewster:
    What is the cruelty of the heresy of Adoptionism?

  8. Adoptionism in its various forms is cruel because it leads people to believe that they can become like their adopted Christ through works and through their own efforts. This also nullifies the importance of the atonement. Adoptionism leads to a self centered struggle to win God's favor, a struggle which will invariably fail and lead to disappointment and perhaps even depression or even giving up on Christianity. Buddhism's selfless self centeredness is a perfect fit for the Rev. Forrester's new Buddhistic Adoptionism. Let his teachings cease, lest others be led astray.