Sunday, June 07, 2009

Don't Mess With My Lorica

Today I am at a loss. A loss of hope, a loss of heritage, a loss of my breastplate, a loss for words. I didn't start the day off like this, but something happened during the course of the morning service at ECOOS to leave me with this hurt, empty feeling.

We started the service off with "St. Patrick's Breastplate or Lorica," Hymn 370, which got my heart pumping. Mind you, we did not sing the missing verses that Wallace Hartley posted back in March, but even the watered down version should have had everyone in a hopeful mood for "Trinity Sunday."

I recognized the warning signs of trouble when the rector began his sermon by explaining that he was going to go against 2000 years of thinking about how to talk about the Trinity. At least he is an out of the closet liberal. The ensuing sermon was too painful and confusing to recite, so I will present some personal impressions that are not direct quotations from the liberal diatribe our rector laid on me.

1. The doctrine of the Trinity was not explained. (Because we know that doctrines are bad and lead to narrow mindedness or worse.)

2. Christian thinkers, and those who have been called Christian over the centuries, have taken the Trinity as some sort of weapon into battle to subjugate other religions. (Never mind the notion that the Lorica of which we sang is a defense.)

3. The murderer of the abortionist is evidence of such misapplied fundamentalist theology. (I wonder what the abortionist was evidence of?)

4. Our great President Obama, in his Capitulation at Cairo speech, has shown that we should not speak openly of what we believe, this creedal Christianity, because we are the ones who kill.

4. History doesn't have much good to say about Christianity. (So why be one?)

5. Christians and muslims have killed in the name of God, and this needs to be pounded into my simple brain over and over.

6. I thought I was going to hear about the blessed Trinity today, and maybe learn something. Therefore, hope springs eternal just so it can be squashed.

7. I was left feeling like a Post-modernist Linus, but I will twist the cartoon character's words to read, "I love mankind, it's Christians I can't stand."

8. If today's sermon was intended to build up the body of Christ, it must have intended to do so by purging the the body of believers like me.

9. Days like this are necessary in order that I come up with new intercessory prayers.

Am I alone here? I watched in despair as a young Bible toting couple made a hasty departure after the sermon and before the Eucharist. Did they hear what I heard? Or did they have other business to attend to? Maybe they didn't read the sign, "Check your Bible at the door." If you see such a sign at your church, don't run away. Strap on your Lorica and go onward like a Christian soldier. You might get dashed, bashed, and bruised, but you will be protected from mortal wounds. Besides, you knew the job was dangerous when you took it.

Dear St. Patrick, pray for me...

"Against the demon snares of sin,
the vice that gives temptation force,
the natural lusts that war within,
the hostile men that mar my course;
of few or many, far or nigh,
in every place, and in all hours
against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
against false words of heresy,
against the knowledge that defiles
against the heart's idolatry,
against the wizard's evil craft,
against the death-wound and the burning
the choking wave and poisoned shaft,
protect me, Christ, till thy returning."
(the expurgated verses)


  1. Anonymous7:36 PM

    This truly breaks my heart, especially when I remember the mighty and persuasive explication of the Catholic faith of the Episcopal Church that Fr. Lumpkin regularly expounded from that same pulpit. Surely "an enemy hath done this." May God and his saints come to our aid.

  2. Anonymous11:02 PM

    Having learned the Faith from the preaching of William Wallace Lumpkin
    (not to mention the sterling spirituality he exhibited during his long and fruitful ministry in Rock Hill), I am bound to grieve when forced to read of such apostasy. Psalm 79 describes the condition of the Church of Our Saviour

    "O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled, and made Jerusalem an heap of stones.

    The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the air, and the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the land.

    "Read it all."

  3. I, too, was hurt and horrified at today's sermon. Although, after ten years of this, I probably should be used to it. The Episcopal Church tries to canonize a person who murdered 60,000 children and, in the same breath, villifies Christian soldiers who were called up to defend the Holy Land and its various sacred treasures some 900 years ago. This is the same intellectual argument that justifies Muslims beheading non-Muslims over every imagined slight. Is it any wonder that the young couple grabbed their Bible and got the hell out of there? "Get behind me Satan." How many more people will need to leave the Episcopal Church before someone pays attention? Clearly, as the average Sunday attendance at ECOOS continues to decline, no one here is paying attention.

  4. How in the world does one purport to be a Christian without believing in the Trinity? It boggles the mind.

  5. The rector never said he did not believe in the Trinity, the implication was that Christians mistake the Trinity as a means to control, to dominate, and win the battle. I got the impression that it is better to be silent and capitulate to the enemy, as I accuse the President of doing, than to declare with a bold voice "We believe." By praising the President's speech, I can only conclude that the method of peace through silencing the creed is being supported. I think that liberals fear the conclusion others draw from that declaration of faith. The conclusion that "All of you who don't believe are going to you know where." The creed is a statement of faith and of our trust in salvation, not words of condemnation.

  6. "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations -- He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potters's vessels -- as I have received from My Father..." (Revelation 2:26-27)

    The challenge facing Thyatira and the one facing us today is the same. The reward comes from a Master who sympathizes with our infirmities, within and without.