Sunday, October 23, 2011

Who is DUSC's Neighbor?

Yesterday we witnessed the annual Convention of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina put forth a resolution suggesting an alternative means of reconcilation between our Presiding Bishop and Bishop Mark Lawrence of the Diocese of South Carolina (yes there is another Episcopal diocese in South Carolina). (Update: the resolution is now posted at StandFirm in Faith) An impassioned Bishop Andrew Waldo of Upper South Carolina argued before the Convention for the benefits of a Christian manner of handling a difference of opinion (as opposed to the use of disciplinary canons). By an odd Godincidence, the Gospel reading for today begs the question, "Who is your neighbor?" Matthew 22:34-46
When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: ‘What do you think of the Messiah?* Whose son is he?’ They said to him, ‘The son of David.’ He said to them, ‘How is it then that David by the Spirit* calls him Lord, saying, “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet’ ”? If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?’ No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.
Yesterday the people of Upper South Carolina let it be known just who is their neighbor. Will former Bishop of DUSC, Dorsey Henderson, who is in charge of the disciplinary committee judging +Mark Lawrence of DSC, be able to give our Lord an answer to the question, "Who is your neighbor?"


  1. Alas, I know nothing of this controversy. What's at the bottom of it?


  2. It is a long story, but I can give you a brief summary.

    1. Bishop Mark Lawrence of the Diocese of South Carolina (DSC) bears the label "conservative."

    2. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal church and a majority of Bishops I will label for the sake of this summary "liberal."

    3. "Moderate" bishops shall be considered left of center. Many consider Bishop Waldo a "moderate" bishop of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina in which I reside.

    #2 is in favor of abortion, a variety of other non-biblical issues, and of course, non celibate homosexual clergy and considers same sex unions a "blessing" on the basis of human experience and feelings. Scripture gets in the way of the Spirit at times and we should not let scripture enslave people.

    #1 is focused on "Making Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age," and therefore rejects the teachings of #2.

    The Presiding Bishop (#2) tried to stop the election of Bishop Lawrence (#1) several years ago.

    New disciplinary canons were enacted in July 2011 making any bishop the target of an "investigation" if anyone sends in any allegation of any kind.

    DSC's convention did not consent to accede to the new disciplinary canons, and considers them to be contrary to the constitution of the Episcopal church.

    A group of #2's in DSC don't agree with #1.

    The disgruntled #2's submitted a series of "charges" against #1 which can be found here.

    4. Bishop Dorsey Henderson (retired) who was our bishop of Upper South Carolina, was an attorney and is in charge of the disciplinary board.

    #4 was #1's neighbor.

    "Where's the love?" asks #3.

    The Diocese of upper South Carolina suggests the parties involved seek a more Christian way of resolving their dispute.

    Will #2 heed our advice?

  3. Um, wow.

    Your state and congregations are in my prayers.

  4. I read the resolution as it appeared on Stand Firm and appreciate the deep sense of Christian charity and forebearance that went into it. Its a credit to the Diocese and its leadership. Considering the polarity of the two principal partiesthough, I don't know that this will be the case.

  5. Andy,

    You are probably right. A show of hands from other Dioceses would prove your point.