Sunday, February 05, 2012

Your Episcopal Pledge Dollars at Work (Part II)

                                         (The Evangelfish from Reverend Fun)
In today's Gospel reading we heard a little about the early ministry of our Saviour and the beginnings of the spread of his teachings in Mark 1:29-39 from which I quote verses 35-39,
35 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.
36 And Simon and his companions hunted for him.
37When they found him, they said to him, ‘Everyone is searching for you.’
38 He answered, ‘Let us go on to the neighbouring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.’
39 And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
What was that early message? Was it of repentance and the good news that the kingdom of God was at hand as we read in Mark 1:14-15, or was it one of forgiveness of sins as we will hear about in Mark chapter 2?

Whatever it might have been, the early message was probably nothing like the messages that the Episcopal church of 2012 has been trying to spread.

H/T T-19 for posting this link to a summary of TEc Exec Council Resolutions from 01/29/12.
I started to respond in the comments at T19 to the question of whether or not the Executive Council of the Episcopal church discussed church growth at all at their recent meeting when I realized that my response was going to be too long, too linked, and too full of the sorry story about just what kind of people are in charge of the Episcopal church to fit in a comment box. In short, the Executive Council did discuss their idea of church growth because you can see that they chose to,
"Recognize and celebrate the work of council members the Rev. Canon Sandye Wilson and the Rev. Winnie Varghese in spreading “Good News” locally and abroad (EC021)"
And what "Good News" have these two been spreading?

Well, for one, the Rev. Winnie Varghese is a lesbian Indian-American who has been featured at the Huffington Post in a piece called,  "Celebrating The Holy: Marriage Equality As Sacrament."

Oh yeah, that "good news."

I don't know how well that type of ministry goes over "abroad", but Outlook India did an article on her in which they wrote,
Winnie would like to see activists again on the steps and in the graveyard of St Marks like in the sixties, and in the days leading up to the Iraq war. "Spirituality for me is very embodied. It's who we are on this earth, and how we treat each other on this planet."
And how about Sandye Wilson+? The word out on the street is one of accusations about a same-sex scandal in the past,

Referring to the inquiry back on Sept 28,1998, the Episcopal Press had this terse statement:
September 28, 1998 Reinstated Colorado Priest Accepts Call in Minnesota: Episcopal News Service

(Episcopal Life) Just days after Bishop Jerry Winterrowd reinstated the Rev. Sandra Wilson as rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Wilson announced in September that she had accepted a call from a parish in Minneapolis.

Wilson, 45, a member of Executive Council who was elected president of the Union of Black Episcopalians in July, was temporarily inhibited last March by Winterrowd after three women made formal complaints of sexual and ethical misconduct.

Wilson, a nominee for suffragan bishop of the Diocese of Maryland at that time, withdrew from the selection process.

After a diocesan response team conducted an investigation and made its confidential report to Winterrowd, the bishop issued a single-sentence statement in August that he and Wilson "had entered into an agreement which addresses the subject matter of the inquiry."

During her sermon on Sept. 6, Wilson told her congregation the decision to leave was hers alone. "In light of what we've been through I cannot stay," she said.

Dismissing suggestions that she had been asked to leave, Wilson told Episcopal Life she had been part of the search by the Minneapolis parish since January. "When this thing [the investigation] was over, they called me and I accepted," she said.

Wilson, who said the complaints were raised to prevent her election to the episcopacy in Maryland, said she intends to remain on Executive Council as a representative from Province 6.
 The original article was in the Denver Post,
DENVER - An Episcopal priest will be leaving her parish and moving to another after acknowledging that she had "relationships" with two women in her congregation. The admission by the Rev. Sandra Wilson, 45, a black female pastor was cited in a confidential memo from Colorado Episcopal Bishop Jerry Winterrowd accused Wilson in late March of "sexual and ethical misconduct," prompting Wilson's suspension from the pulpit. A third woman also filed a complaint but the nature of it has not been made public. Although a diocesan "response team" found the women's complaints "credible," Winterrowd reinstated Wilson saying the case was closed.

Wilson denies any "exploitation of those parties or abuse of her role" as a priest, the bishop's memo says. But official guidelines of the Episcopal Church forbid a priest from having a sexual relationship with a member of his or her congregation.

Wilson declined comment on the memo because of a confidential agreement between Wilson and her bishop. (9/7/98 Denver Post)
While other Churches get in trouble for spreading potential sex scandals "locally and abroad," the Episcopal church celebrates it!

This amazing story can only be explained by assuming that the blessedness of same-sex realtionships has become part of the doctrine of the Episcopal church, and it is now incumbent upon the members of the church to spread this doctrine as part of the new and revised "good news."

How far we have strayed. TEc's upper levels are so enamored by a false gospel that they wouldn't recognize the original "Good News" if it were to be tossed directly onto their doorsteps.
 Instead of "recognizing and celebrating" the work of these false teachers, we should be raising a warning flag to others,
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ- Colossians 2:8
The Executive Council should be well informed about the results of their work to spread the "new good news" as they were recently presented with these slides:

Decline in ASA over 10 years
Another slide adds additional evidence:

  • Change in church school enrollment: -33%
  • Change in number of marriages performed: -41%
  • Change in number of burials/funerals: -21%
  • Change in the number of child baptisms: -36%
  • Change in the number of adult baptisms: -40%
  • Change in the number of confirmations: -32%
  • Oh yeah, keep up the good work Executive Council. Honor and recognize your evangelists of the new gospel, a gospel that redefines "sin" to mean "sacrament" in a vain human attempt to deny our sinful condition. We cannot put sin to death by a vote of an Executive Council or a General church Convention.  Sin is put to death through the pain and blood of Christ, and through Him alone can we be saved from our sins.


    1. I was going to cite the Colossians verse, but you preempted me. The world's turned upside down if our own wants and philosophical desires for absolute license have supplanted the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    2. Seeing the world as it is, turned upside down, is one of the remarkable messages of the Gospel. I think too many people think the message is to use the Gospel to make the world conform to your own personal orientation.