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  #1  
Old Jan 30, '12, 12:15 am
1voice 1voice is offline
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Default Episcopal Church: What happened?

Comments? Thoughts?

This subject, IMHO, would make a very good thesis for a sociologist or a religious historian. I often wondered why universities like Harvard and Yale, whose founding documents state boldly that the purpose of the founders was to establish and teach the truth of God written in the Holy Scriptures ... became exactly the opposite and in fact oppose the Bible that the founders loved.

It has happened again. Before our eyes, in this generation, we have seen the emasculation of a former bastion of Christianity. What was the seed? Who allowed it to be watered and to grow to the point that it squelched the truth at every opportunity... and finally morphed into an entirely unrecognizable institution.

I would appreciate it if the Catholic friends and neighbors that visit here would refrain from Protestant bashing ... or starting a conversation about how Protestants will be Protestants ... Thnx in advance. This social trend affects all of our families.

I attended a vibrant beautiful old ivy covered greystone Episcopal Church, St Stephens, Sewickley PA in the mid 80's. I remember the Pastor at the time, Rev John Guest, in his winsome Liver-puddelian accent stating that if the US Episcopal Communion decided to ordain gays and lesbians that he would leave the church. Well it finally happened ... and he took most of the congregation with him to establish a new place of worship.
The Episcopal Communion on the African Continent has completely separated itself from the US Episcopal Church for the above reasons, among others.

I recently read this short statement describing the decline and fall of the US Episcopal Church.

"When I first became an Episcopalian years ago, a friend facetiously told me that I had
joined the best church that money could buy.”
In fact, another wag observed that the Episcopal Church is the Cadillac
of American Christianity’’ and the ‘‘Chevis Regal of
Protestantism.’’

These attempts at humor, based on social and intellectual snobbery, have grown a bit
stale in the ensuing years, as the stately and venerable American version of the
Church of England has experienced wide-spread decline in numbers, theological
conviction, and social and political influence.
The church that once was called “the Republican Party at prayer” has
now become little more than a coalition of special interests and would probably
be more accurately termed the “Democratic Convention in 1988 at prayer.”

With bishops who declare the Bible to be little more than the prejudices of a group
of misogynist, homophobic
males, the Apostle Paul to have been nothing but a frustrated homosexual, and
the Resurrection of Jesus Christ to be nothing but the rattling of old bones, it
is little wonder that the Episcopal Church in the United States has lost over a
million members since 1970. As if these “profound theological insights” were
not enough, the American branch of Anglicanism now has liturgies for the marriage
of two persons of the same gender and refuses to expect clergy to live morally
pure lives.

This sad state of affairs has prompted some Episcopalians to seek a safe harbor outside
the Anglican Communion in which to live out their faith. Not surprisingly, some
have elected to leave the denomination for other more conservative, Protestant
groups. Still others have ‘‘swam the Tiber’’ for membership in the Roman
Catholic Church. A few others have formed “independent Episcopal”
congregations, and yet more have formed new ‘‘Anglican Churches’’ that
are in communion with neither Canterbury or the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A.
Sadly, some have simply dropped their practice of the faith altogether.

Continued:
http://www.antiochian.org/Orthodox_C...e_Orthodox.htm
  #2  
Old Jan 30, '12, 1:44 am
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Default Re: Episcopal Church: What happened?

I don't really know how to respond to it without making a comment on the very nature of Americans to found new organizations as soon as the old doesn't comply with their 'thoughts'. If we go to a lodge and they don't fit us, we go to another one. If we can't find one, we start our own. If we go to a club and it doesn't have what we want, we simply go to another. If we can't find one that we like, we go and get money and start our own. A restaurant? The same thing.

That is the one thing that impresses me about the Catholic faith. Their refusal to bow down and change because society has changed. While there are superficial changes the faith itself hasn't changed much in 2000 years. I don't expect it to change much in the future either. Mind you I don't know much about Episcopalians. The only time I have ever been in one of their churches was in 1998 when I helped install a fire alarm in a town in Tennessee. I asked the priest there what an Episcopal church was, and he said "Think of it as Catholic, without all the rules."
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  #3  
Old Jan 30, '12, 2:10 am
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Default Re: Episcopal Church: What happened?

The Anglican Church has been through worse in its history. Whether or not it will manage to revive itself again, however, remains to be seen.
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  #4  
Old Jan 30, '12, 5:57 am
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JustaServant JustaServant is offline
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Default Re: Episcopal Church: What happened?

Years ago, when I was an evangelical I heard a Catholic teacher on television make the statement that Protestantism, by it's very nature, leads to theological liberalism and logically to unbelief.
At the time I thought the statement offensive, but now on this side of the Tiber I can see his point.
Protestantism, does indeed lead logically to theologial liberalism and relativity.
I base this conclusion on the shaky concept of 'scripture alone'. Without anything to anchor to, they drift. Without any type of authority, humans will always fall on thier own fallen understanding.
This can be seen very clearly by just observing the path various denominations have taken from thier roots. Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopal, Lutheran. The mainline roots of those denominations have all gone liberal. There are sub-groups that have hung on to thier roots, which must be commended. But those sub-groups become smaller and smaller as the decades roll on.
It's hard to observe this in the USA which still has a strong conservative element within its denominations, but in Europe, the cradle of the Reformation, is it most clearly seen.
The issue is authority, without which people will drift.
  #5  
Old Jan 30, '12, 6:16 am
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Default Re: Episcopal Church: What happened?

I have many very good Anglican friends (mostly folks with British accents) who are utterly appalled by these developments, especially in the U.S. They have largely and ironically expressed the opinion that a lack of "Catholic discipline", namely, a lack of true allegiance and accountabilty to a central figure and / or ecclesiastical body has allowed such a trend to develop and continue. In that, it was the very rejection of the Papacy so very central to the founding tenets of Anglicanism that supported a structure too decentralized to control such divergences in these modern times, especially off English soil.

This is admitedly the shared opinion of others - I could not comment myself, but I distinctly remember being first exposed to the Episcopal Church while in high school. My Episcopalian friends at the time prided themselves and were self-described as being "very much like Catholics". They are not so sure these days. It's hard to believe that in the course of twenty years this church has drifted so far from its heritage and history.
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  #6  
Old Jan 30, '12, 8:12 am
Publisher Publisher is offline
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Default Re: Episcopal Church: What happened?

The Episcopal church is seeking to "move into the 21st century". With ongoing archeological finds and "reinterpretation" of history through the new findings, a deeper understanding of the developements of Christianity.

Also further understanding of psycology and sexuality has caused questions to be asked in relation to sexual minorities and the role of women in the Church as a whole.

The Episcopal church has not abandoned their Christian focus....they just do not embrace for the most part a "conservative" mindset....in their view their faith is not only informed and understood thru scripture and history...but through science, psycology and human rights.

Conservative Christians of course disagree with them....but in their minds and beliefs...they are being faithful custodians of Truth.....in their understanding....Truth is ever unfolding and those biblical injunctions that more conservative believers see as "plain"....they see as cultural and historical mores and beliefs bound in a more "primitive" time and culture.
  #7  
Old Jan 30, '12, 9:44 am
pablope pablope is offline
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Default Re: Episcopal Church: What happened?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1voice View Post
Comments? Thoughts?

This subject, IMHO, would make a very good thesis for a sociologist or a religious historian. I often wondered why universities like Harvard and Yale, whose founding documents state boldly that the purpose of the founders was to establish and teach the truth of God written in the Holy Scriptures ... became exactly the opposite and in fact oppose the Bible that the founders loved.

It has happened again. Before our eyes, in this generation, we have seen the emasculation of a former bastion of Christianity. What was the seed? Who allowed it to be watered and to grow to the point that it squelched the truth at every opportunity... and finally morphed into an entirely unrecognizable institution.

I would appreciate it if the Catholic friends and neighbors that visit here would refrain from Protestant bashing ... or starting a conversation about how Protestants will be Protestants ... Thnx in advance. This social trend affects all of our families.


Continued:
http://www.antiochian.org/Orthodox_C...e_Orthodox.htm

This is not intended to bash....just came across this article....which could further divide Anglicans....http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/m...?storyid=12870

Gay bishop to divide Anglicans
ALL hope of preventing a schism in the Anglican Church will end if an openly gay cleric becomes the next Bishop of Southwark in Britain.

The Times
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/
July 06, 2010

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has allowed Jeffrey John's name to go forward. Although Dr John, the Dean of St Albans, is understood to be celibate, which means he is in line with Church of England teaching, he has registered a civil partnership with his long-term companion Grant Holmes.

The Crown Nominations Committee was meeting overnight and today to decide on two names to go forward in order of preference to British Prime Minister David Cameron, to be approved by the Queen.

Conservatives insist the Bible unequivocally outlaws homosexuality, while liberals believe the Bible should be reinterpreted in the light of contemporary wisdom.

IMHO...I think this quote above says alot...the lack of an authority to properly interpret...a Magisterium.

Catholics get criticized for having a Magisterium, as being unbibilical...and seeing what is happening, I thank God for a Magisterium.
  #8  
Old Jan 30, '12, 2:52 pm
manualman manualman is online now
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Default Re: Episcopal Church: What happened?

Publisher, I suppose that is a possible charitable defense of the intent of the Episcopal Church, USA. But you haven't even attempted to explain the exceptional rate of decline, which is far greater than most other churches have experienced. Why not? Why have their numbers declined so much faster than other groups also in decline? Is there a pattern that can be discerned?

Myself, I suspect that the cause is partly rooted in an abandonment of a worldview based on Natural Law in favor of a worldview based on sentiment. What is objectively true becomes subordinate to how something FEELS. If a teaching or its comprehension feels wrong, harsh or unfair, it must be rejected in favor of something "nicer."

Such an approach fails to comprehend what love really is. When you love someone, you care about their ultimate good. A good parent must teach his kids to moderate their intake of sweets. It doesn't FEEL good to provoke a child to tantrum when saying no, but sometimes love demands it. Grownups need reality checks sometimes too, but in modern USA such a thing is the only "mortal sin" left. But in being to cowardly to call a spade a spade, people make themselves morally irrelevant.
  #9  
Old Jan 30, '12, 3:14 pm
Della Della is offline
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Default Re: Episcopal Church: What happened?

I see a correlation between the loss of faithful in the Episcopal Church to loss of religious vocations in the Catholic Church, especially in those orders that have abandoned Catholic teaching to embrace whatever comes down the liberal pike. The more people pretend they know better than the 10 Commandments, the more they drift into indifference and on to unbelief. Those orders that have decided the pope is an out of touch old man who should retire and that his devotion to life is too narrow, that they are wiser who see as the world sees, relish in denial rather than belief, well the outcome is inevitable. Who wants to be part of an organization that believes nothing and is centered on self when you can get all that in the world without having to attend anyone's services or pretend duty and prayer matter.

Christ promised his Church would defy the gates of hell. Those that choose to leave the Church behind in their hearts and minds soon find their bodies out the door, as well.

There are no archeological finds that have refuted Church teaching nor have told us that Jesus wasn't who he and his Church claim or that ought to make us abandon sound theology for whatever happens to be popular today. G. K. Chesterton once wrote that the man who marries the spirit of the age will find himself a widower in the next age.
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  #10  
Old Jan 30, '12, 3:36 pm
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Anna Scott Anna Scott is offline
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Default Re: Episcopal Church: What happened?

Sadly, this is yet another thread which, whether intentional or not, is kicking one who is down. What many people do not realize is that there are many conservative Anglo Catholics in the Episcopal Church, who are just as appalled as you are about the liberal developments in TEC. We stay in the Anglican Communion, working for a return to orthodoxy.

Ironically, Catholics criticize Christians who break away from a Church when disagreements arise. Yet, when we stay despite the troubling direction, we are all lumped together and criticized. While I respect those who choose to leave TEC or even the Anglican Communion altogether; I don't think the answer for every conservative Episcopalian is to leave the Communion. Each break further fractures the Body of Christ.

We have conservative Priests and Bishops aligning with other conservative Priests and Bishops. However, working within the Communion to restore orthodoxy rarely makes the news.

I do respect the way the Catholic Church has preserved Christian orthodoxy. Yet, the lack of a Magisterium does not always lead to ruin. The Eastern Orthodox seem to be doing just fine without the Pope.

Just keep in mind, many Episcopalians are against the ordination of those in same sex relationships and are against blessing same sex unions.

There are actually very few differences in the beliefs and practice of Catholics and Anglo Catholics.

The Anglican Communion is in crisis. We need more prayers and less ridicule.

Peace,
Anna
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  #11  
Old Jan 30, '12, 3:58 pm
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Default Re: Episcopal Church: What happened?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna Scott View Post
Sadly, this is yet another thread which, whether intentional or not, is kicking one who is down. What many people do not realize is that there are many conservative Anglo Catholics in the Episcopal Church, who are just as appalled as you are about the liberal developments in TEC. We stay in the Anglican Communion, working for a return to orthodoxy.
Anna, I am truly sorry you feel that way. I come from a branch of the Catholic Church that actually suffered greatly to remain Catholic, so it was in that spirit that I, at least, offered some comments above as shared by some of my very dear Anglican friends.

I do think the majority of Catholics feel for you and others in the Anglican Communion who remain faithful while hoping that conditions change.

Please consider that some of this is rather shocking for many Catholics, who worship in a Church with a hierarchical structure that is highly centralized in many respects. If, say, a diocesan bishop improperly ordained someone to the priesthood, we would reasonably expect that situation to be resolved rather quickly and decidedly. That expectation is often projected on other churches. In this cited case, we might expect the Archbishop of Canterbury, or the Queen herself as Defender of the Faith, to object at some level to the appointment of questionably qualified individuals to the episcopate.

I for one pray for you and your church, and all my dear friends who are your fellow faithful Episcopalians who share your views, conviction and courage to persevere faithfully and hopefully.
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  #12  
Old Jan 30, '12, 4:57 pm
liturgyluver liturgyluver is offline
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Default Re: Episcopal Church: What happened?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pablope View Post
This is not intended to bash....just came across this article....which could further divide Anglicans....http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/m...?storyid=12870

Gay bishop to divide Anglicans
ALL hope of preventing a schism in the Anglican Church will end if an openly gay cleric becomes the next Bishop of Southwark in Britain.

The Times
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/
July 06, 2010

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has allowed Jeffrey John's name to go forward. Although Dr John, the Dean of St Albans, is understood to be celibate, which means he is in line with Church of England teaching, he has registered a civil partnership with his long-term companion Grant Holmes.
I know that this was intended to be illustrative, but just to be clear, Dr John was not appointed to the Bishop's post in Southwark..
  #13  
Old Jan 30, '12, 5:18 pm
GKC GKC is offline
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Default Re: Episcopal Church: What happened?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Della View Post
I see a correlation between the loss of faithful in the Episcopal Church to loss of religious vocations in the Catholic Church, especially in those orders that have abandoned Catholic teaching to embrace whatever comes down the liberal pike. The more people pretend they know better than the 10 Commandments, the more they drift into indifference and on to unbelief. Those orders that have decided the pope is an out of touch old man who should retire and that his devotion to life is too narrow, that they are wiser who see as the world sees, relish in denial rather than belief, well the outcome is inevitable. Who wants to be part of an organization that believes nothing and is centered on self when you can get all that in the world without having to attend anyone's services or pretend duty and prayer matter.

Christ promised his Church would defy the gates of hell. Those that choose to leave the Church behind in their hearts and minds soon find their bodies out the door, as well.

There are no archeological finds that have refuted Church teaching nor have told us that Jesus wasn't who he and his Church claim or that ought to make us abandon sound theology for whatever happens to be popular today. G. K. Chesterton once wrote that the man who marries the spirit of the age will find himself a widower in the next age.
I don't think that was Chesterton. I think it was the Gloomy Dean.

GKC
  #14  
Old Jan 30, '12, 5:55 pm
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Default Re: Episcopal Church: What happened?

When the Episcopal Church started to ordain woman that started the slippery slope towards homosexual ordination, this same thing has happened in the Lutheran body the ELCA. Inaddition, the Episcopal Church has leaders line Bishop John Shelby Spong and the Current Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. Bishop Spong can hardly be considered a Christian, he rejects the virgin birth and the bodly resurrection and Bishop Schori isn't too far behind. It has been said that error comes into the church in thee stages, first error ask fo toleration, after a while, error wants equal rights, then error says that it is the dominate force and truth either has to conform to error or leave the church.
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  #15  
Old Jan 30, '12, 10:00 pm
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Default Re: Episcopal Church: What happened?

There are always those fighting Christ from without and within the church. This is not new and even some of the particular offenses of our time are not new. There is nothing new under the sun including offenses against faith and morals. If one needed a specific example they could look at the destruction Bishop James Pike wrought and that man died in 1969.

The problem is not that people suddenly started trying to destroy the church but that so many others decided to not care or do anything about it. The problem could probably best be summed up as a lack of discipline. To fix the problem would require that the faithful exert much greater discipline themselves. Weakness in ones own discipline causes one to overlook, or even welcome, the weakness in others.
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