Why Are You People SOOOO Divisive?
We’ve got mail. Lots and lots of mail about the Truro settlement. Generally speaking, it falls into three categories.
1. Those who agree with us and are thankful that we did not decide to “let the issue fly under the radar.”
2. Those who agree with us about the endorsement of Bishop Johnston as a shepherd worthy of introduction to the flock but think there should be no criticism of the property settlement This group seems mixed about the joint agreement on covenanting speech.
3. The third category – well, they are unhappy. A few have chosen to remind of us of the wonderful work for the Gospel to which the good people of Truro have dedicated themselves and feel they can share a ministry with Bishop Johnston without calling him ugly names.
There is no question among any of us that the people of Truro are good and faithful Christians. This is not at issue. We would remind everyone that surely there were many parishes and dioceses that were doing excellent work that chose to stand with the heresies of Tec.
The Truro settlement is an issue that needs to be addressed before we all go back and take up our positions on our Little Stone Bridge. We need to address the issue of divisiveness openly and honestly. Is what we have done divisive? Specifically, is it okay to join in ministry with someone who by his words and actions is defined as a heretic? If it is now acceptable in the most orthodox part of the communion, how does that affect the thousands of people who have spent literally decades fighting the slide into apostacy and heresy of Tec?
Here’s how it was addressed shortly after Gene Robinson was elected as bishop.
Many people are calling your actions divisive. Do you feel you’re being divisive?
The question is, who is doing the dividing? Of course, we could keep silent, and then things would appear to be going on just fine. The ones who are divisive, I try to say, gently but regularly, are the ones who are doing the new thing. It’s not the ones who are holding onto what has always been held onto by the church.
Are we at Stand Firm wrong for calling it as we see it? Can we use the word heretic without risking the wrath of not just our worthy opponents, but also our beloved allies? Let’s see how that was addressed in 2004.
Are you referring to what the conservatives in the Episcopal Church call “revisionism?” And if so, can you define revisionism?
A more ancient word for the same thing is “heresy.” What’s going on in this day and age (and, incidentally, it’s not unlike other ages) is that this particular age has a notion that we’re created good and we just need to be self-actualized. Well, all that is directly contrary to Scripture—it’s heresy that doesn’t require a Savior. But revisionism within the Episcopal Church has been going on for decades.
Is the battle worth the wounds? We each must decide for ourselves.
Why are you taking this battle so far?
The battle is about the authority of Scripture. It’s about the basics of Christian faith. It’s about sin and redemption. It’s just so fundamental. The issues have to do with sexuality and morality, but at the very heart of it is whether Scripture can be trusted. In my experience I learned the one person I could trust was Jesus Christ and the only testament that was reliable was what was in Scripture. And I cannot let the Church, of all bodies, challenge the notion that you can’t trust the plain meaning of Scripture.
Frankly, the two areas of the settlement that concern me are:
A covenanted position concerning speech – this can be a good thing or a bad thing. If the covenant states that the others will only speak truth concerning the actions of the other, then bravo.
Endorsing Bishop Johnston as a shepherd worthy of the flock – this is simply unacceptable UNLESS Bishop Johnston has agreed to repent of his acceptance and endorsement of the heresies of Tec. One cannot simply state the differences are more about anthropology than Christology. I addressed my concerns in this comment:
Truro states the litigation was due to disagreements regarding issues of the authority of Scripture and the unique identity of Jesus Christ,
If Christology is fully dependent upon Scripture, how does Fr. Baucum explain the lack of authority Tec/Dio of VA ascribe to Scripture? I took from various statements that have been made that he and Bishop Johnston agreed that Jesus was an authentic person and had a bodily resurrection. Great! A lot of people believe that who totally discount the Bible. Many of them wear mitres.
Possibly Fr. Baucum needs to clarify his statement because without the Authority of Scripture which Bishop Johnston discounts, how can there be any agreement on Christology? He also needs to clarify Truro’s statement for the cause of the division.
Finally, this is the reason that Truro posted as recently as February 2012 for the division with Tec:
Due to disagreements regarding issues of the authority of Scripture and the unique identity of Jesus Christ, Truro church voted in December of 2006 to break affiliation with the Episcopal Church (TEC).
We simply ask, “What has changed?” Is there some inside story we are missing? If so, we would gently remind Truro that the rest of the world is missing it also. If the need to remain mute on these issues was vitally important to a successful settlement, then possibly Truro should have considered that before releasing such incendiary remarks to a very wounded and very tired group of Anglicans throughout the world who have been manning their positions on their Little Stone Bridge for all too many years. We would also remind those involved that it is never too late for clarification. We simply ask that you refrain from serving us Diversity Fudge and address the issues AND not just dwell on the very commendable work the good people of Truro are doing.
The quotes above are taken from this interview.
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