12/15/2006

God bless their little hearts...

Our companions in Christ from the realignment community are nothing if not industrious. They are very good at putting out videos large and small. A large one was “Choose this Day,” produced for the ACN. It was polished, sharp, and ideologically “on point,” as they say. The point of that Video was to tell people that they had to make a choice between good and evil, and that the Episcopal Church was the evil one. It was a competent job at video propaganda.

Well, everyone makes Videos these days, so fair enough. God knows the Episcopal Church has done its own work. Of late it produced a video for the General Convention about the theme, “Come and Grow,” and several videos of the Presiding Bishop’s investiture and sermons. None of those has focused on cutting down any individual in the realignment community.

The same cannot be said for the world of video productions by the realignment gang. The latest piece of video prop to arise is one produced by Peter Ould. I link you to it on Ruth Gledhill’s blog, where it is placed in conjunction, as a comparison, with Presiding Bishop Jefferts Shori’s address following her election. The difference between the two is illustrative of the difference between video propaganda from the realignment gang and a video of an open event in the Episcopal Church.

The object of the Ould video is to tear down the Presiding Bishop and to accuse her of heresy. The object of the PB’s video is to record the address of the Presiding Bishop which may or may not have had interesting positional matter, but was produced as a record of an event. The first was of snippets to “prove” how awful the Presiding Bishop and the Episcopal Church is; the second was an effort to place an address before people as news. The first is bad news; the second was the public record.

God bless their little hearts… and theirs (the realignment gang’s) are little hearts, warn down by hate and fear, made small by desires to tear down others. They will have their reward.

There are many rooms in the mansion, but in some there will be no great joy.

20 comments:

  1. Dr. Joseph Goebbels15/12/06 11:25 AM

    I could not have done a better job myself. I am so so so proud of my boy, Peter! Good job, son!

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  2. Oooooooo, not nice!

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  3. Nicely condescending, well done that man.

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  4. Mark,

    While I'm concerned about the condescending tone you take here, I do agree that the contrast you highlight illustrates the theology of fear and anger that underlies so much of this conflict in the Anglican Communion. And I should admit I have also reflected fear and anger in some of my postings. Would that all of us could set such things aside.

    God's peace, and wishes for a peaceful Christmas.

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  5. Mr Harris,

    Perhaps I missed it, but I didn't see in your essay any actual demonstration of your assertions regarding Ould's video. As noted above, I did see condescension. But condescension does not really count as an argument. So did Ould lie? Did he intentionally mislead? Did he quote KJS out of context? What justifies your accusations against him?

    carl

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  6. Carl:

    In one sense, there was not an accusation, but an observation. Mr. Ould's piece was indeed intent on making a point, and a polemical one at that; it can certainly be addressed as propoganda. The General Convention release is a press release, and while not perhaps without a distinct perspective, it is reportial, with statements taken as a whole.

    Yes, Mr. Ould's comments are taken out of context. Ms. Gledhill somewhat confuses that, because it is she who has paired one piece with the other, and not Mr. Ould. I don't see that he states that his statements are from the post-election address. Rather, his statements are out of context of Bishop Jefferts Schori's entire ministry. Did she speak those sentences? Yes; but her meaning can only be understood in the context of all her teaching, and not in sound bites.

    I have a phrase I use, "the Seminarian Sermon." It applies to a sermon, usually (although not always) given by a seminarian or new ordinand, that becomes long and disjointed as the preacher tries to state all that is important in the Gospel of Jesus Christ in one sermon. No single sermon, much less a single phrase, can emcompass the Gospel. Any preacher knows that it is the cycle of the year, and usually of the years, of the Church's life that allows a thorough and encompassing proclamation. No one can "get it all" into one sermon or lecture or workshop; and as my beloved professor of New Testament used to say, "Any sermon taken to its logical conclusion will fall into heresy."

    So, yes, these statements are taken out of context - the context of years of preaching and teaching.

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  7. What you seem to know about Peter's motivation is far more than I can tell.

    If I should say, "KJS espouses adoptionism, and adoptionism is a heresy," it is prefectly appropriate to respond, "KJS does not espouse adoptionism; those words are taken out of context; I can show you from her other remarks that KJS's Christology is quite orthodox."

    If, however, I should say, "KJS espouses adoptionism, and adoptionism is a heresy," it is entirely different if you respond, "You have a little heart, worn down by hate and fear, made small by desires to tear down others." The only appropriate response would be, "I may or may not have a little heart, worn down by hate and fear, but KJS still espouses heresy."

    I would suggest examining the contents of their arguments rather than then content of their hearts. I doubt you truly know the contents of their hearts.

    Besides, are you really entirely free from the desire to tear down otherselves yourself? Is that not precisely what you yourself do in this post, and in a number of other posts in your blog? (And I will have to confess guilt in this matter myself.) I find you much harsher toward Peter than Peter is toward KJS. He accuses her of being guilty of heresy, not of being hateful and fearful. Surely the accusasion of being hateful is worse than of being heretical.

    This post is most unfortunate.

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  8. Sit down and read the full sermons of KJS someday - i think they are still at the Diocese of Nevada web site. She is a thoughtful, articulate spokesperson for Christianity as well as an intelligent scientist. Condescending is "oh she has not been ordained very long" statement - somehow people who are not ordained don't have theological insight and knowledge?That would be a surprise to many theologians and early church fathers. Taking sound bites from anyone can be used to prove anything - I could do that with the words of Jesus. Juvenile IMO

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  9. Marshall,

    But an accusation was made. Mr Ould was accused of making propaganda designed to tear down KJS. And in response to my clear request to provide specific substantiation for the claim, you offer vague generalities regarding the total content of her teaching and preaching.

    Mr Ould quoted her accurately in the context of the interview she gave. He did not misrepresent her statements. He communicated exactly what KJS intended to communicate. She intended (among other things) to deny the exclusivity of the work of Christ, and Ould reported it. There is no context which would justify this statement. No believing Christian could make it.

    If you have some specific defense, please offer it. As it stands, the weakness of your response demonstrates the lack of any specifics behind the charge.

    carl

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  10. To Ann and/or others,

    "Sit down and read the full sermons of KJS someday - i think they are still at the Diocese of Nevada web site"

    I would like to, but I've never seen anything that predates GC2006. Does anyone have any specific links or text files that could be shared?

    Sure the video is propaganda, and no matter what KJS would say, some will look for anything to criticize and blow out of proportion. But that doesn't mean that KJS didn't make some troubling statements in several of her interviews.

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  11. Carl,

    Sure, she is advocating the clear position of the Roman Catholic church on salvation. Salvation is guaranteed through Jesus Christ, but who are we to say that God couldn't work to save those that don't openly and knowingly confess Jesus Christ with their lips? That would be to put God into too small of a box.

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  12. TEC produced a video about the missionaries of the Episcopal Church titled "Windows on Mission." I wonder what the "reasserters" think about it. The stories of the missionaries in China, Burma, parts of Africa, Pakistan and Central America are very inspiring. Of course, the missionaries are not reasserters or reappraiser, merely missionaries proclaiming the forgiveness of sins and the coming of the Reign of God. So much for propaganda. The TEC is not what the Orthodox-so called, claim.
    (disclosure: I am in this video, too, but I'll never understand how I was placed with the others!)

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  13. obadiahslope15/12/06 10:27 PM

    The (Roman) Catholic position is given in the encyclical "Dominus Iesus" written by the current pope and issued by his predescessor. It offers a limited endorsement of "anonymous christianity" but insists that Jesus is the only way to the Father. I am not sure that your PB's admittedly brief comments match the encyclical.
    What is missing in this discussion is any detailed refutation of Peter Ould's view of your PB's theology.

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  14. John Henry said...

    Obadiahslope is still intent on proving that PB Schori is a 'lone-ranger' universalist. He disputes that Pope John Paul II said something similar about "anonymous Christians" in Dominus Jesus (2000).
    How about the Catholic Catechism, which John Paul II issued, where it is stated very clearly:

    "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place among whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day"?

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  15. Go to the Diocese of Nevada web site - there are many of her articles archived there. (do a google search - easy to find). Buy her book - order it at her page on the Episcopal Church web site.

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  16. obadiahslope16/12/06 12:37 AM

    As I stated the (Roman) catholic position is presented in Dominus Iesus. It is a document which does not permit small quotations!
    However this will capture its flavour for you. (John Henry: I write to establish what the cathloic position is. I would rather have members of TEC provide fuller information on ++KJS's position.)
    "80 For those who are not formally and visibly members of the Church, “salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church, but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation. This grace comes from Christ; it is the result of his sacrifice and is communicated by the Holy Spirit”;81 it has a relationship with the Church, which “according to the plan of the Father, has her origin in the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit”.82

    21. With respect to the way in which the salvific grace of God — which is always given by means of Christ in the Spirit and has a mysterious relationship to the Church — comes to individual non-Christians, the Second Vatican Council limited itself to the statement that God bestows it “in ways known to himself”.83 Theologians are seeking to understand this question more fully. Their work is to be encouraged, since it is certainly useful for understanding better God's salvific plan and the ways in which it is accomplished. However, from what has been stated above about the mediation of Jesus Christ and the “unique and special relationship”84 which the Church has with the kingdom of God among men — which in substance is the universal kingdom of Christ the Saviour — it is clear that it would be contrary to the faith to consider the Church as one way of salvation alongside those constituted by the other religions, seen as complementary to the Church or substantially equivalent to her, even if these are said to be converging with the Church toward the eschatological kingdom of God.

    Certainly, the various religious traditions contain and offer religious elements which come from God,85 and which are part of what “the Spirit brings about in human hearts and in the history of peoples, in cultures, and religions”.86 Indeed, some prayers and rituals of the other religions may assume a role of preparation for the Gospel, in that they are occasions or pedagogical helps in which the human heart is prompted to be open to the action of God.87 One cannot attribute to these, however, a divine origin or an ex opere operato salvific efficacy, which is proper to the Christian sacraments.88 Furthermore, it cannot be overlooked that other rituals, insofar as they depend on superstitions or other errors (cf. 1 Cor 10:20-21), constitute an obstacle to salvation.89"

    Is there a sermon or other piece of writing that can give a fuller picture of KJS's thought on these matters?

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  17. Obadiahslope said "What is missing in this discussion is any detailed refutation of Peter Ould's view of your PB's theology."

    Why should we give a detailed refutation of a person who did not give a detailed critique?

    My response to one of the issues raised (the soteriological question) was much more detailed than Peter Ould's initial argument.

    Some of his other claims of heresy, such as adoptionism, are simply too ridiculous to consider. There is simply not enough there to argue that she believes what Peter is accusing her of.

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  18. Obadiahslope,

    I don't see how any of your quotations from Dominus Iesus are in any way inconsistent with what ++KJS said.

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  19. obadiahslope16/12/06 1:38 AM

    As we appear to be dealing with a soundbite from KJS, I can quite understand people interpreting it differently from me. Lets see if someone digs up a longer statement by the PB

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  20. Well, it is all a matter of intention, isn't it?

    Based on my entire life experience, I have no difficulties in giving the PB the benefit of the doubt (BTW, I very much like Marshall's example of the "Seminarian Sermon").

    Based on my experience of the neo-Donatists, their bad will is self evident. There is no point in trying to talk to people who are simply playing games and scoring points (& them moving the goal posts).

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OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.
Rule: PLEASE DO NOT SIGN OFF AS ANONYMOUS: BEGIN OR END THE MESSAGE WITH A NAME - ANY NAME. ANONYMOUS commentary will be cut.