8/20/2011

The American Anglican Council: Agitprop in Action

I get the weekly update from the American Anglican Council. I read it with some care, for mixed in with the sometimes good news about the successes of a Christian church  (not part of the Anglican Communion) are a variety of propaganda bits, the purpose of which is to agitate the readers to greater allegiance to the wonderful work of the big THING that is being promoted. In this case, the effort is to stir up the readers to believe that The Episcopal Church is awful and that the Anglican Church in North America (the big THING)  and (so called) Orthodox remnants in The Episcopal Church are the salvation of Anglican folk in North America,  And should there be any question in the rest of the Anglican Communion, the AAC is glad to let them know that they too could fall prey to the evil that is The Episcopal Church's "agenda" and that they need too to be watchful.

So here is the agitprop for the week: Ready?  The whole thing is HERE.

From David Anderson (president of the AAC):

"The AAC is currently involved in several research projects, mining data about the American Episcopal Church's activities globally and Anglican groups working with or affected by them. It is astonishing how pervasive the covert theological and spiritual infrastructure of TEC has become. TEC is establishing financial "friendship" links with dioceses and provinces in the Global South, and many of the priests and bishops affected are personally orthodox, but believe that they can take the money and not drink the poisoned "Kool Aid." When you really need money for your churches and your parishioners are hurting, it is very tempting and seductive to let TEC priests and bishops come for a visit and bring you gifts and relief funding, and think that you can then stop their further infiltration into your church. These are some of the very difficult choices a leader must make."  (highlights are mine)

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So.. The Episcopal Church is involved in a covert effort to infiltrate your church.  I don't know... there is nothing covert about it. TEC provides considerable help to churches in the Communion quite independent of whether they agree with us or not. And yes, of course we think that perhaps help given to those who do not agree with us might serve a good end - at the least they receive help, and perhaps they will also receive us.  As for infiltration, give me a break! This plays on the old agitprop idea that if you let "those people" in at all the next thing they will be wanting your women (or men) and of course you will be powerless to stop them. This is so terrible it is almost comic. Except of course that it is not.  The play on the fears that, "my God, next thing they will be marrying our children" is precisely one of the big fears about same-sex marriage. The propaganda against all this has been the same: Next thing you know they (Jews, Blacks, Gypsies....Queers) will be running off with our children.  Nice to see that the AAC is able to do the fear mongering thing with such gusto.

Then we have the words of Phil Ashey, the COO of the AAC. Quoting an article he wrote in 2009,

"A false gospel has overtaken and consumed TEC. We have documented this false gospel, the resulting numerical decline of TEC and the trajectory of continued decline in our report to the Primates of the Anglican Communion." 

"If not contained, this disease and dysfunction will spread to the rest of the Anglican Communion..."

 "...TEC believes that its "Manifest Destiny" is to share its convictions with the rest of the Anglican Communion, and to convert the Anglican Communion to the false gospel which lies behind its repudiation of confessional Christianity, personal salvation through Christ alone, Communion teaching on human sexuality and holy orders (as stated in Lambeth Resolution 1.10) and the moratoria on gay bishops and same sex blessings. Consider this quote from the Wednesday, July 8, 2009 publication of The Consultation - a coalition of 13 diverse "peace and social justice organizations" helping drive the agenda of General Convention...

[To bad...Ashey,  the Consultation in question is The Chicago Consultation, not "The Consultation, a coalition...."  He got that wrong when he first wrote this and has not bothered to correct it.]

'The Consultation believes that the most accurate way to summarize the basis for the reform movement taking place in the church, and most specifically in the North American Anglican Churches of Canada and the United States, is to say that the early church's baptismal theology has been rediscovered and is steadily, if all too gradually, being actualized in the life of the church. We believe recovery of the early church's baptismal ecclesiology is God's will for our time and that it is an important part of the special vocation of the Episcopal Church.' (note well the last sentence).

Make no mistake: this revised baptismal theology which asserts that all of the baptized are entitled to all of the sacraments all of the time will be spread [throughout the Anglican Communion] through the "Indaba listening process," financial aid to other Provinces, seminary exchanges, and inter-Anglican ministry networks..."

"All of the baptized entitled to all of the sacraments all of the time"? This is an obvious distortion and revision of the Church's universal teaching on Christian baptism, its meaning and its consequences for the lives of those who receive it. This distortion and revision of Christian baptism is at the heart of The Consultation's theological manifesto,"We will with God's help."

But this manifesto is no longer driving just the actions of TEC within North America - it is driving their agenda to exchange the faith once delivered from the apostles for a false gospel and practice throughout the Anglican Communion.

Less than two weeks ago, in the study centre of the Canterbury Lodge adjacent to Canterbury cathedral, representatives of the International Anglican Liturgical Commission (IALC) met August 1-6 to continue work on Rites Relating to Marriage. In response to a formal request from the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music from TEC, there was a "consultation within a consultation" in which the US delegation, led by Prof. Ruth Meyers of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific and Bishop Thomas Ely of Vermont, offered a theological rationale for same-sex blessings.

And what was their "theological rationale"? The Consultation's Manifesto on Baptism.

Further, over the protests of some of the orthodox present, the US delegation offered a sample of one rite, with two female members of the delegation serving as spouses.

Our predictions from July 2009 are coming true. The disease and dysfunction is seeking to spread itself....

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OK. Got it? Ashey believes his predictions of 2009 are coming true. The Episcopal Church is diseased and dysfunctional and is out to spread this disease and dysfunction throughout the Anglican Communion.  This D & D is being infiltrated into the Anglican Communion by, of all things, support given to churches in need, exchanges of people, visits, conversations, sharing of table fellowship and even getting reactions to possible ways of being church in the United States.

This stuff is great propaganda. It is also misleading and meant to energize for hate. The object of these bent and warped charges of infiltration, disease and dysfunction is to provide the basis for taking up the sword of righteousness, etc. 

This would all be just sad, except that the AAC weekly newsletter is read, I suspect, by people who may well take it as gospel truth that The Episcopal Church is diseased and dysfunctional, perverse and cruel, filled with a false Gospel.  

And that is a lie.



16 comments:

  1. TEC believes that its "Manifest Destiny" is to share its convictions with the rest of the Anglican Communion, and to convert the Anglican Communion

    Hello, Projection! ;-X

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  2. I realize this is nothing new. I served a TEC parish in a diocese not to be named, in order to protect the innocent, in an area of that diocese close to one of the early break-away former TEC "Anglican" congregations. Friends of the people I served had left TEC to go to that break-away church. My parishioners weekly came to report to me their friends' constant pleading that they, too, leave evil TEC and join them. The propaganda was exactly the same is I have just read in your post. And this was years ago.

    The gospel is still the same as that once delivered to us: the brokenhearted are being healed, the captives are being liberated, and those bound in prison are being released, through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. Go thou and do likewise.

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  3. Thanks for reading this bilge so I don't have to! My own prediction was that even in separation they would never stop attacking and bearing false witness against TEC. Since they have no positive message, this is their only hope for growth. Once we recover the properties and assets they have "alienated" they will have to spend time on stewardship.

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  4. I continue to hope that saner voices in ACNA will prevail and they will go about the work of mission without paying much attention to TEC or any other churches. It is unhealthy for any of us to define ourselves by comparison to others. I recall that Bonhoeffer declined to label the Nazi supporting German church as false and simply held up the marks of the Church: Gospel, sacraments, and proper order. Would that leaders in ACNA, who often see theirs as a Confessing Church as Bonhoeffer's was, would follow Bonhoeffer's practice.

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  5. “A false gospel has overtaken and consumed TEC. We have documented this false gospel, the resulting numerical decline of TEC and the trajectory of continued decline in our report to the Primates of the Anglican Communion.”

    “If not contained, this disease and dysfunction will spread to the rest of the Anglican Communion...”

    Please help me understand the logic here. If the adoption of a “false gospel” by TEC has led to such a precipitous decline of TEC, why does TEC remain a threat? The AAC can just sit back and watch TEC self-destruct.

    The reality is that ACNA could not exist without a scapegoat. Happily, for Duncan and his cronies, it is going to have a scapegoat for a very long time, until, I predict, ACNA self-destructs, destroyed by its own hateful theology and criminal morals.

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  6. Lionel, I think the idea is that TEC is attempting to spread its D&D to the rest of the Communion. If it wasn't trying to do that, then it could just go sink in to the abyss and no one would care. Unfortunately, its trying to pull others down with it.

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  7. Thanks for sharing this, Mark. I'm happy to finally understand what it is TEC is up to. Nudge nudge wink wink.

    (I have always thought that "multiverse" theories were bad physics and bad ontology, but possibly not.)

    "...TEC believes that its "Manifest Destiny" is to share its convictions with the rest of the Anglican Communion, and to convert the Anglican Communion...

    [JCF, you got that one right!]

    ...to the false gospel which lies behind its repudiation of confessional Christianity, personal salvation through Christ alone, Communion teaching on human sexuality and holy orders (as stated in Lambeth Resolution 1.10) and the moratoria on gay bishops and same sex blessings."

    False gospel, hmm? Well, let's see. "Repudiation of confessional Christianity." Actually, I think that was done by Queen Elizabeth I and her flunkies like Richard Hooker. Despite the efforts of the "Anglican Covenant" (read: "Anglican Confession") gang, being "scriptural" and "credal" but not "confessional" is part of what being Anglican is about.

    "Personal salvation through Christ alone." Well, there's a lot in there to unpack, and that's certainly part of it, but Christ's Gospel of the Kingdom of God is about a lot more than believing that Jesus is your ticket to heaven.

    Lambeth Resolution 1.10. And exactly when did resolutions of a Lambeth Conference become de fide dogma? (And how has 1.10(c) been working out for you?)

    This really is what it's all about, isn't it? Despite all the theological and scriptural diversions and red herrings, TEC's great "false gospel" is our repudiation of "no gay cooties!"

    Decline, disease and dysfunction may indeed be problems for a great many churches, but hardly of TEC alone. This accusation betrays massive ignorance of what's actually going on in the world.

    (I just started reading Charles Taylor's "A Secular Age." Recommended!)

    If the measure of "true gospel" is numerical and financial growth, then don't piddle around with ACNA. Join a neo-evangelical megachurch, or maybe the Mormons.

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  8. I see the cowardly ¨Anonymous¨ (who rushes from place to place to spew evil seed) has struck again...just another
    desperate attempt to become a full-fledged Anglican and grown-up-human being...a real person with the potential ability to share with us...sorry, this muck won´t rake!

    Anonymous cowards are the worst (next to back stabbers and common gossips).

    Leonardo Ricardo/Len

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  9. If the Episcopal Church is fatally diseased, then how is it such a threat? And if it is doomed to dust with the rest of modernity, then why do the champions of righteous orthodoxy continue to post their comments anonymously here?

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  10. Pot and Kettle, really. One week a liberal blog will start a "Why conservatives aren't really Christians" article that gets passed around ("A Different Gospel") etc. The next, the conservatives will answer with a "Why Liberals aren't Christians" answer. Or if it's too quiet, the Conservatives will start it. Round and round it goes. I just figure it's a slow news day, really. See you again in a week or so for the next kerfuffle.

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  11. Wait. I thought "sharing convictions" was called "evangelism". I thought that's what we are supposed to do.

    I love it when these folks spew this stuff. They have no idea how transparent they really are. It only clearly demonstrates how desperate they are and that they know they are losing this one. Indeed, they have already lost. And, they know it. This rhetoric only proves it.

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  12. Chris H, I know of no "liberals," certainly no brothers or sisters who comment here, who believe that conservative Christians are not Christians. Please provide links for us to liberal blogs with this type of post?

    I think that we all pretty much believe that conservative Christianity is a legitimate approach, but certainly lacking by my evaluation and so not for me.

    I think that you are also engaging in Projection Chris, as Dr Fisher has pointed out, in your comment.

    Please, anyone who considers themself liberal, do you believe conservatives are not also Christian?

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  13. This loony left Christian believes that anyone who calls themselves a Christian is one. Whether or not they believe "correctly" or not, are educated in their faith or not, diligent in the their worship or not, whether or not they are good or not. As far as I am concerned, even Anders Breivik is one of ours, a brother in Christ, a member of the Body, an evil brother, but a brother nonetheless.
    Unlike Breivik, my right wing antagonists are simply wrong on certain issues. They are not evil,and they certainly don't merit excommunication (even when they'd like to see the likes of me thrown out and shunned). And they certainly are fellow Christians, even when I find them intolerably irritating.

    WV= "cough" indeed.

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  14. Chris H., I try to stroll about the episcopal/anglican blogosphere and have never seen a liberal blog do what you say you've seen them do. On the other hand, I have on numerous occasions seen just the opposite. Please share your sources if you get a chance.

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  15. ::chirp::



    ::chirp::



    ::chirp::



    Nothing by crickets and the silence of our interlocutor

    ReplyDelete
  16. My apologies for not running home at midnight after work and diving into Preludium every night. I've been trying to cut back on blogs and when I said see you in a week, I meant it, but since I can't sleep tonight, I came early.
    Anyway, my example was too vague. "A Different Gospel," a post on Tobias' blog, was on Preludium's blogroll when I made my original post. Conservatives think in black and white. There is true gospel and anything else is false. So, saying they've rewritten the gospel is telling them they aren't Christians, but heretics. I know, many liberals like being called that, but conservatives don't and don't find it funny. The comments on that post and others are more often than the posts themselves to blatantly say those who disagree aren't Christian. Perhaps it is projection, or perhaps it is "translation" Any time I see "bibliolatry/tor" on a liberal post- it translates to false Christian(ity). "Bigot" and several other terms used by liberals translate the same way and I believe that when Liberals read conservative blogs they "translate" other words in the same manner. Projection again I guess. But since on that same post liberal and conservative couldn't even agree on stopping fraud in a secular arena, I doubt there is hope of agreeing on much theology.

    Liberals say that those among them who don't believe in traditional Christianity regarding, for example, literal resurrection are very few, but most of those who consider themselves Liberal in my area would cross out several parts of the Creeds if you asked them to delete what they don't believe. That doesn't bother liberals, but seriously upsets conservatives. News stories point out the more people who know gays, etc. personally the more willing they are to allow gay marriage. The more people who call themselves Liberals and don't believe large parts of the Creeds that I know personally, the more I think most Liberals don't. That too is not fair to those here I don't know personally and I apologize.
    I don't want to be an anonymous provacateur, but apparently have become known as one. I regret that and need to rethink posting at all as I don't check in often enough to answer. Sorry for the length of this, Mark. Peace.

    ReplyDelete

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.