Passing thought before the Western LA Deputies Meeting Tomorrow

Likely to be said as I announce my withdrawal as deputy – the liberals have it right. If our relationship is now to be defined by covenant rather than affinity, it is no relationship at all. I make the tiny leap of logic from that that the relationship is long since been dissolved, and will not waste a week and a half of my life debating it on continuing dialogue about the Anglican Covenant which will not be voted on at GC2009.

14 Responses to “Passing thought before the Western LA Deputies Meeting Tomorrow”


  1. 1 Joe Roberts April 21, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Brad,

    Decisions such as the one you are announcing, at least for people of conscience and commitment, are difficult ones. Though I understand your conclusion that spending a week and a half debating a Covenant that likely will not even get a meaningful hearing would be a waste of time, I nonetheless regret your decision and urge your reconsideration. Hearing the voices of the orthodox at the decision making tables of The Episcopal Church are more important today than they have ever been. Yes, it would have been better had the orthodox spoken up forty years ago and continued speaking ever more determinedly since, but our silence in the past does not make today’s gospel imperative to us as orthodox Episcopalian-Anglican Christians any less compelling.

    I too wish that there were no need for a Covenant within the Anglican Communion and that our relationship could be based solely upon affinity, but as with all things involving humans, the fallen and imperfect creatures that we are, sometimes we have to recognize that we just do not measure up and will not achieve perfection. Adopting an Anglican Covenant does not destroy affinity or proclaim that affinity does not exist among Anglicans. In fact, I think that the value of the Covenant will be in attempting renew an environment in which damaged affinity among Anglicans can be repaired. It is indeed appropriate for us to be thinking about such renewal opportunities during this Easter season of new beginnings and new life.

    Old Testament scripture teaches me that God was fond of covenants. Jesus talked of them as well. That’s good enough for me.

    Our delegation, our diocese and our church will miss your presence Brad. I again urge you to reconsider. Whatever your ultimate decision, I wish you God’s continued blessings, and his peace during these great fifty days of Easter, and beyond.

    Joe

  2. 2 BabyBlue April 21, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    I too urge you to reconsider, Brad. Please.

    bb

  3. 3 Timothy Fountain April 21, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    “Bonds of affection”…”unity in diversity”… we had (past tense) a witness to share in the polarized climate of this nation.

    But we tossed it all away for… well, hard to say what. “We” got a bitter, withering denomination. I guess a few people got some perks.

    I am reaching the point where, if I step out of TEC, it won’t be into something else “religious,” at least for a long while. The failure of the church to mirror anything resembling Christ (and here I mean by behavior, doctrine aside) has me disgusted and too often being less than the disciple I want to be.

    God bless you, Brad.

  4. 4 Milton April 21, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Brad, it will probably surprise you and some others to read this from me, but I hope you will go to this (likely last for you and many others) GC. No, you will not be able to turn the revisionist tide that wants to finish washing away any trace of Christian orthodoxy and belief. But the Elizabeth Keatons and others who beckon us to “return” and join the party need to hear clearly that all is not well, precisely what is not well (yet again), and to remind TEC that some 2/3 of all the Anglicans in the world are in broken or impaired communion with them, and that number is likely to grow still higher with the repeal of B033 and the open practice of same-sex marriages, Buddhist bishops, Islamopalianism, and the final setting aside as official church doctrine of Scriptural inspiration and authority, the Trinity, Substitutionary Atonement, the need to repent of sin, and the simultaneous full divinity and full humanity of Jesus, as well His bodily resurrection and ascension into Heaven, to return one day as the Judge of all men.

    Surely the upcoming Prayer Book rewrite will formally, though subtly, codify some or all of these into practice. But the church as a whole, as well as individual lost and confused souls, must hear a prophetic witness, even if for only one last time before Nebuchadnezzar shows up and sits in the gate. Jeremiah also wished to cast aside the burden of prophesying God’s word to apostate Judah. He found that he could not.
    Jeremiah 20:7-11 Jeremiah’s Complaint
    7O LORD, You have deceived me and I was deceived;
    You have overcome me and prevailed
    I have become a laughingstock all day long;
    Everyone mocks me.
    8For each time I speak, I cry aloud;
    I proclaim violence and destruction,
    Because for me the word of the LORD has resulted
    In reproach and derision all day long.
    9But if I say, “I will not remember Him
    Or speak anymore in His name,”
    Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire
    Shut up in my bones;
    And I am weary of holding it in,
    And I cannot endure it.
    10For I have heard the whispering of many,
    “Terror on every side!
    Denounce him; yes, let us denounce him!”
    All my trusted friends,
    Watching for my fall, say:
    “Perhaps he will be deceived, so that we may
    prevail against him
    And take our revenge on him.”
    11But the LORD is with me like a dread champion;
    Therefore my persecutors will stumble and not prevail They will be utterly ashamed, because they have failed,
    With an everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten.

    Go this one more time, deliver the Lord’s burden to the people, and then go your way in peace, brother, having done your assigned duty.

  5. 5 ted mcwhorter April 21, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Go and get in their face. Narcicists really hate being dissed.

    Agree with them that the proposed Covenant is pointless in so far as TEC and its governance.

    Tell them they had a perfectly good set of agreements, artfully crafted, in the 39 articles, the Creeds, the Canons, which they have already trashed and disowned. They shouldn’t waste their time on another useless document.

    Invite them to church if they ever have a conversion experience but don’t wait dinner for them.

    Teddy

  6. 6 Rob Eaton+ April 21, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Brad,
    I would be going as a deputy if that were at this point possible at all. I would be going recognizing a great deal of the illogic of doing so. But I would be going looking for the opportunity to be a witness and to give testimony to what It is All About.

    You yourself have given counsel and provided very helpful advice to me to be engaged in what most others around considered to be a waste of my time. However difficult it was at the moment, and how little seemed to be accomplished at the time, still, I have discovered that it was indeed powerful, changed the course of actions in other places later, and helped to provide the platform for at least identifying the course of ministry and future witness for myself and my parish.

    I still plan to be there at GC engaged in another ministry which so many also call useless, that of intercession, because the Lord is so directing me. That is, He has not yet given up on us.

    So may I join my voice to encourage you, even exhort you, to stay in this, to receive the same counsel back that you had given to me. In any case, I will so pray that the Lord makes it brilliantly clear to you, even at the last minute.

    If nothing else, I will personally arrange for you always to have your breakfast paid for while in Anaheim.

    RGE

  7. 7 BabyBlue April 21, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    It would be far better to encourage entire dioceses and their delegations to stay away from General Convention than a single deputy. It is commendable to take the stand, but you are the head of the delegation, Brad. I urge you to reconsider – or encourage the entire delegation to follow you out.

    bb

  8. 8 Canon Gregg L. Riley April 21, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Happy to see you at the Deputie’s meeting today. Let’s do it one more time!

    Canon G+

  9. 9 The Lakeland Two April 22, 2009 at 1:22 am

    Do only as God tells you, Brad. And whatever you choose, go with God!

  10. 10 Ralinda April 22, 2009 at 3:12 am

    Would you venture to the dark
    If I bring you Maker’s Mark?

  11. 11 Alice C. Linsley April 24, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    May our Lord Jesus Christ be praised! He has raised up for Himself an articulate witness in Louisiana and may many take note!

  12. 12 Alice C. Linsley April 24, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Baby Blue,

    My heart breaks for you as you yearn to restore health to The Episcopal Church, but the dead must bury the dead.

  13. 13 Mark July 8, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    “If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.”

    I respect your decision, which reflects a point I reached several years ago.

    Having prayed for wisdom, discernment and a sense of stewardship, it became clear to me that further efforts to influence events at Diocesan or National Conventions were not the best use of my God given time, and were indeed counter-productive. As BB stated, there is no turning back the revisionist tide within this structure, and as BO33 proved, further participation by the orthodox simply give cover and credence to the revisionists. I also realized that my continuing participation in church politics was becoming an excuse for making the hard decision that needed to be made for the sake of my own soul, and that of my family.

    That hard decision was leaving TEC for what is now an ACNA start-up. It was the beginning of a spiritual healing process.

    I don’t know the Lord’s plan for you at this stage, but I know He will reward you faithfulness. Blessings on your voyage.

  14. 14 Fr. Rob Eaton July 8, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    Mark,
    This is not meant to be a derisive comment, so please don’t read it that way. That is not my style, anyway.

    The use of the scripture where Jesus is instructing the disciples about where to go and how long to stay, or if at all, has always seemed inappropriate for the situation for which you are using it in regards to Brad, or for that matter, my situation.
    The inappropriateness comes in its application to those who are already villagers. Jesus sends the disciples into villages for all intents as strangers, aliens, non-members of the community. Yes, they are all Jews. But they are also visitors to that particular village, and thus liable to suspect. If they “are not welcome” has to be understood in that context, even before they open their mouths. Only then after being accepted initially is there the matter of rejection for the message.

    But Brad is not (nor I) a visitor, alien, non-member. This is exactly where the grief of separation is rooted. The disciples do not show signs of grief for being potentially rejected. They just move on to the next household. But those who are already “members of the village or community” and find themselves at odds will now be faced with the tragedy of making a decision regarding departure or staying. You would be better off with one of Paul’s admonitions to cease fellowship.

    If indeed Brad has been called to stay (or go) his reward will be in that obedience, as difficult as it might be to stay but not be in fellowship, or go and leave behind those relationships altogether.


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