Archive for October, 2012

I just read this letter from my former boss and good colleague, Tripp Jeffords. It appears as if the folks at St Paul’s in Conway have figured out a way to handle the current split in our diocese without acrimony or bitterness. Tripp writes,

“However, even though both sides in our church realized long ago that this day has been coming, when we would finally have to walk our separate ways, divorce is never pleasant. Independent of our theological leanings and ideological beliefs, we still must deal with the long-standing relationships, which we have all enjoyed with one another. My prayer is that we all approach this “walking apart” with Christian love and charity. We cannot demean, demonize, nor destroy the character of persons with whom we might disagree theologically. Already, there has been a pledge that no lawsuits will be brought by either side. If lawsuits are forthcoming, they will probably be between the diocese and TEC, not on the local level. The minority group within our church has chosen to start a new church loyal to TEC, and they have vowed to do this peacefully.”

While the division in the body of Christ is sorrowful to behold, it is commendable that this church has figured out a way to separate amiably and they have established a way for those who wish to remain loyal to TEC to do so. You can download the full text of Tripp’s letter here:
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Training School of Grace

Posted: October 31, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Sanctification

 “Lastly, we must be holy, because without holiness on earth — we will never be prepared to enjoy Heaven. …I do not know what others may think — but to me it does seem clear that Heaven would be a miserable place to an unholy man. It cannot be otherwise. People may say in a vague way, that they “hope to go to Heaven,” but they do not consider what they say. There must be a certain “fitness for the inheritance of the saints in light.” Our hearts must be somewhat in tune. To reach the holiday of glory — we must pass through the training school of grace. We must be heavenly-minded and have heavenly tastes in the present life — or else we will never find ourselves in Heaven in the life to come!

J. C. Ryle:(Holiness)

New Discoveries

Posted: October 31, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, The Christian Life

“One new discovery of the glory of Christ’s face and the fountain of his sweet grace and love will do more towards scattering clouds of darkness and doubting in one minute than examining old experiences by the best mark that can be given a whole year.”

– Jonathan Edwards, quoted in George M. Marsden, Jonathan Edwards: A Life (New Haven, 2003), page 226.

Treasuring Jesus

Posted: October 30, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Sanctification

 “The inner essence of worship is cherishing Christ as gain – indeed as more gain than all that life can offer – family, career, retirement, fame, food, friends. The essence of worship is experiencing Christ as gain. Or to use words that we love to use around here: it is savoring Christ, treasuring Christ, being satisfied with Christ.”

John Piper:(Sermon, The Inner Essence of Worship)

“If it is I who determine where God is to be found, then I shall always find a God who corresponds to me in some way, who is obliging, who is connected with my own nature. But if God determines where he is to be found, then it will be in a place which is not at all congenial to me. This place is the Cross of Christ. And whoever would find him must go to the foot of the Cross, as the Sermon on the Mount commands. This is not according to our nature at all, it is entirely contrary to it. But this is the message of the Bible, not only in the New but also in the Old Testament . . . .”

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, quoted in Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer (Nashville, 2010), page 137.

Resurrection, does it matter?

Posted: October 29, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Anglican Communion

Is the resurrection of Jesus an important issue for Christians?

 

So what do some of the Leaders in the Episcopal Church say about the resurrection?

“The story of Jesus’ bodily resurrection is, at best, conjectural; that the resurrection accounts in the four Gospels are contradictory and confusing… the significance of Easter is not that Jesus returned to actual life but that even death itself could not end the power of his presence in the lives of the faithful.”
The Rt. Rev. John Chane, Bishop of Washington, D.C., Easter sermon in 2002

“Asked about the literal story of Easter and the Resurrection, Jefferts Schori said, ‘I think Easter is most profoundly about meaning, not mechanism.'”

Episcopal Life on line, April 8, 2008

 

 

And here is what some more faithful to scripture say about it:

“In the first place, the Easter gospel is good news because it proclaims that Jesus is alive. The tomb was empty! The Lord appeared to Peter and the other disciples! Jesus Christ is the same — yesterday, today and for ever!

In the second place, the Easter gospel is good news because it proclaims a risen Saviour. Our sins have been forgiven! God has set his seal of approval on the crucified! Jesus was raised to life for our justification!

In the third place, the Easter gospel is good news because it proclaims a glorious hope. Death has been swallowed up in victory! We shall be with the Lord for ever! Jesus has brought life and immortality to light!

In the fourth place, and of no less importance, the Easter gospel is good news because it proclaims a present power. The risen Lord Jesus is present with his people today! Already in the here and now we may begin to share in the risen life of Jesus! Even in our present moments of weakness we may experience the transforming power of his resurrection! Here is good news indeed. The resurrection is more than a past event and a future prospect; it is a present reality.”

— Paul Beasley-Murray
The Message of the Resurrection

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When the Word Confronts Us

Posted: October 29, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Sanctification

 “We need to repent of the haughty way in which we sometimes stand in judgment upon Scripture and must learn to sit humbly under its judgments instead. If we come to Scripture with our minds made up, expecting to hear from it only an echo of our own thoughts and never the thunderclap of God’s, then indeed he will not speak to us and we shall only be confirmed in our own prejudices. We must allow the Word of God to confront us, to disturb our security, to undermine our complacency and to overthrow our patterns of thought and behavior.”

John Stott: (Authentic Christianity)

One Mediator

Posted: October 29, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

‘There is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.’ (1 Tim 2:5 )

Since Jesus Christ is the only Mediator of reconciliation between God and men; then reconciled souls should thankfully ascribe all the peace, favours, and comforts they have from God, to their Lord Jesus Christ.

Whenever you have had your hearts warmed with comfort, say, “O my soul, thou mayest thank thy good Lord Jesus Christ for all this! Had not he interposed as a Mediator of reconciliation, I could never have had access to, or friendly communion with God to all eternity.”

If Jesus Christ is the true and only Mediator, both of reconciliation and meritorious intercession between God and men, how safe and secure then is the condition and state of believers. Surely, as his mediation, by sufferings, has fully reconciled, so his mediation, by intercession, will everlastingly maintain that state of peace betwixt them and God, and prevent all future breaches. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1 ).

O thank your dear Lord Jesus for your present and future heaven! These are mercies which daily emerge out of the ocean of Christ’s blood, and come swimming in it to our doors. Blessed be God for Jesus Christ!”

— John Flavel

“Jesus Paid It All”

Posted: October 26, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity

Many of us are still reeling from last week’s news of Bishop Mark’s restriction and the Diocese of SC’s subsequent departure from The Episcopal Church. Sunday November 11th at 4:00 pm, Bishop Lawrence will be coming to a yet to be determined location in our area to discuss the issues at hand. I would encourage everyone invested in Trinity to consider coming to hear Bishop Mark.

What’s Going on in SC?

Posted: October 25, 2012 by boydmonster in Uncategorized

Kendal Harmon has gathered together a really helpful stockpile of resources for understanding what’s going on in our diocese right now. Enjoy.

Spiritual war of truth

Posted: October 25, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, The Christian Life

“Paul’s gospel not only contradicted the religion, philosophy and culture of the day, but it also declared war on them. Not a political war, not a military war, but a spiritual war of truth. It refused truce or treaty with the world and would settle for nothing less than culture’s absolute surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Even to every thought of our mind being held captive to Christ. We would do well to follow Paul’s example. We must be careful to shun every temptation to conform our gospel to the trends of the day or the desires of carnal men.”

– Paul Washer

 “Our faith is a person; the gospel that we have to preach is a person; and go wherever we may, we have something solid and tangible to preach, for our gospel is a person. If you had asked the twelve Apostles in their day, ‘What do you believe in?’ they would not have stopped to go round about with a long sermon, but they would have pointed to their Master and they would have said, ‘We believe him.’ ‘But what are your doctrines?’ ‘There they stand incarnate.’ ‘But what is your practice?’ ‘There stands our practice. He is our example.’ ‘What then do you believe?’ Hear the glorious answer of the Apostle Paul, ‘We preach Christ crucified.’ Our creed, our body of divinity, our whole theology is summed up in the person of Christ Jesus.”

C.H. Spurgeon: (Ray Ortlund blog, Christ Is Deeper Still)

Timeline

Posted: October 24, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Anglican Communion, Thought and Practice in the Diocese of South Carolina

From Iain’s talk Sunday he gave us this handout. Wanted to make sure everyone that wasn’t there gets a chance to see and think of the events over the last six years.

 

“In their press release, the 14 [accusers] asked for prayers ‘for the bishop and all involved,’ and stressed that ‘there is definitely a place for orthodox and evangelical views within the diocese; that’s the beauty of being under the large tent of the Episcopal Church.’ Episcopal News Service

Timeline of Events:

September 2006: Mark Lawrence overwhelmingly elected as Bishop of South Carolina. He had 120 days to receive the requisite number of consents. Consent was denied and the election was declared “null and void” due to “canonical deficiencies.”

August 4, 2007: Mark Lawrence re-elected as bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina.

January 26, 2008: Mark Lawrence consecrated as bishop of Diocese of South Carolina.

September 18, 2008: Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh deposed despite failure to receive consent from three senior bishops as well as appropriate quorum in House of Bishops.

March 2009: Standing Committee of The Diocese of San Joaquin deposed including members of the standing committee who voted against the Diocese’ departure from TEC.

July 2009: Title IV Canons revised, opening up accusations to be received against clergy from anyone in the Episcopal Church, and allowing for these charges to be kept secret until the clergy or bishop in question has his or her ministry restricted. The process for accused clergy to be removed from diocesan accountability. According to new canons, restrictions placed against clergy can exist indefinitely.

January 2010: Charleston lawyer was hired by ++Katharine Jefferts Schori as local counsel for TEC for the purpose of seeking parish documents, including Trinity.

March 2010: South Carolina Diocesan Convention votes to remove accession clause not to constitution but to canons of The Episcopal Church for the purpose of protecting clergy (especially the Bishop) from an unprecedented intrusion into the life of the diocese. Diocesan Convention also requests a response from the Presiding Bishop about her hiring of legal counsel. To date, no response has been given.

July 2011: Title IV revisions put in place.

October 6, 2011: Mark Lawrence informed that allegations had been filed against him for abandonment of communion.

November 2011: Quit Claim Deeds issued to parishes.

November 1, 2011: Standing Committee passes resolution “Hereby withdraws its accession to the Constitution of the Episcopal Church and disaffiliates with the Episcopal Church by withdrawing its membership from the Episcopal Church. This decision shall be effective immediately upon the taking of
any action of any kind by any representative of the Episcopal Church against The Bishop, The Standing Committee or any of it’s members.”

December 2, 2011: Disciplinary Board dismisses allegations against Mark Lawrence including:
Amendment to the Diocesan Corporate Charter Purpose Statement, Amendments to Diocesan Constitution, and Amendments to Diocesan Canons.

July 2012: General Convention passes blessings for same sex relationships, changes discriminatory canons to include “gender identity or gender expression,” and officially acknowledges the practice of “Open Communion.”

July 25 2012: Bishop Lawrence meets with clergy. Tells clergy “I can no longer in good conscience remain in the Episcopal Church.” Leaves for two weeks of prayer and discernment.

Aug 20th 2012: Bishop Lawrence and Standing Committee announces to Diocese that they have agreed on a course of action. Not revealed at the time that the course of action was to begin talks with The Presiding Bishop to seek a peaceful resolution.

August 27, 2012: Bishop Lawrence, Chancellor Wade Logan, Bishop Waldo and Chancellor Belton Zeigler discuss the desire of both Dioceses to find solutions to the issues between TEC and the Diocese of South Carolina. Bp. Waldo suggests that he ask the PB for a meeting to explore that idea.

September 17-19 2012: Disciplinary Board of Bishops meets.

September 18, 2012: DBB apparently certifies abandonment on three allegations, two of which were previously dismissed on November 22, 2011.

October 3, 2012: Bishop Lawrence meets with Presiding Bishop. Follow up meeting with Chancellors scheduled for October 22nd.

October 10, 2012: Presiding Bishop receives official notification of certification of abandonment charges.

October 15, 2012: Bishop Mark informed of certification of abandonment charges. Standing Committee resolution goes in to effect.

October 19, 2012: Bishop Lawrence informs diocese that “Neither this diocese, its clergy, nor its parishes are any longer affiliated with The Episcopal Church.”

November 17, 2012: Special Convention called. “The business to be transacted at this meeting shall be the nature of an appropriate response to the recent actions taken against Bishop Mark Lawrence by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, to include any relevant constitutional and/or canonical changes.”

Click to access sc_faq_10_24_12.pdf