"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Dallas Shocker: Bishop Stanton Clearly Wants to Stay Inside TEC

You can pretty much disregard my last two posts. I thought the resolution and survey results that I cited below were evidence that Dallas was preparing to break with TEC in the foreseeable future. It now appears, based upon the Bishop's address to their convention, that Bishop Stanton is committed to staying inside the Episcopal church for a good deal longer. "Just keep you heads down and ignore what goes on elsewhere in TEC--focus on the purely local and try to stay faithful within your parish context" is Stanton's message to his flock. Here is a highlight:

Let me be blunt. Separation is not a strategy. Where would we go? And what would be the result of a departure? I believe that separation would only increase the tensions within the Anglican Communion and make a vital, robust Covenant process that much more difficult! And how would the world outside look at yet more division in the Body of Christ? This is precisely what they have come to expect of Christians – groups fighting with each other. Our Lord prayed that we might be one in order that the world might see our unity as a sign of God’s blessing and work. (John 17) Those who are contemplating departing the church are not, I think, fulfilling Christ's call but are fulfilling the expectations the world has about the church, that we cannot really get along, even with each other.

We have a future only if we are clear-sighted and clearly committed. Some people feel so upset by what they perceive to be going on outside or above us, especially at the General Church level, that they are ready to depart. I ask you to reconsider. If, as our Thirty-nine Articles say, the Church is where the "pure Word of God is preached and the Sacraments be duly administered," or as we might say, where Christ is honored and the Apostles' teaching forms the core, where the Sacraments indeed bring strength for ministry and comfort for those in need, then why should anyone depart?

Judge for yourselves in the place you worship and serve and grow in your faith. If together in your parish or mission you are worshipping and serving the living God, what compels you to go? If together with other such congregations in this Diocesan family you serve the Risen Christ, and believe with them in his power to transform not only your own life, but the world, why must you leave?

If, finally, our vision for the future has been inspired by the challenge and hope of being an Anglican, a part of a vibrant and robust and orthodox community of dioceses and men and women around the world, what is the value of separation?
Let us be clear: Christ is at the heart of our ministry as a Diocesan Family. We have been firm. We will continue to be firm. And we have been blessed, up to now. We have a greater chance of getting to our destination - and to do that as faithful inheritors of the Apostles' faith - if we stay together!

Resume Tex: This is not what I had expected from the bishop whom Bishop Iker selected to accompany him to the NYC meeting last month. He had seemed to be one of the more "forward" Network bishops until this message. Needless to say, I am very disappointed.


Blogger Julian said...

what's so disappointing?

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the bishop fails to see is that leaving ECUSA is not division in the body of Christ. The "liberals" of ECUSA are not Christians in any real sense of the word. They are just pagans and unrepentant homosexuals masquerading as angels of light. They have a form of godliness (church buildings, vestments, ceremony) but they deny the power thereof. Splitting from them is the same as separating oneself from the works of the Devil.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Joy said...

You are the definition of what is wrong with organized religion and the reason why so many have turned their backs on it. When we alienate others we don't give them the opportunity to look into our eyes and see the peace Christ has brought us.

8:49 AM  

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