Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Les Fairfield: "Episcopal Church is a Non-Christian, Foreign, Alien and Pagan Religion"

I know I said a week ago I needed to back off. That was my intention. I may still decide to take some time away from this place. But, today, I'm rather outraged.

What has me ready to spit bullets? By now you have probably heard of the gathering sponsored by the Network held in Pittsburgh. I read a recent news report about this event entitled Anglicans Urge Disgruntled Episcopalians to Join Them. Here's the paragraph that got my blood boiling:

In a DVD titled "Choose This Day" that was shown at the conference Thursday night, Les Fairfield, a professor of church history at Trinity Episcopal School of Ministry in Ambridge, said changes within the Episcopal Church had made it "a non-Christian religion" and its leadership had "embraced a foreign, alien and pagan religion."
Before leaping to conclusions, I decided to take a look at the video myself. If anything, the reporter played down this slick production that portrays the Episcopal Church as the devil incarnate.

I can blow off comments on the internet that accuse those who disagree with the extremists as being apostate, heretical, spawn of satan, etc. But to make the claim in a professionally produced video that the Episcopal Church is a non-Christian religion is more than I can stand. This video is packed with half truths and lies. Those involved in its production need to ask forgiveness for bearing false witness.

News flash to Professor Fairfield; it is because I proclaim Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior that I will not allow you and your kind to force my faithful gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in Christ back into the closet.

I think we are done. Akinola has called for the North Americans to make their decision now, and not wait for GC06. He has also launched his CANA mission which will establish an alternative Anglican presence in North America (so much for the Windsor Report, eh Peter?). The extremists now have a place to go. Then go with God, please, now, today. Take your buildings and your vestments and your hateful videos and just go.

For those of us that remain faithful to the Church in which God has planted us, let go of the illusion that the Windsor Report offers a way forward for reconciliation to happen. These people do not want reconciliation. Even if we affirm the WR, they will still try to destroy us, and we'll be left with a flawed plan that gives the primary authority in the AC to a bunch of male bishops, many of whom seem to be more interested in their personal power and fame than the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

When your diocese meets for convention, and a resolution is proposed to affirm the Windsor Report, get up and grab a microphone. In regards to what you might say, let me suggest an excellent summary statement from Nigel J. Taber-Hamilton, Rector of St. Augustine's-in-the-woods Episcopal Church on beautiful Whidbey Island, Washington, which I reproduce here with his permission:

The WR is a deeply flawed document. It contains questionable assumptions, such as that we will all recognize and agree upon what constitutes an "essential matter." It is consistently suspicious of secular philosophy (especially post-modernism) and it continues to propose the myth of homosexual identity as a mistaken, sinful lifestyle choice. In addition, it glosses over and misrepresents several important issues, such as the supposedly orderly Communion-wide acceptance of women's ordination and the unjust ways the Church has treated its minorities. Its authors propose an unworkable process of seeking consent for episcopal elections from the entire communion, and a Romanesque requirement (an "Anglican Imprimatur" if you will) that biblical scholars seek approval from the Church before publishing any material. It proposes a very un-Anglican Confessional Document and, overall, calls for a more centralized, clericalized form of non-elected authority that has already had patriots reaching for their muskets and the Reformation's heirs crying out against the formation of an Anglican Papacy.
So much for a time of reflection. But enough is enough! Let's end this thing once and for all. We have better things to do.

J.

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