Wednesday 6 May 2009

The abusive language and myths used about TEC

The Rev. Philip Ashey has commented on the Pastoral Visitors Scheme and the idea of mediated conversation on parallel jurisdictions on the Anglican Mainstream website

It is the language he uses about the Episcopal Church which interests me more than his analysis of the proposed scheme. Philip uses abusive phrases about the Episcopal Church which occur time and again on the websites of those who have left TEC and seek to create a alternative province. The target of their campaign was initially the Episcopal Church, to which the Church of Canada was later added. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the processes being followed by the Communion (Windsor Report, Covenant, etc.) and the role of staff at the Anglican Communion Office have also come under attack.

Philip Ashey uses these phrases about the Episcopal Church in his article:

“the revisionist leadership of TEC”
“the false gospel of TEC”
“false teaching”

I have attended the last two General Conventions of the Province. I have worked closely with leaders and volunteers from Integrity, the Chicago Consultation and other staff members and congregational members of TEC.

Those who have separated from TEC have constructed a myth about the church to which they used to belong. The phrases “revisionist leadership” and “false gospel and teaching” are used repeatedly to poison the mind of other Provinces towards the Episcopal Church.

They are not true. If TEC has revisionist leadership, a false gospel and false teaching, then so does the Church of England and so do I. But I don’t. No time to outline my theology here, but my friends in the congregation at St John’s Devizes would vouch for my orthodoxy and my passion for the Gospel and the mission of the Church.

As a Christian, I find the poison that those who have left the Episcopal Church introduce into their narrative and strategy against TEC difficult to stomach. It sickens me.

All parties to the conflicts in the Communion make mistakes and from time to time, categorise those from other networks in ways that are false. I don’t like being called a pansexualist. To me, that’s another way of denigrating my integrity, my sexuality and my Christian life and witness. Pansexualists are among those categorised as revising teaching and bearing a false gospel and false teaching.

While I’m writing about this, let me add my irritation (to put it mildly) with the portrayal of those who have left TEC as the victims in the dispute, and TEC and LGBT people as those with power at the centre of decision making – if only!

Philip Ashey says those who left TEC have been rewarded by “inhibition, deposition, loss of income, costly litigation, and/or loss of their churches.” They are “victims of TEC’s attempt to literally destroy them corporately, individually, and financially.”

Philip Ashey is here at the ACC meeting, the priest nominated by Archbishop Henry Orombi as the Ugandan clerical delegate to the ACC whose nomination was declined because he was deemed to be not duly qualified. He is Chief Operating Officer of the American Anglican Council.

Oh, and he doesn’t think a Pastoral Visitors scheme would experience any more success than the Panel of Reference. He thinks the Windsor Continuation Group recommendations miss an opportunity to bless the mission of the ACNA.


  1. I have long watched the vitriolic verbage used
    by those within break-away jurisdictions..that
    verbage used in my humble opinion , in hateful
    non-Christian flogging of those whom God is
    using within His kingdom to bring about Peace,
    Justice, and concord here upon earth. The Presiding Bishop seems to be an exceptionally
    vulnerable target..May I say , on those occasions that I have heard her preach , lead , or dispense the Sacraments , I have
    seen nothing but the greatest love and compassion dispensed by this emissary of God Almighty ... Thanks be to God for those in the fray...those who care for , and are involved in the building of the Body of Christ..

  2. As appalling as the rhetoric and disinformation which schismatics from TEC and the ACoC post and propagandize to other provinces; it is perhaps even more discouraging when one sees one's own bishop in open "guerilla warfare" with The Episcopal Church using the same language as you mention in this article. My bishop was one of 15 or so TEC bishops who recently asserted that their dioceses = The Church. (You are well aware of the email trail of some of these bishops and clergy, "outed" by Fr. Harris).

    It is really discouraging to be a "real" Episcopalian, and find our own Presiding Bishop to be unwelcome to set foot in this diocese. For all the wailing about the poor persecuted schismatics and near-schismatics, precious little is ever said about the trials of those moderate and liberal parishes in Windsor dioceses. The shaming, the blaming and the constant stream of vitriol is sometimes too much to bear. But most of these parishes grit their teeth silently and hope for an eventual change of diocesan leadership.

    for what it's worth ...

  3. Thanks Colin for bringing this up. There is a tremendous amount of rhetoric which is not grounded in reality but which becomes the experience of those who believe it. We have not done a good job of countering the propganda.

  4. If TEC and ACoC are so innocent why did during the thirteenth Lambeth Conference in 1998, a resolution was passed stating that homosexual acts are "incompatible with Scripture" by a vote of 526-70. Three of the four moratoria are aimed at TEC and ACoC and guess who won't sign the Covenant? TEC and ACoC will become a social club and ACNA will deliver Christ's message in their place.

    Schismatic and loving it!