Thursday, January 24, 2008

Radner's Fallacy

I. Radner's Case
In a recent piece for ACI, Radner argues that our HoB should prescind from disciplining Bishop Duncan. In it, Radner, who, appointed by Williams himself, sits on a committee assigned the task of formulating a "covenant" for the Anglican Communion, concedes the engagement of the process itself appears to have been inevitable, and that once the complainants against Bishop Duncan formally made their charges to the Review Committee, an examination and determination as to Bp. Duncan's adherence to the Episcopal Church's Constitution and Canons was necessarily demanded, and finally that the use of Title IV.9 - "abandonment of communion" - was reasonably applied in this determination.

Nevertheless, the disciplinary process ought to be suspended--Radner thinks. Why? Radner claims it is an open question as to whether "the Doctrine, Discipline, or Worship of this church" are in fact being upheld and/or embodied by the current executive offices of the Episcopal Church; indeed, he says the question is not currently being and has not been investigated, there is not even an adequate method or procedure in place for determining how to find an answer, what for us should be an authoritative process of finding what should constitute doctrine and discipline for Anglicans is in fact already underway at the Communion-wide level, and TEC's Christian leaders should call a truce rather than "lord it over" Duncan with an exercise of ecclesial power.

II. Why Radner's Argument Does Not Work
I urge anyone considering Radner's course of action to reject it, especially anyone charged with carrying out the disciplinary process. Bishop Duncan ought to be removed from oversight of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and Radner's case should not convince you otherwise.

Even if it were true that the adherence of TEC's leadership to the worship, doctrine, and discipline of TEC were in fact in question, that would not be relevant to whether the process should go forward against Duncan. I think it is tendentious to suggest that TEC's leadership has abandoned TEC's worship, doctrine, and discipline--and that not even a cogent case has been made for Radner's premise. But, to show how weak and unconvincing Radner's case is, I shall concede his premise and show that even with such a large concession, he still does not have a sound argument.

First, Radner has no sound moral reason for thinking the purported abandonment by TEC's leaders is even relevant to Duncan's case. For instance, if I see Mr. X holding up a 7/11 with a shotgun, and I try to persuade the police not to stop Mr. X, because a few blocks away Mr. Y is holding up a BP with a shotgun, the police would be right to disregard my plea. Mr. Y's holdup does not somehow make Mr. X's holdup OK, or even tolerable. Likewise, Duncan's abandonemnt would not magically be made OK or even tolerable by the leadership's abandonment.

Moreover, Radner's target--the leadership--is the wrong target for the argument he wants to make. As I am sure Radner recognizes, TEC's leadership is not responsible for disciplining Duncan. That responsibility will fall on the HoB, the bishops of the church acting collectively, as a community in council. If Radner could establish that there was a credible claim that the HoB as a whole had abandoned TEC's worship, discipline, and doctrine, then he might be able to charge the HoB as a whole with hypocrisy for disciplining Duncan when their own status was at least unclear. But that is not what Radner claims; Radner attacks the leadership, not the HoB as a whole. At best, since he attacks the leadership, he should argue that they along with Duncan be subjected to the process.

We are led to ask, why on earth would the leadership's failure exonerate Duncan, or even merit the suspension of the process?

More importantly, suppose those responsible for disciplining Duncan were in fact credibly charged with abandonment. That in itself would not suffice for suspending the process. For instance, consider a case where Mr. X is a chain smoking father of Ms. Y, his daughter. He catches her smoking against their rules, and punishes her. When Y objects, saying "You hypocrite! You smoke two packs a day!" her father, X, is justified in keeping the punishment in place. Y's cry of hypocrisy does not make her smoking OK or even tolerable. Her father's wrong does not make her wrongdoing right. Radner seems to have no handle, no grasp, on these basic facts, near the foundations of a proper sense of moral right and wrong.

In short, Radner's case reduces to a tu quoque fallacy. There is nothing a covenant or Williams will--or can--do to change these basic moral premises, to alter the moral fabric of our common life at such a fundamental level. The insruments of unity cannot by their fiat establish that two wrongs make a right. There is no need to wait if they say anything to the contrary before proceeding. Indeed, one might think Gospel freedom did not mean overturning these basic things, but that these things find an ultimate foundation in the nature of God, in the inner life of the Trinity, in our communion with the Godhead.

Indeed, even if the discipliners were in fact credibly charged with abandonment, there would still be reasons to go forward with the process:

(1) Stemming the tide of ecclesial chaos and moving toward stability and closure is grave enough that Duncan must be disciplined by the discipliners even if they do not repent;
(2) The discipliners did not proceed with malice aforethought, whereas Duncan proceeded with a plan and appropriate calulation, so that the wrongs are not equivalent, and the gravity of Duncan's ongoing efforts must be stemmed.

One might have hoped that Radner's own sense of the seriousness of fomenting schism in the church would have been enough to bring home to him the urgency of doing something now to prevent more harm from being done. If TEC's leaders have done something wrong in embracing the doctrines of 2003, it's in the past. It can't now be stopped--we are dealing with the consequences. But we still have time to stop Duncan; there is no reason to passively wait, to pretend we do not have an obligation to stop Duncan before he brings still further ruin.

The instruments of union have unequivocally condemned what Duncan is doing. They have never wavered, and there is no question from them that his course of action, fomenting schism and perpetuating chaos in the church, is morally wrong. No process of discernment or listening is in place for Duncan and his fellow anarchists. But there is a question about what TEC and the ACC's leaders have done. It is not clear whether anyone in the instruments of communion has ever condemned the leadership to whom Radner refers explicitly; as a matter of ecclesial authority, Radner's personal low opinion of them is irrelevant.

Note that the issue at the level of the Communion is not with the leadership at 815, but with the province as a unit, and it seems especially with the bishops who are seen at the Communion level as--in practical terms--governing the province. Radner's demonizing the leadership at 815, as if this counts for something, is a red herring, but more importantly, it personalizes the Communion's conflict with TEC. Who is the face of the leadership at 815? Our Presiding Bishop, a woman. She is easy to make an issue out of; she is already an issue. It seems Radner would attempt to gather support for his covenant plans by unifying around a scapegoat, a group of people--and it seems especially the Presiding Bishop--who can be singled out and blamed and by being blamed be made to bring unity among fissiparous parties.

23 Comments:

At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Bishop Radner ought to be removed from oversight of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and Radner's case should not convince you otherwise."

I think you mean "Bishop Duncan ought..."

 
At 2:22 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

I think it's pretty clear that Dr. Radner has not read the supporting evidence justifying the move against +Duncan. I'm also not convinced that +Wimberley or +Lee read the materials either.

 
At 6:35 PM, Blogger David said...

good post! http://www.your.sydneyanglicans.net/

 
At 6:47 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Thanks anon; I've corrected it.

It was a Freudian slip of sorts, because--truth be told--I would much rather have Radner be bishop of Pittsburgh than Duncan. A Bishop Radner would still be conservative, but I think he would be quite constructive in a way that we need at the moment.

 
At 11:51 PM, Blogger trueanglican said...

Well said, Scotist. And welcome back. It's been too long since you have weighed in.

Thanks for reminding me that Radner, heaven knows why, is a member of the drafting committee for the pending Anglican Covenant. The members get down to work again next week, blessedly in London this time rather than the gross resort hotel Drexel Gomez put them up in for their first session (at the expense of the Anglican Communion Office, of course, not the Province of the West Indies).

One hopes that the several centrist and liberal members absent at the first session will turn up this time and a more balanced document will emerge

 
At 12:13 AM, Blogger Christopher said...

what should constitute doctrine and discipline for Anglicans is in fact already underway at the Communion-wide level

More coup d'eglis from those purporting to be conservative when in fact a covenant agenda is a radical break with Anglican tradition. Fr. Radner tends to presume that the legislative and judiciary functions of a supposed Anglican Church are already in place and makes his arguments from that starting point. It is a de facto push rather than a de jure change in our polity, governance, and ecclesiology. It is radical, not conservative irrespective of his traditional point of view on other matters.

 
At 9:56 AM, Anonymous fr craig said...

Bravo, TAS - and keep 'em coming

 
At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoaaaaaaaa!

You write: "The instruments of union have unequivocally condemned what Duncan is doing. They have never wavered, and there is no question from them that his course of action, fomenting schism and perpetuating chaos in the church, is morally wrong."

WmPaul3rd
Please (a) show us where this unequivocal condemnation from "the instruments of union" is? Only the Title IV Committee has given their verdict on Duncan, tho' they did not explain their reasoning. Also (b) explain why it is not 'realignment' but 'schism' that you charge Duncan with? After all, if he and the Diocese tend to remain withing the umbrella or confederation or communion of churches that we are, constitutionally, part of, then it seems it is a realignment within a greater whole. I will leave aside the emotive rhetoric of 'fomenting' you use, tho' I will note that the Primates urged us not to go ahead with VGR in 2003because it would tear the 'sacramental unity of the church' at a fundmental level. Sounds like that, by your definition, is real fomentatious to me, pardner'.

Never mind that the most one might be able to reasonably charge Duncan with, if one were a dispassionate and fair minded observer, is the INTENT to MAYBE, at the next CONVENTION, realign or even (misusing the canon on which he is being accused) ABANDON, the fact is he has not done that yet.

Amazing that you can make room for sodomy in your church but not for a amicable and just realignment. (And BTW Duncan has repeatedly said it is not about the property and has urged for fair negotiation to go on between congregtions and dioceses. You know, just what Peter Lee was doing until KJ-I-just-carried-the-comminique-back-I-didn't-agree-to-it Schori and the litigious Beers got going.)

Yeesh.

 
At 5:38 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

anon,

Can you please pile up a few more shmontses rationalizations for your "man on horseback", pardner?

I'm not sure you are really serious. As you yourself concede, Duncan et al have been working hard for realignment; realignment requires separation from the province (TEC) and ejection of the province from the AC; thus, he is a contributing efficient cause to schism on two levels: breaking with his province and breakin' the province off from the Communion.

Further, last I checked with the ACO, all docs from WR forward urge foreign Primates to refrain from intervention, envisaging the province as a constituent member with its own legitimate authority.

I suspect there are no Special Decoder Glasses with which you might see the Invisible Ink in the WR etc calling for Minns and his sidekick, Akinola, to intervene posthaste. QED--and I think you have to wonder about Duncan: is he thinking "why settle fer one mortal sin when you can angle fer two?"

You mentioned making room for sodomy in the Church. Unless like a good traditional Christian man you've sworn off heterosexual oral sex--and you refrain on theological grounds from sodomizing your gf/wife/whatver, (and you might well) you too are guilty of making room for Sodomy in the Church. It's just between us, I think we christianists should try harder at not being Hypocrites and all about it.

Another likely asymetry between us, perhaps: I'm more than happy to welcome you and your possible female companion as a fellow Sodomites at the Altar of Sacrifice.

Finally: I see nothing wrong with the use of Prophylatics, especially when used for preventing the spread of
Duncan's diseased exercises of episcopal power. On your own account, his malicious intent is demonstrable; we differ only in that I think that is actionable. We'll see, but yeesh, you know what they say: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Farshtaist?

 
At 6:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. "Unless like a good traditional Christian man you've sworn off heterosexual oral sex--"

Absolutely. Not even a question. The indecency of your post on this matter is atonishing. Your reply speaks, sadly, volumes.

2. You didn't answer the questions I posed and you mischaracterized the situtation. Pgh has not affiliated with another Province. Nor is it clear that, if it did--and again, it hasn't--such a Province would be kicked out.And, again, you rush to the deployment of schism as a boogey-man term. No reason why many different types of realignment couldn't be provisional or evolve over time.

3. Are you saying, however, that the Windsor report is to be followed in toto? Or are you cherry picking?

4. And the reason why consecrating VGR was not (as an 'efficient cause' to use your language) schismatic in the life of the Anglican Communion is . . . .what?


I will leave these as they stand.

I don't get what you mean by "farshstaist" or "Can you please pile up a few more shmontses rationalizations for your "man on horseback", pardner?"

You use language about "minions" and "sidekicks" but don't really address challenges to your deployment of 'schismatic' and you accuse Duncan of mortal sins and abuse of episcopal power. How so? The Diocese overwhelmingly is behind him. If he took the Steenson route and resigned, the Diocese would still vote as they did.

WmPaul 3rd

 
At 6:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS Please remember that I responded first to your claim that the Instruments of Unity 'unequic=vally condemned" Duncan and asked you to show me where this was the case. Then I spotted what I thought were other examples of wildly incautious and incorrect statements, and some objectionable ones too.


You really haven't taken on what I said and responded directly.

 
At 2:04 PM, Blogger bls said...

Speaking of "objectionable"!

William Paul, I notice, uses the nasty "making room for sodomy" construction without a second thought. Obviously, he must believe that gay Christians are nothing but walking sex organs, not human beings at all. And that sexual "acts" are the center of so-called "orthodox" morality, trumping all other concerns.

More shallow, sad retro religion. And another wonderful demonstration of why the churches are emptying out....

 
At 2:11 PM, Blogger bls said...

(I think I've asked you this before, William Paul, but given the above, you must believe either that (a) gay people must be lifelong celibates, although celibacy is obviously not a vocation to which most people are called, or that (b) it would be OK with you if your own daughter married a gay man or your own son a lesbian, since gay people (to avoid "making room for sodomy" in the Church) should naturally be encouraged to marry heterosexually.

(a) is illogical and immoral, and (b) is highly doubtful. So obviously your concern about "sodomy" is based in a "theology" detached from the actual true life of the world - something sort of pathetic, actually, in a religion based in the Incarnation.

Well, like I said: sad, shallow, and retro.)

 
At 7:06 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

anon,

Well, you have done the service of responding, so I'll try to return the favor and do a better job of convincing you. And that means I'll drop the Yiddish. And I'll go by your numbers.

To your (3): Yes! In my opinion, all parties have defeasible obligations to abide by the WR. Any defeater would only be legitimate if accepted by our peer provinces.

To your (4): Suppose consecrating VGR is in fact a contributing efficient cause.

You seem to think TEC's wrongdoing would excuse Duncan's wrongdoing--but of course it would not excuse it. Not at all. Your thinking here seems to be fallacious--a tu quoque fallacy.

More troubling: (a)your thinking seems indicative of a troubling moral relativism, as if the right or wrong of Duncan's actions can only be established by the relations he bears to other people's actions. If that is not speacial pleading, and is a universal rule, what would the implications be for Christian ethics? It would seem catastrophic, and not something Separatists would want to embrace.

(b) This "tu quoque" thinking you seem to share with Radner fits with a general pattern on display in secular American society, an unwillingness to admit error and make the needed changes, and a proclivity to get out of repentance by blaming someone else. Blaming VGR doesn't get Duncan out of having to repent; if anything, it shows a reprehensible recidivism, i.e. responding to having sinned by going back and sinning again by trying to evade responsibility for the first sin.

To your (2): Again, fallacious thinking, an ignoratio elenchii. Even if Pittsburgh has not actually affiliated with a foreign province, TEC may still have recourse IF intent on the part of the bishop is demonstrable. Is that really such an esoteric contention?

In this case, I am not alone in believing the intent is demonstrable and that TEC is under no obligation to suffer imminent harm before taking action when the harm could have been prevented.

This is the second time you have couched the issue in terms of merely what is actually being done. Is that because you really think intent is never actionable?

To your (1): By introducing it into our discourse, you demonstrated fondness for the term "sodomy"--if you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

"Farshtaist" and "shmontses" are Yiddish for "Do you understand?" and "nonsense," respectively.

I characterized your points as nonsense because they seemed--and still do--to be instances fallacious thinking rather than points soundly argued. I hope by being more specific, by identifying the particular fallacies that seem to me to diminish your case, to enourage something more constructive.

For instance, you might make a better case by arguing that Duncan should be permitted to contribute to schism in his province and in the Anglican Communion, regardless of the Communion's hope that it might remain intact--rather than blaming TEC for consecrating VGR.

Even if TEC was wrong, more premises are needed to show--to point out--how that translates into permission for Duncan to contribute to schism.

If you could identify premises Duncan is using--or anyone in his camp--to justify these actions, you would immediately move our discourse forward in a most contructive way. That is not to say we'd agree.

 
At 12:07 AM, Anonymous J-Tron said...

An interesting take on Radner's piece, which seems sadly to have descended here into just another conversation about sex. I was surprised by the general lack of sufficient argumentation by Fr. Radner, given that his work is usually so logical and well developed. But here he just seemed to emote. He even seems to basically agree that Bishop Duncan is guilty of what he is being charged with, but advocates that the House of Bishops should let him be for what seem to be, for lack of a better term, sentimental reasons. I agree with the thrust of your reply, that negative actions carried out of TEC's leadership do not relieve Duncan of the responsibility to act according to the Church's discipline. Bishop Duncan has been steering his diocese and many in the rest of his network into a train wreck for years now, without the slightest hint of sensitivity or regret. It is difficult, to say the least, for me to have much sympathy for his canonical plight.

The one thing I would disagree with you on, though, is Fr. Radner's general point about how we go about determining what accounts for our "doctrine, discipline, and worship." Actions of GC2003 notwithstanding, you and I both know that TEC has had a habit of acting first and finding a theological justification later, and that habit has been getting worse over the past thirty years. Given that we are now quite literally at the breaking point because of such fuzziness, doesn't it behoove us to at least see the irony in a situation like Bishop Duncan's? After all, the folks who will be making this difficult decision about Bishop Duncan's status are themselves at least questionable in their interpretation of a number of canons, be they the disciplinary canons for clergy or the rubrics that govern the sacramental life of the Church. Like you, I don't think Dr. Radner is correct in asserting that this is enough for Bishop Duncan to simply be let off the hook. But it is a bit strange to be witnessing the deaf judging the blind.

 
At 2:00 PM, Blogger RFSJ said...

Scotist,

Well argued, and welcome back, indeed! I appreciate your logical mind in all this. I actually read the Radner piece as a sub rosa piece asking for pastoral compassion in this case, even though it was couched in discussion over canons, etc. Might it be a good idea for the HOB to stand down from considering the Duncan case (setting aside for the moment the continuing debate about whether the relevant canon has been correctly intepreted; I tend to think it hasn't) until and unless the Diocese itself votes to realign at its second reading? After all, every Bishop is President of her own Convention, and therefore has great power to affect the agenda. The mere act of presiding at a Convention that votes to secede or realign is a de facto if not de jure abandonment of communion. (One can argue the violation occurred at the first convention, but the Three Senior Bishops [two at least] did not agree.) So hold off, mayhaps; table the motion to impose discipline, and see what happens. Given the open letter that's just been published from the Diocese from 12 senior conservative clergy, maybe Radner is on to something.

RFSJ

 
At 1:01 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

J-Tron,

Good point about the deaf judging the blind.

It might--or might not--make a difference that the canonical looseness constituting deafness in the HoB, like tolerating widespread CWOB, occurs in a framework preserving mutual accountability. One objecting to the looseness can get recourse from the Executive Council, or the HoB, or GC, or through some other canonical procedure. That is, "looseness" is not itself a problem, if it retains a context of accountability. Consider the noncanonical Philly ordinations of women; discipline followed the disobedience.

Duncan's own noncanonical proceedings are different in that they will remove any structure of accountability; they constitute an event rupturing the moral community in which any canons and recourse about them would make sense. Like Don Armstrong's running off in CO, apparently witholding relevant data from his TEC "trial".

But then again, maybe this difference is beside the point, as RFSJ might say.

 
At 1:07 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

RFSJ,

I think your point about holding off until the second reading is valid--provided there is reasonable hope harm done by letting the second reading go through can be undone.

My fear is that it will be much harder to undo, if not impossible. The AC and others might be persuaded to give a secession that "plays by diocesan rules" some measure of validity that would have been impossible if the diocesan bishop were deposed--but maybe not. I don't know enough; someone should be positioned to know better.

Anyhow, let us hope and pray for the best.

 
At 10:28 AM, Anonymous J-Tron said...

Scotist,

"Canonical looseness" is one way of putting it. I would call it canonical cherry-picking. Do you really think that executive council, the HoB, or even General Convention would take seriously a request to investigate a bishop for allowing communion without baptism in his or her diocese? Most of those bodies are lead by people who think communion without baptism is the best idea since sliced bread. Heck, the National Cathedral promotes a policy of cwob. And I'm not trying to get into an argument of the merits of that position here, I'm just saying that our leadership likes to get upset about certain violations of the rules only when the rules are ones that the leadership likes.

Part of the problem here, in my opinion, is that TEC is coming to discover the necessity of church discipline rather late in the game. Bishop Pike should have been tried and deposed. Bishop Spong should have been tried and deposed. The bishops involved in ordaining the Philadelphia 11 should have been tried at least, if not also deposed (and I say that believing fully in the validity and great benefit of women's ordination). So I can see why some conservatives would be jumping up and down when they see Bishop Duncan being deposed by the same kind of inconsistent leadership. I'm not sure what the answer is either, since it seems clear to me that he must be held accountable. I guess the best thing would be if TEC leaders, like the presiding bishop, acknowledged the inconsistency and pledged to change it from now on. But I'd say that this kind of a pledge is about as likely to happen as Bishop Duncan is likely to repent and return to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church.

 
At 10:52 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

J-tron,

To continue with a few observations:

(a) You and I have Opinions about what would happen, but can't claim to Know what would happen, if a bishop were brought up for CWOB-violations. At best, we are talking probability here.

(b) In cases around theology, TEC is in a boat with other denominations, who suffer from a fragmentation of theological reflection into incommensurable, warring camps (right&left wing narrative, liberation, Thomist, pomo, existentialist, etc).

It may be responsible to prescind from hammering a Pike or Spong or CWOB-Bishop if doing so would expose the paucity of the theological rationale for doing so--i.e. we really are not so sure anymore about CWOB. And we should not act as if we are.

But if we were not sure, that alone might justify prescinding from persecution without justifying changing the canon.

You will agree that we should not change a canon because the older way is uncertain? Some sort of certainty to the contrary would seem to be required for a change of canons.

(c) Even so, it seems there really is some discipline in TEC's recent history, though short of having a bishop deposed.

I think you will have to admit Pike payed a very high price, being forced out of his ecclesial position, becoming a pariah. Moreover, some ordained--even if not bishops--in the Philly disobedience paid a price. Even Righter paid a price in being brought to trial, though he was exonerated. And in some of these cases, esp PIke's, there was a real possibility of a bishop being deposed; it is not as if this was impossible in the recent past.

We have used trials or the threat thereof on the ordained to exact Discipline. There is nothing "late in the game" about TEC's use of trials et al; what is new perhaps is the left having recourse to disciplinary measure the right has always been comfortable exacting. Indeed, the right has had recourse to the system, and cannot claim to have been shut out.

Thus, I don't think the situation is truly binary--an all or nothing affair--as you seem to be saying.
We've inhabited shades of gray until now, and now find it necessary to move toward a clear pole.

So--finally--(d): Duncan's case is different from Pike and Righter's. The latter two were lightning rods for theological controversy that cuold in theory be resolved in discourse, even trial decisions (the Righter case's opinion on core doctrine). That is not so with Duncan.

We aren't just dealing with wild theology here, but actions more severe than anything Pike or Righter contemplated.

That is why we might hesitate over Pike, not knowing quite how to refute Tillich, say, with a consensus; the wrongness of Duncan's actions, on the other hand, can be discerned by a group without the need of any such refutation.

 
At 12:04 PM, Blogger bls said...

I agree with you, Scotist; there are degrees of violation, and Duncan's kind causes an immediate sort of chaos at the Church-wide level that the others don't.

And, as you say, the other examples are at least debatable on a good-faith basis; not this one, though, whose aim has always been to destroy TEC. It isn't "cherry-picking" to recognize that Duncan's actions are much more serious and more threatening, immediately, to the stability of the church. They have to be dealt with.

I also disagree that this was "just another conversation about sex." The discussion is about people - individuals made in the image of God - and about the objectification of human beings.

 
At 3:05 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

bls,

It seems you've brought up a principal point of difference in our debates: some wish to view sex reductively, on par with scartching an itch and notsomething that could bring in the whole human person. And some see the persons first and foremost, wholly involved in their love.

It seems obvious to me that sex, like eating food or drinking wine, can engage the whole person--even on the rational side,and without Augustinian carnal desire taking us away from God.

God can give grace empowering charity even here,in the midst of the most powerful passions.

And I guess it seems obvious to many Separatists that God will not give grace here.

 
At 4:04 PM, Blogger bls said...

Yes, I think you're right in that last sentence, Scotist.

BTW, another example to counter the argument about infractions in TEC is looking at Fort Worth, Quincy, and San Joaquin Dioceses. They have been permitted, for 30+ years, to violate the clear conscience of the Episcopal Church by refusing to ordain women.

This was allowed (even in Fort Worth, a Diocese formed years after TEC began ordaining women!) because it was a local issue, and one that had no immediate effect on the Church as a whole; some women were affected, but they could find other remedies.

Duncan's efforts to sabotage the Church, to supplant and replace it, are much, much worse and need to be dealt with immediately. TEC is right to do so.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home