Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The heart of a liberal argument

I've been commenting over at Fr. Jake's blog. Recently, we have been arguing about the global south (GS) bishops taking oversight of parishes (after being asked by the parish) within the physical territory of TECUSA. Now, I do not support foreign bishops doing this. I find it to be a break of catholic order and you cannot defend catholic faith by violating catholic order. However, given the mindset of some of our bishops, I can see a pastoral need on a short term basis.

My point at Jakes (which he deleted twice) is that the same arguments that are used to support blessing same sex unions can be used to allow foreign bishops to take oversight of congregations in TECUSA's physical boundries.

In my reading of the literature that supports blessing SSUs, I find the following arguments
  1. Scripture does not speak about mutually monogamous homosexual relationships, so the verses that speak against homosexual sex do not apply.
  2. To use scripture to deny blessing SSUs requires a literal or fundamentalist reading of scritpure.
  3. TECUSA has been in discernment about this for years
  4. We see God's grace in the lives of men and women involved in homosexual relationships.
  5. The Church needs to respond pastorally to its members involved in same sex unions
  6. It is better to be in a monogamous relationship that be promiscuous and the homosexual men and women do not choose their orientation, so being monogamous is the best they can do. We should bless the best they can do.
  7. The Spirit is doing a New Thing.

In the case of foreign bishops, the controlling documents are not Holy Scripture, but the Constitution and Canons of TECUSA and of the other provinces. So the same arguments can be used

  1. Neither TECUSA's constitution nor its canons deny any foreign bishop the ability to oversee congregations within the physical boundries of TECUSA. In fact, the C&C of TECUSA does not even apply to foreign bishops.
  2. To use the C&C of TECUSA to apply to foreign bishops requires a very wooden, literal, and fundamentalist reading of the canon and avoids the "general drift" of the canons - which is to include all people in a love relationship with Jesus Christ.
  3. Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and Southern Cone have been discussing this for years.
  4. We see God's grace in these congregations that have moved to foreign oversight, so that must be evidence that God blesses the relationship between the Bishop and the congregation
  5. The Church needs to respond pastorally to congregations who cannot accept the oversight of their bishop because he (or she) is espousing or teaching things that are contrary to what the Church has always taught.
  6. It is better to be within the Anglican Communion than to leave it or leave the Church altogether. Since these people believe they have no choice but to separate from TECUSA, we need to bless their attempts to remain in the Anglican Communion.
  7. The Spirit is doing a New Thing (NB - can't this argument be used to support any change in teaching or practice?)

I am not trying to show a correlation or causation between TECUSA's blessing of same sex unions and the foreign bishops having oversight of some congregations. My sole purpose it so show that the same arguments that the progressives make to support their change can be used to support this aberation from catholic order.

But Jake's method of arguing this point is to delete it. He simply lables it propaganda and says it doesn't matter. With such, it is impossible to have a reasoned discussion.

I was taught that "liberal" meant being willing to listen to arguments on almost any subject. "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." But Jake is not a liberal. He doesn't want to engage in argument or debate. He wants what he wants when he wants it and be damned any who stand in his way.

What do we do in such a situation?

First, we pray.

Second, we pray

Third, we pray.

Fourth, we show forth the fruits of the Spirit and witness to the Truth. I try to do that here.


Phil Snyder


Anonymous said...


The first healthy thing you can do is to stop going to Father Jake's place. It is spiritually unhealthy for everyone. While he used to just kind of make me annoyed, I started to think about how he handles folks in his parish that he disagrees with, and then I got really sad. (Can you imagine being deleted - metaphorically -after a meeting with him ?)Don't bother, but do, as suggested, pray for him and those on his blog, but especially for his parishoners.


Anonymous said...


I think Jake means well. He wants his blog to feel like a safe place for gay and lesbian people in the church.

Personally, I think folks who are adults should be able to speak for themselves, and don't need "protection" in this way. I can understand deleting plainly rude, cruel, or obscence comments, though.

But, it's Fr. Jake's blog, and his call.

I want to come over here, and personally apologize for some of these rude, and insulting remarks directed toward you. IMO, it was uncalled for, and if I had a blog, those would be the comments that were deleted.

After this, I think I'm going to be spending less time on these blogs in general, myself. I don't think our Lord is being honored by all this at all.

I can't engage with you relating to the govt. of TEC because being a newbie, at this point I'm not knowledgable enough about it. Hey, being honest! :)

Sad, that we disagree about all this, Phil. But, you're my brother in Christ, and I'm praising God that we have a unity in Him, and around the gospel.

I'm sure that in time, God's spirit will work this out in the church, and in our life together. In the meantime, we should hang tough, and never give up on each other.

God bless!
Your sister in Christ,

plsdeacon said...


Thank you for calling the people at Jakes on their behavior. I appreciate your coming here and posting a comment.

I don't know how a blog or arguments on a blog can threaten my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, but you are right. It is Jake's blog and his call.

I appreciate the bond we share through Jesus Christ. I pray that, while you are a "newbie" now, you will continue to grow into the person God created you to be. Please come back here as often as you can and hold me accountable to my desire to disagree with TECUSA while not being disagreeable.

Phil Snyder

Perpetua said...

They are not liberals -- they are progressives. We have an organization here that calls itself "By Any Means Necessary".
Progressives will use any argument that works to persuade. But they don;t really care about the arguments.
So Jake is a by Any Means Necessary progressive. As you showed, when the arguments are shown to also support a conservative position, they just delete it.
That said, please keep up the good work of demonstrating this truth.

Anonymous said...

The holy scriptures of the Bible (always in the plural) "do not speak about" ... "homosexual relationships, so the verses that speak against homosexual sex do not apply."

The issue is not addressed in the Bible. Simple as that.

Poor philosophically challenged Philo of Alexandria and some other Hellenist writers do in intra-testamental scriptures, but neither they nor their scriptures were ever acknowledged or approved in Judaism, which never has been anti sex.

This is Hellenism and Gnosticism, the Alexandrian 2nd century mixis of philosophical schools sometimes called "middle Platonism".

Heathendom. We have talked about it so many times. Why don't you listen?


plsdeacon said...

I see, Goran.

The entire Christian world and Jewish world before it were ignorant of God's plans and designs. Even Jesus was ignorant of God's plans. It took you to enlighten us concerning the true meaning of scriptures.

You could try to read this article by Dennis Prager (a Jew) concerning ancient sexual practices. It seems that Holy Scripture (It is proper to use both singular and plural for the Holy Scriptures. This recognizes that the Bible is both a unified work and a collection of writings.) is against any expression of homosexual sex. Can you show me specifically where it says otherwise?

Phil Snyder

Anonymous said...

"Can you show me specifically where it says otherwise?"

The Bible doesn't address homosexual or any other sex. The Concept is 140 years at the most and didn't mean then what it means in after 1890 in Modernity, the Concepts of which are symmetrical (and opposed ; = )

Sex never has been a "problem" in Judaism. What is not a problem is not defined ; = )

The rest is about the mixis of Heathen "Philosophy" with false Latin trasnslations making the holy scriptures of the Bible conform to Heathen teachings (sperm).

Simple as that.


plsdeacon said...

Actually, this whole discussion on the reasons for homosexual sex is off topic. If you want to address the issue in another of my posts, feel free.

This topic is about the simularities of the arguments for changing the moral teaching of the Church (breaking the catholic faith) and having foreign bishops oversee congregations within the physical boundries of TECUSA (breaking the catholic order).

Do you have anything constructive to say about that topic?

Phil Snyder

Perpetua said...

I think taking it off topic is a strategy they use if they can't refute the argument posted. They use wherever means necessary.

Anonymous said...

“The "moral majority" isn't. We all know that.

The realignment is all awfully American "biggest in the World - or nothing".

Doesn't count.

The realignment is a lot about "biggest in the World". A constant yelling of numbers and "success" - as if numbers and "success" mattered...

I didn't say a thing about "the reasons for homosexual sex".

Not relevant. I don't think we will ever know, if there are any.

What I said is: the late modern Propaganda/Social Politics is a lie.

That matters.

You didn't seem to notice.

The spin that TEC has abandoned Christianity for Unitarianism, Universalism and whatever is a lie. But PSA and Integrism are Calvinism and have never been anything but. Virtually un-known here.

Just as Saint Vincent des Lerins' "Always, Everywhere, by All" was (he was trying to promote his teacher's "semi-Pelagianism", against Church, Traditions and Bible ; = ) A lie.

A political lie. We have it already in the Hellenist “Letter of Jude”.

So, not changing the subject. Instead you evade – as always.”

A truth and a lie are not the same. The integrity of the diocese (which is territorial) hasn’t been questioned since Donatism. That too was a lie which Augustin of Hippo so admirably exposes.

Perpetua said...

Are you saying that part of Holy Scripture, the Letter of Jude, is a lie?

Anonymous said...

The so called Letter of Jude isn't.

It's a Gnosticist scripture from 2nd century Alexandria (and the Gnostisists did believe in the Concept of "Holy Scripture"; it's Indian).

But you poor Integrists in your 20th century superstitions don't know that.

Anonymous said...

The Letter of Jude is the same heathen "scripture" as 2 Peter 2.

They say the original is preserved.

plsdeacon said...


The Church does not care who wrote Jude or 2 Peter or Timothy or Titus. They are the Holy Scriptures - which is a Jewish idea, not an Indian one.

I find your argument very convient that if you don't like what part of Scripture says, just claim (and do some "academic" work to show) that it is later than other scriptures and, therefore, that passage is no longer holy Scripture and is no longer authoritative for our lives. If you don't accept the Scriptures, then why are you a Christian? The only way we know about Jesus is through the Holy Scriptures. The only way we know his teachings is in the record of that teaching and in the teachings of the apostles (who were the authors of Holy Scripture). The deposit of the Faith is something we have in trust and we will be held to answer for our management of it. It seems like you are more intent on making up the faith through whole cloth than in receiving it and passing it on to others.

I pray that you will accept Jesus Christ and submit to his authority.

In Christ,
Phil Snyder

Anonymous said...

That is Integrism, Phil.

It is found in some 20th century Sects (and in Egyptian Islam (remember Alexandria ; = ), but have never been the Tradition of the Christian Church.


Anonymous said...

It is Calvinism which edited the Bible, when throwing out the OT deutero canonicals at the same time as pretending that the NT deutero canonicals were “scripture” – an Indian Concept, if there ever was one. This made the Romans declare that all scriptures in the plural were equally good (Tridentinum). As a Lutheran I don’t really think so. We say “good and useful to read”, but not equally good.


plsdeacon said...

Your history (like you biblical understanding) is in error.

It was Luther who first threw out the deutero-canonical text from the OT, not Calvin. Luther went to the scriptures that the Jews consider canonical (which was decided at the council of Jamnia in AD 90). To Roman Catholics and the Easter Orthodox consider the deutero-canonical books to be scripture because they had always been scripture since they were part of the Septuagint.

There has never been a "deutro-canonical" New Testament. The lists of what book were considered canonical gradually increased until the 4th century. Athansasius' list is generally considered the most common point as it includes all the books we commonly receive in the NT. Now, there are books that are considered non-canonical (such as the "Gospels" of James or Philip or Thomas) and some books that had been considered canonical, but are not now canonical (such as the didache or the Shepherd of Hermas or the letters of Clement) and these should be studied for "manner of life," but are not used for doctrine. Most compilations of the Apostolic Fathers contain both.

So, I think we can add Marcionism to your list of heresies as you simply deny that Holy Scripture is the rule of the Church, unless you get to determine what is in Holy Scripture.

In Christ,
Phil Snyder

Anonymous said...

“It was Luther who first threw out the deutero-canonical text from the OT, not Calvin.” Dr Martin put them in their own section between the 2 Testaments. Inter-testamental as they are.

BTW the Jamnia council rejected the Septuagint, forming 3 categories: (authentic) Mosaïc Tradition, Prophets & History, the later “scriptures”, the latter not being old enough or not mentioning God’s Name or not believed originally to have been written in Hebrew!

Christians have more scriptures than the short Biblia Hebraica, because they follow the long Septuagint.

However, it took several centuries for most of the present Bible to get the final agrement. There was some animosity to the suggestions of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, in Antioch, for instance. Alex rejected the Johannine corpus + the Apocalypsis (having their own; Hermas’ 1000 page The Shepherd), and tried for long to introduce its own 7 letters (the 2nd century “Catholic”, or General letters without addressees). As to the forgery of “the Pastorals”, Antioch (which included Smyrna, knew they were only mistakenly considered authentic in Egypt).

Dr Martin also sorted: Is Christ the Centre of this? If works-oriented: epistle of straw (James)!

And he called the deutero canonical “good and useful to read” but not canonical, as no one had based any teaching on them. Canon or rule, means the Creeds. This is how the Church reads her scriptures from day 1 = after 400.

It is somewhat anachronistical to apply “canonical” to the very different 16th century Bible(s)!

To the Church, not being fundamentalist or Integrist or Inerrantist, the number of scriptures is no “problem”, no matter their origin; the more the better! All scriptures may witness to Christ. If, and on the condition they contain such witness!

“The Kernel and Star of the Bible”, as Dr Martin said.

“Deutero canonical” is Rome’s word. It denotes a secondary witness. “Secondary” in any sense; such as later (such as the Deutero Pauline Eph and Col), attributed (= pseudo) or an outright forgery (such as the Pastorals, probably of Bishop Polycarp’s circle in Smyrna c:a 160, trying to change Paul’s non Cultural and liberating 1st century Gospel into a pro Culture pro Society sub-ordination of slaves and women banality, for instance).

The Didaché, Herman & c., are “pseudo”, or more to the point extra corpus, such as the Septuagint extra scriptures are to the Jews.

This means much later and/or generally written/rewritten by somebody other than the person claimed, in a totally different place/Church Province/Patriarchate (such as Alexandrian “Hermas” – there are 1000 pages but only the first part may be original – is said to be the brother of a Bishop of Rome). Jude and 2 Peter, now considered the youngest of all, are among the NT scriptures that come in this (rare) category.

Dr Johannes, however, from his novel, 16th century, Integrist perspective tried to give the NO deutero canonicals the appearance of “Canonical” books through deleting the OT ones as Apocrypha, lit. "dug down" or hidden, a term that rightfully denotes Gnosticist "Gospels" and the like. Calvinisms read them as "Canonical". They are not.