Category: Religion

Church Unity...
by Richard R. Tryon

The English Roman Catholic Church in the time of King Henry VIII spun itself away from the Bishop of Rome and became the The Anglican Church of England. It was a parallel event to the Reformation's creation of what Luther and Calvin did in Germany and France to make what became the Protestant movement.

The events of one week in August at the Episcopal Church of America in its convention in Minneapolis, MN will be discussed for a long time as the moment when the members split into two major parts. One loyal to the world wide communion of conventional Trinitarians and the other to a new version of the ECUSA (Episcopal Church USA)

It will be hard to expect this division to be repealed, but it will not be known for a long time when each part will evolve into a new combination, but a prediction is made.

SCHISM -- Reflections by the Bishop of Dallas plus commentary by Richard R. Tryon

August 15, 2003

By: The Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton

In the days before us, you will hear a lot about "schism" in the Church and how dreadful it would be. But I believe schism has already been committed. It is not the so-called conservatives who are supposed to be threatening to "leave the Church" who have committed schism, however. It is the 2003 General Convention of the Episcopal Church which has done so.

Schism is an ugly word. It comes from Greek: schisma. It means tearing something apart, like rending a garment. In ecclesiastical terms, it refers to tearing the Church apart.

St. Augustine drew a distinction between heresy and schism in the following way: "For both heretics and schismatics style their congregations churches. But heretics, in holding false opinions regarding God, do injury to the faith itself; while schismatics, on the other hand, in wicked separations break off from brotherly charity, although they may believe just what we believe." (On Faith and the Creed, Chapter 10) [1]

The Church has known schism all too often over her life. The most prominent examples demonstrate precisely Augustine’s notion of "breaking off from brotherly charity": one side or faction thinks it knows better than the rest and goes its own way.

St. Paul writes to his congregation at Corinth: "I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions (schismata) among you and that you may be knit together in mind and thought." (1 Cor 1.10) He proclaims, "God, who has called you into fellowship (koinonia - communion) with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful." (v. 9) Despite this, we know that the Church in Corinth came very close to separating themselves from their founding apostle. And we know the reason why. A certain faction thought they possessed a special knowledge, a superior spirituality, and that they had outgrown Paul and his apostolic teaching. (1 Cor 3) This faction looked down not only at Paul, but their fellow Christians. And their attitude affected the unity of the Church at Corinth, and Paul frankly criticized them for it.

A well known example is what is called The Great Schism, and occurred in the 11th century. It marked the split between the Church in the East (the Orthodox) and the Church in the West (Rome). And while there may well have been many influences that would lead to this rending of the Body of Christ, it occurred for one primary reason: The Bishop of Rome – the Pope - had arrogated to himself powers never before claimed for any bishop. The Pope asserted the exclusive power to define the Christian faith and to articulate new doctrine. The symbol of this rending is famously known by the word "filioque" (Latin for "and the Son") added to the Nicene Creed. This interpolation was an innovation that rested solely on the papal claim to supremacy.

The Reformation is also an instance of schism. Again, the rending that finally came was the result of complex historical developments. But for Anglicans in particular, the problem that brought about separation was the Roman Church’s claim to be able to interpret and develop on its own authority new dogmas and practices binding on every catholic Christian. Bishop John Jewel would say of the Roman Church, that they "fear and shun the Sentence of the Scriptures, that is, the Judgment of God himself, and prefer their own Dreams and silly Inventions before them, and have for some Ages violated the Institutions of Christ and his Apostles, for the sake of their Traditions". (Apology, 1.16) Some years later, Richard Hooker would write, "The schools of Rome teach Scripture to be so unsufficient, as if, except traditions were added, it did not contain all revealed and supernatural truth, which absolutely is necessary for the children of men in this life to know that they may in the next be saved." (Laws, Book II, chapter 8, article 7)

For their part, the Anglicans sought to limit innovation by building the Church on the sure foundation of Scripture and the way Scripture had been read and applied in the Church of the first five centuries. The attitude of the Anglican reformers was against "the scandal of innovation," according to Horton Davies, and for the "intention of renovation."

"Through their patristic scholarship Anglicans claimed to show that what Rome regarded as Anglican heresies were in reality primitive orthodoxies."[2]

This attitude is enshrined in Article XX of the Articles of Religion: "Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ: yet, as it ought not to decree anything against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce anything to be believed for necessity of salvation." (emphasis added)

The three examples of schism I have just given amply illustrate Augustine’s point. The breakdown in the unity of the Church came when one segment of it thought it knew better than the rest and ran ahead with its own agenda, violating "brotherly charity."

I believe the General Convention of the Episcopal Church at Minneapolis is guilty of schism. The majority of diocesan deputations and diocesan bishops took actions which their brothers and sisters throughout the Anglican Communion pleaded with them not to take, and which previous Conventions have said they should not take on their own. They did this while claiming that the Episcopal Church still held the same faith – that "we all have more in common than what divides us" – with the rest of the Communion. In doing so, the Convention demonstrated exactly what Augustine was talking about.

Let me give you a few examples that provide the warrant for claiming the Episcopal Church’s General Convention is responsible for schism.

In 1991, the General Convention admitted in a resolution that there was "no strong consensus in this Church on the human sexuality issues." It went on to make the following mandate: "Resolved, That the Office of the Presiding Bishop now be directed to propose to all provinces of the Anglican Communion and all churches with whom we are in ecumenical dialogue that a broad process of consultation be initiated on an official pan-Anglican and ecumenical level as a bold step forward in the consideration of these potentially divisive issues which should not be resolved by the Episcopal Church on its own." (1991, Resolution B020) That mandate was never fulfilled. Professor J. Robert Wright of the General Seminary in New York drew attention to this resolution just prior to the Convention of 2003 noting that it was still operative. But despite the fact that the Convention had said that the Episcopal Church should not go forward "on its own," the Convention of 2003 did precisely that.

The Convention of 1991 also directed the House of Bishops to prepare a pastoral teaching on the subject of human sexuality. The House worked to produce such a teaching, but at the Convention of 1994 finally issued a "Study Document,"[3] because there was no consensus on what would constitute a "teaching." Although handed to the Church as a whole in the hopes of promoting more dialogue, the Study Document went largely ignored. Contained in its "Guidelines While We Continue in Dialogue" are these words: "Community life in our Anglican Communion includes the need to respect both the unity and the diversity of our communion. Respect means that the Episcopal Church will maintain recognizable, faithful Anglican norms in our teaching regarding sexuality." (p. 92) But again, the General Convention of 2003 went its own way.

The Lambeth Conference of 1998 passed by a wide margin the now famous Resolution I.10 dealing with matters of human sexuality. Less well known is the actual report on which the Resolution is based, and which it commends. That report states, "The challenge to our Church is to maintain its unity while we seek, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to discern the way of Christ for the world today with respect to human sexuality. To do so will require sacrifice, trust, and charity towards one another."[4] But in 2003, there was no "sacrifice, trust and charity": the General Convention went its own way.

Lambeth called for an international "conversation" among Anglican leaders, under the chairmanship of Presiding Bishop Griswold (and including Rowan Williams, then Archbishop of Wales), to continue to explore issues of human sexuality. This body issued its report in June 2002. It said that it had not reached firm conclusions, and asserted, "Recognizing our Anglican Communion as a gift, we do not want to see it fragmented. For it to be further divided by the issue of homosexual behavior wouId be the ultimate sexualization of the Church, making sexuality more powerful, or more claiming of our attention, than God." But the General Convention of 2003 went its own way.

Despite these actions and reports, two dioceses in the U. S. (Delaware and Kansas) and one in Canada (New Westminster) pressed the limits of communion by approving same-sex blessings. In October 2002, the Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey gave his final address to the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Hong Kong. In his address, he warned that controversy over human sexuality was "steadily driving us towards serious fragmentation and the real possibility of two - or more likely more - distinct Anglican bodies." He proposed a resolution which "called for individual dioceses in the Anglican Communion not to take unilateral action or adopt policies that would strain 'our communion with one another'," according to the Anglican News Service. It was "strongly affirmed." Ignoring this warning, the General Convention of 2003 went its own way.

Various Primates from around the Communion responded to these developments with clear warnings as to the strain such unilateral actions were placing on the Communion. The Primates of the Church, meeting in Brazil in May, 2003, issued a strongly worded message, saying there was no consensus on human sexuality. The Archbishop of Canterbury, addressing the situation in New Westminster just two days after the conclusion of the meeting, said "In taking this action and ignoring the considerable reservations of the Church, repeatedly expressed and most recently by the Primates, the diocese has gone significantly further than the teaching of the Church or pastoral concern can justify and I very much regret the inevitable tension and division that will result from this development."

Just days before the General Convention of 2003 convened, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote a letter to the Primates drawing attention to the decisions that some provinces would make in the coming days. A favorite theme of the Archbishop is that the Anglican Communion is growing in its understanding of communion. He called for decisions to be made in the light pf the fact that some actions may draw us closer, and some push us farther away from the communion we seek.

I cite all this – much more could be added – to demonstrate that the actions of the General Convention were quite simply taken without regard to what the rest of the Communion was saying to us, and what over and over again our own Church has declared: the lack of consensus on matters of human sexuality is threatening Church unity. But the General Convention 2003 went its own way.

I think the General Convention actions to consent to the consecration of a man living in an active sexual relationship outside marriage, and to "recognize" same-sex blessings are indeed actions that offend against "brotherly charity." As such, they fit the definition of schism offered by St. Augustine.

Listen to how one bishop, The Rt. Rev. Mouneer Anis of Egypt, responded:

"We had not expected this to be done to us by brothers and sisters who are in communion with us. We had expected that they would think of us before taking such a grave step. It showed great disrespect to the majority of the members of the Anglican Communion and the church worldwide. In fact, the decision shows disregard for the value of being in communion and part of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. It also places in doubt the future of the Lambeth Conference. When its resolutions are no longer respected by members of the conference what purpose does it have?

"The Communion now faces a crisis over what holds us together and indeed whether we can remain together if we hold not merely diverse but contradictory views of the Scripture and what it teaches."

He noted that the actions of the General Convention now made ecumenical relations with the Orthodox and Catholic Christians in his area more difficult, and threatened their relationships with the majority Muslim community.

We have heard for years, under the rubric of the "hermeneutics of suspicion," that we must not simply hear the interpretations of Scripture offered by those in power, but that we must listen as well and carefully to those who are oppressed in our communities. We have done a fairly good job of listening to sexual minorities in recent years. But now I think we must listen to those in the two-thirds world who are also feeling oppressed by our Western attitudes and arrogance. Acting without due regard for the concerns and dangers faced by our brothers and sisters in other, sometimes very hostile places, is the very definition of a lack of charity!

Furthermore, we have also heard for years that we in the West have many different approaches and interpretations of Scripture, especially in regard to human sexuality. But surely we must know that because different scholars interpret the same passages in differing, even contradictory ways, this does not entitle us to act with license. It is in situations like this we most NEED the Communion of which we are a part. Nothing in Scripture justifies one part of the Body of Christ moving ahead on its own. Paul, in the Corinthian situation, exhorted his readers, "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling-block" to others. (1 Cor 8.9) Or again, "Everything is permissible--but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible--but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others." (1 Cor 10.23-24) To do otherwise is to reveal that we do not understand charity at all.

What is perhaps most distressing is to read or hear members of our own Church claim that declarations of "broken" or "impaired" communion by our brothers and sisters abroad mean nothing. We do not know what these declarations may lead to. But it is surely clear that this attitude of indifference reveals a total lack of sensitivity and understanding in those who speak this way.

The Presiding Bishop has said, "communion is not a human construction but a gift from God." That is undoubtedly true. But we have not accepted the gift, judging but our recent actions. Instead, the General Convention has acted unilaterally and schismatically, tearing the gift apart.


[1] Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, vol III, p. 331.

[2]Horton Davies, Worship and Theology in England: from Cranmer to Baxter and Fox, 1534-1690. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1996) p. 17.

[3]Continuing the Dialogue: A Pastoral Study Document of the House of Bishops. (Cincinnati: Forward Movement Publications, 1995)

[4] The Official Report of the Lambeth Conference 1998. (Harrisburg: Morehouse Publishing, 1999)

Commentary by
Richard R. Tryon

Like millions of Episcopalians in the U.S. and all over the world, I have watched and wondered what does the action of the recent 2003 General Convention of the Episcopal Church mean?

Was it just an excessive exercise of priestly power to recognize a very, very, very nice and wonderful 'humanist' named Eugene Robinson to be a bishop in N.H.? A man who only has a little problem in terms of eligibility. Well, not really a problem, just a small distinction that was found to be troubling to almost half of those asked to affirm his election in N.H. Not counting the vote of Frank Griswold, our Presiding Bishop- a vote not normally cast- the affirmation finally was sealed with an 18 vote margin. Nine fewer votes voting not 'yeah' but 'nay' instead would have made unnecessary the historic review and strong case to show how the American Episcopal Church voted to separate itself from the world wide Anglican Communion.

Most people tend to live in the 'here and now' or present tense. We deal with immediate concerns and reactions of those close to us. It was, in fact, suspiciously just such an approach that made the vote go the way it went. How so? Remember the allegation at the eleventh hour that the good and wonderful candidate was guilty of a sexual liaison with another man and a web site that had a link to pornography?

When shown to be a 'bogus' effort to smear the reputation of such a good and fine man, who had done nothing wrong in leaving his wife and children because of a need to bring his homosexual orientation into the open, the convention quickly reacted and said in effect- enough! So the vote was for the defense of the good man's civil and human rights, not for the larger goal of changing the Bible's historic words or the position of the world wide Anglican Communion.

Did the Convention get the 'cart before the horse'? Yes, I think it did. That is not to say that the issue about same sex marriage and/or the detail about religious sin including homosexual life styles is unworthy of study. In fact it has been studied for a long time by many men and some women too. Which is normal and in keeping with God's Word -heterosexual marriage as practiced, blessed and sanctified by most men and women in all of the churches, religions and even non-religious parts of the world throughout history; or the alternative life style of either polygamous or monogamous homosexual relationships of gays or lesbians?

Of course, proponents of the latter choice have never tried to insist that the heterosexuals need to convert to the gay and lesbian position. All that is asked is for this position to be accepted as one in the eyes and mind of the Lord to be equally acceptable and worthy of being blessed and sanctified with Sacramental fervor.

Of course, preservation of the species requires a mating of some sort to allow the female to bring forth progeny. The conventional means, thanks to modern science, is no longer the only or even necessarily the preferred way to accomplish God's assumed support of the species. In time we may find that with genetic engineering, the gay and lesbian couples, during a period of relationship may bring forth superior genetic children....perhaps already predisposed to the same sexual orientation of at least one of the worldly parents. Of course, this option is not as easily available to gays as to lesbians because neither man can be employed to carry the fetus to birth.

Yes, this and a myriad other array of social problems follows the full implementation of this effort to socially engineer society to accepting as a human and civil right in the American Age of Civil Liberties. It is easy to keep one's mind mired in this murky arena and become polarized by one's predisposed bias. Not until we learn to shed our blinders and try to learn about what the resulting world will be when man overrules what the ancients wrote and claimed to be the word of God, will we know if our quest for an egalitarian society is exactly what God wants.

It is not too hard,therefore, to reason that the recent convention either by accident or hidden intention, voted for a new kind of world in the name of God. One where we should show the rest of the Anglican communion, and indeed the whole world, that here in America, we have learned that the above description of how human sexuality is to be governed by rules of Man in ways that are consistent with the egalitarian goals of equality for all.

All that is necessary to achieve this goal is to find a way to show that the ancient Bible writers didn't 'hear' God correctly; or worse, to arrogantly determine that they heard ok, but God was wrong! Out of this position, the American Episcopal Church has now positioned itself to be ruled 'out of step' with the larger Anglican Communion. Bishop Stanton correctly identifies this action as 'schismatic'. If the global communion makes such a determination, the whole of the American Episcopal Church will be told to either rescind its actions or be separated from the global communion. It is difficult to see or sense any other alternative.

What then? Of course, the best result would be for the American Episcopal Church to call whatever meeting is needed to reverse its premature stand and to do no more than to try to implement more of the studies of the past aimed at gathering knowledge and statistics about how well gay and lesbian so-called 'marriages" work as contrasted to heterosexual ones, adjusting for those who fail to honor the commitment to stay within their chosen sexual preference. Of course, it gets confusing when making up a religious rite for gays and lesbians, some of whom may have more powerful appetites and needs for sexual activity. Perhaps allowances can be made for the gay who sometimes needs not just another man but even a woman or two.

But, my bias is showing, and it is time to look not at the impacts on individuals but on the whole church of a failure of the American Episcopal Church to reverse its course. Forced to decide to ratify its recent decisions by claiming that the world wide Anglican Communion is no longer in step with the recent Revelations, the next Convention may have to deal with a new problem.

How will it manage to care for its enormous complex of physical assets and billions of dollars in legal instruments, when more than half of its parishioners and clergy flee to another option that doesn't require removal of their liaison to the global community of the Anglican faith?

Perhaps the liberal minded leaders of change have already planned for this possibility and are certain that they hold all of the cards needed to withstand such loss and work to rebuild with new communicants that accept the Revelation that it is Man that makes the rules- not God.

I don't predict success for such a plan, but who am I to say that such a plan can't win for a time? We already are seeing how American democracy in California has caused millions to flee the state along with enterprises that can no longer pay the homeless in San Francisco,who continue to 'pan-handle' in the streets while they wait for their next relational interaction with some other truly free individual. The civil rights of the 'undocumented' aliens have put a burden on California that has bankrupt the state, but it has not yet admitted it. Pity the next Governor and the legislators that can't finance the folly of their Utopia.

Well, St. Paul wrote a bit on this whole subject, as the good Bishop Stanton reported. "St. Paul writes to his congregation at Corinth: "I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions (schismata) among you and that you may be knit together in mind and thought." (1 Cor 1.10)" Will we awake to the larger point or will be driven by the age of civil liberties and witness the continued success of those who know that it is the rest of us that are 'out of step'?
How can we know if we are out of step? Read the following by Katherine Kersten as publishied in the WSJ on Aug. 8., 2003:

The Wall Street Journal

August 8, 2003
FROM THE ARCHIVES: August 8, 2003

Gospel of Inclusion?



This week, the Episcopal Church's triennial Convention was the site of a media frenzy. On Tuesday, church leaders meeting here took the unprecedented step of approving as bishop a practicing homosexual, the Rev. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. At press time, they seemed poised to give local communities permission to bless same-sex unions.

At first glance, the Episcopal Church seems an unlikely battleground in America's culture wars. Strolling through the exhibits here, one encounters all the trappings of traditional piety: elaborate vestments, elegant chalices, magnificent stained-glass windows.

Yet this church has just tossed aside 2,000 years of bedrock Christian teaching about marriage, the family and sexuality. It has rejected beliefs fundamental not only to Christianity, but to Judaism and Islam. Episcopalians' inability to defend core doctrine suggests that mainline American churches are losing their theological moorings, and increasingly falling prey to the prevailing winds of secular culture.

Testimony in the convention's hearing rooms seemed to bear this out. Speakers who urged approval of homosexual unions did not use the vocabulary or categories of thought of the Bible or the Book of Common Prayer. Instead, they appeared to embrace a new gospel, heavily influenced by America's secular, therapeutic culture. This gospel has two watchwords: inclusion and affirmation. Its message? Jesus came to make us feel good about ourselves.

Adherents of the gospel of inclusion offered arguments like this: "The church should bless same-sex partnerships so everyone feels included." "People will want to join this church if they see others being welcomed." "God is love. He doesn't care about the gender of the people we love."

This week's events in Minneapolis suggest that, in 2003, the three historic bulwarks of Episcopal Church doctrine -- Scripture, tradition and reason -- are crumbling in the face of the gospel of inclusion and affirmation.

To be sure, the new gospel's disciples do not generally jettison Scripture outright. Instead, they radically reinterpret it, using techniques imported from America's post-modern universities. Walter Brueggemann, a theologian quoted in a pro-same-sex-union Episcopal publication, put it like this: Scripture is "the chief authority when imaginatively construed in a certain interpretive trajectory." Approached this way, inconvenient passages can be dismissed as inconsistent with "Jesus' self-giving love."

Tradition fares no better at the hands of the gospel of inclusion. The Episcopal Church has always regarded marriage as the sacrament that sanctifies the "one flesh" union of man and woman. But the new gospel expands the notion of sacrament to include anything that "mediates" the grace or blessing of God and causes us to give thanks. As a result, the Rev. Gene Robinson can describe his relationship with his male partner as sacramental, because "in his unfailing and unquestioning love of me, I experience just a little bit of the kind of never-ending, never-failing love that God has for me."

The new gospel subordinates thinking to "feelings." As a result, its adherents show little concern that approval of homosexual acts renders the church's doctrine on marriage and sexuality largely incoherent. (The Rev. Kendall Harmon of South Carolina has described same-sex unions as "relationships in search of a theology.") Inclusion's disciples have little interest in doctrinal consistency. They are content to proclaim vaguely that "God is doing something new," and to urge other Christians to have faith, because the Holy Spirit is leading the charge.

Is the homosexual question a side issue, largely extraneous to the church's mission? Adherents of the gospel of inclusion insist that it is. In fact, however, this issue goes to the very heart of the Christian mission.

The gospel of inclusion preaches a reconstructed, therapeutic Jesus, who accepts us exactly as we are. Traditional Christianity, however, holds that Jesus calls us to repentance of sins, and to transformation through a new life lived in accordance with God's will.

The gospel of inclusion has little place for repentance or transformation. Thus, it has little place for the central feature of Christianity: Christ's Cross, which brings redemption through suffering. This new gospel may be appealing, for it permits its adherents to "divinize" their own, largely secular agenda. But in a Christian church, it cannot easily coexist with the Gospel of Christ.

Ms. Kersten is a fellow at Center of the American Experiment in Minneapolis.
URL for this article:,,SB106031129959298100,00.html

Updated August 8, 2003

Commentary by Richard R. Tryon

The keywords in the Katherine Kersten article above are:

"The gospel of inclusion preaches a reconstructed, therapeutic Jesus, who accepts us exactly as we are. Traditional Christianity, however, holds that Jesus calls us to repentance of sins, and to transformation through a new life lived in accordance with God's will.

The gospel of inclusion has little place for repentance or transformation. Thus, it has little place for the central feature of Christianity: Christ's Cross, which brings redemption through suffering. This new gospel may be appealing, for it permits its adherents to "divinize" their own, largely secular agenda. But in a Christian church, it cannot easily coexist with the Gospel of Christ."

Like those who preach 'process theology' that indicates that what matters is not beliefs and professions of creeds in a church, but whether or not that church helps you in a process that makes you a better person. If so, it means that Jesus is pleased because the New Testament is all about love and forgiveness, not compliance and penance.

In an era, at least in the United States of America, or most of it, where the common motto is: "If it feels good, do it", it is an appealing way to think about religion and church. The great success of these feel good churches is unmistakable and the truth is that they are growing as the vanguard of the new thinking. Jesus is symbolic and meaningful as an Icon that gives comfort and as a provider who gives evidence of His love and forgiveness through the Sacraments. We have learned that the blessed bread and wine are for all in attendance who might benefit or feel better for having shared the meal with others and with Jesus. No other training is needed.

Where does this model go wrong? Is it a lack of skill by worshipers to be able to read and understand that a world of PC and civil liberties and rights doesn't mean that God gave us no absolute standards for human living and moral conduct? The concept of 'inclusiveness', is a spin off of 'affirmative action' is a natural adjunct to the feel good generation. To such persons, the role of government is to include all in a homogeneous whole, albeit in a way that we must be allowed to maintain our independent individual identity. Therefore the invitation to the communion requires no confession, no penance, only a desire to be included!

Perhaps California is ahead of the rest of the states in showing the way to practice this kind of theology. It even pays salaries to gays in San Francisco who claim to be homeless, so they do not need to 'panhandle' in the streets to make others think that they are guilty for allowing such persons to be reduced to living such a life. Nobody seems to understand that a high percentage of such persons go right on panhandling because they like both the activity and the tax free income coming from it.

Why do they like it? How neat to feel that they have conned those of the establishment to give out of a sense of guilt and a desire to help the so-called helpless. The income gives even more reason to continue the simple life-no bills, no taxes, no need to work, and a bottle and other good stuff is easy to get.

Sure, there are some with children and other problems that defy the life support systems of those that would save us from ourselves. But, ask people leaving California, the land of milk and honey, why they are leaving and you will find they are not the homeless ones but the taxpayers. They are out of work because employers can't make money to pay the burdens and stay in business in Califorinia. So they either moved or went bust. Too bad some capitalists go broke, but then they can afford it?

Those who love this model need to read about the early Christian church. It tried the inclusiveness thing and everyone pooled their possessions and shared in full Christian love until it was discovered that too few had too much power and too many did no work while living off of the savings and income of others. Less than 2,000 years later another idealist named Marx helped Englels and Lenin fool millions more about how great this inclusiveness can be.

So, we may see the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. split into this forward looking, new age way of inclusion, affirmative action, and love for all. It should flower for a time, and if it takes the accumulated wealth of the church with it, the time of its demise will be many years off.

Meanwhile the other half will rise to a new reality- one based upon adherence to time tested moral and spiritual ways albeit based upon a Bible that is also badly flawed in terms of understanding man's relationship to a God of the Universe- one that some will say existed before anything else and created all of the universe out of nothing using mystical powers that defy any modern sense of science or reason; and the fact that our Earth and Sun are only half as old as the oldest parts of the Universe.

Maybe others will eventually come from both groups to form yet another communion- one that lets out the idea that God continues to reveal himself and that we need to be looking ahead as much or more than looking back! It may include those who gave up on the happy commune with its inclusion of gays and lesbians, and all others who just want an egalitarian approach to all of life. Living with laws and commandments is not such a bad idea.

Wonder how long this will all take? God is in no hurry. Neither am I.

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