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The Magic Cafe Forum Index The Good News! Eastern Orthodox, Coptics, and Catholics please? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Vlad_77
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This is more of a "poll" than anything, and directed to my Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic sisters and brothers here.

As you know, Orthodox and Catholics resist the teaching of Holy Scripture by anyone who is not ordained (deacons, priest, and bishops). That being said, do you believe there IS a place for a modified approach to spreading the Good News in our ancient Churches that does not circumvent the authority of Apostolic Succession, the very cornerstone of our faiths, as opposed to Protestant Sola Scriptura? After all, prior to 1517, Sola Scriptura did not exist, and the very Book that is subject to the confusion rampant in Sola Scriptura was made canon by the Catholic Church. (Catholic in THIS sense INCLUDES The Eastern Orthodox, Coptics, and Roman Catholics).

To my Protestant friends: Please do not take this thread as a criticism of what you do as Gospel magicians. But, Gospel magic seems to be virtually a Protestant phenomenon, and I, as an Eastern Orthodox Christian, am seeking some dialog from those churches in the Catholic Christian part of the spectrum on this.

+In Christ,
Vlad

PS: I am not seeking a debate on Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide. This is a magic forum, not a theological forum. Thanks everyone! Smile
Dan Bernier
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Hi Vlad,

I don't think I can answer your question for you, but only because it gets into a theological debate about interpretation of a certain scripture that you refer to.

I do however, believe that all christians are called to the great commission. I also believe that all christians are disciples of Christ. The Apostles were told to go out and make disciples, and I believe the great commission is for all disciples.

No man, or his own laws will keep me from teaching, preaching, and witnessing for Jesus Christ.

I can't honestly believe that God would be upset with someone for teaching the Good news without being ordained by man.

Are we not all priests? Are we not all ordained by God to be witnesses and preach the Good News?

Or, like the cracker that I am, maybe I don't understand your question properly. (lol)
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Wes Holly
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Vlad
Perhaps it's a perceptual thing? If I understand your question correctly, then the faiths you're referring to would object to a performer, who is not ordained in their faith, coming to their church event and teaching/edifying /make more clear, something that (as they see it) is only for the ordained in their faith to do.

Perhaps if you promote yourself as a Christian entertainer who performs a "clean comedy" show and then present routines that are based on biblical truths without pointing it out (like I would do), that would not incur the scrutiny of the hierarchy?

BTW, it's not just the faiths you list, I have been informed by local churches of all types that they are very reluctant to allow "outside people" to "teach" in their church. And I can see their point. If I come in and present a message that's slightly different, or even with different wording, than what they teach, eyebrows can get raised and arguments can ensue.

Anyway, I hope this reply does justice to the original post. I hope others chime in.


Wes Holly
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Wes Holly
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Vlad_77
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Hi Dan and Wes,

Thanks for your input. You both pose interesting observations that address the fundamental differences between Christianity pre-Reformation and and post-Reformation in the West; there never was a reformation in the East.

Yes, as I had stated, we ARE all called with regard to the Great Commission. But, the understanding of the HOW is not the laws of a man or men. I tell as many people as I can about the One True God. But, to TEACH scriptural lessons is an entirely different thing in the view of ancient Christianity (this is supported by the Bible - the very book made canon by the ancient Church).

I do appreciate you both chiming in Smile What I am trying to find out from those brothers and sisters of mine in the Orthodox/Coptic/Roman Catholic spectrum of Christianity is how they approach The Great Commission as performers while at the same time bearing in mind the cornerstone of Apostolic Succession.

I had mentioned in my initial post that Gospel magic seems to be, at least in my 20 years of professional experience in magic, almost exclusively a Protestant phenomenon. So, I am trying to use this more international forum to see if indeed there ARE those of the "Catholic" (katolikos) tradition who perform Gospel magic.

Dan, in a SENSE we are all "priests" in that as Christians we spread the The Good News. However, we are all NOT presbyters - and this word has a VERY specific meaning as you can readily read in Acts. So, for instance, Orthodox, Coptic, and Catholic Christians REJECT the Baptist notion of a priesthood of believers because not all believers are presbyters. The question that we of this part of the spectrum of Christianity ask is "can the person teaching claim to Apostolic Succession?"

There are in excess of 23,000 Protestant denominations world wide. EACH denomination claims it is inspired by the Holy Spirit, yet, EACH disagrees with each other on fundamental points. If we are to believe that Sola Scriptura is RIGHT, then how do we explain the following:

Lutherans believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
Baptists believe that communion is merely symbolic.

BOTH are Protestant, both adhere to Sola Scriptura (and Sola Fide, the other pillar of Protestantism) yet the Lutheran and the Baptist do NOT agree on the above.

Another example: Prior to 1517 AD in the Christian west, there were 73 canonical books of The Bible. After 1517, the number was reduced to 66. Sola Scriptura argues that all that needs to be known is to be found in the Scriptures ONLY. So, the question becomes this: "Did the Holy Spirit WRONGLY inspire the Church when it decided what books were canon?" Remember please my brothers and sisters in Christ that there were MANY heretical writings at the time that the Ante Nicene Fathers were fighting such as the "gospels" of Thomas, Mary Magdalene, and others. St. Paul's Epistles were written directly to the CHURCHES as guides. So how does one justify Luther's removal of seven canonical books?

St. Paul speaks DIRECTLY about the importance of oral Tradition (latin tradere, that which is transmitted). In the Second Letter to the Thessalonians, St. Paul is just as explicit: "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2:15). We find as well that St. Paul NAMES pharoah's sorcerers, yet they are NOT named in the Old Testament.

2 Peter 3:15-16: "As our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, also wrote to you, speaking of these things as he does in all his letters. In them there are some things hard to understand, that the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures."

There is a reference to "all his letters" and, later, in verse 16, St. Peter seems to give them the same status as Scripture, with the phrase "as they do the other scriptures." That doesn't tell us how many letters Paul wrote, or even which ones they are. It is Tradition to consider the 14 epistles we have as inspired.

In reading through the Pauline epistles, one finds that St. Paul repeatedly exhorts the preaching and safeguarding of what he taught. St. Paul writes that Timothy should "command and teach these things" (1 Tm 4:11) and guard what has been entrusted to him (see 1 Tm 6:20). He writes us to "hold fast to the true message which has been taught" (Ti 1:9), and "say what is consistent with sound doctrine" (Ti 2:1). Nowhere do we see the phrase "Scripture alone" used by St. Paul; nor does he tell Timothy to write everything down, or even that he himself has written everything down that is important.

I cite these as examples of the difference between the ancient notion of Apostolic Succession versus Sola Scriptura. The difference is such that in "Catholic" Christianity we are wary to say the least, about any teaching that would be counter to that which was handed down to this very day. I certainly can proclaim God and the statement of belief is The Nicene Creed. All of the Creed IS true. Yet, among SOME Baptist subdenominations, there is the hue and cry of "no creed." How can this be when a Baptist believes (fides) in:

God The Father, the Maker of all things
God The Son, The Lord Jesus Christ, the begotten of the Father
God The Holy Spirit, The Lord and the Giver of Life

The creed cannot be found at all in Scripture, yet all Christians believe those three statements. You will not find the word "Trinity", yet, it IS believed.

The only reason I have answered this in more depth is because the issues raised by Dan and Wes required a more detailed response.

+In Christ
Vlad
Dan Bernier
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"But, to TEACH scriptural lessons is an entirely different thing in the view of ancient Christianity (this is supported by the Bible - the very book made canon by the ancient Church)" Is it?

Eph 4:11 "It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers."

I throw in this verse now, but I'll get back to it in a moment.

According to the Old Testament Priests were to be Levites. The Levites were formally set apart after the now-infamous incident with the golden calf idol that the Israelites made while Moses was away receiving The Ten Commandments from The Lord (Exodus chapter 32). The Levites did not take part in the idolatry, and actually killed 3,000 of those who were running wild, as ordered by Moses (Exodus 32:25-29).

After the incident was over, Moses said of the Levites, "Today you have ordained yourselves for the service of The Lord, each one at the cost of his son and of his brother, that he may bestow a blessing upon you this day." (Exodus 32:29). The Levites were natural allies of Moses because Moses himself was of the tribe of Levi (Exodus 2:1-2,10).

My question is when did this stop. When did Priests no longer need to be from the Levi tribe?

I believe it was through our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe the book of Hebrews goes into a detailed argument describing how Jesus took over the office held by the Levites.


1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.


1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

If I am reading this correctly, St. Peter was referring to all Christians as part of the new priesthood. St. John continued this theme in Revelation.

It is possible to interpret these passages as meaning all Christians are to become priests at the first resurrection, or that all Christians are already priests now, at least in some spiritual sense. Either way, I see no justification for a special priesthood within Christianity to act as intercessors between God and men or between Jesus and men.

All Christian are called to teach, but it's the word teacher that can be split to a couple of different meanings.

I would not just trust anyone to pastor our church, nor would I just trust anyone to teach scriptures. God makes the call, and God ordains those he calls with gifts to carry out the calling.

Today, I believe the qualifications to become a Pastor has changed drastically. Most denominations require that you go to Bible College and take the appropriate courses.

To become a Priest is also much different today. I'm not completely aquainted with the proceedures to become a Priest, but it's much different now than it was then.

in Acts 14:23, the Apostle Paul ordains elders (Presbyter) in the churches he founded.

The word presbyter derives from Greek (presbyteros), the comparative form of (presbus), "elder"

"But, to TEACH scriptural lessons is an entirely different thing in the view of ancient Christianity (this is supported by the Bible - the very book made canon by the ancient Church)" Tell that to all the Sunday School teachers in both Catholic and protestant churches. Tell that to all those who lead mid-week Bible Studies.

I know what you are saying Vlad. I agree with some of what you are saying. I would want my Priest or Pastor to be called by God so that they will have the gifts to carry out their purpose. I would also want them to be ordained so that I can feel assured that they have the support of the Church.

"That being said, do you believe there IS a place for a modified approach to spreading the Good News in our ancient Churches that does not circumvent the authority of Apostolic Succession?"

I will try to answer your question. Yes, I do believe there is a place. I believe there are already several ways that does not circumvent the authority of Apostolic Succession.

I think I strayed a bit off topic, but hopefully I was able to get it somewhat back on course.

I really appreciate you getting involved here at the Gospel magic forum Vlad. The question you posed put me on a bible learning journey the last couple of days.

Disclaimer: some of the info I posted came from Gills and other sources. I am the author of very little in the post.

God bless you Vlad!

Dan
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Dan Bernier
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After re-reading my post I don't think I really answered the question. Smile

I was born and raised as a Catholic, and also served as an alter boy. By the time I was 13 a bad experience happened to me that turned me off of church, not God, but church.

Years later I believe God lead me back to church. This time it was a Pentecostal church where I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ.

Later, I became a member of the Baptist Church. That lasted a few years. When I got married I attended my wife's church which was a Lutheran Church. I was elected as an Elder, and then a Youth Pastor. I relinguished my role as Youth Paster when our youth group became more of a Boys & Girls club rather than a training ground for young disciples.

I now attend Rock Of The Valley(ACOP).

I'm obviously not qualified to answer your question properly, and I do apologize for trying to make the attempt. Smile

Angelo Stagnaro is a Catholic who published, The Catechist's Magic Kit: 80 Simple Tricks for Teaching Catholicism to Kids. He would probally be more qualified to answer your question. I know he joined the MagicCafe, but I don't think he visits here anymore.

Once again, God bless!

Dan
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ThePhilosopher
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Well, I think I am qualified to give the Catholic perspective since I am a seminarian studying to be a priest. I started at a seminary in Connecticut (USA) more than 5 years ago and then came to Rome to start philosophy and am currently working on my master's. (Yeah, we have a long time before we are ordained!) Before joining I worked full time as a mentalist. (I was also raised a non-denominational protestant and converted when I was a teenager)

Without trying to back it up with scripture (to avoid more huge posts) I will just state the Catholic position.

We believe everyone--without exception--is called to preach the Gospel. For some people that may mean testimony of life, for others it may be teaching youth (catechism or youth group), others it could be another type of ministry (what we refer to as apostolate). In a loose sense, anyone can "teach" or even preach, because we are all called to the great commission (as Gospel Dan noted).

Vlad's point in the beginning was about apostolic succession and the institutional Church. The issue the Catholic Church has with anyone who is going to teach is the fact that when someone say, "The Bible means this..." they are teaching in the name of the Church and in the name of Christ (which we is entirely valid). However, the concern is to make sure that what someone teaches as a Catholic truly represents the Church's understanding of what the apostles handed down to Her.

In other words, if you are teaching officially you need to have the Churches official permission to teach in Her name. A catechism teacher must be appointed by the pastor of the church, who in turn has authority from the bishop. Preaching during Mass is different, because it is the Church's official celebration. Only an ordained minister (i.e. one of the Church's official representatives) can teach in the name of the Church during Mass.

Those denominations that changed little after the Reformation (the split from the Catholic Church) tend to all be liturgical (similar to the way Jesus worshiped in the synagogue), and would also have the same discipline (but might not be able to explain or justify why since they don't have apostolic succession).

[As an aside, the concept of apostolic succession is very important to understand Catholics and Orthodox Christians. If there are any protestants who really want to know why we believe what we believe (and not debate) I would be happy to answer any questions. The first step to greater unity and dialogue is wanting to understand the other and not just prove them wrong. We might find that we agree on more that it first seemed.]

I believe Gospel magic is mostly protestant, because protestants tend--at least in modern times--to have more creativity in their evangelization effort. (Yes, you can quote me and tell everyone that a Catholic seminarian said that. We have to give credit where credit is due and learn from each other instead of... you get the point.) The fact that many denominations have "worship services" to replace liturgy also enables them a flexibility that other Christians do not have (I am not saying this is a good thing; just stating it as a fact). However, there can and should be times out of Mass where Catholics can get together for other types of fellowship. I have done magic in these environments (in fact I do A LOT MORE magic as a seminarian than I ever could have imagined).

I hope that sheds a little light on the question for both sides. Personally, I did not expect to find these types of topics at the Caf, but an very happy to see that people think about these sorts of things.

God bless!
- Nathan
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Thanks for joining in Nathan. And, may I add beautifully said. Your input shines a light on the subject.

I can never stop learning, and I agree that we all have things we can learn from each other.

Blessing to you and your calling to be a Priest.
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Vlad_77
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Father Nathan,

Thank you for your words!

To my Protestant sisters and brothers, I again must reiterate that I DO admire what you do in using magic as a medium for teaching The Good News. That being said, it is very meaningful to me as an Orthodox Catholic Christian to hear from those who speak from Tradition (note that Tradition here is in the Pauline sense, as opposed to "tradition" which is mere custom).

There are two Orthodox priests and at least one other Catholic priest here on the Caf. I hope they will catch wind of this thread.

I still do welcome the Protestant perspective in the spirit of understanding that Father Nathan so eloquently stated.

Dan, while I am happy you have found a spiritual home, I am saddened by the fact that you had a bad experience. But, do remember that the Church is of Christ's creation, and yes, there are those who try to corrupt Her, but, we have Christ's promise that the gates of darkness shall not prevail. The Truth as transmitted from The Apostles to the present day in unchangeable because that Truth is of God.

+In Christ,
Vlad
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For several years I was a member of the Community of Passionist Partners connected with the Retreat Center in Citrus Heights, CA. We were sancioned by the Passionist Preists and met regularly to discuss issues of Discernment, personal Mission, Contemplative Prayer, etc. No Priest or Deacon was present and our programs were in no way supervised by the Church. One member would present a program on a subject of interest to them, and many were Scripture based. Thus, we did instruct each other -- but not a laity in general. We often ended meetings with a Priest offering Mass, but also conducted our own ceremonies in which Concecrated Hosts were distributed without a Priest present. In several of the group discussions I used magic effects to illustrate a point.

So, the restictions on lay people teaching Scripture is not as firm as Vlad has presented. Our meetings were not held in the regular "sacred place" was often in a room that occasionally was used for Mass. It is simple -- if the Red Candle is lit signifying the presence of the Holy Spirit the sanctity of the room is respected. The fact that Mass is sometimes held in a room places no restriction on its use for other purposes. Many churches have only one room that is used for Mass, basketball and pot luck suppers. I would feel comfortable in performing magic in any room not currently sanctified. In such performances I would alwasy have a spiritual message that might be considered teaching Scripture.

One Priest here in Knoxville used to work for Jim Hensen and often used Muppet characterizations during Sermons. In fact, the only restiction on personal preaching I have ever heard is that once a person has announced they wish to study to become a Catholic that they are turned over to the approriate program -- but that is to insure continuity and uniformity of the preparation, and many of the CCD instructors are lay persons.
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Cyberqat
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I have this feeling that at least Greek orthodox are a lot like the Epsicopals these days-- all over the place on a congregation by congregation basis.

A good friend who is Greek Orthodox likes to talk about his favorite priest who, when asking the couple he was counseling for marriage if they had slept together yet, and got the answer "no", followed up with the question "why not?"
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Vlad_77
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On 2010-09-06 21:33, Cyberqat wrote:
I have this feeling that at least Greek orthodox are a lot like the Epsicopals these days-- all over the place on a congregation by congregation basis.

A good friend who is Greek Orthodox likes to talk about his favorite priest who, when asking the couple he was counseling for marriage if they had slept together yet, and got the answer "no", followed up with the question "why not?"


Actually Cyberqat, as with ANY church, you are going to have PEOPLE who are not adhering to the tenets of the faith. That being said, Orthodoxy, unlike The Episcopalians is growing rapidly in the west (especially in the Bible belt as more and more evangelicals have become disenchanted with the evangelical movement.) and is quite whole. In addition, there is a VERY strong possibility that the Episcopal Church in the United States may be excommunicated by the more traditional Anglican Churches. The movement to have the Episcopal Church expelled from Anglicanism is coming from the VERY strict Anglican episcopate in Africa. One of the American Bishops who many have accused of helping to create the crises in the Episcopal Church was Bishop Shelby Spong.


Namaste,
Vlad
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Dear Vlad,
I believe that you have missed something. As an Orthodox Christian, I attended Church School on Sunday morning. Bible stories were read and discussed with the young people by laity. There was no priest or deacon or bishop present. The materials were given to the teacher to be presented to the children.
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I totally agree with Vlad: people are people. Even ordained ministers (that should be the official voice of the Church) get it wrong. There may be some Catholic priest that decides to do magic during the homily. Just because someone says, "my priest used to ..." doesn't mean that it is the official position of the Church.

savannamagic,
I imagine Catholics and Orthodox agree on this point. Like I said in my post:
"If you are teaching officially you need to have the Churches official permission to teach in Her name. A catechism teacher must be appointed by the pastor of the church, who in turn has authority from the bishop. Preaching during Mass is different, because it is the Church's official celebration. Only an ordained minister (i.e. one of the Church's official representatives) can teach in the name of the Church during Mass."
- Nathan
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On 2010-09-07 02:22, savannamagic wrote:
Dear Vlad,
I believe that you have missed something. As an Orthodox Christian, I attended Church School on Sunday morning. Bible stories were read and discussed with the young people by laity. There was no priest or deacon or bishop present. The materials were given to the teacher to be presented to the children.


Savannamagic,

Fr. Nathan hit it on the head. Yes, I DO know that laity teach Church School. What is taught however has to be approved by the priest. As you yourself wrote: "The materials were given to the teacher to be presented to the children."

What I am trying to point out in this thread is the fact that Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics would not DARE to interpret the Scriptures without guidance (See the many instances of preservation and Tradition in St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch for a just a few examples.) As you know, one of the reasons we dare not do so is, ironically, because sola scriptura is not scriptural. Personal interpretation of and teaching of scriptures can and does led to error. Our Church School teachers themselves are schooled by the priest. I remember as a Roman Catholic (I am a convert to Orthodoxy) that our classes in Catholic school that dealt with the faith were either taught by a priest, or the priest of the parish would provide the materials to the nun teaching it.

The point of this thread was "poll" the opinions of those Christians who adhere to Holy Tradition: Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and Coptic Christians. Because of the notions of Holy Tradition and Apostolic Succession, we as Catholic Christians (The term Catholic is used here in the sense of "katolikos" or universal) reject PERSONAL interpretation of Holy Scripture. This is God's Law, not the law of man. *Smiling* I wish St. Ignatius, St. Clement of Rome, and St. Polycarp, three who received the faith DIRECTLY from the Apostles could somehow post here! Smile I think I am muddying the waters as opposed to finding answers among my Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Coptic sisters and brothers.

The question ultimately boils down to authority. Sola scriptura, it would seem, allows the phenomenon of teaching the Gospel through magic. Sola scriptura finds its genesis (pardon the pun) in Martin Luther. Therefore, it seems to follow that the VAST majority, if not virtually ALL Gospel magicians are from the Reformation body of churches whose OWN traditions rest on two pillars: Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide, both of these are Protestant doctrine.

So, my ORIGINAL question was how, as an Orthodox Catholic Christian, I can ADAPT and teach certain things about our faith but in such a way that I am not taking on the role that belongs to the deacon, priest, and bishop.

Thank you SO very much Savannahmagic for contributing Smile Your point is certainly correct. However Church School teachers in an Orthodox Church on a Sunday, with materials provided to them, is really quite diferent from the magician who interprets Scripture on her/his own and uses magic to "preach."

+In Christ,
Vlad
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In addition, there is a VERY strong possibility that the Episcopal Church in the United States may be excommunicated by the more traditional Anglican Churches.


Sorry to have to correct you Vlad, but what you state is impossible by canonical law.

This is a common misunderstanding about the World Wide Anglican Communion (WWAC). It is not like the Catholic church-- the Arch Bishop of Canterbury is not its controller. The WWAC is a collection of equals and all heads of all Anglican churches world wide have an equal right to a say. There is no voting process or any sort of constitution that provides any other process for "kicking someone out." Only you can decide if you are or aren't a member.

The most other members can say is "we don't like you and won't talk to you." Some of the Africans and Asians have done so. OTOH the Australian and Scottish churches have applaud thee actions of the Episcopal church.
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Btw....

Shelby Spong for the most part was just a popularizer of the theological writing of Marcus Borg and some of his contemporaries. The Epsicopal church has room for a wide range of opinions, but Borg and Spong are pretty much in keeping with whats being taught in the more liberal Epsicopal seminaries today.

On the whole, Anglicanism is facing somehwat of a cross-roads, both inside of the Episcopal church and in the world wide communion. There *is* likely to be a split between traditionalists and those who feel that the word of god is an ongoing revelation and that the church should evolve as human understanding grows. But on the national level that split will likely be those who feel more traditional leaving the Episcopal church. (As some have already done.) On the international level its harder to gauge whether there will be any change in structure or whether it will continue to be informal shunning. If structure changes then, again, those that want to set rules for membership will have to leave and forma group which has such a provision because the WWAC does not and has no legal way to create such.
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Cyberqat,

I will send you the links then for you to peruse about the movement by Conservative Anglican Bishops calling for the separation of the Episcopal Church. While it may be impossible by Anglican Canon Law, that has not stopped them before. The ordination of gays and women to the priesthood and bishopric was at one time ALSO forbidden by Anglican Canon Law. These practices have SEVERELY hampered Anglican efforts toward recognition of their sacraments and Holy Orders by both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.

In fact, at a recent conference in Pittsburgh, PA, the talk of schism was rampant.

Please give me a few days to dig up the articles.

As for Spong, this information was given to me by VERY conservative Anglican priests, and, it seems they are NOT the minority.

I read Bishop Spong's principle works when I was making my way back to Christianity. I was considering the Anglican Church and wanted to read the works of some of their theologians, just as an Orthodox Christian would read Vladimir Lossky.

Spong treads VERY perilous paths.

To your other observation my friend: The Archbishop of Canterbury of course is NOT the head of the Anglican Church. He does serve however a function that hearkens back to the original five Holy Sees of Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, in that each Patriarch held equal status, but that the Patriarch of Rome was given primacy of honor, or "first among equals". The Archbishop of Canterbury, while not having JURIDICAL power over the the other Anglican Archbishops nonetheless enjoys primacy of honor.

The Episcopal Church, which is the American body/expression of Anglicanism has been at odds with The Anglican Church. In fact, you will find MANY Anglicans who identify themselves as Anglo-Catholics. The Church of England was at its most "protestant" under Elizabeth the First. The Oxford movement of the 1890s marked the beginning of the movement BACK toward Catholic Christianity. TECHNICALLY, Anglicans are NOT Protestants; Reformation theology was not adopted until after Protestantism took hold in England after the death of Henry VIII. The Oxford Movement sought to reverse the Protestantism of the Church of England.

What complicates the matter historically are the "Roundheads". This group, responsible for the beheading of Charles I in 1649, led by Oliver Cromwell (a great way to get a good butt kicking in the Republic of Ireland is to toast Oliver Cromwell) are historically considered "low church" schismatics among the body of Anglicans.

There IS a problem when the head of a State is the head of a faith. A pity Henry VIII WASN'T granted that divorce Smile

Namaste,
Vlad
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Quote:
On 2010-09-07 16:52, Vlad_77 wrote:
Cyberqat,

I will send you the links then for you to peruse about the movement by Conservative Anglican Bishops calling for the separation of the Episcopal Church.


They can call for whatever they want, but there is no way it can happen. Period. They can claim it has happened, but by the bylaws of the organization in question it is not possible.

The WWAC is a meeting of equals. No one can kick anyone out. That is its fundamental structure.

I wont correct you on your knowledge of the Eastern Orthodox. Trust me as a clergy-in-training spouse right dead in the middle of this controversy to know the details of our church.


Quote:
While it may be impossible by Anglican Canon Law, that has not stopped them before. The ordination of gays and women to the priesthood and bishopric was at one time ALSO forbidden by Anglican Canon Law.


Apple and Oranges. The Episcopal church can change cannonical law inside of its own church. There are provisions for that IN the cannonical law.

We arent talking about any one church here, we are talking about a loose federation of churches and that federation has no provision for such changes.

I am afraid you are getting confused by imposing your probably deep knowledge of Catholicism or maybe Eastern orthodoxy on someplace it doesn't apply. Every Anglican church is independent and has no duty to follow any other Anglican church's teachings or agenda-- even the CofE's. The WWAC is not some great over-arching control structure like the Vatican. Its much closer to a trade union for Anglican churches.

And the rules of that Union are that anyone who declares themselves a member IS a member. Period. The end.

Quote:
These practices have SEVERELY hampered Anglican efforts toward recognition of their sacraments and Holy Orders by both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.


Again, "Anglican" is not a church any moren then "Lutheran" is a church. Anglican is an adjective that applies to MANY independent churches through out the world. In the US, the Episcopal are Anglican. In Brittan, the CofE is Anglican. In South Africa, it is the Anglican church of South Africa. But they are all as separate in authority as the ELC is from the Wisconsin Sinid.

Quote:
As for Spong, this information was given to me by VERY conservative Anglican priests, and, it seems they are NOT the minority.


As for minorities... I'd hesitate to count and Id suggest you do so as well. A great many clergy *I* know are sensitive enough to the pain change causes some people to tread gently and cautiously while supporting that change. They don't make much noise, but they are definitely there.

What ARE in the minority are the churches and diocese that have decided to actually leave over these issues.. though there have been some and we wish them well.

Quote:
I read Bishop Spong's principle works when I was making my way back to Christianity. I was considering the Anglican Church and wanted to read the works of some of their theologians, just as an Orthodox Christian would read Vladimir Lossky.

Spong treads VERY perilous paths.


He's not for you, that's fine. Though as I say if you really want to understand the concepts he discusses deeply you should read Marcus Borg... though I doubt you'ld like him any better.

As for judging what either says... didn't someone say "Judgement is mine sayeth the lord" and some similar things?

God is infinite. I am finite. I don't pretend to understand god's mind or will, except that I know ti is far bigger then anything I can conceive of and, when I start applying restrictions to it, I start making an idol of my own beliefs.

Best

JK
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
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Actually I'm mixing my quotes. "Judge not lest ye be judged." is the more appropriate one in this case. (the other is "Vengence is mine..." which is a similar sentiment but less appropriate to this particular instance.)

And one other in this case correct but slightly confusing use of terminology there I shoudl clear up... when I say...

"What ARE in the minority are the churches and diocese that have decided to actually leave over these issues.. though there have been some and we wish them well. "

It would have been clearer to say "... parishes and diocese..." to distinguish from my use of "church' further up to refer to the National Church.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
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