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Author Topic: I thought I understood Anglicanism but now...  (Read 12388 times) Average Rating: 0
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Shanghaiski
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« Reply #90 on: April 27, 2013, 10:16:05 PM »

Your "experience" doesn't explain the many Westerners who had no pharisaical ancestors and were raised up from stones.  Including Met. Tikhon, primate of the OCA, raised from Episcopalian rocks.

Come to think of it, the primate of the Episcopalian church in the US, her mother embraced Orthodoxy IIRC.

  I don't understand, what does Christ's words have to do with anything I said?  I absolutely do agree that Christ is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" and not one way among many.  The idea that the West's sacraments are invalid simple because of mutual antipathy that developed over centuries is not credible to me.


It is not simple mutual antipathy, but Rome's adoption of another faith and cutting herself off from the Church in the advancement of this other faith.
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« Reply #91 on: April 29, 2013, 04:38:16 PM »

In person, I've only ever met a few Orthodox who held an exclusivist ecclesiology (i.e. that the Western Church is not the Church or does not have the Holy Spirit). If you get people riled up, of course, you can get them to claim things like that. 

  Rufus, I don't think this attitude is all that rare among Orthodox Christians in the US, especially converts.

   I'm realizing more and more this idea that the Christian faith must reveal a systematic approach to life, even the issues of ecclessiology, is error.  Orthodox Christians should understand this well, there must be a place for mysteries in our theology because life itself confronts us with so much paradox and mystery.  That we believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and yet confront a Christian world with divisions is one of those mysteries.  It doesn't need to send us into existential crisis. 

 The whole issues of conversionism our western culture is steeped in, especially in the US, stemming from individualism and consumerism, needs to be challenged from a truely Catholic viewpoint, realizing that conversion of life and obedience necessitates stability- loyalty to the situation one finds oneself in as in itself part of the sacramental life of Christ, which is really what the Church is- not a mere human institution but all the means of grace that the Christian encounters.   Religious triumphalism becomes just another manifestation of the ego and a tool of Satan.  Even seemingly good things, the worship of God in truth, can be twisted by the Enemy for his purposes.
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« Reply #92 on: April 29, 2013, 05:16:18 PM »

In person, I've only ever met a few Orthodox who held an exclusivist ecclesiology (i.e. that the Western Church is not the Church or does not have the Holy Spirit). If you get people riled up, of course, you can get them to claim things like that. 

  Rufus, I don't think this attitude is all that rare among Orthodox Christians in the US, especially converts.

   I'm realizing more and more this idea that the Christian faith must reveal a systematic approach to life, even the issues of ecclessiology, is error.  Orthodox Christians should understand this well, there must be a place for mysteries in our theology because life itself confronts us with so much paradox and mystery.  That we believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and yet confront a Christian world with divisions is one of those mysteries.  It doesn't need to send us into existential crisis. 

 The whole issues of conversionism our western culture is steeped in, especially in the US, stemming from individualism and consumerism, needs to be challenged from a truely Catholic viewpoint, realizing that conversion of life and obedience necessitates stability- loyalty to the situation one finds oneself in as in itself part of the sacramental life of Christ, which is really what the Church is- not a mere human institution but all the means of grace that the Christian encounters.   Religious triumphalism becomes just another manifestation of the ego and a tool of Satan.  Even seemingly good things, the worship of God in truth, can be twisted by the Enemy for his purposes.


The fact that you don't realize the irony of that statement shows you must not having been paying attention during your catechumenate.
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« Reply #93 on: April 29, 2013, 09:35:13 PM »

In person, I've only ever met a few Orthodox who held an exclusivist ecclesiology (i.e. that the Western Church is not the Church or does not have the Holy Spirit). If you get people riled up, of course, you can get them to claim things like that. 

  Rufus, I don't think this attitude is all that rare among Orthodox Christians in the US, especially converts.

   I'm realizing more and more this idea that the Christian faith must reveal a systematic approach to life, even the issues of ecclessiology, is error.  Orthodox Christians should understand this well, there must be a place for mysteries in our theology because life itself confronts us with so much paradox and mystery.  That we believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and yet confront a Christian world with divisions is one of those mysteries.  It doesn't need to send us into existential crisis. 

 The whole issues of conversionism our western culture is steeped in, especially in the US, stemming from individualism and consumerism, needs to be challenged from a truely Catholic viewpoint, realizing that conversion of life and obedience necessitates stability- loyalty to the situation one finds oneself in as in itself part of the sacramental life of Christ, which is really what the Church is- not a mere human institution but all the means of grace that the Christian encounters.   Religious triumphalism becomes just another manifestation of the ego and a tool of Satan.  Even seemingly good things, the worship of God in truth, can be twisted by the Enemy for his purposes.


I really liked your last paragraph. Now I'm going to tell you why you're wrong. First, every Orthodox I've ever known who said that Catholics or Protestants didn't constitute the Church in some way certainly didn't act like it, and was even on good spiritual terms with non-Orthodox Christians when they weren't spewing vitriol. Of course, many Orthodox hold a moderately exclusive ecclesiology, but only in a very tame sense, so that's not what I'm talking about here.

Second, I don't doubt that converts are more likely to say these sorts of things. But how many converts are there? If you live in a place where there are lots, you probably have a case of sampling bias.

There's a third point, but I'm worried about unnecessarily stirring up trouble, so I'll leave it for now.
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« Reply #94 on: April 29, 2013, 09:50:38 PM »

The whole issues of conversionism our western culture is steeped in, especially in the US, stemming from individualism and consumerism, needs to be challenged from a truely Catholic viewpoint, realizing that conversion of life and obedience necessitates stability- loyalty to the situation one finds oneself in as in itself part of the sacramental life of Christ, which is really what the Church is- not a mere human institution but all the means of grace that the Christian encounters.   Religious triumphalism becomes just another manifestation of the ego and a tool of Satan.  Even seemingly good things, the worship of God in truth, can be twisted by the Enemy for his purposes.


Honestly that just seems like a sentimental justification for denominational indifference.
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« Reply #95 on: April 29, 2013, 11:20:24 PM »

Honestly that just seems like a sentimental justification for denominational indifference.

   It's what works for me, and it is something that is coming to me through some spiritual direction on the part of others (including my former Orthodox priest).  It really goes against my own instincts, but I'm starting to realize "Church Shopping", even trying to find the "One True Church", is a distraction from following Jesus and having faith in God.   I'm not indifferent to denominations, just more zealous for listening for God's presence in my life, right now.

  Ex-evangelicals misrepresent the orthodox, catholic way of life, I believe, because they are bringing their spiritual consumerism to their quest for the historic Church.   Look for instance at Frederica Matthewes-Green's writings and lectures- I enjoy her informative approach but I can't help but think she is somebody that uses her religion to cover up some personal flaws, as do many people.   Underneath her writings and speech, which is often condescending in tone when talking about all things "western", is a "spirituality" that fits right in with consumerist approaches to the faith, just slanted more in favor of a conservative, "Jesus-talking" variety.   It's even possible to see her and her husbands departure from the Anglican world in a similar light- he and a number of other Episcopalian priests wrote up a statement in the 90's objecting to the suppossed apostate trend of the Episcopal Church and affirmed a bunch of things that most Episcopalian priests would not have any problems agreeing to (the Lordship of Jesus Christ and so on).  Perhaps they were just unhappy that they didn't get to dictate what the Christian faith was all about from their own viewpoint.  That sort of thing smacks of being very, dare I say, Protestant.

  This is why I'm just not interested in "ex-Evangelical convert stories" anymore, and I'm cautious about seeking out those types of people for spiritual reading or direction.  I'm trying to listen hardest to people that have deep roots in a tradition and community and pay attention to them and let them guide me.
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« Reply #96 on: April 29, 2013, 11:59:42 PM »

My Bible says the Holy Spirit blows where it pleases - John 3:8
It should say where He pleases.

I'm sure He was pleased to blow on Arius and his ilk, but they did not receive Him, holding to their own opinions, rather than the revelation of God preached by the Church.
Indeed.
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« Reply #97 on: April 30, 2013, 12:26:15 AM »

Honestly that just seems like a sentimental justification for denominational indifference.

   It's what works for me, and it is something that is coming to me through some spiritual direction on the part of others (including my former Orthodox priest).  It really goes against my own instincts, but I'm starting to realize "Church Shopping", even trying to find the "One True Church", is a distraction from following Jesus and having faith in God.   I'm not indifferent to denominations, just more zealous for listening for God's presence in my life, right now.

  Ex-evangelicals misrepresent the orthodox, catholic way of life, I believe, because they are bringing their spiritual consumerism to their quest for the historic Church.   Look for instance at Frederica Matthewes-Green's writings and lectures- I enjoy her informative approach but I can't help but think she is somebody that uses her religion to cover up some personal flaws, as do many people.   Underneath her writings and speech, which is often condescending in tone when talking about all things "western", is a "spirituality" that fits right in with consumerist approaches to the faith, just slanted more in favor of a conservative, "Jesus-talking" variety.   It's even possible to see her and her husbands departure from the Anglican world in a similar light- he and a number of other Episcopalian priests wrote up a statement in the 90's objecting to the suppossed apostate trend of the Episcopal Church and affirmed a bunch of things that most Episcopalian priests would not have any problems agreeing to (the Lordship of Jesus Christ and so on).  Perhaps they were just unhappy that they didn't get to dictate what the Christian faith was all about from their own viewpoint.  That sort of thing smacks of being very, dare I say, Protestant.

  This is why I'm just not interested in "ex-Evangelical convert stories" anymore, and I'm cautious about seeking out those types of people for spiritual reading or direction.  I'm trying to listen hardest to people that have deep roots in a tradition and community and pay attention to them and let them guide me.


Are you really saying that the apostate trend of tEC is merely "supposed"? Spong should have been declared a heretic quite some time ago. The current PB would rather depose orthodox bishops and priests for "abandoning the faith"- and do so in violation of the constitutions and canons of her own church. Things might be fine and dandy in your little corner of Florida, for now (so long as you guys are good little foot soldiers and your bishop makes no waves), but what just recently happened to the diocese of South Carolina is a travesty, not just of tEC, but of any sort of form of good governance.
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« Reply #98 on: April 30, 2013, 09:55:22 AM »

Are you really saying that the apostate trend of tEC is merely "supposed"? Spong should have been declared a heretic quite some time ago. The current PB would rather depose orthodox bishops and priests for "abandoning the faith"- and do so in violation of the constitutions and canons of her own church. Things might be fine and dandy in your little corner of Florida, for now (so long as you guys are good little foot soldiers and your bishop makes no waves), but what just recently happened to the diocese of South Carolina is a travesty, not just of tEC, but of any sort of form of good governance.

  I don't agree.  I'm not privy to all the details and facts about South Carolina and there is a huge amount of emotionalism on both sides but I think Bishop Lawrence may have done some things that were indeed questionable and its not simply a matter of intolerance of conservatives.  

  Sometimes people like Lawrence can think they are motivated by perfectly biblical sensibilities but deep down there is a profoundly anti-Catholic distrust of the Church and its authority structures.  Especially Bishop Lawrence's attitude to the transsexuality issue (I watched him on youtube)- I don't understand his objection, it seems rooted in crude bigotry and ignorance.  The Episcopal Church has women priests already, why would he object to this?  There are alot of thinking, reasoning, and compassionate Christians that take the Bible just as seriously as Lawrence and yet come to very different conclusions about these things.  It's pure pride for people like him to assume that they are wrong and he alone is right.
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« Reply #99 on: April 30, 2013, 10:00:17 AM »

There are alot of thinking, reasoning, and compassionate Christians that take the Bible just as seriously as Lawrence and yet come to very different conclusions about these things.  It's pure pride for people like him to assume that they are wrong and he alone is right.

The Bible isn't a religion construction set.
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« Reply #100 on: April 30, 2013, 01:43:47 PM »

Are you really saying that the apostate trend of tEC is merely "supposed"? Spong should have been declared a heretic quite some time ago. The current PB would rather depose orthodox bishops and priests for "abandoning the faith"- and do so in violation of the constitutions and canons of her own church. Things might be fine and dandy in your little corner of Florida, for now (so long as you guys are good little foot soldiers and your bishop makes no waves), but what just recently happened to the diocese of South Carolina is a travesty, not just of tEC, but of any sort of form of good governance.

  I don't agree.  I'm not privy to all the details and facts about South Carolina and there is a huge amount of emotionalism on both sides but I think Bishop Lawrence may have done some things that were indeed questionable and its not simply a matter of intolerance of conservatives.  

  Sometimes people like Lawrence can think they are motivated by perfectly biblical sensibilities but deep down there is a profoundly anti-Catholic distrust of the Church and its authority structures.  Especially Bishop Lawrence's attitude to the transsexuality issue (I watched him on youtube)- I don't understand his objection, it seems rooted in crude bigotry and ignorance.  The Episcopal Church has women priests already, why would he object to this?  There are alot of thinking, reasoning, and compassionate Christians that take the Bible just as seriously as Lawrence and yet come to very different conclusions about these things.  It's pure pride for people like him to assume that they are wrong and he alone is right.

Regardless of what one might think of Bishop Lawrence's motivations, the fact remains that the PB undertook a decidedly illegal course of action in her accepting his resignation, which he never sent. The woman is mad, frothing, thinks herself pope, and needs to be gotten rid of.

Edit: While I have not seen Bishop Lawrence's youtube video, I doubt he went much further in his rhetoric than Reg from Monty Python's The Life of Brian, who I have always viewed as having a very sensible view on the subject of trans-sexuality: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFBOQzSk14c
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« Reply #101 on: May 02, 2013, 07:36:06 AM »

Regardless of what one might think of Bishop Lawrence's motivations, the fact remains that the PB undertook a decidedly illegal course of action in her accepting his resignation, which he never sent. The woman is mad, frothing, thinks herself pope, and needs to be gotten rid of.

Edit: While I have not seen Bishop Lawrence's youtube video, I doubt he went much further in his rhetoric than Reg from Monty Python's The Life of Brian, who I have always viewed as having a very sensible view on the subject of trans-sexuality: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFBOQzSk14c

  All humor aside...  he implied that "individualized eros" was the motivation behind transgenderism, which doesn't do justice to the experience of transsexual individuals, most of whom felt that there was something wrong with their bodies long before they could even articulate expressions like "individualized eros".  Furthermore, there is some scientific evidence that transsexuals experiences correlate with data from brain imaging, irregularities in the hypothalamus and other brain regions may account for problems in perceiving ones body or sex.  These issues are unrelated to ones sexual orientation- there can be transsexuals that are gay or straight.   People like Bishop Lawrence are walking on dangerous ground because these attitudes can encourage injustice and ignorance.   I'm hardly a follower of Gene Robinson or Jack Spong but I recognize the duty of Christians, rooted in the Law and the Prophets, to care about the welfare of those that are marginalized.  Simply because the transsexual experience is unusual doesn't mean that it isn't a matter of justice.

  I don't understand Bishop Lawrence's attitude frankly, the Episcopal Church ordains women and eunuchs were accepted into the early church (some of them even became saints).  What's his issue with somebody that feels they must alter their body hormonally and surgically to achieve a degree of inner peace, isn't that a matter to be discerned between ones physician and psychiatrist?  Now wheather this was the straw that broke the camel's back for him, I am not sure . One thing is for sure, there are still other conservative bishops that haven't instigated these issues and that are remaining in the church.  My guess is that Lawrence just has a problem with the polity of the Episcopal Church.
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« Reply #102 on: May 02, 2013, 08:27:16 AM »

Regardless of what one might think of Bishop Lawrence's motivations, the fact remains that the PB undertook a decidedly illegal course of action in her accepting his resignation, which he never sent. The woman is mad, frothing, thinks herself pope, and needs to be gotten rid of.

Edit: While I have not seen Bishop Lawrence's youtube video, I doubt he went much further in his rhetoric than Reg from Monty Python's The Life of Brian, who I have always viewed as having a very sensible view on the subject of trans-sexuality: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFBOQzSk14c

  All humor aside...  he implied that "individualized eros" was the motivation behind transgenderism, which doesn't do justice to the experience of transsexual individuals, most of whom felt that there was something wrong with their bodies long before they could even articulate expressions like "individualized eros".  Furthermore, there is some scientific evidence that transsexuals experiences correlate with data from brain imaging, irregularities in the hypothalamus and other brain regions may account for problems in perceiving ones body or sex.  These issues are unrelated to ones sexual orientation- there can be transsexuals that are gay or straight.   People like Bishop Lawrence are walking on dangerous ground because these attitudes can encourage injustice and ignorance.   I'm hardly a follower of Gene Robinson or Jack Spong but I recognize the duty of Christians, rooted in the Law and the Prophets, to care about the welfare of those that are marginalized.  Simply because the transsexual experience is unusual doesn't mean that it isn't a matter of justice.
Ah, how many crimes are committed in the name of justice!

I don't understand Bishop Lawrence's attitude frankly, the Episcopal Church ordains women and eunuchs were accepted into the early church (some of them even became saints).
A Eunuch isn't a transsexual.

As for your "understanding," it just shows that the Episcopalians aren't as inclusive as they claim.  Traditional Christian thought is not welcome.

What's his issue with somebody that feels they must alter their body hormonally and surgically to achieve a degree of inner peace, isn't that a matter to be discerned between ones physician and psychiatrist?
like an abortion?
Now wheather this was the straw that broke the camel's back for him, I am not sure . One thing is for sure, there are still other conservative bishops that haven't instigated these issues and that are remaining in the church.  My guess is that Lawrence just has a problem with the polity of the Episcopal Church.
those "conservative bishops" who remain "in the church" remain conservative no more.
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« Reply #103 on: May 02, 2013, 08:43:14 AM »

Are you really saying that the apostate trend of tEC is merely "supposed"? Spong should have been declared a heretic quite some time ago. The current PB would rather depose orthodox bishops and priests for "abandoning the faith"- and do so in violation of the constitutions and canons of her own church. Things might be fine and dandy in your little corner of Florida, for now (so long as you guys are good little foot soldiers and your bishop makes no waves), but what just recently happened to the diocese of South Carolina is a travesty, not just of tEC, but of any sort of form of good governance.

  I don't agree.  I'm not privy to all the details and facts about South Carolina and there is a huge amount of emotionalism on both sides but I think Bishop Lawrence may have done some things that were indeed questionable and its not simply a matter of intolerance of conservatives.  

  Sometimes people like Lawrence can think they are motivated by perfectly biblical sensibilities but deep down there is a profoundly anti-Catholic distrust of the Church and its authority structures.  Especially Bishop Lawrence's attitude to the transsexuality issue (I watched him on youtube)- I don't understand his objection, it seems rooted in crude bigotry and ignorance.  The Episcopal Church has women priests already, why would he object to this?  There are alot of thinking, reasoning, and compassionate Christians that take the Bible just as seriously as Lawrence and yet come to very different conclusions about these things.  It's pure pride for people like him to assume that they are wrong and he alone is right.
LOL.  Just like the Liberal church: challenge authority, until they are in charge-in which case absolute obedience is required.

Such is why I have little sympathy for the Episcopalians and their dilemma: it seems the "higher" the church, more it is just smells and bells covering up the stench of false preaching, and the more faithful the theology, the lower the church-i.e. the more it disconnects from apostolic worship.

No reward is going to be given for staying on that sinking ship as it goes down into Hades.  Those who are orthodox (or Orthodox-many are, but in name only), time has long passed to jump ship.  Get off while there is time, whether onto a seaworthy vessel (and in way of comparison, even the Vatican's Anglican personal prefecture is a viable option.  WRO, of course, is better, as that ship is on course)-even going off on a lifeboat of break away Episcopalian sect is better then going down with the ship that is sinking fast.

Just like PECUS's PB's bishop of NH: wants acceptance, and immediately purged his diocese of those who wouldn't accept, for instance, his leaving his wife for another man.

"Anti-Catholic distrust of the Church and its authority structures." That's absolutely classic rich.  It seems Bishop Lawrence isn't the one with the problem of pure pride.
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« Reply #104 on: May 02, 2013, 04:05:26 PM »

Regardless of what one might think of Bishop Lawrence's motivations, the fact remains that the PB undertook a decidedly illegal course of action in her accepting his resignation, which he never sent. The woman is mad, frothing, thinks herself pope, and needs to be gotten rid of.

Edit: While I have not seen Bishop Lawrence's youtube video, I doubt he went much further in his rhetoric than Reg from Monty Python's The Life of Brian, who I have always viewed as having a very sensible view on the subject of trans-sexuality: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFBOQzSk14c

  All humor aside...  he implied that "individualized eros" was the motivation behind transgenderism, which doesn't do justice to the experience of transsexual individuals, most of whom felt that there was something wrong with their bodies long before they could even articulate expressions like "individualized eros".  Furthermore, there is some scientific evidence that transsexuals experiences correlate with data from brain imaging, irregularities in the hypothalamus and other brain regions may account for problems in perceiving ones body or sex.  These issues are unrelated to ones sexual orientation- there can be transsexuals that are gay or straight.   People like Bishop Lawrence are walking on dangerous ground because these attitudes can encourage injustice and ignorance.   I'm hardly a follower of Gene Robinson or Jack Spong but I recognize the duty of Christians, rooted in the Law and the Prophets, to care about the welfare of those that are marginalized.  Simply because the transsexual experience is unusual doesn't mean that it isn't a matter of justice.

  I don't understand Bishop Lawrence's attitude frankly, the Episcopal Church ordains women and eunuchs were accepted into the early church (some of them even became saints).  What's his issue with somebody that feels they must alter their body hormonally and surgically to achieve a degree of inner peace, isn't that a matter to be discerned between ones physician and psychiatrist?  Now wheather this was the straw that broke the camel's back for him, I am not sure . One thing is for sure, there are still other conservative bishops that haven't instigated these issues and that are remaining in the church.  My guess is that Lawrence just has a problem with the polity of the Episcopal Church.


The eunuchs who were accepted into the early Church were a very different matter from a "transsexual" already in the Church. Most eunuchs were forcibly made eunuchs as part of the terms of their slavery. The early Church took a very hard line on those who made themselves eunuchs (though in this case it was more due to a super-literal interpretation of Christ's saying that some would have to become eunuchs to obtain the Kingdom- that is, they were not becoming eunuchs to express their "natural" gender, but because they felt they could not successfully resist sexual temptation with their manhood intact) after conversion.

The problem with your "scientific" outlook on the matter is that the whole issue of gender and sexuality is so tied into politics in this day and age that if the Church were to offer a truly charitable solution, it would seem to be hate. Science might be able to tell us the cause of gender confusion, but it cannot tell us the moral response. For example, certain forms of mental illness are genetic, yet we still seek to treat these so as to help the sufferers live "normal" lives without public outcry. Come up with a medical solution for gender confusion or sexuality, and even make it voluntary, and witness the cries of oppression- even though, speaking from mere genetics and neuroscience, there is no difference between that and schizophrenia.

As for your suspicions about the Bishop Lawrence having issues with tEC's "polity"- the issues with polity have to do more with a wannabe-Catholic-lite pope altering the polity as she sees fit. Everything Bishop Lawrence has done has been legal and above board- the straw that broke the camel's back was not some youtube video, but the Bishop Lawrence allowing his diocese to alter its constitution without illegally overriding (according to the polity of that diocese) the decision of his parishes.
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« Reply #105 on: May 02, 2013, 07:23:25 PM »

The problem with your "scientific" outlook on the matter is that the whole issue of gender and sexuality is so tied into politics in this day and age that if the Church were to offer a truly charitable solution, it would seem to be hate. Science might be able to tell us the cause of gender confusion, but it cannot tell us the moral response. For example, certain forms of mental illness are genetic, yet we still seek to treat these so as to help the sufferers live "normal" lives without public outcry. Come up with a medical solution for gender confusion or sexuality, and even make it voluntary, and witness the cries of oppression- even though, speaking from mere genetics and neuroscience, there is no difference between that and schizophrenia.

  Treatments  for "gender confusion" already exist in the medical community. Counselling from a psychotherapist, with the possibility of referral to a gender clinic if the confusion or dysphoria is not resolved are the norm.  Traditionally, a harm-reduction approach is taken to this issue- some patients will respond to hormones, others will require genital surgery, with each step of the process being undertaken with psychological screening acting in a gatekeeping role to make sure that medical interventions are reserved for those who could most benefit from them.  Of the fraction of individuals with gender dysphoria, only a percentage of those- not all, will undergo genital modification surgery.  So psychological treatment does correct this problem in some cases, but in other cases pharmacological, surgical interventions, and legal change of ones sexual identity seem to help patients cope.   Untreated transsexualism is a serious issue that is not a joking matter, since there is a high risk of suicide assosciated with it.  

  And transsexuals deal with diferent issues from those in the gay community- a transsexual woman is not a gay man that likes to wear womens clothes, a transsexual woman is a person of any sexual orientation that has failed to identify with their assigned gender.  Bishop Mark Lawrence's comments failed to account for this reality behind his rhetoric of "individualized eros".  Transsexualism is not really a political issue beyond the need for somebody with gender dysphoria to get psychological, and if necessary, medical care. 
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« Reply #106 on: May 06, 2013, 01:25:47 AM »

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« Reply #107 on: May 06, 2013, 01:46:50 AM »

The problem with your "scientific" outlook on the matter is that the whole issue of gender and sexuality is so tied into politics in this day and age that if the Church were to offer a truly charitable solution, it would seem to be hate. Science might be able to tell us the cause of gender confusion, but it cannot tell us the moral response. For example, certain forms of mental illness are genetic, yet we still seek to treat these so as to help the sufferers live "normal" lives without public outcry. Come up with a medical solution for gender confusion or sexuality, and even make it voluntary, and witness the cries of oppression- even though, speaking from mere genetics and neuroscience, there is no difference between that and schizophrenia.

  Treatments  for "gender confusion" already exist in the medical community. Counselling from a psychotherapist, with the possibility of referral to a gender clinic if the confusion or dysphoria is not resolved are the norm.  Traditionally, a harm-reduction approach is taken to this issue- some patients will respond to hormones, others will require genital surgery, with each step of the process being undertaken with psychological screening acting in a gatekeeping role to make sure that medical interventions are reserved for those who could most benefit from them.  Of the fraction of individuals with gender dysphoria, only a percentage of those- not all, will undergo genital modification surgery.  So psychological treatment does correct this problem in some cases, but in other cases pharmacological, surgical interventions, and legal change of ones sexual identity seem to help patients cope.   Untreated transsexualism is a serious issue that is not a joking matter, since there is a high risk of suicide assosciated with it.  

  And transsexuals deal with diferent issues from those in the gay community- a transsexual woman is not a gay man that likes to wear womens clothes, a transsexual woman is a person of any sexual orientation that has failed to identify with their assigned gender.  Bishop Mark Lawrence's comments failed to account for this reality behind his rhetoric of "individualized eros".  Transsexualism is not really a political issue beyond the need for somebody with gender dysphoria to get psychological, and if necessary, medical care. 
I know the idea that Bp. Mark Lawrence being right and the HIGHLY POLITICIZED psychiatric establishment being wrong spoils the narrative, but cures do not consist of trying to bend reality to confusion.
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« Reply #108 on: May 06, 2013, 09:13:48 AM »

I know the idea that Bp. Mark Lawrence being right and the HIGHLY POLITICIZED psychiatric establishment being wrong spoils the narrative, but cures do not consist of trying to bend reality to confusion.

   Treatments for transsexuality began decades before the gay rights movement became engaged with the psychiatric profession.  The motivation was the compassion of doctors (like Dr. Harry Benjamin) and their desire to end human suffering, not the desire to redefine gender categories or embrace "sexual individualism".   People like Mark Lawrence are quite wrong about the history or motivations of transsexualism.

  I have conversed with Orthodox clergy that can accept that transsexuality is a condition that can require medical treatment. Not all Orthodox are so indifferent to the practice of medicine and the care of actual human beings.
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« Reply #109 on: May 06, 2013, 11:54:34 AM »

I know the idea that Bp. Mark Lawrence being right and the HIGHLY POLITICIZED psychiatric establishment being wrong spoils the narrative, but cures do not consist of trying to bend reality to confusion.

   Treatments for transsexuality began decades before the gay rights movement became engaged with the psychiatric profession.
Magnus Hirschfeld was the first to "treat" transexuality with a sex change.  Decades before that, however, he actively championed "gay rights", advocating the legalization of homosexual activity and the acceptance of homosexuality as a life style, which he called "Justice through science."  He also fought for legalizing abortion (as a part of feminism),  and praised the Eugenics movement.

The motivation was the compassion of doctors (like Dr. Harry Benjamin)
a disciple of Hirschfeld's.
and their desire to end human suffering, not the desire to redefine gender categories or embrace "sexual individualism".   People like Mark Lawrence are quite wrong about the history or motivations of transsexualism.
because otherwise the narrative is upset.

  I have conversed with Orthodox clergy that can accept that transsexuality is a condition that can require medical treatment. Not all Orthodox are so indifferent to the practice of medicine and the care of actual human beings.
Where then you must be home then with the Episcopalians, where non-acceptance of the world's agenda is taken as "indifference" to the medical profession which has signed onto that agenda.
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« Reply #110 on: May 06, 2013, 12:33:14 PM »

Magnus Hirschfeld was the first to "treat" transexuality with a sex change.  Decades before that, however, he actively championed "gay rights", advocating the legalization of homosexual activity and the acceptance of homosexuality as a life style, which he called "Justice through science."  He also fought for legalizing abortion (as a part of feminism),  and praised the Eugenics movement.

    Just because an idea came from a given person doesn't mean the idea itself is influenced by their other ideas.  I'm not opossed to legitimate scientific research even in areas that the Church thinks it has all the answers.  Science doesn't work the way you think it does.  It doesn't have an agenda.  I also see nothing wrong with the liberalization of anti-sodomy laws.  Many conservative Christians would also agree, and this is a seperate issue from the sanctity of such activities, or lack thereof.  You seem to be arguing for the worst aspects of the medieval mindset be brought back into modernity.

Where then you must be home then with the Episcopalians, where non-acceptance of the world's agenda is taken as "indifference" to the medical profession which has signed onto that agenda.

  A Christian heart should be free from contempt.

   I don't think this is an admirable attitude to take to an entire profession that does alot of good in the world.   I agree with Martin Luther's commentary on the commandment to not bear false witness against ones neighbor, we should always take our neighbor's words and behaviors in the best possible light.  You seem to be focused on taking their actions in the worst possible way, creating conspiracies where none exist.  It's possible to deeply disagree with someone but recognize their good intentions.

  I'll let God judge people like Magnus Hirschfield and Alfred Kinsey.  I don't need to.  Undoubtedly they did things that were presumptuous and in error.  But then again, so do I.  And so do you.  But I know that both men were often motivated by a sense of compassion that few Christians at the time truly embraced, preferring to hide behind unquestioned customs and social traditions rather than to truly put on the mind of Christ.  
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« Reply #111 on: May 06, 2013, 01:13:13 PM »

Magnus Hirschfeld was the first to "treat" transexuality with a sex change.  Decades before that, however, he actively championed "gay rights", advocating the legalization of homosexual activity and the acceptance of homosexuality as a life style, which he called "Justice through science."  He also fought for legalizing abortion (as a part of feminism),  and praised the Eugenics movement.

    Just because an idea came from a given person doesn't mean the idea itself is influenced by their other ideas.
So you are for schizophrenia.
I'm not opossed to legitimate scientific research even in areas that the Church thinks it has all the answers.
How about where the Church knows it has all the answers?

Science doesn't work the way you think it does.  It doesn't have an agenda.
Peddle that c--p elsewhere.  I've spent decades in both academia and the medical profession and know better.

I also see nothing wrong with the liberalization of anti-sodomy laws.
I'm sure you don't.

Many conservative Christians would also agree
so more votes for the immoral minority.

and this is a seperate issue from the sanctity of such activities, or lack thereof.  You seem to be arguing for the worst aspects of the medieval mindset be brought back into modernity.
sorry, the mythology of progress went up in smoke up the chimneys of Auschwitz.

Where then you must be home then with the Episcopalians, where non-acceptance of the world's agenda is taken as "indifference" to the medical profession which has signed onto that agenda.
A Christian heart should be free from contempt.
Demonstrate that.

I don't think this is an admirable attitude to take to an entire profession that does alot of good in the world.   I agree with Martin Luther's commentary on the commandment to not bear false witness against ones neighbor, we should always take our neighbor's words and behaviors in the best possible light.  You seem to be focused on taking their actions in the worst possible way, creating conspiracies where none exist.  It's possible to deeply disagree with someone but recognize their good intentions.
Demonstrate that.

I'll let God judge people like Magnus Hirschfield and Alfred Kinsey.  I don't need to.
 
You already have, and given them your seal of approval.

Undoubtedly they did things that were presumptuous and in error.  But then again, so do I.  And so do you.  But I know that both men were often motivated by a sense of compassion that few Christians at the time truly embraced, preferring to hide behind unquestioned customs and social traditions rather than to truly put on the mind of Christ.  
Christ's mind had nothing to do with the self serving perversions of Alfred Kinsey.  It is easy to be compassionate when trying to get accepted as normal one's own abnormalities.
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« Reply #112 on: May 06, 2013, 01:23:17 PM »

How about where the Church knows it has all the answers? 

  I consider this statement right here to be very disturbing.  A Church that has all the answers, that has no sense of wonder left, is apostate.  Because if we claim to have exhausted all the understanding of God and his works, how is that not blasphemy?

  I think you should seriously rethink your position.
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« Reply #113 on: May 06, 2013, 01:36:18 PM »

How about where the Church knows it has all the answers? 

  I consider this statement right here to be very disturbing.  A Church that has all the answers, that has no sense of wonder left, is apostate.  Because if we claim to have exhausted all the understanding of God and his works, how is that not blasphemy?

  I think you should seriously rethink your position.

I think the Church has the best answers as far as how to connect with God. I wouldn't say they have ALL the answers, because I don't even think all the questions have been asked yet.

I don't think the Church has answers on scientific matters such as gravity, evolution, quantum mechanics, string theory, etc.
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« Reply #114 on: May 06, 2013, 01:57:10 PM »

Christ is risen!
How about where the Church knows it has all the answers?  

  I consider this statement right here to be very disturbing.
I'm sure you do: most people who take gray as they favorite color usually are disturbed by certitude.

 A Church that has all the answers, that has no sense of wonder left, is apostate.  Because if we claim to have exhausted all the understanding of God and his works, how is that not blasphemy?

  I think you should seriously rethink your position.
Funny, that's exactly my advice to you.
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« Reply #115 on: May 06, 2013, 02:07:20 PM »

Christ is risen!
How about where the Church knows it has all the answers?  

  I consider this statement right here to be very disturbing.
I'm sure you do: most people who take gray as they favorite color usually are disturbed by certitude.


Perhaps Daedelus was feeling so symbolic, perhaps brought on by needing help to believe in anything, and no doubt also flying too close to the sun.
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« Reply #116 on: May 06, 2013, 03:04:02 PM »

Christ is risen!
How about where the Church knows it has all the answers?  

  I consider this statement right here to be very disturbing.
I'm sure you do: most people who take gray as they favorite color usually are disturbed by certitude.

 A Church that has all the answers, that has no sense of wonder left, is apostate.  Because if we claim to have exhausted all the understanding of God and his works, how is that not blasphemy?

  I think you should seriously rethink your position.
Funny, that's exactly my advice to you.

If your Church has all the answers, explain to me how eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ.  Explain, in detail, the change from bread and wine to the Son of God.
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« Reply #117 on: May 06, 2013, 03:22:57 PM »

How about where the Church knows it has all the answers?
Since the Church has all the answers, what does it teach about intelligent life in outer space? Has God sent His Son to them, or would it be something else?
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« Reply #118 on: May 06, 2013, 03:25:03 PM »


Christ is risen!
How about where the Church knows it has all the answers?  

  I consider this statement right here to be very disturbing.
I'm sure you do: most people who take gray as they favorite color usually are disturbed by certitude.

 A Church that has all the answers, that has no sense of wonder left, is apostate.  Because if we claim to have exhausted all the understanding of God and his works, how is that not blasphemy?

  I think you should seriously rethink your position.
Funny, that's exactly my advice to you.

If your Church has all the answers, explain to me how eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ.  Explain, in detail, the change from bread and wine to the Son of God.
So this would vindicate changing a man into a woman?

How about where the Church knows it has all the answers?
Since the Church has all the answers, what does it teach about intelligent life in outer space? Has God sent His Son to them, or would it be something else?
Are you saying that transsexuals are aliens?
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« Reply #119 on: May 06, 2013, 09:31:31 PM »

How about where the Church knows it has all the answers?
Since the Church has all the answers, what does it teach about intelligent life in outer space? Has God sent His Son to them, or would it be something else?
Are you saying that transsexuals are aliens?
Unlike you and your Church, I don't have the answer.
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« Reply #120 on: May 10, 2013, 10:37:04 AM »

Honestly that just seems like a sentimental justification for denominational indifference.

   I do think denominational issues matter alot but above ecclessiology must be Christology, because there is no Church without Christ. And Christ being at the right hand of Father is certainly capable of raising up children for God from stones.  Ecclessiology is important, but it's not the most important thing for us as human beings. It cannot be made into an idol.


  I used to be on the other side of this fence, a very high ecclessiology at one time in my life, almost exclusive.  And now I'm not.  Because it doesn't square with the nature of God I see revealed in the Bible or the God that I encounter in the lives of fellow Christians. 
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« Reply #121 on: May 15, 2013, 04:18:08 PM »

How about where the Church knows it has all the answers?
Since the Church has all the answers, what does it teach about intelligent life in outer space? Has God sent His Son to them, or would it be something else?
HERESY!!!!!!  Wink
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« Reply #122 on: May 15, 2013, 06:12:13 PM »

Honestly that just seems like a sentimental justification for denominational indifference.

   I do think denominational issues matter alot but above ecclessiology must be Christology, because there is no Church without Christ. And Christ being at the right hand of Father is certainly capable of raising up children for God from stones.  Ecclessiology is important, but it's not the most important thing for us as human beings. It cannot be made into an idol.
Only a false church can be made into an idol, as the One True Church (and yes, there is only one) is the Body of Christ.

I used to be on the other side of this fence, a very high ecclessiology at one time in my life, almost exclusive.  And now I'm not.  Because it doesn't square with the nature of God I see revealed in the Bible or the God that I encounter in the lives of fellow Christians. 
so you have fashioned an idol in your own image and likeness.
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« Reply #123 on: May 16, 2013, 03:12:15 PM »

Honestly that just seems like a sentimental justification for denominational indifference.

   I do think denominational issues matter alot but above ecclessiology must be Christology, because there is no Church without Christ. And Christ being at the right hand of Father is certainly capable of raising up children for God from stones.  Ecclessiology is important, but it's not the most important thing for us as human beings. It cannot be made into an idol.
Only a false church can be made into an idol, as the One True Church (and yes, there is only one) is the Body of Christ.

I used to be on the other side of this fence, a very high ecclessiology at one time in my life, almost exclusive.  And now I'm not.  Because it doesn't square with the nature of God I see revealed in the Bible or the God that I encounter in the lives of fellow Christians. 
so you have fashioned an idol in your own image and likeness.

To build on Isa's post, but with less polemics, he points out a very important fact, one I kept running my head in to when I was in very much the same mind-set you describe being in now.

The Church is the Body of Christ. This means that ecclesiology cannot be distinguished from Christology, rather that ecclesiology is a sub-section of Christology. What we teach about the Church has very important implications about our teachings on the Incarnation.

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« Reply #124 on: May 16, 2013, 03:26:57 PM »

The Church is the Body of Christ. This means that ecclesiology cannot be distinguished from Christology, rather that ecclesiology is a sub-section of Christology. What we teach about the Church has very important implications about our teachings on the Incarnation.

   That sort of logic sounds very self-serving and after-the-fact.  You are basicly saying that if you don't believe the Orthodox are the exclusive vehicle of salvation, you are a gnostic.  I'm not sure that follows.
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« Reply #125 on: May 16, 2013, 03:30:36 PM »

The Church is the Body of Christ. This means that ecclesiology cannot be distinguished from Christology, rather that ecclesiology is a sub-section of Christology. What we teach about the Church has very important implications about our teachings on the Incarnation.

   That sort of logic sounds very self-serving and after-the-fact.  You are basicly saying that if you don't believe the Orthodox are the exclusive vehicle of salvation, you are a gnostic.  I'm not sure that follows.

Care to elaborate on that?  How does gnosticism play into his statement?
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« Reply #126 on: May 16, 2013, 03:31:40 PM »

The Church is the Body of Christ. This means that ecclesiology cannot be distinguished from Christology, rather that ecclesiology is a sub-section of Christology. What we teach about the Church has very important implications about our teachings on the Incarnation.

   That sort of logic sounds very self-serving and after-the-fact.  You are basicly saying that if you don't believe the Orthodox are the exclusive vehicle of salvation, you are a gnostic.  I'm not sure that follows.

It might sound that way, but, for me, it was very before the fact. It took me several years after realizing that ecclesiology was directly tied to Christology to figure out who had the ecclesiology that properly fit in with Christology.
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« Reply #127 on: May 16, 2013, 04:20:44 PM »

  That sort of logic sounds very self-serving and after-the-fact.  You are basicly saying that if you don't believe the Orthodox are the exclusive vehicle of salvation, you are a gnostic.  I'm not sure that follows.

  Can you give me some references to sources that convinced you that ecclessiology followed from christology?

  I have been meeting with a group of Orthodox Christians from an OCA parish and we discuss theology matters for a few weeks.  A priest that I know supervises the group and invited me to attend weeks ago.  I am impressed with the group because the people are relatively open-minded and there were many people that were intellectually gifted there and also took their faith very seriously.   At one of the groups, there were various questions raised about the subject of marriage and sexuality, and alot of disagreement on the subject.  And at another group, church mission and Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Church" were discussed.

  In my experience the average Episcopalian I've talked to isn't interested in that sort of thing- people just don't feel that those things are worth discussing and many don't have the intellectualism to approach these topics.  At best, they are very picky about liturgy, but theology is not so important.   Maybe this is an American phenomenon- I know in England there is more of an intellectual tradition attached to Anglicanism, and the former Archbishop of Canterburry, Rowan Williams, was an intellectual heavyweight.

  Of course, this is an OCA parish, and a theology group, where alot of the people come from a Reformed Presbyterian background and are intellectual to start out with.  In the future, I believe Christians will need to be more intellectually robust to be taken seriously- there will be alot of hostility to Christians in the future as the US secularizes, so it's something I'm thinking about.  I'm not an intellectual lightweight myself, but I am wondering what is the point to be in a church denomination where that sort of thing just is not appreciated.  
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« Reply #128 on: May 16, 2013, 05:41:37 PM »

What is it with you and having a denomination "being taken seriously"? Nobody cares. Christ said Christians wouldn't be taken seriously.

Look for salvation and truth. Not "intellectual heavyweights."
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« Reply #129 on: May 16, 2013, 05:54:28 PM »

  I'm postmodern and skeptical when it comes to "truth claims", so I am really doing what some other people have suggested- praying about it and trying to follow God.    I think its normal to be attracted to places where you find something that clicks with you where you feel like you are part of something and contributing.
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« Reply #130 on: May 16, 2013, 06:01:41 PM »

 I'm postmodern and skeptical when it comes to "truth claims", so I am really doing what some other people have suggested- praying about it and trying to follow God.    I think its normal to be attracted to places where you find something that clicks with you where you feel like you are part of something and contributing.


I understand. I really like pierogies, gyros and chickpeas.
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« Reply #131 on: May 16, 2013, 09:07:08 PM »

  That sort of logic sounds very self-serving and after-the-fact.  You are basicly saying that if you don't believe the Orthodox are the exclusive vehicle of salvation, you are a gnostic.  I'm not sure that follows.

  Can you give me some references to sources that convinced you that ecclessiology followed from christology?

Wow, you messed up the quote tag for that one  laugh I clicked reply after reading the response, understanding exactly what you meant to quote, only to get in the post window and think "I didn't say that, he did...."

It's kind of hard to give references to sources, given how omnivorous my reading was during this period, as well as the partying I was doing during the downtime I didn't spend researching church history- I took my play very seriously in those days, as the decimated remains of the Jameson and Skyy families can attest. Chesterton played a good deal into it, as did the various Church Fathers (by the time I made up my mind to seriously look into Orthodoxy I had read through the entirety of the Schaff Church Fathers series). Blog comments sections played a big part of it- Anglican blogs such as Rev. Kendall Harmon's t19- where many former Anglican Roman Catholic and Orthodox posters were able to get me thinking about my very branch theory version of ecclesiology.

Quote
 I have been meeting with a group of Orthodox Christians from an OCA parish and we discuss theology matters for a few weeks.  A priest that I know supervises the group and invited me to attend weeks ago.  I am impressed with the group because the people are relatively open-minded and there were many people that were intellectually gifted there and also took their faith very seriously.   At one of the groups, there were various questions raised about the subject of marriage and sexuality, and alot of disagreement on the subject.  And at another group, church mission and Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Church" were discussed.

  In my experience the average Episcopalian I've talked to isn't interested in that sort of thing- people just don't feel that those things are worth discussing and many don't have the intellectualism to approach these topics.  At best, they are very picky about liturgy, but theology is not so important.   Maybe this is an American phenomenon- I know in England there is more of an intellectual tradition attached to Anglicanism, and the former Archbishop of Canterburry, Rowan Williams, was an intellectual heavyweight.

This is almost an exclusively convert phenomenon. The ratio of intellectual cradle Orthodox is probably the same as intellectual cradle Episcopalians- which is not to knock the cradles of either denominations (more on this below).  Now, when it comes to converts.... this is not a jab, but it seems that converts to the Episcopalian Church seem to be of two stripes: You have intellectual Evangelicals who have read a lot of C.S. Lewis (guilty) and are probably only passing through to Lutheranism, Catholicism, or Orthodoxy; and you have Evangelicals and Roman Catholics who, far from intellectually Christian, have joined the Episcopal Church to avoid having their spiritual conclusions questioned (the current PB is a prime example, if you will pardon the pun) or, for that matter to avoid having to make any spiritual conclusions at all.

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  Of course, this is an OCA parish, and a theology group, where alot of the people come from a Reformed Presbyterian background and are intellectual to start out with.  In the future, I believe Christians will need to be more intellectually robust to be taken seriously- there will be alot of hostility to Christians in the future as the US secularizes, so it's something I'm thinking about.  I'm not an intellectual lightweight myself, but I am wondering what is the point to be in a church denomination where that sort of thing just is not appreciated.  
I don't think Christians need to be particularly intellectually robust- no more so than the rest of the world. To say otherwise would be truly gnostic- as if salvation or Christianity depended on knowledge! That said, for people who are already intellectually robust, it would indeed be a sin not to apply the intellect to Christianity- not for the sake of defending Christianity against the world, but to defend Christianity against oneself! The doctrines and dogmas need to be known and meditated upon (not understood- not even the most robust of intellects could ever hope to truly understand what happens at the Eucharist or in the Incarnation, or the Trinity). Were every Christian ever mere simple farmers who simply showed up at the parish, took Communion, and lived a Christian life, there would never have been need for councils. It is us intellectuals who created Arianism and the defense against Arianism, gnosticism and the defense, etc.
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« Reply #132 on: May 16, 2013, 10:24:11 PM »

   I've explored the idea  of the branch theory- frankly I'm uncomfortable with the idea of apostolicity being reduced to a bishop's magic hands on somebody, which is usually used to exclude Lutherans and so on.  But I'm also not all on board with the Orthodox ecclessiology either.
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« Reply #133 on: May 16, 2013, 11:27:57 PM »

  I've explored the idea  of the branch theory- frankly I'm uncomfortable with the idea of apostolicity being reduced to a bishop's magic hands on somebody, which is usually used to exclude Lutherans and so on.  But I'm also not all on board with the Orthodox ecclessiology either.
you seem to be on board the sinking ship of Protestant ecclesiology.
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« Reply #134 on: May 17, 2013, 03:35:24 AM »

  I've explored the idea  of the branch theory- frankly I'm uncomfortable with the idea of apostolicity being reduced to a bishop's magic hands on somebody, which is usually used to exclude Lutherans and so on.  But I'm also not all on board with the Orthodox ecclessiology either.

To build further upon my earlier post, what it really boiled down to was the idea that Christians need to be accountable, to Christ and to each other. A lot of the current problems within the Episcopal Church boil down to the fact that the current leadership do not see themselves as accountable- to the members of tEC, to the people they are supposedly in the Anglican Communion with, to their traditions and dogma, and not even to their own constitution and canons. The same problem exhibited itself in my own Evangelical upbringing- there was no Communion as such, just a bunch of different churches where anyone could go off and start a new church under the same denomination, just because they didn't like the current pastor, or because they didn't feel the church was mission focused enough, or because they felt the church was donating too much to missions, or because the local pet store owner happened to put money in the collection plate and that's a violation of Deuteronomy 23:18 (KJV- don't consider that too much of an outlier, such things actually happened in the South).

The members of the Church, as members of the Body of Christ, must be accountable. They must be willing to sacrifice their myriad private interpretations for their brothers' sake. They must be willing to submit to the presbyters of the Church, as St Paul says in many places. This goes for every member, from layman all the way up to the Archbishops, Patriarchs, etc- they are accountable to Holy Tradition, to the Faith Once Delivered.

The widespread denominationalism that has reigned since the Reformation is the furthest thing from the evidence of the New Testament as regards what the Church should be. We were called to all be one, as Our Lord and the Father are One. We are called to recognize that we cannot say to our brother "I do not need you" any more than a foot can say to the hand "get out of here!" Yet, that is exactly what the history of the Reformation is (though not to place undue blame upon Luther- he was perfectly willing to reconcile with Rome at first). Rome says to Luther "We don't need you," Calvin says to Luther and Rome, "I don't need you- Predestination is more important!" The Anabaptists didn't need the paedobaptists, Henry VIII didn't need Catherine, the Separatists didn't need the Church of England,and so on. It might be possible to recognize individual members of these groups as Christians (and I for one would be willing to engage in the weapon of choice at dawn anyone who would deny the Christianity of Lewis, Chesterton, Tolkien, or Billy Graham), it is absolutely impossible to recognize these groups as The Church.
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Oh, no: I've succumbed to Hyperdoxy!
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