June 26, 2006

What should have happened

a Swiftian catena

The General Convention should have listened to the clear directions of the Primates and repented and repudiated all that had been done to offend.

The Episcopal Church should have ignored the tradition of national church polity and remained as a missionary arm of the Church of England even after the Revolution.

The Church of England should have listened to the pope and never separated from Rome.

The Eastern Orthodox should have done the same and submitted to Rome so as not to sever communion.

The martyrs should have followed Saint Paul’s advice to obey those in civil authority.

Saint Paul, in the interest of not tearing the fabric of the early church, should have acceded to the circumcision party instead of trusting to his own private interpretation of Scripture.

The Jerusalem Council should have ignored the anecdotal evidence of Paul and Barnabas — which could only serve to make Law-abiding Jewish converts uneasy.

Saul should have ignored his personal “experience” on the road to Damascus and followed his orders from the Sanhedrin.

The other apostles should have ignored Peter’s “dream” and stuck to the letter of the Law.

Jesus should have heeded Peter’s advice and turned back from Jerusalem.

He might also have considered more seriously the various options presented to him in the Wilderness Report.

Joseph should have ignored the “personal revelation” he received — again in a dream, no less — and acted in accordance with the Law, and when he found Mary to be with child by someone other than himself, had her stoned to death, and her unborn child with her.

Then we wouldn’t be having all these problems with the Anglican Communion.

—Tobias S Haller BSG


R said...


Ann said...

Oh I agree - and while we are at it - we should continue in the tradition of Japhthah and make oaths that result in killing our daughters - that would solve the whole problem!! Or maybe God should not have provided a ram for Isaac either.

Anonymous said...

(Dave) A cute approach to a big problem, but in the end, not very helpful. It proceeds from the assumption that TEC (or at least some parts of it at some particular times - but, not always- witness B033) must necessarily be right. The rich, self-indulgent people of the West are most assuredly the bearers of God's truth and the inheritors of the mantle of righteousness - not those in the persecuted church who put their lives daily on the line for the sake of the Gospel! What arrogance! Oh, I forgot, the only reason they object is because some well-funded fundamentalists bought them with a couple of chicken dinners. They could not possibly have discerned the leading of the Spirit. The Ugly American is alive and well and can be found wherever TEC is at prayer.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...


When it comes to matters of truth, either TEC is correct in (some of) its actions, or it is not. I have never suggested it is always right. On the contrary, I know only too well the kinds of mistakes the Episcopal Church has made, and continues to make.

But surely whether one is rich or poor is no indication of whether one is right -- or righteous. I know many self-indulgent and well-off religious conservatives, and many poor and struggling liberals -- and both sorts exist in the Global South as well as in the US. You are engaging in an ad hominem attack which has nothing to do with the truth of any propositions.

You also appear to be unaware of the many people in the US and throughout the world who put their lives on the line every day in defense of the faith and in ministry to others -- and do so without condemning or demeaning their brothers and sisters in Christ.

I welcome your comments, but I do wish they were more to the point and less structured as a rant.

Anonymous said...

(Dave) You were the one who analogized TEC's actions to those of the pillars of the faith and the reaction of the Global South (and conservatives)to those who would thwart the will of God. I apologize for the style of my reply, but not the substance.

The Anglican Scotist said...

I love the "Wilderness Report" notion--that is really sticking with me.

Anonymous said...

the reaction of the Global South (and conservatives)to those who would thwart the will of God

...that's the reaction of the bishops of the GS, Anon/D (and by no means all of them).

But the rest of it?


So help me God, that's what I believe.

Am I not supposed to believe what I believe, just to make you happy Anon/D? Am I not supposed to follow my conscience, as (continually) formed by Scripture, Tradition, and Reason, just because you object?

How do live as a person of integrity, by your lights, Anon/D? How do I read the Bible to say something I believe it doesn't? When conservative arguments don't convince me, how would I act as if they do?

How 'bout instead of just sniping, you say something with which we could actually engage? :-/