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Update: Episcopal Church doubles-down on bad, plays dumb

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On February 2nd,  I reported on a resolution that was passed in the Washington D.C. diocese of the Episcopal Church (ECUSA). The resolution calls for all future updates to the Book of Common Prayer (the liturgies) “to avoid the use of gendered pronouns for God.”

The news of the passage of the resolution was widely received with dismay, and a plethora of criticisms toward ECUSA have followed.

 Now, the Episcopal Church has responded via:

Following the widespread outrage which followed the adoption of the resolution, the church has pivoted its tactic of argumentation for its stance, toward a focus on the limits of language itself and the desire to expand the language used to describe God. This is evident in the responses from both the author of the resolution and from the Episcopal News Service (ENS).

The author’s response

The Rev. Alex Dyer of St. Thomas’ Parish Episcopal Church in Washington D.C. authored the resolution, entitled “On the Gendered Language for God.”  He said, “The resolution asks us to draw on multiple images of God… masculine, feminine and wide diversity.”

Rev. Dyer then noted the existence of two creation stories in Genesis; the first in Chapter 1 and the second in Chapter 2. However, regarding the second creation story (from Chapter 2), Dyer incorrectly stated:

“And I’m sure that you also know too that there is another Genesis story in Chapter 2, uh, where God creates Adam, uh, and then He creates a helper, and is uh, Eve isn’t identified [by] gender until actually Chapter 3.”

In response to Rev. Dyer’s erroneous claim (which I will briefly address below), Carlson asked the reverend if he thought that Eve might not have been a woman.

To this, Rev. Dyer responded, “Uh, well, you know, I wasn’t there.”

(I suppose any congregants watching the interview were expected to hold their nose and pretend that all is well, regardless of the reverend’s inability to utter a single declarative sentence regarding Eve’s womanhood in the face of the thousands of years of Scriptural assertion regarding the matter.)

When asked by Carlson whether there was any evidence to suggest that Eve was not a woman, Dyer responded with obfuscation:

“Uh, I think that the important thing to gather away is that… the important thing is that God is beyond gender, and I think when we’re talking about God we are using language. And language limits us, right? And we are talking about something that is limitless – God – that we’re trying to get our heads around. Uh, but yet language is all we have in order to do that. So, in a sense, we insist on, want to limit the language that we use.”

Concerning Rev. Dyer’s claim regarding Chapter 2 of the Book of Genesis – that Eve’s gender is not identified until Chapter 3 – one need only to open their Bible to find the glaring error of the reverend’s words.

See Genesis Chapter 2, verses 22-24:

22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[a] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Biblical translations correctly identifying Eve as “woman” in Chapter 2 of the Book of Genesis include, but are not limited to, the King James Bible, English Standard Version Bible, International Standard Version Bible, JPS Tanakh 1917, Webster’s Bible Translation, Young’s Literal Translation, and so on… (I have not come across a contradictory translation.)

Tucker Carlson, who (like myself) was baptized into and raised in the Episcopal Church, pressed Rev. Dyer about ECUSA’s embrace of “any fashionable, left-wing social cause,” and the dire hemorrhaging in the church’s membership numbers, positing, “I wonder if embracing fashionable left-wing politics has been bad for the church.”

To this, the Rev. Alex Dyer asserted that politics had nothing to do with the troubles of the Episcopal Church, nor his personal motivations for seeking to “avoid” Biblically-sourced gender designations for God.

According to numbers provided by the Episcopal Church, the membership numbers for Dyer’s own church, St. Thomas, have imploded, shrinking 50% in just the last 5 years.

St. Thomas describes itself as a “progressive” (socialist) church. Included on the church’s website is a link to an open public workshop, “Thirsting for Justice,” which features an image of clenched fists against a red background. Also linked on St. Thomas’s website is a portal where members of the public may purchase #faithpalm Jesus products. These products include mugs, t-shirts, banners and yard signs, etc., bearing slogans such as, “Yes, science is real” (whatever that means).

You can watch the entire Tucker Carlson interview of the Rev. Alex Dyer here.

The Episcopal News Service’s response –

Knowing well the Episcopal church’s (remaining) audience, the ENS article almost immediately informed its readers that “the call for more inclusive language in the prayer book… drew national attention, especially from conservative-leaning critics” (emphasis mine), listing Breitbart and The Blaze as examples.

Washington D.C. Bishop Mariann Budde described three critical emails she received, which she described as “vitriolic.” The emails purportedly described the D.C. diocese “as aligned with Satan and at war with God.”

While neither Bishop Budde nor ENS offered any Scriptural rebuttals to the alleged claims found within the “three emails,” Bishop Budde insisted, “It’s clear they didn’t read the resolution.”

No recognition was provided for those of us who did read the resolution (which I also published in my February 2nd article, and to which I provided the direct link) and who found the resolution to be theologically amoral, abhorrent, and perilous.

Ignoring the text of the resolution, which calls for all revisions to the Book of Common Prayer “to avoid the use of gendered pronouns for God,” the resolution, insisted Budde, “doesn’t mandate the elimination of gender-specific references to God… despite what some reports suggest.”

In the D.C. diocese’s convention materials, a more radical version of the resolution was offered in amendment form. It reads:

“Resolved, the House of ____________ concurring, that the 79th General Convention direct the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, as it considers revision of the Book of Common Prayer, to eliminate, when possible, all gendered references to God and to replace them with gender-neutral language, and if necessary, to alternate gendered titles when referring to God.” (emphasis mine)

But pay no attention to the devil behind the curtain.

For decades, stripping the Word of its masculine references to God has been a concerted effort for a growing segment ECUSA, beginning with the 1973 publication of “Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation.”

In fact, in 1997, the Episcopal Church published a supplement to the Book of Common Prayer, entitled “Enriching Our Worship.” As explained by one Episcopal priest, Father Christopher Brown, “The new liturgies in this book represent a moderate but systematic effort to adjust the use of gender in liturgical language… The new liturgies assiduously avoid the masculine pronoun in referring to God.”

“Enriching Our Worship” provides us with a prudent reminder that the Book of Common Prayer (BOC) is not comprised of Church-created prayers alone. It also disproves Budde’s and Dyer’s insinuation that the focus of ECUSA’s language resolution is not about taking away from the Word of God, but about adding to it.

For example, contained in both the Book of Common Prayer and (in altered form) in “Enriching Our Worship” is a portion of Psalm 95 (verses 1-7).

In the Bible, Psalm 95:1-7 reads:

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.

Yet, in “Enriching Our Worship” (pages 21-22) all gendered references to God have been removed from His Word as written in Psalm 95.

The defense of the church’s resolution then shifts to the subject semantics, to language itself, which followed the very same talking points espoused by the Rev. Dyer in his appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight.

The article also included a juvenile-like attempt at validation via the equally reprehensible actions of other churches.

But, but, but… The Swedish Church did it too…

(It is also worth noting that ENS grossly misrepresented the Catholic Catechism to support the pronoun-butchering of the Episcopal liturgies. The most successful deceivers employ half-truths.)

You can read the article here.

Abject failure

The Episcopal Church has doubled-down on blasphemy, employing ethically abhorrent PR tactics to distract from her flagrant, outward rape of God’s Word as He, Himself, gifted to us.  The church has failed to perform her duties as a church, as the bride.

I implore every Christian – leaders, laity, etc. – to revisit the splendor of God’s choice to reveal himself, through His Word, as the Father.

If the church continues on her present path – through the wide gate (Matt. 7:13-14) – we can no longer be expected to call her a “church”; for, she will have chosen the designation of a pagan tax collector (Matt. 18:15-17).

Paige Rogers is a Christian artist and author, and a former professional practitioner in the field of Early Childhood Development. She is the creator of ThePaintingPastor.org, a blog offering Christian reflection, exhortation and discernment alongside various artistic techniques visually documented through Paige's unique artistic endeavors. A lover of learning, Paige is an avid enthusiast of history, civics, political geography and human nature, physical geography and the sciences. She is an incurably inquisitive and chronically creative “egghead.” Paige is a strong supporter of America's service members and veterans.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mike Gilmer

    February 12, 2018 at 10:17 am

    I will start out by admitting that I am an atheist. I have a friend who is an Episcopalian. She told me once that I should give the Episcopal Church a try. I reminded her of my lack of belief and she said that that is ok in the Episcopal Church. She said you can believe in anything and still be a good Episcopalian. She quoted Bishop Spong and said you do not even need to believe in God to be a good Episcopalian. I chuckled at that.

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Culture and Religion

Media: Please stop bringing Fame to mass murderers with the Gratuitous use of their Names and Imagery.

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It is time that we stop glamorising killers with unnecessary media fanfare    #NoFame4Killers

Saying that the Socialist-Left wants a certain level of violence to push gun control will always result in a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Still, it’s hard to shake that conclusion when it comes to the idea of refusing to bring fame to mass murderers. Studies have shown that these killers inspire others to copy their horrid acts, so it’s only logical that cutting down their media exposure would help alleviate the problem.

Proving the point is the report in the Miami Herald that: There have been threats of violence at 12 U.S. schools, at least, since Fla. Shooting, Including an arrest of a high school student who threatened ‘Round 2’ of Florida Shooting as reported at Tme.com

Consider a 2015 study from researchers at Arizona State University and Northeastern Illinois University reported in the PLOS journal, concluding that:

We find significant evidence that mass killings involving firearms are incented by similar events in the immediate past. On average, this temporary increase in probability lasts 13 days, and each incident incites at least 0.30 new incidents (p = 0.0015). We also find significant evidence of contagion in school shootings, for which an incident is contagious for an average of 13 days, and incites an average of at least 0.22 new incidents (p = 0.0001).

To make it perfectly clear, we are not talking about keeping this information secret or censoring the media. The data should be available in certain places in the media – a dispassionate recitation of the facts of the crime, to keep conspiracy theories and other such nonsense at bay. But there is no logical reason to make a mass murderer famous for the sake of clicks or ratings.

Nor is this a call for government intervention, this is more like a “gentlemen’s agreement” (or gentlewoman’s as the case may be) to stop gratuitously promoting these killers. It’s about denying fame to cowardly murderers who are the worst of the worst, nothing more, nothing less.

Consider that the experts in the field have detailed the extensive planning and preparation these mass murderers that proceeding through five distinct phases. This article published in PoliceOne.com detailed these stages: 5 phases of the active shooter: A tactical reload

1. Fantasy Phase
2. Planning Phase
3. Preparation Phase
4. Approach Phase
5. Implementation Phase

Are we to believe that the “Columbine effect” doesn’t factor in these stages?
In addition, are we to believe that in the Left’s magical “Gun-Free” Utopian fantasy land, that criminals of this type wouldn’t find alternative methods of mass murder?

Both sides of the political aisle have championed this have idea. It was extensively discussed on the Glenn Beck Radio program: Logic and Reason Needed, As well as the publication ‘Mother Jones’.  While we loathe to link to them, they did offer some useful tips to alleviate this deadly problem:

Report on the perpetrator forensically and with dispassionate language. Avoid terms like “lone wolf” and “school shooter,” which may carry cachet with young men aspiring to attack. Instead use “perpetrator,” “act of lone terrorism,” and “act of mass murder.”

Minimise use of the perpetrator’s name. When it isn’t necessary to repeat it, don’t. And don’t include middle names gratuitously, a common practice for distinguishing criminal suspects from others of the same name, but which can otherwise lend a false sense of their importance.

Keep the perpetrator’s name out of headlines. Rarely, if ever, will a generic reference to him in a headline be any less practical.

Minimize use of images of the perpetrator. This is especially important both in terms of aspiring copycats’ desire for fame, and the psychology of vulnerable individuals who identify with mass shooters.

When both ends of the political spectrum agree on something that is so basic and eminently obvious, everyone should take notice. But then again, maybe there are those who really want a certain level of violence, who would prefer to tilt at the windmill of gun control and never really solve anything.

 

 

 

 

 

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Culture and Religion

Don’t Ever Let Anyone Mock You For Praying

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Yesterday’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, was a tragedy beyond words. As a parent myself, I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to lose a child. It almost sounds trite and overused to express our sympathy and express that the victims and their families remain in our thoughts.

And yes. They remain in our prayers.

One may ask, what can prayers do? Many on the Left question the benefits of prayer and even stoop to mocking it. After all, prayer is just a bunch of words, and represent a fig leaf for us creating real solutions to overcome gun violence.

But condemning prayer and assuming it means nothing misses its value entirely. The concept of prayer, particularly in Jewish philosophy, is recognition of our impotence and lack of control of the world. And that control or power rests, as I and others believe, with God.

Only He can regulate evil.

The great Jewish sage and philosopher Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon) states it this way:

“We are told to offer up prayers to G‑d, in order to establish firmly the true principle that G‑d takes notice of our ways, that He can make them successful if we serve Him, or disastrous if we disobey Him; that success and failure are not the result of chance or accident.”

In more banal terms, God does not need our prayers. Prayer is for our own benefit, to acknowledge that we depend on God for everything, from wealth to the food we eat every day.

How much more so for our lives as a whole.

However, it is also true that we do have free will. And the age-old question arrives, how can we exact free will if God controls the world and all its outcomes?

Countless commentaries tackle this question, but I believe that the answer is that we merely possess free will to control ourselves and our own actions. We cannot control the actions of others, because that would impede on their free will. It ultimately lies with each of us to be the most righteous or most evil people we can, or want to, be.

And sadly, but understandably, this is why we cannot control evil, and only God can.

But our power rests in connecting with our Father in Heaven, and beseeching Him for guidance in dealing with life situations and the pervasive evil that exists in our world. And that is through prayer.

Prayer is the closest thing we can do to regulate evil. And by reaching out to God, evil may be eradicated one day. We don’t know, precisely because we cannot control this. But at least, in our darkest hours like those our nation faced yesterday, we can depend on prayer to be the way we shape our outlook on the world. And that is indeed something worth praying for.


Follow Jeremy Frankel on Twitter @frankeljeremy.

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Culture and Religion

The Progressives and the Race Card

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The “race card” has been the left’s longtime weapon against conservatives. It must stop now, or America will be lost forever. Just as with other fallen nations and empires of ancient past.

For many years the left has accused the Republican party, conservatives and moreover, Bible-believing Christians of being racist and wanting to keep America purely Anglo white. Just recently Univision’s equivalent to Walter Cronkite, Jorge Ramos; just made a reviling statement during his appearance on CNN only proving the conservative right about the news media bias in favor of the Democratic Party and their agenda of supporting chain migration.

“They are not proposing immigration reform, they are proposing immigration revenge,” Ramos said. “Because they not only want to help the DACA students but also they want to have a wall, they want more border security, they want to end the so-called chain migration which is family reunification and then the visa lottery.”

However, as the truth gets out about the real history of the American progressives especially those involved in the Democrat party, the true racists proved to be the Democrats themselves. Before Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party which won Dinesh D’Souza four Golden Razzies (which he accepted with honors), the respected Steven Spielberg stayed true to history and showed the open display of racism and the advocacy of slavery that the Democrat party was supporting back in the days of Abraham Lincoln in his namesake 2012 film that Spielberg produced and directed.

In spite of these two films, the race card has been the best weapon that the Democrat progressive leftist to use against people who want to see a cap put on this chain immigration crisis in America. Those who want that cap are so afraid to be seen as bigots and people that hate blacks, Asians, Latinos, etc, etc. If we are going to preserve America and its founding principles we can no longer play defense on this issue. We must play offense, and the above movies I mentioned are a good start to use against the Democrat pravda machine.

I am convinced more than ever that the white progressives are not suffering from “white liberal guilt” nor do they really want to pay penance for own past sins nor the sins of what their movement and political party (the Democrats) has done in the past.

No, they show their true colors when they accuse us of doing what they have done and/or what the Democrats and other progressives of the past have done. History has shown to all of us that they are the racists, xenophobes or what other names they can throw at us hoping that it sticks. The biggest of this bunch at least in the 20th century are Woodrow Wilson and Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Wilson abandoned Biblical truth in favor of Darwinism and ushered that into Princeton University when he became president of that respected educational institution. LBJ was always a racist but like smoking the honeybees he knew to give the African-Americans enough money from the taxpayers to keep them quiet and have them vote Democrat for the next 200 years or so when he lost the civil rights fight in the 1960’s. Both were big-time racists and hated the negro citizen with a passion. Lest we forget that Wilson screened the pro-Ku Klux Klan movie “The Birth of a Nation” at the White House when he was POTUS.

As Christians we need to continue to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the one and true single race…that being the “Human Race.”

God wants all humans to be saved by his son Jesus regardless of skin color or heritage (Mark 16:15). Yeshua did not just die for the Jews (his own people) and the white gentiles. He died for the black, the yellow, the red, the brown etc. etc. The Gospel is the one and only true melting pot while America’s version is a secondary one but based on the principles of the first one. The progressive’s gospel of diversity celebration and co-existence only creates a ‘salad bowl’ which only leads to more division among the citizenry and power-hungry tyrants ready to take control. That control is why they are currying favor among the minorities, and that will not end well for them or any of us who is not a politician or bureaucrat.


This piece was originally published in The Christian Post

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