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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).

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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

Joseph as a type of Christ for gentiles and Jews to understand

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Joseph as a type of Christ for gentiles and Jews to understand

Whether for Jews, gentiles, or both, the Bible is loaded with messages intended to point to Yeshua as the Christ, our Messiah, Lord, and Savior. One of the most compelling stories that tells of a type of Christ is in the first book of the Bible, Genesis, in which Joseph is presented in a way that points to the Messiah to come to the world.

Many Bible scholars and theologians have talked about this. It’s the type of revelation that hits us hard when we connect the dots and realize the intense similarities between a man through which God saved Israel and the Christ through which the world is saved. It’s also a story that is not, in our opinion, discussed enough in churches. The significance is too important to pass over casually.

The Bible uses types throughout. Sometimes, a person can be a type that refers to someone in the past. Usually, they point to the future, giving us further affirmation of the timeless nature of the Father. Let’s look at a handful of similarities that point to Joseph as a type of Christ.

Men without Condemnation

Only Abraham is discussed more in the long book of Genesis than Joseph. Nearly everyone is presented with great faults, including Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Even Noah, a just man, made a mistake after the flood that allowed Canaan to be cursed for eternity.

Joseph has arguably one fault described in the Bible. He may or may not have bragged to his brothers about his dreams in a way that was not truly humble. He told them as well as his father that they would all bow down to him someday. One can argue that he had to tell them and that he wasn’t doing so to brag but to declare a truth. Whether humbly or not, it was God’s Will for Joseph to tell of the dreams because this put it into his brothers’ hearts to betray him. Had they not, Israel would not have been able to go to Egypt and survive as a nation, at least not in the way that it happened in the Bible.

Genesis lays no condemnation on Jospeh. Yeshua is without sin, a status obviously higher than Joseph. If Joseph had no major faults and maintained faith in God throughout his story, then Yeshua magnified this to the point of righteousness. Joseph was only a man and therefore sinned, but he was without apparent flaw worth noting in the text. Yeshua was flawless.

Sent by His Father to Check on the Flock

This is a neat little note. Joseph was sent by his father to check on his brothers and the flock of sheep that they fed. Yeshua was sent by His Father to gather the brethren to tend to the flock.

While checking on the flocks, both were betrayed.

Betrayed by their Brethren

Joseph was cast into a pit while his brothers contemplated his fate. He was then taken by the Midianites and sold into slavery as his brothers watched helplessly.

Yeshua was betrayed by His people. One could take it further and point to those who knew Him as He grew up in Nazareth. They did not accept Him, even wanting to hurl Him off a cliff and few in His homeland believed that He was anything other than the carpenter’s son. Then, of course, we could look at Judas Iscariot, an original disciple who ultimately betrayed him.

With types, we can often see different degrees expressed. In Joseph’s case, he was betrayed to a life of slavery while Yeshua was betrayed to death. Joseph’s freedom was sold for 20 pieces of silver while Yeshua’s life was sold for 30 pieces of silver. Joseph saved nations. Yeshua saved the world.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of their betrayals is that both Joseph and Yeshua were falsely accused.

Two Criminals, One Saved

When Joseph was imprisoned, he came across two others who were condemned. He interpreted the dreams of the cup bearer and the baker. The cup bearer was to live while the baker was to die.

On the cross, Yeshua was there with two criminals. One mocked Him. The other worshiped Him. One would be saved. The other was condemned.

Not Recognized by the People

Joseph was 17-years-old when he was betrayed by this brothers. He was in his thirties when they would see him again and they did not immediately recognize him, even when they ate with him. They knew he was a powerful man who did wonderful works for the people, but they did not see him as their brother nor the person who would eventually save their nation. In fact, they feared him.

Yeshua was also in His thirties when He went to spread the Word of God throughout the land. He was seen by the Jews as a powerful teacher, a healer, even a prophet, but most did not see Him as the Messiah. His works were revered by most but there were those who did not recognize that these works were done through the Father. They both hated and feared Him.

Others

Bible History put together a pretty comprehensive list of similarities in the form of verses:

Joseph Jesus
Joseph was Loved by His Father – Genesis 37:3 God said about Jesus “this is my beloved son” – Matthew 3:17
Joseph’s brothers did not believe him and hated him – Genesis 37:4-5 The Jews Did Not Believe in Christ – John 7:5 and they hated him – John 15:24
Joseph’s brothers rejected his right to rule – Genesis 37:8 The Jewish leaders said “we will not have this man to rule over us” Luke 19:14
Joseph’s brothers conspired against him – Genesis 37:23 They took counsel against Jesus Matthew 27:1
They stripped Joseph of his garments –  Genesis 37:23 They stripped Jesus –  Matthew 27:28
Joseph was sold for silver – Genesis 37:28 Jesus was sold for silver –  Matthew 26:15
Everything Joseph put his hand to prospered –  Genesis 39:3 “… And the pleasure of the Lord prospered in his hand” – Isaiah 53:10
All things were laid into Joseph’s trust –  Genesis 39:4-8 God hath given all things into his hand – John 3:35
Joseph’s own brothers did not recognize him. The Jews did not recognize their Messiah
Joseph was tempted and did not sin –  Genesis 39:9 Jesus was tempted in all things yet was without sin – Hebrews 4:15
Joseph was bound – Genesis 39:30 Jesus was bound – Matthew 27:2
Joseph was condemned with two criminals – Genesis 40:2, 3 Jesus was crucified with two criminals – Luke 23:32
One criminal was given life and the other was condemned – Genesis 40:21-22) Jesus told one of the criminals “Today you shall be with me in paradise” – Luke 23:43
Joseph was trustworthy and wise –  Genesis 41:39 God said about Jesus “this is my beloved son in whom I well pleased” – Mark 1:11
Joseph’s brothers bowed their knee to him – Genesis 41:43 “At the name of Jesus every knee will bow” – Philippians 2:10
Joseph was 30 years old – Genesis 41:46 Jesus was “about 30 years old” – Luke 3:25
God planned the suffering of Joseph in advance to save many – Genesis 50:21 Jesus said “God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him shall be saved” – John 3:16
Joseph was made ruler over all of Egypt – Genesis 41:42-44 Jesus said “all power has been given unto me” – 8:18
Joseph married a foreign bride who shared his glory – Genesis 41:45 Believers in Christ are “joint heirs” with him in his glory – Romans 8:17
Joseph was cast into a pit and then later delivered out of it – Genesis 37:24, 28 When Jesus died he descended into the lower parts of the earth, and later ascended into heaven – Ephesians 4:9
Joseph was imprisoned based on false charges – Genesis 39:19, 20 During the trial of Jesus false witnesses were brought in testifying against him – Mark 14:56
Joseph’s brothers later repented for what they did to him – Genesis 42:7 “and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn” – Zechariah 12:10

As a representation of the coming Messiah, Joseph acts as the right type to be able to point Jews and gentiles to the truth. Joseph had no ministry per se, but he did represent the rise, fall, and complete ascension of a man whom God used to make the tribe of Israel a nation that would rise from Egypt and take the land that was promised to their father Abraham.

This comparison allows everyone today to understand the divinity of Yeshua and the coming reign of our Lord. In the end, Joseph was accepted by his people and set the path for their lives to come. The same will be said of Yeshua in the last days.

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Conspiracy Theory

Evidence points to some dinosaurs living beyond the extinction event

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Evidence points to some dinosaurs living beyond the extinction event

It is, for all practical purposes, nearly impossible for the vast majority of people who have received a modern education to even consider the possibility that dinosaurs are not as old as we have been told. It’s a topic that I’ve avoided because the presuppositions are so powerful among the general population.

Today, I decided to tackle the topic with one purpose: to start a discussion with those who have an open mind. I’m well aware that most minds will be closed and there will be much more sarcasm than discourse, but ridicule from the indoctrinated masses is a small price to pay if just one person can hear this and decide to dig deeper into science and the Bible to have the truth revealed.

It’s been instilled in our minds as common knowledge that the dinosaurs died off 65 million years ago in the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event with the most prevalent alleged culprit being the impact of a comet or asteroid at Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. For the most part, anything that’s considered common knowledge can be sustained without anyone questioning the assumptions. For example, it was common knowledge based upon what was easily observable that the sun, moon, and stars revolved around the earth. That was finally debunked, of course, but scientific debate on the model of our solar system continued until the early 20th century.

A more recent example of common knowledge being wrong is the idea that acid caused by bad diet or stress is what causes ulcers. In 2005, Barry Marshall and Robin Warren won the Nobel Prize for Medicine by demonstrating that the vast majority of ulcers were caused by an infection of the bacterium H. pylori.

Now is not the time to debate young earth versus ancient earth, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that dinosaurs were around in the time of man. Even a brave segment of the secular scientist world has started questioning whether the extinction event killed off all of them based upon mounting evidence. There was even a formerly prominent professor who learned the hard way that bringing forth compelling scientific evidence of dinosaurs walking with men can earn people a quick entry onto the black list.

Over the centuries, intellectuals have had a difficult time having their worldviews shattered. The funny thing is that the existence of modern era dinosaurs doesn’t change much. It could mean that small pockets of the world were protected from the extinction event. One would not have to make huge adjustments to their worldview if this were the case which is why it’s so perplexing that they won’t even explore the possibility. It’s reminiscent of the persecution that Galileo received, only this time it’s not at the hand of the Christian church but rather at the hands of the church of science.

I want to go much deeper on the issue of why there seems to be reluctance at best and a systematic coverup at worst, but we’ll have to explore that on a future video. For now, I’d like to turn to a video we watched that gives a pretty interesting perspective. While I don’t agree with all of the conclusions or evidence, there’s enough good to make it appropriate for sharing.

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Culture and Religion

Houston library had Alberto Garza, a registered child sex offender, read stories to children for Drag Queen Storytime

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Houston library had Alberto Garza a registered child sex offender read stories to children for Drag

Conservatives know the LGBTQ community has their say in most aspects of life in America today. Their political and cultural influence is unquestionable and public organizations jump through hoops to appease the various groups. Many libraries have even embrace “Drag Queen Storytime” as a way to teach tolerance to children by allowing transvestites to read stories to children.

Houston Public Library is one such progressive public organization that has embraced the practice. Unfortunately, they didn’t do anything to protect the children that visit the library by allowing “Tatiana Mala Nina” to read for the children. The problem arose because”Tatiana” is actually Alberto Garza, a 32-year-old child sex offender.

My Take

Houston Public Library has apologized. Is that really enough? Mistakes happen, but there are certain situations and jobs in which extra special care must be taken. Our public libraries, which are often considered to be truly safe places and popular venues for children to learn, should be able to give a reasonable expectation to parents that registered child sex offenders are not given explicit access to children.

This is gross negligence. I may be in the minority on this one, but this is a terminable offense in my books. Someone’s head should roll.

Keep in mind I rarely call for anyone to be fired for a single offense, but this is literally the worst case scenario for a library administrator. When you give someone access to the children that come to the library, they cannot be convicted child sex offenders. That’s sort of a no-brainer.

Nothing will likely happen beyond the apology, but here’s hoping.

So many exceptions are made for “alternative lifestyles” for the sake of tolerance. But when this tolerance allows a convicted child sex offender to have access to small children, the exceptions have gone way to far. This is absolutely unacceptable.

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