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Phone: 973-395-1068 h

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Louie & Ernest Clay-Crew
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Spong Bating: the last refuge of scoundrels in the Anglican Communion

> but Bishop Spong's books and teachings gained their notoriety
> precisely because he was a bishop.

Jack Spong still is a bishop in good standing in The Episcopal Church.

And he's my bishop.  Please cease and desist in using this space as a
platform for witch hunts.  I have not used this space to call for
presentment against your bishop, and I do not appreciate your using it to
promote a presentment against mine.

The church has had decades in which to bring presentment against Bishop
Spong, and it has failed to do so.  When your bishop and others brought a
trial against Bishop Spong's assistant bishop, Heretic No. 1, the Court of
the Trial of a Bishop resoundingly exonerated Bishop Walter Righter.  (Bless
you, Walter!  They thought you were going to be a doddering push-over:  they
underestimated your strong faith.)

******, if you must carp, why not carp at the cowardice of Bishop Spong's
would-be presenters, not at Bishop Spong's bold defense of the faithful
using their minds?

When I taught at the University of Alabama (1966-70), many of my colleagues
wasted great energy complaining about all the attention given to Paul 'Bear'
Bryant instead of to English literature.  I do not even know how many
innings there are in a football game, but I do know that if the English
faculty had worked as hard at being good at their job as the 'Bear' did at
his, Alabama would have given them far more attention.

When your record is as good as Bishop Spong's in getting thousands upon
thousands outside the church to take scripture seriously, then I'll listen
to you.  Meanwhile, sit by your gourd vine with charts about what is or is
not presentable as heresy and watch your garden grow.

Newark deputation

-----Your original:

I think there are lines that can be crossed with regard to both theological
viewpoints and financial improprieties.  So, yes, I think that Bp. Spong
should have been presented for teaching views contrary to the historic
faith.  I would instance his theses posted on the web some years back.  One
that I particularly recall was his proposition to the effect that prayer was
a meaningless activity. I recall wondering why he continuing to lay hands on
confirmands and what he thought he was doing.   I am sure that someone will
immediately say that we should not censure a theologian from thinking and
teaching, but Bishop Spong's books and teachings gained their notoriety
precisely because he was a bishop.  It is a bishop's office "to guard the
faith, unity and discipline of the Church".  I doubt I am alone in
questioning whether he was doing that.  And when clergy are openly promoting
postions that are incompatable to with Nicene Christian faith, it is part of
the core office of the bishop to not allow that teaching in her or his
jurisdiction.  As a church we have been blinking at this for some time over
far graver issues than our differing understandings of human sexuality in
the light of the Scriptures.  I knew classmates in seminary who openly
disbelieved in the doctrine of the Trinity and were ordained despite that by
their presenting bishops and COMs. I hope that most on this list would
consider teaching Unitarian doctrine a reason for presentment. After all
presentment is not to say that, "You cannot say that!" (Bless my Unitarian
relatives:  they say it all the time!) It is to say that one cannot say some
things in certain offices and roles in the Church. As to your question about
putting clerics up for presiding at same sex blessings, I think the
acquittal of Bishop Rightor would give us pause.  And yes, a bishop should
not be hasty to disciple, if he is to follow Christ's lead, that "a bruised
reed, I shall not break."  Still, if we are stand for anything other than a
vague and generous deism, we must expect our bishops to discipline those who
do not teach "what has been taught at all times, in all places by all".


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