May 6, 2012

Thought for 5-6-12


The argument that The Episcopal Church isn't hierarchical because the Constitution and Canons do not use certain code words is rather like the argument of those who rejected the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity because homoousion doesn't appear in Scripture.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

11 comments:

Daniel Weir said...

I continue to be amazed that bishops whose ordinations had to be approved by authorities beyond their dioceses could make the argument that TEC is not hierarical.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Indeed, Daniel. Imagine the hue and cry that would arise if the governors of the states had to be ratified by a majority of the sitting governors and the House of Representatives! TEC is _more_ hierarchical than our civil government, not less...

MarkBrunson said...

Seitz is a clown.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Well, he is certainly not doing himself proud. I have found him to be just as obtuse in the fields about which he ostensibly knows a thing or two, particularly in a tendency to ignore evidence in pursuit of a particular agenda. Note the pattern?

WSJM said...

Perhaps there is a legal beagle out there who can explain how American civil law distinguishes between "hierarchical" and "non-hierarchical" churches. This is not an arbitrary distinction, so there must be some statutes or legal precedents that would provide some definition. I assume that an independent evangelical congregation would be non-hierarchical. I also assume, but less confidently, that churches of the Southern Baptist Convention would be non-hierarchical. By definition one would think that Congregationalist churches would be non-hierarchical, but if they are part of the United Church of Christ that might not be the case. But at any rate, if any bishop of The Episcopal Church were to wander too far afield (as a few have over the years), he or she would quickly discover how hierarchical The Episcopal Church is! Alas (or perhaps not!), being a mouthy jerk is not a canonically presentable offense!

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Bill, I commend Bruce Mullins excellent affadavit that addresses this issue clearly, (and which I know you have seen). In US Supreme Court cases going back at least to Watson in the 19th century, TEC was described as hierarchical -- that is, briefly having a central government capable of adopting resolutions which all were bound to follow. There is more to it than that, but the highest court has always treated TEC as hierarchical, simply because facially it is so! And most state courts have found the same.

The ACI folks are clutching at straws; and in some cases being intellectually dishonest in citing outdated documents as if they were still relevant.

bob said...

Interesting idea, but you'll find that most Episcopalians in fact regard the Trinity just as James Pike did; excess baggage. Mentioning homoousion makes as much sense to Episcopalians as Theotokos.
Aim lower for a usable example, don't confuse your audience.

MarkBrunson said...

I note the pattern and have, quite vocally, for some time.

Deception is just outright lying, but dodging, weaving, and obtuseness, as well. Seitz and his ilk use their intellects to deceive, and I have no trouble saying that the more complex and sophisticated the deception, the more diabolic it is.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Bob, I don't underestimate the knowledge of Episcoplians -- or at least trust they know how to Google, and then might learn something.

Mark, it seems to me that self-deception is at the base of much of this -- and it is at least demonic if not diabolical. What is the psychological need to weave such obviously false fabrics in which to cloak oneself? Fortunately, though they appear not to recognize it, most of these garments are see-through, except to those similarly clothed.

WSJM said...

I don't know where Bob goes to church, but in my congregation most of the folks have at least some familiarity with "homoousion" and "theotokos," and are inclined to think they are Good Things, even if these words don't come up in everyday conversation.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

W., in the old days it was said that the 39 Articles would occasionally provide pewsters bored with the sermon with something to read; if the Chalcedonian Definition does the same thing, they'll have stumbled across both homoousios and Theotokos!