Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Friday, March 16, 2007


One of the wonderful slings and arrows the traditionalists endure is being called Pharisees. We seem to think the law (actually scripture) is worth following as God's revealed Word and trustworthy guidance! And therefore we are like the pharisees in Jesus' time.


Remembering of course Jesus' real stab at the pharisees, as he said to his followers, is that they kept the outward appearence of the law without affecting their hearts, or worse - bound heavy burdens on others while not keeping them themselves. Jesus said that our righteousness must SURPASS that of the scribes and pharisees! And most traditionalists take that to heart, and allow it to change their hearts as well as keep the teaching and have mercy on others. This all being slung on us by those whose solution is to toss aside the scriptures in order to keep the 'spirit' of the teaching (ie...their own interpretation based on their base desires).

We get a great example of pharisee-ism by the woman who is in the office of Presiding Bishop.

Despite the fact that the bishop-elect of South Carolina has assured the church of his intention to follow the Windsor Report and recent Primates Comminque from within the Episcopal Church, and has fended off the untrue charges that the process was not done properly by the diocese, AND most importantly received the necessary consents from a majority of the Bishops and Standing Committees - Ms. Schori has invalidated the election because three overseas dioceses sent their approval electronically, not by the signed piece of paper, by the deadline.

Talk about following the letter of the law and not the spirit! They claim scripture is culturally/historically conditioned and therefore can be disregarded (it can't), and yet they can't bow to a change in communication because they have made an idol of the Canons (written rules in the Church).

Hypocrite is another word that comes to mind.

Meanwhile the rest of the Communion must be shaking their heads, amazed that the Episcopal Church is sticking it to another traditionalist after Ms. Schori promised in Tanzania to work with us, signing the communique.

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for the Church and the House of Bishops meeting this weekend!

Articles on the issue can be read at