Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 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 14, 2008

...the seed of the Church

The last few days have been hard ones for Traditionalists in the Episcopal Church. The House of Bishops is meeting in Texas, and so far they have deposed two traditionally minded bishops (kicked them out of the ordained ministry - even though technically they both had already resigned from ECUSA's HoB because they were received into another province of the Anglican Communion), brought charges to depose Bishop MacBurney (who was here at St. John's to ordain Fr. Fraser in January and who ordained me a deacon in 1994) for visiting and confirming at a parish in California that had left the Episcopal Church, and they were polling the house to find a way to have a trial to depose Bishop Duncan of Pittsburgh (my old bishop in my former parish) 4 months ahead of schedule in order to prevent him from going to Lambeth Conference (every 10 year gathering of worldwide Anglican Bishops) where he would exercise leadership on behalf of the conservative groups in ECUSA.
And yet a bishop like Jack Spong, who outright denies the Resurrection and other core doctrines of the Christian Faith, continues as a member in good standing.

And as I seeth over all this bloodletting going on for Traditionalists in ECUSA, I then read this...

The body of a Chaldean Catholic archbishop kidnapped by gunmen last month was found in a shal- low grave in northern Iraq yesterday.The discovery sparked an immediate response from Pope Benedict XVI. Speaking in Rome, he said the act offends the dignity of humankind.Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho was seized by gun- men on February 29, minutes after delivering a mass in Mosul, considered the last urban stronghold of al Qaeda in Iraq.

and I realize that the devil is having a field day today.
Trying to kill the biblical leadership in ECUSA, and physically killing an Archbishop in Iraq.

And yet we remember that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. And quite frankly, throughout history, the scriptures have been proven correct - that we will be persecuted for righteousness sake (not self-righteousness sake, but biblical doctrine of revealed truth) and that leads to conversion.

Lord, have mercy upon us!
May we be ready to die for the faith that Jesus Christ is Lord - as he has revealed himself to us!

As I was leaving for Seminary in 1991, an acquiantence from High School (he was an RC Priest at this time) told me these would be exciting times to be a priest because we were going to see martyrdoms happen - even here in America! And we should rejoice that we may get to offer our lives this way for the gospel! Perhaps Fr. Bob Tynski was right!