South Carolina Standing Committee Releases Statement Regarding General Convention

2. Of greatest concern is not that a blessing of same-gender unions contravenes specific verses of Scripture, though that is unacceptable ”“ of greatest concern is the theology which underlies this rite, set forth in the 82 page I Will Bless You document, which patently redefines the Christian faith, subverting the doctrines of creation and baptism, the nature of sin and salvation, and the grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

3. We have compassion for those who struggle with and act upon same-gender attraction, and we urge equal treatment for all men and women in the church. Our Lord calls us all, equally, to repent of sin that we might receive forgiveness and cleansing through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, restoration to the Body of Christ, and transformation through the power of the Holy Spirit.

4. We hereby repudiate, denounce and reject any action of the Episcopal Church which purports to bless what our Lord clearly does not bless….

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

32 comments on “South Carolina Standing Committee Releases Statement Regarding General Convention

  1. Chip Johnson, cj says:

    Hear, hear, South Carolina Standing Committee! May you continue to stand at Indianapolis next month! God’s richest blessings be upon SC and her delegates.

  2. Sarah says:

    Go get ’em, South Carolina — kudos to you!

    Just keep on standing and pointing out the bankruptcy of the actions of the current leadership of TEC.

  3. Cennydd13 says:

    What’s that? Do I hear KJS threatening action against them?

  4. Oreo says:

    To #1’s request that SC continue to stand: Is the delegation from South Carolina attending GC 2012 this time? I seem to recall that they did not go in 2009.

  5. SC blu cat lady says:

    CJ,#1, I would not be so sure the SC delegates will actually go to GC. I can see better ways to spend our parishes’ dollars and our delegates time than going to GC where we will be outvoted at every turn and essentially be helpless to change anything. This statement is written as if GC has already has happened and the outcome is nearly assured. Why write this now? I could see this sort of statement after GC had made the decisions. Perhaps a pre-emptive strike at TEC? Are they wanting TEC to come in to depose the entire committee?

    While I agree with this opinions and statements of this letter, why bother? Any one who knows anything of the diocese will know that this is nothing really new. Now if they had said, for sure, our delegates are not going….. Ok that is news.

    That is all from a Grumpy SC Blu Cat Lady (Final Exam tomorrow!)

  6. Ralph says:

    Making the statement is worth the bother. Silence is affirmation.

    A “no” vote, as pointed out elsewhere, is affirmation that GC has the authority and power to put the issue up for a vote in the first place. Also, there seem to be constitutional issues with the vote itself. See:

    I don’t think that the PB has the constitutional ability to come in and dismantle an entire diocesan standing committee. Any attempt would be a declaration of another War of Northern Aggression.

    Kudos to DioSC and its Standing Committee!

  7. Sarah says:

    I could go either way on the delegates attending. On the one hand, it’s good to go and simply stand up at every opportunity and point out that the actions of the current leadership of TEC are in violation of Scripture, tradition, and reason and constitute an antithetical gospel to the Gospel.

    On the other hand, it’s a good statement for the delegates not to dignify the Convention as something worth bothering with.

    And — as a third option — I could see the deputation attending but not participating and simply setting up lunches and suppers with fellow deputies throughout TEC who are generally miserable and horrified over the vileness of the proceedings and looking for some Christian fellowship.

    I’ve always said that the best way to turn a moderate into a repelled conservative [though usually depressed and inactive thereafter] is to send ’em to two weeks of General Convention. They return pretty shell-shocked and demoralized.

    That doesn’t turn them into activists — but boy does it open their eyes!

  8. SC blu cat lady says:

    Ralph, Why would such a small detail as proper authority and constitutional ability refrain the PB from doing anything she wants?Don’t misunderstand my grumpiness, I totally agree with the Standing Committee. I am just wondering why now? Why not wait until after GC ? Anway…….. As Mr Haley wrote-the lawlessness continues….. sigh

  9. David Keller says:

    Sarah, 6 years ago I would have agreed. But there are almost no deputies left who are depressed. We used to do the lunch thing from 1997 to 2003. But I honestly don’t see the point anymore. Sc would be better off and happier staying home. They will only be ridiculed in the current iteration of TEC. GC is a complete waste now, and it probably was from 1997 to 2003 when I attended.

  10. Sarah says:

    RE: “But there are almost no deputies left who are depressed.”

    Well there were certainly depressed deputies from 2009 — it was great to see! ; > )

    RE: “We used to do the lunch thing from 1997 to 2003.”

    We had several lunches at 2009 — some 40 at one lunch — which was awesome. I met a ton of deputies from various dioceses out there who are lurking away. All of them recognized what they were dealing with at GC — an antithetical gospel.

    RE: “But I honestly don’t see the point anymore.”

    I think if one goes there with the idea of 1) publicized denunciation and 2) networking — it goes pretty well.

    But you’re right — one doesn’t go to GC as a Christian to be happy! It’s not a happiness-inducing place for those who believe the Gospel.

  11. D a v i d + says:

    #4 Oreo
    Curious where you heard or how you might have got the impression that the SC delegates did not attend General Convention in 2009? The Diocese of SC elected and sent a full deputation, all of whom stood faithfully for Biblical Truth and bore Apostolic Witness to the faith once delivered unto the saints.

  12. Ad Orientem says:

    An impressive and commendable statement. But exactly what is the practical upshot of this? In essence SC is indicting the national “church” [sic] for heresy. And for the record I heartily concur with that indictment. But in my experience heresy is a term that carries no practical meaning within the reformed tradition and certainly no consequence worth noting. It is seen as an insult by some. But beyond that I am not aware of it having any specific meaning or consequence attached to it. In contrast the churches in the catholic tradition, i.e. the Roman and Orthodox Churches have a very specific understanding of what heresy is and what it means. And there are specific consequences and methods for responding to heresy and those who embrace it.

    Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but I have read scores of indignant statements from various conservative Anglican groups disavowing and disassociating from obvious heresy. But for all of the huffing and puffing, the words are empty and meaningless. There are no teeth behind them.

    So what is the practical upshot of this?

  13. David Keller says:

    Sarah, in 2000 and 2003 we always had over 100 and when big issues were coming up many more. My guess is in Minneapolis we usually had 125 to 200 every day until the disastrous vote. I am glad you went and that you met nice people. My only point is the people you are talking about are dwindling fast. It is in direct correlation to the collapse of TEC itself.

  14. SC blu cat lady says:

    #12, Good point. my thoughts exactly. What is the point? I realize it is better to be on record as being against such violations of our own canons than not. The only consequence I can envision is against the diocese not the national church. In that sense it is a brave stance knowing that this may be the proverbial “straw that breaks the camel’s back”. We will see. GC will be interesting- no doubt.

  15. MichaelA says:

    Thanks to the Lord for DSC’s courageous stand.

    The primary responsibility of Christians is to speak out. Given the situation in TEC, this is as much as South Carolina episcopalians can do at present, and it is good to see that they are not afraid to state where they stand.

  16. Brian from T19 says:

    But exactly what is the practical upshot of this?

    It is legal posturing. Designed specifically to maintain a consistent legal position in case they are ever in court. I am certain it is also a statement of faith/belief, but the reason to do it this particular way is legal.

  17. Sarah says:

    RE: “Sarah, in 2000 and 2003 we always had over 100 and when big issues were coming up many more.”

    And that was the case in 2006 as well — when the AAC was organizing and publicizing such things.

    But in 2009, every bit of that was *word of mouth* and individually organized — had lunches been publicized it would have been oh so simple to get well over a hundred.

    My guess is that at GC 2012 there will be around 100 or so actual conservative deputies [plenty of solo conservatives from revisionist dioceses], and another 100 or so Little Lost [and shocked] Moderates wandering around. The rest of the numbers — 600+ — are a mix of loony tunes granola revisionists in birkenstocks and hand-knitted prayer shawls, and bitter outraged revisionist activists who are doing all the strategy [winning — but still oh so angry, for some strange reason].

    RE: “My only point is the people you are talking about are dwindling fast.”

    I know that’s your point. ; > )

    I just think the people I’m talking about are hunkering down and hiding, mostly. Plenty of “first-time deputies” ain’t evah evah running again for deputy — but they’re also not leaving either.

    That’s the trend *I* see — detachment and distancing, while staying.

    I recognize that’s not the trend you believe is occurring — and I’m happy to grant that plenty of people have left. It goes in waves, and there’ll be another surge of departers every three years, after each convention. Of course . . . there’s also people “suddenly awakening” — and that’s happening non-stop. Just because [i]one[/i] group of people leaves TEC doesn’t mean there’s not another group of people who only get a clue after each charming and delightfully publicized GC.

    That’s what makes it all so pleasantly stressful for bishops. Every three years, the tsunami comes in and sweeps away another wave of former pledge units, and also knocks awake another wave of [i]present[/i] pledge units. ; > )

  18. Sarah says:

    RE: “But exactly what is the practical upshot of this?”

    Public clear repudiation and differentiation. [Granted, the Diocese of South Carolina is not Rome or the EO, thank God.]

    We need more of this — more groups of people in TEC, after each and every silly revisionist activist group spouts their line, raising [i]their[/i] hands and saying “we believe the precise opposite, because we don’t share the same gospel.”

  19. yohanelejos says:

    A blessing on this diocese! They have said in this statement precisely what needed to be said.

  20. Cennydd13 says:

    May they go from strength to strength in the face of heresy and apostasy. God bless ’em!!

  21. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    #18 One God, one Father, one Son, one Holy Spirit, and one Word. There is only one Gospel, Sarah. Anything else is antithetical to the Gospel.

    Like you, but just as an outsider, it seems to me that Christians are to witness in all times and in all places, even in the midst of the heart of darkness in ECUSA’s councils where the Enemy appears to be in charge. Mind you, some of the stoats and weazels are noticing that the beer has run out and the food is not up to scratch, and the staff have left, and the roof is caving in, which is not what the Enemy promised, and they are wondering what all those boxes labelled dynamite are for.

  22. Henry says:

    Way to go, Diocese of South Carolina! Thank you for standing up for the truth, no matter the cost. If they come after you, the water here outside TEC is wonderful. Sad we had to leave to find peace.

  23. Oreo says:

    #11: I got the impression from this website. I thought I recalled an announcement that SC was not going to send a delegation. I did not have time at the moment to do a Google search but see now that they did, in fact, send a delegation in 2009. Was it therefore 2006 that they didn’t send one? I could have sworn that I read Kendall’s writing on this matter but the archives don’t go back to 2006.

  24. Ralph says:

    SC blu cat lady, she might try to mess with SC, thinking that she’s the TEC fuehrerin, and trying to bring about the ecclesiastical equivalent of the invasion of Austria.

    However, she has no authority in SC. This courageous diocese, in a state full of courageous people, would either ignore any edict from 815, or fight to the last man and woman. SC won’t roll over and play dead.

    If GC were to declare that the heretical GC “I Will Bless You” document and the diabolical SSB rites are official written binding doctrine of TEC, then things could get interesting for SC, other conservative dioceses, and conservative clergy everywhere. But, I don’t expect that will happen.

  25. Sarah says:

    RE: “I thought I recalled an announcement that SC was not going to send a delegation.”

    Heh — there’s a lot of disappointment from revisionist activists when Lawrence/deputies show up to places . . . like, oh, say, the Province IV meeting.

    So many hopes and dreams to come up with some more deposition charges.

  26. Oreo says:

    #11: David, I had some time over my lunch hour to do some more research and, best that I can tell, what I must be remembering from awhile back are the comments from Bp. Lawrence and perhaps Kendall himself following when SC passed a resolution to begin distancing itself from TEC and its respective whatevers, which is basically what the Standing Committee is reiterating in this statement. Apologies for any confusion I may have caused.

  27. SC blu cat lady says:

    I knew what you were remembering but did not have time to look for it until I got home today. My hubby and I were there at the Special Convention in 2009 when these resolutions were passed by overwhelming majorities. I remember people saying it was just a matter of time before +KJS deposed +Lawrence. Well here we are nearly three years later and it still has not happened even though some within the diocese have tried very hard to make it happen.

    From the diocese’s website You can find this info under the diocesan convention tab.

    (This is under the Convention Notes tabs)
    Four of the five resolutions proposed by the Diocese of South Carolina’s Standing Committee were passed at the Special Convention held October 24, 2009, at Christ Church in Mt. Pleasant. All resolutions were drafted in response to Bishop Lawrence’s address to the clergy of the Diocese on August 13, which called the church to fight the “false Gospel of indiscriminate inclusivity.”

    The first four Resolutions, presented as “guiding principles for engagement,” passed overwhelmingly. Collectively, they represent a comprehensive new strategy for addressing the future of The Episcopal Church and the larger Anglican Communion.

    Resolution 1, “The Lordship of Christ and the Sufficiency of Scripture” was passed by 86.7% of those present. It establishes the Diocesan commitment to these priorities and particularly how they will be affirmed in the Ordinations conducted in the Diocese.

    Resolution 2, “Godly Boundaries,” was voted on by orders with 87 clergy voting “yes,” 17 voting :no,” with one abstaining. Of the lay vote, 39 parishes voted “yes,” 8 voted “no;” 13 missions voted “yes,” 3 voted “no,” two were divided and one mission abstained.

    Entire Resolution #2 (From the Resolutions Offered at Special October 24, 2009 Convention link under Convention archives)
    Second Guiding Principle for Engagement
    Godly Boundaries

    Whereas the governing bodies of The Episcopal Church have failed to operate within the boundaries of its canons and continued participation in such behavior would make the Diocese of South Carolina complicit in this dysfunction, be it Resolved that this Diocese authorize the Bishop and Standing Committee to begin withdrawing from all bodies of the Episcopal Church that have assented to actions contrary to Holy Scripture, the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ as this Church has received them, the resolutions of the Lambeth Conference which have expressed the mind of the Communion, the Book of Common Prayer and our Constitution and Canons, until such bodies show a willingness to repent of such actions; and be it Further resolved that the Diocese of South Carolina declares that the most recent example of this behavior, in the passage of Resolutions DO25 and CO56, to be null and void, having no effect in this Diocese, and in violation of our diocesan canon (XXXVI sec.1).

    The resolution commits the Diocese to clearly expressed boundaries where bodies within The Episcopal Church have assented to actions contrary to the Faith as we have received and share them with Christendom past and present.

    Rest of this is again (Resolutions 3,4, and 5 vote tallies)from the Notes of the Special Convention in Octibre 2009.
    Resolution 3, “Domestic Engagement for Missional Relationships,” passed with 85.1% voting in support, 14.6% voting “no” and 0.3% abstaining. Where like minded Dioceses and parishes will join us, we will pursue relationships that strengthen the Body of Christ.

    Resolution 4, “Emerging 21st Century Anglicanism” passed with 87.5% voting in favor, 11.5% opposing and 1% abstaining. This strategy begins with the endorsement of the Ridley Draft of the Anglican Covenant as an important expression of what will be needed to restore health to the Communion.

    Resolution 5, “The Rubric of Love,” was tabled until the next convention. This resolution was not connected to the Guiding Principles out of which the first four Resolutions flowed. Multiple amendments were discussed regarding this resolution. The final consensus was that the current language fell short of adequately expressing our desire to “speak the truth in love” and further work was needed before its reconsideration at Diocesan Convention in March of 2010.

    Having dispatched all the proposed resolutions, the Convention was closed with prayer by Bishop Lawrence and adjourned.

  28. SC blu cat lady says:

    Also from the Diocese’s website-
    Election results for Deputies to General Convention from the Diocese of SC.
    Deputies to General Convention 2012-Clergy
    The Very Rev. John Burwell
    The Rev. Canon Jim Lewis
    The Very Rev. David Thurlow
    The Rev. Haden McCormick
    The Rev. Andrew Pearson-Alternate

    Deputies to General Convention 2012-Lay
    Mr. Reid Boylston
    Mrs. Elizabeth Pennewill
    Mrs. Lydia Evans
    Mr. Lonnie Hamilton
    Mrs. Dorothy Gervais Carter-Alternate
    Mr. David Wright-Alternate
    Mr. John Dugue – Alternate

    [url=]The General Convention webpage for deputations[/url] lists the elected deputies from SC and all other diocesan deputations.

  29. PeterL says:

    well….. there you go again South Carolina, huffing and puffing (just like General Convention)

  30. Pigeon says:

    Will either this blog or StandFirm have a presence at GC this year?

  31. MichaelA says:

    [blockquote] “We need more of this—more groups of people in TEC, after each and every silly revisionist activist group spouts their line, raising their hands and saying “we believe the precise opposite, because we don’t share the same gospel”.” [/blockquote]
    Very good point. So much of effective Christian witness simply consists of people standing up and saying, “This is what I believe”. The cover art of Keith Green’s album “No Compromise” was a great illustration.

    And the converse is true – so often nobody actually does this.

    Thanks be to God for the powerful witness of Dio SC.

  32. Charlie Holt+ says:

    [i]Furthermore, the adoption of such a rite at General Convention contravenes the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church, and the Book of Common Prayer, and in so doing reveals the bankruptcy of our own polity and institutional integrity.[/i]

    I argued this very thing on the floor of General Convention 09 and it was quickly ignored…

    Here is a Transcript of the Ruling of the Chair on the Constitutionality and Canonicity of (C056 Liturgies for Blessings)
    House of Deputies, Day 10 (July 17, 2009), (transcribed from the morning session recording)

    Chair: The matter before us is C056.
    Chair: Microphone Five

    Deputy Charles Holt: This is Charlie Holt from Central Florida. I would like to ask for a ruling of the chair on the constitutionality and canonicity of this particular resolution– I believe it is out of order. The members of the clergy of this house have taken a solemn oath to declare to conform to the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church which includes Canon 18. Where it says, every member of the clergy this church shall conform to the laws of this church governing the solemnization of Holy Matrimony, which is defined in both in the Prayer Book and in the canons to be a physical and spiritual union of a man and a woman. I ask for a ruling of the chair.

    Chair: Thank you, I would ask for advice from the chancellor of the president of the House of Deputies. Please go to a microphone.

    Chancellor: Sally Johnston, Johnston Minnesota. There is nothing in the resolution that purports to amend the canons on marriage or to change the rubrics on marriage, or blessing of marriage or the rubrics in the Book of Common Prayer.

    Chair: Thank You, Microphone 2