Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ode to Stand Firm in Faith

As a gesture of good will towards the people of Stand Firm in Faith, I have deleted the Ode, itself, while keeping the comments open.

I have, instead, posted a reflection on my time with Stand Firm as my celebration of my 45th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood.
Tom Woodward


Paul B said...

Uhm , Tom, slander is spoken. Libel is written.

I stopped reading when you got the first sentence wrong.

Thomas B. Woodward said...

Paul, right you are. it was late at night and I know better! Too bad you let the slip keep you from the substance.

Paul B said...

Well, Tom, the rest is just hateful and bigoted, so, there's nothing really to say, is there?

May we all aspire to answer God the way Mary does in today's Gospel - "May it be done to me according to your word"

tjmcmahon said...

Well, to paraphrase Tom Stoppard-
"Lovely cassock, pity about the poetry"
Humor, even when cynical or sarcastic, is healthier than escalation. So I commend you for redirecting your efforts away from condescension and derision, although I daresay your poetry note, exactly, charitable to your opponents.
Perhaps we could all benefit from a cease-fire to recognize the birth of our Lord. In that spirit, Rev. Woodward, I wish you a Joyous Christmass. May we all go in Peace.

Robert said...

Quite brilliant Tom. Of course, compared to the usual bile at SFIF it is rather tame. :)

Grace said...

Fr. Tom,

What do you feel has led many of the folks who post over at SF to feel that you have no agreement in the gospel with them, and are a heretic?

Are you able to affirm that Jesus Christ is truly God, as well as truly man, and that by His dying, and rising again, He has put us right with God, and with each other?

Is it your heartfelt confession that all "salvation," is in and through Him ? Do you know Jesus Christ personally as Savior, and Lord?

Hope you don't feel bombarded by all my questions, Fr. Tom, but I've wanted to ask you directly, and to hear your witness of faith.

A blessed, and wonderful Christmas to you, and your family.


Grace said...

Hey, Father Tom still hopin you might respond to my question here.

I did ask the folks over at SF how it is many seem to have such a strong animosity toward you, and Sarah directed me to this blog for discussion.

Happy New Year!

Thomas B. Woodward said...

Grace, I have been overwhelmed with a few other things and did not get to responding to your kind and generous question/comment.

Here are my thoughts about the animosity expressed towards me at Stand Firm:

1.Early on they launched a four part attack on a piece I wrote for The Episcopal Majority on "Falsely Accused" in which I debunked the charges of SF and others against the Episcopal Church. As I responded to their further charges, the responses to me took on an ugly, personal tone. That has continued.

2. From time to time I have offered an alternative point of view about theology, the authority of the Bible and about church property. A few have engaged in that conversation, but most have responded with close to vitriol, as though I had slimed their mothers. What has angered most has been my suggestion (it is not just mine, that has been a staple of Anglicanism for centuries!) that there are differing points of view than their own.

3. The third reason, I believe, is that whenever someone challenges anything held by what Veblen called "The True Believer," the fear and resentment level for them reaches an incredible pitch -- and rather than deal with the challenge they attempt to eradicate the source of their discomfort.

4. I believe the last reason is that the SFiF site has served to be a dumping ground for disaffection -- and when that stream of "Ain't it Awful" is interrupted, any disrupters are quickly and soundly punished. I don't think this trend has been there for the full life of SFiF, but when you read through almost any string there are recurring themes:
++Katharine Jefferts Schori is a fake and a heretic;
++Anyone leaving TEC is a hero;
++Any moral, ethical or theological viewpoint (no matter how well grounded in historical Christianity or contemporary scholarship) that differs from the narrow outlook of the SFiF leadership s "heretical," "apostate" or of Satan.

These, of course, are my own observations. I have had some meaningful conversations with Matt Kennedy through emails -- though he has informed me that if I showed up at his church he would not give me communion. I believe there are descriptive words for such an attitude and behavior, but they are not for me to throw around!

Let me know if this is not satisfactory or is incomplete. You sound like a very generous and thoughtful person!
Tom Woodward