February 5, 2006

It is disheartening (although not surprising) to hear that Bishop Edwin “Ted” Gulick of the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky is one of four finalists selected to replace Frank T. Griswold as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the USA.

Now, me and Bishop Gulick have a little history between us: Back in 1998, I was invited by a priest in the Diocese of Kentucky to pursue my calling to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church via his diocese. While understanding there would (or could) be no guarantees – between the Holy Spirit and any ECUSA diocese’s Commission on Ministry one almost has to walk on water if one doesn’t know the bishop personally – this priest promised my wife Tracey and I that I would at least be given a fair shake by the bishop there. A year or so after relocating there, I had my initial interview with Bishop Gulick and was, frankly, astounded by what I heard.

When discussing one’s calling to Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church (or for any Christian denomination, for that matter), one would expect the obligatory first question to be something along the lines of describing one’s relationship with Jesus Christ: after all, if one is to be ordained a priest in the Church, one’s relationship with the Head of the Church (no, that’s not you, Frank) would seem to be in order. Much to my surprise, the first question out of Bishop Gulick’s mouth was how well I was set for my retirement. Taken aback, I asked him what he meant. Well, he said, “you’re 45, by the time you finish seminary, are ordained, and spend your first year out in the field, you’ll be at least 50. That means you’ll have only ten or more years of good ministry and paying into the Church’s retirement fund, which is why, while we’ll consider your application, we’re really only looking for younger candidates for Holy Orders”. After formally being turned down by the Bishop for ordination, in a private meeting afterwards, he told me the real reason for his decision: he likes to cultivate his own local candidates, and that if he had known I was relocating for the reason I did he would have discouraged it.

The sad part about this is that, in assessing anyone’s calling to ordained ministry, most bishops like Ted Gulick could give a rat’s a$$ about the presence (or non-presence, for that matter) of God’s calling and the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of those presented to them; they’re much more interested in such worldly pursuits as age, gender, sexual orientation, and pension funds, as well as making sure those whom they ordain are indebted and beholden to them and supportive of their own personal ambitions. The hell with the Church, the Holy Spirit, Christ, and God’s will, say people like Gulick, the real questions are: can I trust you, and what will you do to not make waves for me? In the case of Ted Gulick, I think Virtue has it absolutely on target when he says:

Bishop Edwin “Ted” Gulick of Kentucky has been a bishop the longest, having been inducted into the ECUSA Bishops Hall of Fame in 1994, but his record shows a strong proclivity towards supporting ECUSA’s revisionist agenda. Gulick voted for the consecration of V. Gene Robinson, [Ed. note: New Hampshire’s openly gay bishop, whose ordination has put the worldwide Anglican Communion on the precipice of schism] putting himself spiritually dead center in the revisionist camp. He also voted against a resolution affirming the authority of Scripture and basic tenets of Christian faith in Resolution B001, thus confirming that he will never be bound by Scripture’s authority, and will do and say whatever he thinks is in the best interests of his fellow revisionist bishops. He is no lover of orthodoxy, and he has seen several priests and their parishes flee his jurisdiction following Robinson’s consecration.

The fact is, I know of several fine evangelical and Gospel-centered priests that Bishop Gulick has hounded out of his diocese, and candidates equally as worthy as myself (both liberal and conservative) that he has turned down as well, all in the name of maintaining his little circle of like-minded syncophants whose only purpose in life is to tell him how wonderful and wise he is, and, most importantly, not make waves….

…This is not a question of orthodoxy – it is, more importantly, one of character. Some of those whose lives he and those like him have adversely affected I agree with theologically, some I don’t. The one thing I am sure of is that he, along with other like-minded revisionist bishops such as Tom Shaw, John Spong, and Charles Bennison, will have a hard time making Purgatory – let alone Heaven – when all is said and done. Because of him and those like him, the Episcopal Church in the USA is dying, and there is nothing Ted Gulick or any of his fellow bishop candidates can or will do to prevent it, for the theology and worldview they stand for are in themselves dying on the same vine of irrelevancy and apathy.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 23:02 | Comment (1)
1 Comment »
  1. Kudos to you my bear for calling a spade a spade!

    Comment by your Bear — February 11, 2006 @ 8:04 pm


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