Sunday, October 09, 2005

Townsend Waddill Responds To Letter In The Tallahassee Democrat

Townsend's response appears in italics.

Dudley's exit strategy was needlessly divisiveRe: "St. John's Episcopal splinters" (news article, Oct. 4).

Should we be surprised by Father Eric Dudley and Company's exit from St. John's Episcopal? History is filled with pompous, egotistical religious leaders whose political ideology informs their spiritual passions.

This is not about political ideology. This is about ECUSA's direct rejection of Holy Scripture, thus making it no longer a Christian institution. The social gospel that ECUSA has decided to proclaim, which is in direct violation of the Holy Gospel of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is the reason why, not only Fr. Dudley, but many other ECUSA leaders as well, have left the church.

Why did Dudley think his personal views were more important than the institutional integrity of St. John's Episcopal? If his personal and parental struggles were such that ministering to his congregation was no longer an option, why not just quietly fade away? Did arrogance dictate his gamesmanship, and what, I believe, is his lack of ethics by dividing that congregation?

Several things come to mind here. First, the institutional integrity of St. John's is in tact. He left the church in good shape. As his letter indicates, many of the people in Tallahassee implored him to remain in town and start a new church, so he did. I personally think that he could have taken St. John's with him and one a lawsuit against the Diocese. The fact that he did not shows Fr. Dudley's amazing character and ability to live out the Gospel in effective witness to others. There was no arrogance, gameship, or lack of ethics in the decision, but rather a desire to shepherd his people in the way of the Lord. When he felt he could no longer do it St. John's (thanks in part to the Parishioners for Hopeful Reconciliation), he moved on and took a large majority of faithful parishioners with him.

Read it all here.

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