Tag Archives: South Carolina

Unexpected comfort and joy within the Anglican divide in Myrtle Beach

Tidings of comfort and joy? The holidays seem like weeks of frantic rushing for minutes of comfort and joy.

But this Advent season, if anything does give me comfort and joy, it’s the way local ACNA church members and Episcopal Church members are still meeting with one another — different sets of people, different venues, different occasions, but all warm and friendly.

This would seem highly unlikely, given the split of the Diocese of South Carolina into a diocese affiliated with the Anglican Church in North America and a diocese affiliated with The Episcopal Church.

But as I have experienced first-hand here in Myrtle Beach, local ACNA members and Episcopalians are still finding the time and the love to go out for meals together, to study together, to have drinks together, to share enthusiasms on social media together.

And it’s always good to see each other.

Leaders stake territory; friends stay together.

Donald Trump as faith healer and televangelist

I should, and I will, skip an attempt at the underlying meaning behind 33 percent of South Carolina evangelicals voting for Donald Trump.

Instead, I’ll repeat part of Sarah Posner’s plausible analysis on the Washington Post‘s Acts of Faith blog.

“Trump is arguably the candidate most resembling a televangelist.

“For many evangelicals, Pentecostals and charismatic Christians, magical thinking has found its expression through the prosperity gospel, much to the consternation of Christians who consider it a heresy and a fraud. A uniquely American contribution to the evolution of Christianity in the modern age, the prosperity gospel teaches that God wants believers to be rich.

“It’s also called the health and wealth gospel: Its adherents believe that God blesses the faithful with great wealth, keeps their health robust and cures the faithful of every malady. Successful televangelists boast of revelations received directly from God and of their ability to produce miracles….

“Despite countless exposés of prosperity televangelists’ excesses — including Creflo Dollar’s pleas for his followers to fund his $60 million Gulfstream airplane, Benny Hinn’s phony faith healings, and Kenneth Copeland’s luxurious homes, cars and planes — televangelism still thrives in America. It is, according to the scholar Kate Bowler, who wrote a book about it, ‘one of the most popular forms of American Christianity.’ It has permeated evangelical culture, through television, megachurches, conferences and books that are found not just in Christian bookstores but also at the checkout line at supermarkets and in airports…..

“Copeland’s television program is called ‘The Believer’s Voice of Victory.’ Winning. Copeland was one of a roomful of televangelists who laid hands on Trump last year, thanking God ‘for a bold man, a strong man and an obedient man’….

“Trump draws his most significant support from voters who make less than $50,000 a year. He has led them to believe that only a rich, successful entertainer can make America great again. Like a televangelist, Trump’s success is seen as evidence of his prowess, but even more important, of God’s good favor. His supporters seem to believe, too, that he will bring them along for the ride.”

I really like Posner’s idea of affiliation: If I affiliate myself with the prosperity-preaching televangelist, I’ll get close, closer, to the faith I need to succeed. If I affiliate myself with a wealthy businessman, I’ll get close, closer, to the mojo I need to succeed.

And, after reading that, if you ever had any doubt that Kenneth Copeland is a fraud, well, all doubts should now be gone.

I mean, in the context of Posner’s post, Copeland only called Trump “obedient” after receiving a nice donation.

Meanwhile, I’ve been posting a spelling pun on social media today—”Donald Trump: Make America Grate Again”—only to be informed by a former newsroom colleague that an editorial cartoonist got there first. Dang it.

‘Lancaster pastor shot by deputies at business dies’ | The Charlotte Observer

Sad, disturbing, troubling news from the Upstate:

The pastor of New Harvest Free Will Baptist Church in Lancaster, S.C., was shot by sheriff’s deputies after he pulled a gun on his estranged wife in a local business. He later died.

From WBTV via the Charlotte Observer:

According to SLED a woman went into the store, and her estranged husband went in after her a short time later. The two talked for a moment before the man pulled out a gun. The store owner then called 911.

Members of the New Harvest Free Will Baptist Church in Lancaster confirmed to WBTV that the man was their pastor, 60-year-old Darrell Morgan.

Deputies from the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office said when they arrived at the scene Morgan, who was in the doorway of the business, made threats and pointed his gun at them.

Two deputies fired and struck Morgan….

via Lancaster pastor shot by deputies at business dies | The Charlotte Observer The Charlotte Observer

William F. Buckley Jr. wanted to lift the Cuban trade embargo: My day at the Firing Line taping

Kristi and I went to Coker College in Hartsville, S.C., on July 20, 1998, to attend the taping of a Firing Line Debate.

The debate, with eight panelists, was entitled, “Resolved: That the U.S. Should Lift the Cuban Trade Embargo.”

The eminent William F. Buckley Jr., founder of National Review and an intellectual leader of conservatism in the U.S., was on the affirmative side. Notice that: Buckley supported lifting the embargo.

The great Michael Kinsley was the moderator. Kristi and I were his fans (if not always his compatriots) from his time on CNN’s older form of “Crossfire.” At the time of the debate, he was editor of Slate.

Obviously, this experience with Firing Line comes to mind because President Obama has moved to normalize relations with Cuba — for stated reasons quite similar to Buckely’s reasons.

That remains true even if Obama’s move might differ in details from Buckley’s support for an end to the trade embargo. (I admit I haven’t analyzed real or imagined differences in the details.)

Obama, at today’s press conference, said, “I don’t anticipate overnight changes. But what I know deep in my bones is that if you’ve done the same thing for 50 years and nothing’s changed, you should try something different if you want a different outcome…”

Buckley, in 1998, after describing his opponents’ claims that the U.S. embargo will change Cuba, offered a deep, sonorous, “When?

In July 1998, and certainly before, the embargo’s failure was obvious to Buckley.

(I recalled a few personal details from that day in a blog post published shortly after Buckley’s death in 2008.)

So as some Republicans lash-out at Obama’s decision, with the notable exception of Sen. Rand Paul, they should recall William F. Buckley’s position and realize Obama made a decision that, in spirit if not in details, had some support among conservative and libertarian intellectuals.

I’m in the newspaper today; here’s a subtle clarification

I’ve known Steve Jones for years, and I admire him. He’s a top-notch reporter.

When he was interviewing me with two other members of Church of the Messiah for today’s article in The Sun News (my former employer), I think either I didn’t make my point clearly enough or maybe a subtle distinction was lost in the shuffle.

Jones reports:

Messiah church member Colin Burch chose to stay with the traditional church while his wife and three daughters continue to worship at Trinity Church.

The bishop of The Episcopal Church in S.C. conducted the service where one of his daughters joined the traditional church.

He said his children see the situation much like they might a divorce.

“They just don’t know which (parent) to go with,” he said.

The divorce analogy, which originated with my wife Kristi, was intended to describe Kristi and my three daughters — they see the split between Bishop Mark Lawrence’s diocese and The Episcopal Church USA like a divorce, and they aren’t sure which “parent” to go with.

My wife and my daughters, in varying combinations, join me at Church of the Messiah from time to time.

As far as my family is concerned, I listen to Kristi and I listen to my daughters, especially my 14 year old, and even as dense as men can be, I’m fairly certain we [my wife and daughters] all share certain values. I can certainly claim Kristi, the 14-year-old, and I have rich conversations about many things related to church, Bible, tradition, and theology.

Now, if I can just get the 14-year-old to teach me Latin. She’s way ahead of me.

Furthermore, more than a year ago now, the 14-year-old opted to be confirmed by the Episcopal Church USA bishop while continuing in a Bishop Lawrence parish.

Of course, I continue to love and admire many members of Trinity Church.

Update, 4:10 p.m.: On my Facebook page, I referred to a tradition started by my great-grandparents. As an exhibit of that heritage, please see “An Important Church in My Family,” which includes a few photos from All Saints Episcopal Church in Oakley, Maryland.

Update, 8:50 p.m., Dec. 8: My distinguished friend (though not distinguished because of our friendship) Charlie Jordan alerted me that RealClearReligion.org, in its list of today’s articles, included a link to Steve Jones’s article in The Sun News.

Update, 7:55 p.m., Dec. 12: I added a bracketed phrase to clarify “we” in the paragraph beginning, “As far as my family is concerned…”

Tonight’s vote at Trinity Episcopal Church Myrtle Beach explained

Trinity Episcopal Church in Myrtle Beach tonight voted to stick with Bishop Lawrence & the Diocese of S.C. rather than to re-affiliate with the Episcopal Church USA, 119 to 31, with 4 abstentions.

Analogy: If your spouse decides no longer to believe in historical Christianity, you must divorce.

Heresy is reversible but schism endures.

Heresy is about ideas, but schism is about relationships.

CNBC: South Carolina is No. 1 state in S&P stock performance over the last year

The Carolinas rock and the South rules!

According to a CNBC graphic that appeared on “Halftime Report” a few minutes ago:

States with the best stock performance in the S&P 500 over the last year:

South Carolina: up 21.7%

North Carolina: up 12.4%

Georgia: up 9.6%

Alabama: up 7.8%

Kentucky: up 5.6%