Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Anglican-Episcopal Literacy Quiz

After seventeen days of extensive research and consultation, The Episcopal Majority has finally developed a quiz which will most likely qualify one for several offices in the Episcopal Church, including deputy to General Convention, bishop of an endangered diocese in either the northern or southern part of the United States, Official Commenter at Fr. Jake Stops the World, TitusOneNine, and Stand Firm in Faith, and as Certified Co-Pilot for our Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts-Schori.

-- The Rev. Thomas B. Woodward

The Quiz

Please answer the following questions honestly, without consulting prominent web sites or looking at your neighbor’s computer. Your answers will determine the authenticity of your orthodoxy or "orthodoxy." Good luck and Godspeed.

Part One

In the past, Anglicans have struggled with many weighty issues. Some have caused splits, while others have not. Which of the following religious issues, having ardent supporters on both sides, have caused splits in the Episcopal Church?
  1. May Christians participate in armed combat, killing other humans on demand?
  2. May Christians use birth control methods?
  3. Must women cover their heads while in church?
  4. May Christians own slaves?
  5. Are women as suitable for ordination as men?
  6. Is abortion always wrong?
  7. May the church bless a life-long commitment between two people of the same gender?
  8. Given the clear Biblical prohibition against touching pigskin, may Christians play football?
  9. May murderers be ordained to the priesthood?
  10. May a gay priest with 30 years of exemplary service to the church be consecrated bishop?
  11. Should the tithe of 10% be mandatory for full membership in the church?

The following have divided Episcopalians, but have not caused splits within the Episcopal Church: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, and 11.

The following have caused splits within the Episcopal Church: 5, 7, and 10.

The following divided a congregation which had already split from the denomination: 3.

Bonus Question: Is there a common theme among the things that have caused splits in the Episcopal Church? [Hint: It is, apparently – at least in the minds of some – more important to God than money, murder, families, biblical commandments, or owning slaves.]

Note: One congregation that left the Episcopal Church over the issue of consecrating gay priests as bishops later found itself divided over the biblical issue of women having to cover their heads while in church. Those who felt that biblical commandment was no longer binding decided to return to the Episcopal Church; they were welcomed back.

Part Two
  1. Name five heroes in our biblical tradition who have served time in prison or have committed murder without serving time in prison.
  2. In the genealogy of Jesus, there are four women who are noted for "sexual irregularities." Name three of them.
  3. Name three crimes noted in Leviticus as deserving death.
  4. When Jesus is quoted as saying "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5), which groups of people who believe in him and exhibit the fruits of the Spirit does he mean to exclude?
  5. When Jesus is quoted in the Sermon on the Mount as saying, "Judge not, that you not be judged?" which groups of people did he intend for us to continue judging?
  6. Are there sayings of Jesus or dicta of Paul which contradict or qualify the blessings in the Beatitudes for certain groups of people?
  7. In what is referred to as The Last Judgment (Matthew 25:31-46), Jesus described those who will be saved and those who will suffer eternal punishment by their responses to the hungry, the poor, and the like. What happened to Jesus’ footnote, identifying those who would be excluded from the kingdom no matter how responsive they were to the poor?

    Bonus Question:

  8. Where does St. Paul contradict the saying of Jesus recorded in John 13:35, that "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" by saying, in effect, if you are gay or lesbian it doesn’t matter what Jesus said – you are damned through eternity if you express your love physically? [Hint: It is probably in Paul’s Epistle to the city where Pope Benedict now lives.]

    Double Bonus Questions:

  9. When the clear words of Jesus are contradicted by Paul, whose side would orthodox Christians choose?
  10. If the matter might involve the possibility of touching on human sexuality, whose side would "orthodox" Christians choose?
  11. Is it worth asking why?
  1. Moses, David, John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul
  2. Tamar, Rahab the prostitute, Ruth, Mary the Mother of Jesus [Corrected thanks to Julie+ and Jane Ellen+ in the comments section]
  3. Cursing one’s parents, touching pigskin, homosexual relationships, etc.
  4. None, absolutely none
  5. None, absolutely none
  6. None, absolutely none
  7. There is no such footnote. There never was such a footnote. You can find qualifications, denying certain groups from the kingdom, but not from the lips of Jesus. He does not distinguish the sheep from the goats by our prejudices, nor by Paul’s.
  8. Romans 1:26-27
  9. Jesus
  10. Paul
  11. Either "yes" or "no" is correct

Part Three
  1. When the Network, in its video, Choose This Day, refers to the Episcopal Church as a "foreign, alien and pagan religion," how does this comport with any reasonable standard of reason, grace, sanity, or even truth?
  2. Is it possible to disagree about matters of capital punishment, abortion, poverty, and biblical inerrancy, and still belong to the same denomination?
  3. Who said the following?
    a. "Peter Akinola is the Dick Cheney of the Anglican Communion."
    b. "The Roman Catholic Church cannot conceive of women priests. The Episcopal Church has woman priests who can conceive."
    c. "They wouldn’t be in CANA if they didn’t know what they’re doing – and they are not there."
    d. "We elected him bishop because we know him, and we know the Holy Spirit in him, and we trust in God’s presence."
  4. What would be the response in the Roman Catholic Church if a group of dissidents left the church and, in doing so, claimed the property of the parish for themselves?
  1. It doesn’t.
  2. Apparently so. We’ve done it for centuries.

  3. a. Hint: It wasn’t Dick Cheney. It was a member of the Episcopal Church Institute.*
    b. Mark Russell
    c. Mort Sahl (adapted)
    d. The people of the Diocese of New Hampshire
  4. Riotous laughter, followed by a brief pause and then twenty minutes of snickering and guffawing
* Note: "The Episcopal Church Institute" is a group of four loyal Episcopalians living in the Southwest, who have gleefully adopted the model of the Anglican Communion Institute, an impressive sounding "orthodox" group of six (now three) guys with a website, located in Colorado. So far, the worthies who comprise the Episcopal Church Institute share one computer amongst themselves. When their website is fully operational, the ECI Board of Directors will be listed there.
[Editor's Note: Perhaps these four worthies should read the news that the Rev. Don Armstrong, late of the Episcopal Church, has declared meaningless the work of the Anglican Communion Institute. In a newspaper article reporting that the ACI had "ditched" the Rev. Armstrong, he is quoted as saying, ". . . essentially ACI's work is done. Their mission is no longer valid as the Episcopal Church enters its last days, and their house of cards comes tumbling down." Somehow the Episcopal Church Institute appears to have more sense and more staying power than its "orthodox" predecessor. Any comments?]

Part Four: Essay Question

In 50 words or less, explain why Paul’s opinions about homosexuality are as important as the Incarnation, Resurrection, Holy Baptism, and the theology of our Book of Common Prayer.


If you have gotten this far, you have scored "Excellent." If you have failed to answer over half of the questions or have failed to provide the correct answer to more than three questions, you still have scored "Excellent," as we live by Grace. Amen.

The Episcopal Majority invites you to score yourselves and post your scores, comments, and quibbles below.

If you need an Official Certificate, please print the document below. Although the temptation to fund the work of The Episcopal Majority via a lucrative mail-order diploma business is strong, we have decided to operate on the Honor System. The Certificate is yours for the printing.


This certifies that _____________________ has completed the Anglican-Episcopal Literacy Quiz with a passing grade of ____ and is thereby qualified for the position of [check one]

__ Deputy to The General Convention of The Episcopal Church

__ Bishop of an Endangered Diocese of __ the North, __ the South of The Episcopal Church

__ Official Commenter on

__ Father Jake Stops the World
__ Stand Firm in Faith
__ TitusOneNine
__ The Episcopal Majority
__ Certified Co-Pilot for Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori

__ other [please specify]: ______________________________________


Blogger Jake said...

Well, I scored "Excellent." Imagine that. Thank God for grace!

This is just too sweet.

Speaking of sweet, I was hoping to be able to be certified in a culinary capacity, specializing in the creation of banana cream pies. Might that be a future option?

Looking forward to hearing more about the ECI. I'd recommend that your executive director not have any college-age children if you hope to avoid potential future fiscal foul-ups.

5/09/2007 11:27 PM  
Anonymous ettu said...

And this proves that one of the Graces is humor - (or humour if you are Rowan Williams) - Thanks for clarification plus a chuckle all wrapped up in the Episcopal flag!

5/10/2007 6:26 AM  
Anonymous Julie+ said...

Not to be picky, but in answer 2 of Part 2, shouldn't that be "Rahab the prostitute," rather than Rachel? (Do I get extra credit???)

5/10/2007 8:16 AM  
Blogger Jane Ellen said...


Can I get another bonus point? In Part Two, Question Two, the prostitute in Jesus' geneology was Rahab, not Rachael.

Of course, caring about such a detail could suggest that concern for scriptural integrity is not an exclusively fundigelical prerogative. What a radical thought!

5/10/2007 8:44 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Julie and Jane Ellen, the Right Mortified Woodward informs me you are correct. Once he completes his act of contrition, he will (I believe) come here with some appropriate bonus for you two.

5/10/2007 10:47 AM  
Blogger TBW said...

The Rt. M. Woodward wishes to send rewards to Julie and Jane Ellen. If they will send me their addresses at: their rewards will be on the way.

5/10/2007 12:57 PM  
Anonymous mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) said...

I scored 'excellent', which in the Church of England is reason sufficient to be deprived of one's living.

Are there any opportunities for this foreign national to acquire associate status, say as official supplier of moral outrage enhancing substances to Neocons?

5/10/2007 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Jim Leehan said...

Jim+ This is unfair to Episcopalians of any ilk. It presupposes more Biblical literacy than any of us ever got in Confirmation class. :-)

5/10/2007 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is pretty funny. It makes us look rather silly. Isn't amazing that we want to spend our time like this. Me writing this comment. Other writing these ridiculous questions. Whole churches splitting over the answers. This is the kind of stuff that starts wars, ends friendships, and breaks up families. But we just can't seem to get enough of it.


5/10/2007 7:10 PM  
Anonymous David Wilson+ said...

Gee Whiz! I got 3-d wrong.

I thought it was the people of the Diocese of South Carolina!

5/10/2007 9:24 PM  
Blogger Tom Sramek, Jr. said...

Actually, you could say in Part One that #4 (question of slavery) split the church (that Civil War thing...) but following the Civil War there was fairly quick reconciliation. Perhaps a model for the current challenges?

5/10/2007 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, any of the statements of Katherine Jefferts Schori would cause even a liberal Catholic to laugh so hard they'd hurt themselves. And the wacked out theology of some of your past and present "bishops" would produce only confused puzzlement.

Shalom! (Or should I say "Live Long and Prosper")

5/14/2007 6:15 PM  
Anonymous TBWSF said...

Dear Anonymous, it would be helpful to know what statements of our Presiding Bishop you find offensive or laughable. While several "orthodox" Episcopalians enjoyed teeing off on her following her election as PB, they have quieted down after it was shown that her remarks are solidly within the tradition that liberals and conservatives in both Anglican and Roman Catholic observe. Two examples are her observations about Jesus as our Mother and about John 14.6. Those who were red-faced in mock anger are now red-faced in embarassment. Help me, though, if there are other issues that are bothering you.

Thanks, especially, for bothering to post your concerns here.
Tom Woodward

5/14/2007 9:22 PM  
Blogger MICHAEL said...

About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia]. God LOVES me so much. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].

Peace Be With You

5/16/2007 6:24 AM  

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