A little while ago on Kiihnworld, I wrote with disgust about two Episcopal priests who were involved openly in the Druid religion. There was a lot of buzz in various religious blogs and I got lots of hits from this post. I felt a little proud to be involved in a very small way in exposing a travesty. I must confess that I underestimated God’s power to continue to work in the life of someone who had received faith through the holy waters of baptism. I confess that I doubted that this man would even care what God thought of his activities. I was so wrong; God has power to work in the heart of this man and He did! The saving waters of baptism are the one thing I withheld from my children and that is the one main thing I repented when I became a confessional Lutheran Christian. I had doubted God’s power to create faith in an infant, even when the Bible clearly says the Holy Spirit does this. I repent that I have once again doubted God's power in saving an individual and working faith through him. I suppose I am jaded from years of seeing myself and others doubt God and make wrong choices, but that is no excuse. I ask Reverand William Melnyk to forgive me when I chastised him openly, but forgot to pray for him. Obviously, he had others praying for him who knew his faith and loved him.
A Letter of Repentance from The Rev. William Melnyk
November 4, 2004
This morning, the IRD received a copy of the following letter of repentance sent from Rev. William Melnyk to his bishop. We are grateful for his humble and direct letter. We hope that the leaders of the Episcopal Church’s Office of Women’s Ministries will likewise repent of that office’s promotion of neo-paganism. We also hope that this direct act of recantation of wrong and reaffirmation of the historic faith of the Church will serve as a model for other Episcopal leaders who have been called to express regret for their actions in the context of “the repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation enjoined on us by Christ” (Windsor Report, paragraph 134).
To the IRD, I have today sent this letter to my Bishop. My wife [The Rev. Glyn Lorraine Ruppe-Melnyk] has sent a similar letter:
Recently it has been brought to light by several agencies and individuals that I have been involved in work with Druid organizations in the United States and England, exploring the relationships between Christian and pre-Christian Druid spirituality and theology. These individuals and agencies have presented you with pages of documentation of my activities from the internet. You and I have discussed this material, and you have pointed out to me that it is the opinion of the church that my involvement, writings, and activities go beyond the bounds expected of a Christian and a Christian priest.
I affirm to you with all my heart it was never my intention to engage in such error, but only to help others who had lost connection to the Church to find a way to reconnect. I also thought that there was much in our early British heritage that could help those of us in the Church to broaden our understanding of Anglican tradition.
I was wrong. I repent of and recant without qualification anything and everything I may have said or done which is found to be in conflict with the Baptismal Covenant, and the historical Creeds of the Church. With God as my witness, I reaffirm my belief in the historical creeds of the Church, and the Baptismal Covenant, and reaffirm to you my faith, as expressed in that covenant. I am resigning my membership in the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, as a sign of my repentance.
I have been a follower of Jesus Christ since my Baptism in 1947, and a faithful Deacon and Priest of the Church, with the exception of the error admitted above, since 1981. It is my desire to continue as such, and I ask for the mercy of the Church, and of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Rev. W. William Melnyk
I now take pains to publicly affirm this statement, and to thank the contributors to the various Anglican weblogs for bringing this to my attention and helping me to see the truth.
Here is a link to Titus 1:9 which posts this same letter and has an interesting bunch of running comments from the readers. I don't know if I will post on this again because it seems that there is a strong conservative element within the Episcopal church and they are handling it themselves.