Thursday, May 04, 2006

Episcopal Church Loses Collective Mind

There are times when I wonder why God hasn't judged America yet. I realize that He is patient with us, that He wishes for that one last lost soul to surrender to His Son, Jesus the Christ, but it just seems lately that we (collective we mind you, not as individuals) are constantly thumbing our noses at Him, in utter disregard and contempt. The latest nose thumbing is coming out of California (go figure) which is in a Bishop election race to elect the next Episcopal Bishop for the Diocese of California.

Now, normally this wouldn't be something that I would want to blog about, as I don't consider myself to be a person who really affiliates myself with a denomination, but just the headline itself off of was enough to make me want to throw up my hands in disbelief. The headline said "Election of Gay Bishop in Calif. Threatens Episcopal Church Unity". You can read the whole story here
. The seven persons who are up for election to this post are pictured above. Three of them are openly gay, and live openly with same sex lovers. The three are the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe of San Francisco, and the Very Rev. Robert Taylor of Seattle and the Rev. Bonnie Perry of Chicago.

As with all issues that are decisive and this is a big issue dividing not just this denomination but others as well, there are two sides to this story. I will summerize them here:
The Conservative's View:
The delegates know their actions will be closely watched by Anglicans around the world. But conservative Canon Bill Atwood of the Ekklesia Society, an Episcopal aid network based in Carrollton, Texas, predicts the Californians will "totally ignore the consequences" of their actions.

"I don't think there's any question they'll be compelled to elect a partnered gay," Atwood said. "I think they've got a mistaken understanding of issues of justice. Huge portions of the Episcopal Church are theologically adrift.

"I'm not saying there isn't religion, but it's not the historic Christian faith."
The Liberal's View:
But the Rev. Susan Russell of Integrity, the national gay and lesbian Episcopal caucus, said the Diocese of California has no obligation to elect a heterosexual as the Communion struggles to remain unified. She argued that a "radical conservative fringe" within Anglicanism is determined to bring about a split no matter what concessions the American church makes.

"For any elector to allow the current political climate in the global church to hamstring the Holy Spirit would be working against who we are when we're at our best as a church," Russell said. (emphisis mine)
All I can say is "HUH?".

The "radical conservative fringe"...You know just who that sounds like?
(Joh 2:15) And having made a scourge out of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and He poured out the coins of the moneychangers, and He overturned the tables.

(Joh 2:16 ) And He said to those selling the doves, "Take these things away from here! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!"
Sounds like the carpenter that I chose to surrender my life to. Remember Him? Jesus the Christ, the only Son of God? I think that he would qualify as a member of the "radical conservative fringe".

And just when did the Episcopalian Church decide to stop following the Bible?
(1Ti 3: 2-6 ) It is necessary, therefore, for a bishop to be irreproachable, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, well-behaved, hospitable, skillful at teaching;

not given to wine, not a bully, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not loving money;

one ruling his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence;

(for if one does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);

not a new convert, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.
Does that sound like Bishops will be selected from "openly gay" men or women? So I suppose that Paul is a member of that "radical conservative fringe".

Or how about this?
(1Co 6:9 ) Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,

(1Co 6:10 ) nor covetous, nor thieves, nor drunkards, nor abusive people, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
So what is going on here? I suppose then that according to what Paul says here, that an openly homosexual bishop won't go to where do you suppose he or she would go?

But the good news is that you can be forgiven as Paul continued:
(1Co 6:11) And such were some of you! But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
So some were openly gay back then, but renounced that sin and were cleansed and santified and washed by the blood of the sacrifice of the Son of God. I hope too that the members of the Episcopal Church who aren't of the "radical conservative fringe" starts reading the Bible again and soon, before it really is too late. And I hope that they elect a Bishop who does fulfill the requirements as set forth in the Word.

And yes, I suppose you can call me a card carrying member of the Radical Conservative Fringe.

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