Friday, March 18, 2005

What Lies Ahead

Commentary by Robin G. Jordan

The so-called “liberal” bishops of the Episcopal Church and their corporatist allies display a great truculence to lead the church into serious heresy. At the same time they show a stubborn unwillingness to lead the church back to a historical, orthodox understanding of biblical Christianity. They played a significant role in the confirmation and consecration of a practicing homosexual as a bishop of the Episcopal Church and the sanctioning of the blessing of homosexual couples at the local level.

While the bishops may not have the constitutional or canonical authority to reverse the decisions of the General Convention, they do have the moral authority to lead the church in repenting of its non-biblical stance on homosexuality. They can admit as a body that the actions of the 2003 General Convention were contrary to the Word of God and 2000 years of Church teaching, that the 2003 General Convewntion's actions were ill-advised and taken without consultation with the larger Anglican Communion or consideration of the consequences. They can distance themselves from the actions of the 2003 General Convention including their own part in those actions and call upon the church to undo what 2003 General Convention did at the 2006 General Convention. It would take an honest admission, “We made a mistake; we were wrong.

It doubtful that will happen because the so-called “liberal” bishops do not believe that they erred. Having ordained sexually active homosexuals as deacons and priests, sanctioned the blessing of homosexual couples, and confirmed and consecrated a non-celibate homosexual as a bishop, they are not likely to relinquish what they see as important gains in their campaign to make the Episcopal Church more inclusive of “sexual diversity”. If anything one can expect them to work behind the scenes and in the open to ensure that the 2006 General Convention ratifies the actions of the 2003 General Convention and authorizes public rites for the blessing of homosexual couples.

Those who are hoping that the bishops will have a change of heart and take seriously their vows to defend the faith will be greatly disappointed. It is not going to happen. Too many of those bishops do not believe the faith that they vowed to uphold and preserve. Their commitment is to their radical ideological views and to the homosexual agenda. Even the so-called “middle of the road” bishops have been strongly influenced by these views.

Whether the Episcopal Church remains a constituent member of the Anglican Communion and whether the Anglican Communion undergoes a dramatic change in its makeup is yet to be seen. But what can be expected is that the Episcopal Church will continue on its present course. Episcopalians who have a historical, orthodox understanding of biblical Christianity will find themselves in a church that is increasingly intolerant of their beliefs and hostile toward them. They cannot expect any reprieve from their present circumstances: they will go on being an embattled minority, despised and ridiculed for their faithfulness to the teaching of the Holy Scriptures.

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