Skip to comments.'Profound Arrogance' Rules US Episcopal Church, Critic Alleges
Posted on 11/04/2003 2:40:15 AM PST by kattracks
(CNSNews.com ) - The Episcopal Church's leadership came under more verbal attack Monday following the consecration of New Hampshire's V. Gene Robinson as the church's first openly homosexual bishop.
The conservative American Anglican Council (AAC) said the decision by leaders of the Diocese of New Hampshire and the Episcopal Church to conduct Sunday's ceremony and escalate their rift with worldwide Anglican leaders, smacked of arrogance and pop-culture driven elitism.
Robinson divorced his wife, with whom he had two daughters, in 1986 and declared himself homosexual. He has been with his male partner for 13 years. Robinson was elected bishop of New Hampshire earlier this year and formally elevated to the position in August at the 74th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Minneapolis, Minn.
"Obviously, we're grieved by the steps that the Episcopal Church took. We're grieved by the actions of the General Convention, we're grieved by the confirmation [Sunday]," Bruce Mason, AAC media officer, told CNSNews.com. "It was the wrong direction for the church and it sets a horrible example for families and for children that somehow the church has basically elevated a sin and called it a blessing."
The global Anglican Church covers 77 million members throughout its 38 churches spread over 160 countries from Africa to Australia. Mason said the fallout would extend well beyond the U.S. Episcopal Church to the Anglican Church worldwide.
Mason decried the "profound arrogance of the Episcopal Church to go ahead and do this after all the Anglican leaders, the Anglicans worldwide, the Archbishop of Canterbury...everyone said don't do it, you're going to tear us apart, and they went ahead and did it anyway."
According to an Episcopal Church release, on the New Hampshire ceremony, presiding U.S. Bishop Frank Griswold asked whether anyone in the congregation "know any reason why we should not proceed." Detailing what he considered the vagaries of the homosexual lifestyle, Rev. Earle Fox of Pittsburgh said, "It breaks my heart to be here," to which Griswold replied, "Please spare us the details and come to the substance."
The same release noted that Bishop David Bena of Albany, N.Y., had read a statement of admonition signed by 36 bishops. "To press forward with this consecration will be to turn our backs on Almighty God," the letter stated. "This is the defiant and divisive act of a deaf church. The clear teaching of Holy Scripture in both testaments without exception is that sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong for the people of God, yet we are deaf to the Bible."
While saying he welcomed the objections, Griswold proceeded with the ceremony anyway. Upon Griswold asking the congregation whether it was "your will that we ordain Gene a bishop," the release said the response was loud and clear. "That is our will," congregants shouted, according to the Episcopal Church release.
Neither the U.S. Episcopal Church nor the New Hampshire Diocese returned phone calls to CNSNews.com Monday.
Mason said Griswold's behavior illustrates what AAC means when it says "arrogance."
Rev. Rob Schenck, an executive officer with the National Clergy Council, a self-described network of Christian leaders dedicated to "classical Christian moral instruction," agreed.
"Sadly, it is true that the majority of the bishops in the Episcopal Church have chosen to take their cue from popular culture rather than from the historic tradition of the church," Schenck told CNSNews.com . "And it's the historic tradition of the church that defeated slavery and assisted with giving women an equal place in society. It's always because the church has been different, not the same, as popular culture. Now the church has decided to be the same as popular culture and embrace its moral innovations and adventurism. That is not the role of the church."
Schenck said the Episcopalians' decision to accept a homosexual bishop was nothing more than a "trend" of moving away from the Bible, fueled by an "intellectual elite" out of touch with the majority of their congregation. It's a trend, Schenck believes, that parallels the U.S. Supreme Court's movement away from the U.S. Constitution.
Schenck also reopened a five-year-old controversy dealing with the U.S. Episcopal Church's views about their Anglican Church brethren in other parts of the world.
"They (the U.S. Episcopalian bishops) defined themselves as a snobby elite when they spoke very demeaningly of their African brothers," Schenck said, referring to a 1998 incident at a gathering of global Anglican leaders to discuss the issue of homosexuality.
A July 10, 1998 Church of England Newspaper interview quoted then New Jersey Bishop John Spong referring to African Anglicans opposed to homosexual marriage and homosexual clerics.
"They've moved out of animism into a very superstitious kind of Christianity. They've yet to face the intellectual revolution of Copernicus and Einstein that we've had to face in the developing world. That's just not on their radar screen," Spong said. "Scientific advances have given us a new way of understanding homosexual people...In dealings with the Third World this knowledge hasn't percolated down and it's not going to change overnight."
Unapologetic, Spong later cast aside any notion that he might have patronized the African bishops with his comments. "If they feel patronized, that's too bad. I'm not going to cease being a 20th century person for fear of offending someone in the Third World," Spong told the Church of England Newspaper in 1998.
Mason said Spong's comments in 1998 were typical of the Episcopal Church's reaction to dissent over homosexuality felt by "a majority" of American and global Anglicans.
"It's suggesting that the Episcopal Church somehow had this revelation from God that those in Africa are too simplistic or too ignorant to possibly understand," Mason said. "It really borders on racism if you think about it...that somehow they are superior and have a greater wisdom and the West has some kind of right to import all of its sexual mores on the rest of the world."
It also shows that the Episcopal Church leaders have departed from the Christian concept of humility, Mason said.
"The leaders of our church are arrogant, are wrapped up in an ideological agenda. This is not about Christian witness as much as they might say it is. This is about wielding power," Mason said. "The proof of that is the fact that anybody who dissents with them either gets crushed or greatly harassed at a variety of different levels...This isn't open, tolerant or diverse. This is our way or the highway."
Mason added that Robinson's consecration could prove life threatening to Anglicans in the Middle East. Mason said he had personally seen news reports from the region about the Robinson selection that "distorted" the situation by giving the impression the "majority of Americans" supported the decision.
"The spin is that we in the West are corrupt and Islam is not tolerant of homosexuality," Mason said. "From African missions we've heard that the Muslim clerics have been talking about this stuff and that people's lives could be at risk because of the actions of the Episcopal Church. But they don't care. The leaders of the church just don't care about anybody other than themselves and this sexual politics that they're playing."
But Mason said he was hopeful that a realignment might take place in the American church, giving rise to a new province that would be recognized by the Anglican Primates as the official branch of the United States. While he noted that everything was in the early planning stages, he said there was a great "outpouring of support" from the Anglican community worldwide, including in England for such a move.
"While we're sad about what happened, it actually has opened a lot of doors and created a lot of potential and a lot of hope for creating something new here in America...without having to deal with all of the garbage and baggage of the Episcopal Church," Mason said.
After his consecration Sunday, Robinson said any who left the church over his being a bishop would always be welcomed back.
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If this "bishop" had one ounce of decency he would have chosen the interests of God and the Church over his militant homosexual agenda.
Well, Jesus obviously was a primitive. He wasn't as privileged or as transcendant as liberals are today. He is---through no fault of His own, of course, he certainly did mean well---inferior. < /foolhardy sickening pretentiousness >
(I apologize for the harsh irreverence. I wish it wasn't true.)
I should have been as well--both parents were conservative Republicans. (Publik skools did their job on me!) It just took me a little while to grow up. And moving to a place outside West Texas where the lefties were actually in charge helped learn me better, too (less than a yr later hightailed it back HOME!) ;-)
You are right on the money! Liberals not only ignore religion, but even plain old common sense, the accumulated wisdom of the ages, and what goes on in other countries. Excellent post!!
Watching the way these people wiggle and worm their way through Holy Writ as if God was a nincompoop would be hilarious if not so devestating.
"The important thing is, what would the Bible say if I had written it...?"
Journalism is the pilot fish of pop culture; it attempts to practice on the credulity of the people to gain power by defining what "everybody knows."
It specializes in defeatist junk science such as global warming, military "quagmire" alerts in the face of military success or even of a blitzkrieg conquest, and all manner of plaintiff-bar frauds and fads.
Journalism has the arrogance to believe that a Republican election victory is inherently illegitimate since journalism has decided to pull for the Democrat--and that is supposed to be decisive.
Is it a long term intentioned relationship ?
You got it, and that is MAJOR! This whole situation, as well as evey other attack that's been launched on God's Church, is based on the issue of Biblical authority. Is the Bible God's inerrant Word, or not?
You and I know it is. Yet apparently, these and other progressive-leaning church leaders are having problems accepting the authority of Scripture. They like to interpret Scripture the same way the 9th Circus interprets the U.S. Constitution.
It's really a shame about those who refuse to humbly abide in God's Word. But I heartily applaud those devout Anglicans who are boldly making the move back to the Bible. If it means temporary inconvenience, longer drives to church, smaller endowments or liturgies without all the trappings, so be it. My hat's Thank off to these Christian brothers and sisters. God there are disciples so dedicated to His Word!
This is a prime example of the imperialist mindset, in which Americans (and often Europeans) of the elitist class think that they are annointed to tell the rest of the world how to live and how to think, and often to back that up with force. This is the same imperialist midset displayed by the clintons and their allies when they demonized the "benighted" Orthodox Christian Serbs and targeted them for mass murder and stole and occupied their land!!!! Of course, all of this is NOT GOOD for America, with our anti-imperialist Revolutionary War heritage, and is especially not good for "ordinary" Americans, who may find themselves victims of the elitists in their own country.
The elitists' targets are usually REAL Christians, who are still faithful to the apostolic faith. (This applies, for example, to the Global South Anglicans, Orthodox Christians, and to faithful orthodox Anglicans and Lutherans in America.) The elitists favor a much diluted Christianity, or even a New World Religion that is designed to replace Christianity (and Judaism) altogether.
These apostate "religions" extol the warped values of the elitist imperialists, and excuse both their moral lapses and their imperial "right" to trample on "benighted" orthodox Christian believers. These "religions" have no historic or spiritual validity, and are merely sacriligious SHAMS designed to "sanctify" the elitists' naked exercise of power!!!!
Jude 1:1 Jude the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.
Jud 1:2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.
Jud 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful, for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Jud 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained, to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jud 1:5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
Jud 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Jud 1:8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities....
....Jud 1:17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Jud 1:18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
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