Skip to comments.Gay U.S. Bishop Approval May Test Unity
Posted on 08/05/2003 11:04:11 PM PDT by kattracks
The Associated Press
LONDON Aug. 5
The U.S. Episcopal Church's confirmation of the election of a gay bishop may test the limits of the Anglican Communion's proud reputation for diversity.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams had hoped to avoid an immediate showdown on the issue, urging both sides to refrain from any action which would threaten Anglican unity.
But the church's House of Bishops ended up approving the election of the Rev. V. Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire on Tuesday after dismissing last-minute allegations involving "touching" and "pornography" against the clergyman.
The approval was anathema to leaders of the doctrinally conservative and thriving branches of the church in Africa.
Even before Tuesday's decision, Archbishop Peter Akinola, who heads the 17.5 million-member Anglican Church in Nigeria, condemned Robinson's election as "a Satanic attack on God's church." He previously severed relations with the Anglican diocese of New Westminster in Canada because it sanctioned the blessing of gay relationships.
After the vote, Williams issued a statement saying it was too soon to know what the impact of the vote would be on the church.
The head of Australia's Anglican Church downplayed concerns that the election would tear apart the Anglican community.
"I think we'll continue to discuss it, I don't think it's a communion-breaking issue," said Primate Peter Carnley, who is considered a liberal voice in Australia's Anglican community.
The church's leader in West Malaysia, Bishop Lim Cheng Ean, said that his congregation's position was that "we are not in favor of blessing a same sex union or for someone to be ordained when they are a practicing homosexual."
The Anglican Communion brings together the churches founded by the Church of England in the days of the British Empire.
Unlike the Catholic Church, where authority flows down from the Vatican, Anglicanism is a loose association of 38 national provinces which, in practical terms, do as they wish.
They have different prayer books, and they have differed on ordaining women as priests and allowing women priests to become bishops. Despite threats of splits, the communion held together.
In 1998, the Lambeth Conference a once-a-decade gathering of the world's Anglican bishops overwhelmingly voted to declare homosexuality to be "incompatible with Scripture" and said homosexuals should not be ordained as priests.
That is the line which Williams has tried to hold since he was enthroned in February, though he personally disagrees with it. He has urged Anglican bishops not to press ahead with controversial initiatives when there is no consensus in the communion.
There is nothing the archbishop can do, however, to make any of the provinces toe the line.
He was spared a showdown within the Church of England this year when Canon Jeffrey John, who has been honest about his homosexuality, decided to withdraw from nomination as bishop of Reading.
Paul Handley, editor of the English weekly newspaper Church Times, commented that it's difficult to know what a split in the Anglican Communion would mean.
"There is absolutely no authority structure above the provincial level, so they are together voluntarily anyway," said Handley.
In practical terms, the Third World conservatives who criticize the Episcopal Church would miss its financial support.
"If you are talking about winners and losers, it's the poorer provinces which must be the losers," Handley said.
Akinola recently acknowledged the financial dilemma.
"Our boldness in condemning the spiritual bankruptcy of these churches must be matched by our refusal to receive financial help from them," Akinola said in a June statement, reported by Religion News Service. "This means that we must become self-reliant as a matter of urgency so that we will not only meet our own needs locally, but also those of our poor African brethren."
Earlier, the Rev. David Phillips, general secretary of the Church Society in Britain, urged the Church of England to cut its ties to the Episcopal Church if Robinson's appointment is confirmed. The Church Society last year urged Williams to refuse appointment as archbishop, in part because of his liberal views on homosexuality.
"It is an important issue, it shows that the leaders in the American church are not Christian, they are following their own ideas about what they want," Phillips said.
On the other side, the Rev. Richard Kirker of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement said he would be "delighted" by Robinson's election.
"We look forward to the Church of England and other parts of the Anglican Church taking some encouragement and being willing to take a lead from the American church, whose decision is very prophetic and truly Christian," Kirker said.
Ha ha! Look! They misspelled "perversity!"
I would be embarrassed to be a member.
The fact of the matter is, this vote proves there are NO limits as far as the so-called "leadership" of the Episcopal Church is concerned! With this vote, the apostate church has revealed itself for what it is.
The majority of "spiritual" leaders in the denomination have just voted to throw the Word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ out the window, embrace perversion at the highest level and the author of the article says this "may test the limits".
God's word regarding the course of action and decision these so-called "spiritual leaders" should have made is clear:
11. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
12. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?
13. God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you." 1 Corinthians 5:11-13
Since the majority of those calling the shots within the denomination have chosen not to "Expel the wicked man" from among them, they have rejected God and His Holy Word and instead whole heartedly supported and embraced perversion and wickedness.
With this decision they have left those who truly know Christ with only ONE option from a biblical perspective:
There is only one course of action available and the counsel of God's Word is obvious for all born again believers and ministers within the Episcopal Church:
Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE, says the Lord.
AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.
And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me, Says the Lord Almighty.(2Corinthians 6:17 - 18)
This view may not be PC or "popular" but it is what God has to say about the situation.
It will be telling in the days and weeks ahead to see if those who genuinely know Christ within the denomination, be they lay people or leaders, are willing to "count the cost", and consider it all loss and dung to uphold the Word of God and follow Christ; no matter what the cost. Even if their stand for the truth means the loss of buildings, property, possessions, positions, power, friendships and anything else that Satan might use to get these believers to COMPROMISE their walk with Christ and support of the Word of God. For those believers that may seek to compromise on this issue for what ever reason God gives a very sobering warning:
"You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." (James 4:4)
We can be friends of God and enemies of the world,
Friends of the world and enemies of God,
... there is NO middle ground or position in this matter. To do nothing, for whatever reason is to side with sexual immorality and perversion of the highest order.
The choice is ours and the time to act is NOW. God is watching and we will each give an account to Christ Himself for the decisions we make in regard to this matter.
Im sickened really.
Besides telling them that sexual deviancy is normal, they will take their children to "youth groups" every Sunday (that will be run by gay priests or gays).
"Will" be run? I say "will" with absolute certainty. It's the next logical step on the GLB agenda.
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