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Are Episcopalians Still a Church? A Lutheran theologian/journalist examines Robinson confirmation
Christianity Today ^ | 8/7/03 | Uwe Siemon-Netto

Posted on 08/07/2003 5:49:25 PM PDT by rhema

The 2.1 million U.S. Episcopalians will have to ponder three urgent questions now that their General Convention in Minneapolis has approved the election of an openly homosexual cleric as next bishop of New Hampshire:

Will their tiny denomination (there are fewer Episcopalians now than convicts in jail) remain in communion with the rest of the world's 70 million Anglicans? Their chances are slim, given the warnings of the Most Rev. Peter Akinola, archbishop of Lagos and primate of Nigeria, who has of late become the world's most forceful Protestant voice.

How will the Minneapolis decision impinge on ecumenical relations with much larger partners, especially the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, to which Episcopalians are in a sense married by a treaty titled Called to Common Mission, or CCM? Great is the danger that it will accelerate the ELCA's expected implosion over the issue of—guess what?—homosexuality.

Is the Episcopal Church USA still a church in the historical and theological sense of the word? Since Minneapolis there are solid reasons to doubt that the ECUSA as a denomination can seriously make this claim (this does not mean, though, that its faithful dioceses and denominations, a minority, should be read out of the Body of Christ).

What is a church? The Greek word ek-klesia defines it clearly: "called out" (of the masses)— by God, not libido. "Church" is not an assembly of the elect chic with the right to decide which political, sexual or other preference, or any fad for that matter, may be considered holy.

"Church" is not an organization whose clerics—representing Christ at the altar—can declare their same-sex partnership "sacramental," as did the Rev. Canon V. Gene Robinson before his election to the New Hampshire bishopric was confirmed. Protestantism, Anglicanism included, affirms "two sacraments instituted by Christ our Lord in the Gospel-Baptism and the Lord's Supper," we read in article 25 of the Anglican Church's 39 Articles of Religion. Whims of concupiscence do definitely not fall under this rubric.

In article 19 of the same 16th century statement of faith we find these words: "The visible church of Christ is a congregation of believers in which the pure Word of God is preached and in which the sacraments are rightly administered according to Christ's command in all those matters that are necessary for proper administration."

"The pure word of God"—both in the Old and New Testaments—proscribes divorce and certain types of sexual activity. Before Monday's crucial vote, Robinson's supporters spoke much of being guided by "the Spirit." No doubt, they were. But whether it was the Holy Spirit is quite a different question. All sorts of religious fiends, especially those following the example if the 16th-century enthusiasts led by the blood-soaked Thomas Muentzer, claimed adherence to the free-blowing Third Person in the Trinity.

Since Episcopalians are ecumenically wedded with Lutherans—and actually imposed their form of ministerial oversight on them—please let's give Luther a voice here. He said that the only safe way to probe such a question is to test it against Scripture. Had the ECUSA's House of Bishops done so in Minneapolis, the Rev. Robinson would not be given a miter, but the sound advice to repent.

The selfishness and arrogance of the Minneapolis vote are astounding. It was a decision based purely on North American—and perhaps Western European—preoccupations with their bodily wants. Not only did the General Convention of the "Church of Good Taste" ignore the beliefs of fellow Anglicans in Africa, Asia and South America, about whose faithfulness U.S. prelates such as John Spong, the former bishop of Newark, N.J., snigger haughtily.

No, they also disregarded their Lutheran partners whose ministers are ordained on the "sola scriptura" principle, which holds that truth is revealed in Scripture alone. When Robinson is consecrated, a Lutheran bishop must also hold his hands over his head, according to CCM, even though it is still stated ELCA doctrine that homosexual behavior violates the will of God.

Doubtless, there will be a Lutheran bishop ready to comply. But when that happens, it will further unravel the ELCA, whose presiding bishop, Mark S. Hanson, is also the president of the Lutheran World Federation, most of whose member denominations are as opposed to the encroachment of secular and un-Biblical concerns as are African, Asian and Latin American Anglicans—and millions of their faithful brethren in the West as well.

The good news is that this is not a crisis of Christianity as a whole. Most fervent Christians know that worldly concerns and desires are never faith's launching pad. Christians are called to discipleship; they are not called to edit God's will according to their preferences.

As disciples, they will suffer like their incarnate God. For faithful Anglican congregations who feel they can no longer remain within the ECUSA an intense period of suffering is about to begin, which is why they need all the support they can get from like-minded people in other denominations. They will lose their sanctuaries—often very old ones—because the Episcopal Church will turn to secular courts, as it has done in such cases in the past, claiming some very valuable real estate.

That, too, violates Scripture, but who is quibbling now?

If you wish to be a clairvoyant, it's easy to look into the future. While orthodox Christians will worship in school auditoriums or the sanctuaries of other denominations at first, a form of Anglicanism increasingly disconnected from Scripture and tradition will celebrate itself with great splendor in ever-more empty churches and cathedrals.

There will be He-He and She-She couples in the pews and, heck, why not He-and-She-and-She or She-and-He-and-He, and Me-and-Me; all this is sacramental by new Episcopal standards, isn't it? So go bless the gin and tonic and pass it around with finger foods to the folks in front of this new religion's altars.

Pray, what would be a more fitting farewell party for a church in a tailspin?

Uwe Siemon-Netto is religion editor for United Press International.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: amassingwealth; catholiclist; christophobes; episcofags; episcopal; episcopalian; fallout; homosexual; homosexualagenda; homosexualbishop; lutheran; queer; religion
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1 posted on 08/07/2003 5:49:26 PM PDT by rhema
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To: rhema
Excellent.
2 posted on 08/07/2003 5:54:35 PM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: hellinahandcart
In fact I'm bookmarking it.
3 posted on 08/07/2003 5:55:03 PM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: rhema
I believe the word is...










Correct me if I'm wrong, of course.
4 posted on 08/07/2003 5:56:39 PM PDT by Green Knight (Looking forward to seeing Jeb stepping over Hillary's rotting political corpse in 2008.)
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To: hellinahandcart
bump by:
5 posted on 08/07/2003 6:05:12 PM PDT by larryjohnson (ex_Lutheran PK)
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To: rhema
Didn't Bishop Spong start writing a sex column for a pornsite?
6 posted on 08/07/2003 6:10:04 PM PDT by colorado tanker (Iron Horse)
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To: rhema
This just in:

The House of Deputies just released the final vote in-favor
of "blessing" non-marital unions. Between clergy and lay, the vote read
58 yes, 38 no and 12 divided. This resolution now allows dioceses to
choose whether or not they desire to perform same-sex "blessings".
This has thrown the door open for the church to continue to persue
these types of legislation.

The AAC is extremely saddened by the road the Episcopal church
has continued to take. Our hearts break as this Church insists
on throwing out scripture and historic Christian faith. The Episcopal
Church has made it a point to be an "anything goes" denomination.

The Rev. Canon David Anderson stated, "The AAC is already moving
forward. Under the direction and guidence of worldwide Anglican
Primates, the AAC is now taking the necessary steps to insure that
American Anglicans will have a place to call home."

For Press Release: http://www.aplacetostand.org/dspnews.cfm?id=67

7 posted on 08/07/2003 6:13:38 PM PDT by bonfire
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To: hellinahandcart
For faithful Anglican congregations who feel they can no longer remain within the ECUSA an intense period of suffering is about to begin, which is why they need all the support they can get from like-minded people in other denominations. They will lose their sanctuaries—often very old ones—because the Episcopal Church will turn to secular courts, as it has done in such cases in the past, claiming some very valuable real estate.

I see someone else has noticed the confiscation of property as an increasingly obvious motive.

8 posted on 08/07/2003 6:28:25 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: rhema
Hope this comment is taken in the right spirit? Yeah, but the Homosexual is bishop. This guy is writing an article going Tsk! Tsk!
9 posted on 08/07/2003 6:33:46 PM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (Further, the statement assumed)
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To: rhema
What is a church? The Greek word ek-klesia defines it clearly: "called out" (of the masses)— by God, not libido. "Church" is not an assembly of the elect chic with the right to decide which political, sexual or other preference, or any fad for that matter, may be considered holy.

Just wanted to repeat this.

10 posted on 08/07/2003 6:40:52 PM PDT by LibertarianLiz
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To: All

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11 posted on 08/07/2003 6:41:04 PM PDT by Bob J (Freerepublic.net...where it's always a happening....)
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To: rhema
Today, the Lutheran World Federation REJECTED a definition of marriage as between one man and one woman!

Oh well.

12 posted on 08/07/2003 6:42:09 PM PDT by realpatriot
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To: Green Knight
Very creative in making your point.
13 posted on 08/07/2003 6:50:02 PM PDT by bethelgrad (for God and country)
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To: rhema
"What is a church? The Greek word ek-klesia defines it clearly: "called out" (of the masses)— by God, not libido."

Bingo! The feel-good, politically correct, me-focused world of the left.
14 posted on 08/07/2003 6:57:35 PM PDT by txzman (Jer 23:29)
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To: rhema
This is the WHY of what is happening these days in Politics, the Church, the School. Find me anything below that has NOT occured or in the current "Things to do" list of the DNC and others.


Antonio Gramsci, 1891-1937
Focus on Freedom
C L Steplock

There is an old saying that begins something like this: THOSE THAT FORGET THE PAST ....

In 1919 an Italian socialist named Antonio Gramsci began to publish a newspaper in Milan called, L'Ordine Nuovo, or "The New Order." Loosely rendered, he concluded that the average person would never voluntarily reject the faith and culture of the West. He concluded that the best way to implement a collectivist government was to use an intellectual elite to destroy traditional values by attacking fundamental Jewish and Christian beliefs.

Antonio Gramsci, 1891-1937

...A. The New Order (L'Ordine Nuovo)

...B. Lenin was wrong, and the Leninist revolution will fail (USSR falters - Berlin Wall down)
......1. The workers will see the revolutionary government as a new boss
......2. When the revolution fails, the west will re-import Capitalism

...C. Gradual revolution through infiltration & subversion by revolutionaries
......1. Infiltrate the State: elective & appointed office; judgeships
......2. Infiltrate the military: enlist & subvert from within
......3. Infiltrate justice: undermine and discredit state constitutions
......4. Infiltrate education: professors & administrators
......5. Infiltrate & discredit religion: scoundrels as clergymen
......6. Register, then license, then confiscate all privately held weapons

...D. Form or infiltrate international organizations to promote goals such as "global understanding," "economic development," "transfer of resources"

...E. Both Capitalism and Judaeo-Christian culture must be destroyed before a Communist revolution can succeed
......1. Religious sentiment cannot be destroyed through legislation, as Lenin believed, but must be redirected from the divine to the state
.........a. Terror will only drive Religion underground
.........b. Religion will then reemerge when Leninism fails
.........c. So Religion must be destroyed in the minds of men
......2. Infiltrate religious academies and become priests and clergymen
.........a. Subtly promote heresy within religious organizations
.........b. Infiltrators must act so as to discredit the church
............(1) Cause financial and sexual scandals
............(2) See that this is given a high profile in the news
............(3) Like-minded infiltrators in the media will cooperate
......3. Once religion is discredited from within, continuously promote the idea that only the state can solve the problems that have been traditionally brought before the church

...F. When propagating revolutionary ideas, cloak them in polite terms
......1. National Consensus
......2. Popular Mandate
......3. National Pacification
......4. Pluralism
......5. Global Community
......6. Economic Justice
......7. Economic Democracy
......8. Liberation Theology
......9. Direct Action

...G. Marxists "must enter into every civil, cultural, and political activity in every nation, leavening them as yeast leavens bread."

Gramsci-(original Italian) = Gramschi = Gramski-(sp prefered by communists)


http://focus.gohotsprings.com

"If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
-- Sammuel Adams


15 posted on 08/07/2003 6:58:26 PM PDT by steplock (www.FOCUS.GOHOTSPRINGS.com)
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To: rhema
Look for the gubmit to soon require church attendance in order to get your tax refund or get certain deductions. The SCOTUS will uphold it. They'll do anything for the queers!
16 posted on 08/07/2003 7:02:47 PM PDT by Waco
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To: steplock; hellinahandcart; rhema; bonfire; Miss Marple
Other Anglican Churches and Organizations

(many conservative)

The Anglican Catholic Church
The Anglican Catholic Church of Canada
The Anglican Church in America
Anglican Communion
Anglicans Online
Anglican Province of America
Anglican Province of Christ the King
American Anglican Council
The Anglican Mission in America
The Charismatic Episcopal Church
Lambeth Conference
Old Catholic Church of America
Order of St. Vincent
The Prayer Book Society (Ecusa)
Reformed Episcopal Church
The Traditional Anglican Communion
The Conference on Anglican Unity
Sodality of the Most Holy Rosary
Traditional Anglican Documents
Episcopal Missionary Church
Episcopal Orthodox Church
United Episcopal Church of North America


The group leading the charge against the gay movement in the Episcopal Church is Episcopal Shield

17 posted on 08/07/2003 7:07:19 PM PDT by TaxRelief (Welcome to the #1 discussion board dedicated to the sustenance of a free republic.)
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To: realpatriot
Today, the Lutheran World Federation REJECTED a definition of marriage as between one man and one woman!

Wow --- it's really getting weird!

18 posted on 08/07/2003 7:07:23 PM PDT by FITZ
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To: rhema
Did anyone ask GOD what he thought about this situation?

It seems to me since he is the true head of all churches maybe this would be a real good idea. Don't ya Think!

I told him today when I said my prayers and he actually said he finds it hard to believe that one of his churches filled with the faithful trying to get to heaven would sanctify a "Queer" <sorry got not speaking PC here< but, would someone please call him and let him know I'm not lying? Just tell him me name is CHA CHA CHA. He'll know who your talkng about.

19 posted on 08/07/2003 7:22:45 PM PDT by chachacha
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To: Green Knight
No correction. Not only right, but couldn't be better expressed! LOL!
20 posted on 08/07/2003 7:24:23 PM PDT by livius
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To: realpatriot
Agghhh! You're kidding! No, probably not.

Where do we find out more about this?
21 posted on 08/07/2003 7:26:12 PM PDT by livius
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To: realpatriot
The Lutheran World Federation is so whacked out the mainline traditional Lutheran church in the US, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, does not belong to it. The Wisconsin Synod doesn't either, I believe.

The LCMS doesn't belong to the world Council of Churches either. My pastor referred to it as a communist front group, not a council of churches.

22 posted on 08/07/2003 7:28:32 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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To: bonfire
Next will be "sacramental" same-sex marriage.
23 posted on 08/07/2003 7:33:08 PM PDT by FreeRep (Proud to be American: John 3:16)
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To: piasa
Thanks for the explanation.
24 posted on 08/07/2003 7:33:11 PM PDT by livius
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To: rhema
I knew the Epicopalians were "losing it" when they started ordaining priestesses.

They have become a side show in a way.

It was sickening to see Rev. Gene Robinson showing off his boyfriend.

Man, I hate to say it but the Episcopalians are a joke now.

25 posted on 08/07/2003 7:40:07 PM PDT by Tiger_eye
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To: rhema
What more can be said at this juncture?
26 posted on 08/07/2003 7:42:50 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: Miss Marple
But what will the ECUSA do with dozens, perhaps hundreds of empty buildings and facilities? They will still need some maintenance and upkeep...a money pit in the making!
27 posted on 08/07/2003 7:45:19 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: Green Knight
You are RIGHT and nicely done.
28 posted on 08/07/2003 7:45:31 PM PDT by nmh
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To: hellinahandcart
The handwriting has been on the wall for awhile with this denomination when they had the FIRST gay priest. I forget what year it was or his name but they were first. So having a gay bishop only goes to follow.
29 posted on 08/07/2003 7:47:21 PM PDT by nmh
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To: Tiger_eye
They are a church that just needs to go away. Robinson is nothing more than a twenty-first century walking Asherah pole.
30 posted on 08/07/2003 7:48:35 PM PDT by JusPasenThru (We're through being cool (you can say that again, Dad))
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To: realpatriot
Just to remind everyone again - the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod is one of the most conservative churches in America.

I can see them gaining members as refugees from the Episcopalians and ELCA start looking for a new church.
31 posted on 08/07/2003 7:50:11 PM PDT by horse_doc
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To: LiteKeeper; drstevej; OrthodoxPresbyterian; nobdysfool; RnMomof7; Wrigley; Corin Stormhands
There will be He-He and She-She couples in the pews and, heck, why not He-and-She-and-She or She-and-He-and-He, and Me-and-Me; all this is sacramental by new Episcopal standards, isn't it? So go bless the gin and tonic and pass it around with finger foods to the folks in front of this new religion's altars.

Gin and tonic with fingerfoods.

I love it. Bump.

32 posted on 08/07/2003 7:52:33 PM PDT by xzins
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To: LibertarianLiz
What is a church? The Greek word ek-klesia defines it clearly: "called out" (of the masses)— by God, not libido. "Church" is not an assembly of the elect chic with the right to decide which political, sexual or other preference, or any fad for that matter, may be considered holy.

In the Bible, the word ek-klesia (eklaseeya) always means a called out group of people. The letters of the New Testament (most if not all) were written to local, visible assemblies of believers; each making their own choices and governing themselves. So where does this idea of a universal (invisible and all encompassing) church come from? How can we say that this supposed universal church is on this earth since it is impossible to assemble all the saints together, until the time of the return of Christ? I can understand using the word church in an institutional sense (the same way I can talk about the "American family"). Such usage in no way should be construed that there is a big universal church with some earthly Dad residing over it - but instead, I understand talking about the "American family" is a way to talk in general terms.

Just something to think about.

And btw - I've been praying that all the saved would leave the Episcopalian organization and that it would fall, as an example on this earth to all those who would mock God and detest His Holy Word.
33 posted on 08/07/2003 7:54:18 PM PDT by AD from SpringBay (We have the government we allow and deserve.)
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To: LiteKeeper
Au contraire. Either they will fill the pews with leftists and hold political meetings disguised as worship services, or they will sell some of the buldings off for a tidy sum. Many Episcopal churches sit in downtown areas, since they were one of the first denominations in the colonies. They owon very valuable real estate.

In addition, it isn't just the buildings. They possess endowments, antiques, art, and investment accounts.

34 posted on 08/07/2003 8:12:36 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: rhema
Before Monday's crucial vote, Robinson's supporters spoke much of being guided by "the Spirit." No doubt, they were. But whether it was the Holy Spirit is quite a different question.

Ya think?

35 posted on 08/07/2003 8:20:38 PM PDT by FlyVet
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Comment #36 Removed by Moderator

To: TaxRelief
It's exciting to find that there are so many faithful people allied against the dark tide sweeping toward us. It's depressing and annoying to find that there's nothing available for would-worshippers in the Washington, D.C. area!
37 posted on 08/07/2003 8:26:29 PM PDT by Capriole (Foi vainquera)
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To: rhema; WVNan
I admit, I was raised an Episcopalian. After the news of the gay unions and gay bishop...This is probably the last day I will admit to being one.
38 posted on 08/07/2003 8:28:21 PM PDT by Calpernia (Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does.)
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To: Calpernia
I can you see the vision of Sodom and Ghomorra present day. I got to tell you, prepare, for the end is near. How can God let this go on much longer. THE CHURCHES ARE ACTUALLY CALLING HOLY, HOMOSEXUALITY!! What is next, clones?
39 posted on 08/07/2003 8:49:58 PM PDT by John.Cooch
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To: John.Cooch
I can you see = I can see
40 posted on 08/07/2003 8:50:38 PM PDT by John.Cooch
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To: Capriole
Fred Barnes attends a dissenting Anglican church in the DC area. I read that some time ago. Of course, it might be out in Virginia somewhere...I don't know where it is. There are some web sites that list alternatives to the Episcopals.
41 posted on 08/07/2003 8:53:52 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: rhema
The entire sad episode reminds me of the communists gloating about how easy it was to take over the Presbyterian seminaries in the '60s.

Their blatant disregard of Biblical authority only increased continuously after that. I had to leave them because of it.

It looks like the Edwardian Granite Heap is going through the same death throes.

42 posted on 08/07/2003 9:27:11 PM PDT by nightdriver
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To: Tiger_eye
The Episcopal Church lost it when they refused to discipline (or excommunicate) Bishop Spong for denying the divinity of Christ. The rest has been a slow descent into madness.
43 posted on 08/07/2003 9:30:36 PM PDT by keilimon
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To: Capriole
Try this link. The American Anglican Council

They are headquartered in DC, so it stands to reason that there must be a local Anglican place of worship.

44 posted on 08/07/2003 9:30:52 PM PDT by TaxRelief (Welcome to the #1 discussion board dedicated to the sustenance of a free republic.)
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To: GatorGirl; maryz; *Catholic_list; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; Askel5; livius; ...
Ping.
45 posted on 08/07/2003 9:32:58 PM PDT by narses ("The do-it-yourself Mass is ended. Go in peace" Francis Carindal Arinze of Nigeria)
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To: LiteKeeper
Perhaps a cash cow - our Parish had to buy back it's own property when it split from the ECUSA in 1976. There will be conservative Parishes that will pay the ECUSA to keep the property they already own - I think you can properly call it legalized extorsion.
46 posted on 08/07/2003 9:33:15 PM PDT by keilimon
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To: Capriole
There was a conservative Episcopal church in Akkokeek Maryland, but they've been forced by the Bishop of DC to be more PC, when the leftists of DC, with Bishop Dixon at the fore, utilized the US courts to oust the pastor chosen by the congregation, in a nasty battle a year or two ago...

the infowarrior

47 posted on 08/07/2003 9:35:48 PM PDT by infowarrior
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To: Calpernia
Just say you are a "Conservative Anglican", instead.

(Maybe we can sue the ECUSA for "defamation of character" or "violation of a contract". I feel defamed and violated.)
48 posted on 08/07/2003 9:40:24 PM PDT by TaxRelief (Welcome to the #1 discussion board dedicated to the sustenance of a free republic.)
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To: keilimon
I suspect that the Anglican World Communion could make a valid case in court stating that they have equal rights to the property of the ECUSA. A judge might force a settlement between the two.
49 posted on 08/07/2003 9:42:35 PM PDT by TaxRelief (Welcome to the #1 discussion board dedicated to the sustenance of a free republic.)
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To: rhema
We have been fore warned many places in scriptures, such as Proverbs 7 and Jude about the orgainzed churches in the last days becoming apostate. These people are "pre-ordained" for this condemnation, Jude. They are having a high old time now, but it will be short lived. Eternity lasts a very long time.

Come out of her my people lest ye be partakers of her iniquities and receive of her punishments. It's time for the tuff to get going, we are in the last days and should draw ever closer to God in order to endure. Something wicked this way comes.
50 posted on 08/07/2003 9:44:53 PM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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