The tragic soap opera of the Episcopal Church’s debate over the election of a homosexual bishop came to a conclusion on Tuesday as the House of Bishops elected Canon Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire. The 62 to 43 vote (with 2 abstentions) came only after the bishops conducted a hasty investigation into last-minute accusations against the bishop-elect. These charges obscured the basic fact that Canon Robinson is biblically disqualified simply by the fact that he is a practicing homosexual. That apparently did not matter to the 62 bishops who arrogantly denied the authority of Scripture and the clear moral teachings of their own church. [see Washington Times article]
At the last Lambeth Conference, the Anglicans had declared that homosexuality is “:incompatible with Scripture” and ordered that homosexuals should not serve as priests. That was just five years ago. This fact alone demonstrates just how far the homosexual agenda has advanced in recent years. We are witnessing a moral revolution without parallel in Christian history, and this revolution is propelled by radical revisionists who are determined to recast Christianity into something very different from the faith of the Apostles–a church that humbles itself to the authority of modern political correctness rather than the Word of God. [see article from London]
Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria declared that Robinson’s election is “a Satanic attack on God’s church,” and is expected to break ties with the Episcopal Church USA. A group of conservative American bishops announced that they would appeal to the worldwide Anglican Communion. “With grief too deep for words, the bishops who stand before you must reject this action,” said Bishop Robert W. Duncan of Pittsburgh, adding that the election of a homosexual bishop represented “a pastoral emergency that has overtaken us.” [see Washington Post article]
Of course, the homosexual activists claimed a great victory. ‘This is an example to the country, to the culture, and to the other denominations that diversity is something to be celebrated and that the entire family of God is enriched by individuals who commit themselves to each other,” said Susan Russell, executive director of “Claiming the Blessing.” If the sole moral concern of this church is the fact that individuals “commit themselves to each other,” we can only assume that a host of other new “relationships” will soon be celebrated as well.
Liberal Christianity has been in open revolt against the Word of God for generations now, arguing that times change, so truth must change as well. Morality is mere custom, ane we must “grow” beyond the antiquated morality of the Bible. The authority of the Bible is first bargained away by clever arguments, and then openly dismissed as hopelessly out of date. The virtue of authentic Christian compassion is exchanged for the vice of modern “tolerance.” Love, in this case, means never having to say you’re a sinner.
This is a disastrous day for the Episcopal Church. When a majority of its bishops elected a homosexual man as bishop, the denomination effectively declared its independence from the Christian church. Within the ruins of this denomination are thousands of faithful Christians who fervently love the Word of God and cherish the true Gospel. All those who love Christ must pray that God will grant them courage and conviction in full measure, and lead them in a faithful path. Rev. David C. Anderson, president of the American Anglican Council announced an October meeting where conservative Episcopalians will consider their options. Their options may be limited.
Bishop Duncan’s words of lament express the sadness and grief of all faithful Christians: “This decision has denied the plain teaching of Scripture and the moral consensus of the church. . . With grief we bishops must reject this action. May God have mercy on His church.” May God have mercy indeed.
R. Albert Mohler Jr.
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