The Guardian [London] reports that Bishop Gene Robinson — the first openly homosexual bishop of the Episcopal Church USA, met this week with Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in London. According to the paper, the crisis sparked by Bishop Robinson’s election and consecration was a primary focus of the meeting. From the report: During the meeting, officially described by Lambeth Palace as friendly but candid, Dr. Rowan Williams and Bishop Robinson discussed the crisis and also prayed together. The encounter coincided with a new escalation of the church’s turmoil as three lay evangelicals, belonging to an Anglican church in south London, were ordained in an unofficial service by a bishop of a separate South African church during a ceremony attended by a number of Church of England conservative evangelical clergy.
More: Bishop Robinson, who was elected to head the diocese of New Hampshire in 2003 even though he lives with his male partner, told the Guardian yesterday he was not ashamed of his sexual orientation and believed he had no reason for repentence, as conservatives across the world have demanded. “It is not something of which I should repent and I have no intention of doing so,” he said. “I have been led to understand that I am loved by God just as I am. That is not to say I am perfect but it is my belief that my orientation is value-neutral. It is what I do with my relationship that God really cares about.
“It has taken me the better part of 40 years to come to terms with all that. It was God that changed my heart about coming to accept myself. It was a very hard-won fight. I would be crazy to turn my back on that now.”
Bishop Robinson’s language is very important. He states that he has “been led to understand that “I am loved by God just as I am,” and that his sexual orientation is “value-neutral.” The obvious question is this — who or what led Bishop Robinson to this conclusion? Certainly not the Bible.
The Bishop makes this last point clear when he refers to the Bible. “We worship a living God, not one locked up in the Scripture of 2,000 years ago,” he said. That is an amazing statement — one that perfectly represents the spirit of the age. With these few words the authority of Scripture is simply evacuated. The very fact that a bishop of a Christian church could talk this way about God and His Word reveals just how a denomination can get into such trouble and elect a practicing homosexual — a man who divorced his wife and now lives with another man — as a bishop.
Bishop Robinson insists that this matter of sexuality is settled for the people of his diocese in New Hampshire, and the world-wide Anglican community will just have to deal with it. “We are quite a happy group. We may be the only diocese in the Anglican communion that is not talking about homosexuality. It is settled for the people of New Hampshire,” the Bishop said. Settled against the clear teaching of the Bible, of course. Nevertheless, they are “quite a happy group.” I guess that’s all that matters.
R. Albert Mohler Jr.
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