It comes down to Episcopalians
choosing either human opinion or the Bible as related to theology.
It’s that simple, though in the Episcopal / Anglican way
of doing things, it’s never simple. Complexity is the
mode they thrive on most.
Nevertheless, for those inside the Episcopal
/ Anglican communion as well as those outside it, the decisions
now being made are based either on the Holy Scriptures alone
or church tradition as interpreted by human opinion.
Those who conclude on human opinion delight
in stating that their dogma is supported by three legs: Bible,
tradition and logic. But when it comes down to reality, for
those persons who hold to the trinity of legs, human reasoning
holds more sway than the Bible, even tradition.
So when it comes to a practicing homosexual
now regarded as legitimate bishop within the Episcopal Church
in America, the theological liberals with their trinity of legs
consider this a moment for celebration. Nothing wrong with a
clergyperson of either gender holding to a practicing homosexual
lifestyle as well as ministerial credentials. In other words,
blessings upon them all.
The liberals have taken the Bible passages
relating to homosexuality and so twisted them for their own
apostate exegesis that they have done a powerful job of brainwashing
themselves and gullible others. So they will continue.
Of course, when it comes down to it in the
Episcopal Church in America, the laity are not all that knowledgeable
nor concerned about Bible fine lines nor theological splicing
of hairs. They leave most of that homework to the clergy; truly,
many within the clergy really don’t bother too much with
the fine lines. Politics and human nudges mean more than whether
a chapter and verse state this or that.
The Episcopal Church can be quite enamored
by lighting candles, preparing altar doilies, arranging tables
for a church supper, decorating one’s clergy body with
proper vestments, and sighing beautifully over an evensong.
But as for following every jot and tittle according to the Bible
prescriptions, forget it.
Now for the Bible enthusiasts within the Episcopal
Church, that is a different story, though surely they would
not want to be known as "enthusiasts." That’s
much too Baptist a term. They want to be known as Episcopalian
They are after all believers who hold to the
Bible as eternally revealed truth, not to be tampered with by
taking away from nor adding to. They want the Episcopal tradition
with its medieval sanctuaries, cathedrals, arches, side chapels,
little boys’ choirs, incense, vested clergy, and bean
suppers. But they also want the Prayer Book kept intact as well
as total allegiance to the Bible as the inspired Word of God.
Consequently, when it comes to referring to
God as She, that’s not permitted by a conservative Episcopalian,
nor the practicing homosexual lifestyle, nor the lowering Holy
Scripture to a low rung. After all, God gave us the Book. Mortals
dare not ignore it, belittle it nor scissor up its pages for
one’s own politically correct opportunism.
And so the beat goes on.
Right now conservative Episcopalians meet to
discuss, pray and decide. They have had time to digest the apostasy
of a practicing homosexual bishop well ensconced upon his clerical
throne. Now it’s time to do something about it. Either
stay with the organization or leave it.
Just as the matter comes down to accepting
the Bible as the inspired revelation from deity or a package
of human opinions stitched together for revamping if desired,
so it comes down to organizational stay or leave.
God bless the Bible-loyal Episcopalians. May
they weather every storm with eternity’s values in view.
Grant Swank, Jr., is the Pastor of New Hope Church in
Windham, ME. He is a a graduate of an accredited
college (BA) and seminary (M Div) with graduate work at
Harvard Divinity School. Pastor Swank has been married
for 41 years and he has 3 adult children. He is
the author of 5 books and over 2000 articles in various
Protestant and Catholic magazines, journals and newspapers.
He writes a weekly religion column for PORTLAND PRESS HERALD
newspaper, Portland ME. His columns have appeared on IntellectualConservative.com,
VIOdaily.com, AmericanDaily.com, MensNewsDaily.com, BushCountry.org, Chalcedon.com,
ConservativeTruth.com, FreeRepublic.com, WoundedShepherds.com, among others.
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