Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"Damn, that kettle sure is black" said the pot

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 25 — Bishops of the Episcopal Church on Tuesday rejected demands by leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion to roll back the church’s liberal stance on homosexuality, increasing the possibility of fracture within the communion and the Episcopal Church itself.

After nearly a week of talks at their semiannual meeting in New Orleans, the House of Bishops adopted a resolution that defied a directive by the Anglican Communion’s regional leaders, or primates, to change several church policies regarding the place of gay men and lesbians in their church. But the bishops also expressed a desire to remain part of the communion, and they appeared to be trying to stake out a middle ground that would allow them to do so.

Still, up to five American dioceses led by theologically conservative bishops may try to break with the Episcopal Church and place themselves under the oversight of a foreign primate in the coming months, said the Rev. Canon Kendall Harmon, a conservative Episcopal strategist.

“We’ll have the chaos here increase as more individuals, parishes and dioceses begin moving,” Mr. Harmon said. “What will happen is that we will see more of the disunity here spread to the rest of the communion.”

In a voice vote, all but one bishop supported a resolution, called “A Response to Questions and Concerns Raised by Our Anglican Communion Partners.” Several conservative bishops who are considering leaving the Episcopal Church were not in attendance.

The worldwide Anglican Communion needs to realize that the issue of whether to ordain open and unrepentant homosexuals to the ministry and to sanction homosexual unions is the difference between real Christianity and a false faith with no power to save the soul.

Once they have framed the issue properly as a difference between real churches and false churches all the dithering about whether to break fellowship and expel the heretical churches should end.

A large part of the trouble the Anglicans are having in formulating a response to the dissident churches is that they abandoned the Bible as the sole guide for faith and practice when they began ordaining females to the priesthood.

If you have structured your church in such a way as to be in open defiance of Biblical commandments it is very difficult to condemn others for doing the same thing just because the sin they embrace is different from the sin you embrace.