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The Western Front

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Written by Basil on 08/1/2003 6:36 PM. Filed under:

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I’m following with detached interest the recently convened General Convention of the Episcopal Church, USA. As many Christians in the U.S. know by now, the major issue to be decided by this General Convention is sexuality, as it has been at every General Convention for the past decade. This time, it appears that any decision will split the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion in twain, as it has so appeared at each General Convention for the past decade. Yet perhaps the conservative bishops have finally realized that the line — that “this far, and no further” divide — which they continually allow to be eroded is a precipice which, in its erosion, continues to rush at them at breakneck speed. As they watch their faithful flock, like the Gerasene herd, plummet over the edge, perhaps now they begin to finally realize the eternal cost of their compromised consensus.

There are two issues on the table:

There are also other issues, but they are being forgotten in the fuss over sex. It seems right that the public is focusing attention on the latest battle in the war for the soul of the Anglican Communion. It is the same war that is being fought in the public square.

In the Episcopal Church — and probably in the Church of England, too — the war was won long ago by the progressives; the orthodox position has no hope of regaining ground. Perhaps this is why the bishops keep negotiating truces with the enemy.

Stop negotiating. End the war. Cut your losses and retreat. Barricade yourself against the continued onslaught. Ally yourself with a force that can keep the opposition at bay. Perhaps the Africans and the Asians will be enough. Or perhaps you should look to Moscow and Constantinople for support. If you hold your ground, they may at least be able to provide arms and materiel; the safer and more sure path to victory, however, will be to accept exile from your thoroughly infiltrated homeland and take refuge in theirs.

But you have lost the war. Your church is theirs now. Face this sad, tragic fact with dignity and find the redemption in what remains.

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8 Responses to “The Western Front”

  1. James Says:

    That’s what I’ve been saying (or sort of) for a while now. They need to get out with whatever dignity they still have and find orthodoxy somewhere else (like Orthodoxy?).

  2. Karl Thienes Says:

    A priest from Uganda came to our parish last week and spoke about the Orthodox Church in Africa…

    He said the Archbishop has been contacted several times by various Episcopal priests about possibly converting if/when the worldwide Anglican communion goes into schism….

    Things should get interesting in the next few years as the conservative Epicopalians move closer to either Rome or Constantinople….

  3. James Says:

    While trying not to judge, I know first hand how destructive church hopping can be. If an Anglican priest wants to be Eastern Orthodox just because of schism or the ordination of ________ (fill in the blank) then they should think long and hard about converting to any church. I became Roman Catholic because I finally realized that PECUSA wasn’t what some people had told me it was, but I should have done my homework more thoroughly.

  4. pete Says:

    as a resident of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro, where this historic vote is taking place, as well as being a student of things theological, i’ve been watching this with great interest. perhaps the most interesting (certainly the most sadly entertaining) aspect of this event has been watching the people from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka KS protesting with their “God Hates Fags” signs. Such hate is so ugly and sad, but at least they look (and sound) wildly ridiculous. The Episcopalians aren’t the only ones who need prayer…

  5. James Says:

    There seems to be a false dichotomy in the minds of some people. They seem to think that if God loves a person He accepts his/her sexuality. And there is the flip side that asserts that if a person is gay then God cannot love him/her. Both of these are dangerously wrong.

  6. Tim Says:

    According to the BBC, “The Anglican Church in America has voted to confirm the appointment of an openly gay bishop.

    The Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies – composed of clergy and lay people – decided by a substantial majority that the Reverend Canon Gene Robinson of New Hampshire can serve as a bishop.

    There will be one final vote in the House of Bishops on Monday, but BBC correspondent Jane Little says it is likely this vote will also be in favour of Mr Robinson.”

  7. pete Says:

    it still hasn’t happened yet–there’s been some rumor of sexual improprieties of various kinds.

  8. Lola Says:

    I think the repercussions will be even greater than one thinks. I just can’t see my bishop wishing to appear at the same ecumenical forum where this gay bishop may appear. And I’m thinking there may even be a return to rebaptism in jurisdictions such as OCA.