Sunday, May 26, 2013

Gall indeed!

You have probably heard the dust up of Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson calling out Roman Catholics to embrace the gay and lesbian agenda.  It might be considered rude for an Episcopal Bishop to interfere in matters within the Roman Catholic Church but that has not stopped most of us from presuming such right.  It might be considered an affront for an Episcopal Bishop to foist his personal lifestyle choices upon any church but especially a church in which he has no standing but personal lifestyle choices have been trumping Scripture and tradition among certain Christians for some time now.  What I find curious is that this particular Episcopal Bishop has the, well, let me say courage, although I mean something else, to call out the Roman Catholic Church as one where people have voted with their feet against the social and moral teachings of their church.  This is curious, to say the least, because during the time Robinson has served the episcopal office in New Hampshire his own diocese has reported a 23% drop in attendance in but a few years!!

AVERAGE SUNDAY ATTENDANCE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE:
     2001      5,289 people attending
     2011      4,083 people attending         DECLINE 2001-2011 -23.0% over ten years!

Many Catholic laity are experiencing a painful disconnect between the official teachings and pronouncements of the Catholic hierarchy and what they believe in their hearts. It’s no wonder they are voting with their feet... says Bp Robinson.  

Now that is a bold statement from one who exercised episcopal oversight and leadership of a diocese smaller than many Roman Catholic parishes and one which has experienced a precipitous drop in attendance (one of the most objective barometers of church health).  Apparently, the progressive social teachings of Bp Robinson and the "doctrinal integrity" of the Episcopal Church have contributed greatly to the overall health of the diocese in which he has served!  Now that is gall!

I might be inclined to cut him some slack if the drop had come because of courageous stance consistent with Scripture and tradition in the face of a world relativizing truth and transforming worship into an entertainment experience.  But that is exactly what Bp Robinson has presided over.  Truth has become relative, disjointed from its source and norm in Scripture and out of step with those who have gone before us in the faith.  In addition, as much as I appreciate Anglican ceremonial, lacking doctrinal confession, such ceremonial is but a good show.  What matters if you genuflect at the incarnation while confessing the creed if you do not believe it?  What matters if you stand for the Gospel if you do not believe its word?  When confession and ceremony become unhitched, such liturgical worship becomes no more and no less than the entertainment worship like those who put on a show intentionally.


3 comments:

Dr.D said...

There is no doubt that Robbie is a disgrace in just about every action that he takes, this latest one included. Faithful Anglicans see Robbie as a sad joke, a buffoon, constantly seeking attention and publicity.

What he represents is the face of much of the ECUSA, but I hope that you are able to distinguish between ECUSA and Anglicanism as a whole.

While Anglicanism does not have anything directly comparable to the Book of Concord, it does have the Book of Common Prayer. As long as its members have been faithful, true believers in the words of the BCP, the Anglican faith has been rather well defined (at least as well as it ever will be). It is only when people have continued to use the words of the BCP but preach and believe something else that heterodoxy has come in, as it has in much of ECUSA.

Fr. D+
Anglican Priest

Janis Williams said...

Fr. D,

Too true. I am a Lutheran (by conversion). However, I believe there are plenty of Anglicans today of J. C. Ryle's 'stripe' who do disdain the said buffoonery. (As there are ELCA who neither believe in 'gay' rights nor women clergy.)

I listened this past week to a Montana Baptist calling his Southern Baptist Convention to repentance for their "downgrade". He will likely suffer for his boldness. I do not doubt there are Anglican/Episcopal priests and laity who have suffered as well.

Bryce Thomason said...

It is not my purpose to get into a religious discussion here, I only site the on top of because it tends to illustrate my earlier point of a gay lobby and a strong "gay agenda.