An old friend is a minister in the Episcopal Church. I’d describe him as a traditional conservative. He’s not very political, but you cannot be involved in church life without understanding the politics. It’s not just the normal internal jostling for power that you see in all organizations. In the modern church, you have the outside politics, which is mostly a battle between the New Religion and traditional normalcy.
Nowhere is that more obvious than in The Episcopal Church. Largely anchored in Public Protestantism, the church has been swept up by all the fads that have popped out of the Cult of Modern Liberalism. Since much of what animates the modern Progressive is a hatred of tradition, particularly the Christian tradition, there’s a wing of the church that believes it must destroy the church as part of its holy mission.
The primary point of entry, so to speak, for the radical wing is the issue of sodomy. Years ago Bishop Gene Robinson decided his ticket to success in the church was to abandon his family and take up with a man. He went on to become the first openly gay Bishop of the church. Ever since, the church has been a magnet for homosexuals, creating problems for the church and greater Anglican communion.
For the first time, the global organizing body of Anglicans has punished the Episcopal Church, following years of heated debate with the American church over homosexuality, same-sex marriage and the role of women.
The Anglican Communion’s announcement Thursday that it would suspend its U.S. branch for three years from key voting positions was seen as a blow to the Episcopal Church, which allows its clergy to perform same-sex marriages and this summer voted to include the rite in its church laws.
It was also seen as a victory for conservative Anglicans, especially those in Africa,, who for years have been pressing the Anglican Communion to discipline the U.S. body.
“The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union,” the leaders of the Anglican Communion, which represents 44 national churches, said in a statement during a meeting in Canterbury. “The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching.”
Although it’s too early to predict what will happen three years from now, when the Episcopal Church could vote on its response to the suspension at its denomination-wide meeting, observers say it is unlikely that the U.S. church will reverse its position on same-sex marriage. This could prompt the Anglicans to continue the suspension or make it even harsher, not allowing the Episcopal Church to fill key positions on the global body.
“I don’t believe they will be ‘kicked out’ or exiled, but they will continue to be at a distance if they don’t change their direction,” said Jeff Walton, communications manager for the Institute on Religion & Democracy, a conservative Washington think tank that is frequently critical of mainline denominations.
The decision in England will have little impact on Episcopalians in the pews, who have grown increasingly liberal after the 2003 consecration of the openly gay priest Gene Robinson as the bishop of New Hampshire. That action prompted dozens of U.S. churches to break off and declare their allegiance to conservative rival groups.
You can tell how much someone values a thing by how much they are willing to give up in order to keep it. When negotiating a contract, part of the strategy is to determine what the other side is willing to concede and at what price. In fact, you want to find out what is not on the table so you don’t waste your time. Sometimes, there’s no deal to be made and you want to figure that out quickly.
Here we see something I’ve written about often. Progressivism is a religion and it is a covetous one, similar to Islam. That means you cannot be both a Progressive and a Christian, without compromising on one or the other. You either slight your Progressive faith on issues like sodomy and abortion or your Christianity takes a back seat to your Progressivism. As my ancestors would say, “A man who chases two rabbits catches none.”
That’s why the pews are empty. Any attempt to reconcile the teachings of the church with the teaching of the New Religion will just alienate both the Progressive parishioners and the normal ones. My friend the minister says this is the challenge facing his parish. Neither side is happy with the attempts to commingle the two religions so both sides find a reason to leave. The only folks holding out are the geezers who do so out of habit.
Ultimately, that’s a perfectly fine outcome for the Progressives. Just as the Muslims turned the Hagia Sophia into a mosque, Progressives would love nothing more than to turn the churches into moonbat meeting houses. If killing off the competing faith means killing off the church in which they have attended since childhood, they are fine with it. In the end, like the leadership of The Episcopal Church, they are Progressive first, everything else a distant second.