The debate over the moral status of homosexuality within the Anglican Communion has been nothing sort of tragic. Not only has the American branch (the Episcopal Church USA) installed an open homosexual as one of its Bishops, but also Archbishop Rowan Williams has not always spoken plainly about the reason for the growing schism within the wider communion.
To cite a case in point, note the Archbishop’s advent letter that was released last week. The letter is a long, complicated treatise that seems to me to be more confusing than clarifying. Buried deep within the verbal morass, the Archbishop writes the following sentence:
“It is too easy to make the debate a standoff between those who are ‘for’ and those who are ‘against’ the welcoming of homosexual people in the Church.”
The Archbishop is suggesting that there is far too much complexity for anyone to give a simple description of the crisis. This is where I think he is wrong. The Episcopal Church USA has not only failed to clearly condemn homosexuality as a sin, it has endorsed the error by consecrating a practicing homosexual Bishop (who has recently announced his engagement and excitement about being a “June bride”). The leaders of the American church are forcing a schism as a result of their moves to normalize (and indeed sanction) homosexuality.
Conservative Episcopalians who are seceding from the American branch of the church are fed up with the Bible-ignoring, God-dishonoring, apostate American bishops who will not stand for biblical truth when it comes to the issue of homosexuality (and a host of other issues, I might add). This is the straw that has broken the camel’s back, so the conservatives are leaving.
It is beyond me why Rowan Williams cannot acknowledge that the current crisis is precisely the result of a “standoff between those who are ‘for’ and those who are ‘against’ the welcoming of homosexual people in the Church.” The issues are very clear. We can only hope and pray that the Archbishop will see things more clearly in the future and find his voice to speak to it with biblical truth.