Several Episcopal congregations in the U.S. have decided the time has come for them to secede from the authority of their American Bishop. The New York Times reports:
Two large and influential Episcopal parishes in Virginia voted overwhelmingly yesterday to leave the Episcopal Church and to affiliate with the Anglican archbishop of Nigeria, a conservative leader in a churchwide fight over homosexuality (source).
These seven dioceses have rejected the authority of Presiding U.S. Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman to head an Anglican church. Schori’s election was provocative not just because she is a woman, but because of her open support for Gene Robinson, an openly gay man who was elected bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.
Katrina Wagner, a parishioner of one of the seceding churches, sums up the heart of the controversy as well as anyone could.
I grew up in the Episcopal Church. I hope I don’t cry when I talk about this. But the issue is: Are we going to follow Scripture? (source)
And that indeed is the issue. Will the Anglican church obey the inscripturated Word of God, or will they walk away from biblical authority and the Christian faith by calling evil good, and good evil (Isaiah 5:20)? Seven U.S dioceses have decided that the Episcopal church in the U.S. has taken the broad way, and they will not follow them down the path of destruction (Matthew 7:13-16).
The apostle Paul told Timothy how to treat those who maintain the external trappings of Christianity while denying the substance of its teachings: “Avoid such men as these” (2 Timothy 3:5). The seven seceding dioceses have decided that the time has come to do what scripture says they must do when false teachers prevail. They are separating.
May the Lord bless them for their faithfulness.
Good for them. And, really, good for all of us. It’s good to see some churches having some backbone and saying enough is enough. No matter how liberal your theology, if you’re not following The Bible to a T to the best of your abilities, you might as well not call yourself a Christian. And these folks want to call themselves Christians.
So, good for them.
I have been following this for a few days now and would like to point out that homosexuality and female ministers are not the reasons primarily given for the secession, they are just the straws that broke the camels back. In the motions that passed in both of the main churches the primary reasons were that (1) the U.S. Episcopal Church refused to affirm the authority of scripture (2) the U.S. Episcopal Church refused to acknowledge the Unique role of Christ as Savior. Apparently these things were voted down in a recent general assembly.
Amen to these churches for standing up for Scripture…in a time, place, and denomination that obviously is moving more liberal and just plain heretic in their teachings.
At least one in Plano is trying to stay within the boundaries of scripture too.