This linked story contains the latest on the Episcopal/Anglican church situation and their ongoing battle over homosexuality and adherence to biblical truth. While you can click on the hyperlink to read the whole story, I am going to post a clip from it here because it is extremely illustrative of the irreparable breach . . .
"We have leadership in the Episcopal Church that has drastically and radically changed directions," McCalister said. "They have pulled the rug out from under us. They've started teaching something very different, something very new and novel, and it's impossible for us to follow a leadership that has so drastically reinvented itself."
Episcopal and Anglican advocates for accepting gay relationships say they are guided by biblical teachings on social justice and tolerance. Traditionalists believe that gay relationships violate Scripture.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, elected last year as the first woman to lead the church, had warned San Joaquin Bishop John-David Schofield against secession but did not outline specific consequences. Jefferts Schori supports ordaining partnered gays and lesbians.
"We deeply regret their unwillingness or inability to live within the historical Anglican understanding of comprehensiveness," she said in a statement after the vote. "We wish them to know of our prayers for them and their journey."
Did you catch the statements of both McCalister and "Bishop" Jefferts Schori? McCalister is spot on, of course. The current leadership of the Episcopal Church (the American contingent of the worldwide Anglican Communion) has indeed begun teaching something "very different, something very new and novel" compared to biblical Christianity. Because the Episcopal leadership seems bound and determined to drag the church into abandoning orthodoxy, conservative, biblically faithful congregations and dioceses feel no alternative but to leave.
And what does the "Bishop" say? "We deeply regret their unwillingness or inability to live within the historical Anglican understanding of comprehensiveness." I am sure the conservative contingent would take issue with her claim that they are violating historic Anglicanism. Rightly, I think they would also note that she doesn't appeal to Scripture in her statement. Ultimately, who cares about a "historical understanding of comprehensiveness" if it doesn't have anything to do with the Bible and its final authority over what a church teaches?
Rather than the departing congregations needing to repent, "Bishop" Jefferts Schori and the heretical leadership need to repent and return to biblical standards. Rather than wanting Metropolitan-type "nudge nudge wink wink" so-called churches, homosexuals need to repent of their sin and find the freedom that only saving faith in Christ brings.
In addition, and just in case this hasn't struck anyone, it is a shame that churches have to end up in court to settle disputes. I believe Scripture addresses that issue as well. But who pays attention to Scripture anymore?
I believe we will see more ruptures in the days ahead. Those of us who are not Episcopal need to keep praying for our true brothers and sisters in Christ who are Episcopal, and are trying to stand firm for the truth of Scripture. More likely than not, we might well find some of them in our churches because their own fellowship has gone so far off the rails.