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The Liberalization of Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches

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If you look at the newspaper there is so much going on right now in terms of redefining the Bible. We talked yesterday for just a moment about an article in USA Today where the Episcopal Church USA elected a female presiding bishop who supports gay bishops and the blessing of gay unions, and this is stressing the centuries-old global Anglican communion to the very breaking point. As USA Today points out, Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan said Monday that “the church’s leaders are leading people astray.” And he cautioned people not to forsake the Bible, which he says, and rightly so, calls homosexuality a sin. This is a behavior that is a sin and he warned the church not to run off with “the Church of What’s Happening Now.” In other words, let’s not go with the culture, but let’s go with the Christian ethic.

We don’t want to be homophobic and in some way single out homosexuals in such a way that we do not tell them the truth. “Well, because you’re homosexual we’re going to color what the Bible says.” If you want to truly love everyone, whether they’re a homosexual or otherwise, you want to tell them what the Bible says as the Bible says it. Otherwise you are committing a hate crime against those that you can reach with the love of Christ.

It’s also interesting that the Presbyterian Church USA voted on a proposal today to give local congregations some leeway on ordaining clergy and lay officers living in gay relationships. So this seems to be a common theme.

And last week the delegates chose Georgia minister Joan Gray to be their new moderator, a position in which she’s going to serve as their spokeswoman and titular leader. So you have the Presbyterians and the Episcopalians flirting with unbiblical practices, something that the Bible clearly condemns.

Of course a lot of them will say things like “Jesus never spoke out against homosexuality,” so even though the Levirate law clearly spoke out against homosexuality, and even though Paul clearly does so in Romans 1, Jesus didn’t. So they try to draw this false dichotomy between Jesus and Paul or Jesus and the Old Testament. But one must never forget that Jesus ratified the words of Scripture. He said not a single letter, not the least stroke of the pen, will disappear from the Law until everything has been fulfilled. We must not fall into the trap of believing that homosexuality is an identity: it is a behavior, not an identify. And so it is misdefined by people like Jefferts Schori who is the new female presiding bishop who, as I said, supports gay bishops and the blessing of gay unions within the Episcopal church.

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