I have been watching this movement develop for a number of years now. I was close to it for a number of years so I have a bit more interest in this story than most, perhaps.
I must also tell you, in the spirit of full disclosure, that I am not Episcopal, I am not Anglican. I am Lutheran… an OLD Lutheran dating back to before the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.) existed. I was a member of the Lutheran Church in America. It was the moderate to conservative branch of the Lutheran church in this country. The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod is the real conservative Lutheran Church in America, however. If I had a Missouri Synod church near me, I’d be a member of that church today. But sadly, the closest is 50 miles away.
First let me point you to the article, which is a must read, if you are interested in where The Church in America is headed today: You’ll find the article at:
As I said above, I am Lutheran. But as we had no Lutheran Church in my small city, the Lutheran powers that be, and the Episcopals powers that be, decided that our small Lutheran congregation would join the small Episcopal congregation and we’d have one middle-sized congregation. That was before full communion between the ELCA and ECUSA. I was dead set against full communion with the Episcopal Church… and I still am. Nothing has transpired to make me change my mind. In fact just the opposite.
As I saw the Episcopal church turn away from the scriptures and adopt liberal philosophy in place of scriptural doctrine I warned my fellow parishioners about it … so much, in fact, that I became something of a “pariah in the parish”. When things simply became intolerable for me, when the Episcopal church began to question whether or not Christ was the Son of God, and the Savior of the world, and the one and only way to salvation, I pulled out. I felt that the scriptures instructed one to “…come out from among them” when this sort of thing happened… so I did. My entire family followed, save for my wife, who is stubbornly hanging on to a failed church. In my estimation, and in my personal opinion, it has become an “apostate” church.
So, I understand what the folks in California have done. I understand why they did it, and I understand the pain they went through arriving at the decision to leave the Episcopal Church USA. And I applaud them for it.
Back in the day, this was known as “having the courage of your convictions”. Nobody ever said it would be easy to actually stand up for the things you SAY you believe. If they did, they were wrong! It hurts. Sometimes it even splits families apart. But if one is true to oneself, and to one’s belief, then there is no other choice, whatsoever, to be made. You, nor I, can serve two masters.
This is early going for the Episcopal Church. They haven’t seemed to grasp how deeply they have hurt themselves. Else they don’t care. The plain truth is that eventually the Anglican Church, The Church of England, will have no choice but to part company with ECUSA. Try as he might, the Bishop of Canterbury can only hold the Anglican Communion together so much longer. The vast majority of Anglicans, the world over, are disgusted at the actions of the Episcopal Church and want not part of it… and… do not want to be a part of a communion with ECUSA. They are making no secret of their desire to toss ECUSA out of the Anglican Communion on its ear. Soon, the Bishop will have a decision to make, dissolve the communion, or cut ECUSA loose. He will do the latter.
The Christian faith in America, a country unquestionably founded by Christians, is undergoing a tribulation of sorts today. When the Christian men, who wrote the Constitution, felt obliged to write into the law of the land a suffrage, if you will, of all other religions, the seeds of today’s problems were planted. Much as their unwillingness to outlaw slavery, in order to have the constitution ratified, begat the great Civil War which tore this country apart for the four bloodiest years in it’s history, their decision to embrace all religions by granting the right to practice any religion an American may choose, is at the root of today’s problems between the church, and the state, and the people of the country.
Today, America’s very existence is threatened by a religion. Islam. I do not believe, as the apologists for Islam would have us believe, that Islam is not the problem, but that fundamentalist Islam is the problem. I fail to see the difference. Islam is Islam.
Just as Islam is trying to destroy America from the outside, some of our own mainline Christian denominations are creating havoc in the Christian community within America. In the opinion of this scribe, it behooves every church going American to take a serious look at his religious denomination and decide if it is better to remain in that denomination… or get out. That is exactly what so many Americans, of the Episcopal faith, are doing today.