Monday, December 10, 2007

A Sad Weekend For The Episcopal Church

As of this past Saturday, the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin (California) is no more having voted at it's diocesan convention to sever all ties to The Episcopal Church. And it is a sad day indeed.
The vote of delegates to sever ties and align with the traditionalist Province of the Southern Cone in South American was not even close, 173-22, well over the two-thirds vote necessary to secede from the Mother Church
Of course, the DDBMSM wants all to believe it is all about homosexuality why this diocese and several others are poised to follow suit. It is only but a part of it.
The Diocese of San Joaquin is very traditional as it had been one of three Episcopal dioceses in the United States not to recognize or ordain women to the priesthood. And to many, that has been the start of this war between traditionalists and modernists.
One of the issues that should be troubling is the fact the the Episcopal Church is on record as in effect saying that one does not have to believe in Jesus Christ to get to heaven. It has rejected resolutions at the last two nation General Conventions affirming belief in Jesus Christ as the way, the truth and the life everlasting. The dominant modernists believe that it is too constricting and that it is not in good interfaith practice and dialogue.
That alone is enough to drive traditionalists away. The open lack of basic Christian belief is appalling.
The real reason, I believe, that more parishes and dioceses are not following San Joaquin is simple. It will cost a lot of money and the traditionalists may lose in the end, in the courts. The court battles will be over who actually own the churches and properties, the diocese or the individual parishes.
Courts across the United States have been split on the issue. Here in California there are four churches trying to leave the Diocese of Los Angeles and the modernist leadership of Bishop John J. Bruno. Of course the bishop and diocese have been fighting and this will end up in the California supreme court. If the state supreme court rules in favor of the diocese, no more churches will leave and Episcopal diocese. If the court rules for the churches, it could open some flood gates.
If the case of a whole diocese leaving ends up in the United States supreme court, and it very well might, the same holds true, only it will be on a nationwide scale.
Thus, if the supreme court were to rule that a diocese and or church could leave the Episcopal Church and keep its name and property, the total schism of the Episcopal Church will be complete and that may be the only true way to know how parishes and dioceses really fell about the battle between modernists and traditionalists.
It is awful because the Episcopal Church has always stood a middle ground on structure and or theology, even in defining itself as Catholic, not Roman Catholic, and Protestant. It has left room for what amounts to free thinking on both traditionalist and modernist sides. And the problem has been the modernists in control of the hierarchy and thus an overwhelming influence on what kind of lay leadership takes place, especially on the diocesan level.
Because there has always been a strong balance, the center held. Now, one side is overwhelming the other and they feel abandoned and with that have no choice but to leave.
The irony is that the so-called Presiding Bishop, Kathryn Jefferts Schori, is leading the threats to take the San Joaquin diocese to court to seize their property. So-called Bishop Schori sees this as rejecting her authority. HELLO?! Is that not what the Episcopal Church is doing forcing schism within the world-wide Anglican Communion? By rejecting the majoritarian view in regard to the ordination of the first openly gay bishop, Vicky Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, in a "committed" relationship with another man, so-called Bishop Schori is doing exactly what she will accuse the Diocese of San Joaquin of doing.
Somehow, this train wreck had to occur and the legal battle I am afraid will determine the outcome. And that will be quite a few years and even more uncertainty.
I can only think that God is in heaven weeping over more division in His church.

1 comment:

Pat Jenkins said...

a few comments here 64... first many liberals who have found themselves pastoring a church have decided that part of their message should be the exclusion of Christ. and i think some do this antagonistically. they have every right to preach what they want from the pulpit. but why do they feel the need to still fall under the Christian faith. if you don't believe Christ is Lord and Savior find your own message. but don't tear down those who do affirm his deity. now a great last line from you and division inside the church has been rampant for many a century. and i am hoping to post myself on that.. it is a serious problem!!