The Episcopal Church and the New Morality
How pansexuality has affected the whole Anglican Communion
By David W. Virtue
June 22, 2013
Watching the Episcopal Church struggle with morality is a bit like watching an alcoholic who still resists the idea that something drastic needs to happen for him to turn his life around.
The truth is there isn't much left to argue over. The Episcopal Church, like the alcoholic, is sodomizing itself out of existence, slowly but surely, with closing parishes and merging dioceses. It has resisted calls for spiritual cure and the idea of intervention is not on anybody's radar screen. It may take another 20 years or so, but the trajectory is there and the decline inevitable. Shrinkage is everywhere. More and more parishes have part time retired non-stipendiary priests and more dioceses will merge. The average age of Episcopalians is in their mid-Sixties, their congregations under 70.
It was revealed this week that The Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey, which is about to get a new bishop and is the sixth largest in the nation, has 47,092 baptized congregants but an Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) of only 14,000. If this diocese was traded on NASDAQ, you certainly wouldn't buy stock in the company.
A diocesan profile, published last July, mentions "institutional decline," "cultural change" and "economic distress" as some of its most pressing issues. Some 67 congregations (out of 151) in the diocese function on less than $150,000 a year, and are, therefore, unable to hire full-time priests or carry out effective missions. Many have closed as a consequence. Attendance among those aged 20 to 40 is at its lowest in years. As a whole, communication between congregations and the diocese is fractured, a recent profile revealed. Inclusivity and diversity (pandering to sodomy) has not brought about the desired growth a liberal and revisionist TEC leadership had hoped for. New Jersey is not the only diocese in this state. The Diocese of Newark is having exactly the same problems only worse. Most dioceses are suffering in one form another from the same statistical decline.
TEC has gone the whole nine yards of LGBTQI sexualities with the only "immorality" left being adultery, unless of course you leave your wife for a man. In that case, you can plead you were really gay all along like Otis Charles and Gene Robinson and become a hero in your own eyes and the eyes of the church. Your story will end well with tons of empathy, a better job, and international travel to tell your "story" about your newfound sexual preference. You will hit the big time with a US president; make The New York Times and the Huffington Post.
Of course, these two men are not strictly homosexuals. They are bisexuals having married women and fathered children, but that is conveniently overlooked by revisionists and might be deemed nit picking. We certainly don't want that.
We should not overlook the fact that when she was Bishop of Nevada, Katharine Jefferts Schori brought into the church a known pedophile, a certain Bede Parry and allowed him to function as a priest, which we now see revealed her true hand. She would later reinforce this by deposing orthodox bishops who did not share her less than transcendent views on pansexuality.
Of course, you can up the media stakes if you imply or infer that Jesus might himself be gay because of his relationship with John the Beloved who "leaned on Jesus' breast", thus enhancing the story with innuendo and lies. This, of course, gets instant press and you solidify yourself as a foremost theological thinker in the avant-garde of progressive Christian thought. Blessed are the pansexualists for they shall obtain media attention.
On the lesbian front, (the Rev.) Susan Russell was also married, had a couple of kids and then discovered she had a preference for her own species. She has been bleating her lesbian inclusiveness far and wide ever since from the pulpit of her California parish to people who simply want an endorsement of their aberrant sexual behaviors. She now has reinforcement from a lesbian bishop in Los Angeles. Fiat Lux.
VOL is still trying to figure out how one can have a committed, loving, affirming, procreative, lifelong Bi-sexual relationship approved of by General Convention.
Still and all, pansexuality does exclude bestiality and pedophilia, but there are efforts underway to lower the age of consent and someone is trying to find a gene to say they were born that way. How helpful.
This has outraged Global South Anglicans who have, to all intents and purposes, disassociated themselves from the West, perhaps permanently. No formal schism of course, but no shows are now common and will only increase if the perception is that Archbishop Justin Welby cannot or is unwilling to rein in a growing revisionist west that has, to all intents and purposes, abandoned the gospel. (Does one really think that Katharine Jefferts Schori is a Christian with her comments about personal salvation, the spirituality of the demon-possessed girl, et al?).
It is hard for us to believe that Welby is not fully aware of the situation in North America. He recently spent four hours in private talks with ACNA Archbishop Robert Duncan in London where one can only assume Duncan laid it all out for him. The fact that Welby is part Jewish gives him a leg up on the intelligence ladder. He can surely spell SPIRITUAL HOLOCAUST and EPISCOPAL/ANGLICAN REVISIONISM without consulting a dictionary.
Whether he likes it or not, the whole pansexual agenda of the west remains the lightning rod issue for Anglican anger and division.
The US, Canada, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Europe, Mexico, New Zealand, most of Australia, Brazil and most of Central America have bought into the gay agenda, hook, line and sinker. There is no going back. Both the state and the churches in many of these countries are in sync with each other. As the state goes, so go many of the mainline churches. The churches are no longer a counter culture; they have drunk the cultural Kool Aid.
Only the small (but growing) orthodox Anglican parishes in the US and Canada, Recife in Brazil, Sydney Australia (perhaps Melbourne),Nelson, New Zealand, ALL of Africa except Southern Africa (Central Africa was touch and go for a while but stepped back from the brink) Egypt, but not the rest of the Middle East, India and the Indian Ocean, Honduras in Central America, South East Asia and nearly all of Latin America have resisted the siren call to sodomite acceptance.
Some may yet roll with money from TEC, and the increasing cry of gays yelling and screaming homophobia and hate at any perceived resistance.
Africa remains the strongest bulwark against full inclusion of homosexual behavior. The two strongest voices are Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of Nigeria, who heads the largest (21 million) Anglican province in the communion, and Kenyan Archbishop Eliud Wabukala who heads FCA/GAFCON. Other archbishops include those from Rwanda, Uganda, West Africa et al. Together (with the rest of Africa) they make up more than 75% of the Anglican Communion.
That is what Welby must reckon with.
To a large extent, he has already blown it by endorsing civil partnerships in England while eschewing gay marriage. The Pope praised him for that, but what of their private conversations. Rowan Williams felt blindsided when Pope Benedict announced an Ordinariate as a safe harbor for under siege Anglo-Catholics. Williams proved wishy washy over homosexuality. He tried to maintain the fiction that he could maintain what he held privately about homosexuality in his book The Body's Grace, while publicly upholding the church's received teaching on the subject. That did not work. He resigned nine years before he had to. His Covenant lies in ruins.
It would appear that Welby is heading down the same road. If and when he and Nigerian Primate Nicholas Okoh meet to talk about his recent actions, one might see Lambeth Palace implode. It'll make Guy Fawkes Day look mild.
The West can run up the victory flag over pansexuality and the Holy Spirit may have departed for more receptive spiritual climes, but the game is not over. We are told that the gates of Hell will not prevail against His church.
The irony should not be missed. The very gospel Western missionaries took to Africa, Asia and Latin America is now coming back to the West with an educated fervor for the Good News that even the Wesley's could not match. It is darkest before the dawn, but the dawn we do know comes. We only have to wait, be faithful and pray.
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