Update: the continuing self-destruction of the Episcopal Church

by Skip

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“…Liberal Christianity has been hailed by its boosters for 40 years as the future of the Christian church. Instead, as all but a few die-hards now admit, the mainline churches that have blurred doctrine and softened moral precepts are declining and, in the case of the Episcopal Church, disintegrating.

…Somehow slipping out of the headlines is a harsh reality that the denomination has been deserted in droves by an angry or ambivalent membership. Six prominent bishops are ready to take their large dioceses out of the American church and align with conservative Anglican groups in Africa and South America.”

I used to write a lot about the “Mainline Protestant denominations” and how they were crumbling even as they denied that their foundational and Biblical doctrinal changes were the reason why. I just came across a post that updated the sorry state of the Episcopal Church – and the leadership still hasn’t learned the lesson as they win battle after battle against their local churches and refuse to see they are losing that war. They moved from being Biblically oriented to driven by all of the SJW tenets of the day: open borders, gay marriage, less about God and more about the world, to the point of rejecting why they were “in business” (which was saving souls through Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross).

If you no longer believe that Jesus is the Son of God, well, you’re just a country club with ornate windows and an expensive old-fashioned organ but without the greens, tennis courts, and pool.

A couple of excerpts from fairly long post:

  • “On July 8, 2012, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori preached her brand of post-Christian religion while masquerading as a Christian bishop,” reported convention attendee Dr. Sarah Frances Ives. “She mocked most of the crucial doctrines of the Christian faith, including the God of creation, the Incarnation, and the Trinity. She accomplishes this through her demeaning use of rhetoric. She taunts the Lord by the use of the name ‘Big Man’ and then points her finger at everyone listening and tells them that they have ‘missed the boat.’ “Jefferts Schori then proclaims that she has the answer for this. We all need the ‘act of crossing boundaries’ to become God after which our hands become a ‘sacrament of mission.’“In this sermon, Jefferts Schori continued her mission of destroying the Christian faith through her rhetorical device of dismissive ridicule. “Jefferts Schori leaves a wide wake of destruction behind with this sermon: the eternal triune God has been torn down, human beings are to boldly claim our place as God, and the sacraments of the Eucharist and Baptism have been turned into things our hands make. In other words, Jefferts Schori accepts that now humanity, animals and God are one undifferentiated blob. This is essentially a form of solipsism, the belief that self is all that is known to exist. Anyone can see that this is both pure heresy and utter nonsense.
  • “Some Episcopalian bishops spoke out against the resolution on same-sex blessings. Bishop Bauerschmidt, of the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee, urged the bishops to defeat the resolution. “The Reverend David Thurlow advocated rejecting the resolution. ‘For two thousand years the Church has had clear teaching regarding Christian marriage and Biblical norms of sexual behavior,’ he said, pointing out that ‘through previous statements and resolutions the Church has pledged itself not to make any change to this traditional teaching.’Likewise, Bishop Edward Little of Northern Indiana stood against the resolution. “The Christian world is going to understand us as having changed the nature of the sacrament of holy matrimony,” Bishop Little said. “The Christian world will look at that liturgy world and see vows, and exchange of rings, a pronouncement and a blessing and they will understand that to mean the Episcopal Church has endorsed same-sex marriage and changed a basic Christian doctrine. I do not believe that we are free to do that.”
  • A few years ago, the annual national Episcopal convention overwhelmingly refused even to consider a resolution affirming that Jesus Christ is Lord.
  • At this year’s convention, David Virtue reported: “In all the talk about same sex this and transgender that, there is absolutely no talk about sin. A psychologist friend of mine opined that talk of ‘sin’ here would be considered psychologically damaging and offensive to a lot of people, especially gays, so it is off the radar screen. ‘No sin, please; we’re Episcopalians.’
  • Why are Episcopalians leaving one of the oldest denominations in America? Perhaps that can be answered by New Hampshire’s V. Gene Robinson, the openly homosexual Episcopal bishop. When he addressed the fifth annual Planned Parenthood “prayer breakfast”. April 15, 2006 in Washington, D.C., he declared that “religious people” are the enemy.

 

  • Among the old mainstream denominations reporting to the National Council of Churches, the Episcopal Church suffered the worst loss of membership from 1992-2002 — plunging from 3.4 million members to 2.3 million for a 32 percent loss. In the NCC’s 2012 yearbook, the Episcopal Church admitted another 2.71 percent annual membership loss.Convention attendees were told that they had spent $18 million this year suing their own local congregations — those which have protested the denomination’s policies by trying to secede. The New York hierarchy has consistently won in court – asserting that the local members signed over their buildings decades ago. As a result, some of the largest Episcopal congregations in the United States have been forced to vacate their buildings and meet elsewhere. So now, convention delegates were told, the denomination is the proud owner of scores of empty buildings nationwide – and liable for their upkeep in a depressed real estate market where empty church buildings are less than prime property. It’s the classic “dog in a manger.” The denomination has managed to keep the buildings – for which it has little use. However, they made their point – refusing to allow the congregations which built the facilities to have any benefit after generations of sacrifice, donations and volunteerism.

    “One former Episcopal priest wrote me, ‘The irony is that after all their property suits to get control of empty buildings, they now are losing their main property.’

It doesn’t seem like they are going to learn “the lesson” anytime soon.  Perhaps they should have listened Obama and remained to be bitter clingers to their Bibles…

(H/T: BeliefNet via Instapundit)

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  • Moe Ferrel

    The sad part of this has been New Hampshire being at the forefront of this moral decline. The saddest part was the NH Republican Party’s roll in the approval of Sodomite Marriage and the NH Episcopal Church elevating Robinson to Bishop. No one would listen to Dave Bates and now look what we have. New Hampshire should look to Texas where laws are being passed to weaken the hold of false marriage and to give a new conservative SCOTUS a chance to right the Obergefell vs Hodges disaster.

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