Turmoil in the Episcopal Church

For several days papers have carried accounts of the battle in the Episcopal Church where efforts were made to elect a gay priest to be her Bishop. Division seems imminent for conservative churches among their ranks threatened to leave the denomination if confirmation was reached. Proceedings were momentarily halted when new charges surfaced against the priest; charges of “improper handling” of another man as well as the possibility of a pornographic web site that could be accessed from the priest’s own web site designed for “gay” and “lesbian” teens. Those problems were removed and the priest was confirmed as had been expected.

These proceedings show how little those who claim to believe in God respect His word. Why such an uproar about pornography? If the assembly was willing to confirm a gay priest (who posed for pictures with his “partner” more than a decade), why quibble about as “minor” a matter as pornography? The scriptures are explicitly clear regarding homosexual behavior “The works of the flesh are fornication, uncleanness…they who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19, 21). “Or know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? be not deceived, either…effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men…shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9, 10). “For this cause, God gave them up unto vile passions:..also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another..” (Rom. 1:26, 27). Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Lot’s day reflected God’s attitude toward such a sin then and now.

If Episcopalians believed the Bible to be God’s word, the local congregation where the gay priest “ministers” would be enacting withdrawal measures against him, not considering elevating him to a “higher”, more “honorable office”. Read 1 Corinthians 5.

With many to protest against the sin of homosexuality makes one a “hate monger” and guilty of “gay-bashing”. Is it “thief bashing” to protest against the sin of stealing; “murder bashing” to show the sin of murder, “molester bashing” to condemn the sin of child molesting?

Does God hate homosexuals? Certainly not. John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9. Can homosexuals be saved? Indeed so, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. What must such a one do to be forgiven? Acts 2:38. Can one remain in the same state after he has repented? Romans 6:1f. Baptism washes away the sin of the believing penitent homosexual, but it does not change the nature of sin. What act was a homosexual act before baptism is still a homosexual act after baptism just as what was an act of fornication or adultery before baptism is still an act of fornication or adultery after baptism? Forgiveness in each case is possible but is contingent upon repentance of and ceasing from sin.

I am certain there are many good Episcopalians who are very much appalled by the proceedings in their denomination and opposed to the confirmation of a man who is openly gay. I am certain they are both embarrassed and ashamed of what their denomination has done. I hope that they will be constrained to examine the scriptures to learn not only what is the truth about how God regards the sin of the homosexual, but also to learn what is God’s will on all other religious matters as well. I hope such for them that they might come to a complete knowledge of God’s will about His Church, His Son and what man must do to be his disciple.

Jim McDonald