Thursday, September 27, 2007

WHAT'S "FAIR" ABOUT SELLING OUT GAY PEOPLE?


"Many gays within the US branch of Anglicanism are less than pleased with some calling the agreement a sellout.

"Conservatives also are angry accusing the Episcopal leaders of not going far enough.

"The document produced by the bishops affirmed that they will 'exercise restraint' in approving another gay bishop and will not approve prayers to bless same-sex couples. The statement mostly reiterated previous pledges made by church leaders."

[For the full article, see here.]

As I wrote in my September 20th post, "Rowan Williams' Crisis of Conscience," "unity" at the expense of "justice" will result in neither being the outcome! How can selling out Gay people in any way be considered Godly; how can unity at the cost of justice be considered as being "fair," as Gene Robinson [pictured] claims; how can any type of exclusion of Gay people be consistent with the Gospel that demands love, grace, and equality before God?

All bureaucrats have career considerations, particularly when the prospect of change is viewed as threatening. And, when money is involved, all too frequently, the institutional Church, a coalition of bureaucracies if there ever was one, capitulates to "economic realities" rather than to the outworking of God in His casting a wide net to embrace ALL of His children.

That's why I've long advocated that Christians worthy of the name flee these oppressive churches and denominations, and not be in any way tainted by the toxic rhetoric, discriminatory behavior, and deal making that seem to be characterizing the Anglican communion, as it does most denominations in the institutional Church.

The sad irony is that even after their putting justice, the Gospel of grace, and God's will on the back burner in favor of far lesser, and more worldly, criteria, neither side is going to be satisfied, and the Anglican communion will still splinter apart!

And, for Gene Robinson to state that selling out Gay people is "fair," so as to keep the communion together, is both bizarre and will avail not only tremendous discontent on both sides, but will show "fair weather friends," typical "liberals," for the kind of people that they are: people who in a clinch can't be counted upon to stand up for Godly principles and for what is clearly right in terms of the Gospel and in terms of recognizing the equality of all those who seek to live for God!

If the Anglican communion, or any denomination for that matter, splinters, so be it, as long as God's will for His grace to be extended to all of His children is honored! The seeming capitulation of the "liberal" forces in the Anglican communion so as to maintain the same church and denominational structures that have helped make a living hell for Gay Christians within that communion, as well as within other denominations like it that comprise most of the institutional Church, further shows the bankrupt, moribund, and pathetic nature of not only that communion, but most of the institutional Church as well!

For Robinson, the first outwardly Gay Bishop to be ordained in the Anglican communion, to state that selling out Gay people is fair, boggles the mind! For Rowan Williams, and others, to seek unity at the expense of justice is tragic, and just goes to show how anachronistic and unGodly so much of the institutional Church has become.

It seems to me that we are going to quickly enter (if we haven't already entered) a post-denominational era where Christians worthy of the name will leave these moribund structures called "churches" and "denominations," because they won't be able to take the phoniness and hypocrisy any longer, and they will either form their own worship communities, become part of Bible studies and worship services within "house churches," or will choose to worship God alone, absent the barren and sanctimonious rhetoric that has placed bureaucratic, material, political, and career needs over and above the manifestation of the Christian virtues that are plainly demanded by Jesus Himself!

In this connection, you should read the excellent book entitled, Revolution, by George Barna (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2005). It beautifully speaks to this very issue!
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2 comments:

Ken R said...

Jerry,

I posted this over at "Father Jake Stops the World".

I'm not an Anglican or Episcopalian but I have been trying to keep up with what has been going on within your Communion. It is truly sad. I left the Roman Catholic Church for their very doctrine of how they view gays within the church. Anyway, it is of no surprise that those like Akinola say that the TEC hasn't gone far enough to reject gays. To them they want TEC to basically call gays immoral and further help them repent of their orientation. If not, like the RCC, deny communion to known active gays.

What I see further happening is that those that have aligned themselves with Akinola will continue the path of separation of the Anglican Communion. Perhaps a conservative branch within (or outside) the Anglican Communion? It seems, to me anyway, that this is the path they (Akinola and his allies) have chosen using the gay issues within the church as their excuse for the separation. They know the TEC would never abandon those gays within their congregations. But it seems odd that they are now saying it isn't enough. That is why I believe their intention for sometime now has always been to split and form another branch within the Communion.

If I am wrong I do apologize. But I would like to know if others here have felt and sensed Akinola and those aligned with him their intentions all along.


I find it disturbing that those conservatives within the Communion say it isn't enough. Their intentions were all along to break away. So now, like the Catholic Church experienced in the past, the Angelican Communion will now have its own Protestants.

Jerry Maneker said...

Hi Ken R: You make an interesting point about the possible motives of Akinola, and there becoming new Protestants within the Anglican communion or even outside of it. Of course, we can't know what's in Akinola's head, but it seems to me that he has been power-driven and, surrounded by Muslim countries as he is, he has undoubtedly not gone unaffected by their views of Gay people, as well as his own. In my opinion, he, and those who follow him regarding Gay equality, would do the Church of Jesus Christ quite a favor if he and they completely left it! The Church, the Gospel, Christianity, and Christians have been irrevocably tainted and harmed by the false gospel of legalism and exclusion, and the hatred emanating from the Akinolas of the institutionalized Church world. You say, "They know the TEC would never abandon those gays within their congregations." I certainly hope you're right, but I'm not that optimistic that when given the choice that many Episcopal church leaders will help lead the way to place "unity" over and above fighting for "Gay people," as we seem to be seeing even among such people as Gene Robinson and Rowan Williams, if their statements and seemingly current leanings have been reported correctly.