Recent debates among the Anglican block once again threathen the union and community of the Episcopal Church. Commonly termed as the ECUSA or Episcopal Church in the USA, the Episcopalian community again renews its debates whether to admit or discontinue acceptance of gay bishops. The Episcopal General Convention, due to start on Tuesday, thereby carries with it the burden and the decision that could unite or disband the Episcopalian community.
The Episcopal Church, once again is under pressure after Gene Robinson, an openly gay candidate with a male lover, was elevated as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003. This move delighted gender liberation groups worldwide but caused tension among the members of the Church. Pro-gay members insisted that the move serves as an equalizing factor among people while conservatives declared the move as un-Biblical since the Bible specifically states that gay sexual relations is forbidden. David Steinmetz, an expert Christian historiographer from Duke University, says that there is a possibility of two camps under the same faith, or the camps might decide to separate. Strong pressure is particularly felt from the Anglican community though the ECUSA strives mightily to lay it off.
In particular, it is the predominantly conservative opinion and beliefs that cause the rift inside Anglicanism. The Episcopal Church conservatives refuse to open their minds and widen their views to accommodate the rapidly changing world views about gender, sex, and sexual identity. Homosexuality has outgrown the stigma it once carried, it is no longer a reason to be ashamed or ostracized. There is a large number of successful gay professionals that span many trades and industries. Though some still experience hostility, these are usually from seedier communities which lack proper education and instruction and are relatively rare and isolated cases. It is therefore ironic that the educated Church members that preach equality, freedom, love, and sharing remain deaf to the call of the times, and refuse to acknowledge people of different sexual orientation.
Shouldn’t the Episcopal Church and Anglicanism be at the forefront of acceptance and love since the Bible specifically portrays Jesus, and God as forgiving and accepting entities? Or do they merely accept and welcome people who are strictly men and women? If this is the case, then, they are not truly accepting and loving. They do not welcome everybody but only those that they want. They even go as far as to refuse others entrance to the proverbial kingdom. This should frighten Anglicans more than the acceptance and elevation of gay members to the Bishops’ College because this kind of action signifies a false love for community. A faith based on falsity and shallow, literal interpretations of the Scriptures is bound to crumble without genuine love, and eagerness to instruct and accept.
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