GC2012: South Carolina walks out of Episcopal Church General Convention | Anglican Ink

July 11, 2012

From Anglican Ink.

The  Bishop and Deputation of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina have withdrawn from the 77th General Convention.

On 11 July 2012 the lay and clergy deputies released a statement confirming their withdrawal.

“Due to the actions of General Convention, the South Carolina Deputation has concluded that we cannot continue with business as usual.

Read it all here:

South Carolina walks out of General Convention | Anglican Ink.

What did they expect?

Certainly the delegates from South Carolina cannot claim to be surprised by the enactment of “provisional” rites for the blessing of same-gender “marriages.” If this bit of theater was planned all along, it is rather ungracious. This is the open display of a break in the household of God and it causes Christians to be criticized by non-believers.

Yeah, but they did it first?

This is all way past who did what when. The Episcopal Church has charted a course that is against the doctrines and traditions of orthodox belief. This is no time for a “gotcha.'” When Job’s friends (and they were not the best friends any man ever had) saw the suffering from afar, they could not recognize the wretched form, cried aloud, tore their robes, covered themselves with ashes, and sat on the ground in silence for a week.

This should be a time of profound repentance for traditional Anglicans. What were we doing when there was still time to reverse the disease of error before it metastasized? How was it possible for good Christians to stand by as seminaries were transformed into incubators of apostasy? Don’t fool yourselves, this was before Bishop Pike. The terrible machinery was set in motion by a modernist viewpoint that would not submit itself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ or the authority of God’s word written.

Traditional Anglicans should take this unhappy, but anticipated, news as an occasion to repent our own small-minded squabbling. Have our actions been led by the Holy Spirit or the spiritual pride that stands at the head of the synagogue as did the man in Jesus’ parable. “I thank you Lord that I am not like those (fill in the blank with the name of whoever seems to be worse than us this week).

As to the orthodox remnant in TEC, it is difficult to imagine why they remain. Yes, there was a time for faithful witness and the possibility of accommodation (actual repentance seems to be quite a long reach). Where do the traditionalists that remain in TEC expect to find faithful clergy and where would you locate a bishop who would agree to include anybody in ordained leadership who holds the dangerous beliefs of the faith once delivered? Where will you find orthodox bishops? How will they be approved? What is life like for Bishop Lawrence?

The Bishop is South Carolina is in a spot. If my memory serves (and I am jotting this off in response to the day’s breaking news), Lawrence promised, in effect, to “play by the rules” when he was approved by the hierarchy of TEC. Bishop Lawrence is a fine man and I am grieving for the mess he is in.

We, as faithful and orthodox Anglicans, must get our act together. American Christianity desperately needs our gift for reasonableness and theological insight. Anglicanism places such a high value on the public reading of Holy Scripture and the faithful preaching of the good news. Our sacramental theology assists the modern human mind approach the  Triune God. When we stand for judgment, how will Anglicans explain the wasteful and foolish dissipation of our precious God-given gifts in that should be wisely appropriated for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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