The Amercian House of Bishops Communiqu
Reading the American church's response to the primates request is a lesson in semantics, political spin and theological obfuscation. It is a classical ‘Anglican fudge.’ As was once heard in Northern Ireland “they haven’t gone away you know.” The truth is that for many biblically orthodox Anglicans this communiqué is an attempt to go back to the ‘don’t ask wont tell’ attitudes and behaviour of the past in dealing with the issue of human sexuality. Whilst we respect the individual right to privacy, privacy is not the issue at stake here. Obedience to Scripture is.
The American House of Bishops has reached a compromise which they can live with (for now) but which many, including Reform Ireland, cannot accept. The ‘exercise of restraint’ is not the same as forbidding the blessing of ‘same-sex’ relationships nor of refusing to admit to the episcopacy anyone whose lifestyle is not compatible with the plain teaching of Scripture. This fails to meet the Primates request.
The pledge not to authorise public rites is to be welcomed but it is undermined, even contradicted, by their statement later in the communiqué which gives permission for private pastoral responses with no sanctions. In essence the green light has been shown for priests to bless ‘same-sex’ relationships within the context of a church service. The American Church is washing its hands of such actions by stating they will not provide a ‘public rite’ for the service.
Their call for’ increasing implementation of the listening process’ is another liberal revisionist tactic of keep talking until the opposition get tired and give in on the issue. The listening process has to be two ways and most importantly we have to listen to God through His eternal unchanging Word. ECUSA has rejected God’s Word written as the authoritative rule of the church and in its place has put human self-centredness. ECUSA, and those who would follow the liberal revisionist agenda, need to repent of this sin and once again come under the authority of Scripture.
Their last point concerning the ‘civil rights’ of those whose lifestyles are incompatible with Scriptural teaching is another political agenda entirely. Societal laws do not discriminate against homosexuals. In fact no part of society is as well protected, legislatively, as the homosexual community. This is not a ‘civil rights’ issue (the legislatures in the west have ensured civil rights/equality for all) but an issue of obedience about what the Word of God says is sinful and to be repented of as a follower of Christ.
27th September 2007 27th Sep 2007