Guest / Limited Access /

The American Episcopal Church (ECUSA) has rejected the sober warnings of the worldwide Anglican communion and is continuing its happy drift from orthodox Christianity.

On November 2, Gene Robinson, a non-celibate homosexual, was consecrated as bishop of the diocese of New Hampshire in a service that the denomination's leaders blessed. Immediately, many leading Anglicans in Africa announced they were in a state of impaired communion with that diocese (and some with the denomination), and many American parishes and dioceses began separating themselves from ECUSA. These are but the first steps in a break that may take years to become permanent.

The Anglican primates (heads of the provinces) met in October to sternly remind the American church that Robinson's election does not represent the teaching of Anglicanism, and to warn that, if ECUSA moved forward with the consecration, "The future of the Communion itself will be put in jeopardy." (One Canadian diocese was similarly warned about blessing same-sex unions).

While emphasizing their "deep regret" regarding the actions of ECUSA, the primates essentially blessed a "divorce" from ECUSA by (1) allowing dissenting minorities to seek alternative bishops, and (2) recognizing as a foregone conclusion, maybe even a right, that provinces would declare themselves out of communion with the Episcopal Church.

The document called for a 12-month study to create a new polity that would hold the communion together. But there is likely no structure that would allow conservatives to stay in communion with provinces that openly bless same-sex unions and ordain practicing homosexuals.

This church split is particularly sad. This was Protestantism's longest cross-cultural effort at institutional unity. ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedPew: Evangelicals Stay Strong as Christianity Crumbles in America
Pew: Evangelicals Stay Strong as Christianity Crumbles in America
Amid changing US religious landscape, Christians ‘decline sharply’ as unaffiliated rise. But born-again believers aren't to blame.
TrendingJosh Duggar of '19 Kids and Counting' Apologizes, Resigns after Reports of Molesting 5 Young Girls
Josh Duggar of '19 Kids and Counting' Apologizes, Resigns after Reports of Molesting 5 Young Girls
Police investigated sexual assaults in 2006, but no charges were brought against Duggar. TLC pulls program from its lineup.
Editor's PickShould Christians Confront Mormon Missionaries When They Knock on the Front Door?
Should Christians Confront Mormon Missionaries When They Knock on the Front Door?
Three views.
Comments
Christianity Today
Sailing Off into Irrelevance
hide thisDecember December

In the Magazine

December 2003

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.