Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Five Outrages: Why Yates &
Guinness Left the Episcopal Church

In a statement in The Washington Post titled "Why We Left the Episcopal Church," John Yates & Os Guinness set for their reasons:

The core issue in why we left is not women's leadership. It is not "Episcopalians against equality," as the headline on a recent Post op-ed by Harold Meyerson put it.

It is not a "leftward" drift in the church. It is not even primarily ethical -- though the ordination of a practicing homosexual as bishop was the flash point that showed how far the repudiation of Christian orthodoxy had gone.

The core issue for us is theological: the intellectual integrity of faith in the modern world. It is thus a matter of faithfulness to the lordship of Jesus, whom we worship and follow.

The American Episcopal Church no longer believes the historic, orthodox Christian faith common to all believers. Some leaders expressly deny the central articles of the faith -- saying that traditional theism is "dead," the incarnation is "nonsense," the resurrection of Jesus is a fiction, the understanding of the cross is "a barbarous idea," the Bible is "pure propaganda" and so on. Others simply say the creed as poetry or with their fingers crossed.

It would be easy to parody the "Alice in Wonderland" surrealism of Episcopal leaders openly denying what their faith once believed, celebrating what Christians have gone to the stake to resist -- and still staying on as leaders. But this is a serious matter.

They go on from there to list what I'll call the Five Outrages. See for yourself.

I personally was greatly distressed by the whole Gene Robinson affair, which I did see as a sign of a deepening moral blindness and apostasy that signalled a significant theological cave-in at the level of the foundations. Sufficiently put-off, in fact, that I stopped going to the nearby Episcopal church for mid-week services. (I am not Episcopalian. I simply went there for a middle of the week "refreshment" of worship.)

And yet, I hope the Western branch of the Episcopalian house gets it theology and morality back in order. I have a soft spot for the Book of Common Prayer and that little church down the street.

1 comment:

Heather said...

I applaud Yates and Guinness and the many churches that have made the same move.
Here's my question: why be episcopalian if you deny most of the articles? Believe me, I understand the need to always be questioning everything to evaluate what is tied to culture and how, but really. If they feel they cannot hold to the articles of the episcopalian church, why not branch off and do their own church thing?