GCM Watch praises SC Episcopal diocese breakaway decision
Ignoring requests from the Episcopal presiding bishop, the denomination’s South Carolina diocese became the 5th to break away in protest of its embrace of homosexual conduct. [source] Its a move that is worthy of praise. Church leaders who go against the will of God and the word of God should forfeit their leadership authority. If they refuse to return to biblical truth, the only choice of integrity is to leave.
Despite the presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church writing a pastoral letter to the members of the South Carolina diocese to stay, a majority of parishes voted to leave the denomination over its ordination of gay clergy and acceptance of same-sex unions.
The vote took place at a convention organized by the South Carolina diocese leadership at St. Philip’s Church in Charleston on Saturday, Reuters reported. It followed the U.S. Episcopal Church’s certification last month that South Carolina Bishop Mark J. Lawrence, who had criticized pro-gay positions of the denomination’s hierarchy, had abandoned the church’s doctrine, discipline and worship.
“This has never been about who is welcome or not welcome in our church,” Lawrence was quoted as saying at the convention, attended by about 200 people. “It’s about what we shall tell them when they come.”
Congregations in San Joaquin, Calif.; Quincy, Ill.; Fort Worth, Texas; and Pittsburgh, Pa., also left the church in recent years.
The acceptance of homosexuality in mainline white denominations has devastated and divided congregations and their denominational rulers in an almost civil warlike fashion. Citing liberal policies and resolutions, Rev. William Coats wrote, ” The Episcopal church has experienced a dramatic loss in membership over the last 35 years. This climate of loss has clearly affected our morale and has fed a level of internecine antagonism rarely seen in our church.”
In response to error-ridden leader of the denomination, the diocese asserted that it preceded the Episcopal Church, thus had no authority to demand it remain in association with the denomination’s extreme positions.
According to the Christian Post, Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop, sent a letter to the diocese last Thursday, writing that she wanted the Diocese to remain part of the Church. “Your presence adds to the ability of this community to discern the will of God, even if you disagree vehemently with one or another resolution passed by a particular General Convention,” wrote Schori. “Never in the history of Christianityhave all the faithful agreed about everything, and I doubt very much that we will come to full agreement about everything before we join the saints in light at Jesus’ Second Coming.”
But the SC fired back: “We disagree with her statement that a diocese cannot leave TEC. It is in error historically, canonically and under the civil laws of this state.”
Allowing practicing, unrepentant homosexuals into leadership in church is nothing short of rebellion and no church who value to be faithful to biblical values should retain fellowship.