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News Analysis

By David W. Virtue, DD
July 30, 2021

A snarky guest contributor article in the COVENANT section of The Living Church magazine, titled ACNA'S SCANDALS AND MINE by Steve Schlossberg, outlines the "ugly smirk" and "enormous leer" that he feels about ACNA's recent moral failings.

"They're not only as bad as we are [in the Episcopal Church] or as bad as they believe we are, they're actually worse: on top of being morally degenerate, they've now been exposed as hypocritical."

First of all, sin can and does rear its ugly head any time or place with no respecter of persons or institutions. We are all sinners. No exceptions.

Secondly, no one ever thought ACNA was free of sin and that occasionally its priests and bishops can and do fail, commit sexual sin, and other kinds of sin for that matter.

The difference is that TEC has legitimized sexual sin so that there is no such thing as sexual sin any more except for adultery. All other sins like homosexuality, lesbianism and LGBTQI "sins" are no longer deemed sin because TEC has done away with the idea of this as sin. (See also Resolution D039 that did away with fornication). In any other century, two men or two women marrying would have been deemed sinful and might have resulted in jail. TEC has normalized these sexual behaviors.

ACNA has not been the least bit hypocritical. It quickly got on top of two bishops; one who was engaged in porno and the other because he failed to act when a priest was sexually misbehaving. The latest revolves around a bishop who probably should have acted more quickly in dealing with a lay sexual abuser, even though all the evidence is not yet in. A full investigation is currently underway that will bring results that could mean that the bishop is relieved of his office. We shall see. No one is sweeping anything under the proverbial rug.

What's hypocritical about that! Three sinners, all of whom were exposed and two have gone.

Personally, I think that the resignation of Bishop Jim Hobby of Pittsburgh over a priest's sexual misconduct was overkill. The bishop did nothing personally wrong and stepping back for a season would have been sufficient, but no, he took his leave and was gone.

TEC's track record when it comes to sexual sin, has seen two bishops dumped because of adulteries they committed years ago and failed to tell their Standing Committees. They were summarily shown the door; whereas a bishop like Gene Robinson is first married to a woman, has two kids, divorces her, marries a man, divorces him, announces somewhere down the line that he is an alcoholic and is now back in the saddle with another "long-term" male relationship with no word if he is married to him or not. And that's not hypocrisy! Church discipline? What Church discipline?

And what of the hypocritical behavior of TEC getting rid of a godly bishop in the person of Albany Bishop Bill Love because he refused to sign on to the Church's new-found enlightenment regarding homosexual marriage? Homosexual marriage is pure, unbiblical, unadulterated sexual sin!

Let's talk about spiritual warfare. Satan is doing his best to undermine the ACNA. He doesn't have to bother with TEC, he has won that battle, it is now just a mop up operation for the devil. ACNA poses a real spiritual threat to Satan's kingdom. Every person who repents and comes into the presence of God's light and love is another member Satan has lost to the other side. "Heaven rejoices over one sinner that repents" (Luke 15:7) When has heaven rejoiced over anyone who repents in TEC? The truth is, it is not on their "gospel" radar screen unless it involves racism or some woke issue that they are clinging to, like Critical Race Theory.

Yes, we are a "household of sinners", but the difference between the ACNA and TEC, is that the ACNA's College of Bishops are actively engaged in rooting it out. TEC has no interest in rooting out sexual sin unless adultery is at stake, often committed decades earlier. This is self-righteousness at its highest.

I once heard the brother of a man dying of AIDS blaming the Church for being homophobic, thus causing his death. He made no mention that his brother frequented bath houses in New York City. This is lie on top of hypocrisy on top of self-righteousness.

"No doubt ACNA has a lot to repent of. No doubt the Episcopal Church has a lot to repent of," writes Schlossberg; but the difference is that one is marked by true godly repentance, while TEC plays the victim card and dismisses sin, as not being sin at all because a General Convention resolution no longer deems it to be so. One lives in reality, the other denies reality. That's the difference.


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