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Gay bishop cutting into Episcopal membership

Gay bishop cutting into Episcopal membership

By The Rev. Danny Janes
Kalamazoo Gazette
Friday, January 16, 2004

In response to the Rev. Cynthia Black's Jan. 1 Viewpoint on Episcopal
Bishop Gene Robinson -- I'm sad that so many people gloating over this
election still don't get it.

While they celebrate Bishop Robinson as an "icon of inclusion," their
denomination continues to suffer the hemorrhage of members who are fed-
up with their pandering to the gay community.

Wake up! How many years of loss and decline is the Episcopal Church
going to overlook until they awake to the realization that they're
alienating the base of their constituency?

I speak from experience as a pastor. A few years ago, a lovely lady
started visiting our church from a local Episcopal congregation. We had
not visited, contacted or solicited her in any way. She sought us out
because she was aware of the historic connection between the
Anglican/Episcopalian Church and the Methodist Church. She knew that we
were far less liturgical and more evangelical, but shared a common
historical root through John Wesley.

Upon getting acquainted with her, I learned that she had been a devoted
Episcopalian for many years. When I asked her why she had stopped
attending, she told me that she had struggled with the liberal drift of
the denomination for a long time. The "final straw" was the appointment
of an openly gay priest as pastor of her local parish. She said, "I'm
just too old, too tired and too fed-up to keep fighting the powers-that- be!"

Please understand, I'm not out recruiting disgruntled members of other
churches. There are enough people who don't know Jesus Christ in the
community to fill every church around here.

The question is: "Do you just keep dismissing these people as intolerant and
unenlightened malcontents, or do you ever admit how terribly out-of- step you
are with the grassroots majority?" You can produce all the polls you want to
prove your support -- but how many of those polls are filling your pews?

I don't celebrate Gene Robinson's appointment as bishop. I grieve for a
denomination that would elevate a man living an immoral lifestyle to its
highest office of leadership. Forget the issue of homosexuality for a moment.

If I were to leave my wife and children for another woman, and
be living in an adulterous relationship, would I be qualified for
leadership in the church? Not in the church I'm a part of! But
apparently, it's all right for Bishop Robinson to have a relationship
with his live-in lover precisely because he's gay. We don't dare
criticize the promiscuousness and immorality of gays without suffering
the accusation of being "homophobes." The last time I checked, the Bible
condemns sexual promiscuity for heterosexuals and homosexuals alike! (1
Corinthians 6:9-10)

Rev. Black proudly stated, "The fact that a mainstream Christian
denomination, guided by the Holy Spirit in a democratic process, can
affirm the ministry of a man who happens to be gay and ordain him as a
bishop, means that all who are marginalized are affirmed." I beg to

In my opinion, the fact that a drastically declining denomination,
guided by a liberal agenda in a politically correct pursuit, can excuse
the lifestyle of a man who advertises that he is gay and ordain him as a
bishop, means that all who disagree can take a hike.

My condolences to the faithful men and women of the Episcopal Church who
still happen to believe that Biblical authority trumps bureaucratic tyranny.

The Rev. Danny J. Janes is senior pastor at Kalamazoo Wesleyan Church.

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