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A Tale Of Two Bishops; A Tale Of Two Churches


News Analysis

By David W. Virtue

WEST CHESTER, PA--A rare double event took place in the Diocese of Pennsylvania this past weekend - an event that encapsulates the contradictions inherent in The Episcopal Church and in the wider Anglican Communion.

A revisionist bishop who believes Jesus was a sinner and who forgave himself, and who likened the growth of the Anglican Church in Africa to the rise of the Nazi Party, behaved in a Hitlerian fashion by forcing his way, unwanted, onto an orthodox Bible-believing Episcopal parish.

Another bishop, an African Primate, one of 38, was warmly welcomed by an orthodox congregation that believes in the authority of Holy Scripture and unchanging truth, for the exact opposite reasons.

The first bishop, Charles E. Bennison (Pennsylvania) has poured scorn on the 'faith once delivered', arguing that the church wrote the Bible and could therefore could rewrite it, that God's revelation is continually evolving, and that one can find unity and truth through the collective mind and will of the contemporary church.

The other, an Archbishop, Bernard Malango (Central Africa) believes that God's truth is unchanging, and that timeless doctrines cannot be rewritten to suit the current zeitgeist.

Bennison believes that evolving truth means God has changed his mind about sexuality issues, and we should all just grow up and graduate from the dreadful strictures of heterosexuality to the glorious freedom of pansexual behavior, to draw a wider circle to include God's Kinky Ones into the church if not exactly into the kingdom.

The Archbishop, whose faith has been tested in the vortex of pain and suffering, believes that God's unchanging moral laws cannot be compromised to suit the tastes of a few post-modernist, whiny sodomites, while the Pennsylvania bishop believes, along with some 60 of his fellow ECUSA bishops, that whatever the culture demands, the church should quickly adapt and follow.

This past weekend, these two worldviews collided head on. And they symbolize in no small measure the dilemma the entire Anglican Communion faces as it waits anxiously for the Lambeth/Eames Commission to complete its task.

In truth these two worldviews can never be reconciled. Never. They are as far apart as God is from Satan, as heaven is from hell and Jack Spong (Newark ret.) is from Keith Ackerman (Bishop of Quincy).

And it is why the Lambeth (Eames) Commission is facing an uphill battle trying to find neutral ground where everyone can meet, get along and smoke peace pipes.

It is not going to happen.

Because if the Commission does allegedly find common ground we would see a liberal tyranny the like of which you are now only just beginning to see coming from the heterodox bishops in the Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Church of Canada.

If you think that Bishop Bennison, who won't allow orthodox graduates from Nashotah House or Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry into his diocese, or won't allow an orthodox graduate from one of those seminaries to be ordained in his diocese, or tried to prevent a fellow bishop who is orthodox from baptizing his grand-daughter in an orthodox parish, then you don't know what tyranny is, or you have blinders on and don't want to see what is going on.

And that has been the tragedy of the Episcopal Church's orthodox for the past 30 years. The orthodox have naively believed that if they drew enough lines in the sand and made the compromises necessary the other side would either see the light or at least come half way with them.

They were fools. It never happened.

The orthodox have drawn more lines in the sand than there are rings around Uranus, and whenever they thought they got close enough to a compromise or, heaven forbid, the other side might be wrong about sex, the other side screamed 'local option' and it was all over.

The revisionists have had one goal for three generations - to win the culture wars by turning the seminaries into theological and moral cesspools, seducing biblically illiterate bishops into feeling their pain of exclusion over sexual misbehavior, and watering down whatever doctrines they had left to make them camera ready for the United Religions Initiative.

In Canada this week, the Anglican General Synod voted to amend a motion on same-sex blessings to include a consultation on the experiences of gay and lesbian people. But a motion to amend this to also include "ex-gays and lesbians" was defeated.

Peter Ould, himself an "ex-gay" expressed his outrage in the following language. "Since the American Psychiatric Association voted to remove homosexuality as a disorder from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) 30 years ago, no evidence has emerged that there is a substantive biological, genetic or chemical basis to
homosexual attraction."

Mr. Ould is right of course, but the revisionists led by their newly anointed primate Montreal Archbishop Andrew S. Hutchison did not want to hear that. And then to double the insult they went right ahead and elected a Vancouver gay priest to be the second-in-command for the Canadian Synod.

Jesus was right. "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's (read Bishops robes) clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them."

And now we are seeing the "fruit" in living technicolor and when you open it, you find it rotten to the core.


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