Friday, October 07, 2011

Wall Street Journal: Twenty first century Excommunication

The Wall Street Journal has turned it's focus onto the Episcopal Church's campaign against departing churches:

When the Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton, N.Y., left the Episcopal Church over disagreements about what the Bible says about sexuality, the congregation offered to pay for the building in which it worshiped. In return the Episcopal Church sued to seize the building, then sold it for a fraction of the price to someone who turned it into a mosque.

The congregation is one of hundreds that split or altogether left the Episcopal Church—a member of the Anglican Communion found mostly in the United States—after a decades-long dispute over adherence to scripture erupted with the consecration of a partnered gay bishop in 2003. But negotiating who gets church buildings hasn't been easy. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said she'd rather have these properties become Baptist churches or even saloons than continue as sanctuaries for fellow Anglicans.

Read it all.


Free Range Anglican said...

Thanks for posting this.

Shamrock20 said...

This is the same situation faced by Christ Church in Savannah, GA.

SAVANNAH, GA: Historic Christ Church Faces Crisis of OwnershipSource: Virtue Online

August 6, 2009

By David Virtue

No Episcopal church in North America can make the claim that Christ Church, Savannah makes - two of the greatest preachers of the eighteenth century served as rectors there and, over time, brought about a spiritual revolution that changed the face of Christianity forever.

John Wesley and George Whitefield were once rectors in the proud history of Christ Church and from whose ministries later came forth the Methodist church. Through their open air preaching, they outraged Church of England officials as they spawned the English and Welsh Revivals of the 18th century. Wesley felt that the church failed to call sinners to repentance, that many of the clergymen were corrupt, and that people were perishing in their sins. Sound familiar?

Fast forward 276 years later to 2007. Christ Church, which started with a land grant from King George of England, finds itself embroiled in theological differences not unreminiscent of the 18th Century. The issues are again both moral and theological - the consecration of a non-celibate homosexual to the episcopacy, the trustworthiness of the Bible as the "final authority and unchangeable standard" and a fading Christology that neither Wesley nor Whitfield would recognize.

In 2007 the congregation, under its rector The Rev. Marc Robertson, voted with an 87 percent majority to leave the Diocese of Georgia and The Episcopal Church and come under the protection of the Anglican Province of Uganda until the orthodox realignment in North America crystallized.

On August 14, Christ Church will once again head to court to plead its case. Pray for this congregation, its rector and faithful followers. For Christ Church ministries and her Gospel Defense and to support financially this historic parish's stand for the gospel, go here:

Robert S. Munday said...

Yes, Shamrock20, if I have any complaints about the Wall Street Journal article it is that it should have mentioned some of the other TEC lawsuits around the country: Christ Church, Savannah; St. James, Newport Beach, CA; The Falls Church and other parishes in Virginia; and many others.

The overall extent of the problem is quite extensive and quite shameful.