Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bishops Bless Blasphemy; Curmudgeon's Cup Runneth Over

One hundred and twenty-nine of the bishops in the Episcopal Church (USA) House of Bishops voted yesterday to embrace blasphemy as a "trial rite" for same-sex marriages in the Church. The blasphemy begins in the rite at the point where the celebrant says to the congregation (see p. 98 of these materials; my bold emphasis added):
Dearly beloved: We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of N. and N. in Holy Matrimony. The joining of two people in a life of mutual fidelity signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and his Church, and so it is worthy of being honored among all people.
As I wrote in an earlier post, critiquing the rite when it was first proposed, the bold language evinces a category mistake of the worst sort, by equating the union of two people of the same gender to the holy union between Christ and His Church. (How can they be equated? In the former, which of the two men -- or two women -- signifies Christ, and which the Church?)

The bishops approved three other rites for trial use, as well, but they are just as blasphemous in invoking the blessing of the triune God on the union/marriage of a same-sex pair. It was God Himself who defined marriage as between a male and a female in Genesis 2:24, and thus to invoke the name of that same God in blessing (or celebrating) a pairing that is not one that he made provision for in Holy Scripture is a blasphemy on His name.

The Archbishop of Canterbury registered the following strenuous objection to the action of the House of Bishops:
While recognising the prerogative of The Episcopal Church to address issues appropriate to its own context, Archbishop Justin Welby said that its decision will cause distress for some and have ramifications for the Anglican Communion as a whole, as well as for its ecumenical and interfaith relationships.
The Resolution that adopts the rites (which now goes to the House of Deputies for what is likely to be an even more enthusiastic endorsement) contains an "opt-out" clause to excuse any clergy in the Church from performing any of the adopted rites, so the good news is that those who will stumble over blaspheming Christ, the Church and the triune God will not be forced to do so.

But the bad news is that, for the reasons explained in this earlier post, the Episcopal Church (USA) will have to make the performance of same-sex marriage rites mandatory upon the request of a same-gender couple, in order to be able to retain its tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code. So the opt-out clause will have to be removed from the Canons at the next General Convention.

Your Curmudgeon will from this day forth no longer call himself an Episcopalian, or be a member of an organization (it is not a church) that endorses liturgies of blasphemy. I have changed the header describing this blog to read:
Curmudgeonly comments documenting an unsuccessful attempt to remain in the  Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Communion at the same time---with some leavening for good measure.



18 comments:

  1. Changing that header must have been a sad duty.
    Blessings to you from Johns Island, SC.

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    1. Only in the prophetic, sense, UP -- I would say that curmudgeons decry.

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  3. Welcome to the world of former Episcopalians. I gave up that identity decades ago despite worshipping and being part of TEC parishes for the next three decades until 2012.

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    1. Actually, Alexi, I am at peace with my decision. I no longer consider myself a "former Episcopalian", but as a humble and devout worshipper at His one, true, catholic and apostolic church.

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  4. I hope that the 26 Bishops who voted against are having some serious talks together...!

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  5. Serious talk, or serious action equal to that of Mrs. Shori's cabal?

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  6. Your claims about TEC losing its tax exemption are ludicrous. The IRS has NEVER applied the Bob Jones case to churches or denominations because that would violate their unique First Amendment religious freedoms; that would also apply to the opt-out. The First Amendment does NOT apply in the same way to a private university NOT run by a denomination, even if it mimics the religious beliefs of its namesake.

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    1. RBBrittain, where were you when the Supreme Court decided it was within Congress' powers, notwithstanding the First Amendment, to eradicate the Mormon Church and confiscate all its property? "Ludicrous"? Hardly -- my point is the precedents are already there. All it will take is an anti-Christian animus that is sufficiently determined to wreak retribution.

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  7. Welcome to Traditional Christianity, Curmudgeon!
    There are many of us here to welcome you to the True Ship sailing to the Harbor of repose...
    rdr. James Morgan
    Eastern Orthodox

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    1. Thank you, AR -- please do keep coming here and lending your support as my way becomes clearer.

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  8. It's sad when a "church" loses one of its best and brightest minds. A sad day for those that still claim the brand in more ways than one.

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  9. You may remember that my wife and I were at the table next to yours at the Charleston airport after last year's Mere Anglicanism. It is wrenching difficult to leave a denomination where one has faithfully served God. May the consolation of the Holy Spirit be your's in these difficult days, and may th hope of Christ be always in your heart and mind. My heart is broken again by the departure of another faithful Christian from the Church we have loved. May his grace keep you, and guide you to a faithful parish home which is Creedal and seeks holiness in all its forms. Amen.

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    1. I do remember, GWP, and I thank you for your gracious prayer. Perhaps we will see each other at MA 2016.

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    1. Topper, I will have to become a visitor. Stay tuned.

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  11. You did the right thing. That doesn't make it easy. I did it 30 + years ago and have never regretted it for a second.

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  12. Mr. Haley:

    You have acted wisely and in accordance with Biblical counsel. The EPC has become the modern day Sodom.

    Remember that the Angel's told Lot:

    “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”

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