In the Episcopal Church, "holy living" apparently includes sodomy...
The National Episcopal Church (TEC) paid a cool $51,897 for a one-time quarter page block advertisement in the Op-Ed page section (A15) of the New York Times on Saturday, extolling the virtues of becoming an Episcopalian.Related:
Headlined: "The Episcopal Church, Marking a Milestone, Moving Forward" the ad began, "Somewhere near you, there's a blue-and-white sign bearing the familiar slogan: The Episcopal Church Welcomes You. It represents some 7,400 congregations that trace their beginnings in North America to a small but hopeful group of English Christians who arrived May 14, 1607 at a place they called Jamestown - the first permanent English settlement in the New World."
The ad was a result of collaboration between Mr. Bob Williams, Director of the Office of Communications for The Episcopal Church, and the Rev. Jan Nunley, Deputy for Communication for the Episcopal Church.
The ad went on to explain: "You may know us as Washington's monumental National Cathedral, site of historic services and ceremonies, or the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, still unfinished, but already the largest cathedral in the world."
The real intent of the ad becomes clear near the end when it states:
"Episcopalians struggle with the same issues that trouble all people of faith: how to interpret an ancient faith for today ... how to maintain the integrity of tradition while reaching out to a hurting world ... how to disagree and yet love and respect one another.
"Occasionally those struggles make the news. People find they can no longer walk with us on their journey, and may be called to a different spiritual home. Some later make their way back, and find they are welcomed with open arms."
Clearly upset at frothing headlines exposing the splits in local parishes in dioceses around the country, The Episcopal Church hopes, with this ad, to regain lost momentum and prestige by playing up its strengths.
The ad further notes: "But the Episcopal Church is also Boston's Old North Church, founded in 1723 and made famous by serving as the beacon for Paul Revere's revolution-spurring 'midnight ride.' And Philadelphia's Christ Church, home parish of 15 signers of the Declaration of Independence, host to the first General Convention of the Episcopal Church in 1785.
"It's Trinity Parish on Wall Street in New York, formed in 1698, and St. Paul's Chapel just down the street, frequented by George Washington and the spiritual healing center of Ground Zero since September 11, 2001.
"It's also Epiphany Church in Los Angeles, where Cesar Chavez rallied the United Farm workers. And Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Cumberland, Maryland, whose basement was a major stop on the Underground Railroad to freedom for enslaved African-Americans. "It's a parish in Iowa. A campus ministry in Georgia. A mission in Dinetah - the Navajo Reservation. A cathedral in Utah. Even a house church in Vermont."
Jesus is mentioned twice in the article: the first time is in reference to the church's social ministries, and the second time is with reference to transforming the world, as Jesus taught: "a world of justice, peace, wholeness, and holy living."
There is no reference to the Great Commission or the Great Commandment - it is all talk of structures and sodomy, the latter now considered "holy living".
According to the ad, St. John's Church in Greenwich Village, is "a meeting place for gay and lesbian action following the 1969 Stonewall uprising," but makes no mention of ordinary families or the place of single heterosexuals who might be looking for spiritual solace from the Episcopal Church. The ONLY gender focus is on homosexuals.
The fact that dozens of large parishes and their priests have fled The Episcopal Church because it can no longer affirm Scripture as authoritative for the church's life and witness is not mentioned. Neither does it state that thousands of orthodox Episcopalians have fled TEC in dioceses like Florida and Los Angeles, with four thousand in one parish alone in the Diocese of Dallas, and that one or possibly more whole dioceses will leave the Episcopal Church after Sept. 30 if The Episcopal Church does not fall in line with the rest of the Anglican Communion over sexuality issues.
Their is no mention in the ad of the pain revisionist bishops have inflicted on priests, (dozens of whom have been inhibited and deposed,) who don't agree with them;, the slanderous slights against Global South bishops and archbishops who don't agree that sodomy is good and right in the eyes of God; or of the forced appearance of orthodox Archbishops on American soil to rescue godly parishes marginalized by liberal bishops who hate them for their stand for the truth of the transforming message of the gospel - redemption but no inclusion.
Formation of the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) or the more recent Convocation of Anglican Churches in North America (CANA) as safe spiritual havens for tens of thousands of former Episcopalians, now Anglicans, who believe their souls are imperiled by staying in The Episcopal Church, is not mentioned.
The expensive ad glosses over such hard raw facts as the Episcopal Church might well face ouster from the Anglican Communion before the end of the year and that the Archbishop of Canterbury may be forced (by pressure from certain African Primates) not to invite liberal and revisionist TEC bishops to Lambeth in 2008 at risk of splitting the Anglican Communion.
Also not mentioned is the fact that it is the liberals and revisionists who have moved away from historic Anglicanism not the orthodox. The latter state that the new religion is emptying churches not filling them. ...
... In any event, the ad is a vast waste of money. The much vaunted hope of doubling church membership by 20/20 is now a distant dream. Every week Episcopalians tumble out of Episcopal churches never more to return. By October of this year that could turn into an avalanche.
Why We Left the Episcopal Church By The Rev. John Yates and Os Guinness
The church-emptying Episcopal leadership and The Episcopal sodomy-acceptance shrine By Les Kinsolving