Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, February 6th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 24 Comments
Greg Griffith jacks a walk-off grand slam into the seats:
I’m not looking toward General Convention 2012 with fear and trembling at all. I looked toward GC06 that way, and GC09, but now I look toward General Convention 2012 only with a knowing smile, and an odd but strangely comfortable sense of satisfaction.
And here is why:
Because I know what will happen in Indianapolis. I know who will gather there… and who will not.
I know what they will do, and what they will not do.
I don’t look at GC12 and wonder, “What will become of my parish?”, or “What will become of my diocese?”, and certainly not “What will become of the Episcopal Church.”
I know what will happen: The Episcopal Church will continue its free-fall into irrelevancy and incoherency. Around my diocese and my parish, there will be a few families who leave, but most of them will shake their heads for a moment at the shame of it all, cluck their tongues, then say, “At least our bishop won’t be allowing any of that nonsense down here. Nosirree…”
Greg has four words for people who think that. Wake the hell up.
All the while, blissfully ignorant that he has no choice in the matter. Oh, he won’t have to cave to the gay cabal any time soon, and perhaps won’t ever have to. If he doesn’t retire in a few years, he’ll be left alone by 815 to serve out his episcopacy in relative peace. But if he succeeds in holding the line, he will, without a doubt, be the last bishop of his diocese to do so. If he or any aspiring candidate thinks his successor will be able to keep from authorizing gay blessings in his churches, he is sadly mistaken. Compliance to the New Order will shortly be a requirement for all incoming bishops.
At this point, it doesn’t really matter when the Episcopal Organization began to die.
Some say its fate was sealed when Gene Robinson was consecrated as Bishop of New Hampshire. Some say it was sealed when Bishop Righter was acquitted of heresy charges. Some say it was sealed when the Philadelphia Eleven were illegally ordained. Some say it was sealed when John Spong was allowed, with impunity, to go on a gay-ordination spree. Some say it was sealed when Bishop Pike was allowed to keep his mitre after denying the Trinity.
All that does matter is that the Episcopalians quite happily knocked back the hemlock with their eyes wide open.
He and his compatriots threw in with this agenda, figuring they had found their generation’s civil rights movement, and that all the warm social-justice fuzzy which accrued to that movement 50 years ago would accrue to theirs as well. They figured they would be heroes. They figured far more people would applaud them for their courage, and reward with them their presence and contributions, than would ever be alienated and driven off by the depravity and hollowness of their cause.
They figured wrong.
The decline in membership, attendance, giving, and legitimacy in the Episcopal Church has coincided with many things, but make no mistake: There is one and only one thing that has caused it, and that’s an abandonment of the core doctrines of the faith in favor of new-age spiritualism, and a celebration of sexual deviancy practiced by perhaps two percent of the country’s population.
Read the whole brilliant thing.
For my part, I think that on some level, I knew that the Episcopal Church was doomed at least a decade before I heard the name Gene Robinson. That’s a tough thing to admit about the church your mother passionately loved almost as much as she loved you and made a point of having you baptized into.
But make no mistake. The dark forces that eventually gave a pointy hat and a hooked stick to an unrepentant sinner began to dominate church affairs long before 2003. As many of you have quite correctly observed in the comments here, Gene Robinson is inevitable in a church that tolerates John Shelby Spong.
I get that. So why did I stay as long as I did? Rationalization; traditional Episcopalians are past masters at that. The prayer book? Well it’s nowhere near as good as it was but it’s still Christian, isn’t it? Spong? He’s just some weirdo back east somewhere. He has nothing whatsoever to do with us.
The fact that you needed Billy Graham to explain the Christian religion to you? Maybe so but I’ve picked up lots of spiritual insights here. The general brain-dead leftism of the Episcopal Church these days? All the more important for me to stay in as a testimony against it. And on and on.
In 2003, rationalization, at least for me, was no longer possible. Robbie got his pointy hat and my diocese and my parish heartily approved. I could explain John Spong away by saying that he speaks only for himself, not for the wider church and that the best thing to do is to ignore the megalogmaniacal old fraud.
But when your church enthusiastically turns its back on the clear words of Holy Scripture, jettisons 2,000 years of Christian teaching as if it was yesterday’s newspaper, dynamites what little possibility of Christian unity there was and begins demonizing opponents of its course, when, in other words, people like Louie Crew, Susan Russell and Elizabeth Kaeton pull off their revolution, then God just kicked the last stepladder out from under you.
You have no more options. So you can either stay where you are and continue to pretend that nothing’s wrong(my rector and bishop are perfectly orthodox). Or you can read the signs of the times and admit that while your current rector and bishop are conservatives, their successors will be much more “moderate.” Their successors will be more moderate still. And so on and so on.
Eventually, sooner rather than later considering the Episcopal trajectory, you’ll reach a Sunday when, during coffee hour following his regular parochial visitation, your new “moderate” bishop tells your parish that he takes great pleasure in introducing you and your fellow parishioners to your new rector.
And his husband.