Tag Archives: Episcopal Church

Gay Love Wins With Rob Bell

Gay Love WinsThis past weekend, former Pastor Rob Bell was the guest speaker at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, where he came out of the closet with an endorsement for sodomy (listen to it here).

Bell answered a question about gay marriage by saying, “I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man. I think the ship has sailed and I think the church needs — I think this is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are.”

When asked about his thoughts on the future of the Evangelical church, Bell stated:

I think we are witnessing the death of a particular subculture that doesn’t work. I think there is a very narrow, politically intertwined, culturally ghettoized, Evangelical subculture that was told “we’re gonna change the thing” and they haven’t. And they actually have turned away lots of people. And I think that when you’re in a part of a subculture that is dying, you make a lot more noise because it’s very painful. You sort of die or you adapt. And if you adapt, it means you have to come face to face with some of the ways we’ve talked about God, which don’t actually shape people into more loving, compassionate people. And we have supported policies and ways of viewing the world that are actually destructive. And we’ve done it in the name of God and we need to repent.

Ironically, Bell accusing conservative Christians of being part of a subculture that is supposedly dying in a liberal Episcopal church that is part of a subculture that is demonstrably dying.

I wonder if Bell thinks that Jesus would have adapted His very narrow position on marriage to conform to the popular position:

Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no lover two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate (Matt 19:4-6, NASB).

Based on what the writer of Hebrews said about Jesus, I think it is pretty safe to say that He would have disagreed with Bell. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb 13:8, NKJV). Interestingly, the next verse offers a warning against those doing precisely what Bell was promoting on Sunday. “Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines” (Heb 13:9a NKJV).

And if that isn’t convincing enough, James stated that “there is no variation or shadow of turning” with God (James 1:18, NKJV). Not to mention the numerous other places in the Bible where it states that God and His Word are unchanging.

Rob Bell offers a choice, “die or adapt”. Jesus chose to die, as for me, I will do the same.

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Gay Churches, Like Gay Marriages, Don’t Produce Children

A news article from The Huffington Post Religion section caught my eye today. The headline of the Facebook post reads, “National Cathedral To Perform Same-Sex Weddings”. That is the subtitle for the headline on the Huffington Post site which reads, “Gay Marriage Victory”, but a victory for gay marriage might be a devastating blow to one liberal Christian denomination.

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As I began to read the article I was reminded that the National Cathedral in Washington DC is part of the Episcopal Church which approved “same-sex blessing” services last summer, but stopped short of defining these unions as marriages. The decision by the Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, to allow for gays to marry at the National Cathedral is based on the legality of gay marriage in DC and the state of Maryland.

The cathedral dean, Rev. Gary Hall said that another consideration for allowing same-sex marriages at the cathedral is the opportunity to break down barriers and build a more inclusive community “that reflects the diversity of God’s world.” Hall also stated that his reading of the Bible leads him to want to perform gay marriages because he things “it’s being faithful to the kind of community that Jesus would have us be.”

Perhaps Rev. Hall missed Jesus’ exclusive statement regarding marriage in Matthew 19:

Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no lover two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate (Matt 19:4-6, NASB).

I wonder which Jesus Rev. Hall and the leaders of the National Cathedral are talking about, because it sure isn’t the Jesus that Matthew wrote about.

Coincidentally, the Episcopal Church is one of the fastest declining churches in America. A July 2012 New York Times article asked the question, “Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved”. In the last decade (2000-2010) the Episcopal Church has dropped 23% in attendance nationally, and not a single Episcopal diocese in the country saw an increase in church attendance.

In order for a church to grow there must be retention and addition. Churches must be birthing new believers as well as continually meeting the spiritual needs of the seasoned believer. A rate of decline that large is only possible through a failure in both of those areas. And it appears that this union of liberal Christianity with liberal secularism is producing this failure instead of the desired production newly-converted spiritual babies.

We can’t be sure of whether Episcopalians are leaving Christianity altogether or making an exodus to churches with a more conservative, fundamental view of the Bible. Either way, the future looks quite bleak for the Episcopal Church.

Could there be a correlation between liberal churches and church attendance? The trend in the Episcopal Church seems to suggest that very thing.