Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Are the Anglicans Fools for Christ?

Anglican bishops are being ridiculed, according to the New York Times, for voting to allow openly gay men in civil partnerships to become priests and continue living with their partners so long as they remain celibate.

"They can live with one another and share the domestic chores and spend their evenings together playing Scrabble . . ." The Sunday Times of London observed gleefully. "but on no account must they get up to any hanky-panky" (Cowell, 2013).

The bishops' decision became the subject of much merriment in England.  How would such a rule be enforced, columnist Barbara Ellen asked. "Spot checks of ecclesiastical bedsheets?

St. Paul:
"We are fools for Christ"
It is true, as St. Paul wrote the Corinthians, that Christians must permit themselves to become fools for Christ's sake.  But surely these Anglican antics are not what St. Paul had in mind.

Alan Cowell, the New York Times reporter who wrote about these events, noted that the percentage of people proclaiming themselves to be Christian in Great Britain has fallen dramatically in recent years, from 71.7 percent to only 59.3 percent over the period of just a decade.

Perhaps Mr. Cowell was inferring that Anglican ambivalence about embracing the new morality accounts for the decline in people who call themselves Christian in the British Isles. If so, I think he is wrong.

In the United States, the Episcopalians have gone further than any other Christian domination toward jettisoning traditional Christian values on sexuality; and the Episcopal Church has imploded. Meanwhile the American Catholic Church, which has refused to compromise on ancient doctrine, remains strong and is growing--particularly in the South and Southwest.

By embracing postmodern notions of morality, American Episcopalians hoped they would achieve relevance. Instead, they stumbled down a slippery slope toward  an abyss--the abyss of oblivion.

References

Alan Cowell. (2013, January 14. A Church Diverted by Issues of Sexuality and Gender, New York Times.

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