Alex Blaze

Episcopal schism continues...

Filed By Alex Blaze | December 10, 2007 2:37 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Bible, Christian beliefs, Episcopal Church, Episcopalians, Gene Robinson, Jesus, slavery

The San Joaquin diocese voted to sever ties with the Episcopal Church Saturday:

Clergy and lay members of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin voted 173-22 at their annual convention to remove all references to the national church from the diocese's constitution, according to spokeswoman Joan Gladstone.

The Fresno-based congregation is the first full diocese to secede because of a conservative-liberal rift that began decades ago and is now focused on whether the Bible condemns gay relationships.

They've decided to become part of the South American congregation. They've been considering cutting ties with the Church since V. Gene Robinson was consecrated in 2003.

Expect a lawsuit:

The diocese's holdings include 48 church buildings, including its Fresno headquarters, a series of mission-style buildings surrounded by olive, Chinese elm and cherry trees. Its total assets are worth millions, said the Rev. Van McCalister, a diocesan spokesman.

San Joaquin Bishop Jon-David Schofield said that the Church "has isolated itself from the overwhelming majority of Christendom and more specifically from the Anglican Communion by denying Biblical truth and walking apart from the historic Faith and Order."

It's funny what will create an uproar and what events and decision people will consider important. His statement that the Church has moved away from "Biblical truth" puts him at odds with the Episcopalians' long history of agitating for social justice. They rebuked the Bible's literal words that support slavery to help the abolitionist movement and consecrated female bishops in the 1970's.

In their time, those were big issues. And while the diocese is still refusing to take the Church's position on ordaining women, the fact that there's a gay in the congregation is what's causing this split. They chose not to take a similar stand on gay bishops as they did on female bishops, or take the spirit of Jesus' message over a few Old Testament admonitions as the Church did back when there was slavery.

This is the issue to part ways over.

I guess we know their priorities.

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Isn't it pathetic? Episcopalians are usually very rational, emotionally stable types too. LOL

Seriously though, why do you always find these types hanging around the fringes? When ever they think they can find a crack and pry away some of the main flock to their own fold, they jump on it. If they can exploit it, they will. If they can fundraise around it, even better! And if they can splinter the group while improving their won standing, why that's the best!

While not uncommon in religious circles, that type of person is also pervasive in politics.

It is pathetic! Every denomination has its share of crazies. Personally, I don't mind seeing these splits happen. It makes very clear exactly who the "enemy" is. Personally, I have little use for organized religions.

Let's applaud these types of schisms. They throw daylight on what needs clarification. The really big one - the tsunami of all schisms - is just around the corner (i.e., most of us will live to see it): the breaking away of the North American Roman Catholic Church from Rome. Money problems and dwindling numbers of clergymen will drive this schism. Rome will howl, mostly because she depends on revenue from the North American churches, but Americans will hear that papal tantrum as if it were the momentary howling of a two-year old. Want proof? Put the documents of the Second Vatican Council( and all preceding councils) next to the Declaration of Independence. Now line up all the Roman Catholics in the USA in front of them, and one by one, ask them which of the two they would swear allegiance to, if forced to choose. See? We are God's Americans first and foremost.

And some wonder why im pagan? I have had my own personal split with the church and now im happialy Born again Pagan.

This is not the first time a denomination has been split over a social justice issue.

The Presbyterian Church split over the issue of Slavery (Presbyterian Church USA, and Presbyterian Church in America).

And of course the Baptists split as well, why else would we have 'southern baptist'?

I just hope it's documented well, so that 20 years from now, these folks are forced to explain to their children that their church was torn in two yet again, simply so that they could cling to their bigotry and intolerance a little bit longer.