It looks like the Episcopal Church is going to lift its ban on gay bishops.This is great news for those of us who support equal rights of gays and lesbians to serve at the highest office in any political or religious sphere. The only requirement should be that they demonstrate that God has given them that calling, that they are able to fulfill the duties the position entails, and that they are willing to make the sacrifice that such positions exact.
Yet already some, including Beliefnet’s own Crunchy Con
has decried the move saying:
TEC (The Episcopal Church) is not a church that has any interest in adhering to Scripture or Christian tradition on sexual morality. And Neuhaus’ Law (“Where orthodoxy is optional, it will sooner or later be proscribed.”) proceeds inexorably.
The idea that the equal consideration of gay and lesbian people for religious office is a quesiton of orthodoxy is to demean the idea of orthodoxy. Gays in the church is a social issue and, like other social issues, the Church can and has been wrong in the past. And like Republican senators, the Church always repents of our theological sins with much hand wringing and apologies in the end.
Slavery was claimed to be “orthodoxy” for many bible believing Christians. When the Baptist Convention decided to reverse that “orthodoxy” and take a stand against slavery, the southern baptist convention formed in 1845 to allow Christians the right to hold onto the ‘orthodoxy’ of biblically sanctioned slavery. Likewise we will see some leave the Episcopal Church to create the southern baptist equivalent, this time vis a vis the gays. This doesn’t mean that they are orthodox, it means they are holding onto an ‘orthodoxy’ that people are realizing is no longer valid and needs to be discarded. The new orthodoxy is love and acceptance of all of God’s children.
We should be open to the truth that Jesus continues to lead us in efforts of love and redemption and thankful that he is at work in Anaheim.