Thursday, October 28, 2004

Heresy and the Episcopal Church

Although it has been nine years now since I resigned as a priest in the Episcopal Church (and just a few weeks from the ninth anniversary of our baptism and chrismation in the Orthodox Church), I cannot help but continue to follow the news about what is happening to them. After all, that was my church from the time I was fifteen years old. Even after you've left a relationship, even when it is impossible to go back (not that there is any desire to do so), having spent over twenty-five years being involved with that entity, there are still good people there, people that I'd rescue from that sinking ship and bring to the shelter of Holy Orthodoxy, if they'd show even the slightest sign of interest. It's sad.

Earlier today, as I did my rounds through the blogs I read regularly, I found at Fr. Joseph Hunneycutt's site (Orthodixie) a reference to a report about a pagan "liturgy" being promoted by the Office of Women's Ministries of the Episcopal Church. His site has a link to an article by Christianity Today, "Weblog: Episcopal Church Officially Promotes Idol Worship." One interesting development: as I followed the links provided in the CT article, I found that the webpage for the pagan liturgy was "not found" (how odd...); and the main page at the OWM had an "official reply" to the CT article. Hmmm... Looks like they got caught...

Others who have been following the "crisis" in ECUSA know that a long-awaited report from the Lambeth Conference of Bishops has just been issued. Many who'd hoped that the Archbishop of Canterbury, titular head of the Anglican Communion, through the report of the Eames Commission (II *), would take steps to discipline ECUSA for last year's consecration of an openly-homosexual man as a bishop, must have been sorely disappointed by the report, which said little, and did less, in my opinion. But no one should have been surprised by this result. The bottom line is that there is nothing, apart from its own membership, to restrain the Episcopal Church from continuing in its descent into heresy and apostasy. (There is no joy in writing this, by the way.) They were at the doorstep of adopting liturgies for the blessing of same-sex "marriages" at their last General Convention; will anyone be surprised as these activities become officially sanctioned in many diocese, and ultimately approved at a coming General Convention? And isn't the incorporation of such pagan-influenced liturgies, as described in the CT article, a "logical" next step for a group that has lost its moorings in Scripture, Tradition, and Reason?

Brothers and sisters, we must pray that those faithful who remain, who are sickened and dismayed by the turn of events they have endured until now, will be strengthened by God to flee that rotting hulk, and come to the Orthodox Church and faith. We must also pray that those who are blinded by false teachings and teachers, and by the sins of the world, the flesh, and the devil, may be awakened by God, and enlightened as to the true nature of what their "church" is doing, and where their "church" is taking them; so that they, too, will desire to flee, and come to the safe harbor of the Orthodox Church. Lord, have mercy.

[Footnote] [I call it "Eames II" because there was an earlier "Eames Commission" that considered the question of how the traditionalists in diocese with "progressive" bishops might receive "alternative episcopal oversight" in the wake of the consecration of Barbara Harris, an openly-lesbian woman who was among the first round of those ordained (so-called) to the priesthood in an "irregular" (that is, uncanonical) manner -- that is, before ECUSA officially acted to allow women to be ordained. That Commission also came back with a report "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Its recommendations, inadequate at best, were ultimately rejected. This is one reason why many didn't really expect anything to come out of a second Eames Commission -- including me.]