Lee Grady writes in the latest edition of Chrisma. And we wondered how Lee would really feel!
I don’t particularly enjoy writing obituaries. But today I hear the solemn sound of a tolling bell—deep, somber and depressing. For whom does the bell toll? It tolls for a denomination that has died.
I am speaking of the Episcopal Church, the American branch of the worldwide Anglican communion. Its grand cathedrals still stand in many of our major cities, even though membership is plummeting as its graying congregants pass away and its Bible-honoring members jump ship as fast as they can. Our own National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., is a part of the Episcopal Church USA. But it, like most other Episcopal churches, is just an ornate, hollow shell of what it once was.
There was a time when the Episcopal Church thrived. Decades ago it carried the good news of Christ throughout the world. In the 1960s and 1970s it experienced a miraculous charismatic renewal that was accompanied by conversions and healings. But today it preaches another gospel and its leaders have embraced a blasphemous delusion.
No one really knows when the church actually breathed its last. Some say it was on a dark day in November 2003, when the denomination consecrated a practicing homosexual, Gene Robinson, as the bishop of New Hampshire. Others suggest that the church might still have a faint pulse—but they compare it to the vital signs of a terminally-ill patient on life-support.
When Episcopal bishops convened this past week in New Orleans for yet another anguished round of discussions about how to keep their church from splintering, they tiptoed around the issues as usual. They seem to love to talk an issue to death without taking decisive action. Any moral backbone in the denomination apparently turned to jelly a long time ago.
These people have deliberated, negotiated, compromised, debated and backpedaled for four years about whether homosexual practice is compatible with Scripture. They claimed to be “studying” whether it’s acceptable to perform gay marriages in front of God’s holy altar. Yet in all their talking and studying they never arrived at the truth. They exchanged it for a lie. They chose perversion rather than purity. They rejected the true God and fashioned idols that are politically correct and culturally relevant.
Read the rest here.