Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Episcopal Bishops greatly troubled by actions of General Convention

Bishop Peter Beckwith, Episcopal Diocese of Springfield and Bishop Bill Love, Episcopal Diocese of Albany share their thoughts after the ratification of D025:

14 comments:

1662 BCP said...

BB,
Please identify the bishops speaking in this clip.

Anonymous said...

Whoever they are, they speak with heavy hearts.

RalphM

Anonymous said...

Peter Beckwith on the left

Anonymous said...

+Bill Love, Albany on the right

cmsigler said...

THIS IS A MUST WATCH. Extraordinarily moving.

Bp. Beckwith is clearly grieved, and appears perhaps frightened (I know I would be). Bp. Love is thoroughly sad and just plain devastated. What he has to say is one of the most moving statements I've heard in all of this controversy.

Is there any way we can transcribe these statements? I'll try to start myself.

Clemmitt

cmsigler said...

Transcript to follow in four parts.

Clemmitt

cmsigler said...

Bp. Beckwith:

I've been getting a lot of e-mail traffic since yesterday, from the diocese, people very concerned about what's happened. My response is, "What were your expectations?" In some ways it's exactly what I expected, and in some ways, it's better than I expected. And a positive point for me is I think that there's been very generous hospitality on the part of my colleagues in the House of Bishops, that I haven't always experienced, so I'm pleased about that and I've told people that.

It doesn't change my concern about the direction of the church, and it doesn't change my concern about making decisions like we did in passing with amendment, guess it's D025, and then hearing yesterday and today that we really didn't overturn B033. I think that's, uh, spin. It clearly allows for us to go away from that B033. Bp. Love?

cmsigler said...

Bp. Love:

I guess being the eternal optimist I came into the General Convention hoping and praying that somehow we could avoid doing what we have just done in terms of the passage of D025, because despite what some have suggested that it does not repudiate or overturn B033 from the 2006 General Convention, I believe that it does, and the Archbishop of Canterbury would seem to believe the same thing based on statements that he recently made to the London Times I believe, and a number of members of the House of Bishops themselves from all different theological persuasions have suggested the same thing....

So we, once again it seems as though we on the one hand are saying we want very much to be part of the rest of the Anglican Communion and value that partnership and want to participate as fully as possible, or to the fullest extent possible in the Communion with one another and yet, there's always that “but” which comes across where it seems like the “but” is: “We want it, but we're going to do it by our terms and expect you to appreciate that and recognize that and approve of that.” And I think much of the rest of the Anglican Communion has already said that we can't, and we won't.

So I, I'm afraid that by the actions taken by the passage of D025 that for many this is the final straw with members of the wider Anglican Communion. They've been waiting to see how we would respond to this, and the feedback that I've been receiving suggests that for them we have now gone too far. And that's very sad for me because I'm a lifelong Episcopalian, and a lifelong Anglican. First and foremost I'm a lifelong Christian, and it's breaking my heart to see the church destroy itself in the manner in which we seem to be doing.

cmsigler said...

And I know I'm not passing judgment on anyone who voted in a different way than I did towards these resolutions, and, for the record, I voted against it. But I believe firmly that for the vast majority if not all of those who voted in favor of D025, they truly were doing what they thought was the right thing.

However, I don't agree with your interpretation of what the right thing is, and rather than being a blessing for the church, I believe ultimately it will be a curse on the church. And rather than bringing people into the church, I believe ultimately it will drive more and more people away, only accelerating the death of the Episcopal church, and unfortunately I also believe that it will accelerate the splitting up of the Anglican Communion, and that's very sad. At its best, the Episcopal Church has so much to offer the wider body of Christ, and unfortunately in my opinion we're far from being at our best right now, and this is just one indication of that.

The other thing is, one of the things that's so frustrating for me and I know it is for Bp. Beckwith and others that have stood up against blessing of same-sex unions, and things of that nature, is that often times the argument gets turned into something that it's not. People who would defend these type resolutions, often as their justification for doing so is to suggest that by not going along with it that we are telling people who find themselves to be of homosexual orientation that God doesn't love them and that they have no place in the Church, and the litany of things goes on and on, and that is not the case.

cmsigler said...

And I understand that there are people who have been associated with the Church in various parts of the Body of Christ, at least in name, who have made some very derogatory statements towards people who find themselves to be homosexual, and hurtful things, and have things that never should have been said in the name of Christ. I don't excuse that at all. But for those of us that cannot support the blessing of same-sex unions, it's not hatred towards people who find themselves to be homosexual, but rather an understanding that such a lifestyle is not in accordance, at least my understanding is that it's not in accordance with God's will, in terms of how one is to live out their sexual relationships, that Holy Scripture speaks plainly that sexual relationships are intended to be lived between a man and a woman in the confine of marriage, and that anything outside of that is not in accordance with God's will.

That's not to say that people don't do it. However, it doesn't mean that God approves of everything that we do. While He can love us, He doesn't necessarily agree with all that we do. I know that He certainly doesn't agree with everything that I've done. But when I become aware of when I've fallen into sin, then I, through his grace, repent of that and seek his forgiveness. But blessing individuals who are living a lifestyle that would appear to be outside the bounds of what God has revealed through Holy Scripture, then I think we deny them the opportunity to repent and to seek God's forgiveness.

This is often talked about as a justice issue, and it is! But, for me, I think we do people a great injustice when we encourage them by saying it's OK to do something that I believe God has said, "It's not OK." So it's not a matter of hatred. It's just the opposite of that. It's a matter of love and care and concern for fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, who have been lead to believe that their lifestyle is OK when, at least up until now the Church has said it's not, and God through Holy Scripture has said it's not. And, so, I guess that's all I have to say at this point.

Anonymous said...

I saw the whole thing on ATV. Wow

heartafire said...

So beautifully and lovingly said.
This needs to be said more often in such a way.
May God richly bless these men.

BabyBlue said...

cmsigler - thank you so much for the transcript!!

bb

cmsigler said...

BabyBlue,

I've tried to disseminate the transcript, as these statements seem to me to be of more than passing value. I've had no luck contacting by e-mail T19Elves, SFIF or VOL. I know their traffic is more than they can deal with, and, moreover, the devil is in the details....

If you can, please copy the transcript and forward it to all that would want it or could put it to use. Thank you! And God bless.

Clemmitt