Tuesday, August 05, 2003
So, my original plan was to see how the vote on confirming Gene Robinson (I utterly refuse to call him "Reverend") as Bishop of New Hampshire turned out and then make my decision. If utterly rejected by both the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops, things would be very good, and I likely wouldn't have to worry about ECUSA possibly endorsing same-sex marriages, either. If the bishops were in favor but the laity and clergy weren't, I would likely have considered this a good thing. If the reverse was true, then it would be time for some serious education from the bishops and conservatives about what the Bible says about homosexuality. If both houses voted for him, I had decided I would leave ECUSA in the near future. Preferably, the American Anglican Council, Forward in Faith, and the Anglican Mission in America would work with the rest of the Anglican Communion to set up an Anglican Church of America (or whatever they might choose to call it), and as soon as that got started I'd switch from one to the other. If they proved incapable of doing so, I'd simply switch to the Anglican Mission in America, which is overseen (in my area) by the Archbishop of Rwanda. If that somehow fell through, I don't know what I'd do. I might've considered requesting membership in a foreign small-o orthodox Anglican province, joining an Anglican splinter group here, or simply attending Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox services until things could be sorted out.
With the allegations of sexual misconduct against Robinson, things have changed. I'd looked upon this as a golden opportunity for everyone to finally lay their cards on the table, but I doubt that will happen now. The General Convention will end with the seat of Bishop of New Hampshire still vacant, the legislation to allow same-sex marriage liturgies in dioceses which desire them will either pass and be watered-down enough to prevent an exodus or be postponed, and things will simply continue on as they'd been going, until either the US General Convention in 2006 or the next Anglican Communion-wide Lambeth Conference in 2008. Meanwhile, I've found out that my bishop, Peter James Lee, announced his intention to vote for Robinson. According to the AAC website, none of the Virginia dioceses were even split in their votes to confirm Robinson. I'm not sure if I ought to quit my diocese, quit ECUSA entirely, or work for the removal of Lee and denial of heterodoxy by the unilateral US branch of my denomination.
I would have a hard time switching to any other denomination. I disagree with Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox each on theological and doctrinal points. I think Protestants completely misunderstand the purpose of church services, while Catholics have gotten confused by their own syncretism to the point that they often confuse the symbol with what is being symbolized. The objections to the Orthodox are similar to those of the Catholics, though I don't know them as well. Of course, since I've never really had a home church or pastor anyway, being on my own again, while certainly not spiritually healthy, is something I've dealt with before and can put up with for a little while longer while I figure out what to do. I've been thinking a lot about ecumenicism lately, and may post on that at some point.
[I'm blogging during my lunch, so links will have to wait until later.]