13 July 2009

Gunfight at the GC Corral

Three years ago the House of Bishops forced an unwelcome and dishonest resolution on the house of deputies. Since that time, it has been arguably the biggest heartache in TEC. It has strained the bonds of communion within TEC to nearly a breaking point.

Sunday, the house of deputies nullified B033. I congratulate the house for doing so. But, by rightly doing so they have set the stage for the gunfight at the justice corral. And it's going to be ugly.

The bishops will not pass D025; we can be rather safe on that presumption. Although there will be some sparks there, that is not the gunfight that I'm talking about.

When the bishops refuse to recognize the will of the deputies - no, the will of the majority of the people who actually run this church, that's when the shooting will begin. The bishops will have drawn the line in the sand that says, "We do not care what you think; we are bishops, dammit."

The standing of bishops in TEC is very tarnished after GC06 and then allowing the insult to Bishop Robinson at Lambeth. I believe their standing and credibility, with few exceptions, is practically zed. They can now either redeem themselves or they can put another nail in the coffin of TEC having bishops at all.

If TEC does in fact become an relic, it won't because the church chose equal rights for all members; it will be because a bunch of spineless and dishonest bishops killed TEC.

When the moment of decision comes, we have to do what is right, regardless of the cost, for the extension of freedom, equality, and justice. James Lowell wrote

    Once to every man and nation,
    comes the moment to decide,
    In the strife of truth with falsehood,
    for the good or evil side;
    Some great cause, some great decision,
    offering each the bloom or blight,
    And the choice goes by forever,
    ’twixt that darkness and that light.

    Then to side with truth is noble,
    when we share her wretched crust,
    Ere her cause bring fame and profit,
    and ’tis prosperous to be just;
    Then it is the brave man chooses
    while the coward stands aside,
    Till the multitude make virtue
    of the faith they had denied.

Will the bishops be cowards or brave Christians?

After I wrote the above last night, Bishop Robinson wrote on his blog this morning

Many people, including our own deputies, said: "We've done OUR part. Now you bishops do YOURS!" That is the task we will set our minds and hearts to today (although we are not sure whether this deputies' action will make it to our House today (Monday) or tomorrow.

Pray for us, my friends, and pray especially for the Bishops as we determine whether we will remain the church of yesterday, or whether, by God's grace, we will embrace the future of a fully-inclusive church.
On another topic, I was sorry to see that the HOB could not continue to fund the missionaries of the church because of the expect shortfall of fourteen million dollars due to the economy:

Measures funding the eighty missionaries we have ($24,000 per year each) have been up until more information can be presented. The missionaries cost the church 5.5 million each year. But, what is the return? Enormous in my estimation. How about we ask the bishops to donate five-percent of their salaries to the mission department.