Saturday, May 13, 2006

New song - Same dance

THE DIOCESE of California did not elect a gay bishop last weekend, despite choosing from a list of seven candidates which included three living in same-sex partnerships. Clergy and laity voted in a final ballot for the Suffragan Bishop of Alabama, the Rt Revd Marc Andrus, the most senior of the candidates. He was described by the Washington Post as "a violin-playing, yoga-practicing father-of-two".

Much speculation had surrounded the election in ECUSA's most liberal diocese. The candidates the Revd Michael Barlowe, the Revd Robert Taylor, and the Revd Bonnie Perry were all openly living with gay partners.

In a telephone message relayed to the diocesan convention in San Francisco, Bishop Andrus said: "Your vote today remains a vote for inclusion and communion of gay and lesbian people in their full lives as single or partnered people, of women, of all ethnic minorities. . . I take this election to be an expression of our common desire to be part of the whole, the Communion and the world, in what may be a new way."

Key figures in the diocese have been at pains to stress that the candidates sexuality was not an issue. Bishop Andrus won 188 clergy votes and 161 lay, having needed 131 and 148 respectively.

The outgoing Bishop of California, the Rt Revd William Swing, said that while it was understandable to see the election as "straight versus gay, or perhaps men versus women, or perhaps black versus white", it had been about which candidate God seemed to favour.
A lay member of the nominating committee, Craig Martin, said that the election process had been democratic, and the diocese had not been concerned about the impact of its decision on the Anglican Communion.

The Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network, the Bishop of Pittsburgh, the Rt Revd Robert Duncan, was swift to welcome the result and thank the electors "for not attempting to short-circuit the decisions the Episcopal Church must make this June [at the General Convention] about walking with us or apart from the Anglican Communion.

"The world Church has clearly told us what we must do to stay in communion: repent of our decision in 2003 to confirm the election of a bishop in a same-sex partnered relationship, and place moratoriums on further elections of bishops in same-sex partnered relationships, as well as the blessing of same-sex relationships."

The American Anglican Council had no warm words. It asked: "Did the diocese succumb to reported pressure from ECUSA, including Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, to avoid electing a partnered homosexual? Is such pressure in fact part of a co-ordinated strategy to mislead the Communion?"

It is evident the ECUSA has no intent of repenting or correcting their slide from Christian morality. So they did not elect a practicing homosexual, instead they elected a ultra liberal individual that the gay /lesbian community was quick to place their stamp of approval on.

As Christians we are taught to hate the sin but continue to love the sinner. Nowhere in scripture can I find a commandment to approve and promote the sin.

Have I missed something some where?