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"We will not, on the altar of money, mortgage our conscience, mortgage our faith, mortgage our salvation." - Nigerian Anglican archbishop Peter Akinola
But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Rev 2:6
So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Rev 2:15
The term "nicolaitan" comes from two Greek words which mean "victory over the laity".
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Tim 4:3-4
This page has not been updated for three to five years. For the latest try Virtueonline.org.
OR BROKEN COMMUNION WITH THE ECUSA
The result of the failure of the ECUSA laity to discipline their clergy is that over 50 million Anglicans out of roughly 77 million worldwide, with whom the U.S. Episcopal Church was formerly in communion, have declared either broken or impaired communion with the ECUSA. If you are Episcopalian have you wondered why your clergy have not informed you as to how your church has been increasingly isolated? Did they inform you that the US Episcopal Church is splitting into two (or more); one Church that believes that God approves of sexual intercourse between two men or two women, and one Church that follows scripture a little more closely? The ECUSA demonstrates what happens when a Church gives authority to men - like Bishops - as a presumed conduit to God. It also demonstrates what can happen in a Church that operates on the basis of "scripture - tradition - reason". In this case Scripture is tossed in the back seat, tradition rides shotgun and "reason" gets behind the wheel and does the steering.
SCRIPTURE ON REQUIREMENTS OF A BISHOP (OVERSEER) (anchor)
In August of 2003 the U.S. Episcopal Church (ECUSA) ordained a homosexual as Bishop.
"In 1986 Robinson divorced his wife and left her and his two young daughters to move in with his homosexual companion, Mark Andrew."
He was ordained in 2003 while still living in that relationship.
1Timothy 3:1 This [is] a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
1Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
1Timothy 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
1Timothy 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
1Timothy 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
1Timothy 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
1Timothy 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Not suprisingly, considering the verse immedately above, in 2006 Bishop Robinson checked himself into an alcohol rehab center.
2Pe 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.
NO MATTER? NEW "LEADERSHIP"?
From the new leadership: (Nov. 2, 2006 article) "But in an interview this week with Associated Press, Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori -- who is to be installed on Saturday as the first female presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church USA -- stated that Christians should not say that Jesus is the only way to God. "If we insist we know the one way to God," she said, "we've put God in a very small box.""
"Run, Don't Walk
Canon David Anderson is president of the American Anglican Council, a group of conservative clergy and lay people from the Episcopal Church. Anderson says he's not surprised at the recent comments by Jefferts-Schori, and offers what he sees as the only option for those still in churches aligned with ECUSA.
"I think they need to run, not walk, to the exit and find an orthodox Episcopal church," suggests Anderson."
FRANK GRISWOLD: EXIT STAGE LEFT
Are the problems for the ECUSA going away with time? Hardly. On 10-4-05 David W. Virtue reported: "It was another week of shock and awe for the Episcopal Church USA when the rector of the second largest parish in the DIOCESE OF FLORIDA -- one of the top 50 Episcopal churches in the country -- announced that he was quitting his parish, the diocese, and the Episcopal Church and was heading down the road to start St. Peter's in Tallahassee, coming under an African bishop.
In one fell swoop the Rev. Eric D. Dudley, 46, gutted St. John's Church with its 2,000-plus members paving the way for other orthodox parish priests to follow his lead. At least a dozen or more are contemplating following his example. ....."
Some of the poorest Anglican Churches in the world have refused to accept money from the ECUSA with archbishop Peter Akinola quoted at the top of this page as well as others. "Archbiships of the West Indies, Rwanda, Central Africa, the Southern Cone (Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile), Southeast Asia (Singapore) and Sydney, Australia, along with 15 American bishops, have threatened a major 'realignment' among Anglicans." More recently from Uganda written to L.A. "Therefore, we see no need for a meeting until you and the Diocese of Los Angeles have repented of your participation in and promotion of unbiblical behavior and teaching.".
Contrary to what many clergy and lay people in the ECUSA would like to hope, this issue is not only not going to go away but promises to be an increasingly intense church destructor. On 9-8-04 The Network reported that ECUSA head Bishop Frank Griswold and three others embarked on an emergency trip to London regarding the suggestion that the ECUSA will be excluded from Anglican summits, including head Bishop Griswold not being allowed into annual primates meetings, possibly including the Lambeth Conference. At the same time the break-away Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes is approved by Anglican bishops and is supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury. As most recently demonstrated in Brazil, the radical take-over of the ECUSA may increasingly be defined by the term nicolaitanism. In the U.S. lawsuits are being fought within the Church over church properties of dissenting congregations.
“The nearly two years since General Convention 2003 should have taught us that a political “win” does not guarantee any kind of victory for our church. ECUSA’s own statistics show giving for the first full year since the consecration of an overtly gay bishop to be off by 12% and membership down by 36,000 people. Similarly, the average Sunday worship attendance is down by 24,000 and the bishop of Newark is talking about closing up to 40 churches.” Wetzel continued, “Contrast that with the 50 new parishes begun in the last year which are Anglican, not Episcopalian. If this continues for another decade, we’ll be fighting over a corpse. Next summer’s General Convention will determine if the situation is as irreconcilable as it appears.”
Comically in "The Net", and on websites like this, and these, they actually blame the U.S. economy for failing ECUSA funding; "Other problems, church officials said, stem from other shifting demographics and the recent troubled economy." Not only are they misrepresenting the economy, all they have to do is look at the exploding revenues of Bible based congregational churches to learn the obvious truth.
If the 62 bishops, and their supporters who favored the pop theology, did recant on their nouveau doctrine after all this time spent defending it, would there likely be a reason to believe that they did it for reasons other than protecting their retirement? That was certainly the motivator for one member of the clergy who I had personal experience with who spoke in favor of the ordination publicly, but spoke against it privately, because he was on the verge of retirement and was afraid of loosing it. Sold out - for a few pieces of silver.
I am just a sinner, that also attended the U.S. Episcopal Church for many years. My kids were baptized there. Over those years the issue of marriage of homosexual persons came up with increasing frequency but outside of a few unanswered letters that I wrote to my Pastor, I preferred to stick my head in the sand regarding this issue as I suspect most of the rest of the congregation did.
IT IS PAST TIME - PERHAPS TOO LATE - TO TAKE ACTION
The purpose of this page is not to help divide the Episcopal Church, since a slim 60% majority of the ECUSA House of Bishops has already accomplished that. Rather its purpose is to help unite the laity of the Episcopal Church and to equip members with information to aid them in taking back their Church from the few liberal radicals that have abused control of the European Monarchy style government of this Church, or perhaps even better, to help individuals with a decision to leave this church in crisis in favor of one that is not, including the break-away Network of Anglican Communion Diocese and Parishes and Anglican Mission in America, in Anglicanism, or perhaps to a non-denominational congregational church.
The high cost and very real impact of the ECUSA adopting their "pop-doctrine" based on "pop-theology" has been broken communion, broken Churches, broken congregations, and even broken and fragmented families.
Surely by now parishioners in the ECUSA are growing weary of the phrase "There is more that unites us than divides us" being presented as a reason for members to remain in, let alone be in communion with, a church that operates on heretical doctrine that members, and the church for thousands of years before them, believe is against the Word of God. Or take the false premise they peddle that if you believe that samesex relations is a sin that this somehow makes you "exclusionary" or "intolerant".
"The word "Sodomy" is defined as "carnal copulation between male persons or with beasts (from Sodom, to whose people this practice was imputed)"."
"By now, it must be apparent to orthodox evangelical and Anglo-Catholic parishes caught in revisionist dioceses, that their days are numbered."
The beginning of realignment in San Diego.
NAIROBI: Gay issue rips Anglican Church down the middle
BEING INTOLERANT OF SIN DOES NOT = INTOLERANCE OF SINNERS
It is pretty clear that any "talking points" handed down by ECUSA radicals are intended to cause parishioners and clergy, whose clear understanding of scripture, for a couple thousand years (and a couple thousand more years for Jews), reinforces their beliefs that homosexual sexual relations are sinful, to feel as though these beliefs are somehow equivalent to being unloving, unaccepting, non-invitational, bigoted, homophobic, and especially "intolerant", of homosexual practitioners. In fact the exact opposite is true because those that desire to help those with homosexual tendencies through the witness of Jesus Christ, and down the road toward rehabilitation (Exodus International claims an approximate 30 to 50% rehabilitation rate), are the ones that do indeed love them, as opposed to Episcopal clergy that preach tolerance while helping to convince homosexuals that they should be resigned to being enslaved to the flesh, in a suggestion that homosexual sexual relations are not sinful, thereby encouraging them to remain in unrepentant and often physically, mentally, and perhaps eternally self-destructive lifestyles.
HOMOSEXUALITY, ADULTRY AND FORNICATION
People with homosexual tendencies were created in the image of God the same as the rest of us. It is our charge as Christians to love one another as God loves us (John 13:34), therefore it is unchristian to condemn anybody, such as alcoholics or homosexual practitioners, for the sins they commit, or to exclude anybody from seeking out our Churches. It is however our job as Christians to identify and judge sin, and false doctrine, because we are to Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. (John 7:24).
Contrary to what some on both sides of the fence might prefer to believe there doesn't seem to be anything very special about the sin of homosexual sex. The Scriptures do not indicate a significant difference between the sins of homosexual sexual relations, adultery, fornication (which is synonymous with homosexuality as well as unmarried heterosexual couples), drunkenness, or other sins of the flesh. In fact these sins are mentioned simultaneously in Scripture (1 Cor 6:9-11). Homosexually oriented, as well as heterosexuals, can receive Salvation and forgiveness for our sins but only by God's grace through Jesus Christ.
However, it is insincere and unrepentant to turn right around and flagrantly commit the same sins again. This constitutes the practice of sin not the committing of a sin. For people without reprobate minds (Rom 1:27-31), and with a life in the Holy Spirit, God-given guilt is a wonderful internal mechanism that helps keep us increasingly on the right track. Guilt is good! Thus the longer one lives a life close to Jesus, the easier, less guilty, and more fun and rewarding it becomes. 1 John 5: 11-12 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 1Cor 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 1Cr 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1Cr 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
SEXUAL RELATIONS OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE
The scriptures are clear that marriage is the only circumstance/relationship in which sexual relations are allowed. Further, the Bible teaches that marriage can only involve the union of a man and a woman (Matthew 19:4-6). So how could a sexual relationship between two men or two women be viewed as being any less sinful than a sexual relationship between an unmarried man and woman?
FOCUS ON THE FLESH
A homosexual is a person that labels themselves as such, and/or participates in homosexual sex. Homosexuality is about what somebody does, not about what somebody is. It is sad, and wrong, for people to identify themselves as homosexual, since there is so much more to define each and every one of us than sexual interest. However, Satan's power can manifest itself intensely through sexual addiction, and may become so overwhelming that it can consume much thought and drive action as well.
For homosexual practitioners, as well as heterosexuals, problems arise from focusing on the flesh instead of the Spirit. Consider the Book of Romans Chapters 7 and 8: 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 5) For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6) For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Fortunately there is help available for sexually addicted persons including those with homosexual tendencies. In fact the only addiction for which there is no apparent detoxification possible is pornography. This is because the pornographic images have been shown to be permanently imprinted in the brain. This does not mean that there is not rehabilitation possible for persons addicted to pornography and this is clear in Mark 10:27.
HOW DOES THE ECUSA RECONCILE THEIR POP-DOCTRINE
WITH THE BOOK OF ROMANS?
How did my clergy explain this passage? Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: - The way they tried to explain this away was that for the homosexual woman, who they describe as having that tendency as "inate and inevitable" (even though science can't cooberate this and in spite of the 30 to 50% rehabilitation rate), they claim that lesbianism is the "natural use of her body". But consider the very next verse: Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. - Why would scripture refer to the act itself as unseemly and why would they be punished for it? And what might the church be doing to homosexual persons when they discourage repentence through celebration? Next verse: Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
BISHOP GENE ROBINSON AND REVEREND MICHAEL F. RAY
Scripture is clear regarding selection of a bishop. Since his ordination Robinson continues to proudly declare his homosexuality, and continues to live in a non-celibate relationship with his homosexual partner. In light of the verses related to requirements of a Bishop why would the ECUSA House of Bishops along with many clergy, hold up to our children as exemplary, and a best-choice for bishop, a divorcee who defines himself by a fleshly propensity.
He is not alone in this Church:
"Today is a grievous day in the history of our Church. Heresy has been held up as Holy. Blasphemy has been redefined as blessing."
Reverend Michael F. Ray of St. Thomas's Episcopal in Connecticut is quoted in the NY Times - 'A Moratorium on Weddings'; "Father Ray, 62, a divorced father of three, said he struggled over the decision. 'The generation I grew up in, you didn't talk about these things,' he said. 'I grew up in Texas thinking I was the only gay person I knew.' He said his children and the congregation had been accepting when he and his wife separated in 1986, a year after they arrived in New Haven. Congregants now speak comfortably about his 17-year relationship with another man."
HOW DOES THE BIBLE DEFINE MARRIAGE?
At about the same time that the House of Bishops of the ECUSA voted 62 to 43(hit link and scroll) to ordain Robinson, they also overwhelmingly (news wires) approved by voice vote a document(hit link and scroll) which said "We recognize that local faith communities are operating within the bounds of our common life as they explore and experience liturgies celebrating and blessing same-sex unions."(hit link and scroll) In other words, as of that meeting, all Episcopal Churches throughout the country, had been given the green light to marry homosexual couples. All that was required was for them to receive permission from their local Bishop Matthew 19:4-6.
It is interesting to note that Bishop Leo Frade voted his approval of homosexual marriage but NIMBY (not in my backyard) by stating "I have made it clear that I do not intend to authorize the blessing of same-sex unions in this diocese". It is pretty likely that many, if not most, of the Episcopal congregation frogs that have been put in the proverbial pot of cold water and turned on to boil, would have jumped out before they were cooked, had they been put straight in the hot water of Frade allowing the marriage of homosexual persons in his diocese today. It would seem that is why these matters are being accomplished incrementally.
'HOMOSEXUAL PRACTICES ARE INCOMPATIBLE WITH SCRIPTURE' (LAMBETH)
Here is a quote from an article by a fifth-generation Episcopalian in 'The Federalist'. "At the World Anglican Communion's decennial Lambeth Conference in 1998, Bishops representing 77-million Church congregants worldwide overwhelmingly passed a resolution reaffirming that homosexual ordination, same-sex marriage and homosexual practices were 'incompatible with Scripture'. But a significant number of Bishops representing the 2.3-million member Episcopal Church in the U.S.A., the American branch of the World Anglican Communion, strongly objected." However, according to David W. Virtue, "Officially there is about 2.3 million, but the majority of those either have not darkened an Episcopal Church in years or go once or twice a year. In reality there are less than 750,000 practicing Episcopalians."
62 MEMBERS OF THE ECUSA HOUSE OF BISHOPS; NICOLAITAN HERETICS?
Thus 62 out of 105 Bishops supported by a minority of clergy and a minority of the body of the U.S. Episcopal Church, have hijacked the ECUSA ("victory over the laity") to engage in actions that are directly contrary (heresy) to the very specific declarations of beliefs and dictates stated at the 1998 Lambeth Conference of the Worldwide Anglican Communion, with whom the ECUSA claims to be in communion, as well as the beliefs of the vast majority of their parishioners. However, "Primates of 21 provinces in the Global South, representing over 50 million Anglicans, have declared either broken (7) or impaired (14) communion with the Episcopal Church over actions taken at GC 2003. The seven broken relationships came at the determination of the whole synod, House of Bishops or provincial standing committee of each province, and have a combined membership of 35 million. Fourteen Primates, representing more than 45 million Anglicans, have endorsed the Anglican Communion Network. "
1Peter 5:1-3 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over [God's] heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
Bishop Ohl informed church leaders last week that those opposed to ECUSA should leave the premises. In a letter of explanation, he said: "I believe that in the long-run, delaying the decision would have been much more difficult for all involved. The animosity between the factions of what currently constitutes St. Nicholas Episcopal Church was not ameliorating; in fact it was becoming more exacerbated with each passing week. I do not believe that is good for the souls of those who wish to depart the Episcopal Church to remain in the close proximity relationship that currently exists."
The Rev. Jon Stasney, rector of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in Midland, said he received word Monday from Bishop Wallis Ohl that those who disagreed with the national church should "leave the property by June 1." (2005)
PROBLEM WITH EUROPEAN MONARCHY STYLE CHURCH GOVERNMENT
The ECUSA perhaps best demonstrates the difficulty involved with a Church government that is organized in the model of the European monarchy, turned oligarchy, as opposed to more evangelical churches. What local clergy and laity believe and understand from scripture takes a back seat, because the Church and clergy are subordinate to the ruling Church hierarchy.
Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh (considered by many around the world to be the new head of the U.S. Episcopal Church), accompanied by other Bishops, read a statement(click and scroll) saying they were "filled with sorrow" that the Episcopal Church has "divided itself from millions of faithful Anglicans around the world" and urged the Archbishop of Canterbury to "take action in this pastoral emergency that has overtaken us."
These issues have split the U.S. Episcopal Church. The Episcopal doctrine of scripture-tradition-reason perhaps best describes how this church seems to have lost its handle on scripture and has become so worldly. By way of contrast you might say that the rapidly growing Evangelical mega-Churches of today, that are evermore filled with parishioners and the Holy Spirit, operate on a premise of scripture-scripture-scripture. Put another way, one might say that the U.S. Episcopal Churches use the world around them to help define their understanding of scripture, while more Bible based Churches instead use scripture to help define their understanding of the world around them.
JACK VAN IMPE ON NICOLAITANISM
Consider this passage from Jack Van Impe's Prophesy Bible; Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Dr Van Impe goes on to explain: "Who were the Nicolaitans and what was it about them that so angered Almighty God? The term comes from two Greek words which mean "victory over the laity" a religious dictatorship that allowed little or no freedom to its members. This is precisely what the Holy Spirit had in mind when He told the church elders not to be lords over God's heritage, but...ensamples [examples] to the flock (1 Peter 5:3). How this message needs to be emphasized in our day as religious leaders try to impose their man-made rules on each and every member!"
More from Dr. Van Impe " Rev 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Not only were the people of the first church of Pergamos worldly, sinful, and idolatrous, but they also shared in the wicked practice of Nicolaitanism as did the church at Ephesus. This, again, is ecclesiastical Hitlerism. It is when the minister or leader says, "I am the head, and you have no choice in the matter," allowing laymen no voice in the affairs of the church. Concerning the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, the condemnatory statement, which thing I hate, is uttered by the Lord God himself. The solution? Rev 2:16 Repent or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. This is serious business. The Christian is not to close his mind, heart, and ears to God's warning."
DISSENTERS THREATENED WITH REMOVAL AND LOSS OF PENSION
Further trouble with the corporate character of a strong central Church government is caused by perks that are extended to clergy. From the AAC: "There are multiple, first hand reports of: 1) diocesan bishops forbidding their clergy to attend AAC conferences (a constitutional freedom of association issue), 2) bishops instructing parish clergy not to speak to their congregations about AEO and 3) bishops employing canons in unparalleled and innovative ways to remove Vestries, force clergy into transition or retirement (at threat of loss of pension in New Hampshire) to gain control of conservative congregations." Thus ministers are being put in the position of having to decide whether to let down their congregations and fail in what they know God demands, and have comfortable retirements, or defy the Church and do what they know in their heart is right and perhaps wind up flipping burgers and living in a rented trailer for retirement. For most of us with a life in Christ the answer is obvious and simple. If it appears difficult, consider the persecution that Christians are suffering in the rest of the world today, or read Foxe's Christian Martyrs of the World. Many ministers near retirement today who choose the easy road may in retrospect realize that they acted contrary to what they knew God demanded of them, for a few "pieces of silver".
More from the AAC: "Reports of persecution and even harassment toward those who are unable to accept the New Hampshire consecration continue to reach our office in alarming numbers. Episcopalians who have spoken out against the New Hampshire event are being removed from diocesan committees, told their services are no longer needed, and probably not being considered for positions of leadership." (The Living Church editorial, February 22, 2004). "The Episcopal Church is fractured and bleeding; punitive actions against the orthodox abound; and trust has been broken over and over." "Jecko said he asks a question of all potential clergy under his care—'Do you look good on wood?'—to convey the high costs (sometimes including martyrdom) of Christian discipleship."
As much as the constant drumbeat at my Episcopal Church strived to convince parishioners otherwise, this issue has nothing to do with excluding or judging homosexual persons. Contrary to the secular lip service that my church parroted, it is not our job as Christians to be tolerant of homosexual practitioners. Rather it is our charge to witness to them and to treat them with love and understanding, and to encourage them to join us in seeking forgiveness for their sins, right alongside all the rest of we sinner-congregates. As Christians we know that "All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God" and we know that Jesus said Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: and He also said "He who is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her". This issue is about judging sin, not people, and God demands that we judge sin, otherwise we are wandering with nothing more than reprobate minds. John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
LOVE AND GUIDE HOMOSEXUALS TOWARD REHABILITATION (anchor)
It is our job as Christians to love and to help guide homosexual persons in a direction of rehabilitation, rather than to encourage them to remain in physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually self-destructive lifestyles.
Exodus International is the largest referral organization in the world that works toward rehab of homosexuals. They estimate that nationwide, from methods of treatment both secular and religious, the rehabilitation rate is 30 to 50%. Many homosexuals go on to lead healthy mainstream lives often including marriage and children. There is an excellent FAQ section on their web site, and it also includes touching testimonials from rehabilitated homosexual men and women.
Sy Rogers is a former homosexual that was saved and rehabilitated 25 years ago and was married 21 years ago and has 2 children. He has been ministering on the subject of sexuality and the Church for 23 years. The first evening in his seminar series that was delivered at Calvary Chapel on 11-19-03 is available in their archives and was co-sponsored by Worthy Creations "a local interdenominational Christian ministry dedicated to helping men and women find freedom from homosexuality and sexual brokenness". You can access Sy's sermon on this link and simply select speed (brief musical introduction). Former homosexual Chancellor Carlyle Roberts, II also has an internet ministry. Rehabilitation in Anglicanism is championed by the Zacchaeus Fellowship.
Yvette Cantu, a former gay activist with Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the ACLU now serves as a policy analyst for FRC. She comments: "I had thought that religious moral convictions were repressive, something which served to impose some people's beliefs on others. That is the homosexual activist view, and it is increasingly the view of modern America. It is also completely wrong. Only much later did I come to realize that the moral law as expressed in almost every major religion is to protect us, not repress us."
BUT IT WOULD NOT CHANGE SCRIPTURE IF IT WAS (anchor)
Homosexuality is about something that somebody does, not about what somebody is. It has not been shown to be either innate nor inevitable. A published study reported that 84 percent of male homosexuals changed their sexual orientation at least once, 60 percent twice, 32 percent three times, and 13 percent at least five times. Among lesbians, 97 percent changed once, 81 percent twice, 52 percent three times, and 29 percent at least five times. This could hardly be considered the genetic equivalent of race, eye or hair color. In fact, there does not seem to be any more of a genetic link to homosexuality than there is to homophobia. If genetics were involved, identical twins would always be homosexual in pairs, but this is not the case most of the time. Even if homosexuality were a genetic propensity it would not alter the fact that homosexual practice is unhealthy as well as being sinful. Exodus International finds that among the homosexual persons that they treat there is a "pretty uniform picture of poor family dynamics in general, a rift in the father-son or mother-daughter relationship growing up, feelings of being an outsider among one's peers during childhood and adolescence, and instances of sexual abuse/incest". Pro 27:7 The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
"Homosexuality is about what somebody does, not about what somebody is." - Bill O'Reilly
CONSIDER THE ALCOHOLIC
Let's, for a moment, consider the alcoholic. The "National Institute on Drug Abuse's 1988 report that indicated "97% of drug addicts become re-addicted within five years after treatment and 82% of alcoholics treated for alcoholism remain abstinent for less than six months" (Baldwin Research Project of 1990, © Gerald J. Brown, 1991)". The homosexual rehab rate of 30-50% compares very favorably to this. Some believe that there is a genetic, or at least an environmental cause behind the compulsion toward alcohol abuse. Does this mean that the Church should discourage rehabilitation and encourage the alcoholic to remain in a self-destructive lifestyle, rotting his liver and perhaps loosing his job and neglecting his family until he becomes an unrepentant deceased drunkard (1 Cr 6:10), simply because they wrongly presume that it is his "given at birth"? To draw an even further parallel perhaps the Church should insure that he is supplied with as much alcohol as he needs to continue his lifestyle. The concept of "given at birth" to mean innate, inevitable and irreversible would constitute a denial of Mar 10:27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men [it is] impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. Do some rehabilitated homosexuals go back to a life of homosexuality? Of course they do, just as some rehabilitated alcoholics go back to their habits of drunkenness. Rehabilitation does not eliminate the alcoholic's desire to drink. This is a matter of self-control.
MARRYING HOMOSEXUALS MAY HELP TO CONDEMN THEM
By marrying homosexual persons, the Episcopal Church will be setting in stone the "commitment" between these couples, even though there is nowhere in scripture where marriage is described as being other than between a man and a woman. Unmarried, either or both partners can make a decision at any time to change their life and seek rehabilitation. If the same couple is married, they will feel that through divorce they would be letting down the Church and their friends and family, political allies, and other witnesses to the ceremony, including God, and thereby may feel compelled to remain in a physically and psychologically destructive lifestyle as a result, no matter how much they are hurting. Further, monogamy among homosexual men would seem to be, at best, a vague concept. Just as in the case of the alcoholic, rehabilitation of homosexual practitioners must necessarily be achieved as a result of a desire of the homosexual to change, but Episcopal Church approval of homosexual sexual relations will pre-empt or destroy the option of repentance for many because they may be led to believe that their acts are not sinful. In this sense the Church "blessing" of carnal sexual relations may be more akin to passing a premature physical, and eternal spiritual, death sentence on homosexual practitioners, including both those within the Church, and those without who have been influenced and encouraged. Another result could be an increase in religious persecution for Christians, especially in Africa as well as other areas.
NORMALIZING HOMOSEXUALITY WILL CONDEMN MORE KIDS TO THAT FATE
In an after-church meeting at my church one of the Reverends stated it is "only a matter of time" before the ECUSA marries homosexuals (as they already have in Canada), while also offering a stunning statement that there is no relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia. In fact, while homosexual persons compose from 1 to 3% of our population (CDC, not the Kinsey 10%!), at least 1/3 of the sex crimes committed against children ARE COMMITTED AGAINST BOYS, and female sex-offenders do not compose a statistically significant group. Therefore this group is composed virtually entirely of MEN, committing sex crimes against BOYS, that are under the legal age of consent. While some of the predators in this group who prey on pre-pubescent boys may be characterized as pedophiles, pedophilia does not describe the MEN who HOMOSEXUALLY sexually assault BOYS who are post-puberty but under the legal age of consent. Is it any wonder that pedophilia is one of the most prevalent themes in popular homosexual literature? And this does not even take into account possible male homosexual participation in sexual assault against the other 2/3 assaulted girls group, since 74% of homosexual men admit to being sexually attracted to females. Young people have the highest rate of personal sexual uncertainty, running as high as 26% for 12 year olds.
HOMOSEXUAL COUPLES WILL BE ALLOWED TO ADOPT CHILDREN
Church and State approval of homosexual "marriage" will legally lead to adoption of children by same-sex couples, since male couples are incapable of procreation. This results in tragic consequences for the adopted child, which have been obscured by "pop studies" full of methodological flaws. As I write, foster children are being placed in homosexual households. I would suggest that a foster care agency would never place a young boy in the home of two well adjusted heterosexual men, yet they barely hesitate to place them with two homosexual men.
PEOPLE 2000 YEARS AGO WERE HIGHLY CIVILIZED
For the ECUSA to suggest that they know something about homosexuality today, that people were too ignorant to understand 2000 years ago, that is sufficient enough to overturn 2000 years of Christian belief and understanding of scripture, displays the epitome of arrogance and ignorance. It also seems to presume that the authors of the Bible were not inspired by God. 2000 years ago some men were identified as being effeminate, and no doubt some women as butch. Some men were sexually attracted to other men and a few acted on this. Some women, ditto. The causative factors such as dysfunctional homes, sexual assault, and broken father-son and mother-daughter relationships that we recognize as responsible today, were little doubt recognized as causative factors even back then. In spite of the rapid advancement of our scientific understanding today, science can still tell us no more about homosexuality than it could 2000 years ago. People 2000 years ago, the likes of Archimedes, Pythagoras, and the artisan that designed the "The Antikythera mechanism" in around 87 BC, were not stupid, especially when compared with some U.S. clergy, and the entertainment media-driven, reality TV, pop-culture crowd that they choose to appeal to today.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Tim 4:3-4
ECUSA SPEAKS LOUDLY ON BEHALF OF THE "CHURCH" TO THE UNSAVED
For millions of people around the world, including impressionable children, 26% of whom at age 12 are uncertain of their sexuality, and especially for people outside of Christianity altogether, the ECUSA may well have spoken for ALL CHURCHES, especially since the news was so eagerly and widely disseminated through the Kinsey/Hollywood/media elite, and pop-culture media outlets worldwide, and especially those geared to teens. The sexual uncertainty of adolescent children speaks loudly toward the need for parental guidance. For this reason, it is difficult to see how it is possible to parent a child properly in the ECUSA since the Church directly contradicts what their children should be taught about what is right and wrong. The Episcopal Church went from relative quiet obscurity to being the Hollywood "cause celeb" of pop-culture religion through peddling "pop-theology". As a result the Episcopal Church may well be the most successful promoter of homosexuality of all time.
In the past homosexuals at least knew that what they were doing was wrong, and against the Word of God. For kids in the U.S., especially those with lives outside of the Church, the ECUSA sends a message of Church sanction of carnal sexual misbehavior. Their schools further reinforce normalization of this aberrant behavior. A constructive exercise for Episcopalians would be to ask their clergy and/or Bishop to describe exactly what specific sexual activities between two men, or between two women, would be the ones that God approves of. The clergy that I asked was too cowardly to respond to this question and even indicated that my question regarding what two men would do together was "lurid", even while he approves of ordination and marriage of homosexuals.
NETWORK OF ANGLICAN COMMUNION DIOCESES AND PARISHES
The Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes is where many individuals and parishes are going, to confirm their solidarity with the Anglican Communion and their disassociation with the ECUSA in regard to its policies that promise to be so devastating to homosexual persons. CCLC is another organization of Episcopalians dedicated to respecting the views of the World Anglican Communion and they suggest that one of the best ways to begin to reform the U.S. Episcopal Church is to simply withhold funding. There are lots of opportunities to financially help do the Lord's work, through other organizations. I listed a few of my favorites on a prior page.
All Episcopalians know that a large part of their offering is directly transferred to the control of, and the future pensions of, the very Bishops who voted in the 3/5 majority, against the World Anglican Communion view, and in favor of the Robinson ordination and approval of Episcopal Church marriages of homosexual persons. Their money also directly supports local clergy that in some cases supported the Bishop's views. While some parishioners may direct their church not to send any of their offering to the diocese, or central church, overall I don't believe this can be accomplished because I understand that the total amount of funding from their Church to the Diocese will remain set by the Diocese, not the local Church, so they will simply use more of someone else's fungible offering to compensate.
ANGLICAN MISSION IN AMERICA
"Was the Anglican Mission in America established prematurely? The Anglican Mission in America was birthed at a critical time. The Episcopal Church had lost a third of its membership over the preceding thirty years, had drifted into revisionist doctrines and had wasted opportunities in leadership and mission. Valiant and sustained efforts to renew ECUSA from within had, unfortunately, not provided enough impact to slow the church’s dramatic slide deeper into false teachings and practices." - From anglicanmissioninamerica.org.
A NEW CHURCH HOME
Many Episcopal Church members, and clergy, take issue with what is happening in the ECUSA and have broken away. The Archbishop of Canterbury supports the more Bible based Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes. Dissenting Bishop Duncan is internationally increasingly recognized as the head of the Episcopal Church U.S.. Contrary to my near decade long hopes, my Church didn't happen to be a breakaway church, in fact very much to the contrary. Much financial support given to Episcopal Churches however, including some protesting churches, is still transferred directly for support of the central church that is responsible for the crisis the ECUSA now faces.
Perhaps this crisis had something to do with the House of Bishops methods (step IV #1) along with Scripture-tradition-reason, in the hands of unreasonable, pop-culture and perhaps politically driven rulers. Prior to his election in the 90s "The Net" reported that presiding Bishop Frank Griswold rated a 10 out of 10 with the homosexual community, which may have also helped to form the current state of affairs. We can only pray fervently that the ECUSA will rethink its break with scripture and Anglican beliefs, and reverse its apparent descent into the darkness into which it has been heading for quite some time.
DIOCESE IN NEWARK CLOSING CHURCHES
"And the DIOCESE OF NEWARK this week announced that massive closures were in their future. Jack Croneberger, Newark's bishop for six years, said in his November/December column that "maybe as many as one-third" of the diocese's 114 churches, '... are struggling mightily to keep the doors open.'" "The fiction put out by the liberals that Robinson's consecration would see a giant influx into the church with their new fangled doctrine of inclusivity was a fiction. Louie Crew's diocese, Newark, is in total free fall with some 40 suburban parishes ready to close their doors and Bishop Croneberger, the inheritor of Spong's disastrous legacy has no message to proclaim to stop it." For those who have disenfranchised here are some Calvary Chapel affiliates in New Jersey. Also read "Gay issues slowly erode Episcopal membership"
"In Catonsville, the Rev. Steven R. Randall, pastor of the new Emmaus Anglican Church, was the first Episcopal priest in the country to leave the denomination after Bishop Robinson's consecration was approved. Now meeting in the gym of Bishop Cummins Memorial Church in Catonsville, Emmaus is looking for an 8,000-square-foot space for the 120 to 130 believers from five counties who attend Sunday services."
HOMOSEXUAL SUICIDE RATE IS ALSO HIGH IN COUNTRIES THAT ARE LIBERAL
Some, like Louie Crew, have blamed the high rates of mental disorder and suicide within the homosexual community on the lack of acceptance by society, or homophobia, but the facts might suggest otherwise. "An extensive study in the Netherlands undermines the assumption that homophobia is the cause of increased psychiatric illness among gays and lesbians. The Dutch have been considerably more accepting of same-sex relationships than other Western countries -- in fact, same-sex couples now have the legal right to marry in the Netherlands. So a high rate of psychiatric disorders associated with homosexual behavior in the Netherlands means that psychiatric disease cannot be attributed to social rejection and homophobia. The Dutch study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, did indeed find a high rate of psychiatric disease associated with same-sex sex behaviors."
Bishop Frade who heads the Southeast Florida diocese was one of the Bishops who voted in favor of the ordination of Bishop Gene Robinson and also supported the resolution passed by General Convention that states: “We recognize that local faith communities are operating within the bounds of our common life as they explore and experience liturgies celebrating and blessing same-sex unions”. Frade also serves on the board of Food For the Poor. Compassion International is an excellent alternative that is approved by the ECFA.
Frade had intended to abstain from voting but later said that one of the reasons he was influenced into voting affirmatively for the ordination and "liturgies celebrating and blessing same-sex unions" was because of the young people that spoke.
"The first [factor] was a meeting with our young people attending “Count Me Faithful”, a youth event held during our General Convention. Our youth wanted to know why I had not made up my mind. Listening to them, I realized that these young people, born in the 1980s, had a perspective on the truth very different from that of a man born in 1943!"
Indeed I am sure they did! Thus it would seem he was influenced, in part, by young people who have the highest rates of personal sexual uncertainty (running as high as 26% for 12 year olds). Also science is finding that the human brain is not really mature until the age of around 21 to 26 years old.
THE SLIPPERY SLOPE FOR BIBLICAL RELATIVITY
How far can things go when we head down the path of Biblical/moral relativity? A man named Dr. Ralph Underwager who claims to be a Lutheran pastor was interviewed by Paidika, the infamous Dutch journal of pedophilia in 1993. Paidika asked: "Is choosing pedophilia for you a responsible choice for the individual?" To which Underwager replied: "Certainly it is responsible.... Pedophiles can boldly and courageously affirm what they choose. They can say what they want is to find the best way to love. I am also a theologian and as a theologian, I believe it is God’s will that there be closeness and intimacy, unity of the flesh, between people...." Underwager declared that "pedophiles need to become more positive and make the claim that pedophilia is an acceptable expression of God’s will for love and unity among human beings."
"'Unitarians from Boston to Berkeley have opened another front in the liberal crusade to expand the definition of marriage and family in America.' ' Polyamory is not an alternative to monogamy. It’s an alternative to cheating,' said Jasmine Walston, who lives in Louisville, Ky., and is president of the Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness. 'For some of us, monogamy doesn't work, and cheating was just abhorrent to me,' she said."
Don't let a female Episcopal pastor brow-beat you into thinking you are wrong for believing that women should not be clergy. The group of people in the Anglican Communion who believe that women should not be clergy have equal standing with the people who believe that women should be allowed. Scripture is pretty clear in that while women may be allowed as Deacons, they should not be the head of a church. Anglican Catholics do not allow it. Nor most non-denominational churches. Could the increase in female participation be part of the reason that the ECUSA is in the state that it is today? It is a fact that every single woman in both the House of Representatives and the Senate is pro-abortion, even though a new majority of American women are against it. How does this speak in regard to female "leaders" in general?
NOT ABOUT "COMMITTMENT" BETWEEN PERSONS, BUT ABOUT SCRIPTURE
For the Church, the subject of so-called "blessing" of homosexual sexual relations should have nothing to do with love or "commitment" and only to do with scripture. I can tell you without equivocation that I do, in fact, love my dog dearly and unconditionally, as he does me, and we are in an absolutely and mutually committed relationship. Should it follow then that.....?
Consider the actions of the ECUSA moving directly contrary to the worldwide Anglican Communion, with whom they claim to be in communion, when viewing the Random House definition of HERESY: "Opinion or doctrine at variance with the orthodox or accepted doctrine, esp. of a church or religions system. HERETIC: "1. a professed believer who maintains religious opinions contrary to those accepted by his church or rejects doctrines prescribed by his church." Here's the 1998 Anglican Communion, Lambeth Conference stand: "homosexual ordination, same-sex marriage and homosexual practices are 'incompatible with Scripture". Additionally consider the 62 Bishops, and their followers, going against nearly 2000 years of Christian Church doctrine and understanding of scripture.
IS APOSTASY TOO STRONG OF A LABEL?
Apostasy in the Church - For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lust shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Tim 4:3-4)
"Who would ever have dreamed that we would be a generation that would produce ministers such as Bishop Spong of the Episcopalian Church? This apostate delivered an Easter, 1997, message to Foundry United Methodist Church (where the President and First Lady attend) in which he states that, "Jesus was a 'drag queen' and the Ten Commandments are immoral"!!!" - Gary Fisher - "Apostasy in the Church"
Lev 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.
Rom 1:26-30 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
1Cor 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 1Cr 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1Cr 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Act 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord,
And especially for clergy peddling false doctrine:
Romans 1:16-32 - 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them.
TERRIFIC INTERACTIVE BIBLE RESOURCE
Here is an interactive link for looking up Bible verses in different bible versions, and languages, including Greek and Latin, with key words, phrases, etc. which I have found to be a terrific resource. Save it as a bookmark for future reference.