A good reason why we are Continuing Anglicans.
In a recent exchange, a conservative Episcopalian who considers Women's "Ordination" to be unimportant, made the following comment to a reader of The Continuum:
"There is, likewise, a reason there are no sites with comparable readership [to Stand Firm] that focus primarily on the matter of women's ordination: NOBODY GIVES A S... "
Greg Griffith of Stand Firm in Faith
(expletive, as in profanity, deleted by me.1)
This statement is worth thinking about. How can anyone fail to consider that the Episcopal Church lost more than a third of its entire membership in the late 1970s and early 1980s due wholly to this one innovation of women's "ordination?" And, why is it that all of us in the Continuing Churches have been dismissed by this high profile individual with the word "Nobody?" If "nobody gives a ...", then I take it that all of us are nobody.
Why do conservative Episcopalians imagine that the issue of women's "ordination" has not been a cause of major concern? The answer is that people enclose themselves in circles where mutual affirmation of a position, be it fact, theory or delusion, takes the place of proof and lends undue confidence. Among conservative Episcopalians it has become a cornerstone and sure foundation of faith that women's "ordination" does not really matter very much, even if it its opponents might be correct. It is, in their estimation, a secondary issue. What matters, in fact all that matters, is that the Anglican Communion is being torn apart by the issue of "Gay" bishops and Same Sex Blessing.
Yet, even among these conservative Episcopalians who cannot understand the importance of correcting the Women's "Ordination" heresy, one wonders why it is the issue of Same Sex that creates an emergency. With marriage having been relegated into a place of insignificance by no less than the examples of several bishops leaving their wives to marry other women, with liberalism about abortion, with essential doctrines such as the Incarnation, the Virgin Birth, the Trinity, the Resurrection of Christ, the authority of scripture as the inspired Word of God as received and taught by the Church, all thrown on the ash heap and treated as merely optional, why do they finally wake up over this one issue? The homosex issue of the Episcopal Church is not the first issue in the heresy line. It has come at the end. And, those who have awakened only now are not in a position to demand credibility as spiritual, wise or orthodox people. They are not orthodox, even if comparably orthodox against someone even worse. They have tolerated every heresy that has led to this homosex crisis, and have exposed their own children to the evils and infidelity of the Episcopal Church for decades. Now, one prominent person of their number has spoken truly, but only about his own tolerant fellow conservative EUCUSAns, "nobody gives a ..." Yes, and that has been their problem all along. We are not impressed.
I quote myself from Touchstone, A Journal of Mere Christianity:
" After all, what the homosexualists have been able to do is to base their arguments upon a foundation already laid for them. That foundation has included relaxation of the moral laws about sexual behavior. It has also included the confusion of sex roles ever since women were first “ordained” in the Episcopal Church. The conservatives have accepted these things, but hope now to credibly and effectively oppose the homosexualist cause. This cannot be done."
Besides, as our brother Ed Pacht has pointed out, this is not about orthodoxy, but about "the Yuk factor." They can live with denial of the major doctrines of the Faith, and with acceptance of immorality and notorious clergy. But, homosexuals are gross. On that they draw the line. Gee, how orthodox.
Also, how much of this is a revulsion to homosex, and how much is a revulsion to the solution it requires of many individuals, namely, celibacy? The worship of the creature over the Creator is where the path begins to that damned state of being "given over," as St. Paul warns in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. Same Sex attraction that is acted upon is only the last step there. It begins with worshiping the creature of sex instead of the Creator. But, what causes conservative Episcopalians to get upset is this above all: That anyone could be a celibate.
1. Is there any site that focuses primarily on women's "ordination?" I think not. Nonetheless, both The Christian Challenge and New Directions, each of them respectively, have more readers than Mr. Griffith's site.