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Appointment Of Bishop Of New Hampshire


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We're getting news on this side of the Atlantic that Gene Robinson is likely to be appointed as the new bishop of New Hampshire. This is great news. Not sure if people over in the States will have heard about recent goings on in the Church of England, but there's recently been a failed attempt to appoint a man who was gay and celibate to an episcopal post over here. The appointment of Gene Robinson will send a very encouraging message to those over here who have become disillusioned with the conservatism of the British church. Congratulations to the people of New Hampshire!

 

Best

 

Gordon

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Thanks for your message. Many of us were very pleased by the General Convention's approval of Bishop Robinson's election. We were also pleased by the honest, open, reasonable and fair way in which this controversial appointment was approved. A time to be proud of the church.

Lester Hunt

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My only concern is that it doesn't cause a rift. I, too, am glad to see that his appointment went through, but as a recently converted Episcopalian, I don't want to see a schism. But if it must be, then so be it. I will stay with my church.

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It has been simply amazing to me to witness the amount of public outcry from within certain ranks of the Episcopalian/Anglican community against elevating this gay priest to the role of bishop. As I understand it, the Church of England (aka Episcopalian/Anglican) was born in response to a pope's denying King Henry VIII a divorce from one of his many wives; i.e. that denomination was created (at least in significant part) in order to allow King Henry to divorce. Clearly, they have shown a rather liberal stance re: divorce (something Jesus spoke out quite clearly against divorce - especially ones not in response to adultery). For people of that denomination to cry-out against homosexual behavior between consenting adults (something which Jesus never uttered a word against) is hypocricy.

 

I happen to belong to another denomination which also allows for divorces and we do so by following Jesus' example of emphasizing the spirit of the law rather than the letter of it. We do our discerning via full consideration of scripture, tradition, reason, and experience. We take the Bible seriously but not always literally. Would that more persons would apply this same gracious spirit regarding homosexuality as well!

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Re: the concerns about the Episcopal Church "spliting" over this issue...

 

When the Episcopal Church voted to allow women to serve as fully ordained priests (pastors/preachers) a stubbornly conservative faction split off and have been referring to themselves as "Anglican-Catholics" ever since. With the current decision, perhaps a few more such stubborn souls will join them, but I don't think it'll be many.

 

To decide to allow women to be ordained and to allow divorce were choices that were prayerfully discerned and deemed in sync with the spirit of Jesus (who was an ethical radical and relativist) - even though a strict/literal/wooden reading of the Bible would suggest that these things are inherently wrong. The new decision to allow a deeply faithful man who has earned the high regard and esteem of his fellow brothers and sisters to serve in the role of bishop (even though he is of a different sexual orientation and relationship than the majority of his peers) shouldn't be considered any "worse" or even "different" than this denominations previous decisions.

 

It isn't a matter of antinomianism (anti-law), it's a matter of being the kind of Christian who has a relationship with God versus one who perceives that they have a responsibility toward God. Jesus advocated the former and challenged the latter.

 

Examples: The sabbath was made for man (humanity), not humanity for the sabbath...

He healed on the sabbath; he spoke to women in public; he allowed lepers to touch him; he touched dead persons; etc.

 

I respect persons (though also feel sorry for them) who try to read all of the Bible in a literal manner; however: 1) Jesus didn't do it, Paul didn't do it (when it came to gentiles); and 2) they'd have to be consistant and, aside from certain Amish groups; I can't think of any who really do this; e.g.

 

- there would be no allowance for divorce except in cases of adultery

- there would be no allowance for the ordination of women as priests/pastors

- there would be no allowance for being tolerant of straight couples who live together outside of marrige while simultaneously bashing homosexual couples.

- there would be no allowance for war or for the death penalty

- there would be no allowance for suing people in public courts

- there would be no allowance for life or property insurance

- there would be no allowance for working on the Sabbath

- Christians would worship on Saturdays instead of Sundays

- there would be no allowance for gambling

- there would be no toleration of such massive disparities between the rich and poor in our nation and in the world

 

I could go on all day, but the point is, Christians can't really help but to prayerfully "pick and choose" what portions of scripture we take literally and which ones we take symbolically, etc. This explains why we have over 2,500 different denominations!

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I'm heartened by these posts - thanks for the terrific lists BroRoger. I'm an Anglican by choice because I see it as the church of inclusion. Jesus included everyone at his table. So should we. And we need more good role models of committed relationships. Then we will all start to see that it's not just a question of "What is right?" but "What is loving?" We human beings can be a hard and unforgiving lot.

 

"Ohana means nobody gets left behind or forgotten."

- Lilo

:lol:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I have mixed feelings actually. I am not a part of the Episcopal Church, I am a part of ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). However, my best friend is an Episcopal deacon, studying to be a priest. My main problem is not so much with the ordination of a gay bishop but that he left his wife and kid and that a lot of people closer to the situation have seriously questioned his ability to be a bishop and have an effective ministry (totally apart from him being gay). Sometimes we can be so eager to give positions to minority people that we give them to people who are otherwise unqualified, if this makes sense. And yet, its not my place to judge him or say that God cannot use him. So I have a "wait and see what happens" approach.

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  • 1 month later...
Well, I have mixed feelings actually. I am not a part of the Episcopal Church, I am a part of ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). However, my best friend is an Episcopal deacon, studying to be a priest. My main problem is not so much with the ordination of a gay bishop but that he left his wife and kid and that a lot of people closer to the situation have seriously questioned his ability to be a bishop and have an effective ministry (totally apart from him being gay). Sometimes we can be so eager to give positions to minority people that we give them to people who are otherwise unqualified, if this makes sense. And yet, its not my place to judge him or say that God cannot use him. So I have a "wait and see what happens" approach.

Just to confirm that Gene Robinson did not leave his wife for another man as I understand it, they were already separated by mutual agreement and his former wife was already in a relationship with someone else when Gene became involved in his current relationship.

 

Unlike the UK (where I am from), Gene Robinson was duly elected by a rigorous search process and then elected by his own diocese with overwhelming support un line with the canons of the ECUSA. This whole process was scrutinised and endorsed by the clergy, laity and bishops at the General Convention. There is no hint of this being done to please a minority, merely that he was selected on a track record of ministry and was selected because he would be a good bishop with his sexuality as irrelevent to this process.

 

Actually I see no eagerness to give gay people positions so I doubt this is at work. Indeed we are still treated as lepers by the majority of the Church. ECUSA is one of the very few provinces to proclaim the full humanity of gay people - all power to them!!

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