Friday, February 23, 2007

A golden oldie from Bishop Dorsey Henderson

To those wondering about my personal decision: Beloved, I tell you this in tears because it will hurt some, if not many. I did not consent to Canon Robinson’s consecration. At my own consecration as bishop I vowed to "guard the faith, unity and discipline of the Church." As a Church we have not yet determined that the traditional understanding of Holy Scripture on sexuality has been incorrect. Until such time as we may do so theologically, I am convinced that a decision to consent would be a violation of that vow. My intentional efforts at convention have been to establish the structure for doing the necessary theological homework, and they will continue. My commitment to inclusion for all of God’s children is equally firm. In the interim, may God and God’s people of whatever diversity forgive me if I acted in error.

+Dorsey F. Henderson, Bishop of Upper South Carolina, August 5, 2003 (link, pp 14 and 19)
Again, that was 2003.

Is not the season for doing the theological homework very near? Two things are very clear in the primate's Communique. No where is it stated that we may not question traditional teaching on sexuality. It is clear it is all right to study it. It is clear what a change in teaching would mean (unless the Anglican Communion also changes its teaching).

The daily episcopalian points out this question is being raised by many. And like the daily episcopalian, that is how I read the Presiding Bishop's Word to the Church:
While those who seek full inclusion for gay and lesbian Christians, and the equal valuing of their gifts for ministry, do so out of an undeniable passion for justice, others seek a fidelity to the tradition that cannot understand or countenance the violation of what that tradition says about sexual ethics. Each is being asked to forbear for a season. The word of hope is that in God all things are possible, and that fasting is not a permanent condition of a Christian people, nor a normative one. God's dream is of all people gathered at a feast, and we enter Lent looking toward that Easter feast and the new life that will, in God's good time, be proclaimed.
Then on to disambiguation. Do not fear it for fear you will not get your way - if you do you have made an idol.

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