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This latest action taken against Bishop Lawrence and the Diocese of South Carolina is indicative of the brokenness and ongoing division within The Episcopal Church and wider Anglican Communion over a number of important theological, moral, and societal issues, not the least of which include: the interpretation and authority of Holy Scripture as the Word of God; the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as "the way, the truth and the life;" the responsibility and means by which a bishop is to "guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church;" the true purpose and nature of marriage as intended by God; as well as the never ending debate over human sexuality and sexual relations outside of marriage between one man and one woman.
Closely tied to all of this is the current debate over the true polity or structure of The Episcopal Church which directly impacts the numerous lawsuits within the Church over property and assets totaling untold millions of dollars....
Sadly, we seem to have reached a point in the life and history of the Church that any action taken by a conservative bishop or diocese to uphold their understanding of Holy Scripture and the traditional teaching, polity and Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church risks having charges brought against them if their actions are deemed to threaten or challenge the majority view, particularly in regard to polity issues and the control of Church property and assets. If the conservative voice is to have any future in The Episcopal Church, there must be a way to address controversial issues and to differentiate from that which is believed to be inappropriate or offensive.
Bishop Mark Lawrence is and continues to be a dear friend and Brother in Christ. I believe he is one of the finest and most capable bishops to serve in the House of Bishops in recent history.
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Previous entry (below): Another South Carolina Rector Writes his Parish About recent Developments
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