Monday, October 1, 2007

Fellowship or bigotry?

The Episcopal church is in a bit of turmoil right now. Does anybody care?

The conservative factions within the denomination are, on the basis of about a dozen vaguely worded Bible verses, denouncing homosexuality as sinful. The liberal factions are, on the basis of other equally vaguely worded Bible verses, moving toward accepting gay people into the fellowship.

Here's one issue: At least one openly gay person has been selected as a bishop. The conservatives are rejecting Bishop Robinson because of the sinfulness of his lifestyle. The liberals are supporting him to try to pacify the gay rights community. Nobody is bothering to notice whether he's managing his diocese correctly.

Here's another issue: Some liberal leaders are proposing to introduce rituals to celebrate same-sex commitments for gay people, apparently just to make points with the gay rights folks. Conservatives are opposing these proposals on the basis of a few Bible verses. Nobody is concerned with improving the quality of the church's fellowship.

The worldwide Anglican Communion is, for the most part, siding with the conservatives.

Should the Episcopal church break away from the Anglican Cmmunion? Should the Episcopal church split apart and part of it stay with the Anglical Communion?

This is the sort of thing that's bound to happen to an organization based on nothing. Yes, I'm calling the Bible "Nothing" because it's simply a haphazard collection of primitive mythologies of various bronze-age nomadic tribes. Nobody is examining it in the light of modern knowledge.

Continuing examination of relevant facts would enable us to come to a consensus, and later to modify that consensus when more facts become known. But we can't do that. It would involve regarding the Bible as being of merely historical interest.

Contrast this with Darwin's Origin Of Species and the modern theory of evolution. We now recognize that Origin Of Species contains many factual errors, as Darwin, himself, predicted would be found. As a result of scientists' willingness to examine new observations, the theory of evolution has been greatly strengthened.

Now actually, I think it would be good for Christianity to break up into as many squabbling denominations as possible. It would eliminate the possibility of religion regaining the immense monolithic oppressive power it had during the Dark Ages.

If that means that our church can no longer provide viable fellowship, I'll just quit. No heartburn, no hard feelings. Fellowship can be had elsewhere.

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