They Say We Have Abandoned The Commumion
I was ordained in the Anglican Communion by Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh. Of all the men I have known in my life, Bishop Duncan is one of the finest, most loving, most noble. He has not always moved as fast as I would like. He has not always done things the way I wish he would. But he is a man who has earned my respect and love.
About four years ago, I was "deposed" by another bishop, the then bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee. This means that I was stripped of my authority to minister in the Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Church is (for now) the official, yet estranged, Anglican province in the United States. The charge under which I was deposed? Abandoning the Communion.
When this happened, I had already been received into the Anglican Province of Rwanda. I was still very much in the Communion. I am what I was--an Anglican priest who has certainly not abandoned the Communion. I had left the Episcopal Church because I could no longer morally participate in it, but I had not left the Communion. Or, that's what I thought.
Now Bishop Duncan has been deposed on the same grounds: abandoning the Communion. The fact that Bob Duncan stands for Christ and that he is well loved and respected across the Anglican Communion does not seem to bother the people who are doing this.
Let me explain. There are bishops in the Episcopal Church who deny the divinity of Christ, who deny his resurrection, who deny the Cross, who deny the authority of the Bible. They disbelieve the words of the liturgy, the Creed, the Gospel. They teach others to practice sinful behavior, and bless it in the name of Jesus.
These bishops have not "abandoned the Communion." No, it is those of us who can no longer abide their non-Anglican, non-Christian teaching and practice who have abandoned the Communion.
This shows me something. When the Episcopal Church speaks of "the Communion" they are not referring to the Anglican Communion, or the Communion of the universal Church, or the Communion of Saints, or the Communion of Christ. They are referring to the "communion" of their denominational bureaucracy. Their "communion" is isolated from Anglicanism, and isolated from the Christian Church Universal.
Now that is a "communion" I did not mind abandoning. And I welcome Bob Duncan into the club of those of us who have been expelled from it. If you want to read more, go here.
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