In recent years, the Episcopal church has often been one of the most liberal denominations of the Christian faith. They pride themselves on full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals into the congregation.
In 2003, they welcomed their first openly gay bishop and in 2012, extended “a provisional rite of blessing for same-gender relationships was authorized, and discrimination against transgender persons in the ordination process was officially prohibited; and in 2015, the canons of the church were changed to make the rite of marriage available to all people, regardless of gender.”
Transgender individuals are also allowed to become ordained ministers in the church.
Earlier this year, they dropped gendered language for God, stating “Fixed boundaries of gender identity are being challenged and churches need to respond. This resolution is a clear response to the systematic oppression and violence that transgender people experience on a daily basis.”
So God is genderless and don’t refer to Him as Father or any other masculine term.
Now, in an effort to make their wedding ceremonies more gay friendly, they have dropped the terms “husband” and “wife” from the service.
According to a report in the U.K. Telegraph, the phrase ‘the union of husband and wife’ is replaced with ‘the union of two people.” It also “replaces the section which talks about part of God’s intention for marriage being ‘for the procreation of children’ with the phrase ‘for the gift of children’ to make it more relevant for same-sex couples who may wish to adopt.”
Now, if a gay, lesbian or transgender individual walks into my church – I think we should welcome them. I think they should be treated as people and not excluded because of a life choice or sin. There’s a difference between tolerance and acceptance and if they are seeking God, we might be their only connection to Him. If we shun them because of a sin in their life, we’re not being very good examples of Christ’s love. And like it or not, sin is sin and we all stumble from time to time.
However, for a church to radically go against Biblical principles of marriage and family, condone and even perform un-Biblical marriage unions, then there’s a very big problem with that church. We can’t make the Bible fluid to the popular culture of the day. That’s not how it works. It’s clearly laid out how we should live our lives, what God does and doesn’t view as sin and clearly the Episcopal church has thrown that out the window in favor of cultural relativism. That’s doing a major disservice to their congregation because while God does indeed love all, that doesn’t mean people can do anything or commit whatever sin they want and not face consequences.
Other denominations considering similar changes to church practices might want to take note of this as well. According to RedState, the Episcopal Church “have lost nearly a third of their members, an exodus which sped up after 2000. They’ve spent $18 million in a single year suing their own local congregations -who tried to secede from the church to align with the more conservative Anglican church- over property.”
Maybe God is punishing them for their disobedience?