Know Not What They Say

June 20, 2006

Some Christians are attacking the Episcopal Church for electing a woman as their Presiding Bishop. Some gleefully suggest that this will continue to add to the problems in the church. What is troublesome is how happy these Christians seem to be to see division among their brothers and sisters.

There is just one problem—their attacks are not accurate. Consider the comments of Southern Baptist leader Al Mohler. He argues:

The crisis in the Episcopal Church USA and the larger Anglican Communion deepened as the American church's election of a woman as the denomination's Presiding Bishop sent shock waves throughout the Anglican world.
Most of the post then talks about the Diocese of Forth Worth appealing for "relief." If only Mohler knew what he was talking about. Instead, he seems all too excited to play up problems in the Episcopal Church.

Mohler should first check in with some Episcopalians to understand what is actually happening here. For instance, Jim Naughton at the Daily Episcopalian is blogging from the meeting and offers some good explanations about how the reporting of the event is really missing the point. He calls the reports of divisions over the election "turmoil mongering." He adds:

For those of you not following the convention closely, what actually happened, was that one diocese, Fort Worth, which has already petitioned the Communion's panel of reference for alternative oversight, has renewed its request, this time with an appeal to Dr. Williams.

It is a curious requests because in the Episcopal Church, the Presiding Bishop does not exercise authority over dioceses. So Fort Worth is asking to get out form under that which is not on top of it. I am filing a request this morning to be free of the tyranny of the British king! It is as sensible a maneuver as what Forth Worth pulled yesterday, but I don't think it will make the papers.

Be not afraid folks. No matter how hard they try to scare you.
With some nice humor he explains how the secular media is misreporting the situation. Unfortunately, some Christians are also engaging in "turmoil mongering." What is sad is that they are spreading gossip about their brothers and sisters in Christ in an attempt to harm the ministry.

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they say.

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