Not content with having brought his own denomination to the brink of schism and collapse, Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson toddled into Washington to spread the joy to United Methodists. According to Jeff Walton of the Institute for Religion and Democracy, he preached last Sunday at Foundry United Methodist Church, and invited them to follow him down the yellow brick road:
A United Methodist congregation should conduct same-sex marriages despite church law prohibiting them, according to Bishop Gene Robinson of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire.
Robinson and his fellow gay activists have turned the Episcopal Church’s canon law into a hunk of Swiss cheese through selective enforcement. The result is a denomination where congregations, priests and members are fleeing in droves, and anyone who is not sold out to the activists’ agenda feels as though they are in headquarters’ cross-hairs. So naturally he wants Methodists to join the party. It’s no surprise that Foundry can’t wait to do so:
Foundry states on its website: “We are conscious of positions that The United Methodist Church has taken that are opposed to same-gender marriage, but those aspects of church discipline are in conflict with the deeper emphasis of the church’s Book of Discipline upon the gospel of grace and pastoral care for all of God’s children.”
Translation of “gospel of grace and pastoral care for all of God’s children”: of course you should be able to boink anyone you want. What kind of a killjoy would say otherwise?
Robinson’s presence at Foundry and message to the congregation served to demonstrate the Washington church’s position as being at odds with that of the denomination.
“Our preacher of the morning is often introduced as the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, but that is not particularly why we invited him here this Sunday,” Snyder said.
No, I’m sure that was a total coincidence. I’m sure they asked Pittsburgh Bishop Bob Duncan (head of the breakaway evangelical Anglican Church in North America) first, but he was busy.
The New Hampshire bishop explained that change happens when a person begins with a worldview that interprets the world and the things that happen in it.
“Then along comes an experience for which that worldview is insufficient and inadequate to explain and incorporate this experience,” Robinson said, explaining that the person then enters into a kind of chaos. “Coming out on the other side, you either have to deny the reality of that experience or you come out on the other side with a revised and transformed worldview that now takes that experience into account. That is exactly what the church, the synagogue, the mosque all over the world is encountering now with homosexuality.”
That’s precisely what happened to Robinson. His theology (which from what I’ve heard is–or was–substantially more evangelical than that of most Episcopal gay activists), not to mention the Bible, collided head-on with his sexual desires. Guess which won.
Robinson connected his account of change and homosexuality with Acts, chapter 3, where St. Peter heals the crippled beggar at the temple gate.
“If you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, that is your story. That is my story. We know what it is like to be told you can only come so far,” Robinson said. “Do you know what it is like to sit at the door and beg, to be told that our affliction makes it not okay to come to the center of the church’s life? We know what it is like when someone in the name of Jesus tells us to stand up and walk, that we are loved beyond our loudest imagining, that we too are God’s children and that we too are beneficiaries, heirs of God’s creation. We run into the temple and we proclaim God’s love.”
“Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people are coming into the temple and they are bringing their beloved partners and they’re saying it’s God that has done this,” Robinson continued. “What happened in the ancient temple was that the powers that be got really mad.”
I read stuff like this, and I can’t help but wonder: is he being deceptive, or can he simply not read? The apostles didn’t just offer the beggar entry into the Temple; Peter healed him (or rather, God did through Peter). Robinson wants to believe that he should be admitted to the Temple, not only without being healed, but with God putting His stamp of approval on his ailment. The healing of the beggar on Solomon’s Porch was a miracle of divine transformation, which folks such as Robinson would maintain is not only not necessary, but decry as offensive to who they are. He’s happy engaging in behavior that Scripture prohibits; why can’t God be just as thrilled?