As one whose responsibility it is to guard the faith, unity and discipline of the church, let me be clear. The diocesan policy I uphold is not one of my own invention or devising. Rather, it is the teaching of the Church for 2,000 years as derived from the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. It is based on the order of creation as recorded in Genesis and reasserted in the Gospels when Jesus says: “From the beginning of creation ”˜God made them male and female.’ ”˜For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’” (Mark 10:6-8).
Obviously, there have always been people who for one reason or another are unable or unwilling to live by this standard. These “exceptions to the rule” are matters of personal conscience between the individual and God. They do not, however, supplant or replace the traditional teaching of the Church, which until recent times was unquestioned as the behavior expected of all Christians.
The Episcopal Church and the other churches of the Anglican Communion have traditionally held together the Liberal, Catholic and Evangelical wings of the church by common worship and a common relationship with a bishop in the historic succession. This theoretically provides us with balance, correction and comprehension for the sake of truth.
What we are seeing in our national church and in other parts of the Anglican world is Liberals moving out on their own without benefit of the moderating and balancing effects of Catholic and Evangelical perspectives.