The US Episcopal Church Should Take a “Time Out” in the Repentance Corner

The worldwide Anglican leaders struck a big blow to the US Episcopal Church and the Canadian Anglican church last month when they requested the two bodies voluntarily withdraw from an international committee until 2008. This disciplinary act marked the culmination of a series of emotional and divisive debates surrounding the ECUSA’s ordination of an openly homosexual bishop and the Canadian church’s sanctioning of gay unions.

The two churches have yet to comply with the call to formally split, and North American Anglican leaders have been quick to evade the topic of division by alleging no decision has been finalized; the US and Canadian churches say they will prayerfully decide on whether or not they should leave during their own meetings in coming months.

It seems ludicrous for the two denominations to think they have a say in the decision at this point and time. International leaders pleaded with them for over a year to repent and turn back to biblical orthodoxy by placing moratoria on sanctioning same-sex unions and ordaining actively gay clergy, but the North American churches have consistently rejected the requests.

The two church bodies must now realize that being a part of a fellowship or communion is a blessing and privilege – not a right that can be misused. The recent meeting confirmed that after months of reckless abuse, their rights to fellowship have been stripped.

The Archbishop of Canterbury said after the meeting that “any lasting solution will require people somewhere along the line to say, 'Yes, we were wrong'."

Hopefully after three years in the “time out” corner, the two churches will realize the destructive nature of their actions, repent, and confess that they surely were wrong. If not, the entire Communion is doomed to forever obsess over a debate on the acceptance of a lifestyle already clarified in the scripture as sinful, and sidetrack the greater commission to save the lost.