The Episcopal Church’s ratification of same sex marriage at its General Convention in Indianapolis on Tuesday is the almost logical outcome of its decades long trajectory away from theological orthodoxy. It reveals a heterodox understanding of the universal church, of the Scriptures, of human nature, and of the full identity and mission of Jesus Christ. The Episcopal Church joins the even more liberal United Church of Christ in redefining marriage. Both denominations are among the fastest declining in America. That decline will continue indefinitely and maybe even accelerate.
Even more troubling is the Episcopal Church’s official embrace of transgenderism. Here is essentially a Gnostic faith that mental and emotional self-realization trumps physical reality. Each self-actualized individual can in fact perpetually reinvent himself or herself into endlessly possible new sexual identities. Male today, female tomorrow, then some yet to be determined new gender next week. The Christian hope and understanding that the human body is called to be a sacred temple of the Holy Spirit that will ultimately resurrect, as Christ resurrected, for all eternity is largely lost or ignored under the transgender ideology.
What is the ultimate ceiling or floor of this strange new course upon which the Episcopal Church is launched? Only God knows. But certainly the denomination will become even more so the preserve of largely upper income, white, liberal urbanites who have the luxury to indulge in utopian fads. The Episcopal Church was once derided as the Republican Party at prayer. Now what is it? MSNBC at prayer?
Meanwhile, the global Anglican Communion, now perhaps over 80 million strong, is thriving in most places. Once a leader in that communion, the Episcopal Church, at 1.9 million members and fast falling, absent a massive influx of cross dressing spiritual seekers, faces a sad. cloudy future, mostly dependent on the endowments bequeathed by the long deceased. Yet the Holy Spirit still lives on this earth, and He may yet reclaim what others consider hopelessly lost.