Episcopal Diocese may elect gay bishop

You probably have heard that in 2003 the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire consecrated an openly gay man, Gene Robinson, as bishop (who recently checked himself into alcohol-rehab as I understand it, and no doubt needs honest prayer and encouragment).

This move has caused a great deal of tumult in the worldwide Anglican communion (www.anglicancommunion.org), the thrid largest Christian Communion in the world (after Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox). The Anglican Communion is also, for the most part Evangelical and even a little bit Charismatic in its theological orientation, especially in the developing World where it is growing the fastest, unlike the very liberal (and in many places, very dead) Episcopal Church in America.

So a problem arises when a large group of people who have over the last 200 years or so drifted in very different directions all decide they want to live together, but have very different principles for living together that they are not willing to give up (we may have or soon have a similar problem in secular American politics as well).

Well, they all got together in Great Britain to try to come to a compromise and essentially said to the Episcopal Church that they need by 2008 to decide if they want to play by the rules of the whole communion or not.

It looks like the answer is "not," judging by the move of the diocese of California who, in its list of 5 candidates to be elected the next bishop included both an openly gay man and a lesbian.

What will happen? I don't know for sure, but I strongly suspect that the Episcopal Church will first get thrown out of the Anglican Communion (in 2008 at the very earliest), then it will split and the more traditional churches will form a new church or merge with an evangelical group like The Anglican Mission in America (http://www.anglicanmissioninamerica.org/) that is in communion with the Anglican Church worldwide.

The Episcopal Church's General Convention at which any elections would be confirmed and also a new presiding bishop will be elected for the whole American Church will be held June 18.

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