ECUSA’s Future: a Glimpse Afforded by the Present
Two telling glimpses of what the Episcopal Church (USA) is becoming, in front of our very eyes, appeared in General Convention commentaries today.
The first came up in the context of a proposal to authorize the use in church readings of the English Standard Version of the Holy Bible. The ESV is essentially a revision of the already-authorized Revised Standard Version of 1971, and has received scholarly approval, on the whole. (Your Curmudgeon has the Study Version on his desk, and consults it regularly to compare with other versions. Its complete text, like that of the New English Translation, is available free online.)
Let on-the-scene reporter Lauren Anderson tell the tale:
The House of Deputies is considering the authorization of new translations of the Bible, including the English Standard Version with the Apocrypha, for use in lectionary readings.
While discussing a proposed resolution to add the Contemporary English Version (1995) and The Contemporary English Version Global (2005) to the list of authorized translations, the English Standard Version was proposed as an additional translation option.
Proponents said the ESV is widely used and growing in popularity, and has the additional benefit of being available free on the web, making it an efficient option for preparing handouts and PowerPoint media.
“The English Standard Version is a wonderfully popular version. We’re trying to be relevant. We’re trying to be current. We’re trying to become more and more in touch with the world around us. This version is,” said the Ven. David Collum of the Diocese of Albany.
Others opposed the amendment, saying it is not within the purview of the House of Deputies to make a decision about authorizing Bible translations.
“I think for us as a body to micromanage the work of the theologians of the Episcopal Church is not our job,” said Denise Crenshaw of the Diocese of Michigan.
This is the Episcopal Church (USA) as it used to be—expressing viewpoints of wide diversity, from all over the map. But watch what happened next (pay close attention, now—I have added the bold to assist you):
Deputies voted in favor of the amendment to add the ESV translation to the resolution, but later reopened the discussion when the validity of the translation was called into question by a deputy who found a verse from the ESV that used the word homosexuality. The house ultimately decided to reconsider the amendment as its first order of business July 8.
Oh, my goodness—do you realize what happened here? According to the standard LGBTQI mantra, “homosexuality” is a term that cannot be used to translate any word or words in the Bible, because the Bible was written two thousand years ago, when no one could even conceive of, let alone depict or describe, what the term “homosexuality” covers. (See, for instance, the explanations of Resolutions D002 and D019 which passed the House of Bishops earlier today.)
So because of that one word appearing at one place in the ESV, that translation must be BANNED from ALL Episcopal lecterns and pulpits. All thanks to the diligent and quick work of one deputy, whose terrifying announcement was enough to cow the entire House of Deputies into reconsidering the matter.
Anyone care to guess how these paragons of political correctness will vote today, July 8?
Now let us turn to the second glimpse of ECUSA’s future. Cherie Wetzel of Anglicans United should need no introduction to SF readers, but she and her husband have been attending and covering General Conventions for nearly twenty years, and perhaps longer. She is a member of a “Prayer Warriors” team at this GC, and takes her duties very seriously, as a loyal, upstanding and orthodox Christian should at these affairs. But look what happened when she accidentally and innocently wandered into this (my bold emphasis):
To my surprise this morning I walked into the bathroom designated for transgendered people. The door was not labeled ( it is now) and I was clearly not welcome. Yes, transgendered people are making their presence known at this Convention and making the push for their place at the table.
Welcome to your future, O Episcopal Church!
Further comment, at this point, would be superfluous.
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