It’s looking that way.
A day after a legislative body of the Episcopal Church voted to sell the denomination‘s New York headquarters amid budget cuts and declining membership, church leaders on Saturday adopted legislation to give transgenders the right to become lay and ordained ministers.
At the church’s ongoing week-long General Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., the House of Bishops approved proposal that would amend two canons to prohibit discrimination based on “gender identity or expression” in the lay and ordained ministry discernment process and in the overall life,worship and governance of the church, Episcopal News Service reported.
The House of Deputies, the other legislative body of the bicameral General Convention of the Episcopal Church, must approve the legislation to pass at the convention.
The bishops’ move overlooks the fact that 200,000 members and 300 parishes have left the denomination in the past few years partly due to the church’s leftist policies on social and political issues. Nine years ago, the church approved its first openly gay bishop.
For many in the church, Saturday’s resolution was about “inclusion.”
“I am pleased that these resolutions did pass in that they have the very significant effect of validating, in the eyes of the church, the humanity of those who are transgender,” the Rev. Carolyn Woodall of the Diocese of San Joaquin was quoted as saying. “We are greatly misunderstood and there is a widespread lack of knowledge about what it means to be transgender.”
Read more, including reaction, at the link.
Meantime, Episcopalian writer Sarah Hey offers some analysis:
If a layperson with perfectly good xy chromosomes [male] or with perfectly good xx chromosomes [female] but who imagine themselves as the opposite sex, and then undergo surgery and take hormones in order to further foster their personal beliefs about themselves or who simply cross-dress or otherwise “differ from majority societal gender norms” cannot not “be considered” as a nursery volunteer or vestry member or any other part of the local parish’s leadership for which they may wish to volunteer.
Their disordered actions, something that is a pathology, barring a chromosomal or other physical disorder, cannot be a part of any decision to exclude them from consideration in any part of church leadership, whether clergy or laity. This perfectly parallels the theology and foundational worldview of those who have driven the acceptance of non-celibate, same-sex relationships as well.
It has been clear for some years now that the people leading us at the national level—90% of bishops, lay and clergy deputies to General Convention, and those serving on national commissions and committees—are not competent, healthy, or ordered in their theology or foundational worldview. It is one thing to love sinners [as we all are], and to love those with mental illness [as many of us have]. It is another thing to re-name pathologies as “good and healthy”, to enshrine those with such pathologies as leaders of a church, and to force others to pretend as if disordered affections or gender identities are functional and wholesome.
Every foolish and dysfunctional decision our leaders make at the national level has a huge effect on parishes and dioceses at the local level. Average Sunday Attendance [ASA] has plunged 23% over the past decade in The Episcopal Church and 16% just in the past five years—view the trends of the past five years here.
There is good reason for that plunge. Parishioners, clergy, parishes, and entire dioceses have left The Episcopal Church as a direct result of these unrelenting, escalatingly foolish and destructive decisions.