Church split more complex than portrayed

02/04/2013 5:00 PM

02/02/2013 7:53 PM

Re Jan. 30 column by Issac Bailey, “Maybe political Christians must part ways”

Issac Bailey, before offering, as a single issue, the secularist view about the controversy between the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and the theology of the national Episcopal Church, should have taken the time to actually determine the facts and real issues in contention, many of which date back more than 70 years.

Contrary to the viewpoint presented in recent media articles, by the dissidents, and, now, by Mr. Bailey as their apparent spokesperson, the roots of the split concern much more fundamental theological issues than so-called gay rights and marriage.

The dissident faction has made a straw man issue of gay rights to deflect attention from the much deeper issues of the current direction of church theology and belief. An enumeration of the many areas and canonical positions in dispute is beyond the scope of this brief response, but when a “governing” church body, as just one example, questions the actual divinity of Jesus Christ there are much deeper theological issues involved than mere questions about acceptance of gay marriage and ordination.

Bailey’s simplistic presentation of this controversy as simply one of differing political viewpoints on a single issue does not only a disservice to readers but snidely implies ignorant, intolerant bigotry to those not accepting the latest social viewpoint du jour.

Bailey no doubt subscribes to a “living theology” as he seemingly does to a “living Constitution” for the country at-large. However, contrary to Mr. Bailey’s flexible relativistic viewpoint, certain truths reflect a reality that is immutable, irrespective of current “progressive” insights.

May I suggest that in any future articles on Episcopal theological issues that Mr. Bailey take the time to in fact research the issues in depth rather than regurgitate the dissident talking points presented to him.

The writer lives in Conway.

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