Saturday, June 24, 2006


I just returned from the ordaination of three men to be deacons in Christ's Church. During the Sermon, Bishop Stanton reminded us who are ordained and the laity that the ordination vows are to be "loyal to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this Church has received them." (emphasis mine)

The past perfect verb "has received" shows an action that was completed and has implications for today. My brothers and sisters, the revelation has been received. It is not in the process of being received. We may come to understand the revelation clearer or more fully, but it has been received. The question of blessing Same Sex Unions and ordining men or women sexually active outside of holy matrimony is not one of discipline (as the reappraisers would have us believe) but one of justice and righteousness. Justice and Righteousness are not opposites nor are they two separate concepts. They are the same. It is impossible to be just without being righteous and impossible to be righteous and unjust. We who are ordained must live in right relationship with God and are called to a higher standard of behavior because we are leaders of the faithful. We re-present Jesus Christ to the Church and to the world. None of us can live that righteous life, but that does not exclude us from the obligation to try and to fall to our knees in repentance when we fail. Sex outside of marriage is failing to live a righteous life. Holy Scripture and Tradition are clear on this and the Church was clear on this until 2000 or 2003.

I am and will remain an Episcopalian in communion with my bishop and the Archbishop of Cantebury. I will stand on the faith that this Church has received and will hand that faith (and no other) to those among whom and with whom I minister.

Phil Snyder

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