Episcopal Priest: 'I Can No Longer Submit to Our Bishops'
Similar Reactions Reported in Texas, Colorado
by Fred Jackson and Jody Brown
(AgapePress) An Episcopal pastor in Maryland is comparing his denomination to a "flying coffin doomed to destruction and despair" -- and says it will "carry more people to hell than it will save."
Rev. Steven Randall's comments came yesterday as he went before his congregation to denounce last week's decision by church leaders to endorse an openly homosexual bishop. The move has saddened, shocked, and angered many Episcopalians who believe their leaders have betrayed God's Word.
Randall, pastor of St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Catonsville, Maryland, has decided to do more than just complain. The Washington Times reports his congregation gave him a standing ovation yesterday when he announced he would no longer obey his bishop, and that his church will cease sending its monthly $5,000 pledge to the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.
Randall says he is not resigning. But he knows his move will likely cost him his job -- and the pension and other benefits that go with it.
As he put it: "People will say I am just bailing out -- but I am following God's call as best I can."
Randall was not the only Episcopal priest registering his dismay from the pulpit yesterday.
According to The New York Times, Rev. David Roseberry of Plano, Texas, delivered a "rousing" sermon that ended with a "thunderous" ovation from his congregants.
"There are things in the Bible that are not up for a vote," Roseberry is quoted as telling hundreds of worshippers at Christ Church Episcopal on Sunday morning. "In two days, in two votes by less than 600 people, 4,000 years of biblical teaching was overturned.
"We ought to be shocked -- but we are not surprised," he said, referring to the confirmation of open homosexual Gene Robinson as bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire.
And in Colorado Springs, Rev. Donald Armstrong told his congregation they had the right to direct their financial contributions as a way to register their protest. Armstrong said parishioners looking for a way to express their discontent with their church leaders' decisions last week could restrict their gifts to the local parish and thereby withhold contributions to the national Episcopal Church or the Diocese of Colorado.