Mohler: When “Gracious Restraint” Fails
Mohler, once again, nails the issue and exposes how Williams’ approach has failed us:
In a statement released after the election of Rev. Glasspool as bishop, Archbishop Williams stated that her election “raises very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole.” He concluded by stating: “The bishops of the Communion have collectively acknowledged that a period of gracious restraint in respect of actions which are contrary to the mind of the Communion is necessary if our bonds of mutual affection are to hold.”
That is the language of a man who—judging by his words—is far more committed to affection than to truth. His continuing calls for “gracious restraint” have only earned him the anger of both liberals and conservatives. The liberals are frustrated, to say the least, that Williams appears to lack the courage of his own convictions. Conservatives see his continual refusal to act against the rebellious Episcopal Church as evidence that he does hold those convictions, but is simply biding his time.
Here is a great lesson: We cannot reduce a question of truth to a question of process. The real question that confronts the Anglican Communion is whether their churches will bless homosexuality. Liberals see this as the necessary liberation of oppressed human beings from prejudice. Conservatives see the blessing of homosexuality as a direct rejection of Scripture, a violation of Christian tradition, and an act of rebellion against God.
“Gracious restraint” will not hold back strong conviction, as the actions in Los Angeles make clear. The conservatives and the liberals agree on this much—“gracious restraint” is no excuse for violating conviction on a matter of this significance.
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