When The Rev John Yates and Os Guinness (well-known Christian apologist and cultural commentator) decided back in 2007 that the time had finally come for them to sever ties with the Episcopal Church, they explained their reasons for doing so in an article in the The Washington Post.Their article provides a brief, but exceptionally clear, analysis of issues as they see them. It might provide help to others who are trying to articulate their concerns and who are attempting to discern how much longer they can remain associated with their existing denominations.
Yates and Guinness explain that the core reason why they left is not the issue of women bishops. It was primarily not even the ordination of a practicing homosexual as a bishop, serious as though that was. It was, rather, the repudiation of the Episcopal Church of the Lordship of Jesus Christ:-
The American Episcopal Church no longer believes the historic, orthodox Christian faith common to all believers. Some leaders expressly deny the central articles of the faith — saying that traditional theism is “dead,” the incarnation is “nonsense,” the resurrection of Jesus is a fiction, the understanding of the cross is “a barbarous idea,” the Bible is “pure propaganda” and so on. Others simply say the creed as poetry or with their fingers crossed.
They go on to set out five ways in which the Episcopal Church has departed from the Christian faith:-
First, Episcopal revisionism abandons the fidelity of faith. The Hebrew scriptures link matters of truth to a relationship with God. They speak of apostasy as adultery — a form of betrayal as treacherous as a husband cheating on his wife.
Second, Episcopal revisionism negates the authority of faith. The “sola scriptura” (“by the scriptures alone”) doctrine of the Reformation church has been abandoned for the “sola cultura” (by the culture alone) way of the modern church. No longer under authority, the Episcopal Church today is either its own authority or finds its authority in the shifting winds of intellectual and social fashion — which is to say it has no authority.
Third, Episcopal revisionism severs the continuity of faith. Cutting itself off from the universal faith that spans the centuries and the continents, it becomes culturally captive to one culture and one time. While professing tolerance and inclusiveness, certain Episcopal attitudes toward fellow believers around the world, who make up a majority of the Anglican family, have been arrogant and even racist.
Fourth, Episcopal revisionism destroys the credibility of faith. There is so little that is distinctively Christian left in the theology of some Episcopal leaders, such as the former bishop of Newark, that a skeptic can say, as Oscar Wilde said to a cleric of his time, “I not only follow you, I precede you.”…The prospect for the Episcopal Church, already evident in many dioceses, is inevitable withering and decline.
Fifth, Episcopal revisionism obliterates the very identity of faith. When the great truths of the Bible and the creeds are abandoned and there is no limit to what can be believed in their place, then the point is reached when there is little identifiably Christian in Episcopal revisionism…
These are serious allegations. They are a reminder that a time may come when others may feel forced to leave their denominations, because their demoninations have left the historic faith.