Recently, sister Tam Thompson of Texas sent me a copy of a letter she has mailed to the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefforts Schori. Needless to say, her letter touched my heart as it is demonstrative of the pain many Christians today are feeling as various church denominations are abandoning biblical principles right and left, many of them to the extent there’s hardly any doctrinal truth left within them! If not at the top of the list, the Episcopal Church, which Tam Thompson is a member of (for now at least), is very close in this regard.
Sister Thompson’s letter:
Ms. Tam Thompson
**** ***** ******
*****, Texas, *****
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefforts Schori
Diocese of Nevada
6135 Harrison, Suite 1
Las Vegas, NV 89120
June 20, 2006
Dear Bishop Schori,
I am writing to you with a torn heart. I am a lifelong Episcopalian, baptized at Christ Church Cathedral in Houston, and most recently a parishioner of St. Michael’s of All Angels in Blanco, Texas.
I have been following your election as Presiding Bishop as well as your public statement that homosexuality is not a sin. I have also read Bishop Gene Robinson’s recent statement that, “I am not an abomination.”
What I’m not hearing is any distinction drawn between the sinner and the sin—and any condemnation of homosexual behavior as the sin that it is. As you well know, we are all sinners, and I don’t condemn anyone for their preference or feelings—we can’t help what we feel. I have sinned as much as anyone and I sincerely repent of it. And since I’m human, I will no doubt sin in the future. But I pray I will recognize it, stop it, repent of it, and go forth and sin no more.
I don’t see this recognition, cessation, and repentance from Bishop Robinson, nor do I hear you calling for it. And I should. We are called by God to love our neighbors, but we are also called to be righteous and to adhere to sound doctrine and shun false teachings. The fact that the practice of homosexuality is a sin should never be used as a pretense for persecution of gays and lesbians…but by the same token, the possibility of persecution should not be used as an excuse to permit sin to go un-rebuked. It is part of your job to rebuke sin.
I know what I’m talking about here. I was a lesbian for 15 years…and then I prayed to the Lord and he changed my heart. It was truly a miracle. Change can happen—all things are possible with God.
But even though my heart was miraculously changed, I do understand that we often can’t help our inclinations, orientations, or our feelings. What we can help, and what I do not see you addressing, are behaviors and actions. I am not going to quote scripture to you since you no doubt know it better than I, but you know that homosexual behavior is a sin. It’s in the Old and New Testaments.
Somewhere along the way, the Episcopal Church—in an effort to be all things to all people, to not give offense, and to be politically correct—has bundled together the concept of loving the sinner with loving and celebrating the sin itself. The thinking has become, “If we welcome homosexuals into our churches, we must also welcome their sex lives.”
This is wrong. It is against scripture. It is against God.
And where does it end? What’s next? At the next Convention, will the Episcopal Church say, “Most marriages don’t last anymore, so now adultery is not a sin?” Or perhaps: “Since the U.S. Supreme Court has pretty much abolished the concept of private property with the Kelo eminent domain decision that lets private developers take your land, stealing is now no longer a sin?”
Where does it end?
I do not want to be on the wrong side of God so I am taking a stand right now.
I am calling upon you in the name of God the Father and Jesus Christ of Nazareth and of the Holy Spirit who lives within all of us Christians to change your stance and renounce all sin—including homosexual practice. Let me be very clear: I am not saying to shun homosexuals, since all of us are sinners—me, too. I am talking about actions—the action of sin.
If I do not see this done, I will have to leave the Episcopal Church. I will not support doctrine which directly contradicts scripture and goes against God. And honestly, it wouldn’t really be me leaving the Episcopal Church so much as it is the Episcopal Church leaving me.
I do not want to have to answer to God for supporting apostasy and you shouldn’t either.
Please consider what I have asked of you in prayer and feel free to contact me if you wish to talk with me. I will pray for you and for our church.
Your sister in Christ,
Praise the Lord for sister Thompson’s faithfulness in writing to her Bishop, as well as her testimony presented in this instance. Herself a practicing lesbian for 15 years, Tam turned her life over to Jesus Christ and was changed! Now, in support of the Word of God, Tam is standing up against what she once practiced herself – homosexuality. Does faith in Christ as Lord and Savior change lives or what?
Another recent example of the Episcopal Church’s downhill slide, which sister Tam Thompson’s letter doesn’t even touch on, is found in an article by VirtueOnline. The opening paragraph reads as follows (emphasis added mine):
The House of Deputies of the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church today overwhelmingly refused to even consider a resolution that affirmed Jesus Christ as the “only name by which any person may be saved.”
A subsequent paragraph within the same article details the content of the proposed resolution, clearly demonstrating just how apostate the Episcopal Church has become (emphasis added mine):
Drafted by the Rev. Guido Verbeck, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Western Louisiana, Resolution D058 declared the Episcopal Church’s belief in an “unchanging commitment to Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the only name by which any person may be saved,” and it acknowledged evangelism as “the solemn responsibility placed upon us to share Christ with all persons when we hear His words, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No-one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6).”
What kind of Christian church overwhelmingly rejects Jesus Christ as the only name by which any person may be saved? Aren’t we told, in both John 14:6 above, as well as Acts 4:12, that this is an undeniable truth of the Christian faith? Of course we are!
The article quotes one of the liberals responsible for the resolution being discharged, a Rev. McDowell of the Diocese of North Carolina, as saying that how one lives his life is the more important issue than whether one affirms Jesus as Lord.
Further, McDowell said the essence of “self-righteousness” is to place a statement of belief over actions. Reverend McDowell obviously believes in a works-based form of salvation, which is assuredly outside the teaching of Scripture!
Ephesians 2:8-9: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
I have a newsflash for Reverend McDowell and anyone who would buy into logic such as his: How one “lives his life” isn’t going to have a thing to do with where one spends eternity! That is determined solely by one’s relationship with JESUS CHRIST — or lack thereof! Period.
I hope everyone who reads this commentary will remember Tam Thompson in prayer, as well as everyone else who is watching helplessly as churches they have long been associated with toss God’s commands aside as though they are irrelevant in today’s politically correct world.
The apostates who are taking over many churches today are so bold, as seen in this instance, they’re throwing Jesus Christ Himself aside! God help those who are remaining in these churches and being shepherded by these wolves in sheep’s clothing!
In closing, I want to quote two Episcopal leaders quoted in the Virtue Online article whose words were, for me, heart-wrenching to read:
Reverend Donald Perschall, rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Centralia, Illinois: “On top of leaving the Anglican Communion, we’ve decided to leave Jesus Christ behind as well.”
Dr. Michael Howell of the Diocese of Southwestern Florida: “This clearly shows that we are of a mind that does not affirm Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. And we should not be surprised that our church is dying spiritually.”
70.5% of those who voted on the topic of considering the resolution affirming Jesus Christ as Lord voted against it, leaving only 29.5% in favor of affirming Christ as Savior! The Episcopal Church is, at this point, shamefully apostate, but I don’t want it to seem that this commentary is exclusively critical of the Episcopals. The Presbyterian Church isn’t much better, having encouraged divestment against Israel in recent years, as well as, most recently, opening its doors to gay clergy, as seen in a Reuters article. And the list goes on, of course.
What we’re seeing take place in each of these examples, as painful as it is for all of us who are striving to hold the line for Christ in these end times to see, is literal fulfillment of Bible prophecy, specifically end times Bible prophecy! If there’s any good news to be found in a commentary like this, it’s that this type of apostasy proves Jesus is coming again — and soon!
1st Timothy 4:1: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;