USA – TEC General Convention Dumps Evangelism Resolution

GC2009: General Convention Dumps Evangelism Resolution

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
7/13/2009

At GC2000 in Denver, The Episcopal Church passed a resolution urging the church to double its baptized membership by 2020.

The doomed “‘Decade of Evangelism”‘ only got wider with the consecration of Gene Robinson to the episcopacy in 2003. The church has been steadily going downhill since then, losing more than 50,000 active Episcopalians in 2007.

Objections were raised to a numerical goal at that time, but other deputies have argued that the lack of such a goal is what “doomed” the Decade. It began with great fanfare in 1990, but actually saw a decline in the number of Episcopalians for most of its ten-year span.

Now at GC2009, General Convention was called upon once again to Affirm Christ in a Multi-Faith and Non-Faith (C069). The Rev. Dr. Peter Cook, clergy delegate for Western Louisiana, brought the resolution to the floor. Without so much as a by your leave, the House of Deputies voted to accept the Evangelism Committee’s recommendation to discharge the resolution submitted by the deputies from Western Louisiana.

It was a bitter blow for Cook, a British-born evangelical and a priest for nearly 25 years in TEC. He told VOL that if the Church of England House of Bishops could pass a similar resolution in February 2009 affirming the uniqueness of Jesus Christ in a multi-faith world, then why couldn’t the Episcopal Church do the same?

“The Evangelism Committee objected strongly to the resolution and said they thought it was the language of proselytism and exclusivism and they objected to any talk of Christianity superseding Judaism. I was blown away,” Cook told VOL.

Cook said his bishop, Bruce McPherson was “very comfortable” with the resolution. McPherson is one of a handful of remaining orthodox bishops in The Episcopal Church.

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