"Whenever a priest or a deacon in the Episcopal Church is removed from ministry, the cleric's diocese sends official notification to every active bishop. In the years since the church's controversial General Convention of 2003—a convention that, among other things, consented to the ordination of a partnered gay bishop—most notices contain a disclaimer: "This action was taken for causes that do not affect moral character." This is code language. It usually means that the priest or deacon has left for reasons of conscience.This is a story that Presbyterians need to read and consider carefully. The reference to "tares" is from Matthew 13:24-30 ("tares" in the KJV is translated "weeds" in the NIV):
The departures are painful to me. Many of these clergy are beloved friends, not names on a form but fellow disciples, conscientious followers of Jesus. Why do I not join them?..."
Mt 13:24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
Mt 13:27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
Mt 13:28 “ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
Mt 13:29 “ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ ”
--New International Version
It's God's job -- not ours.
Technorati tags: Religion, conscience, schism