Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I greet you in the name of our most sovereign and glorious Lord Jesus Christ and I pray that His grace and peace would be with you. I am writing out a profound sense of sadness and concern for the open letter, which you recently published (1/29/08). I am known to some of you personally and several of you I have counted as friends and in one case, a mentor. I was deeply troubled by both your decision and your missive. I ask you in all humility to please sincerely and prayerfully consider what I put before you and ask that you please reconsider your decision not only for your own sakes but also for those under your spiritual charge. . .
1. I urge you to consider the cost of staying in what one can only describe as a theologically toxic relationship, not only for you undersigned (that is the authoring clergy) but more importantly the souls of the faithful in your care. It is one thing for you to feel a need to be on the frontline but quite another to place one’s sheep needlessly before wolves. Have you truly counted the cost to your flock not only of leaving but also and perhaps, more significantly of staying? What are the risks of leaving as compared to the significant danger to staying within TEC?
2. It seems to smack a bit of hubris to think you can witness or hope to effectively do so when so many before you have faithfully done the same for nearly forty years to no avail. . .
To continue to dog TEC’s progressives with calls to reform and renewal from within seems to me have now moved into a distressing form of institutional codependence. They do not wish to change and we conservatives should respect their decision and release them into it with our prayers. Even Jesus, told his disciples there would be times they were to shake off the dust and move on (c.f. Matthew 10:14). . .
4. Since you have invoked the public with your letter, informing them of your decision, I for one feel that as clergy and leaders you need to provide a clear and biblical rationale for your decision. Your citation of Ephesians 6:6, does not adequately address my concern here; if for no other reason there is nothing in the inherent in that verse or its immediate context to suggest you must remain within a specific human denomination in order to intercede for the Saints. . .
Additionally, in is incumbent upon you as leaders not only to give biblical and theological rationale for your staying but also to finish that logical equation and offer said reasons for why leaving is NOT truly an appropriate response. This is something you owe yourselves, your congregations and the universal church collectively. . .
Read it all.