Friday, October 28, 2005
A Proposed Resolution in the Diocese of Vermont to Support the Episcopal Coalition to Abolish Biblical Literalism (ECABL)
News and Views
By Dennis E. McFadden
A new term has entered the ecclesiastical lexicon. Rather than merely castigating conservatives as "evangelicals" (a term laden with unsavory overtones in many ethnic communities) or "fundamentalists" (virtually an epithet of revulsion since the rise of Islamo-fascism), our Episcopal sisters and brothers in Vermont have opted for the term, "Biblical Literalism." They have even proposed the creation of an Episcopal Coalition to Abolish Biblical Literalism (ECABL).
Resolved, That the 173rd Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont support the creation of the Episcopal Coalition to Abolish Biblical Literalism (ECABL), provide funding for ECABL for a period of three years (2006-2008) at a minimum of $1.00 each year, and receive a report from ECABL regarding its activities while it is supported by the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont; and be it further
Resolved, That we of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont support every effort to free our Episcopal and Anglican Church from the slavery of Biblical Literalism which might be used to separate us from our sisters and brothers made in the image of God and used to marginalize persons who may be different from us: persons of color, women, and gay and lesbian persons; and be it further
Resolved, That we call upon the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church to support all international efforts to free the church from the slavery of Biblical Literalism, especially as it is used to marginalize persons different from us: persons of color, women, and gay and lesbian persons . . .
[Posted in ECUSA Dioc Conv, ECUSA and cited in
The explanation of the proposed resolution recounts that authority in Historic Anglicanism has been “based on the authority of Scripture, Tradition, and Reason, and the use of these authorities leads to wise, healthy, and holy Biblical Literacy.” However, “Biblical Literalism” has been used to support “unjust and immoral positions by the Episcopal Church.”
Named among the immoral stands buttressed by appeals to “Biblical Literalism” have been slavery and, more recently, a rejection of Civil Unions for homosexuals. Admitting that all may not agree that Civil Unions are an “outward and visible sign” of God’s work, the drafters of the document put forth their resolution as a beneficial first step to begin moving toward a more healthful approach to the Bible.
You've come a long way, baby! We have migrated from the "Thy Word is truth" days of the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, the Thirty-nine Articles, and the Book of Common Prayer to the ECABL. Such progress!