Like all the mainline denominations, Episcopalians are fighting over whether or not sodomy is sin, as well as whether sodomites should be elevated to rule as bishops. Interestingly, some of the most aggressive advocates of sodomy are not yet ready to see sodomites become bishops, not because they are unrepentant in their sin, but because of a broadly shared concern that electing another sodomite to the bishopric will split their Anglican communion worldwide. The Africans have made it clear they won't stand for it and many biblical Episcopalians here in these United States are threatening to leave the denomination.
This is the context for an article that ran in the May 5, 2006 New York Times titled "Episcopalians Divide Again Over Electing Gay Bishop" in which Bishop Kirk S. Smith of the diocese of Arizona is quoted saying, "My No. 1 directive as a bishop is the unity of church, because schism is a greater sin than heresy."
The bad bishop is, of course, an advocate of sodomy, as well as of sodomites being promoted to the office of bishop. But recognizing the divisiveness of his position, he thinks it's better to delay electing a sodomite to the bishopric for a few years. "I think everyone will breathe a sigh of relief if it's not a gay candidate, and that's sad." Thus, Bishop Smith says it's a "heresy" to call sodomites to repent and to oppose their elevation to the office of bishop.
But the true believer knows there can never be peace or unity where the doctrine of Christ or the holiness without which no man will see God is despised. If a man in the church in Galatia continued in his error, demanding Gentiles be circumcised and men earn their salvation, Paul called down God's curse upon him because he was opposing the glory of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. "Let him be anathema!" Paul says.
And clearly Paul would remind those who advocate sodomy today of the great separation of fire and brimstone God rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sexual perversion...
He would warn the Episcopalians that "these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things" as those consumed by the wrath of God in the Old Testament did. (1Corinthians 10:6ff.).
Schism is a greater sin than heresy? No. Where Jesus Christ is not honored and His righteousness is spurned; where God's authority is cast off; where evil is called good, and good, evil; where prophets and priests cry "Peace, peace!" where there is no peace; there is no Church.
Schism is a greater sin than heresy?
Yes, this is mainline religion. Deny the historicity of Adam and Eve; deny the Fall; deny original sin; deny the abiding authority of God's Moral Law; deny the Virgin Birth; deny the deity and sinless life of Jesus Christ; deny the substitutionary atonement; deny the Divine inspiration of Scripture; deny the exclusivity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; deny the eternity of Hell torments; and what is heresy?
In such a godless human organization, all that's left is mans' search for transcendence and his sharing the journey with others engaged in the same enterprise. Among such men, the only truth is the need to get along with one another. It's really not at all that one sin is worse than another, but that there's only one sin left--not getting along with one another.
My only question is how on earth followers of Jesus Christ can continue to claim to be in Christian fellowship with such men, attending presbytery meetings and sharing the Table Fellowship of our Lord with them while knowing full well that, across their denomination, the Sacraments are not rightly administered, the Word of God is not rightly preached, and discipline is dead.