In the wake of the Episcopal Church’s approval for clergy to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies, the Rt. Rev. John Bauerschmidt, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee calls for a time of prayer as he determines how to proceed locally, the Tennessean reports.
The Episcopal Church deputies and bishops met for a General Convention in Salt Lake City and voted to allow clergy to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, but gave bishops the final say as to whether those in their local diocese could do so.
They also said clergy could decline to perform a marriage without consequence.
Bauerschmidt has in recent years said he considers relationships between men and women one of the “most basic foundations of human culture,” and he has not given local clergy the go-ahead to bless same-sex marriages.
“The effects of the General Convention’s decisions do not go into effect until December 2015,” he said. “Individual bishops and dioceses are left with broad discretion in implementing these decisions. This is a time of prayer and discernment before responding.”
(Let us pray for Bishop Bauerschmidt to continue to hold to biblical doctrine and uphold biblical marriage. I’m sure he faces incredible pressure from the gay lobby, including higher ups in his denomination. I do not know him personally, but I have attended one of the churches in his district, and have always been impressed by his leadership.)