Take Heart, Bishop Love

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Matthew 5:11-13).

It’s no secret that Albany is a liberal city in a liberal state. That’s why it may surprise evangelical New Yorkers to hear that Albany’s Episcopal Diocese is a theologically conservative Diocese—and that its Bishop, Rt. Rev. William H. Love, is a defender of biblical truth about marriage, family, and sexuality.

Installed as Bishop of Albany in February 2007, Bishop Love shepherds a 19-county Diocese that spans the upper Hudson Valley, the Capital District, and the North Country. Ever since the 2003 consecration of Gene Robinson—a sexually active homosexual—as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, the Episcopal Church in the United States has been embroiled in controversy over homosexuality and same-sex “marriage. This controversy is indicative of a larger conflict within the Episcopal Church over the authority of Scripture. Thankfully, not every Episcopal Diocese has embraced the sin of homosexuality; under BishopLove’s leadership, the Diocese of Albany has stood firm in faithful dissent—both here in Albany and across the nation.

In 2015, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church sanctioned the blessing of same-sex “marriages,” but allowed the bishops of eight dioceses—including the Albany Diocese—to refrain from allowing such “marriages.” In July 2018, however, the General Convention passed a new resolution allowing same-sex “weddings” to be performed in the eight dissenting dioceses as well. This action required Bishop Love to choose between following the Scriptures and allowing same-sex “weddings” to occur in the churches under his care.

On November 10, 2018, Bishop Love passed the test, barring same-sex “marriages” from being performed in Episcopal parishes within the Albany Diocese. In a letter, Bishop Love asserted that sexual relationships between persons of the same sex are “’sinful and forbidden,’” stated that the Episcopal Church had been “’hijacked by the ”Gay Rights Agenda,“’” and added that “’Satan is having a heyday bringing division into the [Episcopal] Church.’” Bishop Love added:

It is not out of mean-spiritedness, hatred, bigotry, [or] judgmentalism…that I say this – but rather out of love – love for God and His Word; love for The Episcopal Church and wider Anglican Communion; love for each of you my Brothers and Sisters in Christ, especially love for those who are struggling with same-sex attractions…

There is no doubt The Episcopal Church and now the Diocese of Albany are in the midst of a huge storm that can rip us apart if we are not careful. That is exactly what Satan wants. We don’t have to play his game. If we focus on what divides us, we will be destroyed. If we focus on what unites us – our Lord Jesus Christ — He will get us through to the other side. I pray the Lord will help us to see one another as He sees us; to love one another as He loves us; to forgive one another as He forgives us…

Predictably, not all Episcopalians were pleased with the Bishop’s directive. According to the Albany Times Union, parishioners at one parish gathered on the church steps to ceremonially burn the letter.”

Thank you, Bishop Love. At New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation, we admire your faithful witness to the truth about marriage. You will continue to face opposition because of your stand for righteousness. When that happens, we encourage you to remember the words of Christ recorded in John 16:33b: “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”