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I truly hope that Gene Robinson, the priest set to become the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church USA, is innocent of the charges leveled against him yesterday. Just as Episcopal bishops were set to vote on his accession, Robinson was accused of inappropriate physical contact with a man, and of being connected with a website for gay youths that linked to pornography.

I’m a doctrinal conservative–a fundamentalist, I guess–but I am suspicious of the timing and nature of these accusations. I sincerely hope conservatives with the Episcopal Church aren’t taking matters into their own hands and trying to smear Mr. Robinson in God’s name.

Everything I’ve read about Gene Robinson indicates that he’s a decent guy. He’s been together with his male partner for 14 years. However, this doesn’t change the fact that his lifestyle is clearly in rebellion to the word of God.

Not Episcopal Church doctrine, not Western cultural tradition, but the word of God Himself as recorded in scripture.

I would hope that the Episcopal bishops would base their votes not on Mr. Robinson’s personal qualifications, or on whether these last-minute accusations prove false, but on whether he is serving the Lord according to God’s word.

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