The Right Reverend Mark J. Lawrence of South Carolina is a bishop in the Episcopal Church. He has remained with that old, American Episcopal Church, which during the Revolutionary War had been the church for American patriots who, for logical reasons, could no longer belong to a church intimately connected with the British Crown, despite its many changes.
Bishop Lawrence is one of the few significant clergyman left in that church since its drift toward “politically correct” theology beginning in the 1960s. Many former Episcopalians, both parishioners and clergy, have broken away. They adopted the “Affirmation of St. Louis” in September 1977, which affirmed the historic and immutable nature of Christian doctrine. Among the principles acknowledged to be part of that doctrine were the sanctity of human life at the time of conception and human sexuality is only moral when it's between a man and a woman in marriage.
Bishop Lawrence chose to stay with the church into which he had been brought, even though that church was now pronouncing that abortion was acceptable in a broad number of cases, that homosexuality was an acceptable human relationship, and that clergy need not be male, or even heterosexual. He continued to preach what his parishioners believed — what his church formerly espoused — despite the fact that these were in conflict with those who now ran the Episcopal Church.
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Photo: The Right Reverend Mark J. Lawrence