'God Is Doing A New Thing,' Bishop-Elect Says

July 7, 2008 - 8:21 PM

(CNSNews.com) - "I'm not interested in being anyone's poster child," said the first openly homosexual clergyman elected to serve as a bishop in the Episcopal Church.

The Rev. Canon V. Gene Robinson, who won Saturday's election to lead the New Hampshire diocese, told NBC News on Tuesday that his vision of the church focuses on "justice for all people and bringing people from the fringes back into the church."

In a "Today" show interview, Robinson said every denomination in the church is dealing with the issue of homosexual clergymen.

"And I think that's because God is doing a new thing. God has taught us about people of color, God has taught us about women, and now God is teaching us about gays and lesbians as being his children."

He said his election tells the world there is no one beyond God's love.

Robinson said although some unhappy people will leave the church, "we will also be gaining many people into the Episcopal Church because they want to belong to a church that is inclusive."

He mentioned letters he's received from Episcopalians around the country. "I'm getting letters from an orthodox monk in North Dakota, from little kids saying, 'I want you to confirm me.' There was a little girl in Florida who said to her priest, 'I want to be baptized in that church.' It doesn't get any better than that."

Asked what he would say to people who leave the church because of his promotion to bishop, Robinson said he would reply, "This breaks God's heart, that you would let something like this stand in the way of our commonness in the Body of Christ."

Robinson said he expects conflict in the weeks ahead and even welcomes it: "Bumpy rides are where we meet God," Robinson said.

Today show host Matt Lauer's interview focused exclusively on Robinson's homosexuality. Lauer did not ask Robinson about the breaking of his marriage vows, when he left his wife and two children for someone else.

Also see:
Homosexual, Divorced Bishop-Elect Sets Wrong Example, Critics Say (10 June 2003)