Thursday, July 9, 2009

Salvation is for communities, not individuals, says Presiding Bishop

Thursday, 9th July 2009. 4:31pm

By: George Conger for Religious Intelligence

US Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori has denounced as a “heresy” the proposition that individual believers can find salvation through Jesus Christ.

The grace of God is a gift to the community of believers, not for the individual believer, Bishop Jefferts Schori said in her opening statement to the 76th US General Convention, meeting in Anaheim, California from July 7-17. The presiding bishop set the tone and the agenda for the 10-day meeting of the US church’s triennial synod, loosening a broadside against conservative evangelicals, while calling the church to engage in social action.

While offering strong dollops of rhetoric to her supporters among the politically dominant left-wing of the Episcopal Church, the presiding bishop, however, is quietly pulling the Episcopal Church back from direct confrontation with the wider Anglican Communion --- pursuing a policy of consolidating the left’s internal political gains within the Episcopal Church while pursuing an entente with the wider Communion over the question of gay bishops and blessings.

Support for relaxation of the ban on gay bishops and blessings remains high among lay and clergy deputies to convention, but the mood of the House of Bishops at the start of convention was somber --- with little enthusiasm evident among the bishops to repudiate the call by Lambeth 2008 and the ACC for forbearance.

[. . .]

The few remaining traditionalist members of the House of Bishops were less encouraged by the presiding bishop’s remarks, with one bishop musing that the presiding bishop’s words were hard to reconcile with Paul’s statement that if one confesses with his lips and believes in his heart that Jesus is his Lord and Saviour; he will be saved, as found in Romans 10:8-10.

[. . .]

The Presiding Bishop’s “ignorance of the Bible and Christian theology is nothing short of breathtaking” the Dean of Moore College in Sydney, Dr Mark Thompson told Religious Intelligence.

[. . .]

For evangelicals “more serious still” was the presiding bishop’s “caricature” of a confession of faith that she said made salvation dependent “ on reciting a specific verbal formula about Jesus’,” Dr Thompson said.

The confession that “Jesus Christ is Lord’ was “certainly a form of words,” but “they are never simply words,” he explained. “They represent a fundamental orientation of life which includes a willingness to have our thinking and behaviour shaped by the One we acknowledge has such a supreme claim upon us,” he noted.

“Perhaps more time should have been given to considering how idolatrous is an institution which demands loyalty to itself above faithfulness to the word which God has spoken,” Dr Thompson said..

Please read the entire article here.


Dale Matson said...

It would be interesting to know what she even means by the word "salvation". I don't believe the P.B. would consider an afterlife. Her kingdom is of this world and we are "saved" by good works done for the church. It seems that doctrinal language is being redefined.

Fr Van McCalister said...

Likewise, Episcopal Divinity School (EDS), Cambridge, Massachusetts is proudly announcing their recent selection for Seminary President and Dean, the Rev Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, who is a pro-abortion activist, gay activist and leads Political Research Associates who promote a progressive socio-political agenda.

Dale Matson said...

We've gone from "..blessed is the fruit of thy womb." to Katherine Ragsdale's comment that abortion is a blessing. I personally believe that most public universities would have paper screened her for her controversial comments. She was unamimously approved by the EDS leadership.

gurneyhalleck1 said...

I just can't get over how any "remaining traditionalists" could stick with this sickening denomination? How, and WHY would any self-respecting bishop with traditional values remain in the TEC at all? How can an orthodox, Bible-believing, Patristically-minded bishop stomach sitting alongside abortionists, gay marriage supporters, female ordination fans, people who believe Jesus is "a" way not "the" way to God the Father, people who believe in goddesses and measuring carbon footprints over the Stations of the Cross? I cannot believe these guys are true traditionalists or orthodox if they chose to remain in Sodom and Gomorrah when they had the way out into the promised land. Nuts!?

And perhaps you, Father Van, can answer this for me. Why do Anglicans of the orthodox, traditional, Bible-believing brand find it so important to align themselves with Canterbury? In my opinion, Canterbury is as bad as TEC in accepting a gay agenda, have loose morality, not standing for anything, having female bishops, and for being more of a secularized political entity than anything? Canterbury has no real pull or ability to sway or inform the Anglican ethos anymore so what is the point? Why does ACNA even bother to try and join with Canterbury and feel the need to legitimize themselves only when Rowan Williams accepts them?

I say forget Canterbury and be Anglican by following the 39 Articles, the prayer book, traditional morality, and above all else, Scripture! The quicker Anglicanism is free of the Lambeth conferences and the ABC the better...And I'm a Roman Catholic!

Fr Van McCalister said...

GH1 -

While most of us have given up any hope of TEC repenting and changing direction (unless the Lord initiates a revival), some still hold out hope that the members of the Anglican Communion can effect change at Canterbury and recover orthodoxy for the majority of the Anglican Communion. Time will tell.

Nicholas said...

I think, sadly, time has _told_. There is nothing encouraging coming out of England.