Friday, November 10, 2006

The Episcopal Church is in big trouble

Albert Mohler has been listening to the new Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church USA. She seems to be departing from the historic faith of her tradition and from Christian orthodoxy. Here are some excerpts from The Thirty-Nine Articles, as affirmed by the Church of England and the American Episcopal Church:
As established by the Bishops, the Clergy, and the Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in Convention, on the twelfth day of September, in the Year of our Lord, 1801.

I. Of Faith in the Holy Trinity.
There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker, and Preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

II. Of the Word or Son of God, which was made very Man.
The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one substance with the Father, took Man's nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance: so that two whole and perfect Natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood, were joined together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God, and very Man; who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men....

X. Of Free-Will.
The condition of Man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith; and calling upon God. Wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will.

XI. Of the Justification of Man.
We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only, is a most wholesome Doctrine, and very full of comfort....

XVIII. Of obtaining eternal Salvation only by the Name of Christ.
They also are to be had accursed that presume to say, That every man shall be saved by the Law or Sect which he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that Law, and the light of Nature. For Holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the Name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.
These sections of the Thirty Nine Articles could be affirmed by most orthodox Christians, as could most of the rest of the document. Now read the statements of the new Presiding Bishop as quoted [and commented on] at
In an interview with CNN's Kyra Phillips, Bishop Schori was asked, "So what happens after I die?" Her answer:
What happens after you die? I would ask you that question. But what's important about your life, what is it that has made you a unique individual? What is the passion that has kept you getting up every morning and engaging the world? There are hints within that about what it is that continues after you die.
There is nothing even remotely Christian about that response. This woman is now the leader of the Episcopal Church in America, and she can do no better then this?

It gets worse.

Here is her answer when TIME magazine asked, "Is belief in Jesus the only way to get to heaven?":
We who practice the Christian tradition understand him as our vehicle to the divine. But for us to assume that God could not act in other ways is, I think, to put God in an awfully small box.
Jesus Christ is now only "our vehicle to the divine?" Her astounding answer to that question led an interviewer with National Public Radio to ask, "What are you: a Unitarian?" Here is the exchange:
Robin Young [NPR]: TIME asked you an interesting question, we thought, "Is belief in Jesus the only way to get to heaven?" And your answer, equally interesting, you said "We who practice the Christian tradition understand him as our vehicle to the divine. But for us to assume that God could not act in other ways is, I think, to put God in an awfully small box." And I read that and I said "What are you: a Unitarian?!?" [laughs]

What are you– that is another concern for people, because, they say Scripture says that Jesus says he was The Light and The Way and the only way to God the Father.

Bishop Schori: Christians understand that Jesus is the route to God. Umm– that is not to say that Muslims, or Sikhs, or Jains, come to God in a radically different way. They come to God through… human experience.. through human experience of the divine. Christians talk about that in terms of Jesus.

Robin Young: So you're saying there are other ways to God.

Bishop Schori: Uhh… human communities have always searched for relationship that which is beyond them.. with the ultimate.. with the divine. For Christians, we say that our route to God is through Jesus. Uhh.. uh.. that doesn't mean that a Hindu.. uh.. doesn't experience God except through Jesus. It-it-it says that Hindus and people of other faith traditions approach God through their.. own cultural contexts; they relate to God, they experience God in human relationships, as well as ones that transcend human relationships; and Christians would say those are our experiences of Jesus; of God through the experience of Jesus.

Robin Young: It sounds like you're saying it's a parallel reality, but in another culture and language.

Bishop Schori: I think that's accurate.. I think that's accurate.
A "parallel reality" to the Gospel of Christ? This is a direct refutation of the Gospel. [there is more] One reason the main-line churches are in decline is that they can provide no reason to belong. The Anglican tradition is a great tradition. The Book of Common Prayer is magnificent. It is a pity that American Episcopalians no longer seem to believe the words.

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to join the Episcopal church at one time, and likely would have except for one small problem: I couldn't find a church I liked that believed the Bible.

    At some point in my church search I started asking pastors, priests, etc. my "litmus test" question: "Do you believe Jesus is the only way to God?" I lost track of how many version of "no" I heard.

    I have heard head rectors deny the virgin birth to my face or tell me that while the Gospel writers believed Jesus was the only way, they didn't.

    How can you recite the Nicene Creed every week and not believe the virgin birth? Isn't the word for that "hypocrite"?

    How can we think the Gospel writers were in error about Jesus and we know the truth? If they were wrong about Jesus being the only way what else might they have been wrong about? How can we know if we can't trust their writings?

    After hearing, "Well, that's what the Gospel writers believed..." I knew I was in the wrong church. I felt God telling me to leave. I was tired of searching for a faithful Episcopal church at that point and finally just gave in to going to a local Baptist church - a church where I knew they believed that Jesus was the only way.

    By the way, at my SDB church I gave Pastor Steve my litmus test when I began attending. He passed. :)

    I'm thankful that SDBs, by and large, still hold to the historic gospel.


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