Monday, April 7, 2008

Presiding Bishop - scheduled to visit S. Dakota this Summer - tells us to believe in her, not the resurrection of Jesus

OK, earlier today I posted a nice, reasonable piece addressed to moderate and liberal Episcopalians. I suggested that you could continue to support your Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, while still exerting some influence on her to stop the expensive, wasteful and largely unsuccessful efforts to sue traditional Anglicans.

But then I read this wretched propaganda from Episcopal Life. Here are some "highlights":
  • "Asked about the literal story of Easter and the Resurrection, Jefferts Schori said, 'I think Easter is most profoundly about meaning, not mechanism.'" Translation: Easter is a symbolic story. You don't really have to believe that Jesus rose from the dead. To which the Bible says, But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 15:12-19
  • What, according to the Presiding Bishop and The Episcopal Church, should you believe in as a replacement for the real message of Easter? "'I met Bishop Katharine, and I'm ready to change the world.' This message was printed on miniature globes that children received from their rector as they huddled around Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on the final morning of her three-day visit to San Diego." Translation: Your church bureaucracy (the one spending way over a million dollars to sue other Christians) is more meaningful to you than Jesus. To which the Bible says, Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. Revelation to John 2:3-5

Yeah, I deleted the nice post asking you to think about how badly litigation hurts all who are involved. Never mind. Go worship your new gods, guys. You've heard the warnings and seen the evidence in your ever more empty churches. You feel the deep down fear and anxiety - the last glimmers of your fading consciences - warning you that you've traded the real Christ who loves you for a bunch of trendy melodrama. Knock yourselves out.


Anglicat said...

Please tell me that you were kidding about the message on miniature globes! You were kidding, weren't you?

Ann said...

why do you care what our Presiding Bishop says?

Anne Coletta said...

Nope, anglicat, the globes were real - check here for more!

Anglikitty said...

Ann: something along the lines of "Keep your friends close. Keep your enemies closer."

It's important to know what's going on. And I thought I couldn't be shocked anymore!

Anonymous said...

“Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29)

Anonymous said...

Our -Ingham in Canada goes one better, we should not consider ourselves created. At Halloween we dress up as great characters we can never be. KJS pretends to be a bishop of God every day.

Anonymous said...

Dear NorthernPlains:

You've just pointed out one real advantage to being only 900,000 people and the 4th largest state in the Union - we may have one cow one vote on the Eastern portion of the state - but NO +Shori visits.

Perhaps it's because of the cows she keeps her distance...

We remain happily: MontanaAnglicans

TLF+ said...

ann - I care because she is representing herself as an overseer - a guardian of souls in the service of the Good Shepherd.

Read again the passage from I Cor. 15. If a bishop is playing fast and loose with the resurrection, s/he is leading people into a spiritual wasteland. Human beings are treasured by God - they are not just "pledging units" for our projects and sycophants for our egos when we are elevated to leadership in the Christian community.

Her comment is all the more awful because one of the people present (I think Bp. Mathes) made a point of saying that Scripture was authoritative for salvation issues... to say that and then have the PB denigrate the resurrection is absurd and should be challenged.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Schori is what General Convention wanted and what General Convention deserves. She and her 815 gang are wolves devouring the sheep. The Bible tells us that when the Great Shepherd appears He will deal with false shepherds. Her spiritual blindness is so extreme that she won't understand what His coming and certainly won't recognize the mercy mixed with justice.

DennyT said...

Way to go Alice! We know who the Gate is, don't we? The true sheep always know their Shepherd's voice.

As we learned from next Sunday's Gospel (John 10:1-42), "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.

Anglicat said...

The biggest culprit in this sad story is actually the brown-nosing rector who had those globes printed (presuming that it was he who did so). Of all the slogans for the memento he might have chosen (try John 3:16!) he chose to pander to the Presiding Bishop.

cp said...

Dear friends,

Must we ALL have to understand the resurrection as you do? God must be so much larger than that.

According to 1 Kings 7:23: pi = 3.0.

Alice C. Linsley said...

By death Jesus Christ has trampled down death and leads captives from Hades' unyielding grasp to the eternal habitations He has prepared for those who love Him.

This IS the Christian understanding of the Resurrection. All are free to believe it or not. However, rejecting this belief is not an option for the Christian. That would be like rejecting the blood that flows through our veins.

Anonymous said...

cp: "Must we ALL have to understand the resurrection as you do?" Who's "you"? Bible believing Christians? I do believe in the Resurrection as is told in the Gospels. Alice is correct in her reply. This IS the Christian understanding of the Resurrection.The interpretation given by our PB is revisionism at it's best.

TLF+ said...

Whoa! Here I am, late to the dance. Thanks for the great flow of comments and the discussion, gang.

To address a couple of cp's points:

1) On "leave with your blessing, but don't take the silver" - the problem is, there's no blessing involved. Since there are no Christ-centered principles to guide us in this dispute, we are left clutching at lesser things. Some will clutch at the wierd (and dude, it IS wierd) stuff about "our unique polity and canons." Others will run to the secular courts. And because the laws will be interpreted differently, state by state, in some cases the silver will be defined as TEC's, but in many other places it will be defined as belonging to the congregation. But you know what? The real "silver" of the church - the treasure - is PEOPLE. And that's what TEC is losing left and right.

2) On whether or not all need to believe in the literal, historic and bodily resurrection of Christ - the way things used to work in ECUSA, not everybody had to believe the same thing... but the church had to teach it and express it in liturgy . The people in the pews could be all over the map concerning articles of the Creed, but the church had to say the creed and try to express the saving mysteries through it. And remember, one of the TEC dignitaries at the PB's San Diego event did say that the Bible remains normative for things relating to salvation . Read again the Bible passage I included in the post. Also Romans 10:9, "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

So, while sincere Christians might wrestle with words like that, clergy are ordained to teach this message affirmatively, and to help those who are struggling. It is a horrific betrayal of Christ to seek ordination and then deny the faith... as Alice wrote above, shepherds will be judged more strictly.

What you have now are ordained leaders teaching "other gospels" and leading people into the worst sort of error - the idolatry of the self.

David Handy+ said...

The objective, factual reality of the resurrection is indeed crucial. On that point the Christian faith stands or falls. as Paul insists in 1 Cor. 15, and Fr. Tim has rightly reminded us.

And that is especially true in our day when we have to contend with the postmodern denial of objective, universal truths in the religious realm. Either the tomb was empty or it wasn't. Either God raised Jesus so his body wouldn't suffer corruption (ala Psalm 16 and Acts 2), or he didn't.

But IF God did raise Jesus and the tomb really was empty on Easter morning, that is the most important FACT in the world to know. Because if God actually raised Jesus from death, but never raised Buddha, Mohammed, or Joseph Smith or any other religious figure, then this shows conclusively that God has put his stamp of approval on Jesus Christ in a unique and unrivalled way. And that makes all the difference.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Very true, Father Handy. To say that Jesus' resurrection is not a bodily resurrection is to make God a liar.

David said...


I can understand where you are coming from. The resurrection is one of those things that we in the 21st century just know is not possible. It just isn't scientifically possible. But that is exactly the same thing that a first century person knew. Once you're is dead, you're dead!

That is why it is so amazing that so many people in the late first century believed that Jesus was physically raised from the dead. The only way I can make sense of this is to realize that Jesus was raised from the dead. Resurrection did happen. And based on that fact (don't know what other word to use) our bodies will one day also be resurrected to join our Lord in His physical kingdom in the restored earth.

I don't know if you are by nature a theological book reader, but here are a couple of books by N. T. Wright (Bishop of Durham, England) on the subject of the resurrection of Jesus. (I don't think I saw +Wright's works mentioned earlier in this thread.)

This book is his scholarly presentation on the subject, and this book is based on the previous book, but has a more pastoral bent to its presentation.

In peace!

TLF+ said...

Thanks for the links to N.T. Wright, david.

Bp. Wright is an intersting read because his theology is traditional and orthodox, but he supports many progressive applications of the Gospel.

He doesn't fit the partisan molds, thus challenging us to reflect more deeply on our priorities and compromises as Christians.