Sunday, July 13, 2008

The sweet sound of false preaching - Katharine Jefferts Schori misrepresents Jesus

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Organization, Katharine Jefferts Schori, preached in England where she will attend the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lambeth Conference.

Here is a quote from her sermon:

"Loosening the soil so that it might be fertile terrain has a great deal to do with softening our own hearts. When we’re certain that his person or that can’t possibly be a God-bearer, it is our own soil that fills with rocks, or grows massive thorns. It is a particularly religious, and Christian, challenge, for we search endlessly to be certain that we are doing 'the God-thing' right. But when we get too certain about God and God’s judgment, our soil turned over by the surprising love of the gospel and the unexpected nature of divine economics."

She is preaching from Jesus' own "Parable of the Sower", which was the Gospel in many churches today. Read Jesus' word to us and then let's compare it with what the PB preached:

Matthew 13:1-9,18-23
Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: "Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!"
"Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty."

Do you see how the Presiding Bishop's sweet sounding message of "softening our own hearts" actually distorts what Jesus is telling us? She is falsifying the word of God.

  • The PB wants us to "loosen our certainties." But Jesus is telling us to be very certain - to have "deep roots" in the word of God so that we won't fall away from it when hassles and persecutions come.

  • The PB says that if we don't consider some other person to be a "God-bearer", then we must have the problem. But Jesus says that there will be "persecutions." Some people out there will come at us bearing an agenda that is not God's.

  • The PB wants us to "loosen up our soil" so that we aren't about God's judgment, just a vague "love of the gospel." But Jesus tells us that we are "good soil" when we receive the word of God, which contains both judgment and love. Living by the word of God brings forth the good fruit.

What's so sad is that the lesson contains a full and specific interpretation of the parable. The Presiding Bishop ignores Jesus' specific explanation of "birds, rocks and thorns." In so doing, she shows herself to be "the path" on which there is no soil at all - the devil came and snatched away the word before the PB could even understand it.

And I can't help but be drawn to the "plants choked by thorns" in Jesus' warning. The "thorns" are "cares of the world and the lure of wealth." This Presiding Bishop is spending millions of church dollars to sue congregations for real estate and bank accounts. The word that God gave so generously to this PB is being choked by worldly desires and her church is fruitless - the fastest dying denomination in America.

Please pray for Katharine Jefferts Schori. Church leaders and teachers are held to a high standard in the Bible, and false teachers and destructive leaders are to face terrible judgment in the presence of God.

And pray for church people - pray for yourselves! - because so many are accepting sweet sounding words that misrepresent Jesus and substitute human agendas for the divine love and life that Christ offers to all people.


Matthew said...


Some charity please. It is very hard to accurately describe someone you do not know.

Sibyl said...

She's politicking, not preaching. Her gospel is the agenda. This not a lack of charity...there is one lense through which she and VGR (have by their own words revealed that they view) the Holy Scriptures and that is one distorted and colored by their pluralist(KJS) prohomosex (VGR and KJS) political and (theologically heretical and apostate) agendas.

Georgia said...

Dear Holy Father,

Only You can write indelible haunting words on walls, immutable laws on stone, and stony human hearts...You, the High Priest, perform the only true circumcisions on hearts, eyes, lips, ears...that enable us fallen humans to embrace You - Your Holy Word, Your Truth, Love and Life, with faith, hope, trust, confidence and joy. You circumcise eyes to see spiritually, lips to praise and ears to hear and heed and do and live Your Holy Way and Will.
You feed us Your own Holy Self through our sanctified lips. You help us to love through sanctified hears. You help us to hear Your voice through sanctified ears. You help us to see Your beauty and light through sanctified eyes. You help us to cherish You above all as we taste, see, know, understand that You are the True Riches.
Circumcision like the crucifixion of our old man of the flesh are not painless, but they are the way of redemption and healing and You are suffering with us as You are healing us, dear trusted skilled Surgeon and Friend.
Thank you for your costly, precious, unspeakable gifts. Amen

TLF+ said...

matthew - we have (are had by) cats, so I like your avatar!

I stuck to her sermon and known actions, judging those against the very parable from which she preached.

The charity I can offer is to pray for her, and I do that. I do it privately and my church lifts her up in the Prayers of the People.

Christian leaders bear a heavy responsibility. They need our constant prayer and support - and they need correction when they do wrong.

Knowing her personally does not enter into responding to her public teaching and actions.

One need not know Pres. Bush personally to oppose, say, the war in Iraq. One need not know a city's chief of police personally to oppose something like a high number of arrests for "driving while Black."

If she were presenting a discussion paper at a clergy conference, this would be different. Then it would be a matter of, "Bishop, I disagree with your interpretation. Here's how I read it..."

But she is preaching , speaking God's word to the His people and to the world.

sibyl, I think you are right on target. Too much of what passes for preaching bends the Bible to fit political ideology rather than interpret events through the Bible.

georgia, thanks for interceding. All who preach need that kind of prayer on their behalf - myself no less than the PB. And if we love those with whom we disagree, we must pray for them in the way you indicate - not praying against them but praying for God's good fruit and glory to come out in all they do.

Matthew said...


I reckon I'd better clarify. I was not discussing your lack of knowledge about the PB. I was discussing her lack of knowledge about her subject matter in the sermon.

TLF+ said...

LAM (laugh at me) Thanks, Matthew...teaches me to be so overheated. Took that to God in prayer this a.m.!

David Handy+ said...

Bravo, Tim+. You've again shown yourself to be a fit and able teacher of the Word of God, which the PB indeed regularly falsifies and distorts.

It reminds me of Paul's critique of some of his rivals in his day:

"We refuse to practice cunning or to falsify God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God" (2 Cor. 4:2). Alas, by her smooth, "cunning," and fine-sounding talk, ++KJS is leading many people seriously astray.

To use a biblical analogy, she is sowing a completely different crop in the field. And it's not something innocent like sowing wheat in a corn field, or barley among the soybeans. She is sowing the spiritual equivalent of Canadian Thistles or some other noxious weed (albeit unknowingly, she is so deceived by the Father of Lies).

Way to go, Tim.

Anonymous said...

This Presiding Bishop and that Heritical bishop of new hampshire that openly homosexual both need to be defrocked and removed from the church immediately before there is a split which will certainly divide the church. there has been too much LIBERAL thought in the american episcopal church since the 1970s which needs to be cast off and a return to conservative sound biblical teachings restored