Presiding Bishop of Episcopalians Proclaims Salvation “Great Western Heresy”
The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopalian Church, the Right Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori, has convened the triennial meeting of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Los Angeles by proclaiming individual salvation to be “the Great Western Heresy”. See the AmericanSpectator article below and the link to her speech below that with the money quote.
The crisis of this moment has several parts, and like Episcopalians, particularly the ones in Mississippi, they’re all related. The overarching connection in all of these crises has to do with the great Western heresy – that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God. It’s caricatured in some quarters by insisting that salvation depends on reciting a specific verbal formula about Jesus. That individualist focus is a form of idolatry, for it puts me and my words in the place that only God can occupy, at the center of existence, as the ground of being. That heresy is one reason for the theme of this Convention.
Ubuntu doesn’t have any “I”s in it. The I only emerges as we connect – and that is really what the word means: I am because we are, and I can only become a whole person in relationship with others. There is no “I” without “you,” and in our context, you and I are known only as we reflect the image of the one who created us. Some of you will hear a resonance with Martin Buber’s I and Thou and recognize a harmony. You will not be wrong.
Here is another article about the “heresy” in ChristianPost:
Now for a little perspective. The Episcopal Church authorized the ordination of women in 1976, a significant departure from Scripture and tradition; and in 2003 the Episcopal Church elected their first openly gay Bishop, V. Gene Robinson, another huge departure from Scripture and church tradition. Now we have a proclamation that the individual salvation that is at the core of the Gospel message in the New Testament is a HERESY. For the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church to use the term heresy, in this context, to refer to individual salvation as a heresy, is astounding. Heresy is a strong word. It goes beyond bad doctrine to something that compromises the essentials of the faith.
Does she mean that the New Testament does not teach that Jesus died on the cross as our substitute to atone for our sins so that we can, as individuals, come to God by faith in the completed work of the crucified and resurrected Lord Jesus Christ with repentance and be saved from our sins and from the just punishment that our sins incur? That’s what it sounds like to me.
If that is what the Right Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori believes and teaches, then it is further confirmation that the Episcopal Church is APOSTATE, they preach an ANTI-GOSPEL and worship a false god.
From reading her address and sermon, both linked below, it seems that salvation for her and the Episcopal Church is a group thing that is all about loving their neighbors and the earth and making this place a nicer place to live. It is not about having a personal relationship with a Holy God through faith in his Son Jesus. It is definitely not about Grace it is about being nice.
This group-think, group-salvation that the Bishop is speaking about sounds suspiciously like the politics of group identity, anti-individual, collective-statist thought that is popular in our elites and in our various dependent-victim groups. And university professors. Hmm, could it be that the Episcopal Church has imbibed of the Spirit of the Age here?
Many of the Episcopal churches have broken away from the main body in recent months over the homosexual ordination issue. Hopefully, many more will break away now that salvation has been anathematized.
The Episcopal Church is definitely a post-christian religion. May their numbers continue to decline as they retreat into irrelevancy.
UPDATE: Dr Al Mohler’s column on Friday, July 17, speaks to this issue. Here is the link:
In his blog, Dr. Mohler begins by referring to Dr. Thomas C. Oden who wrote that he cannot find any church or seminary that is earnestly dealing with heresy. Dr. Mohler defines heresy as
“The word heresy should properly be reserved for teachings that directly reject what the Bible reveals and the Church has confessed concerning the person and work of Christ and the reality and integrity of the Trinity. There are any number of false teachings and erroneous doctrines, but the term heresy should be restricted to those most central to the Gospel itself.”
Then he goes into a discussion of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori. While he covers much of the same ground I did above, he adds this:
Indeed, her assertion of heresy was directed to the very idea of individual conversion to faith in Christ — the faith that has always and everywhere defined authentic Christianity.
Don’t miss this — the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church openly lamented a focus on evangelization that would seek conversions for such a focus would divert the attention of her church from ecological, economic, and other political imperatives. This was the main thrust of her address, with this central theme indicative of her larger episcopal agenda.
The bishop is simply not concerned with seeing persons come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. She has made this clear over and over again and her convictions were well-known when she was elected as the denomination’s Presiding Bishop. Shortly after her election, she spoke to TIME magazine concerning Jesus Christ: “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.” She explicitly denies that conscious faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation, and has done so on multiple occasions.
The irony of all this was not lost on many Episcopalians and other observers. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church finally summoned the determination to apply the word heresy — and then applied this most serious term of odious rejection to the Gospel itself.
May the Lord cause a revival amongst the Episcopalians so that the True Gospel of Jesus Christ would once again be preached and believed. Or may the Lord cause their heretical religious club to dwindle into insignificance. Preserve me, O Lord, from unbelief and disobedience by Your Grace!