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BBB: Arkansas Gazette Interviews +KJS (you need to read this)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 • 12:08 pm


Bible Belt Blogger
(hat tip Drell)

ADG: I want to ask you about a couple of other things you’ve said in interviews. One of those was in the 10 questions in TIME magazine about the small box that people put God in. Could you elaborate a little bit on your take on “Jesus is the way, the truth and the life” [a paraphrase of John 14:16]?

KJS: I certainly don’t disagree with that statement that Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. But the way it’s used is as a truth serum, or a touchstone: If you cannot repeat this statement, then you’re not a faithful Christian or person of faith. I think Jesus as way – that’s certainly what it means to be on a spiritual journey. It means to be in search of relationship with God. We understand Jesus as truth in the sense of being the wholeness of human expression. What does it mean to be wholly and fully and completely a human being? Jesus as life, again, an example of abundant life. We understand him as bringer of abundant life but also as exemplar. What does it mean to be both fully human and fully divine? Here we have the evidence in human form. So I’m impatient with the narrow understanding, but certainly welcoming of the broader understanding.

ADG: What about the rest of that statement –

KJS: The small box?

ADG: Well, the rest of the verse, that no one comes to the Father except by the son.

KJS: Again in its narrow construction, it tends to eliminate other possibilities. In its broader construction, yes, human beings come to relationship with God largely through their experience of holiness in other human beings. Through seeing God at work in other people’s lives. In that sense, yes, I will affirm that statement. But not in the narrow sense, that people can only come to relationship with God through consciously believing in Jesus.

...

ADG: I want to ask you about something you said [in a radio interview] with Steve Crittenden in Australia. You were talking about issues of sexuality, and you said you thought that [objection to homosexuality] was more of an issue for men than for women, and women were more interested in — you didn’t say the Millennium Development Goals, but that was the kind of thing you were talking about. And right after your election, [a foreign journalist] asked you kind of a snide question about

KJS: What would the average Anglican?

ADG: Yeah, and Anglican women in Africa, think about your support for gays, and you said they’d be more concerned about food and education for their children. Do you have some evidence that the sexuality is more of an issue for men than for women?

KJS: Well, who’s most heated up about it? Gatherings around the Anglican Communion that are primarily male seem to get captured by this issue. Gatherings that are primarily female get captured by passion for a human world. For human people and educating children and providing health care. The UN Commission on the Status of Women and the accompanying gathering of Anglican women at the UN over the year is probably the best evidence. And they have different opinions about issues of human sexuality, but that’s not the focus of their work together. The focus is on humans.

ADG: You’ve also said that issues of sexuality tend to be of more concern in the Southeast than in other parts of the country. Could you talk about that a little bit? Of course, there are exceptions: congregations in California, the Diocese of Quincy (Ill.), Pittsburgh. But you talk about geographic concern. Is it a Bible Belt thing?

KJS: I don’t know. I notice it’s a concern culturally in parts of the country where race relations have been so present. I come from a part of the country where issues of racism aren’t black/white. They’re about immigration, either from Asia or from Spanish-speaking countries, so there’s not the same kind of clear issue in history about who’s in and who’s out. It’s a much more diffuse issue. And it’s a complex issue in that it’s not just one group. And it’s not just African-Americans; it’s Chinese and Japanese and Mexicans and people from Hong Kong and Taiwan and the South Pacific. I think the human condition, and original sin, if you will, has something to do with defining some other group as not fully human, not fully acceptable. And in this country it’s had to do mostly with slavery and African-Americans. The church has certainly wrestled with the place of women in the life of society. We’re beginning to wrestle with the place of people whose sexual orientation is different from the average. In some sense the church has wrestled with the place of children. They’re not normative human beings in many people’s view. I think it’s a result of that. It has some connection with that history.

ADG: Let’s talk about the church’s support of the Millennium Development Goals. And what are some of the initiatives down the road for enlisting Episcopalians in accomplishing some of those goals? That was originally a United Nations initiative, which would mean focusing on those issues elsewhere, but we have those issues in pockets of the U.S. too.

KJS: It actually goes back to the early ’60s, when some economists sat down and said, “What would it take to solve global poverty?” It grew into something in the late ’90s that the bishops of the Anglican Communion said, “We need to participate in this.” In 2000 the UN adopted a set of eight goals. ... Dioceses in this country since the late ’90s have said, we want to be part of this. It originally started by saying, we’re going to contribute a percentage of our annual budget to international development work. People are aware more clearly today that it’s not just a matter of giving money, but it’s about empowering people in the pew to lobby their legislators. We’re not going to solve global poverty unless the industrialized nations of the world take it seriously and contribute a significant chunk of funds, resources, human capital, to making it possible. This is the first time in human history when we’ve really been able to say we can feed everybody. We can provide primary education for girls and boys across the world. We can do something about maternal health care and childhood disease and preventable disease like AIDS and tuberculosis and malaria. It’s a matter of having the will to do it, first of all, and then committing the resources to make it happen. The Episcopal Church is involved at the diocesan level, at the parish level, at the level of individual members of the tradition. But we’re also involved in lobbying Congress, through our Office of Government Relations, to participate in this program. We’re involved through an arm of the church called Episcopal Relief and Development that’s doing things like Nets for Life, insecticide-treated nets to sleep under and prevent malaria – a great number of other projects across the world to achieve those goals. I’ve heard in the time I’ve been here about places in Arkansas that are ripe for similar kinds of development. The Delta. So it’s not just international. There are domestic applications as well. It’s about achieving a world where human beings live with dignity, and have what they need to live with dignity.

ADG: That reminds me of something else you said. This was a CNN interview when Kyra Phillips asked you what happens when we die. You had an interesting answer that got some Southern Baptists riled up.

KJS: OK. I didn’t hear their reaction.

ADG: Al Mohler – I don’t know whether you’re familiar with him –

KJS: I’m not.

ADG: He’s a seminary president [at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville] and has a blog and a radio show. [Mohler posted the exchange on his Web site]. It seemed to some people that you were saying there isn’t an afterlife.

KJS: I don’t think Jesus was focused on that. I think Jesus was focused on heaven in this life, primarily. The Judeo-Christian tradition has always said yes, there is resurrection. There is life after death. But I think Jesus was not so worried about that. I think he’s worried about what we’re doing to treat our fellow human beings as children of God. He says the kingdom of heaven is among you, and within you, and around you.

ADG: So does that mean that in your view there is no afterlife?

KJS: That’s not what I said. I said what I think Jesus is more concerned about is heavenly existence, eternal life, in this life.

and there is alot more


185 Comments • Print-friendlyPrint-friendly w/commentsShare on Facebook
Comments:

Guys, please stop what you are doing and read this interview. It is jaw dropping.

[1] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-10-2007 at 01:19 PM • top

Is Jesus Christ God, the Son of God, or isn’t he?

[2] Posted by DeeBee on 01-10-2007 at 01:35 PM • top

All I can say about this is that before you read it, take a cue from the Glenn Beck radio program and, “wrap your head with duct tape so at least after your head explodes, you’ll keep all the pieces together.”

[3] Posted by Allan Bourdius on 01-10-2007 at 01:36 PM • top

Just for starters, Shangri-La it ain’t. 

News Flash:  The Trinity has now been officially lost in blathering, pseudointellectual paganism. 

Again, SAY YOUR PRAYERS—

J.

[4] Posted by Orthoducky on 01-10-2007 at 01:41 PM • top

This has to be one of the cleverest parodies I’ve seen in months, but it skated too close to the edge and loses credibility.  Nobody real could be so totally dense as this rendition of “Katherine Shori.”

[5] Posted by Blueridge on 01-10-2007 at 01:43 PM • top

Wow!!!

She uses Christian words, but she has very un-christian meanings behind them.  She seems to believe that there is no such thing as a plain meaning to the bible.  I also believe that she would reject a “plain meaning” to anything.  If we are to ONLY say that the sky is a bunch of different atoms acting big filter that blocks various wave lengths of energy but the wave lengths between 610 - 659 Thz are predominant and we can’t say “the sky is blue,” then she is plain silly.

I guess I now regard myself as being in a local, actual church that is part of a larger social club that thinks it’s nice and good to help people.  So for the mean time I will continue to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.  For the national church is no longer the a part of God’s kingdom.

[6] Posted by Saint Dumb Ox on 01-10-2007 at 01:44 PM • top

Note to self,  Please clean off head prints off computer screen. 
Matt,
There is so much to react to, where and how to begin.  Some of it is so absurd as to be laughable.  Being a Southern woman I am used to the attitude that we all are dumb as a bag of hammers.  Walking around barefoot in our kitchens while we drink bourbon and neglect our 14 children.  But we sure do get gussied up in a hurry when it is time for the Klan meeting at Fred Phelps Church.  By the way any of y’all seen my rifle some no count summofabich prolly stole it out of the back of my pickup.  Ya’d think the dawgs would of barked. 

Her theology however is not laughable.  It is sad and heartbreaking. That one who has been elected to the headship of a Christian denomination can say these things shows that Satan truly has gained a foothold in the Body of Christ.  It is a stark reminder that this fight is not about politics, it is not finer points of doctrine, it is not about the place of GLBT or any sinner.  It is about our salvation and that of others who do not yet know the Jesus and His Gospel.

She says : “In its broader construction, yes, human beings come to relationship with God largely through their experience of holiness in other human beings.”

Where is Grace in her concept of belief?  Where is Grace in her experience of holiness?  It is absent.  If there is no grace then who is the author of our Salvation? Not God.
We can not even begin to see the good in others or appreciate the holiness of God which they reflect without grace.  We come to God by grace.  Which manifests itself in our lives in our Faith and Works of Love.  We come to know the Savior and to call Him Lord and know that He Truly is The Way, The Truth and The Life.  We hear the Good News and share it with others.  We learn the sorrow of sin and the cleansing joy of repetence.  We love one another as Christ loves us.  All this by Grace.  His grace not by our efforts,  not by our understanding, not by our goodness.  By His grace alone.

The Anglicans in the US have my prayers.  You are truly in a storm tossed sea right now.  But I know you have eyes only for Christ and His hand outstretched to help you through the waves.  God keep you all.

[7] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 01-10-2007 at 01:47 PM • top

Oh.  Mah.  Gah.  This is unbelieveable.  I mean why, why, would she say such things?  It’s practically impossible to pick out what to comment upon.  That end of the quoted bit, though, where she talks about how Jesus is “not so worried” about Resurrection.  I mean.  I am absolutely flabbergasted.

[8] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 01-10-2007 at 01:47 PM • top

ADG: So does that mean that in your view there is no afterlife?

KJS: That’s not what I said. I said what I think Jesus is more concerned about is heavenly existence, eternal life, in this life.

So, when He talked about charitable acts resulting in “treasure in heaven” He actually meant that we’d get to have real treasure, now?  Awesome!!  I can hardly wait…

[9] Posted by st. anonymous on 01-10-2007 at 01:49 PM • top

Somewhere, Screwtape is smiling.

[10] Posted by murbles on 01-10-2007 at 01:50 PM • top

The more I read +Schori’s words, the more I believe that she has only one thing to say about Christianity and that is that we are here to help other people, especially peaople in need, but also to enable individuals to make their own choices in life (to learn their own way).  She has absoltely no concept of the God of the Bible, our Creater.  She has no concept about who Jesus was, why he came, and for that matter where he was going ... if he was going anywhere.  She has no sense whatsoever of an afterlife .... or that Jesus thought it was important ...or even real!
She is big on MDG as the mechanism to help the hungry, ill, and needy.  She seems not to know that conservatives give more to charity than do liberals.
She is the archetype of the modern, progressive Episcopalian and everything that is ailing in ECUSA is expressed in her words.

[11] Posted by Bill C on 01-10-2007 at 01:50 PM • top

Well, at first I thought I’d explore the koine Greek word odos that is translated as “way” in John 14:6 (it’s 14:6, BTW, not 14:16). The word means road, path, route, procedural means, etc. It is sometimes translated as “journey,” but only in the sense of time (as in, “A week’s journey”). It does not mean trek, experience, process nor adventure.

But after reading the rest of this, I decided I’d not go into the usage of odos any further and simply ask the unanswerable: Why is she at all involved in a Christian church? What’s the point? Wouldn’t she have found a much better home and friendly welcome in a Unitarian church? Why set herself up for the grief that is sure to come her way (as if it hasn’t already begun)?

This kind of skewed version of the Gospel, God and our replationship with him is exactly what C.S. Lewis wrote about in “Mere Christianity” and “The Screwtape letters.”

Surely, from that perspective (C.S. Lewis’s), this is Satin at work, not an honest misunderstanding. And the worst part of that is all those silent members who are having their beliefs warped in the process, being led away from God. Would that she would simply leave and join a modern, post-christian “church” to push her agenda. Better still, ++Williams and the GS ++‘s should get an eyefull of this before February’s meeting.

[12] Posted by Antique on 01-10-2007 at 01:54 PM • top

Paula, do you really drink Bourbon and do you REALLY have 14 children?
You must be RC with so many kids and you would obviously be a very bad Episcopalian. In fact, I dare say they would not want to include you.


cool grin

[13] Posted by Bill C on 01-10-2007 at 01:55 PM • top

Paula L, thank you for your post and your prayers.  That’s about the best post I ever read.  I also called my Southern husband to the screen and we both laughed until the tears ran down our faces. 

Some have said, “It’s hard to know which part to react to first”.  That’s just it—don’t react.  Laugh your butt off, roll your eyes, detach, then just go about your Kingdom Work.  You’ll have great blood pressure and live longer, and God will smile in Heaven. 

grin 

All blessings,

J.

[14] Posted by Orthoducky on 01-10-2007 at 01:57 PM • top

If you cannot repeat this statement, then you’re not a faithful Christian

Abso-....-lutely!  So what is her excuse for not believing?  Or, perhaps <i>she really does <b>not believe.

Kyrie eleison. Amen.

[15] Posted by Fr. Chip, SF on 01-10-2007 at 01:57 PM • top

Alright, Greg.  You should be ashamed.  You ask us to be on our best behavior or the beatings will continue.  Then you write up an interview that makes your PB’s Mailbag stuff look sober.  C’mon, Greg.  It’s a fair imitation.  But really, it’s too over the top for even KJS.  So who really wrote this, if Greg didn’t?  Is this a Chris Johnson or David Virtue fisking?

[16] Posted by William Witt on 01-10-2007 at 01:58 PM • top

She is “delighted to be in Arkansas”...

[17] Posted by Shane Copeland on 01-10-2007 at 01:58 PM • top

Matt - first Greg with the Arkansas picture, now you . . . you ask us to be polite in our comments, then post this like a thick sirloin in front of a hungry dog.

I will not give in to the temptation!

But, and I am completely serious, to have this person leading a Christian church is a very grave matter.  My heart breaks for those that will be led astray by Schori, and it breaks for her that, even with constant church exposure, the seed of the Kingdom has fallen on hard, rough concrete.

[18] Posted by Phil on 01-10-2007 at 01:59 PM • top

Why is it so hard for her?
First she says “What does it mean to be both fully human and fully divine? Here we have the evidence in human form”—which sounds pretty orthodox to me, but then we get this, that she does
  “not [believe] in the narrow sense, that people can only come to relationship with God through consciously believing in Jesus.”
Seems to me it’s one thing to have some private thoughts about how God might work, but the leader of our church should make a bit more effort at being consistent. Does this indicate a drawing back from the earlier bluntness?

[19] Posted by DavidSh on 01-10-2007 at 02:02 PM • top

Whoa! cool cheese  The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette sure is no New York Times, those are some direct, to the point questions. I bet she was not expecting such an informed interviewer!

[20] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-10-2007 at 02:02 PM • top

I agree—just when you think she can’t get any worse, she manages to come up with something like this.  Just wait until her book comes out! 

My favorite jaw-dropper is when she ever-so-gently infers that Southerners aren’t going along with +Robinson Inc. because of their history of “race relations.”  She actually went to Arkansas and said in effect that Southerners hold to traditional Biblical teaching because they’re racists.

[21] Posted by Jordan Hylden on 01-10-2007 at 02:05 PM • top

“original sin, if you will, has something to do with defining some other group as not fully human, not fully acceptable. And in this country it’s had to do mostly with slavery and African-Americans.”

Yes, we are just Southern bigots, which is why Truro and Falls Church have decided to align themselves with Nigeria, we at Christ Church Savannah have a partnership and mission in Uganda, and last Sunday in Christ Church, Reverend Sam Opal, a black rector from Soroti, Uganda, gave the sermon. The bigots are those in TEC who unjustly accuse African Bishops of polygamy.

[22] Posted by BillS on 01-10-2007 at 02:06 PM • top

“I think the human condition, and original sin, if you will, has something to do with defining some other group as not fully human, not fully acceptable.”

Wow, the doctrine of the Fall is a “power play” by the elites.

[23] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-10-2007 at 02:11 PM • top

C.S. Lewis said, “Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in besides.  Aim at earth, and you get neither.”

Are you there, Katharine?  Anyone home?

[24] Posted by DaveW on 01-10-2007 at 02:13 PM • top

C’mon, Greg.  It’s a fair imitation.

Bill - thank you or the compliment, but this is genuine. Remember: Without the official “Shalom” seal, it’s not a genuine “Mailbag” post!

And yes, I do expect everyone to behave themselves - today and from now on. Call it Stand Firm’s new “tantric” phase…

[25] Posted by Greg Griffith on 01-10-2007 at 02:14 PM • top

This is rich, very rich…

We understand Jesus as truth in the sense of being the wholeness of human expression. What does it mean to be wholly and fully and completely a human being? Jesus as life, again, an example of abundant life. We understand him as bringer of abundant life but also as exemplar.

So Jesus is our example of being fully human?  That’s it?Whatever happened to the rest of the reconciling work of the Atonement?  Dealiing with sin, giving us new life etc., etc.

You don’t have a theological reason to reproduce at higher rates, unlike some other denominations and faith traditions.

Yup, some of us just have kids without any idea of how they got there.  Because the Bible just says something about knowing your spouse we’re supposed to think before we fall into bed?  I’d say something about eggheads, but that sounds too reproductive.

The reality is that this is a very tiny percentage of the Episcopal Church. This is a handful of congregations out of 1,700.

That’s why they pulled out the 155s, 16 inch naval guns, DaisyCutters and are threatening to go nuclear?  All that weaponry to kill a tiny little gnat?

To go and meet the human beings who will gather.

I’m sure glad we got that nasty bit of misinformation out of the way.  Now that we know the other primates are human maybe the conversation won’t involve hand signals?

[26] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 01-10-2007 at 02:20 PM • top

Ok, here we go again, first, never answer the question, twist it into a metaphor, and re-interpete to mean something quite inconistent with the context.


She’s not half bad at doing all this…She would make a great Unitarian.

[27] Posted by Creighton+ on 01-10-2007 at 02:23 PM • top

Maybe if I pose this as a question it won’t violate the rules:  Would the average “man in the street” have a better chance of articulating Christian doctrine than the PB of the Episcopal Church?

[28] Posted by Cousin Vinnie on 01-10-2007 at 02:23 PM • top

Will someone post the original interview to all the Anglican Primates? Please? She’s doing our job for us.

[29] Posted by John Simmons on 01-10-2007 at 02:25 PM • top

I wanted to write more, but those were the only pieces I could find after my head asplode!

[30] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 01-10-2007 at 02:25 PM • top

And yes, I do expect everyone to behave themselves - today and from now on.

Quite right Greg, and thanks to the PB, it’s an easy dictate to follow: All we have to is copy and paste just about any utterance she makes and let it speak for itself. There’s no need for nasty comments, they’re redundant!

Poor Snarkster, though. He may feel a bit stymied.

[31] Posted by Anthony in NYC on 01-10-2007 at 02:26 PM • top

Greg,

It is so hard to behave when the Worthy Opponents say such as this to be reported.  We really DO try!  Honest.

[32] Posted by Fr. Chip, SF on 01-10-2007 at 02:26 PM • top

Maybe we can consider it a Lenten discipline, Greg.

Well, if there’s ONE good thing I can say it’s that she’s not changing her schtick to suit the audience/region. She’s making her beliefs (or lack thereof) crystal clear and not pretending anything. Of course, that also means that this is indeed what she, a Christian bishop, believes and no one can say she was misquoted or misinterpreted. God help us.

[33] Posted by Brit on 01-10-2007 at 02:29 PM • top

I do wish someone would ask her if she believes that Jesus is the son of God and is God.  I would like to see her answer.  I’ll bet it won’t be an unqualified “yes”.

[34] Posted by Edwin on 01-10-2007 at 02:32 PM • top

Well, there you have it.  If this was the good old days, we’d be preparing a fuel-soaked stake about now.  Again, I steal other’s words here….but “clarity” continues to come.

[35] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 01-10-2007 at 02:33 PM • top

lksflsjflsjfsflksjflksf
shock

Yes. That was my head exploding and yes I forgot to duct tape it first. Arrrggghhh.  Jaw-dropping it is and I am not easily non-plussed.  My daughter couldn’t even get through the reading.  Matt, you need to put a warning label on this one:  Caution!! This article will make you crazy.

Oh. My.
It’s worse than I thought.  May God have mercy on her soul, and that is not lightly said, as flippancy, but in deepest earnest.  TEC is being lead by the lost.

[36] Posted by Gayle on 01-10-2007 at 02:34 PM • top

So, how can you be yoked to this?

[37] Posted by Going Home on 01-10-2007 at 02:35 PM • top

You’d think she’d have run into Al Mohler while she was Dean of the School of Theology.

[38] Posted by James Manley on 01-10-2007 at 02:38 PM • top

On another positive note:

Kevin & Bill do not need to hunting through trash baskets for material for Anglican Report Episode 15, once again ++KJS has given them volumns to talk about, in fact the poor production editors are going to have to cut this down to fit the half hour format. cool hmm

[39] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-10-2007 at 02:38 PM • top

I’m taking a liking to Southern women.  Not so much the ones from 815,

[40] Posted by Cousin Vinnie on 01-10-2007 at 02:41 PM • top

Although I know that only the Father knows when the end of the age will be, I still wonder if this could be a sign of the end times?

Come quickly, Lord.

Susan

[41] Posted by Summersnow on 01-10-2007 at 02:42 PM • top

That Bible Belt Blogger looks like a really nice guy!

[42] Posted by more martha than mary on 01-10-2007 at 02:45 PM • top

Ooooohhh, the primates are gonna just LOVE this one!  I would dearly LOVE to be a fly on the wall when…...or IF they talk to her this February!  Their reaction ought to be a LULU!

[43] Posted by Cennydd on 01-10-2007 at 02:45 PM • top

Dear more martha than mary: still swimming against the tide!

[44] Posted by Anthony in NYC on 01-10-2007 at 02:47 PM • top

MMTM:

Nice dark blue polo shirt complementing the sky blue background?

[45] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-10-2007 at 02:48 PM • top

BREAKING NEWS from the Department of Redundancy Department: SNARKSTER STYMIED! Film at eleven.

For the first time in a long time, words fail me. I cannot think of absolutely anything remotely civil to say about this interview. Hats off to the interviewer though. He didn’t toss her any softballs. Enough said.

the snarkster

[46] Posted by the snarkster on 01-10-2007 at 02:50 PM • top

I, for one, wonder what the follow up to “the small box” would have sounded like.  KJS was clearly ready for that one and was looking to go there.  Think of the damage that reporter prevented by not taking the bait and sticking to her game plan.

[47] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 01-10-2007 at 02:55 PM • top

These answers sound pretty much like what many areligious people say.
If nothing else, we get more clarity by the day.

[48] Posted by Rick Killough on 01-10-2007 at 02:56 PM • top

Exhibit A Your Graces of the GS.


Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep, we have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts, we have offended against thy holy laws, we have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.
But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, spare thou those who confess their faults, restore thou those who are penitent, according to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord; and grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, to the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.


I am still gobsmacked!!!  -Spong did well in his sessions at—KJS’s Nevada Clerical conference by the looks of it.

I am just so saddened, to actually hear her say these things.

In Manus Tuas Domine.

Alasdair+  downer

[49] Posted by Alasdair+ on 01-10-2007 at 03:01 PM • top

Even though I am no longer part of TEC, it is very hard to read something like this and not be nauseated.  When I pray for TEC, and I still do, I also ask forgiveness for those of us who were, through inaction, complicit in allowing this situation to come about.  It is sobering, and a bit frightening, to realize we are living through events very much like those chronicled in the OT.  The results were not pretty.

[50] Posted by APB on 01-10-2007 at 03:02 PM • top

I am thankful that some of the Southerners here mentioned how offensive this is to those of us from the South.  I am an old south Louisiana boy, and Paula’s comments speak well of the arrogance and bigotry that I hear so often, and especially in the PB’s words. That’s what I heard first. And then she spoke of my Lord…

I believe she actually does speak in many ways for the majority of college-educated people who call themselves Christians in the pews.  This should not surprise us.  It is pure liberal protestantism, with echoes of Von Harnack (what matters is not Jesus, but Jesus’ message, which is the Golden Rule), rational empiricism, the social gospel, and the ultra-low Christology that Marcus Borg fashioned (aren’t they both from the faculty of Oregon State?).  This is what I heard for 20 years in the adult Sunday School classes I used to teach when I was a United Methodist.

And I am reminded of the Revelation of John.  I just preached on that this Sunday, so the story of the Beast and the Whore of Babylon that seduces the churches of Asia Minor is very much on my mind.  Evidence of that seduction permeates every sentence she speaks, I believe.  What she espouses is neo-paganism.  And our challenge is that neo-paganism co-opts the language and symbols of the Christian culture and claims that its distorted version is the real thing.  My concern is that I don’t believe the masses in the pews are as able to discern the difference as well as those who are drawn to this site.  I think many Americans who are lukewarm Christians would simply nod their heads and say, “yeah, that’s reasonable.” 

And many more are unsure of how to speak about Christ when Islam and other world religions are beginning to crowd the neighborhood.  If the Gospel is no more than the Golden Rule (which is the assertion implicit in liberal protestantism), what does “love your neighbor” mean when your neighbor is Muslim?”  Well, many would answer much like the PB.  I say this because I hear her answer all the time on the lips of people in the pews, and many clergy.

I think we ought not be dismissive of the PB’s theology, but ought to recognize that she represents the mainstream and we do not.  She ventriloquizes the Beast who is among us.  The neo-pagan threat is quite concrete.  We need to take it seriously and consider what Revelation teaches us about remaining faithful witnesses, about enduring even when the rest of the world calls us fanatics and foolish, and about the way we are called overcome the Beast with the Word, and not the sword.  If we do this, we shall overcome.

[51] Posted by Craig Uffman on 01-10-2007 at 03:03 PM • top

Yep, it’s a small box.  And a narrow gate.  And many who say “Lord, Lord” will not be recognized at that gate, and will be turned away.

The place of weeping and gnashing of teeth is a very large box however.

She reminds me so much of Leon Fortunado…

[52] Posted by Marty the Baptist on 01-10-2007 at 03:04 PM • top

Wow.  Haven’t read the whole thing yet, just the excerpt above, but that alone is amazing.  Amazingly discouraging? frustrating? sad? disturbing?  I’m not quite sure what I want to say.

First of all, major Kudos to the reporter for asking such great questions and having done his/her homework and really pressing for follow up in a number of cases.  Truly great journalism.

Secondly, one of the things that particularly struck me and that I’m not sure others have commented on yet is KJS’s definition of original sin.  On one hand, I was surprised she would even use the term (or even slightly imply that she believes in “the Fall.”)  But note, the original sin in her eyes has nothing to do about our relationship to God.  It’s only about hurting or excluding one another.  That surely seems like a case of projecting her values onto God’s.  And it also explains A LOT about why she makes the MDGs the centerpiece of her concept of church and mission.  It’s all about our relationships with others and being reconciled to one another.

But what she doesn’t seem to see or understand, or at least be able to articulate anywhere I’ve ever seen is our alienation from God.  Our sin against Him.  Our being cut off, separated, in need of reconciliation with Him first.  In our sinful nature, we cannot be reconciled with or truly loving to others unless we are first reconciled with God.

Now I can almost anticipate the rebuttal that +Schori or others might offer.  Not that they’re the prooftexting kind, but I could imagine folks waving I John 4 in my face:


I Jn 4:12
12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
(NIV)

I Jn 4:20-21
20If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
(NIV)

i.e. we show we’re reconciled to God and we love God by loving others.

And of course, there is truth to that.  BUT, go on and read the beginning of i John 5:

I Jn 5:1-2
1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.
2This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.
(NIV)

The sequence there is belief -> love the father -> love our brothers and sisters and all God’s children.

And of course just a little earlier in i Jn 4 is perhaps the “proof text” on this:


I Jn 4:7
7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
(NIV)

To truly love we must have been first born of God and know God.  It is the foundation, the starting point.  And so she totally redefines original sin, and what and to whom “reconciliation” is all about.

Okay the two other things that just lept off the page at me on the first read were these:

We understand Jesus as truth in the sense of being the wholeness of human expression.

Wow—turning Jesus into a metaphor again.  (Like her remark in the Stephen Crittenden interview about “the Christ event” and “Jesus is a venue, an event, an experience,” (that’s a direct quote.  I looked it up.)

Also there is this:
human beings come to relationship with God largely through their experience of holiness in other human beings.

This echoes language she’s used in previous interviews about Jesus being our experience of the divine (I think from her NPR radio interview).  There is perhaps a tiny narrow grain of truth here I’m willing to admit:  i.e. how do people come to faith?  Through friendship evangelism, and through seeing the light of Christ and the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in others’ lives.  In that sense I could just barely affirm that humans come into relationship with God through experiencing others’ holiness. 

But here again she seems to totally deny the heart of the Gospel, the need for a mediator, the fact that we are cut off from God, separate from Him, dead in our sins.  And that there is only ONE mediator, ONE way to the Father.  The atonement and sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His gift of atonement.

Rom 3:10-12
10As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;
11there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.
12All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
(NIV)

Rom 3:21-25
21But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,
23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
25God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—
(NIV)

1 Tim 2:5
5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
(NIV)

Basically, my conclusion is that KJS is speaking of what she has experienced.  She has seen something of holiness in some Christians’ lives that attracted her and made her hungry for God.  But she thinks that is all there is.  She does not seem to have accepted Christ and His atonement for the absolutely essential starting point of a restored relationship with God.  So she is just floundering around, talking about holy human experiences and Jesus being an experience.  She does not appear to have met Him as a Person.  He still seems to be only an abstract idea to her.

Lord, even as You reached Saul on the Damascus road when he was doing all He could to destroy Your church, reach out to Katharine and reveal Yourself to her as a real person.  Show her her need (and all our need) for a Savior.  May she experience the transformation of the Cross, and may she be reconciled to You, trusting in Christ and Him alone, not in her own righteousness or good works.

[53] Posted by Karen B. on 01-10-2007 at 03:09 PM • top

I’m just wondering why she even claims to be a Christian? She gets very excited about the MDG, so why not work for the Gates Foundation. He probably has more money to spend on global poverty anyway, and doesn’t have to get distracted about gays and “fundamentalists”. As for the love and acceptance part, all those ideals are espoused at Disney theme parks and the Democratic party.

It seems to me that Christianity is a real distraction for what is her life’s calling. I’m amazed that ECUSA had no one more qualified to lead it. It’s not that her gifts are silly or unhelpful, their just not primarily suited for the leadership of a Christian church.

I do greatly appreciate, however, the clarity that she brings to the situation. At least she seems to be honestly presenting her views for all to see. That’s better than using Episcopo-babble.

[54] Posted by Capn Jack Sparrow on 01-10-2007 at 03:09 PM • top

“A further problem that faces modern Anglicanism is uncertainty surrounding its doctrinal basis and the acceptable limits of doctrinal variation.”

from THE STUDY OF ANGLICANISM, p. 50
by Stephen Sykes, John Booty and Jonathan Knight
(Fortress Press, rev. ed. 1998)

[55] Posted by Floridaaah on 01-10-2007 at 03:09 PM • top

Oh my!  She opened her mouth again and this is just so tempting!

Greg, isn’t it a sin to tempt someone else into sin?  There is just so much material here we could spend lterally weeks decomposing this rubish.  And you want us to play nice?  Now I need a shower!

[56] Posted by Spencer on 01-10-2007 at 03:10 PM • top

“We come out of a democratic tradition; our church is structured politically in a democratic way”.

Does this mean we can impeach her?

[57] Posted by DaveW on 01-10-2007 at 03:11 PM • top

As a non-scientist, (she supposedly is one and that gives her an authority with the media on the anthropology and biology of sexuality), I am fascinated by her anecdotal “Well, who’s most heated up about it?” in response to a question about evidence to support her ludricrously patronizing and paternalistic (bordering on bigoted) statement that Global South women don’t care about the theology of human sexuality and that it is only men who are responding to the envelope-pushing she is doing which would presumably be no big deal if there were no men in Anglican positions of authority.

Very scientific to say “LOTS OF MEN” are the problem.  I can back it up with SCIENCE, don’t you know.

[58] Posted by Christoferos on 01-10-2007 at 03:13 PM • top

JKS:  I said what I think Jesus is more concerned about is heavenly existence, eternal life, in this life.

Jesus did not cure all the sick and blind and lame.  He did not cure all leppers.  He did not provide homes for all the homeless, or medical care for all the ill.  He did not provide food for all the hungry.  He did not stop earth quakes, fire, war, tsunamis, or hurricanes, all of which would have helped His fellow man.

The poor will always be with us.

His ministry and teaching was about how to deal with adversity in our time of trial, and to help our fellow man understand how to deal with adversity by looking to God for peace.

Our reward is not earthly reward in this life, it is heavenly reward after death in a spiritual resurrection.

Jesus is more concerned with our souls.

[59] Posted by MasterServer on 01-10-2007 at 03:15 PM • top

St. Anonymous,

Your idea of a TEC “prosperity gospel” is hilarious.  I can just see the TV shows now.

[60] Posted by Johng on 01-10-2007 at 03:15 PM • top

Matt, Good evidence here that you nailed it in your claim that she rejects the doctrine of original sin.  Not only does she reject it, she obviously considers it an unholy doctrine used by those who want to subjugate the marginalized….  Good job in seeing it early!  Now it should be clear to all of us.

[61] Posted by Craig Uffman on 01-10-2007 at 03:16 PM • top

Craig,
The PB appeals to those who I refer to as people who want a pocket Christ.  A nice quiet Christ who stays right where you put Him.  One you can display to the ooh and ahh of your friends.  He might even do a trick or two.  One you can safely put away in your pocket during those occassions when having a Christ about might embarass (sp) you.  One that you know is safe and secure and happy with the little bit of crumbs that fall his way.  A NICE CHRIST.  Not big or powerful or important enough to upset my plans.  Not awesome or demanding enough to make me change my ways.  And if you forget to take him out when you do the wash.  No big deal you can always get another one.  After all even if the store is out of pocket Jesus they still might have a pocket Krishna or Buddha or Mohammed or Zoraster.  I mean what’s the diff they’re interchangable, right?

[62] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 01-10-2007 at 03:16 PM • top

Karen,

Its hard to understand what she is saying regarding original sin.

1. Original sin is what causes us to question the humanity of others

or

2. Original sin is the doctrine that has been used to question the humanity of others.

The context of the whole paragraph seems to suggest number 2.

[63] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-10-2007 at 03:17 PM • top

On that note, see especially her talk about children toward the end of the paragraph. I think #2 fits the bill.

[64] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-10-2007 at 03:20 PM • top

Right, Paula.  That’s what I see, too.  Steven Prothero wrote a book called ‘The American Jesus” that describes this phenomenon in our culture, which he says started with Jefferson’s creation of his own version of the Bible.  Note that the PB seemed to want to reduce Jesus to a sage that is a good example of how to live the good life, “an enlightened sage,” as Prothero calls it.  But this is not limited to ECUSA or its PB.  It’s mainstream.  We aren’t.

[65] Posted by Craig Uffman on 01-10-2007 at 03:21 PM • top

The PB says:

KJS: Again in its narrow construction, it tends to eliminate other possibilities. In its broader construction, yes, human beings come to relationship with God largely through their experience of holiness in other human beings. Through seeing God at work in other people’s lives. In that sense, yes, I will affirm that statement. But not in the narrow sense, that people can only come to relationship with God through consciously believing in Jesus.

I’m not sure that people come to relationship with God largely through their experience of holiness in other human beings, but there is nothing essentially wrong about that remark. I think seeing God at work in other people’s lives is probably more to the point.

But I vehemently disagree with the last part of this statement. Jesus did not say that the only way to God was through him. He said the only way to the Father was through Him. Despite the Presiding Bishop’s muddled theology, that statement is true. There is no way to know God as “Father” unless you know His Son, Jesus.  But the Presiding Bishop is setting up a Straw Man and did not really answer the question. I concede that it is possible to know God without knowing Jesus, but it is more difficult and one certainly will not know him as God the Father. In that respect, it is the Presiding Bishop who insists on putting God in a small box.

The Presiding Bishop’s chief mistake is to want to downplay the truth claims that Christianity has made historically. We believe that Jesus is God’s fullest revelation of Himself. I am sure that some people have misinterpreted Jesus’ remark to mean that there is no way to know God outside of knowing Jesus. The Apostle Paul demonstrates that there is a way to know God outsied of Jesus in the Epistle to the Romans. But Paul also maintains that this knowledge is not complete without the knowledge of Jesus and the work of the Cross.

The Presiding Bishop just cannot seem to commit to that.

[66] Posted by Allen Lewis on 01-10-2007 at 03:22 PM • top

Folks, I encourage you to read the entire thing at Bible Belt Blogger.  After talking about how all the property of places like Truro and The Falls Church belongs to TEC, etc., etc. because TEC is a hierarchical church, a couple of questions later in response to a question about the Tanzania meeting, she said that TEC is a democratic polity in contrast to the African churches where the Primate’s role is stronger!  The apparent contradiction here slid right past.

[67] Posted by Johng on 01-10-2007 at 03:24 PM • top

Paula L - another great comment, and so true.

Christoferos - note, though, that this great “scientist” thinks that the gatherings of mostly left-leaning women prove that all women are unconcerned with sexuality issues.  But, maybe you don’t have to know anything about selection bias or freshman year statistics to be an oceanographer.  After all, you apparently don’t have to know even the content of a 2-page Alpha tract to be the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church.

[68] Posted by Phil on 01-10-2007 at 03:26 PM • top

In response to Matt’s statement - And by extension, for us, the PB has nulled the whole purpose of God’s grace and Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross.

The PB also says: 

“And in some sense it’s curious to me that opinions that were held by each of my predecessors are somehow more offensive when they’re held by a woman.”

NOOOOOOOO!!!!!  The opinions held by PBs Browning and Griswold were offensive to us as well.  THEY just weren’t as blatant as she is.

[69] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 01-10-2007 at 03:31 PM • top

I would like to say “unbelievable” or “shocking,” but sadly I can’t say either. There is not ONE response she gave that would lead me to think that she believes the Gospel, the Faith that was written in the Holy Scriptures and handed down for 2000 years by the Church.

In Matthew 10, Jesus said:
28"Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
32"Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.
33"But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.”

Jesus is not an event, or a journey through other human beings to God. He is God and the ONLY way to God (in the narrow understanding of HIS words).

[70] Posted by Shane Copeland on 01-10-2007 at 03:32 PM • top

With this and the announcement of open hostilities in VA in the last 24 hours, it sure looks to me like 815 doesn’t care about the Primates’ Meeting.  It is almost as though they are deliberately sabotaging the possibility of TEC remaining in the Communion.  Am I imagining that?  Or could it be that they have already determined their course and are steering aggressively and intentionally toward a split?

[71] Posted by Craig Uffman on 01-10-2007 at 03:32 PM • top

Craig,

I think there’s a First Things article that says something to that effect:

http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/?p=546

[72] Posted by Jordan Hylden on 01-10-2007 at 03:40 PM • top

Why should we be surprised when a heretic gives a heretical teaching?  That’s quite passe’.  Now, if a heretic was to break from heresy, then that would be noteworthy.  “By their fruit you will know them.”

[73] Posted by Bruce_Bremer on 01-10-2007 at 03:43 PM • top

Craig,

Then maybe this is the first sign of hope the GS are holding strong and the behind the scene conversatons are effective.  cheese

[74] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-10-2007 at 03:44 PM • top

I am nearly falling out of my chair. TEC jumped the shark a long time ago. What fruitcakes

[75] Posted by peeoui1 on 01-10-2007 at 03:52 PM • top

Craig:  I would have to think that all of these signs point to KJS and 815 realizing that their gig will be up at Primate’s Meeting.  Either that, or KJS has decided that she doesn’t really care, she is going to be “in your face” and (1) if the Primates let her get away with it, then she knows that TEC will never be discipline; or (2) if the Primates discipline TEC, she has some bargaining chips (i.e. we will stop harassing over property if you let us stay in some relationship with the ABC).  Either way, I think that KJS’s and 815’s actions demonstrate very clearly that the TEC liberal train isn’t slowing down - rather she’s just opened the throttle full tilt.

Matt - surely even RW sees this, and that this must color his comments that he has made to the British media and his letter to the Primates.

[76] Posted by jamesw on 01-10-2007 at 03:55 PM • top

Maybe I missed a comment or two on this, but consider this statement from the PB:  “Jesus was clearly in the prophetic tradition.”  Jesus was who the prophets pointed to.  Jesus was the incarnate Son of God.  What does she mean that he was in the prophetic tradition?  Has she gone Muslim on us?

[77] Posted by Cousin Vinnie on 01-10-2007 at 03:57 PM • top

yes, Matt+  I agree with you and think she means #2.  In the context of her remarks on racism, it seems she is saying original sin is judging others, excluding them. 

But yes, I do see a slim possibility one could read it that original sin CAUSES such broken relationships. 

I didn’t know quite what to make of her comment re: children.  Children not normative?  Is she trying to say the church or our culture excludes children or thinks them less than human?  Unfortunately I would say she’s right about too much of ECUSAECUSA in many places is not a child-friendly culture.  And of course there’s the whole matter of support for abortion.  But I don;t think she was *admitting* those things, so what WAS she trying to say about children?  That bit was quite odd.

[78] Posted by Karen B. on 01-10-2007 at 04:01 PM • top

Also, Rowan Williams himself has critiqued her sort of vapid “Incarnational” theology, and has found it to be certifiably wanting from a rigorous Christian theological perspective. He will probably put his head in his hands when/if he reads this….

[79] Posted by Christoferos on 01-10-2007 at 04:02 PM • top

I don’t understand the “bargaining chips” ploy.

Why would 815 want to stay in contact/association/communion with the ABC if they are working so hard to belt the conservatives out of church?  What do they possibly get out of this scenario?

It sounds more dysfunctional than the theology contained in this article and gives new meaning to a passive/aggressive approach to conflict resolution.

[80] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 01-10-2007 at 04:03 PM • top

A heretic is a heretic is a heretic… why are people shocked by this statement? This is NOT new “news”.

[81] Posted by bcann1175 on 01-10-2007 at 04:06 PM • top

All I have to say on it is: Christ stated that there would be false teachers and that we need to beware of them and from what she (KJS) has stated here is a clear cut case of going against what the bible tells us, so all who believe that the bible is the one and only true word of God. We need to pray and pray hard that God will show her that His word is true before it is to late and she leads people away from Him. Remember He came here to show us that no matter how sinful we are He came for all of us not just some. May God show all His mercy and love

[82] Posted by chulolee on 01-10-2007 at 04:14 PM • top

??Schori’s breathtaking exposition of warped and equivocating blasphemy is a wonder to behold.

For background on what she is doing, look up some of John Dewey’s original papers on “Religious Secularism”.  He advocated clergymen (he was writing in the early 20th C and was not as enlightened as Ms Schori) begin using their religious vocabularly to promote the secularism he himself advocated.

I cannot think of a more perfect example of Dewey’s vision than this.

How can one refute so much bilge draining down upon you?  You cannot.  One simply must flee it.

However, I’ll bring the firewood if someone else will bring the matches.  Our ancestors had more legitimate, more effective means of dealing with such affronts!

[83] Posted by ----- on 01-10-2007 at 04:19 PM • top

What really can one say?  The PB clearly doesn’t know what she is talking about.  Perhaps a collection could be taken up and a Bible purchased for her.  She needs our prayers.

[84] Posted by Nanny on 01-10-2007 at 04:54 PM • top

Matt+ [first post], for some of us here in Las Vegas, with nothing but slot machines, heresy, and kitty litter for two hundred miles in any direction, the fact that Mrs. Schori’s theology is thinner than the oil slick on Interstate 15 after a sparse desert rain comes as no surprise at all; we’ve been subjected to her for several years.

Nor are we particularly surprised at her bigger-hammer approach to dealing with the orthodox—we’ve seen her use that managerial technique in the diocese, too.  At first I thought it was just her favorite; I now believe it’s the only one she knows.

What does get my attention, though, is her complete obliviousness to the effect her words will have on anyone who has any background at all—however slight—in the basics of Christian belief.  I had never before realized just how sealed off and intellectually isolated modern American academia really is.  She talks this way quite naturally and unconsciously, on the unstated presupposition that everyone listening is Intellectually Sophisticated and Terribly, Terribly Modern and Reads The New York Times and so will of course agree with her.

I’m not sure whether to laugh, cry, or just watch in fascinated horror…

[85] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 01-10-2007 at 04:56 PM • top

Our call is actually quite simple:  to pray fervently for those who oppose us and to tirelessly the proclaim the good news of salvation in Christ Jesus.  I respectfully suggest to my fellow reasserters that our most effective tool in fighting heresy is simply to fully expose it to the light and let it stand for comparison side by side with the authentic gospel message.  We might do well, in other words, to focus on what we are for rather than what we are against, and to let the words of our worthy opponents speak for themselves. 
In 1974, 150 Christian leaders from around the world gathered at a conference in Lausanne, Switzerland.  This group created the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, and put together the Lausanne Covenent.  The drafting committee for this document was chaired by Anglicanism’s own John R. W. Stott.  The covenant is in the form of an ecumenical confession, and it specifically affirms the beliefs in the Nicene Creed. The signatories express their intention to be more committed to spreading Christianity throughout the world.
A very clear dividing line between the majority of leaders in the U.S. Episcopal denomination and those of us who call ourselves orthodox is that we orthodox are all are able to embrace fully the statements in this covenant, while nearly all of our leaders (including, obviously, our PB) are unable to do so.  Below are two of the fifteen statements in the covenant, which to my mind offer a refreshing antidote to the theology professed by Bp. Jefferts-Schori. 
3. THE UNIQUENESS AND UNIVERSALITY OF CHRIST

We affirm that there is only one Saviour and only one gospel, although there is a wide diversity of evangelistic approaches. We recognise that everyone has some knowledge of God through his general revelation in nature. But we deny that this can save, for people suppress the truth by their unrighteousness. We also reject as derogatory to Christ and the gospel every kind of syncretism and dialogue which implies that Christ speaks equally through all religions and ideologies. Jesus Christ, being himself the only God-man, who gave himself as the only ransom for sinners, is the only mediator between God and people. There is no other name by which we must be saved. All men and women are perishing because of sin, but God loves everyone, not wishing that any should perish but that all should repent. Yet those who reject Christ repudiate the joy of salvation and condemn themselves to eternal separation from God. To proclaim Jesus as “the Saviour of the world” is not to affirm that all people are either automatically or ultimately saved, still less to affirm that all religions offer salvation in Christ. Rather it is to proclaim God’s love for a world of sinners and to invite everyone to respond to him as Saviour and Lord in the wholehearted personal commitment of repentance and faith. Jesus Christ has been exalted above every other name; we long for the day when every knee shall bow to him and every tongue shall confess him Lord.
(Gal. 1:6-9;Rom. 1:18-32; I Tim. 2:5,6; Acts 4:12; John 3:16-19; II Pet. 3:9; II Thess. 1:7-9;John 4:42; Matt. 11:28; Eph. 1:20,21; Phil. 2:9-11)

4. THE NATURE OF EVANGELISM

<i>To evangelize is to spread the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures, and that as the reigning Lord he now offers the forgiveness of sins and the liberating gifts of the Spirit to all who repent and believe. Our Christian presence in the world is indispensable to evangelism, and so is that kind of dialogue whose purpose is to listen sensitively in order to understand. But evangelism itself is the proclamation of the historical, biblical Christ as Saviour and Lord, with a view to persuading people to come to him personally and so be reconciled to God. In issuing the gospel invitation we have no liberty to conceal the cost of discipleship. Jesus still calls all who would follow him to deny themselves, take up their cross, and identify themselves with his new community. The results of evangelism include obedience to Christ, incorporation into his Church and responsible service in the world.
(I Cor. 15:3,4; Acts 2: 32-39; John 20:21; I Cor. 1:23; II Cor. 4:5; 5:11,20; Luke 14:25-33; Mark 8:34; Acts 2:40,47; Mark 10:43-45)

Blessings.

[86] Posted by Rick H. on 01-10-2007 at 04:57 PM • top

According to KJS:
“…the federal Constitution is clear about the separation of church and state, that the church has the right to make decisions, if it’s a hierarchical church, and that the courts will only interfere in very specific circumstances.”

Make sure that wall of separation is fortified by all means!

On the other hand…KJS says:
“…People are aware more clearly today that it’s not just a matter of giving money, but it’s about empowering people in the pew to lobby their legislators. We’re not going to solve global poverty unless the industrialized nations of the world take it seriously and contribute a significant chunk of funds, resources, human capital, to making it possible…
…The Episcopal Church is involved at the diocesan level, at the parish level, at the level of individual members of the tradition. But we’re also involved in lobbying Congress, through our Office of Government Relations, to participate in this program.”

Oh, but make sure that there is a superhighway to Congress through that wall of separation so that we can make our church voice heard.  Butt out of our business but listen to our demands!  Makes perfect sense to me.

[87] Posted by wportbello on 01-10-2007 at 05:10 PM • top

This might impact the ARCIC discussions - ya think????

[88] Posted by R. Scott Purdy on 01-10-2007 at 05:20 PM • top

I’ve just read her (KSJ)statements and can only declare SHE IS A HERETIC out and out…I am waiting to see the global south’s reaction to this interview, and what ABC will say to it…how can he invite a Heretic to the counsels of the Church.
Brian
Ausie

[89] Posted by Brian (Aussie) on 01-10-2007 at 05:21 PM • top

Brian - heretics have been invited to church councils.  Our real problems will begin if she is not called by a council of this Communion to correct her teaching and anathematized if she will not.

[90] Posted by Phil on 01-10-2007 at 05:25 PM • top

Here is something interesting: Out of the more than 200 comments I have seen on SF and other sites, there has been exactly one that I remember even trying to defend ++KJS. Usually, by this time, her defenders are already howling about how ++She is just misunderstood. Not much to misunderstand in this interview, she lays her cards right on the table thanks to a pretty astute interviewer. It will be interesting to see what kind of spin the hacks at ENS try to put on this.

the snarkster

[91] Posted by the snarkster on 01-10-2007 at 05:28 PM • top

Phil,
You are right, absolutely..it makes me feel like sending an email pronto to PA in Nigeria and ABC, to start the ball rolling only I don’t have their addresses..if somebody could provide them I will start the ball rolling and all could follow.
Snarkster, you have a very pertinent point, where are they???
\
Brian Aussie

[92] Posted by Brian (Aussie) on 01-10-2007 at 05:52 PM • top

Snarkster,

That could be because of Fr. Jake’s handling the death of his father.
Or,
While it bothers us reasserters, it is accepted doctrine for the reappraisers so no problem for them.  Adherence to Scripture appears to matter only to us reasserters. 

Our opinion is that THIS is the course for TEC, and if the Anglican Communion does not “bless” this doctrine, TEC will keep heading down this path, collecting like-minded “members” (what’s to worship?) from England, Canada, etc., and attempting to collect property along the way.

Our question is, if Mathew 5: 39-40 says

39 But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 

and
Matthew 5:25-26 says,

25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

Are we called to walk away from the properties as TEC begins their anti-Biblical campaign to sue?  Could someone, perphaps the legal eagles, explain how we can balance this in light of these Scriptures?

[93] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 01-10-2007 at 06:13 PM • top

Sorry, the question is off-thread.  I’ll copy and move it to a more appopriate venue.

[94] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 01-10-2007 at 06:24 PM • top

Not only is the PBess a heretic, she’s utterly clueless about Third World development.  Trillions have been poured into places like Africa with virtually nothing to show for it.  Even the Africans (other than those getting fat Swiss bank accounts with the cash) are catching on that these people are not their friends.

Oh, and anyone who cares to might research the matter and discover that the plague of malaria that—Kate deplores was once virtually eradicated…with DDT.  Will we see her and her port-side pals demand spraying with DDT or will she sacrifice many more millions on the altar of her political dogma?

Utterly revolting.  I’m so happy I left this vile “church.”

[95] Posted by Jeffersonian on 01-10-2007 at 06:27 PM • top

Did Jesus insist on taking the temples with Him?

[96] Posted by MasterServer on 01-10-2007 at 06:35 PM • top

Snarkster:  The interviewer wasn’t a “he”.  It was a “she”:  Laura Lynn Brown of the (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.  She’s obviously a very astute interviewer, without being aggressive or obnoxious.

I wonder if Jefferts Schori will complain about this interview later, like she did about the NYT interview.

[97] Posted by Randy Muller on 01-10-2007 at 06:36 PM • top

Frank Lockwood is from Lexington’s Herald-Leader and was introduced to Episco-speak by interviewing its bishop.  He is an ace reporter, former member of Centenary UMC, that runs an excellent Alpha Course.  Frank was made for this expose, umm, I mean, interview. 

Several parts of this are bothersome, but I will only mention the psuedo-intellectualism.  For example, it is true that Jesus’ stands in the prophetic tradition.  But if that is all you say then it is reductionistic to the point of stupidity.  The canonical witness also places Jesus’ in the royal, priestly, and 2nd Adam traditions, for example.  It is the multiplicity of these Jesus’ traditions which prompted, in part, the early Church to hypothesis a trinitarian, two-nature doctrinal base to make sense of kalediscopic portrayal of Jesus in scripture and his ongoing transformative effect on people (and not just their social situations, which often got worse for following him).

I think KJS-types are drawn to the “prophetic” Jesus because that is the Jesus’ she is most comfortable with.  However, an important part of discipleship is welcoming the whole Jesus and letting him reveal his complete nature and thereby reveal yourself to you (radical hospitality to Jesus, if you will).  There are things about Jesus that I still find uncomfortable because I invariably realize that there is room for my own repentance and amendment of life.  It appears that the “KJS tradition” is invested in a reduced Jesus because the alternative is just too uncomfortable.  Either that or she is a theological light-weight.

[98] Posted by Tory on 01-10-2007 at 06:38 PM • top

Hmmm….

I have a vision… it’s of a room and a Prince, two children and a mudwiggle… and I’m hearing this voice through the fire, “There is No Alsan, there is no sky, there is no Narnia… there is only the Underworld… “

B. Shori is getting scarier and scarier…

We sure need a mudwiggle to put their foot in the fire right now…

Puddleglum where are YOU??????

[99] Posted by Eclipse on 01-10-2007 at 06:38 PM • top

AAAAh - it’s getting to me… I mean marshwiggle… I’m beginning to forget….

OK, Greg, no more B. Shori interviews unless you also provide appropriate antidotes.

[100] Posted by Eclipse on 01-10-2007 at 06:42 PM • top

Dear Children Keep yourselves from Idols :

1 John 5
Faith in the Son of God
1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
6This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7For there are three that testify: 8the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Concluding Remarks
13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
16If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. 17All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

18We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. 19We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

21Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

[101] Posted by stancase on 01-10-2007 at 06:46 PM • top

I suppose I should apologize for being somewhat simplistic here, but I would like to submit to my colleagues the same question asked of us (then the Anglican Fellowship of Chattanooga) in the winter of 2003 by Fr. Ray Kasch—
*
IS JESUS LORD .... OR NOT ????
*

[102] Posted by Anglican Observer on 01-10-2007 at 06:47 PM • top

Actually, what Katharine Jefferts Schori said in that interview represents non-literalist, traditional Christianity very well. If you want to dwell on partial phrases and to look for ways of twisting her words, she will sound to you like she is outside the mainstream of Christian thinking—of course, you can do that with anyone of any persuasion.
If you will pay attention to what she says, assuming in your reading that she is speaking from deep and faithful understanding of the Christian faith, you will find her compelling. The same is true with me, reading John Stott—use partial phrases from his work and twist his meaning and you will find someone far, far from New Testament religion.
What our Presiding Bishop is representing very well is from the bulk of the teaching of Jesus who affirms the relationship to the Father of people outside his tradition. That has been true in most of the church through the ages, though with exceptions. I trust the actions of Jesus.
Tom Woodward

[103] Posted by TBWSF on 01-10-2007 at 06:53 PM • top

The PB appeals to those who I refer to as people who want a pocket Christ. A nice quiet Christ who stays right where you put Him.  One you can display to the ooh and ahh of your friends.  He might even do a trick or two.  One you can safely put away in your pocket during those occassions when having a Christ about might embarass (sp) you.  One that you know is safe and secure and happy with the little bit of crumbs that fall his way.  A NICE CHRIST.

Or as C.S. Lewis would say, a tame lion.

[104] Posted by st. anonymous on 01-10-2007 at 07:01 PM • top

Dear Fr. Tom:

Respectfully, no she does not.  What she represents is a great universalist perspective.  Christians are ‘christ followers’ - Jesus is the one who said, “I am the Way the Truth and the Life NO ONE comes to the Father except by me.”  Thomas Cramner did not say it.  CS Lewis did not say it.  It’s not my perspective.

If you don’t believe it, you are not a follower of Christ.  Hence one who does not believe this is NOT a Christian.  That’s reality.

[105] Posted by Eclipse on 01-10-2007 at 07:08 PM • top

st. anonymous:

Yes, yes, this speech also smacks real close to some in the Last Battle by CS Lewis (or The Great Divorce) - but Greg has asked us to be kind….

[106] Posted by Eclipse on 01-10-2007 at 07:11 PM • top

Fr. Tom,

I am a bit suprised that you have decided to comment on this thread. The PB has so clearly strayed beyond the bounds of orthodoxy I suspected that most revisionist apologists would rather forget this interview, bury it, than comment on it.

[107] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-10-2007 at 07:12 PM • top

Mere Christian asks the beautiful right question. 

Craig Uffman, whom I love reading, is also thoroughly correct about his “mainstream” comments.  I also agree with his “solution”, which he stated more eloquently than me—“Bear Witness”, and as I said, “just keep doing your ‘Kingdom Work’”. 

Craig Goodrich also has an excellent tidbit…KJS is someone who literally is confident in her own “Christian” dysfunction.  “Elitist” is an understatement here, but that’s the whole point—when we are all enlightened or rise to her level of education and intellect, then we will all think like her, too. 

The Truth is, though, that it’s truly hard to tell which this “philosophy” is more of—PAGAN, or ARROGANT. 

Now I need ANOTHER shower…

Say your prayers—

LIC,

Jen

[108] Posted by Orthoducky on 01-10-2007 at 07:22 PM • top

Matt, it’s interesting you say what you just said.  Earlier this evening I told my spouse that, even if I were a revisionist, I’d be hiding under a rock right now. 

hmmm

[109] Posted by Orthoducky on 01-10-2007 at 07:27 PM • top

Craig Goodrich also has an excellent tidbit…KJS is someone who literally is confident in her own “Christian” dysfunction.  “Elitist” is an understatement here, but that’s the whole point—when we are all enlightened or rise to her level of education and intellect, then we will all think like her,

Matthew 18:3 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Or I think of “The wisdom of men is foolishness to God” from 1st Corinthians.

I know that because some of us just trust what Jesus says the ‘intelligent elite’ think we are ignorant - but hasn’t it always been so?

[110] Posted by Eclipse on 01-10-2007 at 07:31 PM • top

I’m a little baffled by everyone’s initial reaction to this…as if you actually expect her to confess the apostolic Christian faith.  It’s like being suprised when a cat opens its mouth and out comes “meow” instead of barking.  She is what she is.  We’ve got to get over this idea that they’re somehow betraying traditional Christianity…they never were Christians to begin with.  I blame those overly-tolerant bishops who came before us for allowing these types to be ordained in the first place.  Whoever let these people in are the ones who are culpable…they’re the ones who betrayed Christ, selling him for the silver of accomodation and super-tolerance.  Schori and her crew have been allowed in the past to view themselves as faithful Episcopalians, faithful Christians…why should we be surprised when they vigorously defend what they believe the church to be?  Let’s face it, they’ve got the votes.  It’s their church now, not Christ’s…the sacred places have been thoroughly defiled, thanks to unfaithful bishops in our past.  The sooner we separate from them, the better.  Then we can Christians, in peace.

[111] Posted by Jeremy B on 01-10-2007 at 07:34 PM • top

Fr. Woodward,
The ‘Jesus’ she speaks of is a Gnostic construct,as the Apostle would describe it,another Jesus(2 Cor.11:4)complete with a different spirit and gospel not preached or accepted by the Apostles or the church that has followed their teaching for 2000 years,counterfeit to the core.

[112] Posted by paddy on 01-10-2007 at 07:37 PM • top

bergieboy,

I suppose one reason I am suprised is because her false teaching is both so evident and inarticulate. This is precisely the opposite of her predecessor who’s false teaching was subtly hidden behind clouds of articulate obfuscation.

With +KJS, I merely have to forward her interviews and speeches to my vestry and people without comment or introduction and they see, immediately, that she is very far gone from the Christian faith.

This is why the more she speaks the better things are for the orthodox. She is a walking talking commercial for the Network.

[113] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-10-2007 at 07:44 PM • top

Matt,

I see what you mean.  She IS a brave one, isn’t she?  I’m a bit new to this whole Episcopalian scene, as of a year ago, so I’m not so familiar with what came before.  But like you, I’m glad she’s making it easy.  Let the good times roll!  Kind of sad, KJS is all I’ve ever really known.  But I look to Anglicanism’s potential, not it’s failures.  Thanks for your response.

[114] Posted by Jeremy B on 01-10-2007 at 07:55 PM • top

“The church in most places is healthy”
Clearly she is not familiar with the latest ASA figures grin

“...I will affirm that statement. But not in the narrow sense, that people can only come to relationship with God through consciously believing in Jesus.”

This one blew me away.  Our PB just said that we don’t need to believe in Jesus.  Think about that.

[115] Posted by Nevin on 01-10-2007 at 07:56 PM • top

yeah, Matt+  I’m with you.  I had a friend e-mail me tonight whose diocesan convention is coming up soon.  This friend was really quie excited about this interview, thought it would make life a lot easier for the orthodox in her diocese who face quite a challenge this year.

[116] Posted by Karen B. on 01-10-2007 at 07:57 PM • top

Read the whole interview (if you can stand it):
http://www.biblebeltblogger.com/biblebelt/2007/01/presiding_bisho.html#more

[117] Posted by garyec on 01-10-2007 at 08:01 PM • top

Actually, ++KJS does not stand in the tradition of “tame Christians.” Quite the opposite—she stands with Desmond Tutu, Steve Biko, Dorothy Day, John Hines, Jonathan Daniels and all those men and women in The Episcopal Church who have stood up in the Name of Jesus Christ against injustice and lack of faith.
When you put her faith in God and in God’s presence in the world over against those who are claiming ownership of orthodoxy.
One of the things that distinguished Jesus was his respect for minorities and for those on the margins of life. I wish that passion were more present in the large majority of clergy in the Network. What is it that James says about the faith of words and the faith of action?
I do not believe bishops and Standing Committees who show disrespect for women and for those our world has marginalized are brave Christians—they are playing it very, very safe, unlike their Lord and Savior.
Tom Woodward

[118] Posted by TBWSF on 01-10-2007 at 08:26 PM • top

Tom, social justic is clearly an outworking of the apostolic faith.  This we do not deny and I for one find the MDGs commendable.  Our beef is that we think she has thinned out the apostolic faith, and I gave just one clear example of how in my post above.  If I am misunderstanding her, I am open to correction.  But don’t deflect the argument by taking the moral high ground.  Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, William Stafford and et al our some of my heroes too.

[119] Posted by Tory on 01-10-2007 at 08:33 PM • top

Fr. Tom,

You said:

“Quite the opposite—she stands with Desmond Tutu, Steve Biko, Dorothy Day, John Hines,”

On the contrary. She stands with Marcion, Pelagius, and Valentinius. You are right. She is not tame. Her teachings are cruel. If followed they, like all heretical teachings, will lead to eternal darkness.

[120] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-10-2007 at 08:35 PM • top

Matt, I just saw your response, wondering why I would post to this string because, you say, ++KJS is nowhere near the orthodox core of the Christian faith.
As I noted before, she is firmly within that tradition. That she does not interpret John 14.6 the way you do does not put her outside that tradition, as you know. She believes in the doctrines of the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds and in the doctrine of the Church in all our official documents proclaiming doctrine and practice. Do you have a separate collection of doctrinal tests somewhere? Is it written down in Councils or in official texts? I think it comes down to disagreement about things Christians have always been able to disagree about.
I wish you and others at Stand Firm in Faith well. I have no doubt that you are all dedicated to the Jesus Christ you know. That does not mean yours is the only way of knowing Jesus Christ—it isn’t now and it hasn’t been in the past and won’t be, I trust, in the future. Jesus said, “He who is not against me is for me.” Within the truth of those words, we are fellow workers in God’s vineyard, each expressing our loyalty to the Risen Christ in different ways.
Tom Woodward
P.S.  Thank you for making your research on the membership of various Anglican organizations available to the wider church.

[121] Posted by TBWSF on 01-10-2007 at 08:39 PM • top

TBWSF:  “One of the things that distinguished Jesus was his respect for minorities and for those on the margins of life.”

No, it was His love for minorities and for those on the margins of life.  Jesus was not a “respecter” of persons—particularly not in the bumper-sticker ‘79 Baptism sense.

But aside from that, yes, indeed, He consorted with minorities and with those on the margins of life.  And when He consorted with them, what did He tell them to do?

[122] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 01-10-2007 at 08:42 PM • top

TWBSF:

You say we are somehow quoting Bp. Jefferts-Schori out of context.  I have two questions for you:  (1) Can you, personally and unqualifiedly, embrace the two articles of faith from the Lausanne Covenant set out above?  (2) Are you saying that the theology of Bp. Jefferts-Schori embraces those statements?

[123] Posted by Rick H. on 01-10-2007 at 08:45 PM • top

What the Episcopal Church once tolerated, it now embraces - Spong’s revolution is complete and the Bishop of Dallas’ animadversion, in retrospect, has come to full development:

First, Spong styles himself a judge of the church, but that is not his actual role. Rather, his continued presence as a bishop in this church constitutes a judgment upon us. While Spong’s published positions are well outside any meaningful definition of the Christian faith, this has not taken him outside the [Episcopal] church. By retaining his office while making a travesty of the faith he was ordained to guard, he has dragged much of the church into darkness with him.

[124] Posted by Jeffersonian on 01-10-2007 at 08:45 PM • top

I do not believe bishops and Standing Committees who show disrespect for women and for those our world has marginalized are brave Christians

As a woman, I don’t feel particularly marginalized - almost the opposite. And if you want to accuse other bishops of “showing disrespect” perhaps it would be helpful if you provided some concrete examples? Many, many orthodox Christians are shoulder to shoulder with the most marginalized people in the world, in the mission field at home and abroad.

[125] Posted by oscewicee on 01-10-2007 at 08:53 PM • top

Rick, the Lousanne Covenant is not a document of The Episcopal Church and while it represents the truth apprehended by many evangelicals, it does not represent the truth apprehended by traditional orthodox Christianity. ++KJS, as I know her from working with her and reading her statements, would agree with much of that Covenant—but other parts she (and I and the large majority of Episcopalians and Anglicans through the centuries) would not. In particular, under the Authority of Scriptures (“We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice.”).  My guess is that close to half of the people who post on this site do not believe that part of the Covenant.
Matt, it is wrong—and wrong in a silly way—to call our Presiding Bishop followers of Marcion, Pelagius, and Valentinius. I or others could make the same charge against you and others on this site. This is beneath you.
Tom W.

[126] Posted by TBWSF on 01-10-2007 at 08:58 PM • top

Fr. Tom,

I did not say she was a conscious follower of these ancient heretics. I said that her teachings are in line with them. I used those specific names on purpose.

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/the_presiding_bishops_top_five/

[127] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-10-2007 at 09:05 PM • top

Rev.Dr. Woodward,
For all the sanctimonious ‘minority’ talk,there remains the brute fact that PB Schori can’t or won’t confess Jesus as THE ONLY Son or the only mediator between God and man(1 Tim.2:5),from what I see in 1 John 4:2-4 and 5:9-12 as well as the teaching of the Athanasian creed tends to negate her inclusion and subsequent leadership in the church of Jesus Christ.
Paddy

[128] Posted by paddy on 01-10-2007 at 09:22 PM • top

I too am a good southern gal planted here in Illinois.  My Anglican friends frequently chalk up my theological position to my Baptist roots, which then makes it easier to summarily dismiss my stance.  Poor brainwashed me, “ she caint ‘hep it, after all -she went to Baylor!”

I was trying to politely explain my theological differences to a group of women this morning - trying to “behave” myself.  Thanks to this interview, my job just got VERY easy.

[129] Posted by ILLINOISMOM on 01-10-2007 at 09:32 PM • top

Those that Jesus touched, He transformed…He left no one the way they were when He found them…

[130] Posted by ElaineF. on 01-10-2007 at 09:39 PM • top

Fr Tom:

Paddy hits the nail on the head.  Nice leap of topic from the center to the tangents - however, unfortunately, we are not working in the realm of geometry.

That she does not interpret John 14.6 the way you do does not put her outside that tradition, as you know. She believes in the doctrines of the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds and in the doctrine of the Church in all our official documents proclaiming doctrine and practice.

You know there is a practice in Christianity that we take ‘hard to understand’ Scripture and debate it’s probable meaning.  However, this is NOT hard to understand… it’s clear cut and consistent. 

You know I don’t really like the fact that humans die. Therefore, using your logic, I’m going to say that despite the overwhelming evidence that all humans HAVE died that it’s not fact - it’s only the traditional perspective that death ends human life.  Actually, the enlightened perspective is that really, even though all the evidence points the contrary, humans have not died - really - it’s just the narrow perspective to believe they have.

[131] Posted by Eclipse on 01-10-2007 at 09:40 PM • top

“Guys, please stop what you are doing and read this interview. It is jaw dropping. ” M.K.

Thanks for sharing this interview my brother Matthew. 

I find ++Katharines inspiring, holy, imaginative, yet focused, responses “eye opening” whilst delivering to us Gods COMMANDMENT to love him and his wish for cleanspeaking/thinking Truth at the Body of Christ…stark truth that is clearly viewed best when “loving one another as thy self” is OUR priority COMMANDMENT from Jesus especially this season in our Churchlife…the fear/hate driven selective scriptural “judgements” against LGBT Christians and *others* of OUR recent past are now FULLY recognizable as the UNGODLY, and not-so-subtle, unjustifiable/excluding and eccentric racism antics they represent.

Thanks be to God for the Episcopal Church and ++Katharine Jefferts Schori for underscoring “Loving thy neighbor as thy self” COMMANDMENT as the priority mission in OUR Churchlife.

[132] Posted by Leonardo Ricardo on 01-10-2007 at 09:41 PM • top

I once “semi-defended” a comment made by PB Schori on this site - and got slammed for doing so.

OK, I was wrong. One can only assume by this interview that she is intent on splintering the Anglican Communion asunder. This interview was even more obnoxious than her interview with the NY Times.

She is like a “bull in a china shop.” She knows no decorum or concern for those holding different points-of-view. Nor does she seem to care.

One could hope the “revisionists” in TEC would place a gag on her mouth before she does any more harm. But, that is assuming they care.

[133] Posted by fastlosinghope on 01-10-2007 at 09:44 PM • top

To sum up her interviews: “I guess she has issues”

[134] Posted by garyec on 01-10-2007 at 09:52 PM • top

That she does not interpret John 14.6 the way you do does not put her outside that tradition, as you know. She believes in the doctrines of the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds and in the doctrine of the Church in all our official documents proclaiming doctrine and practice. Do you have a separate collection of doctrinal tests somewhere? Is it written down in Councils or in official texts? I think it comes down to disagreement about things Christians have always been able to disagree about.
I wish you and others at Stand Firm in Faith well. I have no doubt that you are all dedicated to the Jesus Christ you know. That does not mean yours is the only way of knowing Jesus Christ—it isn’t now and it hasn’t been in the past and won’t be, I trust, in the future.

Tom, you’ve set up whole row of straw men here. Allow me to knock over just a couple:

1. Unless you have a different version of John 14:6 somewhere, there is no “interpreting” it any way other than the way we have. It is that Jesus Christ is the only Son of God, and only through Him may we be reconciled to God the Father. There is simply no other way to exegete that text. Thus, this is not about interpretation. This is about redaction; nothing more… and nothing more complex, or nuanced, or “progressive.” The uniqueness of Christ is simply not open to interpretation in the context of proclaiming the faith. If you want to do that from inside a comparative religion course, fine. We stand here to declare that you will not do it - and get away with it - in a Christian church.

2. You speak of “the Jesus Christ [we] know” as though Jesus is different for every person. I suggest you’ve confused the meaning of one person in the life of another, for who that person actually is. My father means something different to me than he does to my sister; but that doesn’t mean he’s a different person when I’m around him than he is when my sister is around him. He is the same person no matter which one is around him; indeed, whether either of us is around him at all. Jesus Christ is sovereign. He is what He is whether or not we believe in Him, and regardless of the baggage and preconceptions you, or I, or anyone else, brings to Him. You and I no doubt bring very different things to the Cross, but we bring them to the same God incarnate. And He would be the same whether we came to the Cross or not.

Just those two examples illustrate the split in the Episcpol Church, which is the split between Christianity, and this post-Christian spirituality KJS espouses: It isn’t about gay bishops, or even sexual morality. It is over the uniqueness of Christ, and the sovereignty of Christ; which is to say it is about who Christ is and why He came to earth; which is to say, the split is over nothing less than what it means to be a Christian.

[135] Posted by Greg Griffith on 01-10-2007 at 09:56 PM • top

Follow-up to my post immediately above. I am relatively new to the “traditionalist/revisionist” Episcopal blogs. Perhaps, I shouldn’t comment based on my brief exposure.

However, I will. I have found far more theological content and less personal vilification on the “traditionalist” sites than on the “revisionist” sites.

That said, I sincerely mourn the loss of Fr. Jake’s father. My parents were divorced when I was one year old and I never really knew my father.

[136] Posted by fastlosinghope on 01-10-2007 at 10:01 PM • top

It isn’t about gay bishops, or even sexual morality. It is over the uniqueness of Christ, and the sovereignty of Christ; which is to say it is about who Christ is and why He came to earth; which is to say, the split is over nothing less than what it means to be a Christian.

Greg, thank you for this. I have been thinking, since reading this interview, that there is no one more “marginalized” in KJS’ religion than Christ.

[137] Posted by oscewicee on 01-10-2007 at 10:04 PM • top

L.R. - This is actually what Jesus said:

Matthew 22: 34-40
34But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

The obedience to the second grows out of obedience to the first.

[138] Posted by Connie Sandlin on 01-10-2007 at 10:05 PM • top

Fr. Tom, 
Of course, the Lausanne Covenant is not an official doctrine of the Episcopal denomination.  Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure that at this point in time the U.S. Episcopal denomination has no official doctrine whatsoever.  I do believe that the vast majority of orthodox, and yes, the majority of people who post on this site can embrace the Lausanne Covenant and all it contains, just as they can embrace the Thirty-nine articles and other declarations of traditional Christian faith. 

My point is simply this:  the Lausanne Covenant, the Thirty Nine Articles, even the Nicene Creed for that matter, all create a demarcation line.  On one side stand the leadership and a lot of the clergy in the Episcopal denomination.  On the other side stand reasserters, self-proclaimed orthodox, call us what you will. 

I don’t propose that this should lead to any particular reaction by anyone—leaving the church, accusing one another of heresy, appealing to this or that authority, suing one another, standing on a real or virtual street corner and ridiculing one another.  I do propose that we all be honest about where we stand.  Both gospels should be fully exposed to the light, and we will see in the end which one brings the prisoners, the drug addicts, the alcoholics, the workaholics, the rage-aholics, the co-dependents, the spiritually impoverished—all human beings, that is—into reconciliation with God. 
My point is meaningless however unless one buys into the idea that we are all spiritually impoverished and we all (prostitutes, tax collectors, and Pharisees alike) desperately need and crave reconciliation with God.

[139] Posted by Rick H. on 01-10-2007 at 10:08 PM • top

You all have done a great job of pointing out all the subtle and overt errors in her theology, which saves me a large amount of time and research.  And I’m still busy unwinding all this duct tape from my head.  But frankly, one of the things that creeped me out in this interview was that she finds the story of Ananias and Sapphira “quite humorous.”  Really?  That’s just sick.

[140] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 01-10-2007 at 10:13 PM • top

As far as the ‘she does not interpret John 14:6’ comment,would it be too hard for the revisionist camp to have remembered the Apostle Peter’s words from 2 Peter 1:16-21,(referring to two pivotal truths that many in revisionist circles would like to neglect via ‘biblical criticism’;that the people who witnessed the life of Jesus put it down on paper and that they wouldn’t have bought the lame line of ‘someone’s own interpretation’)?
Oh no,I forgot they explained the Uniqueness of Jesus and the veracity of 2 Peter away,my bad.
red face

[141] Posted by paddy on 01-10-2007 at 10:21 PM • top

ADG: Could you be a little more specific about some of the things the Episcopal Church offers to help people deal with those questions?

KJS: Well, we don’t come with a prescribed set of answers. We really do encourage people to wrestle with the question.

Hmmm.  Does the Episcopal Church come with a prescribed set of answers to other kinds of questions?  What if I’m wrestling with these questions:
Is it right or wrong to consecrate a gay man to be a bishop?  Is it right or wrong for the church to bless same-sex couples?  Are homosexual acts blessed by God?  Is it good to be gay?  Is abortion right or wrong?  Is Jesus Christ the only means of salvation for all humanity?

I’m only guessing, but I believe the PB and TEC most certainly have definite answers to these questions.

[142] Posted by DaveW on 01-10-2007 at 10:23 PM • top

Leonardo Ricardo:

Re:  Love has no judgment and judgment = hate

Hmm - so let me put this into context.  True love doesn’t have judgment.  Therefore, to be truly loving you NEVER judge another’s behavior and if you do then you hate them.

So, practically, truly loving parents never tell their children ‘no’ or that any of their behavior is wrong.  If they tell them a behavior is wrong (like picking their nose - hitting people) then they hate them.

Seriously cool logic there…..  I guess most parents hate their children then.  How sad.

[143] Posted by Eclipse on 01-10-2007 at 10:27 PM • top

Having had time to think…
++KJS is an articulate, intelligent person.  A Scientist, Pilot, Priest,  Bishop, and now Presiding Bishop, her training—especially as a Scientist has given her an appreciation for precise, exact language in those areas where she feels she has expertise.

She said exactly what she meant to say in response to these questions.  She knew what she was saying regarding her beliefs.  We have no reason to reinterpret.  Take her at her word.

We prayed for clarity.  We have had our prayers answered.

Thanks be to God.

[144] Posted by Summersnow on 01-10-2007 at 10:47 PM • top

Fr. Tom Woodward,

You said:

She believes in the doctrines of the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds and in the doctrine of the Church in all our official documents proclaiming doctrine and practice.

Yet she clearly is saying that Jesus is not the only way to the Father and thus eternal life.  Her words, in part, were:

But not in the narrow sense, that people can only come to relationship with God through consciously believing in Jesus.

Can you help me square what she said with this historical document I found at the back of my 1979 Prayer Book?

Article XVIII.  Of obtaining eternal Salvation only by the Name of Christ.

<i> 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. </i>

It seems to me that she has contradicted the doctrine of our church in its official statements.  Or don’t we believe in the 39 Articles anymore?

[145] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 01-10-2007 at 10:48 PM • top

I will let Dorothy Day speak for herself. 
” All words of our Lord and Saviour. “I have knowledge of salvation thru forgiveness of my sins,” Zacharias sang in his canticle.
And so, when it comes to divorce, birth control, abortion, I must write in this way. The teaching of Christ, the Word, must be upheld. Held up though one would think that it is completely beyond us—out of our reach, impossible to follow. I believe Christ is our Truth and is with us always. We may stretch towards it, falling short, failing seventy times seven, but forgiveness is always there. He is a kind and loving judge”

Christ is God or He is the world’s greatest liar and imposter. How can you Communists who claim to revere Him as a working class leader fail to see this? And if Christ established His Church on earth with Peter as its rock, that faulty one who denied him three times, who fled from Him when he was in trouble, then I, too, wanted a share in that tender compassionate love that is so great. Christ can forgive all sins and yearn over us no matter how far we fall.

So let us all, with St. Paul, “rejoice in the Lord always,” remembering Christ’s beatitudes, and call on the Name of the Lord—recalling too St. Bernard’s words—“Jesus is honey in the mouth, music to the ear, and shout of gladness in the heard,” because Christ, our Incarnate God, is present in His Name as in His Word, even as He was in the cloud which went before the Israelites
From (Dorothy Day Library on the Web at http://www.catholicworker.org/dorothyday/).

Dorothy Day had no trouble saying who Christ is, can the same be said for KJS?

[146] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 01-10-2007 at 11:18 PM • top

The Apostles and the Nicene Creeds are express belief. Schori could argue that belief as expressed in the Apostles and Nicene Creeds is not a prerequesite for the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.

That may be why the Athanasian Creed is stuck in the back of the book as one of the historical documents (historical meaning “no longer presently relevant”).

Here, for those who’ve been lulled into forgetfullness by the last 28 years of liturgical kitsch is the beginning of the Athanasian:

WHOSOEVER will be saved : before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholick Faith.
  Which Faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled : without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
  And the Catholick Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;
  Neither confounding the Persons : nor dividing the Substance.

Unless I’m mistaken, that leaves little room for the broader reading that Schori prefers.

[147] Posted by henryleroi on 01-10-2007 at 11:30 PM • top

Did anyone notice that even when she sorta, kinda, loosely, tangentially affirmed John 14:6 in the broadest sense, she still couldn’t use the name Jesus Christ as the only way to the Father?  She just said God.  Or god.  I am not sure if it should have been capitalized in her context.

So, let’s see:  Her church has no answers to life’s questions.  Well, except for the United Nations MDGs, which are the answers for whatever ails us.  This Jesus is just somebody in the prophetic tradition, and belief in him is not necessary to come to the Father.  And this salvation and resurrection thing is vastly over-rated in comparison to the here and now.  Her chutzpah is greatest in wearing the symbols of Christianity and taking money to be the presiding bishop of what is supposed to be a Christian church.

[148] Posted by Cousin Vinnie on 01-10-2007 at 11:45 PM • top

KJS’s god is awfully cruel to send Jesus to the cross if it wasn’t necessary for salvation but only an “examplar”.  Imagine if I murdered my daughter to illustrate to her friends that murder was wrong, but that you should suffer through it quietly?  How do Jesus statements regarding suffering, carrying your cross, the world hating you, etc. exemplify the ideal of heaven on earth.  Why does he promise that he goes ahead to prepare a place in his Father’s house if he not really that interested in the resurrection and afterlife?  I noticed that she keeps returning to the idea of human experience and relationship as central.  Isn’t his Humanism rather than Christianity?

[149] Posted by BillK on 01-11-2007 at 12:18 AM • top

Guys and Gals,
Please allow me to refer you back to Greg’s article.

Don’t get me wrong, my hat is off to those of you who have found a way to express yourself without resorting to personal attack or throwing stones at those who choose to leave/stay. 

Those of you who have broken Greg’s Golden Rules (GGR), consider this a shot across your bow.

[150] Posted by commenatrix on 01-11-2007 at 01:07 AM • top

Rick O.P. wrote

Our call is actually quite simple:  to pray fervently for those who oppose us and to tirelessly the proclaim the good news of salvation in Christ Jesus.  I respectfully suggest to my fellow reasserters that our most effective tool in fighting heresy is simply to fully expose it to the light and let it stand for comparison side by side with the authentic gospel message.  We might do well, in other words, to focus on what we are for rather than what we are against, and to let the words of our worthy opponents speak for themselves. 

But how do I expose it to the light in such a way that a person who thinks like this can see the error? I was talking with another member of the choir at my parish last weekend. Someone else mentioned Jesus’ words “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me”, and I have seldom had a more frustrating conversation—it was like trying to nail Jello to the wall. She kept repeating again and again, “I don’t believe in a God who excludes some people”. How does one get through to a person who thinks like this?  Where do I start? I don’t even think we are referring to the same entity when we speak of God.

If you used to think this way, how did your thinking change?

[151] Posted by kyounge1956 on 01-11-2007 at 01:35 AM • top

Many have commented ably on the theology of KJS on display here so it’s would be as pointless as her “belief” in Jesus to say more. Except to say that it is right to say KJS is well within a traditional approach to Christianity. As Matt has so excellently pointed out there is a VERY old tradition to heresy, going back to even before the gospels were written. The important thing to take from this interview is the absolute consistency of her positions, she merely expands here. Spong, Crew, etc are heretics. They know the true Christ but deny him for their political and very human ends and desires. They ignore the parts of the bible which don’t concern them and simple pervert those passages needed to achieve their ends. KJS is the fruit of their efforts. She IS a true believer in every sense of the word. She sees the entire Gospels in a perverted way, producing a Jesus total alien to not just certain passages but to the entire spirit of the words themselves. She is not a “Cafeteria Catholic” choosing what fits and leaving the rest. Having chosen what she sees as good she would throw the rest away, turn and ask the next in line to thank her for taking the time to protect them.  One wonders if Christ had turned to her and asked that she “Feed My sheep” might she not have answered “Surely not all Lord?”.

The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.
And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen

I will pray for you all but most especially for KJS, may the road to Tanzania be as beneficial to her as the road to Damascus was to Saul.

[152] Posted by Rocks on 01-11-2007 at 02:02 AM • top

It is that Jesus Christ is the only Son of God, and only through Him may we be reconciled to God the Father.

But Greg, that’s an interpretation.  The text is “no one comes to the Father, but through me.”  Is there only one way to come to God “through Christ”?  Must everyone say the sinner’s prayer?  That’s how a Western mind might interpret the passage.  But it does make God pretty small, it seems to me, and limited to linear thought.

I’ve never read that verse as you do.  Of course, Matt has done a long essay on this, so there’s no need to revisit the issue, I suppose. 

To claim from an interpretation of one verse that our PB denies the divinity and uniqueness of Christ, and is thus a heretic, seems like quite the leap to me.

Regarding the afterlife, if being a Christian is understood to be primarily about getting our ticket into heaven,  I can’t get too excited about it.  Such a view inclines some to be complascent and docile towards the work we’ve been given in this life; to continue the ministry of Jesus Christ.  Now that is something I can get excited about.

Promises of “pie in the sky by and by”  not only are of little interest to some Christians, but actually offensive, as it was an idea used many times in history to keep the rabble in their place.

The Kingdom of God is at hand.  We only encounter the living God in this present moment.  Evangelism is about helping others have an encounter with God in the here and now. 

Some may believe it is primarily about fire insurance.  I tend to see that as a fringe benefit of God’s grace, and to focus on it limits our passion to be witnesses of the healing power of God’s love moving among us right now.

Yes, Jesus is Lord, but also Savior.  Justice and mercy are balanced.  I have little doubt that our PB would affirm that same statement.

As I have little doubt that she would join me, and most people I know, in affirming the Nicene Creed, without crossing our fingers.  But then someone mentioned the 39 Articles.  Have you read them lately?  No Benediction, and the Prince gets to call the shots, just to mention a couple of quaint time-specific “reforms” that found their way into those.  No thanks. 

Although, I do want to thank all of you for your prayers.  You were a wonderful witness, in the here and now,  of God’s love and mercy among us.

Peace.

[153] Posted by FrJake on 01-11-2007 at 02:08 AM • top

FrJake,

  The text is “no one comes to the Father, but through me.” Is there only one way to come to God “through Christ”?  Must everyone say the sinner’s prayer?  That’s how a Western mind might interpret the passage.  But it does make God pretty small, it seems to me, and limited to linear thought.

I would ask must it not be true as a linear thought before it can be interpreted in other ways? If not how can the interpretations of something that is false be worthy?
It’s not the additional meanings drawn from this passage but the dismissal of it’s first and most obvious meaning that is disturbing.

[154] Posted by Rocks on 01-11-2007 at 02:32 AM • top

Rock,

I didn’t hear our PB dismissing it.  She expanded it, which seems to be the issue. 

Not everyone thinks the same way.  It’s a matter of how the brain cells fire.  Some will never quite grasp our Western inclination to assume everyone “logically” moves from this thought, to the next, etc.  The common interpretation is not so obvious to some of us.

Keep in mind, we are not her intended audience.  It is those who do not consider Chritianity an option because they have been told they had to buy the whole bill of goods before they can encounter the living God.

[155] Posted by FrJake on 01-11-2007 at 02:57 AM • top

FrJake,
“In that sense, yes, I will affirm that statement. But not in the narrow sense, that people can only come to relationship with God through consciously believing in Jesus.” 
But NOT in the narrow sense, NOT. If that isn’t a dismissal I don’t know what is.  For her the broad interpretation is true but the narrow is false. A broad intrepretation would be that by experience of holiness in other human beings a person may come to consiously believe in Jesus and be saved. She would have you believe that a concious belief in Jesus is not needed, even for those who CAN know him.
And is the mere concious belief in Jesus a “whole bill of goods”? Is even that SO much to ask now?

[156] Posted by Rocks on 01-11-2007 at 03:28 AM • top

I’m not sure what a “conscious” belief in Jesus means.  That qualification is not in scripture.  For some, entering into a new relationship with God through Christ is a process; one step leading to the next.  For others, it is an instantaneous “knowing”...the classic “conversion experience.”  I sure don’t want to draw the line as to at what point the decision is “conscious.”  For those who build to that decision, at what point are they “Christians”?  For those who glimpse it instantaneously all as a whole, are they not Christians until they can articulate that belief in words?

Let God draw the line.  I don’t think it’s our place.  And I think we block the doorway into the Kingdom for others when we insist that there is only one way to “accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior,” as Americans are inclined to describe the conversion experience.

The “narrow” interpretation that our PB was rejecting is the troubling message that Western Christianity has been preaching for too many years.  The PB said it nicely.  I’ll say it more bluntly:  “Believe like we do, or burn in hell.”

I think we are trying to put our limits on how God can act in the world when we say that kind of stuff.  Do we know exactly how Jesus Christ is made known in other cultures?  What about all of those turned away from Christ because of the fixation some Christians have with fire and brimstone?  What about those who have never heard the Gospel?  What about those who are mentally ill or handicapped?

God’s ways are not our ways.

[157] Posted by FrJake on 01-11-2007 at 03:57 AM • top

To kyounge1956:  There will probably always be those who love to walk in darkness more than the light. The best we can do is to try to keep in the light ourselves, and to proclaim the gospel message to others.  It is not really our job to change people’s hearts—that is the job of the Holy Spirit, who listeth where He will.  Another way to think of it is that it is not our call to accomplish any particular thing.  It is our call to simply be obedient.  Or maybe we can think of it in terms of a very simple illustration:  our call is to plant seeds.  God is the one who makes them germinate and grow. 
Your conversation with your choir mate illustrates as well as anything I can imagine that saving faith is a volitional act.  We DO choose to believe what we believe.  What we choose to believe has certain implications and is consequential.  Your friend chooses to believe, at least for right now, that the death of Jesus on the cross was a pointless act of cruelty.  But God’s ways are mysterious and there is no way any of us could possibly understand them while we are here on earth.  The seeds you have planted in your friend may one day bear fruit, and you may or may not ever know if that happens.

[158] Posted by Rick H. on 01-11-2007 at 06:23 AM • top

P.S. to kyounge1956:
Jesus really has nothing to offer to those who don’t understand the depths of their own spiritual poverty.  Before we can accept him as our Savior, we have to get to that place from which we can believe that we NEED a Savior.  If I don’t realize I am drowning, I have no use for the life ring someone throws to me.

[159] Posted by Rick H. on 01-11-2007 at 06:31 AM • top

“Mother Jesus”
“Episcopalians are smarter”
“Not in the narrow construction”
The rope for Tanzania gets longer, and longer, and longer…

[160] Posted by bigjimintx on 01-11-2007 at 07:10 AM • top

I just love this woman. Seriously, I am becoming convinced that she was placed in a position of authority so that all can see the moral and spiritual poverty of the hijackers of our poor old church. You couldn’t buy this kind of verification of our position for a billion bucks. Mrs. Schori gives it to us gratis. She is truly the answer to our prayers.

[161] Posted by teddy mak on 01-11-2007 at 07:48 AM • top

Yeah, that “narrow” interpretation that Jesus was talking about makes no sense, right?  We should just cross through in our Bibles what HE said in Matthew 7.
13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.

[162] Posted by goonole on 01-11-2007 at 07:54 AM • top

“KJS: Again in its narrow construction, it tends to eliminate other possibilities. In its broader construction, yes, human beings come to relationship with God largely through their experience of holiness in other human beings. Through seeing God at work in other people’s lives. In that sense, yes, I will affirm that statement. But not in the narrow sense, that people can only come to relationship with God through consciously believing in Jesus.”

Fr. Jake this is not necessarily Rahner nor is it necessarily consistent with Roman Catholic doctrine.

This is simply a denial that people must come to “conscious” knowledge of Christ to be saved. This is consistent with the Roman Catholic position (which is orthodox)

but it is also consistent with the pluralist position articulated by J Hicks (which is not).

No where in this interview does she say that Jesus is the Unique and sole mediator of salvation which is the necessary part of both Catholic and evangelical doctrine.

Moreover, she actually denies that and affirms the pluralist position in her interview with Time Magazine when she says that Jesus is one among many vehicles to the Divine.

So, it is most reasonable to assume that this is a rearticulation of her previous pluralist (and hence heretical) position

[163] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-11-2007 at 08:17 AM • top

Fr. Jake: 

That’s how a Western mind might interpret the passage.  But it does make God pretty small, it seems to me, and limited to linear thought.

There are a couple of problems with this:

1.  Christianity is not a Western religion, therefore, this idealogy does not come from the West. 

2.  What you are saying is completely inconsistent with the OT as well as the NT as first God only appeared to Abram - how limited is that - then only chose the people of Israel - how excusive is that!... the list goes on and on - what you are trying to say is inconsistent with the rest of Scripture.

3.  “But it makes God rather small, it seems to me’ - and that is probably the whole crux, here.  We don’t think God should have the rules he does or make the demands he does because it does not fit with our limited perspective.  So, we try taking an all knowing, omnipresent God and stuffing Him into our limited finite perspective.  “A person follows a path that seems right to him, but it only leads to destruction” OR “Trust in the Lord with all your Heart and lean not on your own understanding” - come to mind.  Fr. Jake, you may not like the rules - but they are God’s rules - not mine, not Anglicans, not Western Christianity. 

That leaves a choice - do we trust God is intelligent enough to correctly write a book and give us proper interpretation for it for 2000 years - or do you believe in a God that is so out-of-control of the Universe that He cannot keep track of one book and get the interpretation right.  The latter God is a sham - and rather ‘tame’ and weak - as ‘St. Anynomous said:  He is NOT a tame lion’ and I add “but Alsan always abides by his own rules”.


Regarding the afterlife, if being a Christian is understood to be primarily about getting our ticket into heaven, I can’t get too excited about it.  Such a view inclines some to be complascent and docile towards the work we’ve been given in this life; to continue the ministry of Jesus Christ.  Now that is something I can get excited about.

A couple of things here:

1.  I am very sorry for you.  A hope for place for there is no tears, sorrow, pain and where we all be as we should be is one of the great solaces a follower of Christ has.  When I think of the brokenness of our relationships with one another - even when we are working to make these relationships as they should be - I look forward to a time when they WILL be as they should be.  In the ugliness of the world around us - and our sometimes failure to make it any better - it is good to know that it WILL be as it should be.

2.  1 Cor. 15 begs to differ as to the importance of the belief in an after-life and says it much better than I can:

12 But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead?13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either.14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless.15 And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead.16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised.17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins.18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost!19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.
  20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.

Lastly, know I also was praying for you as your father passed away.  Loosing parents is very hard indeed - I’ve lost two, so far , to cancer.

[164] Posted by Eclipse on 01-11-2007 at 08:55 AM • top

“I insist that

[165] Posted by Anglican Observer on 01-11-2007 at 08:55 AM • top

“I insist that wherever you draw the lines, bounding lines must exist, beyond which your doctrine will cease either to be Anglican or to be Christian: and I suggest that the lines come a great deal sooner than many modern priests think.  I think it is your duty to fix the lines clearly in your own minds; and if you wish to go beyond them you must change your profession.”

“We never doubted that the unorthodox opinions were honestly held: what we complain of is your continuing your ministry after you have come to hold them.”

C. S. Lewis
Christian Apologetics
God in the Dock

[166] Posted by Anglican Observer on 01-11-2007 at 09:03 AM • top

I just HAD to read something that had 166 responses!! OH MY GAWD!  A “must read”. When I was in college I remember(vaguely) learning about something called the Communist dialectic. It was where a truth was changed ever so slightly that it still looked true enough to make you stop and wonder. Snakes slither.

[167] Posted by church lady on 01-11-2007 at 09:49 AM • top

I’m usually just a lurker.  This is the typical bloviating heresy that KJS expells.  After reading the comments, I would say that is the general consensus.

Spinning the Bible… not good.

“LUCY!  You got some splainin’ to do!”

[168] Posted by AmyB on 01-11-2007 at 10:59 AM • top

Those of you who know Frank Lockwood probably assumed he had a hand in this stunning interview.  He told me he could neither take credit or blame.  Way to go Laura Brown!

[169] Posted by Ralinda on 01-11-2007 at 11:23 AM • top

I dont think KJS cares what happens in Tanzania. She is finally openly saying what TEC has secretly believed for years. If TEC is kicked out of the Anglican communion it will obviously be because the closed minded primates of the global south hate women not because TEC has become pantheist. Those primates are as closed minded as I am a southern racist who worships a Jew, belongs to a Rwandan church and will be confirmed by an asian archbishop. I do drive a pick-up truck, though.

[170] Posted by dedaze on 01-11-2007 at 11:43 AM • top

“Must everyone say the sinner’s prayer”? 

Well, yes….isn’t everyone a sinner?!!! 

What up with that thought?!!  Just a little too penitential?  No joy? 

Greg is right—this is all about what it means to be a Christian.  If you’re going to toss the founding tenets of the Christian Faith, then I think it gets really hard to define yourself as a Christian. Do you truly want Christianity, or just “legitimacy”? 

You can have all the joy and “justice” you want, but I don’t believe Jesus means you to have them without the penitence. 

Ponder that.

[171] Posted by Orthoducky on 01-11-2007 at 12:18 PM • top

Looks like the Revisionist Apologistas are firing a few return volleys to cover their retreat. I wondered when Leonardo, Jake, and Woodward plus would throw their .02 cents in.

the snarkster

[172] Posted by the snarkster on 01-11-2007 at 12:39 PM • top

Note to Fr Jake and P.B. Schori:
‘If you believe what you like in the Gospel and reject what you don’t like,it is not the Gospel you believe,but yourself.’
St Augustine

[173] Posted by paddy on 01-11-2007 at 01:09 PM • top

Guys,

I just want to put in a positive word for Fr. Jake, not that he can’t speak for himself:) here,  but I know just from sharing at length on his blog that our brother truly believes that ultimately all “salvation” is in and through the person and work of our Lord. His concern is more in the way that this is all articulated, and in how the church has traditionally approached evangelical outreach.

Kyounge, I can relate very much to your concern. The Scripture teaches so clearly,
“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.”  1Tim. 2:3-6.

What I think is that our congregations are full of folks who profess the creeds and recite the liturgy of the church , but their minds and hearts are far from truly apprehending the real truth and spiritual reality of what is actually being confessed with their mouth.

Only the Holy Spirit of God can show to any of us the depth and reality of human brokeness,  can reveal the person of Jesus Christ, and the necessary , awesome work of the cross.

[174] Posted by Grace17033 on 01-11-2007 at 03:08 PM • top

While I can appreciate your going to bat for Fr Jake Grace,it’s my thought on it echoes that of Mere Christian’s citation of C.S. Lewis’ words and Eclipse’s citation of Scripture,to which I would add Col.1:23:‘provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard’.
From what I’ve seen of Bishop Schori’s comments she’s not only ‘shifted’ but has ‘swerved from the faith’(1 Tim.6:20-21).

[175] Posted by paddy on 01-11-2007 at 03:52 PM • top

I kind of wonder what she’d(PB Schori)have said had an interviewer brought up Acts 4:12.

[176] Posted by paddy on 01-11-2007 at 04:02 PM • top

In the immortal words of a Central Florida conference attendee following GC 2006: “We’re not concerned with scripture, or theology or morals; we’re just Episcopalians!”

[177] Posted by El Jefe on 01-11-2007 at 06:10 PM • top

or what about the Apostles Creed??? I’ve been writing my Parish a study on the Creed as their Senior Warden - in the absence of a rector .... This is the 3rd installment from this months Parish newsletter :

Continuing with the Apostles Creed: …. He suffered under Pontius Pilot, was crucified, dead and buried ……

We now come to the very heart of the Creed - to the very heart of Christianity - to the Holy of Holies in the ministry of Jesus Christ. It is all summed up in one single, solitary word, a word that stands out in all of its solemnity and dignity, one comprehensive and very emphatic word. He suffered. It is interesting to note that the Creed takes a tremendous leap from His virgin birth to His suffering and death - passing over his entire ministry. This might not be so strange when we consider the New Testament itself. There we find for example in the epistles of Paul, that virtually the entire ministry of Christ is ignored. No mention of His ethical teachings, a Sermon on the Mount, and no mention of His miracles or parables. The emphasis is always on His suffering and death and Resurrection. Even in the Gospels - which are the only New Testament writings about the life of Christ - One third of each of the first three Gospels deals with His sufferings and death, and remarkably one full half of the Gospel of John deals with the last week of Christ’s life on Earth.

He suffered! ” He suffered under Pontius Pilot,” we are told; and in that one statement the Creed is taken out of the misty air of pretense and NAILED DOWN into the cold hard facts of history. We have, therefore, no finely conceived fable or myth, but rather we have hard, cold facts etched in history.

The creedal statement that He died reminds of us of the reality of His death. He did not swoon or faint as some “make believers” would tell you. He was dead. This was witnessed by many - but note the professionals on the scene to make sure - the centurion on the scene was there as an experienced professional who had placed many before Christ into the grips of death. And if there should have been any doubt, the Centurion pierced His side - likely the heart -and as John tells us blood and water, (undeniable evidence of His death) flowed from the piecing. This was also scientific proof, though the circulation of blood had yet to be discovered at this time in history. John gives us proof in his writing that the circulation of the blood had stopped. It had already divided into its two primary parts of red blood cells and the watery serum. Out came blood and water. He was dead!

Jesus Christ was dead! Dead and buried, says the Creed. So it was that He was conceived in a virgin womb and placed in a virgin tomb, where no man had been laid to rest before.

The old saying “fight fire with fire” comes to mind for me - years ago when men traveled across the prairies in hip high prairie grass, the one thing they feared most was a prairie fire. They could see it coming from miles away - but could not out run those fires whipped by the raging prairie winds. Eventually, they discovered they could start a fire and let the winds cause it to rage away from them, then they would simply move into the darkened burned area and let the coming fire come and go around them as they were saved from the peril of the fire.

So it is with the wrath of God. The only place of eternal safety is where the fire has already been. And the only place the fire if God’s wrath has already been is at the Cross of Calvary, on the blackened rock outside the city wall. The fire of God’s wrath fell upon the Son of God, and Christ endured in His own body and soul all of the penalties for our sins. And he did this for you and me!

[178] Posted by MrEd on 01-11-2007 at 08:44 PM • top

Rick O.P. wrote:

...maybe we can think of it in terms of a very simple illustration:  our call is to plant seeds.  God is the one who makes them germinate and grow. 
Your conversation with your choir mate illustrates as well as anything I can imagine that saving faith is a volitional act. 

I doubt that any seed was planted, because I don’t think she ever really heard what I was trying to say. I suspect this is because I didn’t say it well, or perhaps didn’t say the right thing. It was as if I were broadcasting in AM, while she had only an FM receiver. I need to learn to broadcast in FM to plant a seed there.

Isn’t this matching of the message to the recipient what Paul meant when he said he became “all things to all men that he might by all means save some”? He was able to talk to both Jews and Greeks in a way they could understand, even if they didn’t all accept his message. That, I think, is where volition comes in. I need to broadcast a signal she can receive, but whether she turns the radio off or leaves it on is up to her.

[179] Posted by kyounge1956 on 01-11-2007 at 10:24 PM • top

FrJake,
“I’m not sure what a “conscious” belief in Jesus means.  That qualification is not in scripture.”  No it isn’t but it is the PBs but I would have to be logical and say that a “conscious” belief in Jesus is to admit that once a person is conscious of him and his teachings once must accept that he is what he claimed to be; The Christ, The Messiah, The Son of God, The Way, The Truth and The Light.  Regardless of whether this process is life long or instantaneous it can have only one true conclusion.

“at what point are they “Christians”? “ The moment we accept this and set our feet on the path to Him. Christians have found the Way, the Path, the Gate and having found it have set our feet forward.  Christians are always on the Way, never there, except at the point that we stand before him on judgment day and he is our truest guide.

“Let God draw the line.  I don’t think it’s our place.”  The ultimate cop out. It is God’s place, not ours,  to draw the line. Luckily he did that for us. The line is at whomever sees the Son sees the Father. The line is I am The Way, The Truth and The Light and no ones comes to the Father except through the Son. It is a firm and bright line, it may have broader interpretations, but it needs none to be true.

“Believe like we do, or burn in hell.”  This may be harsh but should we abandon the truth because we fail to articulate it? He said if you see me you see God and I am the way to Him, believe that or don’t come to God. Should our past harshness make this untrue? Can it?

“Do we know exactly how Jesus Christ is made known in other cultures?”  Yes, we do, through his evangelizers and evangelizing. Was not that among the most important things he asks of his apostles and those who would follow him? When he asked that his sheep be fed are we to think that he meant a nice dinner? Why would he send his apostles out if they were not needed? Were they to stop somewhere? Don’t go to India? China? The Far East? Did he not ask them to make disciples of ALL nations? Are only “Westerners” to be his sheep?

“God’s ways are not our ways.” This statement is too true unfortunately. Which is why our ways should be God’s ways and Jesus IS God.

[180] Posted by Rocks on 01-12-2007 at 01:13 AM • top

Matt,
“This is simply a denial that people must come to “conscious” knowledge of Christ to be saved. This is consistent with the Roman Catholic position (which is orthodox)”

I know I have read where you have written on this before and very articulately. I may be wrong but I think you misstate the Roman Catholic position slightly. A conscious knowledge is not necessary for those that CAN’T have known him. Whether through illness, ignorance, oppression or lack of opportunity. But this is not available to those who can know him and have had the opportunity.  Once you know Christ he must be accepted no matter how good or holy the life. As the world becomes smaller and smaller, and his evangelizers and message, by whatever means, reach even the farthest reaches and peoples this option will preclude more and more people each day.

[181] Posted by Rocks on 01-12-2007 at 01:17 AM • top

Fr. Jake, for once (mark it on your calendars!) I agree with practically your comments on this thread, and a careful reading of Romans Ch. 2 gives it support.  Also I repeat my condolences offered in a comment on your blog on the passing of your father.  But I think you give +KJS entirely too much credit in this:

“Yes, Jesus is Lord, but also Savior.  Justice and mercy are balanced.  I have little doubt that our PB would affirm that same statement.

As I have little doubt that she would join me, and most people I know, in affirming the Nicene Creed, without crossing our fingers.”

From her other qualified-to-death “affirmations” of Christian essentials, she especially would have a hard time affirming Jesus as the only begotten Son of God, of one Being with the Father, God from God, true God from true God, eternally begotten of the Father, not made, who became man in the Incarnation as an actual, unique and unrepeatable event, not as a cloudy metaphor.  Remember that the Creeds were formulated to rule out specific heresies, nearly all of which scream out to us virtually every time +KJS speaks in public.

[182] Posted by Milton on 01-12-2007 at 09:23 AM • top

Of course, my previous comment should begin, “with practically all your comments on this thread”.

[183] Posted by Milton on 01-12-2007 at 09:26 AM • top

henryleroi wrote: “That may be why the Athanasian Creed is stuck in the back of the book as one of the historical documents (historical meaning “no longer presently relevant”).

Here, for those who’ve been lulled into forgetfullness by the last 28 years of liturgical kitsch is the beginning of the Athanasian…”

To be fair, it hasn’t been relevant in the American Church for a lot longer than 28 years. It was dropped from the first edition in 1789.

[184] Posted by cokebottlegreen on 01-13-2007 at 12:44 AM • top

Rocks wrote: “Once you know Christ he must be accepted no matter how good or holy the life. As the world becomes smaller and smaller, and his evangelizers and message, by whatever means, reach even the farthest reaches and peoples this option will preclude more and more people each day.”

That’s assuming, it seems, that what’s getting through to those in “the farthest reaches and peoples” is really a competent exposition of the Good News. I’ve seen lots of “evangleization” by presumably well-intentioned Christians that seemed almost designed to make Christ repugnant.

[185] Posted by cokebottlegreen on 01-13-2007 at 12:50 AM • top

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