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Tibetan Buddhist Mandala Being Constructed at Philadelphia Cathedral

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 • 12:02 pm

Mmmmm.. What’s that smell? Ah yes… a big steaming cup of fresh hell:

The detailed workmanship is astounding. Using varying finenesses of sand, Mr. Samten outlines bricks, miniscule arrows and the decorative trim of a woman’s dress and sculpts buildings, mountains and rivers. He blends colors, so a band of yellow fades to green to meet the dominant blue of the largest circle. Although the overall effect is two-dimensional, Mr. Samten periodically turns off the overhead lights and uses a side-light to highlight the sand’s relief, and suddenly ocean waves and fruit trees come to life with depth and shadows.

The overall concept and symbolism of the “Wheel of Life” remain the same each time it is created, but individual artists add their own variations and interpretations. In this case, Mr. Samten whimsically includes a tiny dog that runs from scene to scene, appearing in the midst of a tale of human relationships. In other panels, Jesus and Buddha appear next to each other, a nod to the ecumenical relationship that brought this Buddhist mandala to an Episcopal cathedral, and a church building takes its place alongside a pagoda as diverse cultures intersect in Mr. Samten’s vision.

UPDATE: Pageantmaster sends along this link to the live Mandala-Cam!

62 Comments • Print-friendlyPrint-friendly w/commentsShare on Facebook

I really think that TEC needs a new name….The Univeralist Unitarian Episcopal Church! All religions are valid in our eyes!

[1] Posted by TLDillon on 01-29-2008 at 01:31 PM • top

Oh, puleeze, Blanche, quit the drama!
The mandala is not to be worshiped. It does not replace the Cross.

Defined loosely by Wikipedia: “It [a mandala] is of Hindu origin, but is also used in other Indian religions, such as Buddhism. In the Tibetan branch of Vajrayana Buddhism, they have been developed into sandpainting. In practice, mandala has become a generic term for any plan, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically, a microcosm of the Universe from the human perspective.
In various spiritual traditions, mandala may be employed for focusing attention of aspirants and adepts, a spiritual teaching tool, for establishing a sacred space and as an aid to meditation and trance induction.”

Get a grip. It isn’t pornography, it isn’t heresy, it isn’t even liturgically unsound (if one were to use it as a tool to meditate on one’s place in God’s creation, for example, it could be downright beneficial!).

[2] Posted by PadreWayne on 01-29-2008 at 01:40 PM • top

Why PadreWayne why wouldn’t a Christian just use the Bible for meditation and prayer. There is much in the bible to help with that. Or holding a Rosary to help with prayer and meditation?

[3] Posted by TLDillon on 01-29-2008 at 01:44 PM • top

I’m glad that it doesn’t replace the cross, Padre, but when did the church become about the “human perspective” and not Christ’s?  And even if it’s not “liturgically unsound” that doesn’t make it “sound,” either.  This is the problem with TEC these days - it’s all about everyone else’s religion (which is just as good as Christianity in TEC’s opinion), and not about the religion that Jesus started.  TEC really has become UU in vestments.

[4] Posted by Greg Sample on 01-29-2008 at 01:51 PM • top

Yes, that’s what the Episcopal church need, to fully embrace Buddhism. Notice how the Buddhist do not have issues with homosexual clergy, that’s because sex is a worldly pleasure to be renounced, just like the material processions that most Episcopalians have weighing them down, look how Episcopalian are upset by these property issues. Obviously a sign that the property has a hold on them, only by renouncing their hold on property and money will they be truly happy. Only by complete rejection will these Episcopalians break out of their cycle of sorrow and find true Nirvana, that is before Kurt went off the deep end and David went on to Foo Fighters.

[5] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-29-2008 at 01:52 PM • top

Ah, yes, PadreWayne, but you see, this is not just any generic “plan, chart or geometric pattern” to help us focus on our place in creation.  This is one which places Jesus & Buddha side-by-side and a church building and a pagoda both serve to show that hey, your culture believes one thing, mine another and it’s all good.  And this is not just some piece of art being displayed, this is being created with Tibetan Buddhist ritual and ceremony & will be removed with the same.

[6] Posted by slanehill on 01-29-2008 at 01:52 PM • top

“a magic title of possession, with which control over a particular territory can be legitimated…. One builds a magic circle (a mandala) and “anchors” it in the region to be claimed. Then one summons the gods and supplicates them [through ritual prayers and incantations] to take up residence in the ‘mandala palace.’ After a particular territory has been occupied by a mandala, it is automatically transformed into a sacred center of Buddhist cosmology. Every construction of a mandala also implies the magic subjugation of the inhabitants of the region in which the ‘magic circle’ is constructed.”

They also state, “In the case of the Kalachakra sand mandala, the places in which it has been built are transformed into the domains under the control of the Tibetan time gods. Accordingly, from a tantric viewpoint, the Kalachakra mandala constructed at great expense in New York in 1991 would be a cosmological demonstration of power, which aimed to say that the city now stood under the governing authority or at least spiritual influence of Kalachakra….”


[7] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 01-29-2008 at 01:53 PM • top

Yes Padrewayne, that is very close to what they used to say about golden calves in the northern kingdom

[8] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-29-2008 at 01:53 PM • top

Well, let’s look at this another way. You, being just an ordinary Joe or Jane Doe, pop into the Cathedral to check it out. You’ve been past it many times, but you have an hour to kill and you’re curious so you stop in. What message would finding a mandala inside a cathedral send to you? What does it say about the faith to be found at that building?

The answer is of course that it sends a mixed signal. Someone looking for clarity in their life would instantly know that there is none to be found at that church.

Tanning up before going to Anglican Beach Party Bingo

[9] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 01-29-2008 at 01:54 PM • top

...and if you continue in wikipedia, it reads:

“...a Buddhist mandala is envisaged as a “sacred space,” a Pure Buddha Realm[12] and also as an abode of fully realised beings or deities[13]...”

The TEC motto?

The Episcopal Church Welcomes Other Deities!


[10] Posted by tired on 01-29-2008 at 02:03 PM • top

‘Mordor in the Cathedral’

[11] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 01-29-2008 at 02:17 PM • top

ODC #1, might I suggest “Enigma Babylon One World Faith”?

[12] Posted by Marty the Baptist on 01-29-2008 at 02:26 PM • top

FWIW - A week ago Sunday, my parish had a sermon containing an interesting comparison Indian spiritualism with Christianity. (Sound quality is poor and the sound board people cut off the first five plus minutes, but it’s interesting in my mind reading this discussion) Text is the Matt 28:16-20 on ‘why missions.’

[13] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-29-2008 at 02:30 PM • top

Marty the Baptist,
It is what it is becoming which is not Christianity steeped in the Scriptures once delivered for all!

[14] Posted by TLDillon on 01-29-2008 at 02:31 PM • top

Well, hmmmm…..don’t know what to say here.  Appropriate to an Episcopal cathedral?  Well, that depends.  If the Cathedral commonly has art or cultural exhibits in a hall somewhere, it really doesn’t bother me.  If they have taken over part of the sanctuary, call me right after you depose the bishop and replace the standing committee.  Personally, I think of a mandala as artwork.  Would that I had the patience and concentration.  Last time I saw one made, it was at a college.  It was kind of amusing to watch one group of liberal professors who supported multiculturalism almost getting into fist fights with other liberal professors who were not going to stand for anything “religious” happening on campus.

[15] Posted by tjmcmahon on 01-29-2008 at 02:40 PM • top

Jesus and Budda - one of which is the only Son of God, who died on the cross for our sins, who became sin so we can be saved by grace, through whom the entire universe was created, who came to earth and suffered a horrible death so we would know God in a more intimate way, who desires a personal relationship with each of us, and the other one is a guy with some interesting ideas and philosophies. 

Do you still think they should be side by side?  Do you really think they should be given equal standing??

“I’m in charge and ALL IS WELL”...Shori

[16] Posted by B. Hunter on 01-29-2008 at 03:35 PM • top

B. Hunter: “Jesus…who became sin so we can be saved by grace…”

Huh? Jesus became sin?!? Now that is a pretty piece of reappraisal… wink Perhaps you mean “overcame”?

Who said Jesus and The Buddha (or, as you so deprecatingly put it, “a guy with some interesting ideas and philosophies”—I’m sure Buddhists would be delighted by your put-down…) were being placed “side by side”? Cathedrals have a long history of exhibiting art, music, and non-Christian aspects of human diversity in faith. The brouhaha over this is simply astounding. Or, as Ms. Hey might say, “fascinating.” What will some people get their knickers in a twist over…

[17] Posted by PadreWayne on 01-29-2008 at 03:46 PM • top

#17—So DioPA is not going to give up all sexuality and property? Rats, I thought finally solved PECUSA’s problems ...

[18] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-29-2008 at 03:48 PM • top

“Huh? Jesus became sin?!? Now that is a pretty piece of reappraisal…  Perhaps you mean “overcame”?”

Got scripture Padrewayne?

Might want to crack it open. I’ll give you a hint. Try 2nd Corinthians 5th chapter. You do the rest

[19] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-29-2008 at 03:51 PM • top

Kinda reminds me of the spiritual hodge-podge left in Samaria after the Assyrian deportation. Yes, God allowed the judgement to fall; but He is never pleased with the attitude of the rod of His anger gleefully chirping “Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession.” So God sent lions among the people imported into Samaria which killed a number of them. We then read:  “It was reported to the king of Assyria: “The people you deported and resettled in the towns of Samaria do not know what the god of that country requires. He has sent lions among them, which are killing them off, because the people do not know what he requires.”

  Then the king of Assyria gave this order: “Have one of the priests you took captive from Samaria go back to live there and teach the people what the god of the land requires.”  So one of the priests who had been exiled from Samaria came to live in Bethel and taught them how to worship the LORD.

  Nevertheless, each national group made its own gods in the several towns where they settled, and set them up in the shrines the people of Samaria had made at the high places.  The men from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, the men from Cuthah made Nergal, and the men from Hamath made Ashima;  the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.  They worshiped the LORD, but they also appointed all sorts of their own people to officiate for them as priests in the shrines at the high places.  They worshiped the LORD, but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought.

  To this day they persist in their former practices. They neither worship the LORD nor adhere to the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands that the LORD gave the descendants of Jacob…” (2 Kings 26-34)

[20] Posted by Bob K. on 01-29-2008 at 04:08 PM • top

Maybe people get their knickers in a twist because they do not see that the leadership of TEC is upholding beliefs in basic Christian principles. We hear from our PB and other Bishops, leaders in the Church, about Mother Jesus, God in a small box, many paths to heaven, outright denial of the Virgin Mary, and denial that Christ rose from the dead. As a result, Buddha in the Cathedral looks like yet another denial of Christianity by our leaders.

Rather than preaching the Good News of Jesus, the Bishop in the Cathedral is sending the message that Christianity is one belief among many options, all equally valid. If the Bishop does not believe it, preach it, and live it, why should we? Christianity is difficult, I would rather not love my neighbor, particularly when he is such a jerk. That you, PadreWayne, and others do not see this from the view of the laity and the wider world, is part of the problem.

[21] Posted by BillS on 01-29-2008 at 04:15 PM • top

This is the problem with TEC these days - it’s all about everyone else’s religion

It’s called “filling the vacuum.”

[22] Posted by Intercessor on 01-29-2008 at 05:26 PM • top


Who said Jesus and The Buddha (or, as you so deprecatingly put it, “a guy with some interesting ideas and philosophies”—I’m sure Buddhists would be delighted by your put-down…) were being placed “side by side”?

The article in the OP said so:

In other panels, Jesus and Buddha appear next to each other

[23] Posted by OneOfFive on 01-29-2008 at 05:28 PM • top

One builds a magic circle (a mandala) and “anchors” it in the region to be claimed. Then one summons the gods and supplicates them [through ritual prayers and incantations] to take up residence in the ‘mandala palace.’ After a particular territory has been occupied by a mandala, it is automatically transformed into a sacred center of Buddhist cosmology. Every construction of a mandala also implies the magic subjugation of the inhabitants of the region in which the ‘magic circle’ is constructed.”

Y’see, this is my big problem with all this… Scripture tells us that there are no other gods, but that there are principalities and powers, and that they are the entities with which we battle here on earth.  We sure as heck don’t need to be inviting them into our Cathedrals and getting spiritual creepy-crawlies all over us and our friends, and wondering what’s the problem?  This is not benign “art,” which doesn’t come with cling-ons, hopefully.  I suggest Cathedral visitors watch their backs.

Does this make me an anglo-evangel-fundie?  Could be.  Spiritual warfare isn’t very pretty.  Of course, “progressives” toss all these notions off as primitive superstitions, along with miracles, the virgin birth, the resurrection, etc., to their peril.

“You believe there is one God.  Good!  Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”  James 2:19

[24] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 01-29-2008 at 05:29 PM • top

Whoo Whoo! Cindy T in Tx. You Go Girl! That’s what I’m talkin’ bout!
Praise the Lord and kick the demons and their philosphers they rode in on to the curb!

[25] Posted by TLDillon on 01-29-2008 at 05:34 PM • top

Well, what usually gets cited (particularly by the LDS) is John 10:14-18, “other sheep which are not of this fold.” I am not a Universalist, and I recognize that this passage has been dissected many times, throughout the ages, by the great scholars.

Buddhism is so dense, so complex, so secretive in its upper levels that I do not know what they do or don’t believe. Furthermore, I gather that there are different schools of Buddhism. I do know that at least among certain orders of monks, homosexual practice is emphatically NOT endorsed.

I wish that mandalas in cathedrals were the ONLY controversy in TEC.

Yet, given the choice of spending a day with the Dalai Lama, versus a day with the PB or the ABp of C, (none of whom I have met) I believe I know which choice I would make.

Of course, toss in Alister McGrath or J.I. Packer - and it would be a more difficult choice.

[26] Posted by Ralph on 01-29-2008 at 05:50 PM • top

Hey PadreWayne - 2 Corinthians 5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”.  No revisions here my man…yeah, got scripture…

My point regarding Budda is this - he isn’t in the “same league”...Budda never claimed to be the Son of God; he is just a man.

And yes, we are over-reacting…because TEC IS moving Jesus to be on the same level as Budda…makes their agenda easier to swallow.

Hi Cindy T - YOU ROCK!!

[27] Posted by B. Hunter on 01-29-2008 at 06:01 PM • top

If I may quote some examples from the records of the Kings of Judah (don’t cringe, this one wont be so long!), bringing foreign Gods into the city and house of the LORD was the common practice of the lowest and most apostate of Judah’s Kings-Ahaz, Manasseh, Amaziah, Jehoram. Their sad stories of apostasy are recorded in Scripture for us to heed for a very good reason: “Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved…and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (1 Cor. 10:6,11) Cindy T. was absolutely correct. When you invite demon gods in, they are only too happy to oblige; you have given them licence to do so. Know this: Yahweh will not share His glory with another. The people who did this thing in Philadelphia do not realize the spiritual danger that they are placing people in who think that they are coming into a true house of God. As in Ezekiel’s prophesy, the Glory of God may leave His house, and what used to be a sanctuary of the living God may become “the habitation of demons, and the hold of every foul spirit.” This warning by the Apostle Paul is so very clear on this matter: “..I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than He?” (1 Cor. 10:20-22)

[28] Posted by Bob K. on 01-29-2008 at 06:35 PM • top

C’mon, folks, how low do we have to stoop?  Beating up on an Episcopal priest for not knowing Scripture?  Please.

Now, if he so much as stuttered as he chanted the Millenium Development Goals…

[29] Posted by Jeffersonian on 01-29-2008 at 07:41 PM • top

It would no more bother me to find Buddha’s image next to Christ in a Christian Cathedral than it would to find a doxie in my husband’s arms in our marriage bed.

The proper response to both involve actions not suitable for family viewing.  Rated V for violence.

[30] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 01-29-2008 at 08:21 PM • top

What gives…..PadreWayne disappeared.  It must be the magic.

[31] Posted by goonole on 01-29-2008 at 09:26 PM • top

PadreWayne’s defense of the Tibetan Buddhist Mandala is much more instructive of the real problem than the article itself.

[32] Posted by Going Home on 01-29-2008 at 09:43 PM • top

#29 - Jeffersonian, that was a hoot!

[33] Posted by Bob K. on 01-29-2008 at 10:13 PM • top

I agree that Jeffersonian’s parody (#29) was a hoot.  But then so was Paula’s evocative analogy in #30.

David Handy+

[34] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 01-29-2008 at 10:51 PM • top

Let a radicalized moderate re-asserter endorse the comment at #26.  If Buddhist mandalas were the only issue in the life of TEC, we would be much happier.  I too would choose to hear the Dalai Lama over the PB, if given the choice.  We had Buddhist prayer flags on our own family Christmas tree, because they are colorful.  I had the opportunity to see the Tibetan mandala at the Natty Cat this past fall, and it was very handsome.  I am not familiar with the circumstances in Philly, but I am convinced of Bishop Satterlee’s vision that the National Cathedral stands as a Ceaseless Witness to the Gospel of Christ, and that witness is not defeated by a mandala.

[35] Posted by Dick Mitchell on 01-29-2008 at 11:17 PM • top

I would love to be able to see this mandala taking shape.  What a beautiful expression of centeredness.

[36] Posted by anotherone on 01-29-2008 at 11:28 PM • top

Centered on what?

[37] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 01-29-2008 at 11:30 PM • top

Fr. David, I think I would call Paulas analogy a “kick” rather then a “hoot” (but perhaps I’m just splitting hairs)

[38] Posted by Bob K. on 01-29-2008 at 11:46 PM • top

B. Hunter: “And yes, we are over-reacting…because TEC IS moving Jesus to be on the same level as Budda…makes their agenda easier to swallow.”
Nonsense. TEC is doing no such thing, and you know it.

Paula: The image of Jesus and the Buddha, as pointed out above, is on the mandala. Do you have a problem with an image of Jesus next to anyone? E.g., if you saw an image of Jesus with Mother Theresa, or Jesus and Martin Luther King, Jr., would you have the same “V” reaction? Can one not imagine the Word embracing the Buddha? Why not? Is our Lord restricted to embracing (or being seen next to) Christians of a certain stripe? If you believe this, than I would say that the Gospels have the narratives all wrong…

The pictoral placement of the two together does not mean that the viewer (or the Cathedral Dean or the amazing writer of the mandala [and I use “writer” as one would in describing a person who creates icons] or the Bishop) views them as equals. But are they not both significant in God’s magnificent creation?

B. Hunter, I stand corrected—I did not see the reference to the two being side by side on the mandala.

[39] Posted by PadreWayne on 01-30-2008 at 12:37 AM • top

Can one not imagine the Word embracing the Buddha?

Frankly, no.  Since the Lord Jesus claims to be God, and Buddhism denies there is any God, I don’t see how the former can embrace the latter.  As it is written: “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”  John 8:24


[40] Posted by carl on 01-30-2008 at 01:09 AM • top

Yeah Padre Wayne.  I do have a problem with the image of Buddha being placed next to an image of Christ in a Christian Cathederal.  The only image I want to see next to Jesus are the BVM, Saint Joseph, the Apostles and the Saints and Angels.  Who by the way are always distinguished from Christ and it is made very clear they are in no way, shape or form His equal.  The proper place for other images is for them to be shown kneeling at His feet.  Worshipping, adoring, petitioning and humbling themselves before Our Lord and Savior.  So if they want to show Buddha kneeling at the feet of Christ, great.

As for the query “But are they not both significant in God’s magnificent creation? ”  Quite frankly no, since Jesus is God He is rather more than significant.  He is the source of God’s magnificent creation.  It would be like comparing how beautiful a flower looks in the light of the sun to the sun itself.

[41] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 01-30-2008 at 01:48 AM • top

This exchange is evidence of the danger of syncretism in God’s Church.  We shy away from evangelism and working to convert those of other faiths because we don’t really believe that the Gospel we profess is THE answer.  Even Christian clergy don’t believe it, apparently.  The passionate practice of other religions looks, on the surface, inspiring and noble, and we say, “well, who am I to say that they are in error?”  Except every tenet of our faith demands acknowledgment of the uniqueness and Lordship of Christ:

Phil 2:9-11 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

There is no escape.  And who’d want to?  No amount of mandala-writing will save a Buddhist’s soul.  No amount of chakra balancing, no amount of MDG serving, no amount of labrynth walking, or trust fund donating will transform a human life from born-of-the-flesh to born-of-the-spirit.  We must all kneel and call Him Lord.

The Word cannot embrace The Buddha.  These are not concepts, or ideas.  The Buddha was a human being, and is dead and buried, while The Word is the crucified and resurrected Son of God - existing from before the beginning, and alive forevermore. 

If you want a Buddhist to be embraced by The Word, you have to tell him that Jesus is the only way to find what he’s ultimately looking for.  Do you stand in awe of the Buddhist’s artistic talent and let him walk to his doom, or do you dare to introduce him to The Way, The Truth, and The Life?

[42] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 01-30-2008 at 02:21 AM • top

Interesting exchange, all. Got me to thinking. Praying. I see your points, though I don’t agree with most. I guess what strikes me as most troubling is Cindy’s latest, “Do you stand in awe of the Buddhist’s talent and let him walk to his doom”—I simply do not believe that he is automatically doomed. And therein, probably most deeply, lies our disagreement.

If, to revert to a much older argument, the Buddhist never has the opportunity to hear of Christ (and therefore never has the opportunity to embrace the Word), he is doomed? (And this is probably somewhat off-thread, though I believe it lies at the heart of our disagreement…)

[43] Posted by PadreWayne on 01-30-2008 at 08:20 AM • top

Oh—and I’m tired of the references to TEC being the new “Universalist Unitarian Church.” I quite definitely believe in the Holy Trinity, and I suspect you’ll find the huge majority of Episcopalians—“revisionist” or not—do, as well. The moniker does not apply.

[44] Posted by PadreWayne on 01-30-2008 at 08:23 AM • top

I think you’re right, Padre, and have identified our core divergence of belief.  I don’t suppose to say which human is doomed and which is not; that will be the Lord’s decision, of course.  All we have to go on is our instructions from Christ himself that we are to make disciples of all nations, and the unequivocal truth that salvation is found in Christ alone.  And if the Buddhists working at the cathedral don’t get the opportunity to hear about Jesus, that speaks pretty poorly of the clergy and parishioners there.

What is most troubling to me is that many revisionists don’t even see the need, nay, even the point of telling the Buddhist about the redemptive work of Jesus.

[45] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 01-30-2008 at 08:32 AM • top

Padre Wayne, what kind of Trinity do you believe in?  I can recall being told in an Episcopal seminary, and by Episcopal priests, that “we experience God in three ways.”  This is often shorthand for a modalistic view of the Trinity—that God has three faces he presents to us.  In his inmost being, however, God is one.

However, the Councils proclaimed that the Triune God is one in nature and three in person in his innermost being, and that he would be Triune whether or not there were any human beings or angels to experience him.  ECUSA seems to be very slow to affirm this view, and more than a few leaders speak of Jesus as a great man, more wise than any, more connected to God than virtually anyone—but not God the Son incarnate.

And with regard to those who have never heard the Gospel—Scripture says that all humanity is dead in trespasses and sin.  No one deserves anything from God but rejection. That he saves anyone is utter grace.  If God gave us what we deserve, we would be eternally separated from him.  “Good” people are only good when measured by other members of humanity; no one is good compared to God.

[46] Posted by AnglicanXn on 01-30-2008 at 08:42 AM • top

AnglicanXn: “However, the Councils proclaimed that the Triune God is one in nature and three in person in his innermost being, and that he would be Triune whether or not there were any human beings or angels to experience him.  ECUSA seems to be very slow to affirm this view, and more than a few leaders speak of Jesus as a great man, more wise than any, more connected to God than virtually anyone—but not God the Son incarnate.”

I am not a modalist. I do not, for example, bless the congregation “In the name of the Divine Majesty, the Incarnate Word, and the Abiding Spirit” because I think it borders on modalism. I am, you would find, pretty conservative in my Trinitarian beliefs.

In your last para., you still didn’t answer my question. Perhaps you did: Those who have never heard the Gospel—are doomed? Or do you have a special place for them to receive a post-life-pre-Banquet catechism?

[47] Posted by PadreWayne on 01-30-2008 at 08:53 AM • top

Wayne, I’m glad to hear you believe in the Trinity, but the problem with TEC is that you really don’t need to in order to be a priest or bishop.  It does no good to say, “Hey, some of us believe some of the Creed.”  Of course some do.  The problem is that many don’t, and that’s considered OK and tolerated. 

This is why the comparison to the UU church is apt.  Some Unitarians believe part of the Creed part of the time too.

And as BillS said above, this mandala project isn’t happening in a vaccuum, or in a solidly orthodox Church.  It is happening in a denomination in which both the chief spokeswoman and your bishop have boldly affirmed that Jesus got it wrong when He said He was the way, truth, and life. 

Schori and Gepert have both said Jesus was a way; their way.  This is unitarianism, plain and simple.  I wish that they would uphold the scriptures, but you’re gonna have to grapple with the fact that they consistantly choose not to.

[48] Posted by Fr. Andrew Gross on 01-30-2008 at 08:53 AM • top

Um, no, Andrew, this is not unitarianism. It may be universalism, but it is not unitarianism.

[49] Posted by PadreWayne on 01-30-2008 at 08:55 AM • top

Do you wanna tell us why you think this is the case?

[50] Posted by Fr. Andrew Gross on 01-30-2008 at 08:58 AM • top

If, to revert to a much older argument, the Buddhist never has the opportunity to hear of Christ (and therefore never has the opportunity to embrace the Word), he is doomed?

Yes, he is doomed.  God’s holiness demands that sin be judged.  There is no escape from this judgment apart from the work of Christ, and no access to the work of Christ without faith in Christ.

Men do not become culpable for their sin only after they hear.  The logic of such theology would dictate we not tell anyone the Gospel lest we imperil their soul.  Instead men are born culpable.  We are all by nature sinful.  We sin because we are sinners; because we are by nature enemies of God who hate what God loves.  There are no innocent men, and if God condemned every mother’s son of us, the Angels would call Him just.  That He chose to save any is the wonder.  But God is not bound by any obligation to save all.  He specifically denies this in Romans.

For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”  It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.  Romans 9:15-20

He saves those whom He chose to save.  And He does not fail in His efforts.

[51] Posted by carl on 01-30-2008 at 09:10 AM • top

Oh—and I’m tired of the references to TEC being the new “Universalist Unitarian Church.”

But PadreWayne,
As long a TEC allows priests and bishops to give communion to Hindus who by the way are not baptised in the Lord and do not profess Jesus Christ as their Lod and Savior and to allow priests who are worshipping Ali as a muslim and then preaching the Gospe,l the Good News of Jesus Christ at the same time…..then it will certainly be looked upon as a church that is walking a short road to Univerialist Unitarianism.
One is either professing Christianity, or Buddaism, or Muslim, but you cannot profess all three.

[52] Posted by TLDillon on 01-30-2008 at 10:55 AM • top

If you will remember, ODC, the correction stated that there were Christians in Indian dress who may have been mistaken for Hindu.

[53] Posted by PadreWayne on 01-30-2008 at 10:59 AM • top

And for the record, I profess Christianity. And while some parishes may be practicing “open Communion,” the rubric in our service bulletin states that Communion is for all baptized people of any age or denomination. Others are invited forward for a blessing.

[54] Posted by PadreWayne on 01-30-2008 at 11:02 AM • top

I obviously have no personal knowledge but have gained the impression that were I to visit a TEC Cathedral I might find prayer flags, a Mandala or perhaps even some Asherah poles.

Then I hear much from the presiding bishop and others about Jesus pointing the way but nothing about him being the son of God who died for our sins, rose from the dead and will come again in glory; fairly basic Christianity I would have thought.

What would you say Padre Wayne - as a visitor to one of your Cathedrals, would I get the wrong impression?

[55] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 01-30-2008 at 11:03 AM • top

Wayne, why does it matter what your parish does?  Many of the churches in your diocese practice open communion with the full blessing of the bishop.  Furthermore, the fact that the Hindus at the LA service abstained from communion says more about them, than the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

All of this continues unabated in the name of tolerance.  At the last convention of your diocese the suggestion that we study the apporpriateness of open communion was vehemently attacked.  I recall the words ‘witchhunt’ and ‘communion police’ being used right before the resolution, calling for a simple study group, was tabled (or was it defeated outright)?

Again, you can point to vestiges of orthodoxy around TEC, and we will not deny that, but it is clear that there is simply no desire or ability to maintain basic standards of Christian worship and belief.

[56] Posted by Fr. Andrew Gross on 01-30-2008 at 11:20 AM • top

#53 PadreWayne,
I did not and will not purchase the Bridge over the swamp in the desert!
So I don’t buy….That’s the excus that was used by the good bishop in San Francisco who gave communion to a dressed up homosexual of some GLBT organization in a nun’s outfit. Bad form! Bad form!

[57] Posted by TLDillon on 01-30-2008 at 11:20 AM • top

...for all baptized people of any age or denomination

Tha would be Christian denomination….right?

[58] Posted by TLDillon on 01-30-2008 at 11:22 AM • top

AnglicanXn and Carl:  Calvin called.  He wants his Theology back.

[59] Posted by anotherone on 01-31-2008 at 01:26 AM • top

For two weeks, Losang Samten, a Tibetan Buddhist monk, has been rasping fine lines of sand out of a metal tube to create careful images that portray the frailty of the human condition and the consequences of giving in to the “poisons” of ignorance, greed and anger. Every image carries symbolism, from the trio of animals at the center (pig, pigeon and snake, corresponding to the three poisons) to the six surrounding landscapes to the evolving love story around the perimeter.

What about the poisons of misogyny, homophobia and white privilege?  This has no business in any Episcopal church, much less a cathedral!  wink

[60] Posted by Piedmont on 02-04-2008 at 10:00 PM • top

If you search the net ,you can see what the Tibetan’s themselves say they are doing with their Sand Mandala technology.At the onset Buddhisms seeks to mix with its targeted population. As an off shoot and answer to Hindu caste and almost endless striving for Nirvana,Buddhism was “received by spiritual revelation” as a one step, one stop drive through nirvana,salvation experience.How ever, because of it’s proselytizing nature,it spread into Tibet and merged with the Bon religion, with all its wrathful deities and shamanism, which had it self became preeminent in Tibet. It may be old, but not as old as Mystery Religions of Medes/Persians and the Babylonians,which have also come down to our time veiled and infiltrating modern Christianity! So, outwardly Buddhism seeks to blend in or mix with other religions and spiritual beliefs. But if you do an honest and in depth study of just the Kalachakra Tantra, you will discover teaching about Shamballa Warrior Monk’s and the future Shamballa War that is described and taught. It say;s the Buddhist’s shall defeat and destroy the Semitic peoples and their God.Muslim’s Christian’s and Jew’s. This is from their teaching. MAKE NO MISTAKE ,AND TAKE THIS AS AN URGENT WARNING!These seemingly innocent and beautiful Sand Paintings?, are in actuality spiritual weapons wielded against the targeted population,among other things to bring them under influence of spirits ,other than God’s Holy spirit.Their is extensive and irrefutable evidence of the demonic and anti christ nature of what Tibetan Buddhist’s are up to in North America,to any one truly seeking the Truth. And who hasn’t already been taken spiritually captive to the Antichrist spirit,by refusing to obey the Truth of God’s Word and Holy Spirit.They are building Mandala’s many places,right now. Roseville,Calif.(In Sierra’s i.e. High Places). Also in April at U.C. Santa Barbara, just prior to Dali Lama visit on 24th.Each separate Mandala has a specific purpose,but also together they have corporate purpose. The White Tara Mandala in Roseville Calif. is to invoke Feminine, Goddess Spirit, GAIA, Mother Earth spirit,i.e. the ancient and modern ,Queen of Heaven,false Dove,counterfeit,which most Globalists in our gov, economics, and religions, worship.This spirit is working to bring antichrist global religion and gov. and economic system together as platform for world dictator. Lord Maitreya to Buddhist’s and New Agers, the Antichrist to Christians.The Mandala is a temporary dwelling for the Deitie(s) i.e. Principalities,fallen angels. The goal is to establish permanent Temples where the Mandala’s are built and deconstructed over time. As an example, in Ithaca ,N.Y. which is the Dali Lama’s North American Seat (of spiritual power),his home away from home(Dharmsala,India),away from home (Lhasa, Tibet)they built a brand new Temple in the design and shape and dimensions of the Kalachakra Mandala Palace.The Dali Lama came and dedicated it himself in 2007. So now I call that area KALACHAKRALAND, as even the Christian’s have welcomed this Gate of Hell,with open arms. How sad,but true!That is 722 Deities,besides Lord Kalachakra!The last time they built one was in St. Petersburg in 1913 in Czarist Russia. The Czar Nicholas finally gave in to the continued requests of 13th Dali Lama and his agent at his court. Not soon after,we all know what happened to Czar and his family at start of Illuminati/Freemason inspired Bolshevik/Communist Revolution! You see Kalachakra not only means “wheel of Time, but also, “Wheel of Destruction”! It is the same as a “swastika”, a solar disk symbol.Once it is put in motion, like a clock(time)or sun (revolves) it will fulfill its original intent.i n a person, or a building, or a Region, or a Nation!It is the Wheel of Destruction, And just like in Fascist, Nazi, Germany, the Kalachakra Tantra was practiced and unleashed,now they have targeted North America. After all , we helped defeat them in Germany. But now the spiritual forces(fallen angels) behind the Buddhist’s sorcery has declared all out war on Christianity in the West! Kala is also derived from wrathful, blood thirsty Hindu Goddess,Kali! I am not attacking Buddhists themselves.but what they really practice,. Which you are not privy to! THERE ARE 15 STEPS IN SEXUALLY PERVERTED KALACHAKRA TANTRA. 7 EXOTERIC AND 8 ESOTERIC(SECRET,TO PUBLIC,THEY DO NOT WANT YOU TO KNOW HOW PERVERTED IT IS))You can google,  Kalachakra Tantra Victor and Victoria Trimondi , for more on that!Christianity is not a spectator belief! We are spiritual beings ,living in physical bodies! God is A PERSONAL piritual being who we believe as Christians,revealed Himself through His Son Jesus Christ! Buddhists do not believe in a personal god. They do acknowledge the spirit realm(at least Tibetan’s do)however. There are many spirits in the world,we as Christians are to “test the spirits”, to see if they are from the True God. I pray you pass the test,for you ,your family, and our Nations sake. WE ARE TRULY UNDER ATTACK FROM THE SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST,ON MULTIPLE FRONTS,AND LEVELS!

[61] Posted by battlebow on 02-04-2009 at 03:03 PM • top

Do not forget the story of the Trojan Horse! This is what is happening ,spiritually in America, and else where. The enemy is already well inside the gates,welcomed in, through seduction and a disdain fr=or the Truth of God! As in Jeremiah and Ezekiel’s day, Whoa to the Shepard’s and Watchmen in the Lord’s House,who fail to protect and warn the sheep! Just the fact that this mixture is happening,testifies that God’s brand of Christianity,in no way, shape or form, is having a very strong showing in North America! What did Jesus say to the 7 Churches in Revelation, again! I think we can insert all Catholic,Protestant and Non-Denominational Groups names into any 7 and it speaks to our condition! We who call ourselves Christian, or various other extra biblical names better wake up, and come out from among them, and be separate or else!JESUS is calling individuals to come out from the “Whore of Babylon”, and her teachings. A whore is a false or substitute counterfeit for the real thing. Or the Truth! So now the Watchman,instead of signaling the warning when danger is afar off, must instead BLOW HIS TRUMPET,OBNOXIOUSLY AND LOUDLY, RIGHT IN THE FACE OF OUR SPIRITUALLY SLEEPING AND SEDUCED, SUPPOSED CHRISTIAN LEADERS!I pray we Wake Up, before it is too late,for our “free” Country!

[62] Posted by battlebow on 02-04-2009 at 03:46 PM • top

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