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"Except Through Me"... and Many Others
Stand Firm [MS] ^ | 5/07/2005 | Greg Griffith

Posted on 05/17/2005 5:59:54 PM PDT by sionnsar

On Saturday, April 23, The Rev. Samuel Lloyd was installed as Dean of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The Rev. Lloyd is first cousin to Bishop Duncan Gray, III of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi, and grew up in Canton, Mississippi, a small town just north of Jackson distinguished by its picture-postcard town square. Lloyd is also a member of the Board of Regents of Sewanee.

The following day, Sunday April 24, The Rev. Lloyd started his tenure as Dean of "America's Church" with a bang. At Lloyd's invitation, the homily was given by The Rev. Dr. George F. Regas, Rector Emeritus of All Saints Church in Pasadena, California. The service included readings from the Koran and Hebrew scriptures, and open communion.

Most remarkable, though, was Dr. Regas' homily, the full text of which is here, and the reaction it caused among those attending. Reports from those present indicate that about 250 people walked out during Dr. Regas' homily. If you have RealPlayer installed, you can listen to it here. We're hosting a streaming MP3 version here for Windows/Internet Explorer users. Mac users can download the entire file here (11Mb, may take a few minutes to download).

What could Dr. Regas possibly have said to cause this? You'll have to read the whole sermon to get the full effect, but this should give you an idea:

I can no longer think about Jesus as the only way to God and to a saving faith. How one comes into a relationship with God has taken on a meaning that it did not have in my younger years.

"I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to God except through me." The first thing I want you to explore with me is this: I simply refuse to hold the doctrine that there is no access to God except through Jesus.

I personally reject the claim that Christianity has the truth and all other religions are in error. Unfortunately, this is the position of the new Pope, Benedict XVI, who says salvation is only possible through Jesus Christ. I think it is a mistaken view to say Christianity is superior to Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism and that Christ is the only way to God and salvation.

I’ve given my life to a different Jesus.

UPDATE: The readings from the Koran and the Hebrew texts were part of Saturday's installation service, not Sunday's service with Dr. Regas.

UPDATE: Comments ensue at TitusOneNine.

UPDATE: Via the comments at MCJ, a little history on Dr. Regas. In the article he states, among other things: "Deep in my soul I believe there is something vicious and violent about coercing a woman to carry to term an unwanted child." Forcing a woman to have a child is "legalized rape," Regas insisted.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: angpost8; ecusa
FReeper kaehurowing posted the text of this sermon earlier, “Interpreting Christ in a Pluralistic World” (National Cathedral Sermon).
1 posted on 05/17/2005 5:59:54 PM PDT by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; Hermann the Cherusker; wagglebee; St. Johann Tetzel; AnalogReigns; GatorGirl; ...
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-7 pings/day).
This list is pinged by sionnsar and newheart.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 05/17/2005 6:00:29 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || Newsweek lied, people died.)
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To: sionnsar
Well, I'm not sure exactly what these folks are . . .

. . . but it's becoming fairly clear that they are no longer Christian, as that term is generally understood.

3 posted on 05/17/2005 7:19:32 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (. . . Ministrix of ye Chace (recess appointment), TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary . . .)
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To: AnAmericanMother
. . . but it's becoming fairly clear that they are no longer Christian, as that term is generally understood.

This is a real conversation an aquaintance of mine had a few years ago.

English Mother to her Adult Daughter after daughter explained her passionate Christianity some: "I'm a Christian too you know."

Daughter: "But Mum, do you belive in the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection?"

Mother: "Don't be ridiculous dear, nobody believes in those fairy tales anymore."

Daughter: "If you don't believe in that, Mum, then how can you say you are a Christian?"

Mother (without the slightest insincerity or lack of conviction): "Well, of course I'm a Christian dear. I'm English."

4 posted on 05/17/2005 7:42:50 PM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
That's what you get with a national church, I guess.

Christianity as a social class rather than a religion.

The Achilles's heel of the ECUSA has always been its desire to be "with it," trendy, and of the times. A lot of us saw this coming as long ago as the late 60s (I would have seen it in the late 50s with Spong, but I wasn't old enough to appreciate what was going on until I was in high school.)

5 posted on 05/17/2005 7:45:22 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (. . . Ministrix of ye Chace (recess appointment), TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary . . .)
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To: sionnsar

His statements are simply breathtaking. In a bad way.

6 posted on 05/17/2005 9:51:54 PM PDT by secret garden (Go Spurs Go!)
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To: sionnsar

Matt 10,34 "Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword. 35 For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And as a man's enemies shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it. 40 He that receiveth you, receiveth me: and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me."

Even the heresy of pluralism itself gives the truth to these words of our Lord. It is an inherently contradictory anti-philosophy which is more exclusive than any philosophy for it excludes all those who believe in any truth whatsoever. Just to assert that pluralism is true negates the central premise of pluralism, and therefore those who propose it immediately cease to be pluralists.

I have never yet met a "pluralist" who is not in reality an exclusivist, and therefore, I posit that no such thing as a "pluralist" actually exists. The concept is a diabolical invention created for the purpose of confusing weak minds.

Uncle Screwtape would be well-pleased with this silly man.

7 posted on 05/18/2005 3:04:57 AM PDT by Tantumergo
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To: AnAmericanMother

The Southern Episcopal Church folks saw it in 1962.

The Roman Catholic Church spotted it in 1930 (cf. Encyclical "Casti Conubii")

8 posted on 05/18/2005 5:01:56 AM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: Tantumergo
Uncle Screwtape would be well-pleased with this silly man.

Lewis anticipated him. Or, as one of Kipling's characters said, "Curse Nature! She gets in ahead of you every time!" (but of course it was Kipling, not Nature.):

Close beside me I saw another of the Bright People in conversation with a ghost. It was that fat ghost with the cultured voice who had addressed me in the bus, and it seemed to be wearing gaiters.
“My dear boy, I’m delighted to see you,” it was saying to the Spirit, who was naked and almost blindingly white. “I was talking to your poor father the other day and wondering where you were.”
“You didn’t bring him?” said the other.
“Well, no. He lives a long way from the bus, and, to be quite frank, he’s been getting a little eccentric lately. A little difficult. Losing his grip. He never was prepared to make any great efforts, you know. If you remember, he used to go to sleep when you and I got talking seriously! Ah, Dick, I shall never forget some of our talks. I expect you’ve changed your views a bit since then. You became rather narrow-minded towards the end of your life: but no doubt you’ve broadened out again.”
“How do you mean?”
“Well, it’s obvious by now, isn’t it, that you weren’t quite right. Why, my dear boy, you were coming to believe in a literal Heaven and Hell!”
“But wasn’t I right?”
“Oh, in a spiritual sense, to be sure. I still believe in them in that way. I am still, my dear boy, looking for the Kingdom. But nothing superstitious or mythological....”
“Excuse me. Where do you imagine you’ve been?”
“Ah, I see. You mean that the grey town with its continual hope of morning (we must all live by hope, must we not?), with its field for indefinite progress, is, in a sense, Heaven, if only we have eyes to see it? That is a beautiful idea.”
“I didn’t mean that at all. Is it possible you don’t know where you’ve been?”
“Now that you mention it, I don’t think we ever do give it a name. What do you call it?”
“We call it Hell.”
“There is no need to be profane, my dear boy. I may not be very orthodox, in your sense of that word, but I do feel that these matters ought to be discussed simply, and seriously, and reverently.”
“Discuss Hell reverently? I meant what I said. You have been in Hell: though if you don’t go back you may call it Purgatory.”
“Go on, my dear boy, go on. That is so like you. No doubt you’ll tell me why, on your view, I was sent there. I’m not angry.”
“But don’t you know? You went there because you are an apostate.”
“Are you serious, Dick?”
“This is worse than I expected. Do you really think people are penalised for their honest opinions? Even assuming, for the sake of argument, that those opinions were mistaken.”
“Do you really think there are no sins of intellect?”
“There are indeed, Dick. There is hide-bound prejudice, and intellectual dishonesty, and timidity, and stagnation. But honest opinions fearlessly followed—they are not sins.”
“I know we used to talk that way. I did it too until the end of my life when I became what you call narrow. It all turns on what are honest opinions.”
“Mine certainly were. They were not only honest but heroic. I asserted them fearlessly. When the doctrine of the Resurrection ceased to commend itself to the critical faculties which God had given me, I openly rejected it. I preached my famous sermon. I defied the whole chapter. I took every risk.”
“What risk? What was at all likely to come of it except what actually came—popularity, sales for your books, invitations, and finally a bishopric?”
“Dick, this is unworthy of you. What are you suggesting?”
“Friend, I am not suggesting at all. You see, I know now. Let us be frank. Our opinions were not honestly come by. We simply found ourselves in contact with a certain current of ideas and plunged into it because it seemed modern and successful. At College, you know, we just started automatically writing the kind of essays that got good marks and saying the kind of things that won applause. When, in our whole lives, did we honestly face, in solitude, the one question on which all turned: whether after all the Supernatural might not in fact occur? When did we put up one moment’s real resistance to the loss of our faith?”
“If this is meant to be a sketch of the genesis of liberal theology in general, I reply that it is a mere libel. Do you suggest that men like...”
“I have nothing to do with any generality. Nor with any man but you and me. Oh, as you love your own soul, remember. You know that you and I were playing with loaded dice. We didn’t want the other to be true. We were afraid of crude salvationism, afraid of a breach with the spirit of the age, afraid of ridicule, afraid (above all) of real spiritual fears and hopes.”
“I’m far from denying that young men may make mistakes. They may well be influenced by current fashions of thought. But it’s not a question of how the opinions are formed. The point is that they were my honest opinions, sincerely expressed.”
“Of course. Having allowed oneself to drift, unresisting, unpraying, accepting every half-conscious solicitation from our desires, we reached a point where we no longer believed the Faith. Just in the same way, a jealous man, drifting and unresisting, reaches a point at which he believes lies about his best friend: a drunkard reaches a point at which (for the moment) he actually believes that another glass will do him no harm. The beliefs are sincere in the sense that they do occur as psychological events in the man’s mind. If that’s what you mean by sincerity they are sincere, and so were ours. But errors which are sincere in that sense are not innocent.”
“You’ll be justifying the Inquisition in a moment!”
“Why? Because the Middle Ages erred in one direction, does it follow that there is no error in the opposite direction?”
“Well, this is extremely interesting,” said the Episcopal Ghost. “It’s a point of view. Certainly, it’s a point of view. In the meantime...”
“There is no meantime,” replied the other. “All that is over. We are not playing now. I have been talking of the past (your past and mine) only in order that you may turn from it forever. One wrench and the tooth will be out. You can begin as if nothing had ever gone wrong. White as snow. It’s all true, you know. He is in me, for you, with that power. And—I have come a long journey to meet you. You have seen Hell: you are in sight of Heaven. Will you, even now, repent and believe?”
“I’m not sure that I’ve got the exact point you are trying to make,” said the Ghost.
“I am not trying to make any point,” said the Spirit, “I am telling you to repent and believe.”
“But my dear boy, I believe already. We may not be perfectly agreed, but you have completely misjudged me if you do not realise that my religion is a very real and a very precious thing to me.”
“Very well,” said the other, as if changing his plan. “Will you believe in me?”
“In what sense?”
“Will you come with me to the mountains? It will hurt at first, until your feet are hardened. Reality is harsh to the feet of shadows. But will you come?”
“Well, that is a plan. I am perfectly ready to consider it. Of course I should require some assurances... I should want a guarantee that you are taking me to a place where I shall find a wider sphere of usefulness—and scope for the talents that God has given me—and an atmosphere of free inquiry—in short, all that one means by civilisation and—er—the spiritual life.”
“No,” said the other. “I can promise you none of these things. No sphere of usefulness: you are not needed there at all. No scope for your talents: only forgiveness for having perverted them. No atmosphere of inquiry, for I will bring you to the land not of questions but of answers, and you shall see the face of God.”
“Ah, but we must all interpret those beautiful words in our own way! For me there is no such thing as a final answer. The free wind of inquiry must always continue to blow through the mind, must it not? ‘Prove all things’ travel hopefully is better than to arrive.”
“If that were true, and known to be true, how could anyone travel hopefully? There would be nothing to hope for.”
“But you must feel yourself that there is something stifling about the idea of finality? Stagnation, my dear boy, what is more soul-destroying than stagnation?”
“You think that, because hitherto you have experienced truth only with the abstract intellect. I will bring you where you can taste it like honey and be embraced by it as by a bridegroom. Your thirst shall be quenched.”
“Well, really, you know, I am not aware of a thirst for some ready-made truth which puts an end to intellectual activity in the way you seem to be describing. Will it leave me the free play of Mind, Dick? I must insist on that, you know.”
“Free, as a man is free to drink while he is drinking. He is not free still to be dry.”
The Ghost seemed to think for a moment. “I can make nothing of that idea,” it said.
“Listen!” said the White Spirit. “Once you were a child. Once you knew what inquiry was for. There was a time when you asked questions because you wanted answers, and were glad when you had found them. Become that child again: even now.”
“Ah, but when I became a man I put away childish things.”
“You have gone far wrong. Thirst was made for water; inquiry for truth. What you now call the free play of inquiry has neither more nor less to do with the ends for which intelligence was given you than masturbation has to do with marriage.”
“If we cannot be reverent, there is at least no need to be obscene. The suggestion that I should return at my age to the mere factual inquisitiveness of boyhood strikes me as preposterous, In any case, that question-and-answer conception of thought only applies to matters of fact. Religious and speculative questions are surely on a different level.”
“We know nothing of religion here: we think only of Christ. We know nothing of speculation. Come and see. I will bring you to Eternal Fact, the Father of all other facthood.”
“I should object very strongly to describing God as a ‘fact.’ The Supreme Value would surely be a less inadequate description. It is hardly...”
“Do you not even believe that He exists?”
“Exists? What does Existence mean? You will keep on implying some sort of static, ready-made reality which is, so to speak, ‘there,’ and to which our minds have simply to conform. These great mysteries cannot be approached in that way. If there were such a thing (there is no need to interrupt, my dear boy) quite frankly, I should not be interested in it. It would be of no religious significance. God, for me, is something purely spiritual. The spirit of sweetness and light and tolerance—and, er, service, Dick, service. We mustn’t forget that, you know.
“If the thirst of the Reason is really dead...’, said the Spirit, and then stopped as though pondering. Then suddenly he said, “Can you, at least, still desire happiness?”
“Happiness, my dear Dick” said the Ghost placidly, “happiness, as you will come to see when you are older, lies in the path of duty. Which reminds me.... Bless my soul, I’d nearly forgotten Of course I can’t come with you. I have to be back next Friday to read a paper. We have a little Theological Society down there. Oh yes! there is plenty of intellectual Life. Not of a very high quality, perhaps. One notices a certain lack of grip—a certain confusion of mind. That is where I can be of some use to them. There are even regrettable jealousies.... I don’t know why, but tempers seem less controlled than they used to be. Still, one mustn’t expect too much of human nature. I feel I can do a great work among them. But you’ve never asked me what my paper is about! I’m taking the text about growing up to the measure of the stature of Christ and working out an idea which I feel sure you’ll be interested in. I’m going to point out how people always forget that Jesus (here the Ghost bowed) was a comparatively young man when he died. He would have outgrown some of his earlier views, you know, if he’d lived. As he might have done, with a little more tact and patience. I am going to ask my audience to consider what his mature views would have been. A profoundly interesting question. What a different Christianity we might have had if only the Founder had reached his full stature! I shall end up by pointing out how this deepens the significance of the Crucifixion. One feels for the first time what a disaster it was: what a tragic waste... so much promise cut short. Oh, must you be going? Well, so must I. Goodbye, my dear boy. It has been a great pleasure. Most stimulating and provocative. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.”
The Ghost nodded its head and beamed on the Spirit with a bright clerical smile—or with the best approach to it which such unsubstantial lips could manage—and then turned away humming softly to itself “City of God, how broad and far.”

-- The Great Divorce

9 posted on 05/18/2005 5:08:40 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (. . . Ministrix of ye Chace (recess appointment), TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary . . .)
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