Skip to comments.Kate Makes It Official [TEC]
Posted on 11/01/2006 6:33:47 PM PST by sionnsar
Ladies and gentlemen, the next Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church:
RY: TIME asked you an interesting question, we thought, Is belief in Jesus the only way to get to heaven? And your answer, equally interesting, you said We who practice the Christian tradition understand him as our vehicle to the divine. But for us to assume that God could not act in other ways is, I think, to put God in an awfully small box. And I read that and I said What are you: a Unitarian?!? [laughs]
What are you that is another concern for people, because, they say Scripture says that Jesus says he was The Light and The Way and the only way to God the Father.
KJS: Christians understand that Jesus is the route to God. Umm that is not to say that Muslims, or Sikhs, or Jains, come to God in a radically different way. They come to God through human experience.. through human experience of the divine. Christians talk about that in terms of Jesus.
RY: So youre saying there are other ways to God.
KJS: Uhh human communities have always searched for relationship that which is beyond them.. with the ultimate.. with the divine. For Christians, we say that our route to God is through Jesus. Uhh.. uh.. that doesnt mean that a Hindu.. uh.. doesnt experience God except through Jesus. It-it-it says that Hindus and people of other faith traditions approach God through their.. own cultural contexts; they relate to God, they experience God in human relationships, as well as ones that transcend human relationships; and Christians would say those are our experiences of Jesus; of God through the experience of Jesus.
RY: It sounds like youre saying its a parallel reality, but in another culture and language.
KJS: I think thats accurate.. I think thats accurate.
Thanks to the indefatigable Binky.
Some people profess to be shocked by this interview. I'm not. Kate says nothing here that hasn't been said or believed by many, if not most, of her fellow liberal TEC bishops before, including her predecessor as Presiding Bishop. Remember William Swing's United Religions Initiative? Remember John Shelby Spong?
This is liberal Christianity distilled to its essence. Don't bother me with theology or the words in some old book! I've got Millenium Development Goals to implement! But it does put the Episcopal Church in a unique position. TEC is about to anoint as its leader someone who would normally be brought up on charges of heresy and excommunicated.
Were the Episcopal Church still Christian.
PECUSA long ago decided that 'heresy is no longer a relevant category' (without at the time noticing the corollary that truth would then no longer be a relevant category).
The quadrilateral thus emerges as a very irregular figure in which experience and reason greatly outweigh tradition and scripture. Indeed, the components are there listed in order of importance.
Rationalistic hubris run amok.
Well, the woman is a barking mad heretic, but this:
"But for us to assume that God could not act in other ways is, I think, to put God in an awfully small box."
Doesn't this single line, divorced from all the other heresy she spouted, make a very Orthodox statement?
This is so predictable...she has NO business, read biblical justification, for being a priestess, much less the PB!
The single line, yes. But she evinces a certitude about the possibility of salvation outside the visible bounds of the Church (even as she misconceives the Church), while we remain agnostic about the question.
Certainly no man comes to the Father, save through the Son, who is, indeed, the Way, the Life and the Truth. But whether there are non-standard ways by which this is accomplished for those deprived of the light of the Gospel is known only to God.
A person being saved may not *know* he is being saved through Christ and through Christ's Church, but that's what's happening all the same. He might be praying on the surface in the name of Vishnu or following Mohammed, but Vishnu or Mohammed won't be acting: Christ will.
Yes and no, hence my choice of the word agnostic.
We *know* salvation is to be attained in the Church, the Ark of Salvation. Some within the Church in this life may be 'washed overboard' by their sins and the passions, and it is dimly possible that those clinging to the driftwood of other creeds may be saved by Christ's grace in a means unknown to us. We may even pray for it--on Pentecost we Orthodox pray for the renewal of all of creation, yes even the demons!
But we do not know that Christ's grace is operative outside the Church in any way which will suffice to save anyone, save by leading them to the Church. Thus, we must evangelize even those who adhere to morally noble non-Christian creeds or heretical variants of Christianity. (If moral nobility sufficed for salvation, Christ's Incarnation, Death and Resurrection would have been unnecessary, and Pelagius would honored as a Father, not anathematized as a heretic.)
Oh, I agree 100%, and Pelagianism is of course utter nonsense.
In the Latin Church we keep the feast of St. Emerentiana, who died a catechumen martyr at Rome. That she can be venerated as a saint shows that God is not bound by the sacraments He created, even though they are his normal means of salvation.
Rest assured, I wouldn't DARE to allow anyone to rest comfortable in the notion that they will attain salvation outside the visible Church. Because the moment that you think that, you've already made a conscious (and sinful) decision not to enter and not to receive the grace of God.
Of course. An even sharper example is the fourtieth of the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste, the Roman soldier, who wasn't even a catechumen, but declared his faith in Christ upon seeing the thirty-nine remaining on the ice, and went out to take the place of the apostate.
Ah yes I had forgotten that story, excellent example!
And I would also say this...and I am pretty sure you will agree. That notwithstanding Emerentiana's and the soldier's not having received Baptism, they were nevertheless saved *in* the Church and *through* the Church. They just gained their membership in a different way. So we can still confidently and boldly hold to the maxim: "outside the Church there is no salvation".
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