Skip to comments.Episcopal Bishop: Individual Salvation is "Great Western Heresy"
Posted on 07/10/2009 5:04:53 AM PDT by Frumanchu
ANAHEIM, Calif. (ABP) -- The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church called the evangelical notion that individuals can be right with God a "great Western heresy" that is behind many problems facing the church and the wider society.
Describing a United States church in crisis, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told delegates to the group's triennial meeting July 8 in Anaheim, Calif., that the overarching connection to problems facing Episcopalians has to do with "the great Western heresy -- that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God."
"It's caricatured in some quarters by insisting that salvation depends on reciting a specific verbal formula about Jesus," Jefferts Schori, the first woman to be elected as a primate in the worldwide Anglican Communion three years ago, said. "That individualist focus is a form of idolatry, for it puts me and my words in the place that only God can occupy, at the center of existence, as the ground of being."
Jefferts Schori said countering individualistic faith was one reason the theme chosen for the meeting was "Ubuntu," an African word that describes humaneness, caring, sharing and being in harmony with all of creation.
"Ubuntu doesn't have any 'I's in it," she said. "The 'I' only emerges as we connect -- and that is really what the word means: I am because we are, and I can only become a whole person in relationship with others. There is no 'I' without 'you,' and in our context, you and I are known only as we reflect the image of the One who created us."
Jefferts Schori said "heretical and individualistic understanding" contributes to problems like neglect for the environment and the current worldwide economic recession.
"The sins of a few have wreaked havoc with the lives of many, as greed and dishonesty have destroyed livelihoods, educational possibilities, care for the aged, and multiple forms of creativity," she said. "And that's just the aftermath of Ponzi schemes for which a handful will go to jail."
She said in order to be faithful, "we need to be continually rediscovering that my needs are not the only significant ones."
"Ubuntu implies that selfishness and self-centeredness cannot long survive," she said. "We are our siblings' knowers and their keepers, and we cannot be known without them."
"We have no meaning, no true existence in isolation," she said. "We shall indeed die as we forget or ignore that reality."
About 200 Episcopal bishops and 850 clergy and lay deputies were expected to convene for the 10-day meeting. Business items are set to include debates over human sexuality, politics and poverty.
One resolution being considered calls for "generous discretion" to be extended to clergy in exercising pastoral ministry in six states -- Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont -- where the civil marriage of same-gender couples has been legalized as well as other states that may follow suit in the next three years.
The 2.1-million-member denomination has argued vociferously about homosexuality since 2003, when the group approved the election of its first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. Many more conservative Episcopalians and a handful of congregations have begun breaking away from the church in the years since.
Southern Baptist mega-church pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, took sides in his sister denomination's debate recently by showing up in Texas to encourage about 800 Episcopalians attending the first annual meeting of a conservative breakaway group calling itself the Anglican Church in North America.
Warren, who spoke out last fall against legal gay marriage in California, said in January that any nearby Anglican congregation that loses its property after breaking with the U.S. Episcopal Church was welcome to meet on the campus of his Saddleback Church.
Bob Allen is senior writer for Associated Baptist Press.
According to this pagan witch if you are not part of the "Borg collective" you are a sinner. Notice there is no mention of Christ.
Pinging a few fellow heretics...
Wow, what does this mean? Kinda caught my eye.
She can monkey around or go ape if she so divines.
Is this ("there's no 'I' in the word Ubuntu") belated homage to Doc Rivers' coaching effort on the way to the Celtics' 2008 NBA title?
So....only collectively can we reach salvation? Really? Sounds like a religious justification for Socialsm or Communism.
The false prophet just called the following heretics:
St. Anthony of the Desert
Julian of Norwich
Romans: 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life;(AP) whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Unlike so many, I don't feel so disconnected and adrift from my faith and beliefs that I need to go looking to different cultures, lands, and peoples to manufacture metaphors about my relationship to Jesus Christ, cornerstone of my faith. Jesus knew my sins, suffered anyway, rose again, made me clean. Eleven words, none of them in Swahili, Reverend.
Another day, another end-time Bible prophecy fulfilled.
“Ubuntu,” an African word that describes humaneness, caring, sharing and being in harmony with all of creation.
In other words, Humanism....
The two biggest threats facing traditional conservative Christian Churches are Humanism and Liberation Theology.
Moreover, it sounds very much like the Progressive “Social Gospel” that framed the liberal fascism of Woodrow Wilson and is enjoying somewhat of a resurgence of late.
Salvation doesn't do me much good unless I, personally, am "in".
I did not leave the PECUSA (Protestant Episcopal Church of the USA), it left me and it is statements like this that prove it. Just like the libs dislike the concepts of the Founders and original intent and the Federalist Papers insight into the US Constitution, so does the current leadership of the PECUSA ignore the Book of Common Prayer and the principals that are the rock of our faith.
You can take it from a South African. Ubuntu is all about the pantheistic concept of interconnectedness - all is one (those still alive AND their ancestors), all is part of God, therefore there is no right or wrong, just your truth and my truth. If you’re not sure, ask the ancestors. Dangerous stuff, but a very popular word nowadays.
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