4/12/2006

Nice to know we are among friends...

"The Episcopal Church has been hijacked by those who have abandoned 2,000 years of Christian faith and teaching." That's what the American Anglican Council's "Answering the Tough Questions" has to say about the Episcopal Church .

The AAC and the Network (twins joined at the hip, the heart and the brain-stem) are at least clear. So must the Episcopal Church be clear.

They have the answer wrong.

11 comments:

  1. I followed the link, but only got as far as the first sentence:

    "First of all, there are 613 laws in the Old Testament, and Jesus never spoke about most of them, leaving the existing understanding of the law in place."

    Is it really possible that fellow Christians, fellow Episcopalians believe that Jesus, our Christ, left the "existing understanding of the law in place."??

    ReplyDelete
  2. Also, nómos does not at all mean "law" but tradition...

    As in Fiddler on the Roof ;=)

    But no, He did not "leave it in place" he transformed the recieved teaching. For good.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Not to mention: that on a day when the cockpit-recorder transcript of United Flight 93 was made public (at the Moussaoui trial), I---a cradle Episcopalian going on 45 years---have been termed a hijacker. >:-/ (Have the AAC/Network no decency?)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Goran/Holly:

    I think many of us, on the non rabid right but still in disagreement with the decision of GC 2003, would argue that Christ fulfilled the Scriptures. He died as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, as the One who kept every jot and tittle of the law because we could not. Of course, many of us would not argue that His death made sins acceptible, as the left seems to be doing in this case.

    JB

    ReplyDelete
  5. Bill Carroll13/4/06 9:34 AM

    They must have read some other Gospel.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Of course, many of us would not argue that His death made sins acceptible, as the left seems to be doing in this case.

    Oh, c'mon, JB: you know that's not "the left's" understanding of its actions!

    Jesus's death made ALL our sins forgivable, absolutely. But just as important, Jesus's *life* demonstrated that he could see grace among those thought (under the law) to be ontologically irredeemable (and seeing that grace, Jesus graced them/blessed them, with his presence).

    "The left", acting as Christ's Body, sees grace among those thought (for whatever reason---not getting into all these misunderstandings AGAIN) to be ontologically irredeemable, and ergo, acting in persona Christi, we (more and more?) bless them, too.

    We do not bless sin (anymore than we we argue it is "acceptible"). There's a difference---and I wish that those on "the right" would never forget it!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What an appalling contribution from the AAC. I realize they are trying to deal in shorthand, but this only makes the poverty of the arguments more evident. I mean:

    Jesus clearly stated that He came to preserve the law: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17-18).

    Don't they understand the difference between "preserve" and "fulfill"? I think Saint Paul had a few things to say about this, too.

    With regard to sexual sin, Jesus raised the standard even higher than that of the Old Testament, saying that even thinking of committing sexual sin or lusting was in itself sinful (Matthew 5:27-28).

    Uh... check out Commandment #10 (it's in the Old Testament) and I think you'll find that "coveting your neighbor's wife" is already mentioned. Jesus didn't invent the idea that sin can be mental/emotional as well as physical.

    One could go on and on, but it's Maundy Thursday and I'm off to a potluck supper and celebration of the mysteries in conjunction with my local Lutheran congregation. My good wishes to all for a spiritually rewarding Good Friday / Holy Saturday, and a glorious Easter...

    Tobias+

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's just another example of reading the Bible how they see it, looking at only select pieces of Scripture while claiming those pieces are the complete, authoritative and inerrant Word of God, while denying everybody else's right to interpretation through our own lenses of experience and reason.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello!

    Just wanted to thank you for your insightful commentary. As a Canadian Anglican who's been feeling a little down lately over the same-sex blessings debate, your throughts on the subject (and many more) have been very much appreciated.

    All the best. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. An anonymous poster says that Jesus

    "kept every jot and tittle of the law because we could not." And "Of course, many of us would not argue that His death made sins acceptible, as the left seems to be doing in this case."

    I think that Jesus was executed because he was accused of blasphemy, which presumably qualifies as a jot or tittle of the law. He also healed on the sabbath, etc. I don't think he was concerned about jots and tittles. He did, however, fulfill the law in manifesting what the law had attempted imperfectly to codify.

    And that manifestation is what we are endeavoring to bring about now, in including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in full life and participation in the Church.

    As for claiming that Jesus' death "made sin[s] acceptable," I (and I am willing to be called "left") do not believe that homosexuality is other than morally neutral, as is heterosexuality. Love was Jesus' message. Sexuality, expressed as part of a loving, committed relationship, is not sin, and does not need to be made acceptable. It is only our pharisaic, jot-and-tittle-loving fear-driven blindness that makes us imagine that it does.

    Uriel

    ReplyDelete
  11. JC said "Oh, c'mon, JB: you know that's not "the left's" understanding of its actions!" I disagree JC. What is attempting to be argued by our actions at GC and other places is that we can bless what has been understood by the Church as a sinful activity, i.e. that there exists no reason to repent or for Christ to have died for that. I agree totally that there is no sin for which He did not die for us. I do reject, however, that the left has put forth any Scriptural basis which supports the claim that such activities are sinless and deserving of a blessing. We get a great many appeals to feelings and experience, but little appeal to the only source which can be truly trusted. Yes, God's grace can be found in any number of peoples lives regardless of their sins, and we see that across the whole spectrum of our congregations. As you say, Jesus did grace sinners with His presence, but He encouraged them to go and sin no more . . .

    Uriel said "I think that Jesus was executed because he was accused of blasphemy"--I am sure if you asked a Temple authority at the time they would agree with you, and I have no doubt the Roman soldiers and authorities thought they were torturing a man guilty of treason. But God's purpose seems to have been as the perfect sacrifice for all those jot's and tittles, as well as the big parts of the law, which we failed to keep. I hear your claim that Jesus' only message was love, but I remember the judgement and wrath visited upon Him on the cross. That He was willing to die for us is truly a holy mystery; but that the restored communion required a death also indicates just how serious God takes sin and just how careful we should be in trying to re-interpret it.

    Peace,
    JB

    ReplyDelete

OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.
Rule: PLEASE DO NOT SIGN OFF AS ANONYMOUS: BEGIN OR END THE MESSAGE WITH A NAME - ANY NAME. ANONYMOUS commentary will be cut.