I received the regular e-mail update from the American Anglican Council. In the update, they included a commentary by Cal Thomas covering the Episcopal Church. I have to say, I am almost shocked at the stridency of language Cal Thomas uses in his writing, which appeared in lots of newspapers around the country.
I am struck by the stridency, the incredible anger, and yes I’m going to say – hatred, that is now coming from many people found in certain segments of society and the Church. Read this from Cal:
“Bishop Schori, a former oceanographer for the National Marine Fisheries Service in Seattle, says, ‘The Bible tells us about how to treat other human beings and that’s certainly the great message of Jesus – to include the unincluded.’
“This is so outside orthodox Christianity that only biblical illiterates or those who deny the supreme authority of the only book that gives foundation to the faith will accept it.”
Does Cal Thomas really believe that to “include the unincluded” is “so outside orthodox Christianity”? This may play well with the radicalized Religious Right, but how does it sound to the vast majority of Americans who are no longer involved in Christianity or the unchurched? The central teaching of Jesus may not have revolved around including the unincluded, but his life depicted in Scripture certainly does exhibit including the unincluded. Whatever happened to “love thy neighbor as thyself?” If that is not a call to include those who you would exclude, what is? Man, are we arrogant!
It is becoming more obvious as every day passes that large segments of the (what word is right?) Fundamentalists/neo-Puritans/radicalized Religious Right(?) is/are tipping the scale so far to one side that they face the very real danger of becoming Fascist-like. This is not conservatism and it is not traditionalism, it isn’t even traditional American Evangelicalism. It is fanaticism.
Read his entire column below
Editorial Column by Cal Thomas: “Irreversible Corruption” in the Church
This column appeared in numerous locations across the country recently; this version is from the Pasadena Star News and was published June 25, 2006.
By Cal Thomas
THE new leader of the Episcopal Church in America, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, says she does not believe homosexuality is a sin and that homosexuals were created by God to love people of the same gender.
As the Episcopal leadership continues to huff and puff to catch up with the world, it would be helpful if it could tell its members what it regards as sinful behavior, or will the very concept of sin soon be up for negotiation in order to avoid giving offense to anyone?
Truly what Paul, the Apostle, warned would happen in the “end times” is coming true in our day: “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine, instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4 NIV).
Meeting in convention in Columbus, Ohio, the denomination passed a resolution expressing “regret” for consecrating a homosexual bishop three years ago, but it declined to repent of its action. That is known as trying to have it both ways and it doesn’t fly among conservative members of the denomination who are thinking of leaving.
Bishop Schori, a former oceanographer for the National Marine Fisheries Service in Seattle, says, “The Bible tells us about how to treat other human beings and that’s certainly the great message of Jesus – to include the unincluded.”
This is so outside orthodox Christianity that only biblical illiterates or those who deny the supreme authority of the only book that gives foundation to the faith will accept it.
Anglicanism has suffered from probably irreversible corruption since the days of the late C.S. Lewis and John Stott, who is still with us. These men combined intellectual heft with orthodox belief and had little regard for trends, fads or cultural diversions. They have been replaced by theological dim bulbs that are less concerned about proclaiming truth and conversion than in not offending anyone.
Maybe the question for Bishop Schori and her fellow heretics should be: if homosexual practice is not sin, what is? And how do we know? Or is it a matter of “thus saith the opinion polls” and lobbying groups, rather than “thus saith the Lord”? With the bishop’s “doctrine” of inclusion, why exclude anyone? How about applying the religious equivalent of “open borders” and let everyone into the church, including unrepentant prostitutes, murderers, liars, thieves and atheists. If the Episcopal Church denies what is clearly taught in scripture about important matters like sexual behavior, why expect its leaders to have any convictions about anything, including directions to Heaven? How can anyone be sure, if the guidebook is so full of errors?
The leader of Anglicanism, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has promoted this doctrinal wishy-washiness. Williams, who has acknowledged ordaining a priest who is a homosexual, says he opposes cohabitation by heterosexuals because it has a harmful impact on family stability. But the same book that speaks against what we used to call “fornication” before such words died along with the accompanying doctrines, also speaks against the “sin” of homosexual practice. So how can anyone be sure one is true and the other not true, or the reverse, or neither, or both? And who is to say if the church leaders don’t know or are afraid to say because they might be criticized as “exclusive.”
The Episcopal Church isn’t the only denomination having trouble deciding what it believes. The Presbyterian Church (USA) has voted to “receive” a policy paper on sex-inclusive language for the Trinity. Instead of the traditional (and biblical) Father, Son and Holy Spirit, these liberal Presbyterians will consider using “Mother, Child and Womb,” or “Rock, Redeemer, Friend,” among others. Never mind what God calls Himself. These people want a name change without asking permission.
No wonder liberal denominations are losing members while the conservative ones are growing. The liberal ones don’t seem to care. Seeking only to be “relevant” they face condemnation from the one they are supposed to represent, whose attitude about such things is anything but “inclusive.”
Conservative Episcopalians are too few in number to stop the theological drift. If they intend to preserve their congregations without further theological seepage, they should “come out from among them and be separate.”
Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, N.Y. 14207.