Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bishop Fitz Allison (DSC ret.) Takes on Apostasy and the Current Bunch of Heretics

At today's church service we were blessed with the presence of retired Bishop Duvall who gave a very good sermon touching on the message of God's wrath contained in today's scripture readings, and the salvation we may find at the time of trial when as Bishop Duvall puts it, "As I stand there with my head hung low facing the judgement seat of God, ready for my sentence, I feel an arm around my shoulders, the arm of Jesus, who says 'This one's with me.'"

Such sermons are rarely spoken these days in the Episcopal church. We are more often treated to vague interpretations and extra-scriptural speculations some of which can be traced back to heresies that have infiltrated many Episcopal seminaries and minds of unsuspecting Christians in formation. 

I once incurred the wrath of the rector when I protested against a planned "Faith Formation" series based on a book by Marcus Borg. When I called Borg a heretic, I pushed one of the rector's buttons. Fortunately, I was not alone in that protest, and that "Faith Formation" event was never held. 


Nor am I alone in my belief that modern "theologians" like Borg are the purveyors of false and heretical teachings.


An excellent article from the retired Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina puts it far better than I can. Read it all here.


+Fitz takes on the modern heretics, Crossen, Borg, Spong, and the current Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal church. Here are some excerpts:


"Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan are two remarkably popular theologians who teach a version of Christianity that reduces the Christian faith to contemporary secular assumptions. For Crossan, Jesus was an illiterate Jewish cynic. No Incarnation no Resurrection. The Easter story is 'fictional mythology' (p. 161,Jesus a Revolutionary Biography). Borg claims that Jesus was only divine in the sense that Martin Luther King and Gandhi were divine.  Borg dismisses the creeds (p.10, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time) Jesus was a 'spirit person,' 'a mediator of the sacred,' 'a shaman,' one of those persons like Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Mohammed, et al. (p. 32)"
The teachings of Borg and Crossen have been insanely popular in the Episcopal church for a number of years. It is obvious that their beliefs have infected much of the leadership of the church as Bishop Allison points out.


"Christian faith, but not secular faith, now effectively banned from schools, colleges, and universities, has been relegated to the private and subjective arena.  The result is the growing popularity of any who eliminate from Christian faith all that secular trust finds incompatible: miracles, the radical nature of sin and the consequent radical nature of grace, transcendence, holiness, and our human desperate need for God’s initiative action in Jesus.
The consequence of this secular replacement of Christianity over the years is that otherwise educated people can be bereft of any substantial grasp of scripture. One glaring example is Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori who tells us that Marcus Borg 'opened the Bible to me.' (Acknowledgements A Wing and a Prayer). The Christian creed’s affirmation, to which she has repeatedly sworn, (but Borg negates) is that Jesus Christ is:
'the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made . . .'” 
"Borg has not opened the scripture for Bishop Jefferts Schori but closed its revelation of Jesus’ divinity."  
How did we get to this sad state of affairs? What makes false teachers so attractive? Is it because their supposed wisdom lets us off the hook and relieves us of the responsibility of checking their assertions against scripture? Off the top of my head I can rattle off a dozen or so other causes, but I think it ultimately boils down to what scripture teaches us about our fallen state. We are a stiff necked and stubborn people. We are too quick to wander off the path, and we are too quick to worship whatever new false idea or idol someone cooks up. If all this sounds a bit like historical doctrine, well, yes it does, and the fact of the matter is that today the historical doctrines are ignored, or reduced to a muddled mess by endless pages of theological argument, and the end result is a church with no foundation, a church that is fertile ground for heresy.  
"One must ask how such apostasy has come about in the Episcopal Church.  One answer is given by the new bishop of Connecticut, Ian Douglas.  He accurately claims, 'The Episcopal Church does not readily think in terms of doctrine.' As one thinks carefully about this statement the spiritual pathology of TEC becomes apparent."
+Douglas has it partially right. The Episcopal church readily thinks in terms of doctrine but usually comes up with an answer that a doctrine can be interpreted in many different ways by different individuals at different times. Or, as Bishop Allison points out:


"The Episcopal Church does indeed think in terms of doctrine: doctrines of litigation, abortion, divorce, sexual behavior outside of marriage and all kinds of current politically correct doctrines, as well as teachings that Jesus is reduced from the Son of God to a 'subversive sage.' (p. 119, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time)
The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church personifies this sad reduction, this shrunken Jesus, this betrayal of Christian faith. Her claim that 'salvation is attained by many ways – Jesus Christ is a way, and God has many other ways as well. . .'(italics provided) (Interview, Time Magazine, July 10, 2006) is a violation of her ordination and consecration vows regarding the church’s creed (p. 519, Book of Common Prayer, , 1979). It is also sadly bereft of the Good News that salvation is never attained but freely given to those who believe. As to her belief in eternal life, she is unsure it exists and she contends that Jesus was more concerned with heavenly existence in this life. (Arkansas Democratic Gazette, Jan. 7, 2007)"


As we read these strong words of warning from +Fitz Allison, one has to wonder why the Borgs and the Schoris of the Episcopal church have not themselves been accused of "Abandonment" and referred to the disciplinary team (headed up by our former Bishop of Upper SC,  +Henderson). 


Oh, I forgot, Bishop Henderson is too busy investigating the charge of "Abandonment" leveled against someone who is the antithesis of the heretics cited above. Heretics run rampant while those who protest are charged with abandoning the church. This church has demonstrated in prior times of trial that it cannot effectively charge anyone with heresy. In fact, such a charge would seem to be a positive feature on one's resume and could quite possibly lead to election to a high position in the church (to say nothing of the money generated through the sale of books and from being out on the speaker's circuit). Unable to fight heresy, heresy reigns, and heretics and apostates reign terror on those who oppose them.

Bishop Duvall remains on the speaker's circuit, but his generation is fading away. Who will be available to preach to future generations of Episcopalians?

I am afraid the future of TEc belongs to the Borg collective.

Captain Picard, where are you?


7 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:08 PM

    there is a way out for you join the Roman catholic Church or any branch of the Orthodox Church - not much thinking going on with them
    Dr Mc

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  2. Hey Anon,

    Fine example of "thinkin" in that comment!

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  3. The new secular philosophy embraced by much of "the church," is simply a way for us to do what we wish and not worry about the consequences. It is the "wide easy path" and, as we all know, leads directly to perdition. The time is fast approaching were American Anglicans will be nothing more than a club. Certainly it won't be "The Church."

    Cheers.

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  4. Randall,

    TEc has long stood accused of being a club. After years of denials, it has become exactly the thing that it desired not to be.

    Average Sunday attendance is dropping like a stone as many go unchurched or are fleeing as Anon suggested.

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  5. Of course it does not help when your fellow congregants are wanting you to leave.

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  6. Of course we must be kind to the Borgs, the Crossans, and the Spongs of the church, those who advance the theory of Jesus as mere great man, or even mere crazy, radical man, for Bshp Allison would even say that these are useful heresies for a church which is not yet dead. We should also feel empathy and sadness for their high intellects which have run them amuck. For all of their redactions, higher criticisms and "projects" and all of their deep knowledge of archeaology and biblical text, their book knowledge has hidden their ability to understand man, and even the Everlasting Man. Their whole premise is based on the single falsehood that any trial lawyer and every school boy can easily expose and it is this: when men want to tell lies, they get together and conspire on a common story- they make themselves look good, they eliminate and reconcile the small differences in stories. This is what men do. Men and boys who tell the truth, however, always have slightly different recollections of the same account, for no two people ever see or tell an event even in the exactly the same way, unless of course there is a conspiracy of lies. Our brothers Spong, Crosson and Borg, in being so intent on proving themselves right and Jesus so wrong by making much of minor inconsistencies as proofs of biblical falsity, have actually proved the opposite from their false knowledge and misunderstanding of man, and even boys. We should thank them for honing our faith against the sharpening stones of their high, though misguided, intellects.

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  7. Thanks Hank,

    I see what you are saying. I personally have had my Bible opened by Borg et al but perhaps not in the same sense as the Presiding Bishop of TEc. The modern heresies have stimulated me to study the classic ones (I found Bishop Allison's book, The Cruelty of Heresy to be a good starting place) as well as to study the Holy Book more intentionally.

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