The new, younger appearing, Deep Pew explained, "I know this will be hard to believe, but I have invented a time machine that allowed me to travel into the future and back. That's where, in addition to the remarkable anti-aging treatment that I purchased, I found this!"
He thrust the following document into my pocket and vanished as fast as he had appeared.
As established by the Bishops, the Clergy, and the Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in Convention, on the first day of July, in the Year 2050.
I. Of Faith in the Holy Trinogamy.
There is but one living and true Relationship, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Creator, and Preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Relationship there be three, of one substance, power, and eternity; The Creator/Om/Allah, the Christ, and the Relational Spirit.
II. Of the Word or Child or Christ of the Creator/Om/Allah, which was made very human.
The Child, which is the Word of the Creator/Om/Allah, begotten from everlasting of the One/Om/Allah, and of one substance with the Creator/Om/Allah, took human nature so that two whole and perfect Natures, that is to say, the Relationship and Humanity, were joined together in one Person, whereof is one Christ, very Creator/Om/Allah, and very human; who was crucified, and buried, to reconcile the One/Om/Allah to us, not that a sacrifice was needed, not that there exists original guilt, but for the imagined sins that people might feel that they may have committed.
III. Of the going down of the Christ into Hell.
After the Christ died, and was buried, there is no cause to believe that the Christ went down into a real Hell.
IV. Of the Resurrection of the Christ.
The Christ is said to have risen from death in a metaphorical sense this is true, and appeared as though living to his followers who thought they touched body, flesh, bones; the Christ metaphorically ascended into a non literal Heaven and it is often helpful to visualize the Christ as being seated there.
V. Of the Relational Spirit.
The Relational Spirit, proceeding from the Creator/Om/Allah and the Christ, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Creator/Om/Allah and the Christ. One may connect with this Spirit through coming together in Convention or by the use of various enhanced spiritual techniques as deemed reasonable by the Church.
VI. Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation.
Holy Scripture containeth lots of things some of which might be necessary to salvation: so that some of whatsoever is read therein, is not to be required of any person, that it should have to be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.
We do understand those Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority is sometimes questioned, to be historically canonical.
Of the Names and Number of the Historically Canonical Books.
Genesis, The First Book of Samuel, The Book of Esther,
Exodus, The Second Book of Samuel, The Book of Job,
Leviticus, The First Book of Kings, The Psalms,
Numbers, The Second Book of Kings, The Proverbs,
Deuteronomy, The First Book of Chronicles, Ecclesiastes or Preacher,
Joshua, The Second Book of Chronicles, Cantica, or Songs of Solomon,
Judges, The First Book of Esdras, Four Prophets the greater,
Ruth, The Second Book of Esdras, Twelve Prophets the less.
And the other Books (as Hierome saith) the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine as they address subjects about which the Church has no core doctrine; such are these following:
The Third Book of Esdras, The rest of the Book of Esther,
The Fourth Book of Esdras, The Book of Wisdom,
The Book of Tobias, Jesus the Son of Sirach,
The Book of Judith, Baruch the Prophet,
The Song of the Three Children, The Prayer of Manasses,
The Story of Susanna, The First Book of Maccabees,
Of Bel and the Dragon, The Second Book of Maccabees.
Additional resources that may be of use as part of the wisdom literature of the Church include:
Gospel of Mary
Gospel of Thomas
Gospel of Truth
Gospel of Philip
Gospel of Judas
The Letters of Gene Robinson to the Huffington Post
The Books of Marcus Borg
The Books of John Shelby Spong
All the Books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive, and account them Canonical but this Canon will remain open with additions or revisions permitted as Biblical scholarship reveals.
VII. Of the Old Testament.
The Old Testament is sometimes contrary to the New: for in the Old Testament laws and rules were established for the ancient Jews which may not apply in the light of recent discoveries. Therefore they are not to be taken in a literal sense. The Law given from the Creator/Om/Allah by Moses, as touching Ceremonies and Rites and Morals, do not bind Christian persons, nor the Civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received.
VIII. Of the Creeds.
The Nicene Creed, and that which is commonly called the Apostles' Creed, ought thoroughly to be repeated although the fingers may be crossed when any part thereof is felt to be contrary to one's personal belief.
IX. Of Original or Birth-Righteousness.
Sin standeth not in the fault and corruption of the Nature of every person, that naturally is created good in the image of the One/Om/Allah; Humanity is led from original righteousness through the acts of others upon the developing child; and therefore in every person born into this world, nothing deserveth the Creator/Om/Allah's wrath and damnation. Yea the lust of the flesh, called in Greek, p¢vnæa sapk¢s, (which some do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the desire, of the flesh), is a gift of the Creator/Om/Allah. And there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized who seek to multiply their relationships in light of such wisdom.
X. Of Free-Will.
The condition of people since the earliest times is such, that they can turn and by their own self exploration and natural strength do good works, pursue faith; and call upon the One/Om/Allah.
XI. Of the Justification of People.
We are accounted righteous before the Creator/Om/Allah before our Baptism, and not for our own works or deservings, but they do help. Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only, is a most wholesome Doctrine, and very full of comfort, we should create a safe space for those who would disagree.
XII. Of Good Works of Social Justice.
Good Works of Social Justice, which are the fruits of Faith, and follow after Justification are pleasing and acceptable to the Creator/Om/Allah, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively Faith insomuch that by them a lively Faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by the fruit.
XIII. Of Works of Social Justice before Justification.
Works of Social Justice done before the grace of the Christ, and the Inspiration of the Relational Spirit, are still pleasant to the Divine Relationship, forasmuch as faith in other religions may also lead to good Works of Social Justice; yea rather, for that they are done as the Creator/Om/Allah hath willed or suggested them to be done, they are justified.
XIV. Of Works of Supererogation.Part two will be published next week provided my friend Deep Pew returns from whenever he went.
Voluntary Works besides, over and above, the Creator/Om/Allah's suggestions, which are called Works of Supererogation, may include bake sales, rummage sales, chili cook offs, and marching in LGBT pride parades, are helpful in building relationships amongst the people and are pleasing to the Creator/Om/Allah.
ADDENDA: PART TWO CLICK HERE, and for PART THREE CLICK HERE