Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What is the problem with the "Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement"?

This year and the next are supposed to be years of revival in the the Episcopal organization (TEc). The first revival was held in Pittsburgh last month. So far there is no indication of anything of any substance having occurred. Where are the thousands of new converts? Considering the fact that the Episcopal organization is trying to pass off a false gospel on any unbelievers who might stumble into one of their revivals, no news might be good news.

These revivals sound more like social activism recruitment drives,
"The six Episcopal Revivals will vary in design, but most will be multi-day events that feature dynamic worship and preaching, offerings from local artists and musicians, personal testimony and storytelling, topical speakers, invitation to local social action, engagement with young leaders, and intentional outreach with people who aren’t active in a faith community."
One catch phrase that the Presiding Bishop has used to promote his revivals is "The Jesus Movement". What he means by this can best(?) be explained by TEc itself.
"What is the Jesus Movement?We’re following Jesus into loving, liberating and life-giving relationship with God, with each other and with the earth. 
How do we join? First, we follow Jesus. We are simply the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, seeking every day to love God with our whole heart, mind and soul, and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40). Just like Jesus. 
What’s our work?We’re working on simple practices for each priority area – if it’s a Movement, then we should all be able to grasp the ideas and get on board. Then we’re mapping a strategy that inspires and equips all of us to join God and make a difference. 
The Jesus Movement takes you places. For the Episcopal Church, it calls us to focus on three specific Jesus Movement Priorities: 
1) EVANGELISM:Listen for Jesus' movement in our lives and in the world.Give thanks. Proclaim and celebrate it! Invite the Spirit to do the rest. 
2) RECONCILIATION:Embody the loving, liberating, life-giving way of Jesus with each other   
3) CREATION CARE:Encounter and honor the face of God in creation 

  • INSPIRE Episcopalians to embrace evangelism 
  • TELL the truth about church and race 
  • DEVELOP creation care resources 
  • GATHER Episcopal evangelists 
  • REWRITE the narrative 
  • GROW local eco-ministries 
  • EQUIP all to be evangelists 
  • FORM Episcopalians as reconcilers 
  • PURSUE eco-justice at church-wide and local levels 
  • SEND all as evangelists 
  • REPAIR  and RESTORE institutions and society 
  • CONVENE conversations around climate and faith"
"Develop creation care resources", "Grow eco-ministries", and "pursue eco-justice"? Is that the evangelism Episcopalians will learn to embrace at these revivals?  Count me out..

"Tell the truth about church and race" can be said in one sentence, "Episcopalians are predominately white."

"Rewriting the narrative" sounds like more of the revisionism that has been such a disaster for the Episcopal denomination.

"Repair and restore institutions and society" is a pretty ironic goal considering what the Episcopal organization has done in the past to weaken the institution of marriage.

"Convene conversations around climate and faith." The presumption is that everyone shares the faith in the climate change due to humanity theory.

I don't know about you, but I don't see anything in there about bringing unbelievers into belief in Jesus as Lord or spreading the good news of Christ born, crucified, and resurrected for our sins.

Since they are going about it all wrong, I predict that the Episcopal revivals will fall flat and that the great Episcopal decline will continue unabated.

Matt Kennedy who is Rector (Senior Pastor) at the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton, NY explains the problem this way,
"Love God and love your neighbor is not the Gospel. It's the law. And no one can do it. The Episcopal Church's "Jesus Movement", Andy Stanley's 'attractional church', and a number of other church-growth gurus embrace the Great Commandment and the second like it as "the message" of Jesus and believe it is the key to renewal and growth. Jesus certainly preached the law, as we must as well, but what is the result when the law is the center of our preaching? We only condemn those who hear. We tie burdens on their backs they cannot carry. The first purpose of the law is to reveal sin (Rom3:20). The Gospel is about Jesus' life death and resurrection to save sinners (1Cor15:3-5). But preaching the bloody cross is much less seeker-friendly than preaching human potential." Matt Kennedy
Jesus is moving alright. It is just that the Episcopal organization is moving in a different direction.

They should probably call it "The Episcopal Movement" and flush it down the nearest gender neutral toilet.

1 comment:

  1. You've got that right, Pewster. Jesus naturally endorses the natural order of His creation, recognizing male and female. TEo, meanwhile, is filing with a federal court to claim that male and female have no intrinsic meaning. Their "movement" isn't following the real Jesus.