Monday, May 20, 2013


The Post-Christian Episcopal Church

Reactions to Episcopal Presiding Bishop are not good:

Responses posted on the Episcopal Church’s website to the Presiding Bishop’s sermon have been uniformly harsh, noting her interpretation was at odds with traditional Christian teaching, grammar, and logic. “This is quite possibly some if the most delusional exegesis I’ve ever read in my life,” one critic charged. “I’m sorry, but this sermon is not a Christian sermon.”
The reception by bloggers has been equally unkind. The Rev Timothy Fountain observed the presiding bishop had up ended the plain meaning of the text. “Instead of liberation” in freeing the slave girl from exploitation, presiding bishop finds “confinement.  Instead of Christ’s glory, there’s just squalor.”
The Rev. Bryan Owen argued “What's happening here is the exploitation of a biblical text in service to a theopolitical agenda.  Given what she says in the first paragraph I've quoted from her sermon, the Presiding Bishop suggests that anyone who doesn't buy into that agenda - anyone who holds to the traditional, orthodox understanding of such matters - is likewise afflicted with the same narrow-minded bigotry as Paul, and thus in need of enlightenment.” 

Schori's sermon is here:

There are some remarkable examples of that kind of blindness in the readings we heard this morning, and slavery is wrapped up in a lot of it.  Paul is annoyed at the slave girl who keeps pursuing him, telling the world that he and his companions are slaves of God.  She is quite right.  She’s telling the same truth Paul and others claim for themselves.[1]  But Paul is annoyed, perhaps for being put in his place, and he responds by depriving her of her gift of spiritual awareness.  Paul can’t abide something he won’t see as beautiful or holy, so he tries to destroy it.  It gets him thrown in prison.  That’s pretty much where he’s put himself by his own refusal to recognize that she, too, shares in God’s nature, just as much as he does – maybe more so!  The amazing thing is that during that long night in jail he remembers that he might find God there – so he and his cellmates spend the night praying and singing hymns.
An earthquake opens the doors and sets them free, and now Paul and his friends most definitely discern the presence of God.  The jailer doesn’t – he thinks his end is at hand.  This time, Paul remembers who he is and that all his neighbors are reflections of God, and he reaches out to his frightened captor.  This time Paul acts with compassion rather than annoyance, and as a result the company of Jesus’ friends expands to include a whole new household.  It makes me wonder what would have happened to that slave girl if Paul had seen the spirit of God in her.

And the relevant passage from Acts is here:
 
16  As we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl with an oracular spirit, 6 who used to bring a large profit to her owners through her fortune-telling.
17  She began to follow Paul and us, shouting, "These people are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation."
18  She did this for many days. Paul became annoyed, turned, and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." Then it came out at that moment.
19  When her owners saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them to the public square before the local authorities.
20  They brought them before the magistrates 7 and said, "These people are Jews and are disturbing our city
21  and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us Romans to adopt or practice."
In short, this girl didn't have the spirit of God.  She was possessed by a demon that made insane and exploited by her owners. Paul exorcised a demon.  If it wasn't a demon, how could Paul have "deprived"  here of the spirit of God? What power does Schori think he was using when he commanded "it" to come out of her in the "name of Jesus Christ"?

It's amazing how stupid our elites are.
 



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