If you ever wondered what the fuss is about in the Episcopal Church USA, this interview by the Presiding Bishop Katharine Schori should answer your questions. It’s not about gays in the church, as so many have claimed. It comes down to the age old discussion, dating back to the first 400 years of the church, of Who Jesus Christ was and is. The comments on the interview are enlightening, especially number 14 from Betty See (The italics are mine):
I was at this event and asked the question toward the beginning about what she saw Jesus as having done on the Cross. Having previously heard a sound bite here and a sound bite there, I found the hour very useful as it gave me a good insight into the way she thinks. She basically sees Jesus as another prophet, whose mission was to reconcile humans on to another, this time beyond the bounds of the Israelite nation. He taught that we are to serve each other, even to the point of having to die to be of service to one’s neighbor (which He exemplified on the Cross). There is no concept whatsoever of Eschatology in her thinking, she is all about building a better world in the here and now. Thus there is no concept of sin and redemption. No one set of morals can be imposed on others. Our Diocesan Bishop nodded in agreement with her throughout the Q and A session. Herein lies the problem we are dealing with in ECUSA. The theology is not Christian, and all of the egregious things they do, like the recent hindu communion, logically follows from their non-Christian outlook. Our conversation with these folk needs to focus on Jesus’ mission as having come to pay the price for human sin. Until they get this straight (if they ever do), there is not much point in engaging them on anything else.
Who do you say I am? Matthew 16:15-16. The answer to that question has driven both Orthodox belief and heresy throughout the centuries. It continues to be at the heart of the conflict within the Church today.
HT to SP for this one.