Sunday, April 19, 2009

TEC's Leader in "Small Box"

In an Oct 18, 2006 radio interview [TEC] Bishop Jefferts Schori stated, “Christians understand that Jesus is the route to God. That is not to say that Muslims, or Sikhs, or Jains, come to God in a radically different way. They come to God through human experience - through human experience of the divine.”

“We who practice the Christian tradition understand him as our vehicle to the divine,” the presiding bishop told Time magazine in its July 10, 2006 issue. “But for us to assume that God could not act in other ways is, I think, to put God in an awfully small box.”

Protestant and Catholic Church leaders have largely rejected these views, from the Council of Florence’s 1438 declaration that there was “no salvation outside the church” to the 1974 Lausanne Declaration by evangelicals that there was “no salvation outside a personal and explicit confession of faith in Jesus Christ.”

In 1994 evangelical scholar JI Packer defended the exclusive role of Jesus in Jesus Christ the Only Saviour, while Cardinal Ratzinger, the current Pope Benedict XVI, in 1996 called interreligious relativism “the fundamental problem of faith in our time.”

In 2000, the Roman Catholic Church in Dominus Iesus stated “the thesis that the revelation of Jesus Christ is of a limited, incomplete, and imperfect character, and must be completed by the revelation present in other religions, is contrary to the faith of the Church…. This position radically contradicts the affirmations of faith according to which the full and complete revelation of the salvific mystery of God is given in Jesus Christ.”

“If Billy Graham or Pope Benedict” were asked the questions the presiding bishop were asked, they would respond that “Jesus is the way, the truth and light,” South Carolina theologian Canon Kendall Harmon said. In a time of doctrinal confusion, “good leadership claims its particular identity from the stability of its historical faith,” he argued.

“It’s the leadership of this church giving up the unique claims of Christianity,” Canon Harmon said. “They act like it’s Baskin-Robbins. You just choose a different flavour and everyone gets in the store.”

Read it all here.

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