(Foolish) Quote of the day

Katharine Jefferts Schori is the new Episcopal denomination’s presiding bishop.  When Time asked, “Is belief in Jesus the only way to get to heaven?” Schori said:

We who practice the Christian tradition understand him as our vehicle to the divine.  But for us to assume that God could not act in other ways is, I think, to put God in an awfully small box.

That would be a foolish thing to say for any Christian.  But for a top leader of a major denomination to say it is just incredible. 

We aren’t assuming Jesus is the only way, as Schori says.  God was quite explicit in his Word, noting at least 100 times that Jesus is the only way (page down for more on Jesus being the only way).  So if anyone put God in a box it was God himself.  If she doesn’t find the Bible to be a reliable source of information about Jesus, I’m not sure where she draws her conclusions about him or why she would be qualified to lead a Christian organization.

I wonder what the bishop would say to persecuted Christians around the world.  Would she tell them to stay the course and suffer for their faith?  That would seem to be inconsistent with her views.  Shouldn’t everyone just conform to their local religious practices if there are so many other vehicles to the divine?  It would be more consistent with her worldview to send missionaries to convert people from Christianity to their local religion so they won’t suffer needlessly. 

Does she think all religions are vehicles to the divine?  If not, how does she determine which are valid?   The Bible claims that Jesus is the only way, so that couldn’t be her source of information. 

And note how she misses the good news of Jesus exclusivity.  There’s a reason they call it the Gospel.  We were spiritually dead without him, and He is our only hope of salvation.  It isn’t bad news that there is only one way, it is the greatest news that there is a way at all. 

Another perspective:

Charlotte Allen, author of The Human Christ: The Search for the Historical Jesus, said the Episcopal Church is “disintegrating,” and Schori’s election hurts even more.  Allen said Schori “voted for Robinson, blessed same-sex couples in her Nevada diocese, prayed to a female Jesus at the [general convention] and invited former Newark, New Jersey, bishop John Shelby Spong, famous for denying Christ’s divinity, to address her priests.”

More on her un-Biblical views here.


11 thoughts on “(Foolish) Quote of the day”

  1. I just can’t get away from the false teacher thing. Read this post early this morning and then visited a good friend’s church. The message at that church was on Galatians 3:23-3:29. In that message the pastor spoke of those false teachers and apostates who take scripture and twist the meaning. Sure seems to me the body is under full attack from within, especially from the leadership.


  2. Unfortunately, the Episcopal church has long since fallen into apostasy. It has been a gradual thing. I personally know a woman who has been divorced twice, is a single mom now, is a heavy drinker, takes her kids to Mardi Gras every year, and is an Episcopal priest. How many Biblical applications can we use in just this one situation?


  3. I liked the post and the comments. Sometimes I an discouraged about all this, but I remember that God’s plan is unfolding. Read “Revelations”.


  4. I’m always amazed, at how blithely people take the notion of salvation through Christ alone. The nearly gleeful acceptance of “you didn’t believe it, so burn in hell forever, sucker!” is a little sickening and a little frightening. The fact that I believe that we are saved by faith alone in Christ alone doesn’t mean I can’t *hope* that God will find a way to save others. Its also a backhanded way to deny unconditional election. God elects those whom he chooses. To deny that is problematic, at best.


  5. Alan, who are you talking about? I can’t think of anyone whose thinking lines up with your paraphrase (even when assuming it was hyperbole). And I don’t see how the essential belief of Jesus being the only way impacts the conditional / unconditional election debate.


  6. Well, Neil, speaking of hyperbole, “the Episcopal church has long since fallen into apostasy.”

    In addition to this blog, I hear it all the time. Anytime anyone expresses even the slightest wish or hope that God would save people in other ways, people jump all over him/her for expressing that. Anytime anyone expresses the slightest opinion that, the ways of God are not the ways of men, and that God can do as he pleases, people jump all over him/her for expressing that too. This is just another example. It’s more than a little tiresome. I guess it’s apostasy to not want people to spend eternity in hell.


  7. I agree that the ways of God are not the ways of men and that God can do as He pleases. I have heard countless stories of how God has reached people – through Jesus – around the world and in the most unlikely circumstances (e.g., Muslims being told in dreams to go to a certain place, where a Christian missionary just happens to be there dressed as the dream said he would be). I have never jumped all over anyone for saying those kinds of things.

    But what I am criticizing is more than a little different: This is a leader of a major denomination who was elected despite her heretical beliefs. I think people should be free to believe and express what they like. I just think it is dishonest of these people to be Christian leaders, as it mocks the cross, the Word, the martyrs and persecuted Christians.

    I don’t care how good of a Hindu or Buddhist or Muslim someone is, that will not save them. Teaching the opposite isn’t loving. The notion that I want people to spend eternity in Hell is wildly incorrect and unfair. My point is that without Jesus their destination is Hell, so it bothers me when these “leaders” come along and tell them that their current path is just fine.

    I suppose I could infer motives for why they don’t share the real Gospel (Is it hatred? Do they want the non-believers to go to Hell? Are they just lazy? Do they not believe it themselves?). But I don’t pretend to know their hearts. I just know that what they are teaching is false and dangerous.


  8. Fortunately, Neil, you’ve learned not to take me too literally nor too seriously. 🙂

    I agree Neil, if a Christian actually said, something akin to “Allah and God are the same, therefore Muslims will be saved too” that would be false teaching. But just saying that “… for us to assume that God could not act in other ways is, I think, to put God in an awfully small box” doesn’t, IMHO, rise to that level at all. It seems to me that she’s just expressing hope that God will find a way to save those who have never heard the Gospel, even if it doesn’t make any sense to us.


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