A story from Anglican Ink shocked me the other day. I had to report it because this is a sign of our times –a sign warned about in Scripture. This is so sad and so wrong.
Acts 16:16-34 is the account of the Apostle Paul and Silas meeting a fortune teller, who was a slave of people trying to exploit her for money. She was possessed by a demonic spirit, giving her powers to predict the future. Her masters used and abused her and profited from her demonic activity. For days, this girl followed Paula and Silas, yelling and trying to stop their ministry. Paul commanded the demon to leave by the power of Jesus Christ. It did and the masters lost their ability to make money off her demonic activity. Upset, the masters dragged Paul and Silas into the marketplace, had them beaten and arrested. In prison, Paul and Silas were miraculously released by God and led the jailor and His family to the Lord. OK that is the story. Read it for yourself.
The presiding Bishop of the Episcopal church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, delivered a sermon in Venezuela that denounced Paul as mean-spirited and bigoted because he released a slave girl from bondage. This is shocking and incredible. Paul frees someone from spiritual bondage and is declared mean and a bigot?
And it gets worse, the Bishop declared anyone who didn’t share her views as “enemies of the Holy Spirit.” She goes on to reframe evil (demonic possession) as diversity and chides us for not accepting this. Somehow, in the middle of demonic activity we are supposed to glimpse the divine of God. OK, so Paul delivering the slave and bringing her out of spiritual bondage is not seeing a person created by God who needs freedom? Leaving her bound would have been better and accepting of her diversity? This is so delusional.
She then says that the slave girl is right for calling Paul and Silas slaves of God and rightfully puts them in their places. His refusal to see her in her demonic state as God’s image makes him a bigot. I guess his exorcist of the demonic spirit makes him mean? How screwed up is this view?
Paul and Silas were imprisoned for removing the demon (she fails to mention this upset her masters because they lost their livelihood of exploiting the girl for money) and then tells us Paul repents for his sin of casting out the demon. Show me where that is in the text. No where. She is doctrinally wrong and using the text for her own interpretation and agenda at radical inclusion. This story has nothing to do with inclusion and her argument to see the divine in all people (a Buddhist idea by the way) is ridiculous when someone is possessed by a demon. The compassionate, freeing thing to do is to exorcise that demon to give that girl spiritual freedom and a way out of exploitation. By the power of Jesus Christ, the girl is freed from the demon and now has the chance to be what God intended her to be. Disciples of Christ do not apologize for setting people free in the name of Jesus. Sorry Ms. Schori, that is doctrinally wrong and not in the Bible.
Scary how this Bishop twisted Scripture for her own crazy thoughts and then called all of us who disagree with her enemies of the Holy Spirit.
Thankfully, the response to her sermon has not been received well. Pray for her blinded eyes to be opened. This leader needs a true revelation of Jesus Christ. Don’t be taken in by such heresy.