Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


Shocked by A Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church

posted by Linda Mintle

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.

 



  • Linda Mintle

    When Christians believe that we are born with a sin nature that must be redeemed by salvation through Jesus Christ, it does not mean that people are not valued or created in the image of God. The issue here is the path. The goodness of man can never be accomplished by self-effort. It is Christ in me that continues to transform me more like Christ. Thanks for your comments.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Don

    I agree that this seems like an unusual way to interpret that story from the bible.

    I am not sure what you mean when you assert that Buddhists see the “divine” in a all people–I guess it would depend on what Buddhist teacher or what book/s that you read. Or how you (or a someone who taught you) chose to interpret the teachings of The Buddha. Just like identified Christians (and non-Christians) can interpret words and stories and meanings differently from the bible, so to, do self-identified “Buddhists” (and non-Buddhists) interpret the dharma (the teaching of the historical Buddha) differently.

    My understanding of dharma teaching is that every human being–in spite of their unwholesome thoughts and behavior–has good in them (though it may not be fully manifested). Sometimes this is referred to as “basic goodness” or “Buddha nature”(it is not necessarily however considered a dualistic term; i.e. as opposed to “badness”).

    And I am aware that some Christ followers choose to see people as having value as they are, “warts and all” (enough so that Jesus died for them). Instead of seeing people as wretched, they choose to see people as made in the image of God and as beings that matter to God.

    So for me, I am grateful when some christians choose to see people as valuable and made in the image of God, or some Buddhists choose to value and treat other people with kindness and respect because they choose to recognize their “Basic Goodness.” I personally think that the world could use more of this perspective this side of heaven.

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