Bishop Schori calls personal salvation 'heresy'

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Written by Chris Perver  
Thursday, 09 July 2009 16:46
Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori of the Episcopalian Church USA, has described the doctrine of personal salvation as "the great Western heresy",  during her opening address at the denomination's General Convention in Los Angeles yesterday. Like Pastor Rick Warren's prayer at the inauguration of President Barack Obama earlier in the year, her speech reads more like a lecture on the ideals of socialism rather than an address to a Christian assembly. Schori's speech is more notable for what is left out rather than for what is actually said. For a start, she makes no mention of the Lordship or Deity of Christ. Jesus Christ is simply referred to as 'Jesus' throughout her address. Schori reduces His role to that of reconciling creation (as opposed to the individual) to God, and does so without mentioning sin or the need for repentance and salvation. Indeed, the only time the word sin is mentioned is in relation to the pollution of the earth, and the only time she mentions salvation is to pour scorn on the idea of anyone saying it might be possible to be in a right relationship with God. Schori reduces God's role in creation to that of a provider of pleasures rather than the sole object of our worship (John 4:23). She concentrates on expounding the teachings of Confucianism and humanitarianism, while there isn't a single reference to the Scriptures in her entire address. And she reduces the thought of Calvary to just a "waypoint in the larger arc of God's dream", rather than being central in the heart and mind of God from the very foundation of the world (Revelation 13:7). 

Quote: "The crisis of this moment has several parts, and like Episcopalians, particularly ones in Mississippi, they're all related. The overarching connection in all of these crises has to do with the great Western heresy – that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God. It's caricatured in some quarters by insisting that salvation depends on reciting a specific verbal formula about Jesus. That individualist focus is a form of idolatry, for it puts me and my words in the place that only God can occupy, at the center of existence, as the ground of all being. That heresy is one reason for the theme of this Convention.

Of course it wouldn't be the first time that the Most Reverend Schori has made such statements. In June of 2006, the General Convention voted against a resolution which would have affirmed the truth of Acts 4:12, that the name of Jesus Christ is the only name given among men whereby we must be saved. Seventy percent of the church voted against that resolution, prompting some in the denomination to declare it to be no longer a Christian church. Schori herself has previously exclaimed that, "if we insist that we know the one way to God, we've put God in a very small box". Any Christian worth their weight in salt knows that Jesus Christ said He is the only way to the Father, and that nobody can come to God except through Him (John 14:6). Sad to say that many church leaders like Schori, Joel Osteen and John Hagee seem to be preaching "another gospel", Galatians 1:6-7. I could say more. As you can see, we are living in desperate times, days in which the Lord Jesus Christ is even being publicly denied by the leaders in our churches. Of course the Bible predicted this would happen.

2nd Peter 2:1-2
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

Praise God that we know the truth, that we can be saved as individuals, and that we can be in a right relationship with God. This is what Jesus Christ Himself taught while He was here on Earth. As we have been talking about recently, Jesus said in John 7:37-38, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water". And who could forget the Lord's words to Nicodemus in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life". Schori is right in that there is no set form of words which can guarantee personal salvation. Rather it is simple faith in Christ's finished work on the cross of Calvary that is able to justify the ungodly (Romans 4:5). It is not the amount of faith that matters in the salvation of a soul, rather it is who the faith is placed in. There are not many ways to God as some preachers claim. Faith in a god will not save a soul from hell. Rather saving faith only comes when one trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. He alone has the power to forgive sins, because He alone bore God's punishment for sin when He died upon the cross. And it is through the shedding of His blood that atonement has been made for our souls. Why don't your trust in Him for salvation today.

Ephesians 1:7
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace

Source Episcopal Church

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