The Most Rev. Bishop Jefferts-Schori, new head of the Episcopal Church in America, was in my hometown of Roanoke this week, and here’s the article about her visit:

Bishop Conveys Message of Activism

How’d you like this line?

In her address, she barely mentioned the traditional church mission of saving souls.

How ’bout this response?

Her activist message resonated with Southwest Virginia pastors such as Vince Carroll, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Richlands. “She reminds me of something the Apostle Paul said, ‘The poor will always be with you.’ But you damn well better do something to help them out.” Uhh-HUH. I’m scratching my head for chapter and verse on this one.

It’s about feeding the hungry, debt reduction, hounding politicians, yada, yada. Some of these things are important, to be absolutely sure; we cannot divorce social concern from the gospel of Jesus. But neither can we divorce the gospel of Jesus from social concern, something Ms. Jefferts-Schori apparently felt disinclined to mention. I’m guessing because it’s something she doesn’t believe. If we remove the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus from our mission as a church, or relegate it to secondary status, focusing instead on “humanitarian work”, well, what are we doing that Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, et al can’t do just as well? And thus if that’s our mission, and others can perform it just as well, does Jesus matter anymore?

Liberal theology kills churches, mutates the gospel of Jesus into mere social do-goodism, and sends people to hell.

4 responses »

  1. Derlin says:

    I’ve heard it said that we have no business sharing the gospel if we aren’t also feeding the hungry. If we aren’t meeting physical needs, people will have a hard time understanding why spiritual needs are so important. If all we do is meet physical needs, we may as well just close the church doors and give everything to an organization dedicated to that task.

  2. Byron says:

    Pretty well put, I think.

  3. Deering says:

    It’s a sad thing that in liberal mainline churches the Cross is just as offensive as it is in the secular world. But we shouldn’t be surprised. Jesus told us this would be the case (Mt. 7:15).

    Keep up the good work, Byron.

  4. Laura Cain says:

    It’s sad when people (especially “bishops”) just use the church as a platform for attack. Either an attack against politicians (who they seem to think can solve most, if not all, social ills), or against people, believers included, who they think should be taking care of everyone else’s problems. Can they not take a step down from their self-righteous high horse and do something, like actually listen to what Jesus said? Someone once told me “if something someone else is/isn’t doing is upsetting you, take responsibility for it, and take care of it. That way it’s your issue to handle.”

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