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:
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.