The Greatest Achievement

An Episcopal Bishop caused a stir last week, shocking many with this eye-opening sermon delivered in Curaçao.

You really should go read it.

The "Most Reverend" * Katherine Jefferts Schori has reconstituted Christianity as an all-embracing, monistic paganism. The "good news" of Christianity is that we are liberated to see God in everyone, and overcome all divisions and happily celebrate all differences. That's not the controversial part. People have been saying that for ages. No, the controversial part was that along the way she characterizes the Apostle Paul's exorcism of a demon as a selfish "robbing" of a girl of her "spiritual gift." Bad Paul! How dare you!? Inventive exegesis, I'll give her that.

* I put "most reverend" in quotes because, frankly, I do not "revere" her at all, much less most of all.

As I said, this is not really news. For a very long time people have tried to turn Christianity into a Pollyanna-like, "We Are The World" sort of group hug. It sounds bold and daring, accusing Paul of wrongdoing and rejecting all that stuff about sin and death and judgment and atonement. Seems like going out on a limb. I'm sure Ms. Schori felt just a little thrill staking out her autonomy and freedom giving that sermon.

But it isn't brave at all. It is self-serving religion. C.S. Lewis had it pegged a long time ago. This kind of religion gives all the emotional comfort of believing in God, but without any of its less pleasant consequences. He goes on:

When you are feeling fit and the sun is shining and you do not want to believe that the whole universe is a mere mechanical dance of atoms, it is nice to be able to think of this great mysterious Force rolling on through the centuries and carrying you on its crest. If, on the other hand, you want to do something rather shabby, the Life-Force, being only a blind force, with no morals and no mind, will never interfere with you like that troublesome God we learned about when we were children. The Life-Force is a sort of tame God. You can switch it on when you want, but it will not bother you. All the thrills of religion and none of the cost. Is the Life-Force the greatest achievement of wishful thinking the world has yet seen?
At least one Episcopal Bishop seems to think so.

Brian Mattson