Monday, March 26, 2007

The Episcopal Church and Salvation

As I mentioned in my last post, there are numerous orthodox Anglicans who argue that the Episcopal church's views on same sex relationships is just the final straw. In most cases, the example used are comments made by our Presiding Bishop about her views on salvation. As an example of this argument, one conservative Rector argued as follows:

"When bishops refuse to affirm the Nicene Creed and core essentials of the Christian faith, there is a crisis in the Church. When they vote to bless and call holy behaviors that the Bible defines as sin, there is a problem. When the leader of the denomination responds to Jesus' words -- "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me," (John 14:6) -- by stating that Christians should not say that Jesus is the only way to God, "If we insist we know the one way to God, we've put God in a very small box," orthodox Anglicans take issue.

"Another statement was: "Christians understand that Jesus is the route to God. That is not to say that Muslims, or Sikhs, or Jains, don't come to God in a radically different way. They come to God through human experience, through human experience of the divine -- that doesn't mean that a Hindu doesn't experience God except through Jesus. It says that Hindus and people of other faith traditions approach God through their own cultural contexts; they relate to God, they experience God in human relationships, as well as ones that transcend human relationships." Orthodox Anglicans can only see such pronouncements as heresy."

As Nicholas Knisely reports, however, it appears that the Presiding Bishops' views about the role of Christ in salvation is decidely orthodox and mainstream. I also found an earlier post on this issue by Father Greg Jones (in a post entitled "Will Only A Few Be Saved") very instructive.


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