Thank God that we don’t burn heretics at the stake anymore. The terrifying reign of the Spanish Inquisition and the European wars of religion are well and truly over. In Western society, people are allowed to think freely and express their beliefs publicly without fear of torture or execution. However, heresy still persists in the Church and our modern dilemma is all about how we deal with it.
Take the American Episcopalian Church for instance. Last week its presiding bishop and leader, The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, announced at a meeting that Jesus is only a way to salvation. At the time, she was being asked to be more precise about this, so Schori stated that she could not limit God to one way of salvation.
This is heresy. The Gospels and the New Testament are very clear about who Jesus is and how unique His role is as the Savior of the World. Jesus Himself states that He is the Only, Way, Truth, and Life, and that no one can come to God except through Him. In the Book of Acts, when Peter is boldly preaching before his opponents, he has this to say, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
Our Episcopalian brothers and sisters now have dilemma of their own – whether to depose Schori for her brazen heresy, or to seek the Gospel Truth in other churches that are loyal to our Lord.
Schori argues that Jesus is only one way to salvation because she doesn’t want to limit God. But if God has so particularly chosen Jesus to be His One and Only Anointed Savior, then Schori is misleading her people and defiantly misinterpreting Christ’s role, ministry, and mission.
For me, Schori is a heretic and a dangerous one because she is the leader of her church. I hope that American Episcopalians see her errors and seek to depose her. Schori is no Christ, nor is salvation to be found in her misleading theological ideas and opinions. The New Testament Christians were unequivocal when it came to proclaiming Christ’s uniqueness, authenticity, and divine role as Savior of the world. We would do well to keep the faith with them, and not some errant followers of their own misguided and worldly thoughts.
Prayer: Lord God, we pray for our brothers and sisters in the Episcopalian Church. We ask that You protect them from heresy and enable them to oust those who would lead them away from Your Son Jesus Christ. Keep us vigilant in our own faith and help us to rely upon Christ the One and Only Savior of the World. In His Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.