Tom Woodward, who posts regular essays over on Episcopal Majority has a response to the Archbishop of the Mideast’s questions put to the Episcopal Church.
In the middle of his essay, which argues against anyone who believes the Episcopal Church is ignoring the Bible, he asks a series of, to my mind, excellent questions:
“Here are some questions for anyone who wants to charge the leadership of the Episcopal Church with ‘abandoning the Bible’ or failing to acknowledge the real authority of the Bible. I ask these questions not rhetorically, but out of genuine concern:
- Whom did Jesus heal – and which of the healing stories involve repentance or conversion?
- How did Jesus choose Levi, the tax collector, as disciple/apostle – apparently without evidence of personal belief or repentance?
- What do you make of the parables that speak so movingly about sufficient faith outside Jesus’ faith community?
- What is the relationship between Jesus’ community and the religious establishment?
- What is the relationship between Jesus’ community and the marginalized people of his time?
- Is there any group or class of people that Jesus excluded from his welcoming embrace?
- How was it, when scholars tell us that Jesus honored women completely, that our church was able to marginalize them for nineteen hundred years?
- Are there reasons we do not use the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-11) and Paul’s list of the indications that the Holy Spirit is present in individuals and groups (Galatians 5:22-23) as the basis for our moral judgments on committed human relationships rather than the regulations of the purity code that even Conservative and Reformed Jews have rejected?
These are not difficult questions. They are questions, though, that reveal the ignorance of the attacks of those who believe that the Episcopal Church does not concern itself with the authority of the Bible. I believe it is disgraceful to ignore the teachings, the parables, the healings, and the loving and affirming relationships of Jesus Christ while charging those who not only affirm, but also treasure those realities with disregard of the Bible.”
Read the rest here: Who is Drifting from Biblical Truth
(Via The Episcopal Majority.)