I occasionally read the newsletter of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio. Now, the Episcopal church long ago entered the realm of absurdity. Hints of idolatry and disobedience abound in the newsletter, always couched in phony virtue. For example, Bishopess Schiori tells us (imagine the apostle Paul saying this):
While those who seek full inclusion for gay and lesbian Christians and the equal valuing of their gifts for ministry do so out of an undeniable passion for justice, others seek a fidelity to the tradition that cannot understand or countenance the violation of what that tradition says about sexual ethics. Each is being asked to forbear for a season.
Peace, peace. Mrs. Schiori never fails to disappoint. However, what’s interesting is how much of the Episcopal newsletter actually sounds orthodox. You may read, for example, how the “Spirit” moves in our lives, but it’s not clear that the “Spirit” they refer to is the process spirit who has evolved beyond the thundering, outworn judgements of the culturally-enslaved primitives in Scripture. They don’t tell you that in the newsletter. In other words, it’s difficult, as Samuel Miller said in reference to Arius, to drag artful chiefs from their lurking places. You may have the wolf trapped in a corner, but he’s not going to just walk into your cage. He’ll “go vague” on you. Perhaps you just don’t understand exactly what he’s saying. Maybe you are just overreacting, sinner. Who gives you the right to judge, anyway? Don’t you realize that you are hurting feelings? You hater. Thanks a lot for being “divisive,” and never mind those Scriptural calls to guard the flock, or that true unity never prevails where there’s fundamental disagreement. Get ready to prepare a lot of supporting detail.
Yes, history shows that handing heretics and apostates over to Satan (1 Cor 5:5) is hard, hard work. It’s like nailing jello to a wall. Gary North notes how many times wolves like Charles Briggs (of Brown, Driver, Briggs fame) and Henry Van Dyke toyed with the orthodox in the old Presbyterian church. Van Dyke boasted: “Heresy-trials are the delight of the ungodly and the despair of religion. . . . Do not try it on eager-hearted seminary boys. Try it on a grown man who stands with them in the liberty wherewith Christ made us free.” Translation: You want my head on a pole? Come get me!
Which leads to this: Tim Bayly has found that Reformed Theological Seminary and Carolyn Custis James are at it again, this time inviting a founder of CBE (perhaps the chief group agitating for women’s ordination) to speak at an RTS-sponsored ministry. Just another blinking signpost along the gentle slope. Is anyone in the PCA but the brothers Bayly seeing it? How long will it be until the PCA starts the process of cleaning house in its seminaries? If it doesn’t, I give it 30 years to fall to the feminists. If the history of the Presbyterian church tells us anything, it’s that it doesn’t take more than a generation for a church to teach the very opposite of what it once held dear once the groundwork is in place in the seminaries. In fact, in 5-10 years the cornered wolf may grow too large to fit in any cage. Then the the PCA will be where the old Presbyterian church was after 1900, and it’s just a matter of time before the wolf has that beloved institution for dinner.