Skip to comments.Presiding Bishop Calls Demon, "Holy Spirit"
Posted on 05/20/2013 9:15:58 PM PDT by dangus
The following is the homily Katherine Jeffords Schori read in Caracas, Venezuela. The topic is the passage from Acts, wherein Paul drives out what the bible plainly identifies as a demon from a girl.
Human beings have a long history of discounting and devaluing difference, finding it offensive or even evil. That kind of blindness is what leads to oppression, slavery, and often, war. Yet there remains a holier impulse in human life toward freedom, dignity, and the full flourishing of those who have been kept apart or on the margins of human communities. Its a tendency that seems to emerge along a common timeline. Formal legal structures that permitted human slavery ended here and in many parts of the world within a relatively short span of time. It doesnt mean that slavery is finished today, but at least its no longer legal in most places. Even so, slavery continues in the form of human trafficking and the kind of exploitation that killed so many garment workers in Bangladesh recently.
We live with the continuing tension between holier impulses that encourage us to see the image of God in all human beings and the reality that some of us choose not to see that glimpse of the divine, and instead use other people as means to an end. Were seeing something similar right now in the changing attitudes and laws about same-sex relationships, as many people come to recognize that different is not the same thing as wrong. For many people, it can be difficult to see God at work in the world around us, particularly if God is doing something unexpected.
There are some remarkable examples of that kind of blindness in the readings we heard this morning, and slavery is wrapped up in a lot of it. Paul is annoyed at the slave girl who keeps pursuing him, telling the world that he and his companions are slaves of God. She is quite right. Shes telling the same truth Paul and others claim for themselves. But Paul is annoyed, perhaps for being put in his place, and he responds by depriving her of her gift of spiritual awareness. Paul cant abide something he wont see as beautiful or holy, so he tries to destroy it. [Note: The bible proclaims that this was a demon.] It gets him thrown in prison. Thats pretty much where hes put himself by his own refusal to recognize that she, too, shares in Gods nature, just as much as he does maybe more so! The amazing thing is that during that long night in jail he remembers that he might find God there so he and his cellmates spend the night praying and singing hymns.
An earthquake opens the doors and sets them free, and now Paul and his friends most definitely discern the presence of God. The jailer doesnt he thinks his end is at hand. This time, Paul remembers who he is and that all his neighbors are reflections of God, and he reaches out to his frightened captor. This time Paul acts with compassion rather than annoyance, and as a result the company of Jesus friends expands to include a whole new household. It makes me wonder what would have happened to that slave girl if Paul had seen the spirit of God in her.
The reading from Revelation pushes us in the same direction, outward and away from our own self-righteousness, inviting us to look harder for Gods gift and presence all around us. Jesus says hes looking for everybody, anyone whos looking for good news, anybody who is thirsty. There are no obstacles or barriers just come. God is at work everywhere, even if we cant or wont see it immediately.
The gospel insists that Jesus has given glory to the growing company of his friends and disciples so they can be all be one. When we recognize the glory of another human being, we become her advocate, and we begin to see him as friend. The word thats used for glory has echoes that speak of awe, and gravitas, and deep significance. The glory weve received is something like a grand ceremonial garment, maybe even a shining face like Moses, that says to those around us, here comes the image of God. The world begins to change when we see that glorious skin shining on our brothers and sisters faces.
The great loves in our lives come from a deep recognition of the glory in another human being and a desire to share that glory. When Jesus speaks of oneness, hes moving in that direction. What would the world be like if we could love not only our lovers, but every human being with that kind of starry-eyed passion? The glory is there to see in all of us. Certainly God sees that glory. Most of us have eyes that can see that glory in one or a few other human beings. Learning to see that glory all around us is a good part of what the Christian life is all about. Slavery, war, and discrimination are only possible when we fail to see the glory in those people. Why does Jesus tell us to pray for our enemies, except to begin to discern their glory?[Note: sometimes, for their conversion?]
We live in a time when we need to see the glory of God in every other human being, and also in the rest of creation. This fragile earth, our island home, is also shining with the glory of its creator. If human beings are going to flourish on this planet, well need to learn to see the glory of God at work in all its parts. When we can be awed at the beauty of a sunset or the delicate complexity of an orchid or the remarkable diversity of a coral reef, well be much more wary about using it for our own selfish ends.
Looking for the reflection of Gods glory all around us means changing our lenses, or letting the scales on our eyes fall away. That kind of change isnt easy for anyone, but its the only road to the kingdom of God. We are here, among all the other creatures of Gods creation, to be transformed into the glory intended from the beginning. The next time we feel the pain of that change, perhaps instead of annoyance or angry resentment we might pray for a new pair of glasses. When resentment about difference or change builds up within us, its really an invitation to look inward for the wound that cries out for a healing dose of glory. We will find it in the strangeness of our neighbor. Celebrate that difference for its necessary for the healing of this world and know that the wholeness we so crave lies in recognizing the glory of Gods creative invitation. God among us in human form is the most glorious act we know. We are meant to be transformed into the same kind of glory. Lets pray that Gods glory may shine in us and in all creatures!
Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
The Episcopal church has devolved into being a gay/Marxist
pit of Hell.
I was once the senior warden of a very very old Episcopal church.
The only unforgiveable sin.
I promise you that any of the sinful things you say or do can be forgiven, no matter how terrible those things are. But if you speak against the Holy Spirit, you can never be forgiven. That sin will be held against you forever. Mark 3:28-29
Paul also said women shouldn’t speak in church. Should be applied here, I think.
Well, there's their first mistake.
16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,
"16 And now, as we were on our way to the place of prayer, we chanced to meet a girl who was possessed by a divining spirit; her predictions brought in large profits to her masters. 17 This girl used to follow behind Paul and the rest of us, crying out, These men are the servants of the most high God; they are proclaiming to us the way of salvation. 18 And when she had done this for a number of days, Paul was distressed by it; he turned round and said to the spirit, I command thee to come out of her, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; and there and then it came out of her.
19 Her masters, who saw that all their hopes of profit had vanished, took hold of Paul and Silas and dragged them off to justice in the market-place. 20 When they brought them before the magistrates, they said, These men, Jews by origin, are disturbing the peace of our city; 21 they are recommending customs which it is impossible for us, as Roman citizens, to admit or to observe. 22 The crowd gathered round, to join in the accusation; and the magistrates, tearing their clothes off them, gave orders that they should be beaten; 23 then, when they had inflicted many lashes on them, put them in prison, and bade the gaoler keep them in safe custody. 24 Thus instructed, he put them in the inner ward, and secured their feet in the stocks. "
Well clearly she slept through theology 101
Yes most definitely!
This church has just gone off the deep end and that is all I have to say about it.
How long before they are openly calling for sacrificing babies to the Lilith?
Here’s her wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katherine_Jefferts-Schori
Why am I not surprised she supports abortion, gay marriage, and is against the belief of individual salvation?
Leaving aside this “bishop’s” lack of doctrinal and scriptural understanding, which is abysmal and already well commented upon, I note an error in the preface of the article.
She delivered the address at an Episcopal church in Steenrijk, Curacao; not Caracas, Venezuela.
Caracas is the seat of the diocese of the parish she was visiting.
They already call abortion a Sacrament.
“Theres more. An Episcopal priestess, Carter Hayward said, Abortion would be a sacrament if women were in charge. Abortion should be a sacrament even today. I suspect that for many women today, and for their spouses, lovers, families and communities, abortion is celebrated as such, an occasion of deep and serious and sacred meaning. No comment is really necessary here.”