Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An Aging Heretic and His Manifesto

From Al Mohler:

"The battle is over. The victory has been won. There is no reasonable doubt as to what the final outcome of the struggle will be." Those are the words of John Shelby Spong, the retired Episcopal bishop of Newark, New Jersey. In his recently released "manifesto," Bishop Spong declares, "it is time to move on" and pledges never again to debate the issues of homosexuality or homosexual rights.

John Shelby Spong's new manifesto is a sign of the times. For the past three decades, Bishop Spong has staked out a theological position that is so far outside the realm of Christian orthodoxy that it defies description. In a succession of notorious publications, Spong has denied virtually every conceivable doctrine and has embraced almost every imaginable heresy. His abandonment of biblical Christianity is both intentional and straightforward -- what this bishop demands is nothing less than the total reformulation of the Christian faith. In other words, Bishop Spong would replace Christianity with a new post-Christian religion while continuing to be recognized as a bishop of the Episcopal Church.

An ardent proponent of gay rights and the total normalization of homosexuality, Bishop Spong has long pressed for same-sex unions and the ordination of practicing homosexuals to every office in his church. In his new manifesto, he simply declares victory for his cause. Though skirmishes in many churches and denominations continue, the bishop is convinced that the final outcome of the struggle is clear: "Homosexual people will be accepted as equal, full human beings, who have a legitimate claim on every right that both church and society has to offer any of us. Homosexual marriages will become legal, recognized by the state and pronounced holy by the church."

In an act of individual self-assertion, Spong simply declares that he no longer needs "a majority vote of some ecclesiastical body" in order to bless or ordain gay and lesbian people throughout the life of the church. "The battle in both our culture and our church to rid our souls of this dying prejudice is finished," he asserts. "A new consciousness has arisen. A decision quite clearly has been made. Inequality for gay and lesbian people is no longer a debatable issue in either church or state."

Read on HERE.


Mike said...

Came across Spong's statement on another site and have been thinking about it...my question has nothing to do with whether homosexuality is right or wrong (I think the biblical teaching is clear on this..although I know others would debate this) but whether Spong is right in the sense that "the battle in both our culture and our church to rid our souls of this dying prejudice is finished". This would mean the traditional biblical teaching has lost (or will lose) within the context of the greater society and eventually the church as well. Wonder what all of the implications of this are...not so much from an ecclesiatical perspective from from a societal one.

Todd Pruitt said...

It's a good question.

As long as God has a people there will be a raging against the darkness (homosexuality is a part of that darkness). There are certainly times however when those willing to say, "Thus says the Lord" are diminished. There are times when whole denominations abandon the truth. We certainly see this in our own country.

Romans 1 warns us of the fact that a time comes when God gives a people over to depravity, homosexuality being the ultimate expression of that depravity. So in a sense, the rise of homosexuality and a corresponding dying of the light is an expression of God's judgment.

If it is indeed finished in our culture then it has not surprised God. While the church here compromises there are other places (the Anglican communion in Africa for instance) where the church is standing strong.