Bishop Harold Miller of the Church of Ireland last month wrote an excellent and heartfelt article about his visits to Episcopal churches while on sabbatical in the USA. The full text of his article can be found here. Some pertinent quotes:
“…it is important to note that there really is the beginning of a new kind of religion in parts of the Episcopal Church – a religion which not only re-interprets the traditional central tenets of the Christian faith, but which in fact has the potential to jettison many of them altogether…”
“…the gradual replacement of the word ‘Lord’ in reference to Jesus Christ. There was a perceptible change as I travelled across from the east coast to the west, from the traditional: ‘The Lord be with you’ in the liturgy, to the revised version, ‘God be with you’, and eventually, on the west coast ‘God is in you….and also in you’!”
“I have also observed, and have seen particularly in the West Coast, an uncomfortableness with repentance and confession of sin.”
“The next element of the liturgy to be ‘downplayed’ was historic Creeds… There is a real reaction to and distancing from propositional statements of faith, even the historic ecumenical creeds – and in some cases from their central tenets and beliefs.”
“…there is an inclination to try to find ways of holding all faiths together as believing in a common god. This makes its way into the liturgy, where, when the Eucharistic bread is broken, I heard words similar to the following used: ‘We break this bread for our ancestors in the Jewish faith, our brothers and sisters in Islam, our friends who are Buddhists etc……’ – and this at a key Christocentic part of the liturgy.”
“In so many ways, parts of the Episcopal Church have been losing deep aspects of their identity. If God is not Father, Jesus is not Lord, the Son is not unique, baptism is not necessary, the creeds are optional, repentance and sin are dated concepts and the atonement is marginalized or even rejected, where do we go from here? The faith remaining will be a very different faith from the Christian faith once delivered to the saints…”
How is it the eyes of a foreigner can see so clearly what the leadership of our own church can’t see right in front of their faces?