Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pope Francis vs Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on the Devil & Demons

There is no doubt that Pope Francis from his first homily as Pope to his everyday Masses think the Devil and Demons are real facts and not just symbols.

On that note I read part of an incredible homily by the presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church USA that is down in South America that is just well astounding via Not Another Episcopal Church Blog  

See his post The Worst Sermon Ever? The Presiding Bishop Explains Away Paul and the Female Slave 

As you can see the scripture reference is this

"Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days.
But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour. But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities." Acts 16:16-19 (KJV)


As linked above this is the Presiding Bishop's viewpoint of  THAT


"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.  We’re 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.  She’s 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 can’t abide something he won’t see as beautiful or holy, so he tries to destroy it.  It gets him thrown in prison.  That’s pretty much where he’s put himself by his own refusal to recognize that she, too, shares in God’s 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 doesn’t – 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."

Well I have no words to that Thought the above bloggers makes a good case for the rather obvious counterpoints for this view. .

I am curious how some folks with same sex attraction will feel being compared to a demon possessed Fortune Teller by an friend in the progressive Christian camp. Usually that comparison is done by some in the other camp across the aisle.

Anyway it is an interesting compare and contrast that puts into some dramatic relief that the divisions in Christianity are great on some matters that were just commonly accepted 50 years ago.

If the Presiding Bishop is endorsing rortune Tellers and others folks we shall leave for another day.