Tuesday, June 3, 2008

How to Protect Your Church From Our Mistakes

Greg Griffith has a good thought experiment for conservatvie Anglicans:
Let’s say you were a consultant, hired by a mainline denomination, and you were asked to create a bullet point list outlining your strategy to keep what has happened in the Episcopal Church from happening in your client’s church. Keep the number bullets to 10 or fewer, and keep each bullet to a sentence or two.
Here are the series of shots I recommend to inoculate other church bodies from the false theology virus that took over the Episcopal Church:

1) Teach John 8:1-11 and emphasize that its ending "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." means that Jesus doesn't condemn her to death, not that he finds no sin in her. Rather he commands her to leave her life of sin.

2) Teach Acts 15, and emphasize that it clearly distinguishes between the laws of the Old Testament that do not carry forward and those that do, and includes sexual immorality in those laws of the Old Testament that carry forward.

3) Teach Article VII of the 39 Articles, because it explains that the Gospel does not free us from the commands of the Old Testament called moral.

4) Teach Article XV because it explains that Christ only is free of sin.

5) Teach the biblical understanding of male and female using Galatians 3:28 because as Peter Ould explains, this is how he came to understand his own sexual identity in Christ.

6) Teach Romans

7) Teach 1st and 2nd Corinthians

8) Teach Jude

9) Balance, always balance, these teaching with teachings of compassionate love

10) Only allow people who clearly understand 1) thru 9) to participate in church leadership positions.


The Underground Pewster said...

Point 10 is critical. The leadership disaster of T.E.C. becomes self perpetuating as unbelievers and apostates elect their fellow false prophets to the positions of Bishop, and Priest. Once this cycle starts, it appears to be impossible to correct from the lower levels in which most of us dwell.

Matthew said...

I like your points.

How do we make it happen?

Perpetua said...

Hi Matthew,

I just saw you used "Bad theology can be contagious. Get inoculated!" as your sign off/ link to your blog in a comment at Stand Firm.

I have read some books on memes and I do think we have been subjected to little memes of shallow bad theology. First they cut out of the Prayer Book and the Lectionary the parts they wanted to change. Then they created these bad little memes with the new ideas they wanted to use to replace the old material.

So the inoculation is clear simple teaching of correct theology specific to the bad memes. We need to identify the bad memes and then create a book with chapters counteracting the bad memes. This could be used as a teaching tool and also a basis for developing other tools, e.g. video.