Google this term, and you’ll eventually see references to Katharine Jefferts Schori, and her statement about personal salvation being part of the “Great Western Heresy” a little over a year ago. It’s old news, but it’s a gift that just keeps on giving.
She seems to like saying one thing while intimating another, which is after all the defining attribute of Post-Modernity and the Sages it has gathered round itself.
In her vision of “Ubuntu” salvation we’re all linked at the hip, and I guess if one gets in we all get in. I wonder if the Pharisee and the Tax Collector that Jesus described in his parable are reclining together at this moment, breaking bread, or if one is very personally burning in the flames as Father Abraham tells Lazarus to take that cup of water and go elsewhere. This parable does not sound like “Wide Gate” Theology to me.
+KJS has said that to believe that Jesus is the exclusive way to the Father is in reality “putting God in a box”. Did she really say that? Uh, yeah.
It’s apparent that syncretism is in vogue, the favored spice in our cultural stew. I’ve discovered that if you put salt on everything, it all tastes the same. And you might end up like my father, addicted to that flavor. Plus you might end up drinking a lot of water, retaining fluids, suffering from high blood pressure. It all makes you rather puffy, anyway. So…
I like Ubuntu, BTW. It’s a community built Linux Operating System, taking everyone in the community to build, improve, and keep alive. I really like Linux, in general, and am Blogging away safely in the knowledge that from behind my “Smoothwall box”, I am protected from the world at large.
I do not believe that Salvation, as wrought by Jesus Christ, is an Open Source, GNU GPL-like project. It’s a journey, in which we walk after Jesus with others along the way, as John Bunyan so aptly penned in Pilgrim’s Progress. In that story, Christian leaves family and loved ones to travel the road alone, through the Slough of Despond, and over the Hill of Difficulty. If you’ll remember, his comrades Pliable, Formalist and Hypocrisy all went the wrong way, and didn’t make it to the Celestial City.
Anyway, I don’t think that “The Great Western Heresy” includes thinking that Salvation is personal.
Perhaps the Great Western Heresy is the abandonment of the essential orthodox truths of Christianity. Numbered among these are the inerrant nature of scripture, the nature of God, the Trinity, Creation, Humanity, Sin, Uniqueness of Jesus Christ and the all sufficiency of his death, burial, and resurrection, the role and activity of the Holy Spirit, and what comprises Salvation. Among other things… Ask the CoE.
Perhaps the Great Western Heresy is in thinking that after 2000 years, WE’VE discovered something new that flies in the face of all that the Holy Spirit has revealed in times past, and has been known and believed by billions of faithful ones for so long. Chesterton was right.
“Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead.”
I’m sure of how my Father, Grandfather, Grandmother, and even Great Grandmother would vote.
Perhaps the Great Western Heresy is believing that good is evil, and evil good.
Perhaps “The Great Western Heresy”, as I believe it to be defined, is best understood as the beginning of “The Great Falling Away.”
“If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not listen even if someone should rise from the dead.”