It's been almost a month now since The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, preached one of the most offense and appalling sermons landing it in Michael Bird's category of possibly the worst sermon ever. Intrigued?
If you care about biblical truth, responsible and careful exegesis, the state of the Church, and the purity of the gospel, then you will be intrigued. I was intrigued and infuriated. Why?
Because she called demon possession a spiritual gift of "awareness" and something that is "beautiful and holy." And Paul? Oh he is someone who is "annoyed," someone who is "put in his place," someone who tries to destroy her and her gift, and someone who refuses "to recognize that she, too, shares in God's nature." Basically Paul is the bad guy who is sinning against God in Acts 16:16-24 while the demon-possessed woman is the one who is being wronged but most like God. This is all in the name of unity and not "discounting and devaluing difference."
This is heretical. Simply put she equates having qualities and affiliation with Satan as the same as someone who has qualities and affiliation with God. The question for me, then, is who is God.
I'd like to know what you think.
Here's the link to her sermon. And then here's a link to an excellent article written by my former professor and dean of Beeson Divinity School, where my husband also is a professor, about this sermon.