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Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Mission of the Church?

Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, issued a statement at the Newsweek/Washingpost On Faith Blog addressing the withdraw of some Episcopal Churches in Virginia from the oversight of the American Bishop.

The most disturbing aspect of her statement is the lack of a clear articulation of the reconciliation found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her assessment of the church's agenda of reconciliation seems only to address human-to-human relationships, and how we treat one another.

She says, "The Episcopal Church continues to focus on its mission of reconciling the world, particularly as it cares for the least, the lost, and the left out." Furthermore she states, "Our mission as a Church is the reconciliation of the world. We will continue to feed the hungry, house the homeless, educate children, heal the sick, minister to those in prison, and speak good news to those who have only heard the world's bad news."

Jesus, most assuredly speaks to man's obligation to love fellow man. But the reconciliation found in the gospel of Jesus Christ chiefly concerns itself with man's reconciliation with God. Sadly, nothing in this article comes close to saying just how one is reconciled with God. One would think if a Christian were speaking to the mission of the Christian Church, he or she would have to address man's reconciliation with God through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Perhaps Romans 5:6-11 will clear the fog:
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

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