Liberabit
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LIBERABIT

Church?
December 24, 2006


The Episcopal Church in the USA has made some troubling decisions lately. Especially troubling are some doctrines that are clearly not Biblical. Other churches have also included similar doctrines in their assemblies. I would like to attempt to point out some of these false doctrines.

We must begin with a lesson.

The Lord in the New Testament is Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament the word, Lord, is vicarious (a substitution) for Yehovah (there is no 'J' in Hebrew).

The word rendered 'church' in the New Testament is usually εκκλεσια, ekklesia (ehk-leh-SEE-ah). Sometimes it is συναγωγε, sunagoge (soon-ah-GO-gay), or synagogue.

Sunagoge means assembly. In the New Testament, it is usually rendered synagogue. It is also rendered (once each), assembly, and congregation. Ekklesia means called out assembly. It is rendered church in 113 cases and assembly in 3 cases.

The ekklesia, or the called-out assembly, was once an assembly of persons called out of their homes into the city square for participation in government (voting, legislature, committees, etc). In the Christian Era (I prefer calling CE the Christian Era, versus the Common Era), those called out to assemble were the Christians called out of their homes to an assembly for Worship, Praise, Study, Communion, Fellowship, Discipleship, True Doctrine and Evangelism.

May I remind you of 2 Timothy 3:16-4:2, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: {17} That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (1) I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; {2} Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."

This charge is given to leaders in the church (bishops, or episkopos, elders, or presbuteros, and deacons, or diakoneo) by Paul. A church leader, whether he is a bishop (pastor), an elder, or a deacon, is to be ready in all circumstances to preach the Scriptures, which are God-breathed, and to use the Scriptures to reprove or correct, rebuke or admonish, and exhort or entreat, with much patience, and with true scriptural doctrine.

The leader of the Episcopal Church in the USA, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, has openly stated, "Some people come into this world with affections ordered toward other people of the same gender and some people come into this world with affections directed at people of the other gender." She does not believe that homosexuality is wrong or condemned by Scripture.

In its 2006 General Convention, the Episcopal Church in the USA has Discharged (removed from consideration) Resolution D058 - Salvation Through Christ Alone. Its tenets were:

By refusing to consider this most important doctrine (it was "too controversial" according to one delegate), the Episcopal Church USA apparently does not accept the doctrine of salvation by faith in Christ alone. Such faith is the basis for the church of Jesus Christ. To refute this basic doctrine of soteriology is to refute Christ as the centerpiece of His church. If Christ is not the centerpiece of His Church, then it is no longer His church.

Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said, "We who practice the Christian tradition understand him [Christ] as our vehicle to the divine. But for us to assume that God could not act in other ways is, I think, to put God in an awfully small box." Apparently, according to the bishop, Jesus is not the only way to salvation. In her thoughts, it would seem that Jesus is only one "vehicle" to salvation and there are other "vehicles" to salvation as well.

This is universalism. That doctrine, which is not Biblical, teaches that all people are going to receive salvation through their own religious orders. In other words, Buddhists will receive salvation through Buddha, Hindus through Krishna, Muslims through Mohammed, Christians through Christ, etc.

The Bible has two very important things to say that the Episcopal Church in the USA disdains.

1. Jesus is the ONLY way to get to heaven:

John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

Acts 4:10-12 "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. {11} This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. {12} Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

2. That the practice of homosexuality is a sin.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." The Greek rendered "abusers of themselves with mankind" is αρσενοκοιτες, aresnokoites, which literally means males practicing coitus with males. Arsen is males, and koites is just like it sounds, coitus.

Webster: Coitus: The physical union of male and female genitalia accompanied by rhythmic movements leading to the ejaculation of semen from the penis into the female reproductive tract.

Since a male has no reproductive tract, the lower end of the alimentary canal is used in its place in arsenokoites. Paul is pretty explicit here, wouldn't you say? If that is not enough, let us go to the Law:

Leviticus 20:13 "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

The verb שׁכב, shakab, to lie, means, in this instance, to lie down for sexual intercourse

Deuteronomy 23:17 "There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel."

The word rendered 'sodomite' is קדש, qadesh, meaning, literally, one set apart to male prostitution. Male prostitutes were assigned to pagan temples where male worshippers had male on male coitus with them.

CONCLUSION:

Be it known that,

Whereas "church" means the house of God and is an assembly of called-out believers that worship, praise, preach the gospel with correct doctrine, etc., and

Whereas the Scriptures plainly state the Jesus is the only way to Heaven, and

Whereas the practice of homosexuality is declared an abomination by the Scriptures, and

Whereas Bishop and Chief Pastor Katharine Jefferts Schori plainly does not preach true doctrine as defined by the Scriptures, and

Whereas Bishop and Chief Pastor Katharine Jefferts Schori is the leader of the Episcopal Church in the USA,

Then, based on the sound doctrine of Scripture,

We, the assembly of called-out believers, must declare that the Episcopal Church in the USA is no church at all; it is Ichabod and anathema, for the Glory of God has departed from it, and it is therefore accursed.

Of course, there are several other so-called churches in the same boat with the Episcopal Church in the USA. We must separate ourselves from all of those. I include in this list, some Baptist groups, some Methodist Groups, some Presbyterian groups, some Lutheran groups, and many more "Christian" groups that do not preach true Biblical doctrine.

Copyright 2006, Mark Oaks. All rights reserved.