The attack of the Gnostics!

More theorizing about the Episcopalian pathology, which is the same as the pathology of mainline religion today: Griswold’s Sermon is Revival of Gnosticism. What the writer means is that the religion that has become dominant among leading Episcopalians and many others has to do with acquiring a higher consciousness that dissolves all oppositions, including sexual and moral oppositions. It’s “gnostic” in the sense of proposing salvation through a previously-hidden knowledge (gnosis) that enables one to connect to a deep holy self that transcends all categories. The writer picks up Harold Bloom’s notion that there’s something peculiarly American about that religion, but also cites Swiss big cheese Carl Jung as a forerunner. In any event, the gospel of radical inclusion is widespread throughout the West, within Christian circles and without, so it can’t be tied to a specifically American tradition of thought even though ditzes like Griswold may be close to the leading edge.

10 thoughts on “The attack of the Gnostics!”

  1. According to the AP, the Angl
    According to the AP, the Anglican Consultative Council booted the US and Canadian Episcopal Churches today during their meeting in Northern Ireland.

    • MD this is major news. The homosexualists are provoking a split.
      Homosexualist-friendly U.S. and Canadian dioceses are going to provoke a split in worldwide Anglicanism, with the super-liberal North American Episcopal Churches kicked out.

      “[…T]he Telegraph said the Americans, and possibly the Canadians, may never regain their full status within the Anglican communion, resulting in a formal schism.”

      Long live Flanders!

      • I just realized André Mauroi
        I just realized André Maurois had also already posted a link to this story.

        I predict the Episcopalians will start to split into a homosexualist group and a group opposed, the former group led of course by Frank Griswold whose faction will end up like the Unitarians if they’re not careful.

        Long live Flanders!

      • If this happens, then the US
        If this happens, then the US Episcopal Church will have to split also, one would think, one part going with the Anglican Communion and ECUSA going its own way.

      • Jim, I’d love to see your reaction
        to the goings-on in the Anglican Communion. Clearly, the North American splinters are in no position to back down, when thought of in plainly political terms. Inclusivism creates, quite simply, another religion.

        I’m indifferent to the split, really, and take neither pleasure nor remorse from it. It was always inexorable.

        • To me it seems obvious that t
          To me it seems obvious that there are two different religions within Anglicanism and that Griswold & company are not (humanly speaking) going to change. They’ve thought the situation through and taken their stand. So they’ll just keep on working out the details, obfuscating the situation when that seems prudent but not wavering as to the substance. To remain in communion with them is to accept their religion because it is to deny that differences matter. So to my mind the split is a good thing.

          Rem tene, verba sequentur.

      • Despite reassurances from Perth, a split seems to be coming
        “The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, last night said there would be ‘no painless solution’ to the deepening row over homosexuality in the Anglican church. Dr Williams was speaking at the end of a week-long Primates’ conference in Northern Ireland, during which the American and Canadian branches of the Anglican church were asked to temporarily withdraw from one of its leading bodies, the Anglican Consultative Council, until the next Lambeth Conference, due in 2008. Dr Williams, the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, insisted the Church was not splitting over the issue, but acknowledged any resolution would have to involve one side in the bitter dispute backing down. ‘I haven’t had cause to revise my idea that there is no painless solution, I just think human life isn’t like that,’ he said. ‘Any lasting solution, I think, will require people to say, somewhere along the line, yes, they were wrong, wrong about something, what, I don’t know.’ “

        “Wrong about something, what, I don’t know”!!! He doesn’t know who was wrong or what they were wrong about. Need one say it? This man is no leader. He’s wishy-washy to the point of being spineless. He’s made straight from the Jimmy Carter mold. Could anyone imagine the present Pope behaving like this, talking like this, when he was younger and in his prime? Impossible to imagine! How in the world was an amorphous blob like Rowan Williams ever chosen to lead???

        “The split in the Anglican church this week followed the decision by the Episcopal Church in the United States last year to ordain Gene Robinson, a practising homosexual, as Bishop of New Hampshire, and the Anglican Church of Canada’s move to authorise same-sex blessings, both of which enraged traditionalists, particularly in Africa, who have demanded the Americans repent.”

        Two thoughts: 1) Thank God for those clear-thinking, steadfast Africans who never wavered or compromised despite what must have been enormous pressures from Canterbury and elsewhere in the first-world. 2) It is frightening to think that, had it not been for the huge Anglican churches in black Africa and their black African hierarchies the world’s white Anglicans might well have gone down the homosexualist path without too much of a protest. What in the world is happening to white people??? Are they in some sort of irreversible decline?

        “But the expulsion of American and Canadian Anglicans is expected to create deeper divisions in the Church, already in crisis over the question of the degree to which homosexuality should be accepted.”

        The debate is over the whether or not to endorse homosexualism, the mainstreaming of homosexuality, not over whether or not to “accept homosexuality,” whatever that means. Homosexuality is a fact which has always been with us, one moreover which is amply discussed in both Testaments of the Bible. We accept the fact of its existence (as we accept the fact of the existence of any other personal blemish or human vice)—whoever doubted that? That isn’t the debate. The debate is over the endorsement of the brand-new philosophy of homosexualism: the considering of homosexuality to be one-hundred percent normal and perfectly healthy, the teaching of that lie to schoolchildren from the tenderest age, and the integrating of open homosexuals and homosexuality fully into every aspect of society’s mainstream without exception even unto the idea of “marriage” between two men, allowing homosexual “couples” to adopt orphans, accepting without deep misgivings the elevation of a man to the status of Episcopalian bishop who is openly shacked-up with another man in a homosexual relationship after having left his wife and children precisely in order to live that perverted lifestyle, etc.

        “Traditionalists, led by leaders of the church in Africa, were reported to have been in victorious mood. Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola is understood to have held a celebration dinner after the decision was announced late on Thursday. ‘People harvest what they have sown,’ said Peter Karanja of the Anglican church in Kenya who saw the decision as moving Anglicans towards a split.”

        Akinola and Karanja are right, and are heros in this whole affair. But it would be inappropriate to gloat now that their side has managed to stand its ground and force the others to reconsider, and therefore the idea of a “celebration dinner” seems somehow not right. A thanksgiving dinner, on the other hand, would be very much called for. Maybe that’s what this was, a thanksgiving dinner, and the reporter used the wrong word in his article.

        “In the liberal camp, American Bishop Steve Charleston said the North Americans were unlikely to change their position. ‘I think Gene is something of a champion of human rights,’ he said. ‘Like people of colour before him, they got tired of sitting at the back of the bus and it was time to stand up and say “Here I am, I am an honest decent human being and you must treat me with respect.” That is essentially what Gene is doing and I honour him for it.’ “

        The basis for this statement by Bishop Charleston is called the logical fallacy of begging the question in any Logic 101 course of first-year college philosophy: he starts out by assuming that which he was supposed to have proven, not taken as a given (homosexualism’s legitimacy), and goes on to argue from there. But debate doesn’t work that way. If this bishop’s petitio principii nonsense is any indication of the quality of the liberal clergy’s arguments I can understand why the rest of the conferees simply gave up arguing and asked the liberals instead to just disappear for the next three years—sort of, “Please, guys—just butt out of things for a while. We can’t seem to get through to you.”


        Long live Flanders!

  2. In his book, “The Gospel in a
    In his book, “The Gospel in a Pluralist Society,” Leslie Newbigin commented as follows on this brand of theology, describing the theology of the inclusivists as follows:

    “Reality” is not to be identified with any specific name of form or image or story. Reallity “has no form except our knowledge of it.” Reality is unknowable, and each of us has to form his her own image of it. There is no objective reality which can confront the self and offer another center – as the concret person of Jesus does. There is only the self and its need for salvation, a need which must be satisfied with whatever form of the unknown Transcendent the self may cherish. The movement, in other words, is exactly the reverse of the Copernican one. It is a move away from a center outside the self, to the self as the only center. It it is a further development of the move which converted Christian theology form a concern with the reality of God’s saving acts, to a concern with “religious experience,” the move which converts theology into anthropology, the move about which perhaps the final word was spoken by Feuerbach who says that the “God” so conceived was simply the blown-up image of the self thrown up against the sky. It is the final triumph of the self over reality. A “soteriocentric” view makes “reality” the servant of the self and its desires. It excludes the possibility that “reality” as personal might address the self with a call which requires an answer. It is the authentic product of the consumer society.”

    Note Newgibin’s observation of what this theology “excludes” (although of course it advertises itself as radically inclusive): In general, this theology excludes, wholesale, any knowable objective reality. It is truly Kantian. It is a theology made up of minds that can’t even agree what a mind is or what a mind is capable of.

    This theology “includes” all those who agree that we can’t know anything. It necessarily excludes all those who claim to know anything, either by revelation or by way of experience or by way of human reason. It is therefore extremely dogmatic and exclusive, and it is the natural home of the irrational.


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