TEC ministers re-interpreting the clear meaning of the Scriptures...

Discussion in 'Navigating Through Church Life' started by Lowly Layman, May 4, 2017.

  1. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    2,021
    Likes Received:
    1,826
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    American Anglican
    Hi all,

    I watched the early service of Trinity Church (TEC) on Wall Street. It was well done. The woman leading the service had a good homily, and I was very impressed. This always gives this Episcopalian a surge of hope.

    But after the service was over, the video continued to stream, which I thought was odd. The woman came back out and made an announcement about Christ's comments regarding 'the blind leading the blind'.

    She described Christ's words as 'ableist' and apologized for him saying that. She felt it necessary to assuage people's hurt feelings about what he said, explaining that these comments were made at a different time, place, and culture than our own where there were different sensitivities and standards. She explained that he was speaking about spiritual blindness rather than physical blindness. And she offered empathy to those offended by the percieved insensitivity of the Scriptures. She assured the folks there that blind people were just as loved by God, Christ, and the Church as any other child of God.

    Then she went a bridge to far, and began to re-interpret the meaning of the passage, claiming that the blind leading the blind is actually a good thing. She recounted that having spoken to a number of blind folks, it is a terrifying experience for them to be led by the sighted but that when another blind person guides them they are much more intuitive to what is needed.

    That may well be true and may make the passage more palatable to our modern standards but it is no longer scriptural. Christ had a meaning for that passage. We do no one any favors by ignoring that meaning and replacing it with another.

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    728
    Likes Received:
    925
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    It is possible that Jesus may have been politically incorrect by contemporary standards. The prospects of blind people surviving well in the time of Jesus was somewhat limited. It is clear in the passage that Jesus is not speaking to physically blind people. The challenge in helping a blind person is between knowing what is needed and what the blind person needs to do for themselves. A blind person I used to visit I recall it was important that I return furniture to it's exact prior location. The gospel has another story for the physically blind, and that story has to do with incarnation.

    I concur with your sentiment that it is not our task to make to gospel politically inoffensive.

    Meant well, tried hard, missed the point.

    We had an experience in my local parish recently when we all blindfolded ourselves for the reading of the gospel. It was a very interesting experience, and I thought quite valuable for me. I gave a sense of real focus on the words being read without the distraction of what they eyes see. ... but I digress.
     
    alphaomega, Aidan and Lowly Layman like this.
  3. Shane R

    Shane R Active Member

    Posts:
    196
    Likes Received:
    194
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican
    That is quite timely. At my ordination Mass, the Abp. preached at some length about the importance of preaching and our jurisdictional ethos of "proclaiming Christ in word and sacrament." It seems that many have chosen to make two poles out of the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the sacrament, and the two need not receive equal attention. This is not to say that they need to receive equal time - but they merit equal attention. I visited an ACC parish at Epiphany and was quite appalled when the rector breezed through the readings as quickly as possible and skipped a sermon altogether. At the same time, here in the states, AMiA is notorious for stripping the communion liturgy down to a quick three or four prayers and serving the elements as if they were in a church that teaches Zwinglian memorialism.
     
    alphaomega likes this.
  4. ACC congregant

    ACC congregant Member

    Posts:
    39
    Likes Received:
    24
    Country:
    USA
    The fact that she felt she had to apologize tells me she was never properly prepared for what Jesus was trying to convey. Give me a break TEC.
     
    alphaomega likes this.
  5. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    953
    Likes Received:
    567
    Country:
    N Ireland
    Religion:
    Traditional RomanCatholic
    I disagree friend in all humility, the Liturgy of the Word is far inferior to the Liturgy of the Eucharist which is at the centre of Catholicism
     
    alphaomega likes this.
  6. Shane R

    Shane R Active Member

    Posts:
    196
    Likes Received:
    194
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican
    If not for the word, how would any of us know the meaning of the Eucharist? And if we do not know the meaning of the Eucharist, are we worthy to receive it? "The holy things are for the holy" as the liturgy of St. John Crysostom states.
     
  7. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    728
    Likes Received:
    925
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    My view is that the word gives meaning to the sacrament as the sacrament gives fullness to the word.
     
    Shane R likes this.
  8. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    953
    Likes Received:
    567
    Country:
    N Ireland
    Religion:
    Traditional RomanCatholic
    The Eucharist is where we receive Christs body, soul and divinity
     
    alphaomega likes this.
  9. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    728
    Likes Received:
    925
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    We know Christ in the breaking of the bread.

    Father of all we give you thanks and praise
    that when we were still far off
    you met us in your Son and brought us home.
    Dying and living, he declared your love,
    gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory.
    May we who share Christ's body live his risen life;
    we who drink his cup bring life to others;
    we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world.
    Keep us in this hope that we have grasped;
    so we and all your children shall be free,
    and the whole earth live to praise your name.
    I first encountered this prayer in An Australian Prayer book 1978, and thankfully retained in A Prayer book for Australia 1995, and I believe is held within the texts available in Common Worship. I think it may have first been crafted for the Scottish Episcopal Church in 1971, however it may well have earlier origins. It remains one of my favourite prayers.

    Numbers of Churches round here have developed the practice of rambling on in the administration of the Blessed Sacrament. So we get Philip(#Your Name) The Body of Christ .......... where ....... seems to be some sort of qualifying mini sermon. I have adopted the practice of saying Amen following the words 'The Body of Christ'. I think they are beginning to give up on me and not try and deliver the rest of the oration. (Oh! by the way it is nothing like the BCP Words of Administration)

    In similar vane I would be more relaxed if @Aidan had said 'In the Eucharist we receive Christ'. I am not sure what the extra words add to the statement, and I do not like the idea of compartmentalising the Lord of Life.
     

Share This Page