Monday, March 31, 2003

EU force deploys in Macedonia
Comment from Russian Catholic friend: A milestone for the New World Order.

Whoa
This is just in from acquaintance David Virtue. I'd read somewhere that while many Americans are religious, more than Europeans, many also are abysmally ignorant, saying they're born again but also that Jesus committed sins. I'd think despite all their historical/theological problems that the bishops in the Anglican Communion, coming from a tradition of learning that included Oxford and Cambridge, would know better. I guess not.

To say that Jesus sinned is to deny He is God, and by so doing Mr Bennison is no longer a Christian - just like Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses.

JESUS WAS A SINNER, SAYS PENNSYLVANIA BISHOP CHARLES BENNISON
SPECIAL REPORT
By David W. Virtue

"Jesus acknowledged his own sin. He knows himself to be forgiven," said
Bishop Charles E. Bennison, in his column, "The Challenge of Easter" to
Pennsylvania Episcopalians.

Writing in the Pennsylvania Episcopalian, the wraparound to the
nationally circulated Episcopal Life, the revisionist bishop who has
denied a number of basic doctrines of the Christian Faith, said that
while Jesus forgives sins, "He acknowledges his own sin. His call is to
preach repentance and forgiveness."

Bennison said that Jesus approached things ironically. "He lived with
the questions. He did not rush to judgment. He avoided the pitfalls of
imperialism. He was ironic."

"Anglicanism typically favors the ironic approach. It is the product of
an island nation whose people, long cut off from the European
Continent, had to figure things out for themselves - empirically,
experimentally, by trial and error. Whatever law they had would be
common law, based on precedence, and developed over time. For the most
part they simply "muddled through." It is how we manage still."

Bishop Bennison has emerged in recent months as the leading exponent of
post-modern "Christianity" in the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops,
having supplanted Jack Spong the retired former Bishop of Newark.

The bishop has written a Visigoth Rite of marriage for both
heterosexuals and homosexuals; failed to affirm basic doctrines of the
Christian Faith such as the bodily resurrection of Jesus, the
uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the only way of obtaining salvation, the
authority of Scripture and more.

Bishop Bennison recently went on National Public Radio (NPR) to say
that numbers are not everything when it comes to faith. The bishop then
said that "just because there are millions of conservative Christians
who rally around issues like homosexuality, that doesn't mean they're
right." Adolf Hitler, he noted, had many followers as well.

At the same time Bennison has been pouring tens of thousands of dollars
into lawyers to snuff out the remnant of faithful orthodox priests in
his diocese.

The truth is there is no historic parallel in contemporary
ecclesiastical history for the bishop's latest outrage.

While a number of bishops publicly repudiate the efficacy of the
atonement, deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead, scoff
at the Virgin Birth and much more, no bishop has publicly stepped
forward and said that Jesus himself was a sinner.

The bishop's statement goes against Holy Scripture and 2,000 years of
church teaching.

The writer to the Hebrews states categorically that "Jesus knew no sin,
neither was any deceit found in his mouth."

The bishop has gone on record as saying that the Church wrote the Bible
and can therefore re-write it, which he obviously is applying in his
latest theological inventions.

There are no fixed points of belief in Bennison's thinking. Everything
is up for theological grabs. If Jesus didn't bodily rise from the dead
then "your faith is in vain" said the Apostle Paul. Not so says
Bennison, you can believe in the 'spirit of Jesus' without believing in
bodies rising from the dead. He may want to choose chocolate bunnies
and Cadbury morsels, but the judgement palate finds them lacking.

Bennison has even offended some of his liberal clergy. A sharply worded
three-page letter from 20 priests in the Merion Deanery of the Diocese
of Pennsylvania accused the bishop of lacking "tolerance" and
"diversity" towards orthodox parishes, of having a non-pastoral
approach to church growth, "pushing boundaries" on sexuality issues to
the media and threatening the "glue" of the diocese by closing down
time honored committees for business consultants.

Bennison tried to ram a "sin of heterosexism" resolution through the
House of Bishops. It failed, but he has said he is ready to marry two
homosexuals in the cathedral.

He promised to allow the continuing promise of flying bishops for
Anglo-Catholic parishes in his diocese before becoming bishop, then
reneged on that promise.

"Bennison's statement goes against everything the Christian Church has
taught," said the retired Bishop of South Carolina Dr. C. FitzSimons
Allison, the brainiest bishop in the House of Bishops.

Quoting scripture, Allison said that, 'He who knew no sin, became sin
for us in order that we might become the righteousness of God.'
"Bennison's statement contradicts Holy Scripture, the 39 Articles,
denies the creedal affirmation, violates his oath of office as bishop
and his baptism vows, his confirmation and ordination on the basis of
no biblical evidence. His sole authority is his own solipsism."

"If the HOB believes in the historical faith and their consecration
vows, he [Bennison] should be censured, tried and deposed," said
Allison.

Father David L. Moyer, the rector of The Church of the Good
Shepherd
, remarked, "Here we go again with an outrageous statement from
Charles Bennison that attacks the Christian Faith, and misleads people
who look to a bishop as a sound teacher and spiritual guide.

"This happens periodically, but is consistent with what he has stated
previously in other areas of theology - heresy and apostasy. If the
assertion that Jesus was a forgiven sinner is not heresy, then what is
it? Another point of sadness for me and alarm for the Church."

"What Charles Bennison has stated only confirms the stance that I have
taken against him as a false teacher; and I would hope that others will
finally realize that they cannot sit idle when the essence of who Jesus
was and is for us as Redeemer is being denied. Stand up, stand up for
Jesus."

Is it "The challenge of Easter" or, is it a challenge to otherwise good
people who yet remain in the Episcopal Church to wake up and stop
enabling ECUSA to continue its false teaching? asks Dr. Vince
Eareckson, an orthodox ECUSA theologian based in Philadelphia.

"I ask in disbelief where that is in Mark 2? Where does Jesus
acknowledge his own sin? Where does he know himself forgiven? This is
utter concoction, [it is] nowhere in the text of Mark 2."

"This 'teaching' of Bishop Charles that Jesus acknowledges his own sin
and knows himself forgiven is contradicted everywhere by the New
Testament witness, a witness to the sinLESSness of Jesus."

Dr. Eareckson, who has an earned Ph.D. from Princeton Theological
Seminary and is a lay ecumenical lay theological educator, cites three
biblical examples:

"First, on Jesus' own lips in the Fourth Gospel, Jesus says to his
opponents among the Jewish leaders: 'I tell the truth, and that is why
you do not believe me. Which of you can prove that I am guilty of sin?
If I tell the truth, then why do you not believe me?'
[John 8:45-46 TEV]. He in effect dares them to demonstrate that he
sins. He can do so because as he says of himself earlier: 'He who sent
me is with me; he has not left me alone, because I always do what
pleases him.' [John 8:29 TEV]

"Second, the witness of the Apostle Paul: 'Christ was without sin, but
for our sake God made him share our sin in order that in union with him
we might share the righteousness of God.' [II Cor. 5:21 TEV]

"Third, the witness of the author of Hebrews: 'We have a High Priest
who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin.' [Hebrews
4:15 TEV]

"This is the faith and teaching of the New Testament but not of
Charles Bennison, publicly and intentionally so," said Eareckson.

"The great New Testament scholar Joachim Jeremias called 'The Central
Message of the New Testament' i.e. the work of Jesus as the Son of God
and Son of man doing for us what we could not do for ourselves,
bringing us by his own unique Sacrifice back to God. It is this
message that Bishop Charles does not believe. He has to concoct
another Jesus [cf. II Corinthians 11:4 on that!], a sinful Jesus, cut
out of whole cloth fabricated by Charles Bennison himself. And anyone
wonders why we call him a "false teacher"?

Earlier this year, British theologian, the Rev. Canon Dr. Michael
Green, author and evangelist told delegates to the U.S. Anglican
Congress that Canadian Bishop Michael Ingham and ECUSA Bishop Charles
Bennison are so apostate that their Sees should be declared "vacant."

Green, who teaches at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford told more than 300 bishops,
priests and laity that Spong went unrebuked for his consistent denial
of every single Christian doctrine and Bennison and Ingham are simply
tarred with the same brush.

"These bishops have caused nothing but pain and a massive draining away
of godly people. They have caused schism and despair and their Sees
should now be declared vacant," said Green.

"Athanasius spent much of his episcopacy in exile. The Church Father
did it on several occasions. He would declare that the Sees of
Pennsylvania and New Westminster were vacant and believing candidates
are now needed."

"There is no overarching magisterium, no mutual recognition of
ministries and no accountability. The result of this is heresy and
tyranny can go unchecked or move into the secular courts.

Dr. Christopher R. Seitz, an Episcopal Theologian and professor of Old
Testament at St. Mary's College, University of St. Andrews in Scotland,
commenting on Bennison's repudiation of the sinlessness of Jesus said,
"No one in the Christian tradition claimed Jesus sinned, of course, and
even folk like Kazantzakis only entertained the notion to show, in some
measure, how ineffective would be such a Christ."

"I suspect he is just very confused on this and a very wide range of
issues. How men like this become actual apostolic figures boggles the
mind. This is what comes of such poor theological education in the
ECUSA."

Professor William J. Tighe a College historian, says that what Bennison
is reported as saying outstrips anything that any of the "great
heretical Anglican bishops" of the last century have ever, to my
knowledge, said or written. Neither Bishop Ernest William Barnes,
Bishop of Birmingham (England) from September 1924 until his death on
29 November 1953. Barnes (d. 1950) of Birmingham (England), the author
of Should Such a Faith Offend?, nor Bishop Pike (d. 1968) of ECUSA nor
Bishop J.A.T. Robinson (d. 1983) of Woolwich (England), even in his
most revisionist work of Christology, The Human Face of God, nor
(probably) even Bishop Spong ever claimed that Jesus was a sinner, and
in need for forgiveness.

What Bishop Bennison has done is to align himself directly with the
Jewish enemies of the early generations of Christians, who in one of
the Talmud tractates declared Yeshu' to have been a sinner worthy of
death "because he sought to lead Israel astray", but at least these
people, unlike the bishop, did not claim to be followers of this
"sinner".

Charles Bennison may not be beyond repentance but he had better be
saving up to buy a Hubbell telescope so he can see his way back to the
cross, so far has this pathetic figure strayed.

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