View Full Version : Bishop-elect worries some Episcopalians

04-20-2009, 02:29 PM
This is precisely why The Episcopal Church (TEC) is falling apart. The national leadership endorses things like this and then wonders why whole dioceses are leaving.

LITTLE ROCK — The Rev. Kevin G. Thew Forrester denies that Satan exists. He doesn’t believe God sent his only-begotten son to die for the sins of the world. He says that the Koran is sacred, he has taken a Buddhist middle name and he teaches that many paths lead to the divine.

As an Episcopal priest, Thew Forrester altered the denomination’s prayer book, including its baptismal vows and the words of the Apostles’ Creed. Now he’s been elected to become a bishop - a successor to the Apostles - by the Diocese of Northern Michigan.

If a majority of the Episcopal Church’s bishops and dioceses give their consent, Thew Forrester would inherit a seat in the House of Bishops, a ceremonial shepherd’s staff and an awesome task - to “guard the faith, unity and discipline of the Church.”

Some, including the bishop of Arkansas, the Rev. Larry Benfield, hope that never happens. The Little Rock cleric says he voted against Thew Forrester primarily because of his deviations from sacramental rites printed in the Book of Common Prayer.

“The Book of Common Prayer, for us, is deeply steeped in the tradition of the church and in holy Scripture,” Benfield said. “Changes in the prayer book are very serious matters for us in the Episcopal Church.”

That prayer book, last revised in 1979, is the denomination’s main theological document. It unites Episcopalians in common liturgy and common worship.

Thew Forrester’s sweeping revisions do more than replace Shakespearean English with modern-day phraseology. For example, Thew Forrester, who says he believes in evil but not a literal devil, eliminates the reference to “Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God” in the baptismal rite. Instead, baptismal participants promise to“let go of” self-deceit, fear and anger.

Instead of accepting Jesus “as your savior,” they confirm that they “accept him as the way of life and hope.”

Read the whole thing here (http://www2.arkansasonline.com/news/2009/apr/17/bishop-elect-worries-some-episcopalians-20090417/?subscriber/national)