The Fall of the Scottish Episcopal Church

Sep 22, 2017 by

By Daniel Davies, Scottish Anglican Network:

How did we come to this? How this church came to change Christ’s teaching is the story of every fall into heresy. It begins with a truth; heresy then takes it, expands its scope and meaning until other truths are abandoned and the church falls into error. That is how good, intelligent, thoughtful people are led astray.

Heresy is a powerful word with a very specific meaning. The church has two kinds of teaching: dogmas and doctrines. The dogmas are simple statements written by the early church which set out and defend the truth of who Christ is. These are set out in the Apostles Creed, the more detailed Nicene Creed, and the Chalcedonian Definition: which states that Christ is fully God and fully man. All these statements – dogmas, can be written on a single page. They define for every Christian who Christ is, what Christianity is and what a Christian must not deny. The doctrines are quite different; they vary from church to church, and they each explain many different ways that Christians can celebrate, live and understand the truth of the dogmas. The doctrines and the books that explore them will fill libraries.

As church understanding evolves and grows the doctrines can change and develop too. Such a change only becomes heresy when a development of doctrine undermines a dogma; when it leads to a denial of who Christ is. That is the line that the Scottish Episcopal Church has now crossed.

It began as a civil rights campaign for gay marriage. It began with the truth that every person is equally loved by God. These joined in a Christian revisionist movement to deliver gay marriage in church. Other truths were dismissed and in the single minded pursuit of their goal the Scottish Episcopal Church was led astray.

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