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July 13, 2012

When a Church is No Longer a Church

When is a church no longer a church? From the Chuck Colson for Christian Worldview, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

In 1934, Dietrich Bonhoeffer faced a dilemma.  He and Karl Barth, with the release of the Barmen Declaration, had established what became known as the Confessing Church to combat the German Church’s capitulation to the Third Reich and surrender to Nazi ideology. In their minds, the German Church had replaced Christ with Hitler as its leader.

But the ecumenical conference held that year in Fano, Denmark extended invitations to the Confessing Church and the German Church. And that was the dilemma. In Bonhoeffer’s mind, there were not two churches in Germany. The German church was not just wrong or liberal, it had lost its right to be called the church.

This week in Indianapolis, bishops at the Episcopal General Convention have approved a prayer that blesses same-sex unions and have decided to ordain not only non-celibate homosexuals, but transgender clergy also. I think I know what Bonhoeffer would say: this church is no longer the church. For, I’m John Stonestreet.

Further Reading

Episcopal bishops OK trial gay blessing prayer; full church affirms transgender orientation
Washington Post | July 09, 2012

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Prophet, Martyr, Spy
Eric Metaxas | The Colson Center Store

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