frgavin on September 21st, 2011

Thanks to VirtueOnline

The Presiding Bishop of TEC took all the bishops of that Church to Ecuador for the latest synod of bishops.  During this visit costing $4500 per couple she praised Liberation Theology – is the evangelism TEC Schori style?  ACSA bishop beware!

The Presiding Bishop then praised Liberation theology in her sermon. Following that, she made all 116 bishops sit and listen to five days of lectures on Liberation Theology by various “Liberation” theologians flown in for the occasion. That’s reminiscent of Joe Stalin force-feeding Marxism down 60 million Russian throats for 72 years.

For the record, Liberation theology is or was (it is now passé) a Christian movement in political theology that interprets the teachings of Jesus in terms of liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions. Proponents have described it as “an interpretation of Christian faith through the poor’s suffering, their struggle and hope, and a critique of society and the Catholic faith and Christianity through the eyes of the poor”. It has been out of favor for well over three decades. Its detractors viewed it as Christianized Marxism.

Although liberation theology has grown into an international and inter-denominational movement, it began as a movement within the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America in the 1950s–1960s. Liberation theology arose principally as a moral reaction to the poverty caused by social injustice in that region. The Peruvian priest Gustavo Gutiérrez, who wrote one of the movement’s most famous books, A Theology of Liberation, coined the term in 1971. Peru has a border with Ecuador.

The influence of liberation theology diminished after proponents were accused of using “Marxist concepts” leading to an admonishment from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in 1984 and 1986. The Vatican criticized certain strains of liberation theology for focusing on institutionalized or systemic sin, apparently to the exclusion of individual offenders/offenses; and for allegedly misidentifying Catholic Church hierarchy in South America as being members of the privileged classes that had long been oppressing indigenous populations since the arrival of Pizarro onward.

Of course this fits perfectly with Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori’s notion that the [Episcopal] Church should never talk about personal sin and redemption, but keep bashing institutions and corporations which are capable of doing great harm, especially oil companies that keep millions of cars running on American, and presumably, Ecuadorian roads. Ironically, a certain Cardinal Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XIV, criticized liberation theology for elevating orthopraxis to the level of orthodoxy. As TEC doesn’t have much orthodoxy left, Liberation Theology makes perfect sense.

Bishop Jefferts Schori is 30 years behind the times, maybe longer, unless she thinks she can reinvigorate a dead movement.

Evangelicalism in Latin America has swept aside Liberation Theology. Half of Brazil’s population will be Evangelical Christians by 2020. An international mission reports that evangelicals are expected to reach 57.4 million in Brazil this year in accordance with the evangelical annual growth rate of 7.42 %. Researchers predict Brazil’s evangelical growth rate over the next decade with an estimated half of Brazil’s population being Pentecostal by the year 2020. Not a one believes in Liberation Theology. Brazil is no longer a Third World country. Apparently, evangelicalism and economic self-determination are better kissin’ cousins. Ecuador and Brazil, it should be noted, are only a few hundred miles from each other’s borders. Evangelicalism is not huge in Ecuador but it is growing. It may well sweep that country in the next ten years as revival takes hold as it has in Brazil.

The Evangelical Missionary Union Church is the largest Protestant church in Ecuador. They have also started two Indian radio stations that are now under the leadership of Quichua believers. One of the largest Protestant broadcasting projects is HCJB (“Voice of the Andes”), located in Quito and owned by World Radio Missionary Fellowship. Started in 1931, it now broadcasts in 17 major languages, and is aired in short wave, long-wave, and local radio programs.

None of the Episcopal bishops made reference to this in their blogs that VOL could find. Apparently that is not the kind of [evangelical] outreach Episcopal bishops want to know or hear about.

So the new version of TEC under Jefferts Schori (following the pluriform version/vision of Frank Griswold) will now see dozens of bishops preaching Liberation Theology to emptying pews. If so, I have news for you. If you thought Gene Robinson’s election started emptying churches, Liberation Theology will seal the deal. EMT nurses will be called to churches across America on Sunday morning to carry out aging passed out parishioners and administering oxygen in the vain hope that some geriatric Episcopalians will still be alive to write out checks to ERD in time for Christmas.

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