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Royal Wedding Opportunity that Misused Love and a Sermon Turned into a Socialist Rant

A Royal Wedding Opportunity that Misused Love and a Sermon Turned into a Socialist Rant

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
May 21, 2018

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry was offered a pulpit that every evangelist whoever lived would have walked on cut glass to have stepped into this week. His audience of millions was a golden moment to announce the glories of heterosexual marriage, of faithfulness, the Lord of second chances and Good News to anyone who would believe. Can you imagine what a Billy Graham or Rick Warren would have preached on this occasion?

But Curry's verbal jet ran off the end of the runway and into a field of nettles where it caught fire (a theme he mentioned 19 times in his sermon.) The wily Welby, as it happened, turned out to be the winner with the three-year sanction against TEC and Curry for allowing same sex behavior, now safely tossed into the Thames River never more to be heard of. A Pyrrhic victory indeed.

Curry has fully embraced same sex marriage and transgendered behavior opening the door to LGBTQWERTY relationships that have failed miserably to fill Episcopal parishes. Never mind there will be lots of empty churches he can occupy after he wins back parishes in South Carolina and Ft. Worth in decades long legal wars...all in the name of love of course which he openly proclaimed as the world's solvent at St. George's Chapel.

There was lots of talk about love by Curry. In fact, in the course of his 13-minute peroration, he mentioned love 66 times and beloved twice, quite possibly a record for how much loving you can achieve in such a short space of time.

Who better of course to talk about love in racially divided America than a black religious leader who has made the Jesus Movement, anti-racism, white privilege and Beloved Community his lynchpin message to the Episcopal Church, all in the name of his understanding of evangelism.

But as Bishop Gavin Ashenden noted, Curry's sermon had three serious flaws. It didn't define love, it never delivered on the hope and it isn't what Jesus preached.

"It was of course wonderful to hear a celebration of love in the romantic and erotic context of a wedding (the women commentators kept on saying 'look how hot Meghan looks in that dress. Showing that it is not only men how objectify and sexualize on sight.)"

But Michael Curry did not trouble his world-wide audience with the Christianization of cupid and Eros. He simply accepted cupid and Eros and celebrated how wonderful they were. Even an amateur theologian might reply to him; "wrong gods bishop Curry," wrote Ashenden.

His sermon of love undefined was clearly a post-modern word for a morally relativistic world which now sees more cohabitation, more out of wedlock births taking place and along with it, more sexually transmitted diseases, despair and suicide than in the last 2,000 years.

One wonders what C.S Lewis would have asked of the presiding bishop about which of the Four Loves he had in mind!

Writing in the American Thinker, Lewis Dovland asked, why was his talk on "love" so wrong and misguided? Because he wasn't talking about the love of God as Christ defined it -- or even as it is defined in the New Testament's first letter of John, Chapter 4, which he also quoted. He just made it sound as though he was.

Bishop Curry preached in broad, inclusive terms about love, at one point saying, "When love is the way, there's plenty good room - plenty good room - for all of God's children." Was this a sop to homosexuals? Why was there no mention of the Prayer's Book insistence on "procreation" -- the generation of children and the sacrificial love of parents. The Prayer Book mentions procreation specifically, and in the original version, as the first purpose of marriage as "ordained" by God!

Curry wandered off into pastures that had little to do with marriage, at one point mentioning Martin Luther King and the struggle for justice and the Jesuit scientist Teilhard de Chardin on the discovery of fire. Why? What have they go to do with the wedding of two people, even two celebrity types!

He then made the totally absurd observation that when love is the way, poverty would become history! Really! Jesus said the poor you would have with you always, a point overlooked by Curry, who attempts, like so many liberals, to usher in the kingdom with lots of government support for bottomless pits of social causes.

At one point he invoked the cross and said this, ""He didn't die for anything he could get out of it. Jesus did not get an honorary doctorate for dying. He didn't... he wasn't getting anything out of it. He gave up his life, he sacrificed his life, for the good of others, for the good of the other, for the wellbeing of the world... for us."

Not exactly. Christ did not die on the cross "for the good of others," he died on the cross to liberate us from our sin(s) and to put us in a right relationship with God by way of repentance and faith in the finished work of Christ at the cross. If Curry can so misrepresent the cross, why should we trust him about undefined love? We can't and we shouldn't.

When love is the way, we know that God is the source of us all, and we are brothers and sisters, children of God. My brothers and sisters, that's a new heaven, a new earth, a new world, a new human family, said Curry. Not in this life it isn't. The teaching on a new heaven and earth is imagery for the world to come when sin is no more, when judgement has been passed and those who make up the "new heaven" and "new earth" are the redeemed of the Lord, and it probably won't include most of the Episcopal Church.

The Presiding Bishop offered us Curry in a hurry, with a lot of energy and passion, but it was at the end of the day a rather weak, sentimental and mushy message that is fully typical of all liberal preachers, wrote Ashenden.

Curry used the platform for social justice sloganeering which seemed to embarrass the royal families by the looks on their faces. Bishop Curry has set back the cause of Christ by this Pelagian sermon, wrote one commentator and he may be right. Satan's best work is not to go after the weak and vulnerable, but to tempt those who claim to speak for God to preach "another Gospel" that St. Paul damningly wrote about. We saw and heard such a victory on Saturday.

*****

How a bad Curry gave the royal wedding a spiritual indigestion

By Jules Gomes
https://www.julesgomes.com/
May 21, 2018

How did the media miss the biggest religion story of the decade? In a masterstroke worthy of the serpentine cunning of Niccolò Machiavelli, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby executes a bloodless coup d'etat against a traditionalist monarch, heterosexual marriage, conservative Anglicans, African bishops, white privilege and the disciplinary structures of the Church of England.

The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, Primate of The Episcopal Church (TEC) is Welby's Trojan Horse. Curry is head honcho of the Anglican Church in the USA. Curry is also a highly effective Left-wing progressive who rails against the bogeyman of racism and white privilege. Curry deploys his pulpit to pulverize and slice conservatives with his Marxist sledgehammer and sickle, and sanctifies his abuse of the pulpit by calling it 'evangelism'.

Most significantly, Curry and his church have been suspended from participating in the life of the Anglican Communion for aggressively defying biblical and orthodox teaching on marriage after TEC voted to allow gay marriage. In 2016, the Anglican Communion decided to suspend the denomination for three years. Two years later, in shameless disregard for his fellow-primates and for the standards of ecclesiastical discipline, Justin Welby invites the head of TEC to preach at the most important wedding ceremony in the Church of England.

Curry responded by categorically stating that his denomination would not repent of its decision to solemnise same-sex marriages. Embracing gay 'marriage' is 'who we are', he announced. He used the tired trope of slavery to buttress his claim to be 'inclusive' by conflating slavery with gay marriage. 'I stand before you as a descendant of African slaves, stolen from their native land, enslaved in a bitter bondage, and then even after emancipation, segregated and excluded in church and society,' he whined.

But is rhetoric the litmus paper test of a good preacher?

One reason why the media doesn't challenge Curry's false analogy is because no one wants to be called a white supremacist, so Curry gets away with murder.

Curry's fans have gone gaga over his rhetorical pyrotechnics (a bit overdone for stiff-upper lip royals). But is rhetoric the litmus paper test of a good preacher? Aristotle mentions three categories of rhetoric: 'The first kind depends on the personal character of the speaker [ethos]; the second on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind [pathos]; the third on the proof, or apparent proof, provided by the words of the speech itself [logos]. Persuasion is achieved by the speaker's personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible.'

Curry's credibility is no better than burnt toast. His church is fighting cut-throat lawsuits against conservative Anglo-Catholics and evangelicals, which by the end of 2018 is estimated to exceed 60million dollars. Even more scandalous is how the church 'is becoming less and less transparent in disclosing the waste on this huge scale' by not breaking down 'legal aid to dioceses' or 'Title IV expenses' as 'separate line items in their monthly statements'.

Jesus himself said that 'a healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit' and warned his disciples to recognise false prophets 'by their fruits'. The fruit on Curry's diseased tree is rotten and his refrain on the power of love is as hollow as the claims of a bald door-to-door salesman trying to peddle tonic for hair growth.

Curry's credibility is no better than burnt toast.

'There's power in love,' booms Curry. 'There's power in love to help and heal when nothing else can. . . . When love is the way, poverty would become history. When love is the way, the earth will be a sanctuary. When love is the way, we will lay our swords and shields down by the riverside to study war no more. When love is the way, there's plenty of room for all of God's children. When love is the way, we actually treat each other, well, like we are actually family.'

Why doesn't Curry practice what he preaches? Why doesn't he end over 90 of the vendetta-driven legal battles with his fellow-Anglicans? The same biblical text he is perhaps alluding to has the most sublime hymn on love (1 Corinthians 13 is frequently read at weddings). Paul's first letter to the Corinthians also explains how this love can be practised. Paul asks Christians to refrain from internal lawsuits. 'When one of you takes another to court, all of you lose. It would be better to let yourselves be cheated and robbed,' Paul writes.

Archbishop Cranmer slams writers like Bishop Gavin Ashenden for nitpicking and finding fault with Curry's sermon. Cranmer responds by citing what did Jesus at the wedding of Cana in Galilee. Jesus didn't call people to repentance, did he? But surely to compare Jesus' attendance at the wedding of Cana in Galilee with Curry's sermon at the royal wedding is a false analogy? Curry is neither Messiah nor miracle-worker. The wedding at Cana was a party, not a service.

Jesus did not preach at the wedding. He turned water into wine. Curry did not give the royals a helping hand with the booze by turning water into 1,700 bottles of vintage champagne that were served at the wedding. Most importantly, any Johannine scholar will tell you that the miracles in John's gospel are called 'signs'. They are written with a code that has clues embedded in the text. Each 'sign' points to the greatest sign, 'the death and resurrection of Christ', and summons the reader to personally surrender to the Lord Jesus. 'These things are written that so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name,' says John, stating his evangelistic purpose in writing the gospel.

But surely to compare Jesus' attendance at the wedding of Cana in Galilee with Curry's sermon at the royal wedding is a false analogy?

Welby had a different evangelistic goal in staging Curry as the star preacher at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The newly wedded couple has already declared themselves as ambassadors for the LGBT agenda, particularly to the nations of the Commonwealth. Welby has been fighting the war against traditionalist African bishops who constitute his biggest opposition to throwing open the floodgates of gay marriage in the Church of England.

Curry, too, has been a global evangelist for the pansexualism zealously promoted by the Episcopal Church. Using the might of Mammon, TEC has tried to ram its gay agenda down the throats of unwilling African bishops.

Many of these African bishops orchestrated the suspension of Curry's church from the Anglican Communion. What better way to win the biggest coup of Welby's career than to invite another black bishop who preaches with the rhetorical flourish of a black preacher and preach about the 'balm in Gilead' and 'lurv' and tell everyone you believe that 'Jesus walked on the water'!

Get real, you carping and criticizing, clobbering and condemning nitpickers! Jesus would be shouting a thousand 'hallelujahs' in rapturous approval of Curry's sermon.

Or Jesus might be reminding us of his words (slightly adapted) in the Sermon on the Mount: 'Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and preach on lurv at the wedding of Harry and Meghan in your name?" Then will I declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness."'

END

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