Monday, July 09, 2007
Holy Halal Cow, Batman....
I suppose this is all over the media, but I have been following the story of Ann Holmes Redding lately.
She is an Episcopal priest from Washington who has recently converted to Islam. She hopes to continue as a priest, stating that she feels there is no conflict between Islam and Christianity.
Here's the story as reported in the Seattle Times.
It turns out, she doesn't fall under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Washington, but somehow, she falls under the Diocese of Rhode Island. So our Bishop has apparently had a discussion with her and has put her on a one year leave in order to discern whether she is, indeed, a Christian. In addition, the Bishop has set up some kind of spiritual direction for Redding.
This is an interesting story for a former UU. In my old church, the idea of being both a Muslim and a Christian would probably barely raise an eyebrow. In fact, being a Christian would have been more suspect!
But I have to wonder at the christology of someone who can claim both Islam and Christianity. One fundamental difference between the two is how you view Jesus. If Redding's christology is such that Jesus was a prophet, or even without sin but still fully human, it makes me wonder what she is doing with that bread and wine every week.
Episcopalians like to think that the wide highway is the better choice. That we can all somehow exist comfortably, even with profoundly divergent theologies. And as parishioners, that may very well be true. But it seems to me that a priest that is basically crossing her fingers behind her back when reciting the creed should not be leading a flock. Truly, if you take Jesus out of the picture, what does that leave us with? It stuns me that she was the head of faith formation for her local diocese.
Jhn 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
I applaud Bishop Wolf for taking action on this issue.