Lent, Forgiveness, and Doctrine


la luz 5For the past few days, I’ve been concentrating on the various and sundry problems the extreme right is encountering with Christian Reconstructionism, Dominionism, and Patriarchal doctrines.  They are in danger of morphing into a cult, if they haven’t already.  One of the very real heresies now involved in the patriarchal movement is the a form of semi-Arianism being promoted in order to legitimize the submission of women into something that Christ never intended.  Arianism is basically a heresy that states the Holy Trinity:  Father, Son, Holy Spirit, are not one, but that the Father is the head of the Son the same way the Father now equals the man and as the subordinate, the Son – Christ, is now equal to women, who are submissive to the husband, or the man.

The good Episcopalian that I am, I read Forward Day by Day.  For March 8:

“…John 17:23. I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one…
Jesus speaks about the intimacy he shares with his heavenly Father. He prays that his followers will also have this intimacy. The Father and Jesus are one: the Father lives in Jesus, and Jesus lives in the Father. In order for Jesus’ followers to have this oneness with God, with Jesus, and with each other, Jesus must live within them.
In order for Jesus to live within us, we must have space for Jesus. So many things can distract us and fill our time and thoughts. We can easily give ourselves over to busyness. But what we thought was taking up space also takes something of us with it. All of these thoughts, concerns, things, or problems eventually leave us empty.
Jesus does not leave us empty. He fills us with his life-giving love and hope. When we make a space for Jesus to dwell in us, we discover that the space grows to allow more love and less busyness. We feel at peace, at oneness with God and with our brothers and sisters around us….”

March 9 continues this theme, taking it farther:

Psalm 32:5. Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and did not conceal my guilt. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” Then you forgave me the guilt of my sin.
Sin weighs heavily on us. We might try to ignore what we have done. We might try explaining or justifying our words or actions. At the end of the day, our sin sits as guilt, like a rock in our guts.
Guilt keeps us from enjoying our meals and taking pleasure. Guilt wakes us in the dark and fills us with paranoia. Will someone discover what we have done? How long can we continue with this charade?
Our only relief comes when we seek forgiveness. We must acknowledge our sin. We must tell what we have done and what we have left undone. We must recognize that our sin caused pain to others, to ourselves, and to God. When we begin the process (and it is a process) of forgiveness, we can once again enjoy our lives and sleep through the night.
What sin is still hanging on you? Ask for forgiveness and regain your life!…”

Heresy is something of a sin.  Denying the Holy Trinity is heresy.  I think it is a sin.  It causes many problems.  It is basically a denial of certain core values of our faith.  The orthodox doctrine of the Holy Trinity came out of the Council of Nicea in 381 in order to fight the heresy of Arianism.  It is a matter of faith.

I am coming to believe those who have become involved in some of the stranger aspects of patriarchal submission don’t know what they believe.  Seriously, I don’t know how anyone who follows the theology created by R. J. Rushdoony and Gary North, that has become Christian Reconstructionism can be a Christian.

That is the great tragedy.  The evil of the false theology is destroying what good men and women once believed.  It is destroying their faith and their lives.  The only way to restore what a person once believed is to go back to mainstream churches and start understanding what Christianity really is.  It might also help to grasp the fact that most scholars, today, consider the books of 1&2 Timothy and Titus to have been written by someone other than Paul.