Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori wrote an essay at Episcopal Life Online under the title Salvation’s goal: returning all to right relationship.
I always am delighted when people listen to what I say in a sermon or address. Sometimes I am surprised by what they hear.
In my opening address at General Convention, I spoke about the “great Western heresy” of individualism (see the full text here). There have been varied reactions from people who weren’t there, who heard or read an isolated comment without the context. Apparently I wasn’t clear!
Individualism (the understanding that the interests and independence of the individual necessarily trump the interests of others as well as principles of interdependence) is basically unbiblical and unchristian.
The spiritual journey, at least in the Judeo-Christian tradition, is about holy living in community. When Jesus was asked to summarize the Torah, he said, “love God and love your neighbor as yourself.” That means our task is to be in relationship with God and with our neighbors. If salvation is understood only as “getting right with God” without considering “getting right with (all) our neighbors,” then we’ve got a heresy (an unorthodox belief) on our hands…