A Statement to the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic March 14, 2013
Download statement here.
“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17)
The Rev. Dr. Tory Baucum, Rector of Truro Anglican Church, Fairfax, VA, has for some time been reaching out in personal friendship with the Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Tory has emphasized that he believes Bishop Johnston is in error about human sexuality and that he wants to win Bishop Johnston to the truth of Christ as found in the Scriptures. A recent statement by the Truro Vestry gives perspective on their friendship; it can be read here.
Earlier this week, John Dominic Crossan, a radical theologian famous for his denials of biblical truth and the historic Christian faith, spoke at an Episcopal church in Northern Virginia with the approval of Bishop Johnston. Crossan gave two addresses to the congregation and spoke to clergy of the Episcopal diocese on Monday morning. The parish online newsletter announced that the clergy event was hosted by Bishop Johnston and the parish rector. An account of Crossan’s visit and talks can be read here.
Bishop Johnston’s action is unconscionable. In spite of his assurances to Tory that he believes the Nicene Creed, he welcomed Crossan, who denies the bodily resurrection of Jesus and says that Jesus’ body was eaten by dogs, and he permitted him to speak unchallenged to clergy in his diocese.
I have talked with Tory Baucum about this. He is grieved over this situation and agrees with my determination that this relationship with Bishop Johnston can no longer continue.
We long for the Body of Christ to reflect the unity for which our Lord Jesus prayed (John 17:20-23), but there can be no reconciliation with The Episcopal Church apart from its repentance for false teaching and practice and its return to the truth of the historic Christian faith.
“Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.” (Romans 16:25-27)
Faithfully yours in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. John A. M. Guernsey