In search of a small historical church, we must all have our limits. Everyone one of us much search and answer the question “At what point is a church no longer Christian?”. The wall which I believe none of us must cross is Universalism, the idea that there are many paths to communion with God.
In my city is an Episcopal church, steeped in wonderful tradition, but alas they have gone far down the path of Universalism. From their website, I noticed some statements which show how far down the path they have chosen to go.
First, their history. They have a wonderful history, founded in 1842, formed in the Anglican tradition. In their history I see hints of their adherence to the Bible and teaching the redemption found in Christ. “This group will been in the library each Sunday morning.For the 2008-2009 Sunday School year, the group will be studying the Gospel according to Matthew. The Zimmerman Bible Study Class was started in 1947 by Mrs. Anna Zimmerman, who taught the class until 1969.”
But, then you see how the bible studies have been replaced. “‘Dancing with Rumi on the Mystic Path’ In this class we will explore the nature of our personal relationships with the divine through the medium of the poetry of the Thirteenth Century Sufi mystic, Jalalu-’D-Din Rumi.”
They have chosen a path which means they are no longer a Christian church. By modern evangelical standards, many consider me a very open minded person, and some may even try to place a label of liberal on me. But, I am convinced the path of Universalism is a path which leads to destruction. The basis of all Christianity is that there is one Father, one Son, and one Holy Spirit, and one Triune God. The Son’s death on the cross is the only path to redemption. Any church which strays from this path is not a church, but just a building.
In our search for historical church, we must not be swayed by pretty buildings and rich history alone. The path to redemption is only led by the cross.