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“Clueless in Seattle” finds a clue in Rhode Island

In his June 20 blog entry entitled Clueless in Seattle — Can You Be Both a Christian and a Muslim?, R. Albert Mohler brought attention to an article in The Seattle Times about an Episcopal priest, Rev. Ann Holmes Redding, who claimed to be a practicing Muslim as well. The most perplexing issue raised in the article was the response of Redding's bishop. The article states:

Redding's bishop, the Rt. Rev. Vincent Warner, says he accepts Redding as an Episcopal priest and a Muslim, and that he finds the interfaith possibilities exciting.

Well, it appears that "Clueless in Seattle" has received a clue in Rhode Island. According to a follow-up Associated Press article, Redding has been suspended by the Bishop of the Diocese of Rhode Island, Bishop Geralyn Wolf. Wolf stated that Redding should, "reflect on the doctrines of the Christian faith, her vocation as a priest, and what I see as the conflicts inherent in professing both Christianity and Islam."

Apparently, Redding is still subject to discipline by the Diocese of Rhode Island since she was ordained in that diocese. In a year, Wolf and Redding will discuss the situation again to determine whether or not Redding can continue as a priest.

Redding claims, "I am both Muslim and Christian, just like I'm both an American of African descent and a woman." I hate to inform Ms. Redding, but her analogy does not hold water. There is nothing contradictory about being African-American and female. They are two unrelated categories–one dealing with race and the other with gender. Being a Muslim and a Christian, however, is a different story. Affirming two mutually exclusive faiths is impossible because each one claims the other is false.

In this situation, I am thankful that the Bishop of Rhode Island had a clue and gave it to Clueless in Seattle. I just wish she would share it with the Redding's bishop in Seattle as well.

Mormons reach milestone

In this article, the Associated Press reports that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) has reached a membership milestone of 13 million worldwide. To put this in perspective, that is only 3 million less than Southern Baptists claim to have. Also, more than 1 million Mormon missionaries have served since 1830, including about 53,000 currently serving. In comparison, total number of missionaries for the IMB (as of 5/07) and NAMB (as of 12/05) is 10,548. If this trend continues, Southern Baptists will probably be outpaced in membership by the end of this decade.

I believe most Baptists (and all Christians for that matter) do not serve as missionaries for two reasons. First, it is inconvenient. Many do not want to pick up their family move to the next city, state, or country, or even around the world–even if it is only for a week. Second, many are unwilling to make the financial sacrifice. In response to that, read the following assessment of the Mormon missionary force: "Much of the church's growth comes from aggressive outreach by young missionaries, who typically serve two-year terms that they fund mostly by themselves. 'They face rejection and sometimes verbal abuse. But they soldier on,' said M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a church governing group."

How sad it is that members of a false religion built upon twisting the truth of Scripture are more adamant about sharing their faith than we are. We should feel shame for not going. I pray that we are spurred to more action.