Opportunity Time: The Memoirs of Governor Linwood Holton of Virginia

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 16 July 2008 0 Comments
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A couple of years ago, I preached at our local (Grace
Episcopal Church in Bath, Maine) trying to communicate
biblical scholarship and truth and their relationship to
our contemporary society. After the service a fellow
retired priest said, "You wouldn't last two weeks!" I
haven't been asked to preach since... is that common


It was a good try. Sorry it did not work out. Single shot
sermons rarely do. Change requires a relationship of
trust. Even then there are churches so deeply concerned
about religious security that truth is always a casualty.
People have to be lulled into a sufficient level of
security that will enable them to begin to ask questions
and re-form traditional answers.

However, people do not live in a time warp. They listen to
television, read newspapers and use the Internet. So the
world crowds in upon them daily. If the church is a ghetto
espousing yesterday's certainty, then it will die. You
don't even need to help it to do so.

The hope for a Christian future will never be located in
places or among people who really believe that change is
wrong, that the Pope is infallible or that the Bible is

I hope you do not give up.

John Shelby Spong




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