After seventeen days of extensive research and consultation, The Episcopal Majority has finally developed a quiz which will most likely qualify one for several offices in The Episcopal Church, including Deputy to General Convention, Bishop of an endangered diocese in either the northern or southern part of The United States, Official Commentor at Fr. Jake Stops the World, Titus One, and Stand Firm in Faith, and as Certified Co-Pilot for our Presiding Bishop, ++Katharine Jefferts-Schori.
The Rev. Thomas B. Woodward
Please answer the following questions honestly, without consulting prominent web sites or looking at your neighbor’s computer. Your answers will determine the authenticity of your orthodoxy or “orthodoxy.” Good luck and godspeed.
In the past, Anglicans have struggled with many weighty issues. Some have caused splits, while others have not. Which of the following religious issues, having ardent supporters on both sides, have caused splits in the Episcopal Church?
a. May Christians participate in armed combat, killing other humans on demand?
b. May Christians use birth control methods?
c. Must women cover their heads while in church?
d. May Christians own slaves?
e. Are women as suitable for ordination as men?
f. Is abortion always wrong?
g. May the church bless a life-long commitment between two people of the same gender?
h. Given the clear Biblical prohibition against touching pigskin, may Christians play football?
i. May murderers be ordained to the priesthood?
j. May a gay priest with 30 years of exemplary service to the church be consecrated bishop?
k. Should the tithe of 10% be mandatory for full membership in the church?
Answers: The following have divided Episcopalians, but have not caused splits within the Episcopal Church: a, b, d, f, h, i, k.
The following have caused splits within the Episcopal Church: e, g, j.
The following divided a congregation which had already split from the denomination: c.
Bonus Question: Is there a common theme among the things that have caused splits in the Episcopal Church? [Hint: It is, apparently – at least in the minds of some – more important to God than money, murder, families, biblical commandments, or owning slaves.]
Note: One congregation that left the Episcopal Church over the issue of consecrating gay priests as bishops later found itself divided over the biblical issue of women having to cover their heads while in church. Those who felt that biblical commandment was no longer binding decided to return to the Episcopal Church; they were welcomed back.
- Name five heroes in our biblical tradition who have served time in prison or have committed murder without serving time in prison.
- In the genealogy of Jesus, there are four women who are noted for "sexual irregularities." Name three of them.
- Name three crimes noted in Leviticus as deserving death.
- When Jesus is quoted as saying "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5), which groups of people who believe in him and exhibit the fruits of the Spirit does he mean to exclude?
- When Jesus is quoted in the Sermon on the Mount as saying, "Judge not, that you not be judged?" which groups of people did he intend for us to continue judging?
- Are there sayings of Jesus or dicta of Paul which contradict or qualify the blessings in the Beatitudes for certain groups of people?
- In what is referred to as The Last Judgment (Matthew 25:31-46), Jesus described those who will be saved and those who will suffer eternal punishment by their responses to the hungry, the poor, and the like. What happened to Jesus’ footnote, identifying those who would be excluded from the kingdom no matter how responsive they were to the poor?
8. Where does St. Paul contradict the saying of Jesus recorded in John 13:35, that "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" by saying, in effect, if you are gay or lesbian it doesn’t matter what Jesus said – you are damned through eternity if you express your love physically? [Hint: It is probably in Paul’s Epistle to the city where Pope Benedict now lives.]
Double Bonus Questions:
- When the clear words of Jesus are contradicted by Paul, whose side would orthodox Christians choose?
- If the matter might involve the possibility of touching on human sexuality, whose side would "orthodox" Christians choose?
- Is it worth asking why?
- Moses, David, John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul.
- Tamar, Rahab the prostitute, Ruth, Mary the Mother of Jesus.
- Cursing one’s parents, touching pigskin, homosexual relationships, etc.
- None, absolutely none.
- None, absolutely none.
- None, absolutely none.
- There is no such footnote. There never was such a footnote. You can find qualifications, denying certain groups from the kingdom, but not from the lips of Jesus. He does not distinguish the sheep from the goats by our prejudices, nor by Paul’s.
- Romans 1:26-17
- Either “yes” or “no” is correct.
When the Network, in its video, "Choose This Day," refers to the Episcopal Church as a "foreign, alien and pagan religion," how does this comport with any reasonable standard of reason, grace, sanity, or even truth?
- Is it possible to disagree about matters of capital punishment, abortion, poverty, and biblical inerrancy, and still belong to the same denomination?
- Who said the following:
- "Peter Akinola is the Dick Cheney of the Anglican Communion."
- "The Roman Catholic Church cannot conceive of women priests. The Episcopal Church has woman priests who can conceive."
- "They wouldn’t be in CANA if they didn’t know what they’re doing – and they are not there."
- "We elected him bishop because we know him, and we know the Holy Spirit in him, and we trust in God’s presence."
3. What would be the response in the Roman Catholic Church if a group of dissidents left the church and, in doing so, claimed the property of the parish for themselves?
- It wasn’t Dick Cheney. It was a member of the Episcopal Church Institute.
- Mark Russell.
- Mort Sahl (adapted)
- The people of the Diocese of New Hampshire.
- Mark Russell
- Riotous laughter, followed by a brief pause and then twenty minutes of snickering and guffawing.
* Note: “The Episcopal Church Institute” is a group of six loyal Episcopalians, most of whom live in the Southwest, based on the model of the Anglican Church Institute, an impressive sounding “orthodox” group of six guys (now three) with a web site, located in Colorado. They share one computer amongst themselves. When our web site is fully operational the ECI Board of Directors will be listed there.
Part Four: Essay Question
In 50 words or less, explain why Paul’s opinions about homosexuality are as important as the Incarnation, Resurrection, Holy Baptism, and the theology of our Book of Common Prayer.
If you have gotten this far, you have scored "Excellent." If you have failed to answer over half of the questions or have failed to provide the correct answer to more than three questions, you still have scored "Excellent," as we live by Grace. Amen.
The Episcopal Majority invites you to score yourselves and post your scores, comments, and quibbles in the "Comments" section.
If you need an Official Certificate, please print the document below: we operate on the Honor System.
CERTIFICATE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
This certifies that _____________________ has completed the Anglican-Episcopal Literacy Quiz with a passing grade of __ and is thereby qualified for the position of (check one)
__ Deputy to The General Convention of The Episcopal Church.
__ Bishop of an Endangered Diocese of __ the North, __ the South of The Episcopal Church.
__ Official Commentor on
__ Father Jake Stops the World
__ Stand Firm in Faith
__ Titus One
__ The Episcopal Majority
__ Certified Co-Pilot for Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts-Schori