“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Peter 2:1-2). Episcopalian bishop John Shelby Spong died on Sept. 12 at age 90. He represents the apostasy that is described in Bible prophecy. John Spong is evidence that the Bible is the infallible Word of God. He was ordained as a bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Newark, New Jersey, in 1976 even though he denied practically every doctrine of the Christian faith. In 1988, Spong published Living in Sin: A Bishop Rethinks Human Sexuality, stating, “The time has surely come not just to tolerate, or even to accept, but to celebrate and welcome the presence among us of our gay and lesbian fellow human beings.” That year Spong visited a Buddhist temple and said, “As the smell of incense filled the air, I knelt before three images of the Buddha, feeling that the smoke could carry my prayers heavenward” (“A Dialogue in a Buddhist Temple,” John Spong, The Voice, Jan. 1989). In his 1991 book Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, Spong wrote, “Am I suggesting that these stories of the virgin birth are not literally true? The answer is a simple and direct ‘Yes.’ Of course these narratives are not literally true. Stars do not wander, angels do not sing, virgins do not give birth, magi do not travel to a distant land to present gifts to a baby, and shepherds do not go in search of a newborn savior. To talk of a Father God who has a divine-human son by a virgin woman is a mythology.” Spong also said the apostle Paul was “a self hating, repressed homosexual.” In 1998, Spong said, “I would choose to loathe rather than to worship a deity who required the sacrifice of his son” (Christianity Today, June 15, 1998). In 2000, Spong wrote in his diocesan newspaper, “I do not believe that God is a Being sitting above the clouds pulling strings. … I do not believe that human beings are born evil and that only those who come to God through the ‘blood of Jesus’ will be saved” (“John Shelby Spong,” The Washington Times, Sept. 12, 2021).
(Friday Church News Notes, September 17, 2021, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143)