Which is more troubling? That a Christian “priest” could declare themselves to be a Muslim or that her bishop thought there was nothing wrong with that?
Thankfully, it “only” took two years for Ann Holmes Redding to be defrocked as an Anglican priest in Seattle.
When she declared herself to be both Christian and Muslim in 2007, her then boss, the Rt. Rev. Vincent Warner, said he could accept that and found “the interfaith possibilities exciting.” If this doesn’t say a lot about the current state of the Anglican church perhaps the fact that she was formerly in charge of programs to “form and deepen people’s faith” does. Below are some of her theological statements as reported by the Seattle Times.
“She has never believed in original sin.”
“For years she struggled with the nature of Jesus’ divinity.” More specifically, “She does not believe Jesus and God are the same, but rather that God is more than Jesus.”
“She believes Jesus is the son of God insofar as all humans are the children of God, and that Jesus is divine, just as all humans are divine — because God dwells in all humans.”
While she doesn’t rule out that one day she may choose one or the other, it’s more likely “that I’m going to be 100 percent Christian and 100 percent Muslim when I die.”
Being Muslim has given her insights into Christianity, she said. For instance, because Islam regards Jesus as human, not divine, it reinforces for her that “we can be like Jesus. There are no excuses.”
When asked about the church’s response to her statement she said, “I don’t care. They can’t take away my baptism.” And as she understands it, once she’s made her profession of faith to become a Muslim, no one can say she isn’t that, either.
I suspect that there are a lot of Muslims who would be more than willing to take that away from her if she would permit them. Likewise I don’t think she should worry about the church taking her baptism away. Rather she should read the warning of Jesus in Luke 12:5 “Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” However, given her history I suspect that not even God himself would be able to convince Ms. Redding of her error. The greatest irony of it is found in the last line in the Post article: “As frightening as it is,” she said, “I’m willing to let God be in charge of this path of mine.” If only that were true. Then the angels would rejoice.