In a stunning departure from historic orthodoxy, the presiding Episcopal Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, claimed that prayers of repentance for personal salvation is heresy and idolatry:
She called it "The great Western heresy: that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God."
Contrary to the Bishop. I believe in personal salvation. Each one of us must give an account before the Lord -- and we all need God's saving grace. True faith, like a good education, does not come by social osmosis. Every great movement of God in history has emphasized this fact.
When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, he said "You" must be born again. He was speaking personally -- not in the general sense. It's personal!
Jesus said to the woman at the well, I will give "You" (singular) living water. It's personal!
Peter, preaching in Acts said, "Repent and be baptized, every "One" of you." It's personal!
Indeed, salvation is personal! Every person needs it! Every person can have it!
When persons confess their personal sins, and open up the chambers of their personal lives, and ask Christ to come in as their personal Savior and Lord, He will bring a personal transformation!
I'm reminded of the old spiritual that says, "It's me, It's me, or Lord, standing in the need of prayer."
AFTER that, I'm inclined to agree with the Bishop. Then, it goes far beyond being "personal." An individualized, privatized faith that has no concern for mercy, compassion and justice is contrary to the heart of God.
With Christs love in our hearts, we will naturally go forth and bless OTHERS.