The folks at Stand Firm have dug up a bulletin insert wherein the Epistle reading at the bishop-elect’s church is replaced by a reading from the Qur’an announced as a biblical lesson.
It’s also noted there that the preacher is a Muslim-American scholar who, in the weekly calendar is listed as giving a Q & A during coffee hour.
We don’t have much context for what’s going on here. I read this as a Muslim-Christian inter-religious occasion where a Muslim speaker is explaining his faith and the piece from the Qur’an may well be part of that. But again, we don’t know.
I will say this:
1) The inquisitors at SF have not demonstrated that this replacement of readings is a pattern at this church. But I know that it is elsewhere; there are other Episcopal congregations who routinely replace Scriptural readings with non-biblical texts. It’s wrong and it needs to stop.
2) As evidence for or against the bishop-elect, it continues a trend of poor and questionable liturgical decisions. I’d have no problem with a one-time occasion where the sermon space is given over to a speaker on Muslim-Christian relations or even a reading from the Qur’an—but not in place of a regular lesson and not liturgically treated as such. I.e., if the speaker wishes to refer to a Qur’anic text, then it should be read in the context of his presentation. [[Ok—I was trying to be broad-minded. Nope, shouldn’t be done, especially not in a Eucharistic context.]]
The pattern that is emerging around this candidate is not good: A questionable Christology, improper changes to the liturgy, and an overly-enthusiastic embrace of the practices of another faith without clear grounding in his own tradition. Any one of these may be a misunderstanding, but here we have a pattern of a progressive who has progressed outside the bounds for one who is supposed to be a guide, guardian, and teacher of the core commitments of Christianity.
3) In the bulletin insert, Ps 40 is “paraphrased” with “Here I Am, Lord”. ‘Nuff said—this dude is toast.