One of the things I do when reading the Anglican Journal is to turn to the letters page just to see what people are saying. Lately, the Journal seems to have given up all pretence at being impartial and as such almost all letters are from the liberal side.
One letter, that can be seen here (second to last), was most revealing. The letter is generally about radical inclusion, unity and sex-obsession, the sort of thing I have seen before. However, after admonishing us to stay unified and not ‘insult Christ’, Elizabeth Loweth then seeks to call us back to the Church’s ‘real work’:
It is time now for the church to unite in its real work: poverty, health, education and the environment.
That, my friends, is what the problem is! Not our sex-obsession, power, control, hatred of women or gays etc. It’s the fundamental disagreement as to what Church is really all about.
I think a better definition of the Churches ‘real work’ can be found in Matthew 28 v19-20:
19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Poverty, health, education and the environment are things Christians should address – they are important. But any commitment to them should flow out of the primary mission of the Church.
Declaring otherwise is what should be seen as the profound insult to Christ.
Peter – I agree – as many people have said before, we have two religions in the same Church, using similar languages which have different meanings. One religion is a social gospel which mimics secular activity, and the other is the belief that Jesus died for our sins, and that we can avail ourselves of his transforming power to deal with desires which are not pleasing to him. The Zacchaeus Fellowship and thousands like them can speak of this transforming power. For me to accept SSB would mean turning my back on Jesus Christ and his atonement. This I cannot do.
Yes, nothing new here really. The main thing was the clarity of the last sentence – I had to re-read it to understand it actually meant what I thought it meant.
Often, it takes several layers of dialogue to understand that whilst the same words are used, the meanings are very different. In this case the difference was starkly obvious!
Not too much longer though Peter. At a day of prayer last month I received an image of a boat with a large sail which was sinking. The boat eventually made it to shore but the boat itself was full of holes. I had the impression that the boat was the ACC and that this controvesy was a way of saving the church. The Lord spoke in my heart that the boat would make it to shore if we kept the sail up (the gospel) and kept proclaiming the truth. I agree with Bishop Duncan that the “fearful night is passing”.
So, what would you say the shore represents? And ACC in this case is the Anglican Church of Canada?
Too many TLAs 🙂
A newly configurated Anglican Church of Canada which is part of the Anglican Comunion. Sorry what is a TLA – I know what TTFN means – Tata for now?
Three Letter Acronym 🙂
Would you see it as renewal within or a reconstitution from without? That’s a federation / network type question I guess……
Not that it matters overmuch *how* it’s accomplished, just that it is!
I am not sure Peter – it depends on who the next Primate is. If it is someone like Victoria Matthews then we have a good chance of renewal from the top, but with another liberal Primate I think we shall be following Bishop Harvey. I love the image of the small green shoot coming up beside the dead tree. This is happening in our Diocese and we now have a group of young orthodox priests leading the way – the fact they are young is very encouraging. The old has to die before there can be renewal. The Lord did tell me at the beginning of all this mess that we are on the way to Antioch and that resounded with Charlie Masters. I wish He could be more definite! but then we wouldn’t have to live by faith would we.
I guess 2007 will be our watershed as 2006 was south of the border….
Absolutely. A friend and I meet regularly to pray for the Church, and we’ll pray for you too. We have an orthodox Bishop in this Diocese and Peter Molloy (The Anglican Planet) has been appointed a Priest to join the other Orthodox priests already here. The Lord is raising up leaders, but I will be really glad when 2007 is over. However I think the Primates meeting in February will prove to be a turning point too. God Bless you Peter.
I’m not entirely sure whether our bishop Derek Hoskin is orthodox or not, though in his favour he seems much more pastorally aware than the previous bishop.
Blessings to you too Pauline.
PS I have a brief word about raising up leaders that I’ll post sometime……
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