Isaiah 5 v20 (NIV)
Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.
I have a little story to tell you.
The other day, while sheltering on our porch from a thunderstorm, I noticed a wasp also taking shelter in our covered wooden bird box that was hanging in the porch. On closer inspection, I noticed the beginnings of a paper nest inside this box. Hmm, I thought.
After hmm-ing for a moment, I did the obvious thing. I unhooked the box and left it, hole side up, out in the rain under the downpour. Needless to say, the wasps were non-too pleased, but what can you do, eh?
At this point, I have a confession to make. I have a penchant for feeling sorry for things. Anything. Animate or inanimate. The cute fwuffy widdle puppy and, um, that wasps nest I just left out in the rain. I just can’t help it, perhaps one day I’ll get over it. Anyway, never mind and back to the story.
Yup, this story does have a point other than outlining my character flaws for all and sundry. I was on my way to conduct an errand, and a thought occurred to me (I shall have to have that seen to as well). I thought, hey, that nascent wasps nest could be a really neat analogy.
C’mon, you know where I’m going with this…
OK, so here it is. We as a church have had a wasps nest of heresy and apostasy on our porch and, rather than doing the painful but necessary thing (which, by the way is mentioned as both necessary and painful in the Bible – y’know that book that…oh never mind) we have decided to ignore and tolerate it.
So, what happened? Well, funnily enough that wasps nest, over the course of the summer, grew, expanded beyond the confines of the box and suddenly, rather than a tiny little wasps nest we have a great big wasps nest – on our porch, stopping us getting in and out, getting the kids stung and generally making daily life difficult.
We tolerated it, and look what we became? The spectre of Catholic bishops tolerating ‘Catholic’ politicians supporting abortion and other innovations of the zeitgeist.
Simply put, you don’t tolerate wasps, you don’t tolerate sin, because if you do it just grows.
But wait a moment, where do Anglicans fit into all this, you may ask? Well, for the record I am not a good Anglican. If I was a good Anglican I would have taken that wasps nest inside and placed it at the centre of the mantelpiece. I would have watched it grow with pride, congratulating myself on my diversity and tolerance, glad that I had found it in my heart to be so inclusive. I would have been stung, and watched my children being stung and have rejoiced in this new relationship that the spirit was working within us.
Welcome, friends, to our world. Welcome to the Anglican Madhouse.
However, that is not the end. Fortunately we have a God with a track record of rescuing fools from their folly. The house is, I believe, condemned. However, there is a way out still open for those that would go. For you see, God is doing a new thing. He is not content to leave us in the result of our foolishness. Love burns in anger, but cries in mercy. Indeed, He is always more ready to be merciful than we are to receive.
My prayer is that we would perceive that mercy and in obedience walk in the paths He is opening up for us to the new dwelling places. I do not believe those dwelling places will be what we imagine, nor perhaps even what we desire. But it will be what is needed and ordained for us in this season.
The choice is before you, remain and be stung into insensibility or walk into the new paths, paths as yet untrodden. God grant us wisdom, courage, perseverance and faith! Amen!
Great picture! Great analogy! Great Truth!
Every Blessing in the Lord Jesus Christ!
That is fantastic Peter. So clear. I must say I am greatly anticipating the new paths and looking forward to seeing what the Lord will do.
What an excellent post and right conclusion! The Lord is doing a new thing, taking us all on paths we’ve never trod before. They may may be what we expect, or even what we desire, but they will be what He has ordained which is always a very good thing!
Isaiah 43:18 -19
“ Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.”
May we have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches!
Blessings to you Peter!
Excellent, Peter. That is so true.
Love demands saying “no” to erroneous teaching and destructive behaviour, as St Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 5, among other places.
Great post. And I’m the same way, feeling sorry for things. Once, I realized that a mouse had made it into the kitchen. This was a new experience for me, but although I’d read and heard from many people who warned me that the mouse would have to be removed, I couldn’t bring myself to face the hard (and unfamiliar) task of ridding my house of a small pest. I anticipated that it would be unpleasant and messy, and I shrank.
So I decided to let the mouse stay. I had lots of reasons – it was just one mouse, what harm could it do, really? Besides, it’s not as if we were starving; if a mouse ate our crumbs, we wouldn’t even notice. And it added “character” to our home. This reasoning lasted until one morning I found that a mouse had drowned in the deep fryer. Then I had to call the exterminators in, and because of my foolish tolerance, there were a LOT more mice that had to be killed than would have been the case if I’d just put out traps a few months earlier.
When years later, in another house, I saw a mouse, I didn’t indulge my weakness and craving for peace and pleasantness at all cost – I got out traps myself and got rid of the mice, without having to call a professional.
Just found this site through a link on Stand Firm. I am mightily impressed. I will be coming back to catch up and study what you have to say. The first post of yours that I read was about the Wasp’s Nest analogy. That was a very deep and moving post.
Will visit again!
PS:The website link is to the Shelter in the Storm church list that my wife maintains. If you know of any “safe” churches – read the introduction on the site – in Canada, perhaps you could send them to her. I might be able to persuade her to expand into Canada.
Excellent article Peter,thanks.
Regarding the wasps themselves,I had to dispose of two wasp nests at my folks’ house down here in Oklahoma yesterday myself.
I was struck by how they were prior to the Raid Spray hitting the nest,swarming and aggressive;yet once the Spray hit they started flying erratically and then dropping to the ground,dead.
And while I don’t wish anyone dead ,for the last few months(actually years) we’ve all seen the swarming and aggression of the TEC and New Westminster towards dissident(to them)Conservative Anglicans and as that’s accelerating(the TEC Executive committee report)my largest prayer for my Anglican brothers and sisters continues to be Psalm 57,that God will shield and protect them and would ‘send from heaven’ and save them from those who would trample them down or swallow the up,and that those who would trap them fall into their own traps and put them to shame.
Good one, Pete!
Too bad your post came about 40+ years too late for the Pike trial. The bishops back then were weenies and didn’t have the moral courage to remove the incipient virus as Scripture commands.
Then the virus SPONGed. And the invertebrates still didn’t do anything. And now the entire Anglican Communion is twitching uncontrollably, kicking convulsively, and jerking spasmodically. It’s not pretty.
Thank you one and all – I am glad the post was appreciated!
I’m just going to reply to one or two posts in here, err, because my fingers have been worn out writing a very boring technical document and I can only say thanks to each and everyone without it becoming a little repetitive :-).
Dr Mabuse – It’s not just me then, I’m glad to see 😉 Who can deny that the Anglican Communion here in N America now has ‘character’? Begs the question though….
Allen Lewis – I can do one better than that, I can list a few here off the top of my head:
Alberta, Medicine Hat:
That’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s the ones off the top of my head in my diocese of Calgary.
PS – And if anybody else wants to add to the list, please feel free to do so here….
Allen – here are few in the Diocese of Ontario. All can be found on the Diocese of Ontario Webpage.
St. Peter’s, Kingston, ON – Rev. Kris Michaelson
St. John’s, Portsmouth, ON – Rev. Chris Doering
Christ Church, Cataraqui, ON – Rev. Blair Peever
St. Luke’s, Kingston, ON – Rev. Ian Ritchie
Parish of Lakes and Locks (that is where Pete Molloy is Priest – editor of the Anglican Planet.
Parish of the Rideau, Rev. St. Timpson
Parish of Kitley, Rev. Ryan Sim.
The last three are very rural – we are pretty blessed that is for sure.
Truth Unites…and Divides, I’ve missed your posts over at T19. Are you posting under another name?
And Peter, I always enjoy your blog!
Surely I can’t be the only WASP here that sees the analogy between the wasps nest being left out in the rain and for the House of WASP being left out in the rain for the flood to come in. While our, my WASP leaders anyway, have always liked money, they now love(1st Tim 6:10) the stuff and for the first time in history have formed a global class whose only interest and common bond is money. But as Dr Mabuse alludes to our foolish tolerance we no longer need to call in the professional for it was not part of their blood, it came to them very late, with long arrears to make good when the Saxon began to hate………..(Ecclesiastes 3:8).
Allen and Peter,
Prominent evangelical Anglican leader Terry Buckle is the Archbishop of Yukon and I know most of the rectors in the diocese. I believe that all churches are quite orthodox; at least, I don’t know of any that aren’t. Individual parishes I can vouch for personally are:
Christ Church Cathedral, Whitehorse, Yukon
Church of the Northern Apostles, Whitehorse, Yukon
St Mary’s, Fort Nelson, BC
No list of safe Anglican churches in Canada is complete without St John’s Shaughnessy, Vancouver, Diocese of New Westminster—my home church before moving to the northern hinterlands.
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Thanks all for your comments. Glad it spoke to a few folk….
Again, thanks for correcting the name I applied to you when I made a riff at my blog from this blog. I corrected the text at my blog, but I have no idea if your second moniker — Patrick — will get corrected in the trackback or not.
Either way, I suppose, you’ll have glorious names that begin with the letter P. Let’s see, who else is there …. Paul, Phillip, Perciful, Phineas, Plato, … the mind boggles.
Very nicely done.
I found your blog through your liveblogging the synod. I love it already. I hope you won’t mind if I link to it from my own blog.
Here are a couple of solid parishes in Edmonton. I’m sure there are more, but these I know for sure.
and my own part-tim parish,
I don’t know much about St Michael’s and All Angels, but Steve London is the rector, and he seems pretty solidly on the orthodox side of things.
Glad you could drop by, and welcome John!
I don’t really get that but it kindof sounds intresting i just read and at first i didn’t get it but when i started to read more i lovd it espeailly the poem
sweet for bitter
and bitter for sweet
i loved that you should be a poet that would be sweet i would be your number one fan i no i don’t have a life i’m 35 wow i no well i hope someday you will be come a poet but if you already are i’m sorry i haven’t read any
Sorry, I just don’t understand the term WASP. I read a joke in Readers Digest that refered to this term. Please explain.
as in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasp