Posts Tagged ‘Anglican Communion’

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

1 Peter 2:9

“So, what are we now?”  I have been asked this question countless times in 2013.  Of course, by now, though I’m not quite sure how to answer it, I at least know what the question means.  It means, “Are we Episcopal?  Are we Anglican?  If so, what kind of Anglican are we?”  What lies behind that question, however, is more varied.

For some, it is simple curiosity.  They love being a part of Trinity, and the broader association of our church is less important to them.  For others, it comes out of a place of grief.  Our entire spiritual and religious life has been formed in The Episcopal Church.  We feel a bit like people without a country.  For still others, we are finding it hard to invite people when we don’t know who we are.  As varied as these concerns are, they stem from the same root.  Identity.

I think few of us really give the issue of our identity its due attention.  Who we think we are sets the course for our lives.  When people never get a secure sense of who they are, they can spend their lives in an aimless kind of wandering, never really knowing where they fit in.

Our identity begins forming early in life, and continues to do so based on who we are, what we do, where we live, what we like, etc.  I have a cousin who years ago dropped out of college despite the fact that he had walked onto the football field and was making decent grades.  When another family member asked him why he said, “You and me, we’re just not the kind of people who go to college.”  Despite having the ability and talent to succeed in college, his identity was wrong.  That’s why that question “So, what are we now?” is so important to answer well.

In his epistle to the churches, the apostle Peter addresses the identity of the church.  He tells them, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for [Christ’s] own possession.”  Who are we?  Peter says we are a chosen, royal, and holy possession of the Lord Jesus Christ.  He says we are a race of people formed into a nation of priests who live in the service of the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Who are we?  We are Christ’s.  We are His treasured possession.  We are honored dignitaries in His service.  Before we are Smiths, or Jacksons, or Petersons, or Americans, or black, or white, we are Christ’s.

Having our identity in Christ makes all the difference.  When we understand that we are Christ’s, then we understand that we are not our own.  We were purchased at a heavy cost.  We are not a people who stand on our own merits, but we are a redeemed people.  We are not failures, rejects, or victims, but beloved adopted children, “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.”(Romans 8:17)  We are not individuals, but we belong to the body of faithful people throughout the ages, those who have lived by faith, not by sight.  We have a family joined together not with blood of genetic heritage, but by the shed blood of Christ.

Because this issue of our identity is so important, I’ve invited our Bishop to address just that at a luncheon forum following our 11 o’clock service.  Bishop Mark Lawrence will be addressing the question “Who are we?”  in a presentation followed by a brief time of Q&A.  But remember, no matter who we are, no matter what we call ourselves, no matter who we are related to, our identity is first and last in the Lord Jesus Christ.

This morning at Trinity, we read this letter from our Bishop Mark Lawrence. I must first thank Mark for his faithful and bold leadership during these turbulent times and in the face of harsh opposition. You can read my brief thoughts on Resolution A049, authorizing provisional same sex blessings here. While I am deeply concerned with the conventions departure from 2000 years of the church’s clear interpretation of Scripture in this resolution and the other three mentioned in Bishop Mark’s letter, I remain more concerned that we respond in a way that honors the Gospel. In my estimation, honoring the Gospel here has four components. 1. We refuse to compromise on the truths of Scripture. 2. We pray earnestly for the church. This means we pray for Trinity, we pray for Mark, our Bishop, and we pray for TEC and the leadership we disagree with. 3. We respond with civility and charity. The Gospel tells us that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).” This great display of God’s grace kills any boasting we might have. And 4. We search for the answers not in our experience or our own feelings, but in God’s Word. It has been in the study of God’s Word that I have come to hold the positions I hold on human sexuality, but it is also in the study of God’s Word that I’ve found that I am so profoundly sinful I cannot look down on anyone no matter what his or her struggle is. I cannot stress how tragic it would be if we responded to our church’s actions by resting and boasting in our own righteousness and not trusting in the righteousness of Christ and the mercy of God.

Welcome to A Glorious Revolution!  This blog is a tool for the Senior Pastor at Trinity Church Myrtle Beach to hold forth the Gospel in Myrtle Beach and beyond.  The Glorious Revolution happened in England in 1688, when James II was overthrown and William of Orange ascended to throne in his place.  This event had particular significance for the Church of England because the King of England existed as the head of the Church.  The Glorious Revolution not only returned a Protestant to the throne, but ensured that only Protestants could serve as monarch in England and thus as head of the church of England.  The purpose of calling upon that history for this blog is not to start a holy war against catholics, but to articulate my deep wish for the Anglican Communion.  My wish is that a glorious revolution in the Anglican Communion and the wider Body of Christh, where tertiary issues take their rightful place, and the Gospel reassumes center stage.  This blog seeks to serve as a means to that end.  So, you will find posted here in the future, thoughtful articles about church life, leadership, preaching, culture, current events, and movies as well as links to other contemporary revolutionaries!

Please take time to peruse our pages and see how we’ve updated the site a bit!

If you are coming back from a lengthy trip and haven’t seen Rob’s last post that he’s moving Awakening Grace, then you need to know that Rob has moved Awakening Grace to here.  Please be sure to stop over and say hi!

jindalouch…this wasn’t on some two-bit conservative blog. It was on Newsweek’s website. It also came from major political figure and rising Republican star Piyush Jindal. Jindal is interesting for several reaons. He’s the youngest governor in the U.S.  Also the first non-white to govern Louisiana. He’s a hindu, who converted to Christianity (Protestant) then on to Roman Catholicism. He’s worth keeping an eye on.

At 12, an evangelical friend named Kent gave him a paperback Bible for Christmas. Raised in a “strong Hindu culture,” Jindal considered himself “anti-Christian” and stashed it in a closet. But a crush, Kathy, soon convinced him to read the book “from cover to cover.” Jindal gradually warmed to the Scriptures, and while watching a Passion film at Kent’s church, he was suddenly “convicted” of his “sinfulness and [his] need for a savior.” Most conversion narratives end there. But Jindal’s doesn’t. Ever the A student, he studied Kent’s Bible “by flashlight” and even “learned bits of Latin, Greek and Hebrew.” After a long stretch of soul searching, Jindal concluded that Protestantism lacked “scriptural cogency” and decided to become a strict Catholic instead. (“Bobby said he trusted God to put his own house in order,” recalls Ahsanuddin.) Although critics have questioned the governor’s motives—Hindu activist Ramesh Rao recently wrote that “Jindal knew well that [conversion] was the only way, as an Indian-American Hindu, he could achieve his political ambitions”—his deeply Catholic views, including a “100 percent” opposition to abortion “with no exceptions” for rape, incest or health of the mother, undoubtedly anger more voters than they attract. “If I wanted the aesthetics without the inconvenient morality,” he wrote in 1998, “I could become Episcopalian.”

Your thoughts? Read it here

The Archbishop of Canterbury will not block the creation of a third Anglican province in North America, sources familiar with Dr. Rowan Williams’ Dec 5 meeting with five traditionalist archbishops, tell The Church of England Newspaper.

However, the archbishop will not give it his endorsement either, arguing his office does not have the legal authority to make, or un-make, Anglicans.

read the rest here

If you want to know why the clergy at Trinity always preach long sermons expositionally from the Scriptures, always hammer home the truths of the Gospel, teach upwards of five Bible studies a week, value classical patristic (Christology) and reformed theology (soteriology), and are furiously working away at a statement of belief…behold the following:

  1. Only 22% of Episcopalians polled in a national survey believe that the Scriptures are accurate.
  2. Only 12% of Episcopalians polled believed in the “great commission” mandate to share their faith.
  3. Only 20% of Episcopalians polled believe that Satan is real.
    AND NOW FOR THE REAL STUNNERS…
  4. Only 26% of Episcopalians polled believe that works will not earn your salvation (this is horrific).
  5. Only 28% of Episcopalians polled believe that Christ was sinless (equally horrific)
  6. Only 48% of Episcopalians polled are absolutely committed to Christianity

Friends, we’ve got a lot of work to do.  Check out the survey results here