Skip to comments.Why I Walked: Sometimes loving a denomination requires you to fight.
Posted on 01/15/2005 8:56:12 AM PST by sionnsar
In June 2002, the synod of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster authorized its bishop to produce a service for blessing same-sex unions, to be used in any parish of the diocese that requests it. A number of synod members walked out to protest the decision. They declared themselves out of communion with the bishop and the synod, and they appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury and other Anglican primates and bishops for help.
J. I. Packer, an executive editor of Christianity Today, was one of those who walked out. Many people have asked him why. Though one part of his answer applies specifically to Anglicans, his larger argument should give guidance to any Christians troubled by developments in their church or denomination.
Why did I walk out with the others? Because this decision, taken in its context, falsifies the gospel of Christ, abandons the authority of Scripture, jeopardizes the salvation of fellow human beings, and betrays the church in its God-appointed role as the bastion and bulwark of divine truth.
My primary authority is a Bible writer named Paul. ...
[This is an excerpt. Click through for the entire essay. --sionnsar]
Packer has it right, start to finish.
What are represented as different "interpretations" are in fact reflections of what is definitive: in the one view, the doctrinal and moral teaching of Scripture is always final for Christian people; in the other view, it never is. What is definitive for the exponents of that view is not what the Bible says, as such, but what their own minds come up with as they seek to make Bible teaching match the wisdom of the world.[emphasis added]
When conscience divorced from apostolic teaching authority became an acceptable Biblical interpretational guide, the drift away from the Bible and teachings of Jesus began. When personal conscience trumps apostolic authority, and when the narrow gate is widened, error results.
Sionnsar, this is excellent, all of it. I was particularly intrigued by the "objectivist/subjectivist" contrast and the fact that the author recognizes the influence of the Englightenment on Western Christianity, something the East was thankfully saved from, ironically, by the Mohammedans and the isolationism and zenophobia of Russia. I must say, though, that the EU has gone a long way to bringing Enlightenment thinking to places like Greece. I have to wonder why we here in the States have been spared many of the ravages of the Englightenment when it is clear that our Founders prided themselves on their Enlightenment thinking.
Isn't there an "L" missing from the word "fight" in the title.
Fighting, to me, indicates staying, as I am, trying to hold on to what many will condemn me for - trying to get the Church to kick out the liberal free-wheeling interpretations and the homosexual agenda, and return to Othodoxy.
But I would say that I'm remaing to "fight", and for those who've left, I would use the word "flight".
Not trying to get in a snarky semantics argument and certainly don't want to bring up the really nasty comments toward me by someone who showed up on these threads and accused me last Sunday of something to the effect of refusing to realize taht I was fighting for a Church that has turned itself over to a demonic attraction, or some such.
Besides, personal attacks not only aren't allowed on FR, they certainly don't encourage dialogue as I read what that poster said, and just left the thread. The Religion Mod has taught me well. Thanks, RM.
You have a point, and I admit that out of context not provided here the title looks a bit odd, but in my perusals I've been given to understand that J. I. Packer is in fact still fighting -- with writings such as this article, and in speaking engagements.
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