Skip to comments.Finding a way forward [ECUSA]
Posted on 02/13/2006 5:44:38 PM PST by sionnsar
Its probably no news bulletin to say that the Episcopal Church is in a mess. Its not the ordinary kind of mess, it is a gigundo, mountainous, saber-toothed tiger eat-you-alive-and-pick-his-teeth-with-you-bones sort of mess. It is a mess of such monumental proportions that it has compromised the Gospel mission of the Anglican Communion. Again and again, I have heard the muffled questions asking, How can this crisis be solved?
While there may be some differences in tactics, there are principles that can be observed in some of the godly leaders of the Global Souththe ones who are indelibly marked with the primacy of the Gospel and who live to see manifest the principles that undergird the Kingdom of God. They walk on the same sod we do, but they do it differently. Here are some examples (but certainly not all of them) of their call to us:
1. We are people of the Ark. We are to preach the Gospel (in a joinable fashion so that people can become part of the spiritual Body of Christ). The Word of God says if we will commit to bring them into the Ark, He will help bring them to the Ark.
2. We are people of the Cross. We are to speak the truth in love (both to declare the Kingdom of God and to call people who are stuck in sin to repent.)
3. We are people of the Light. No hidden agendas.
4. We are people of the Spirit. We are to live with uncompromised personal integrity and the pursuit of holiness, led, motivated, and refined by God.
5. We are people of the pitcher and towel. We are to manifest servants hearts, from Archbishops to lay workers, seeking to serve Gods people and Gods purpose, in Gods time and in His way, never using the church to carry out personal vision or to manipulate events for our own purposes.
6. We are people of the Red Sea. We are called to have a Kingdom vision that is so great it will fail without the miraculous intervention of God Himself.
7. We are people of the empty tomb who count not cost but possibility. Having died and been buried with Christ, we rise to a new life that is so observably different from the one before, there is no explanation other than Christ has transformed us for a purpose.
There are scores of dioceses in ECUSA where someone needs to cry out, Repent. This church is not leading very many people to Christ. In fact, it is leading droves of them away from His redeeming love. To fail to challenge that is to fail the cause of Christ. It is for our shortcomings that He gave His life, but the cross is not a license to withdraw from the challenge. In fact, it is a looming mandate that compels all who have eyes to see, to get moving and where they should walk.
To know the Cross is to have our lives, choices and priorities ravaged and reinterpreted for ever. It is to know that the costs of faithfulness are nothing compared to the gains of Kingdom authenticity. It is to be people of faith and not fear, casting ourselves into His almighty providence with such utter abandon that we no longer see the sacrifice but the prize.
It is cause for weeping when we are not such disciples, but by Gods name and for His heart, doesnt it stir your soul to believe that we might be? The people who have remained faithful in the face of martyrdom have not done so only at the moment of some romantic, inspirational sacrifice. They made choice after choice to beg the Lord to conform their hearts to His own heart. Such people will be birthed out of our present darkness. For some of us, the people who have lived lives of genuine Gospel virtue provide examples to be emulated. If the idea kindles a fire in your spirit, then you are part of the hope for the future.
Canon Bill Atwood is General Secretary of Ekklesia.
Thank you for this piece! With all the negativity, name calling and faithless jabber out there it is difficult to hear this message. There is a saying in Proverbs: "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick; but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." Pr. 13:12 Reading this tonight has given this thirsty tree a much needed drink of water. God Bless You.
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