Skip to comments.Clear Choice, Clear Message, Clear Command
Posted on 06/11/2005 8:21:14 AM PDT by sionnsar
While this sermon was preached a couple of weeks ago, the message is not just for the occasion of support for the Connecticut Six parishes (by Martin Minns, who interestingly enough is one of the Dromantine Six!). It is a word both of hope and of challenge to the Reasserting Church (those who, like All Saints, St. James, and St. Davids in the California Deanery of the Diocese of Luweero, claim that Sacred Scripture is true and sufficient unto salvation, and that the Faith Once Delivered to all the saints is based on Gods immutable truthsometime called Biblically Orthodox). Fr. Minns preaches from the pulpit of Bishop Seabury Church, and takes the ministry of the Rt. Rev. Samuel Seabury as his jumping-off point.
For those who may not recall their Episcopal Church history, Seabury was the first American bishop for the Anglican Communion following the American Revolutionary Warthe war for independence from Great Britain. One of the byproducts of that independence was a question of what to do about the many parishes of the Church of England now that the sun had set on America as part of the British Empire.
Here is the briefest of quotes:
The year was 1784 and the situation was confused especially for Connecticut Episcopalians nothing new there! They were anxious to get on with the work of the Gospel but the legally established religious authorities would have nothing to do with them and the official representatives from the Church of England seemed more concerned with right order than with offering the pastoral intervention and oversight that this struggling church so desperately needed. Finally Seabury decided that the needs of the gospel trumped canonical niceties and so he was consecrated bishop by the Episcopal Church of Scotland and the Episcopal Church in the United States of America was born. I am sure you have all noticed the delightful irony that here in a place where denominational discipline was challenged so that a faithful church might be born it looks and feels like déjà vu all over again. There is something else at the heart of the struggle then and now was a clear choice as to which gods do we serve.
I was going to leave you with that, but I find I must quote just one other passage. Here, speaking of the message we carry, Fr. Minns explains what is and what isnt part of the Christian message. The first point may have some significance to those of us in Southern California. The second may have a familiar ring to those in Pennsylvania:
It is not broadminded and progressive for a bishop of the church to declare that Jesus is not the way, the truth, and the life but merely one way among many it is not Christian teaching, it is destructive teaching and will surely lead to confusion and chaos.
It is not enlightened and sophisticated to announce that since the church wrote the bible we can rewrite it at will it isnt true and it not only leads to misunderstandings but it guarantees hat many will be led away from Gods saving truth.
I encourage you to read the whole sermon. Fr. Minns reminds us that we have three things: A clear choice, a clear message, and a clear command. These three points are incumbent upon all of us who claim to be parishes of the Anglican Communion faithful to Gods Word in Sacred Scripture. Don+
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