Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Refreshing The Vision

Last night I was present at the evening in St Saviour's Church, Dollingstown (one of my training parishes), hosted by the Evangelical Fellowship of Irish Clergy (EFIC). The speaker was the Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, who spoke on 'Refreshing The Vision.'

The vision to be refreshed is that of the (Anglican) Church's commitment to the Lordship of Jesus Christ over His Church, and of recognising God's authority in the Bible. It was a stirring, and very challenging, call to stand for the faith once delivered to the saints, in the midst of worldwide turmoil as the Church departs from the Scriptures in the area of human sexuality.

Speaking from Jeremiah 9:12-26, he pointed out three major things, as God spoke to the Old Testament Church, which God is still speaking to the Church today:

1. The crisis Jeremiah is dealing with came about because the people of God turned away from his word. It was, essentially, a crisis of authority - would they listen to and obey God's voice, or would they listen to and obey the world, the flesh and the devil? 'Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice or walked in accord with it, but have stubbornly followed after their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their fathers taught them' (verses 13-14)

2. The crisis is the unleashing of God's wrath against his disobedient people. In verses 15-22, we see the terrible picture of the Lord's judgement in Israel, and judgement always comes first on the Church. Part of the current problems is that we haven't taken sin seriously at all - rather there is the 'sanctifying of sin' - saying that sin and our sinful actions aren't actually a problem. The 'inclusive Jesus' is spoken about, without the call to repentance, the call to change.

3. The Lord's people ought to be like the LORD - both in understanding and knowing Him, and in practicing steadfast love, justice and righteousness, because in these things, the LORD delights.

In another post, I'll write some more on his thoughts on the implications of the current crisis in Anglicanism, as well as what is needed in this hour. But even the above provides food for thought.

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