An Ephraim Radner Sermon—Who Do You Say: Commitments In The Church

Posted by Kendall Harmon

But we are asked to go further. “You are the Christ”, Peter says in Matthew, yes; but the Christ who is the “Son of the living God” (Mt. 16:16). We must choose Jesus, who is promised in Scripture and described and yearned after in Scripture, as the very Son of God – as the very the power of the living God’s life embodied. Which is why we must choose the “Body of Christ” itself as our own life. The body, that is, “which is the church”, “the fullness of him who fills all in all” (Eph. 1:22f.). We must choose the Body, this Body, as being Jesus himself, and as Jesus himself chooses it: “For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body” and so “gave himself up for her” (Eph. 5:29f., 25).

Such a choice for the Body of Christ – for you are the Son of the living God! – cuts against many grains. There are those in our churches ready to give up on the Communion, or on this or that part of the Communion, or this or that part of a diocese or parish. They come from the left and the right of the spectrum. They will not subject themselves to the Body’s needs or demands or burdens. But that, my friends, is not a choice for Christ Jesus, “King Jesus”, Jesus the living God in the flesh. For in choosing Jesus as the Christ, we choose to give ourselves to the church. Hence I do not leave. I too must join myself to the Centurion, who explains his faith to Jesus by sahing, “For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." (Lk. 7:8f.). So I must subject myself to the Body of Jesus, here, where I am. That is the second thing I would say about our church’s future: unless we subject ourselves to the whole Church, and the church at hand, we have no blessing. How we do this in particular instances is a challenge. But it is the criterion of our decisions, make no mistake about it.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Identity* TheologyChristologyEcclesiology

34 Comments
Posted June 28, 2007 at 8:08 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Henry Greville wrote:

Ephraim Radner makes a point of utmost importance. None of us serve the Body of Christ well by snubbing others who believe they, too, are members of the Body and by then going our own way in a self-satisfied huff. Denominationalism and its associated social clubbiness and “edifice complex” have made most Reformed churches in middle class societies a laughing stock. So has resorting to citing Pauline teaching as more authoritative than the example of Our Lord. Did He insist on agreement on all points of systematic theology before table fellowship?

June 28, 8:39 am | [comment link]
2. Timothy Fountain wrote:

#1 Henry - not on all points of systematic theology, but certainly on his own identity (Way, truth and life; “Who do you say that I am?”; “This is my body & blood, given for you” - written down for us first by Paul in 1st Cor.!).
When PB Schori says that there is a “more gracious strand” than the death of Christ on the Cross; when Bishops wink and nudge about “Muslim-Christian” clergy; when a Bp. says, “We wrote the Bible, so we can change it”...
Anyway, the examples are numerous and known.  One doesn’t need a great depth of systematic theology to recognize that some have “ceased to follow him”, and want to be with those who confess that “He has the words of eternal life - to who else can we go?”

June 28, 9:15 am | [comment link]
3. Mike Bertaut wrote:

Try to imagine a situation where Radner is giving this exact sermon to the entire HOB.  How many would respond to his call?  How many would squirm uncomfortably in their seats?  How many would be convicted by his words?  How many would walk out?  How many would simply fall asleep?
Where does your Bishop stand on who Jesus is, and what His expectations of us are?

For “I come to fulfill the Law, not to abolish it” (Mt. 5:17).  Seek out the Law.

When’s the last time the HOB had a consensus on THAT?
KTF!....mrb

June 28, 9:23 am | [comment link]
4. NWOhio Anglican wrote:

unless we subject ourselves to the whole Church, and the church at hand, we have no blessing.

Quite simply, I find that if I subject myself to the whole Church that TEC is no longer possible to consider as the church at hand to which I must also subject myself.

That this journey may lead me (back) to Rome holds no problems for me, though it might cause problems in my immediate family. For the moment, I am content to subject myself to godly Primates of the Anglican Communion, who are not at all happy with TEC. They, while not in and of themselves the whole Church, are at least enough in line with it that I feel comfortable placing myself under their authority.

June 28, 9:26 am | [comment link]
5. Craig Stephans wrote:

“The Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of Anglicanism, has suffered mass defections ”  What? Blasphemy…there is only a tiny, itsy-bitsy portion of TEC that is dissatisfied according to TEC’s leadership…the mere fringe of the kooks have left or are leaving.

June 28, 9:26 am | [comment link]
6. Jimmy DuPre wrote:

Henry; how is calling feformed churches a “laughing stock” not an example of what you are criticizing in others? None of us still in TEC is in position to talk down to any other Church. I for one don’t laugh at Reformed churches; if I knew of one close at hand I might just join it

June 28, 9:31 am | [comment link]
7. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “So has resorting to citing Pauline teaching as more authoritative than the example of Our Lord [made Reformed churches a laughing stock].”

No it hasn’t. 

For one thing Pauline teaching is quite in unity with “the example of our Lord”—nor is it cited as “more authoritative” since both the words of Paul in scripture and Jesus are inspired by God as God’s word written.

It’s always easy to tell who the progressives are on these threads—their foundational worldviews are contradictory in essense to the foundational worldviews of the reasserters.

Two gospels.  One church.

That won’t last.

June 28, 9:36 am | [comment link]
8. Chris Taylor wrote:

As always Rev. Radner’s homily is thoughtful and it provides much food for the thoughtful to ponder.  He is ultimately addressing all parties currently/still within the TEC, I think, about the need to submit ourselves to the larger body of Christ, the Church.  For me the core passage in Radner’s sermon is:

“For in choosing Jesus as the Christ, we choose to give ourselves to the church.  Hence I do not leave. I too must join myself to the Centurion, . . . So I must subject myself to the Body of Jesus, here, where I am.  That is the second thing I would say about our church’s future:  unless we subject ourselves to the whole Church, and the church at hand, we have no blessing.  How we do this in particular instances is a challenge.  But it is the criterion of our decisions, make no mistake about it.

But even here, we have not finished being addressed by God.  For Jesus himself responds to our choices, by telling us clearly, that he himself must suffer and die, in order to be raised, and so, “if any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me”.  We must choose the cross ourselves, we who search the Scriptures and give ourselves for the Body of the Church;  this is what it means, in fact: we must choose radical patience, which is another way of translating the word “suffering”.  And who has patience in the church these days, though God demands it?”

Rev. Radner acknowledges that the criterion of how we subject ourselves to the Body is a challenge, but he again ultimately argues for “radical patience.”  He also recognizes that the problem for orthodox Anglicans is that the local Body, i.e., the TEC, is repeatedly showing itself unable to submit to the larger global Body of which it is a part, i.e., the Anglican Communion.  Hence the dilemma, if the national Church (TEC) will not submit to the will of the global Church, what are faithful local Anglicans to do in trying their best to submit to the larger Body of Christ?  I’m not sure urging “radical patience,” is sufficient anymore.  Lord knows we all need more patience, but patience does not seem to send an effective message to the national church, in fact, it only seems to convince the leadership of the national church that the problem with their new theology is not so serious after all.  Radical patience does not seem to get their attention.  What does seem to get their attention are local efforts to join with and submit to the global Body, even, if necessary, by separating themselves from “the church at hand”—perhaps because these local efforts to reunite with global Anglicanism highlight the failure of the national church to submit.  Radner+ states: “unless we subject ourselves to the whole Church, and the church at hand, we have no blessing.”  But what if it’s no longer possible to do both at the same time?  Thus, Radner+ draws our attention, once more, to a key question, but his answer does not resolve the issue, for me at least.

June 28, 10:42 am | [comment link]
9. seitz wrote:

I’d like to thank Ephraim and ask for everyone’s prayers for our meeting next week in Oxford. I have found it especially curious to read of ‘+Gomez breaking ranks with ACI and supporting all the various primatial initiatives in the US.’ As we work closely with him, and as he will be a key figure at Oxford, I think people need to be careful of reading the very specified support for Nzimbi and Atwood into a much wider set of federalistic hopes in the US zone.  These are difficult times, and turning things into a contest over speculation can be disconcerting.

June 28, 11:00 am | [comment link]
10. seitz wrote:

PS—I should add that I am flying to the funeral of B Childs in New Haven and then back to the UK for the 2-6 July Oxford event, so will be out of touch in the days ahead. C Seitz

June 28, 11:04 am | [comment link]
11. KAR wrote:

Safe travels Dr. Seitz and may the Lord indeed bless this meeting and guide all those who endeavor to seek after the Lord and do His will—bother communion & federalist—may we all pay more attention to what His personal instructions are for each of us than be distracted to what He may have instructed another. In the end may none of us be found ‘right’ but the Lord, who is our only hope.

June 28, 11:20 am | [comment link]
12. Sarah1 wrote:

HI CSeitz,

I did not read of “‘+Gomez breaking ranks with ACI and supporting all the various primatial initiatives in the US.’”

I read of Gomez supporting the Kenyan consecration of a bishop for those in the US who have left ECUSA—a significant bit of support, to be sure.

June 28, 12:14 pm | [comment link]
13. Stu Howe wrote:

As I consider this sermon and the comments, which it has generated on both this and other posting I would like to make a couple of comments of my own. 

First, I would like to thank +Radner for his constant work to develop a respectful center.  I truly appreciate the state of personal belief that this takes in today’s divided Church.  I also envy the personal space, which allows this belief to exist.  In a world with respectful worthy opponents, committed to reasonable discussion, leading to honest compromise, this would be desired outcome.

However, I disagree with +Radner’s position as outlined in this sermon.  I no longer believe that this position is supportable in the TEC as a whole.  Personally, I am very sorrowful that I have come to this conclusion, as it says many things, distasteful about our fallen state.  It comments greatly on our ability to truly live into Jesus’ teaching about reaching out to and connecting with the community, as a whole.  Nonetheless and with the regrets expressed here, I believe that the position of respectful compromise is no longer supportable. 

I say this as one who has walked away from the TEC, as I no longer believe that the TEC Diocese I live in, supports the traditional beliefs of my faith.  I will be honest that there was an external component, to this choice.  In looking at the actions of the governing bodies of the TEC, (yes, I know they claim that they have no governance, but humor me) I lost all expectation of external correction, with in the traditional framework of the TEC.

June 28, 12:33 pm | [comment link]
14. Scotsreb wrote:

Sarah (#7) ended her post with what is coming to be clearly seen as a truism.

“Two Gospels, One Church. That cannot last.”

If that statement is true, and I believe to to be true, then it seems that Ephraim+ is really hoping for a miracle.  Given that Christians OUGHT to expect miracles, this is not too far afield as a wish or desire, or yes, even an expectation.

That miracle is though, is way beyond my pay grade.  Though I pray for and yes expect such a miracle, I know that the opposing and ever more entrenched battle lines of the two gospels, don’t give too much hope, from my human perspective.

Those of us who have left TEC, have by our choice, concluded that the prayed for miracle of resolving the two gospels, is unlikely to be forthcoming.  In that, I admit to a lack of patience or perhaps when I hold my position up to Ephraim+, a lack of faith.

I pray that my human lack of patience and faith, will be proved wrong by miraculous events as they unfold.

June 28, 1:36 pm | [comment link]
15. FrankV wrote:

With all due respect to Dr. Radner’s ironclad allegience to TEC, I agree with #8, Taylor, and #13, Howe.  Radical patience is not the answer when the “church” is beyond the tipping point of return to scripture. It is written in 2John: “...whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.  If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.”  There is where the Episcopal leadership is today.

June 28, 2:17 pm | [comment link]
16. john scholasticus wrote:

#10

Hope you’re ‘off-setting’. Otherwise, I simply do not see how ANY Christian (of whatever stripe) can justify this.

June 28, 2:38 pm | [comment link]
17. Chris wrote:

#16, my how is must feel to be morally superior to the reasserter cretins that frequent this site.  Have you looked into the travel that ++Katharine does, some with a PRIVATE aircraft?

June 28, 3:02 pm | [comment link]
18. Janet C. wrote:

#16 -  I thought it wasn’t right for ANY Christian to make insinuations or judgments about fellow Christians, especially without knowing the facts.  Most of us come here to read the opinions of people we respect, Chris Seitz among them.  Please leave the inappropriate asides out of the discussion.  Grace and peace to you.

June 28, 4:09 pm | [comment link]
19. seitz wrote:

I am en route from the renewal conference in WNC and have, through the kindness of Continental Airlines, been able to have a stop-over in Newark so as to attend the funeral of a friend of 25 years. I’m not sure what the rules of #16 entail. God bless, C

—————-
Safe travels Dr. Seitz.  We think #16 was referring to carbon offsetting (making some kind of monetary contribution to cover tree-planting or some other activity that would help offset the impact of the jet travel on the environment.  It’s become all the rage in many circles.)  But now, with that point of FYI, let’s not let the thread be hijacked by a discussion of carbon offsets.  Thanks

June 28, 4:50 pm | [comment link]
20. mathman wrote:

Dr Radner is correct in placing Peter’s confession as the great turning point or axis of the Gospels, and, in fact, of the history of the world.
But words continue to have meanings.
Did Peter make this confession? Or was it written down later? Did Jesus proceed to delineate His future walk to Jerusalem and Calvary? Or was that also added later?
Believers in higher literary criticism are all about us, and our seminaries are permeated with those who believe the whole story to be myth (not-historical story written down to preserve a greater truth).
Dr Radner supposes far too much in this homily. Unless we have a prior agreement concerning the historicity and authenticity of the extant Gospel message, there is basically nothing to communicate about or discuss.
And without an historical and authoritative Old Testament there is no Christ to be confessed. He came at a particular time and place in history, to a particular people, who were the ones who were looking for that particular Christ.
Therein is the crux (nice word, that) of the problem. The Cross must be the axis or turning point of each of our lives. And the Cross is either a real cross (real wood, real metal spikes) and the crucifixion a true death (cessation of breathing, cessation of blood flow, brain death), and the burial a real historical event, for without these true bodily resurrection has no meaning.
It was apt of Paul to say that to those who are perishing the Cross is foolishness. Because he was right.
And the tragedy of our time is that so many who are leaders (so called) in the church (so called) have apparently not made the Great Confession for themselves.
So what is Church? Does it consist of any who claim membership? Does it consist of any who have participated in the proper rituals? Does it consist of those who accept one theology or another? Who decides? For a long time the Roman Catholic Church was understood to say that there was no salvation outside of itself. How did the Roman Catholic Church obtain that authority? What really happened when the Eastern and Western Churches parted ways, with many harsh words, so many years ago?
That crack in the foundation has not yet been repaired, and much splintering has taken place since those days, with the Protestant Reformation.
Our Church? How are we to tell? Where is the Body? To whom does one submit oneself? Are counterfeit churches possible? We know that counterfeit money is possible. We know that counterfeit web sites are possible, as are music CD’s, purses, shoes, and so on.
What is the analogous tool to infrared light, the 3-D icons on our credit cards and drivers’ licenses, and SSL 128 bit security when we shop online?
I should like to hear much more about true versus false and a little less about patience.

June 28, 6:04 pm | [comment link]
21. William Tighe wrote:

As I also wrote elsewhere:

“I do not think that Rev. Dr. Ephraim Radner will ever leave the Episcopal Church because his views on Christian obedience and Church order will not let him. I have read enough of what he has written to know this. He will be obedient to his bishop and the Episcopal Church until the the Episcopal Church completely collapses and even that might not be enough to motivate him to abandon it.”

In all the years, or rather decades, that I have been observing Anglicanism in general and E"C"USA in particular, one of the strangest things that I have seen again and again, mostly in E"C"USA but also elsewhere, is the way that so many ex-Catholics (like Radner) who become Anglicans treat their particular “church province” (such as ECUSA) or the Anglican Communion in general as though it were “The Church” in the Catholic (or Orthodox) sense and could claim and expect to receive the same deference and submission that the latter (based on their belief in the unicity of the Church and the authority of either “Magisterium” or “Tradition” within it) quite reasonably (given their ecclesiologcal premises) claim for themselves. Protestant “denominationalists” have no reason in the world to fall for such , as it is in an Anglo-Protestant context, nor should Anglo-Catholics who profess a “branch-theory” ecclesiology, take it any more seriously: the latter should forthwith migrate to other “branches” such as Rome or Orthodoxy—or, if they find the former’s “Magisterium” unacceptable and the latter’s “Tradition” strange (although I never heard an argument that “familiarity” was a Catholic ecclesiological criterion), to go to one of the Continuing Anglican jurisdictions or to a soundly “Catholic” and “respectable” body such as the Polish National Catholic Church in the USA and Canada (now that the PNCC has disavowed its founder’s covert but clear universalism).

This “Radneritis” that I diagnosed above has been particularly characteristic of (P)E"C"USA bishops from a RC background.  I once kept a list of these, but can no longer find it (it included such past luminaries as +Pike and the recently-retired +Rowley of NW Pennsylvania and +Lamb of Northern California; and of course now +KJS) but almost every one of them was an “innovationist” in his own generation (even +Herzog of Albany, now happily restored to his senses and home to Rome, supported WO) and most of them more-than-papal liberal martinets when they got the chance.

June 28, 6:51 pm | [comment link]
22. Ephraim Radner wrote:

Not that it really matters: but although I came to faith within a Roman Catholic church while a teenager, I have never been a Roman Catholic. My mother was a virulently angry lapsed Catholic, my father a Jew.  So, I am not an “ex-Catholic”;  perhaps I shall be a “future-Catholic”. And although “Radneritis” may be a real disease, it has apparently been misdiagnosed in this case.
If Dr. Tigue would like to analyze me further, I am sure I can provide him with some interesting tidbits;  what he currently has, however, belongs to someone else.  It is probably just as well that he has lost his little list.

June 28, 10:40 pm | [comment link]
23. robroy wrote:

I wish that I caught Radneritis. I would be kind and intelligent with deep faith, albeit with a tendency to wax eruditely.  raspberry

June 28, 11:02 pm | [comment link]
24. NWOhio Anglican wrote:

Fr. Radner, would you please answer me this question?

TEC (in the form of GC, a sizable majority of its bishops and its governing bodies) has repudiated the discipline of the Church Catholic. Why is it owed obedience? Would an orthodox layman have owed obedience to his Arian bishop after the Councils of Nicea and Constantinople?

The analogous situation obtains in the Anglican Communion, I think: a group of bishops have denied and denounced the conciliar authority of the wider Church.

June 29, 8:48 am | [comment link]
25. Newbie Anglican wrote:

Good question, NWOhio!
And many of those bishops have also denied the faith.

June 29, 9:18 am | [comment link]
26. Ephraim Radner wrote:

Yes, it is a good question.  No one need—or should!—submit to the false teachings of anyone, bishops included.  Not ever.  Such teachings must be opposed, argued against, refused, rejected, without tiring.  Woe to false teachers, especially those given the authority to teach!  However, this opposition is to be distinguished from submitting to the order of the church, which the bishop (in the case discussed here) represents.  This, of course, has not always been consistently followed, even in the early church, when some of the orthodox fled to avoid the persecutions of heretics in their areas.  But that was rare, actually, and it always required rather difficult explanations later on.  And these questions are often surely difficult to discern on the ground.  In any case, the form or figure for such submission is Jesus himself, who argues often starkly and sternly against the leaders of the Temple and his own nation, yet who submits to their order.  What else is the Cross?  The Church is not analogous to the state in this regard, where revolution and rebellion and the founding of new and alternative governments have often been means of liberation and the rectification of ills (although also frequently the opposite!)  In the Church, healing—the Church’s!—takes place through submission.  Or so I would argue.  To those who would say that the Episcopal Church is just a stunted division from the church as a whole, and therefore does not merit the character of, say, Israel’s “order”, I would in part agree.  But there will be no healing of larger Church—the Church Catholic—through submission until we learn it in our own backyards.  Even if one were to take, e.g. the Roman Catholic Church as the “true church” in this analogy (and I don’t quite), I doubt that she would be benefited by the infusion of the obviously unruly hearts and autonomous impuses of Anglicans in our day.  (This is a more serious answer to Dr. Tighe’s remarks earlier:  it is not as if the Episcopal Church represents “the Church” in this set of dynamics.  Rather, Anglicans need conversion before the apprehension of the True Church can be properly made and embraced;  and I believe that the challenges, however constricted, of the present turmoil within our church and Communion, is a means by which God is indeed calling us and [I hope] shaping us to conversion, in some of the ways I mentioned in my brief sermon [which, my dear friends, was not meant to explicate a full ecclesiology!]).  Finally, I would indeed suggest that such conversion is incumbent, if in different ways and forms, upon both “liberal” and “conservative”, “reappraiser” and “reasserter”.  Is that “moral equivalence”?  In a way:  “for all of us have fallen short of the glory of God”, “and there is not one, no not one who understands and seeks after God”.  That is not to say that the ways this rebellion is embodied do not differ according to various groups.  But heretics are not worse sinners than greedy or gossiping or slanderous people.  None of these will “inherit the kingdom of God”, if I am to believe Paul.  No, the conversion is for all of us.

June 29, 9:56 am | [comment link]
27. Newbie Anglican wrote:

But heretics are not worse sinners than greedy or gossiping or slanderous people.

That’s debatable.  Heretics twist and discard the very truth of Christ and lead people astray to Hell.

Thanks for your patient answers, Dr. Radner.  But I’m completely unconvinced that we are to remain in submission to apostates and heretics when there are faithful parts of the church in which to submit and serve.  Those who leave the Episcopal “Church” to join faithful bodies are not leaving the church.  Really they are joining it.

June 29, 10:47 am | [comment link]
28. KAR wrote:

Heretics twist and discard the very truth of Christ and lead people astray to Hell.

So do greedy, gossiping or slanderous people - just in a different way. I’ve given up & walked away from ‘the church’ several times in my life, not do to false teaching but people who didn’t live out the words that were coming from their lips (I guess it’s “irresistible grace” that draws me back each time).

Dr. Radner+—I’m also unconvinced, but thank you for entering into this forum and correcting errors and giving discourse, blogs can be interesting places. Thank you for your part in these conversation. I’m presuming you’ll be in Oxford—may the Lord bless all who travel there with safety and grant wisdom, hope and courage for the meeting.

Kevin

June 29, 11:19 am | [comment link]
29. Crazy Horse wrote:

This seems to be a sermon that advocates an institutional catholicity rather than more tradition spiritual influence understanding of catholic community that distinguishes Anglicanism from Romanism.

personal comments about Radner+ and Seitz+ deleted.  inappropriate

June 29, 6:36 pm | [comment link]
30. robroy wrote:

But heretics are not worse sinners than greedy or gossiping or slanderous people. No mill stone is waiting for the necks of the greedy or gossips.

June 30, 4:35 am | [comment link]
31. Janet C. wrote:

#19 - Thank you, Elves.  I knew what JS was referring to, but it wasn’t the first time that certain people have had their motivations, actions, etc, deemed as un-Christian by certain commenters.  People should feel free to come here and comment on the thread at hand without opening themselves up to irrelevant, unnecessary, and sometimes downright silly remarks.  Y’all do an excellent job keeping the tone civil and polite here,  as I see you did in #29 and it is much appreciated.  Although I’ve lost my patience with comments like #16, I will try hard not to take the bait again!  Thank you!  Grace and peace.

June 30, 9:03 am | [comment link]
32. Crazy Horse wrote:

Comment edited. It is unrelated to the posted thread.

June 30, 2:35 pm | [comment link]
33. john scholasticus wrote:

#31, 32
The point I was making was that ALL Christians should be very careful about chalking up their air miles. Global warming is serious and getting more serious every day. There’s little that individuals can do about it - but this we can do.

June 30, 3:28 pm | [comment link]
34. Mike Bertaut wrote:

Dr. Radner and All:
There are two points I would like to make re: TEC and whether to stay or not.
First, in agreement with Dr. Radner, I have found that at this stage of my life (about to turn 46) that in my prayers I am being directed to stay.  This is so counterintuitive to me in my current situation as to be scary, but the message is clear.  I am not to be a hireling who runs at the first sign of trouble.  I am to be the thorn in the side of those who would twist the gospel.  I am to be the millstone around the neck of those who would lead the little ones to sin.  I am to be the reminder, each and every day, of what the faith recieved really is.  Now, speaking this truth in love is not difficult for me.  Living it, as with all sinful creatures, is very difficult.  I shall strive to do as I can, but this is no longer an intellectual argument, it is now a journey of faith.  It is…taking up my cross daily.
Second, I would like to remind everyone on T19 that TEC does not belong to the HOB.  It is yours.  Each and every one of you, Baptised in the Faith and receiving the Bread of Heaven within TEC are the human owners of this earthly Church.  Of course, Jesus is the centerpost of our “Big Tent”, but each of us is the reason the Church was brought into being.  Likewise it is our responsibility, not just our choice, to set things aright.  A very bright Bishop once told me, when I was questioning him about our ability to bring in new members during the current crisis, “Nobody wants to join a fight.”
That may be true, but is beside the point.  If you have accepted baptism, you are already in a fight up to your ears with evil.  Changing churches will not solve the problem, evil will follow wherever you go.  When you change, you are simply delaying the inevitable.  Churches will be challenged, will be horribly mismanaged, will appear and disappear.

Evil, on the other hand, is as constant as the Northern Star.

Remember, it is NOT our obligation in this earthly mission to be successful.

It is to be faithful.  Success is God’s business.

The Battle is Joined.  Shall we stand together?

KTF…..mrb

June 30, 4:51 pm | [comment link]
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