Saturday, 24 November 2007
Drenched in Grace: more links
The full text of the concluding keynote address by Mark Russell, Chief Executive of the Church Army, can now be found at Go into the world.
And the welcoming remarks by Giles Goddard at the conference opening can be found here.
For the other talks, see entries below.
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on
Saturday, 24 November 2007 at 6:27pm GMT
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Church of England
Giles wrote “…there are, clearly, those who would have us all out of the church - all of us, because we want the church to be inclusive. The first rule of any engagement is not to allow your opponent to choose the battle ground.”
The Inclusive Church and others could do with some reassurance. God’s ways are higher than any humans and strategies were in play. Christianity had forsaken the covenant of its youth –they failed to recognise that Jesus had made a peace offering to the Daughter of Zion as he rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey.
Remember the book of Joshua: “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:8-9)
Why did we make the stand on GLBTs? Because all the problems of the forgotten covenant of peace come into play in how GLBTs are treated. All, and I do mean all, the worst manifestations of priestly corruption came into play on the question of eunuchs (now known as GLBTs). Through the most despised God was able to demonstrate the corruptions of priests that God most despises. We played as Joshua where “Joshua and all Israel let themselves be driven back before them, and they fled toward the desert. All the men of Ai were called to pursue them, and they pursued Joshua and were lured away from the city. Not a man remained in Ai or Bethel who did not go after Israel. They left the city open and went in pursuit of Israel. (Joshua 8:15-17)
Because God had hardened the hearts of the homophobic and misogynistic priests they did not realise that in their pursuit of the inclusive of GLBTs that they left the shelter of the covenant of peace and are now exposed in the wilderness. Their contempt for peace, life, grace and forgiveness are now well known. Their talk of God’s love means currying favors for themselves and has nothing to do with loving what God loves nor loving how God loves.
Mark Russell commented “I have never believed as a Christian I have the right to justify the exclusion of anyone from church, because I am worried someone might find a reason to justify excluding me!”
Well, being female put me on the outside right from the start. Then turning out to be a prophet really put me on the out (remember Sydney Anglicans have acknowledged me as a prophet, a Baal prophetess, but a prophet nonetheless!) I just wish just one of them had asked early on “what if she is for real?”, they would have saved themselves a lot of embarassment. But then the healing we’ve done would never have been so profound if they had not been so rude and aggressive. So we’ll just have to trust this was all part of God’s plans, as was the World Trade Centre and the tsunami.
I so agree with Mark that “No mission statement will cause the world to believe, no mission programme, no strategy, no amount of books or trendy church literature and conferences. What impacts and transforms this world, what causes people to see the love of Jesus in action, is simply this. It's the people of God, living authentic life changing radical lives, and united under Jesus. That will change this world.”
“Unity is not uniformity.” Jesus loved the outcaste, stupid, poor, secular females alongside the circumcized Jews and the whole spectrum in between.
“Jesus turned this world upside down with twelve disciples. A bunch of disciples who made mistakes, who let Jesus down, who argued, bickered and doubted. Yet a bunch of disciples who followed Jesus, and gave him their all. There are more than 12 of us here today, and the bible says of Jesus Christ he is the same yesterday today and forever, and the Jesus Christ who changed their lives, the Jesus Christ who used them to make a difference, can use us to make a difference.” Sure, Anglicans have bickered really badly in the last few years, the world has watched on in bemusement, and in the process learnt a lot more about God and what God loves and why and what God despises and why. We have not just been healing Anglicanism nor Christianity, these are lessons that apply anywhere sentient life can be found.
Thanks so much for the IC links, especially to the published talks and MP3 podcasts. Now my prayer for the Next Lambeth is that that meeting might run on parallel tracks with the IC conference. If Canterbury cannot still show us how to gather at Lambeth, how to call different Anglican believers together without weaponizing doctrines and without adopting unintelligent readngs of our scriptures and without having to define some emnity towards targets as a presuppositional article of Anglican belief systems, what means that difficult sign of our times?