Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Staying the Course

I have a lot of respect for Murray Henderson. I first met him when he was a team member for my Anglican Renewal Ministries Leadership Training Institute back in 1992 or so. I learned much. He is now Chairman of the Anglican Communion Alliance and has posted an excellent rationale for staying in the Anglican Church of Canada in these difficult days. It's worth quoting in full.

Dear friends,
I’m sometimes asked by beleaguered, faithful Anglicans, both lay people and clergy, for reasons why they should remain in the Anglican Church of Canada. They are dismayed not only at the drift toward same sex blessings, but at the general lack of biblical and theological coherence within the Anglican Communion.

Here are a few reasons which I have found compelling for not leaving the Anglican Church of Canada. I am not criticizing my friends who have left the Anglican church of Canada. My sole purpose here is to provide what I regard as spiritually sound reasons for remaining within.

1. I have not as yet been ordered by those in authority over me to do anything contrary to the teaching of the Scriptures and the classic teaching of the church catholic.

2. Schism has an inglorious history. I have no desire to oppose Christ’s prayer that his church might be one. An unintended result of the Reformation was the splintering of the church ultimately into thousands of parts, a legacy which still undermines our credibility and obscures the face of Jesus Christ before the world.

3. Jesus and the Old Testament prophets chose to remain within the church of their day. No one ever reformed a church by leaving it. I am a pastor. In my Ordination Vows I said I would be faithful to those entrusted to my care.

4. There is life in the ACC. Many churches in the Diocese in which I minister are holding their own or thriving. Mission and evangelism are happening. The building of biblically faithful churches is one of the best ways I can think of to renew and reform the church.

5. Many of my colleagues who are open to same sex blessings are godly men and women. I cannot deny that reality. I regret what I regard as serious error on their part, but I am committed to work with them for the spread of the Gospel, hoping that in the process, some of them may change their views.

6. Jesus seems to be providing me with many opportunities in this erring and incoherent church to grow in holiness. I have learned a small measure of boldness, and patience, and above all trust in the Sovereign Lord who alone can save his people. It is a joy to seek to be faithful to him in daily life and ministry.

I would be really pleased to think that these reasons might encourage you to reaffirm your calling to work for spiritual truth and order within the Anglican Church of Canada.

Yours in Christ,
The Rev. Dr. Murray Henderson
Chair, Anglican Communion Alliance

From here.

I agree and am encouraged. Thank you, Murray. Well put.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad