A Global Anglican Future Conference is planned for June 2008. The aim of the Conference is to discuss the future of mission and relationships within the churches of Anglican Communion. The Conference will be chaired by Archbishop Peter Jensen. In a message to his people, he explains why the meeting is necessary. As some of you who read this blog have probably guessed, I am among those former Episcopal priests who found it necessary to realign myself with the main body of the church. One of the statements that Archbishop Jensen made in his communication really weighs heavy on me:
“The American actions. . . . impacted churches all around the world. In particular the churches of the Global South had to own the name ‘Anglican’ while living in societies where the actions of the Americans was condemned by all, especially Muslims. The action of some North Americans severely hurt the witness of these churches. It also hindered the good effect that membership of the Anglican Communion has for those who live in a situation where Christians are in a minority.”
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
There is Christianity lite and there is Christianity heavy. Christianity lite is “loving our neighbor” and the story of the Good Samaritan. Christianity heavy on the other hand is distilled in Martin Luther’s great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” It goes like this: (I suggest you study each phrase carefully.)
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing: Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He; Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
During the current run for presidency, most of the candidates have felt called on to give a statement of their faith, and those who did, treated us to Christianity lite. During the You Tube debate, even the minister Huckabee described his belief as “Loving your neighbor” and “Except you do this unto the least of these my brethren, you do it unto me.”
If that is the sum of being Christian, then who needs a major revelation from the Creator of the Universe to tell us that? Most world systems from Communism, Atheism, Islam etc. have their systems of helping their neighbors. Loving your neighbor is what the secular mind believes religion to be all about and is the type of doctrine a secular mind would develop should a person be so disposed to make up his or her own religion.
We live in a very dangerous and evil world. Christianity lite does not give us an explanation of evil. With Christianity lite, politicians can end up looking for only psychologically understandable sources of evil and consequently psychological remedies such as: People in the ghettos are violent because they are physically or psychologically deprived. People in the Middle East attack us because they feel under cultural threat from us. People throughout the underdeveloped world butcher each other because they are exploited. If we would only love our neighbors, meet their needs, reduce their frustrations, we could have peace on earth.
Naive explanations lead to naive solutions. Naivete regarding evil leaves people exposed to evil. Posted by the Rev. Don Clark, Ed.D.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Just finished listening this morning to the TV preacher John Hagee. He was describing the Father’s last minute instructions to His son before He would be born on earth. He was to be born in a manger so He could understand human poverty. He would be kicked around a lot so He could understand human suffering. And, He would be a small business carpenter so He would know what it was like to live under a tax and spend government.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Fifty two years ago, in the movie “A Man Called Peter,” the Rev. Peter Marshall said to his wife: “Katherine, the Lord puts a desire in our hearts and then he fulfils it.” I paid attention to what he said, and God has done exactly that for me all my life. I was accepted into all the graduate programs I had desired, all the churches in which I desired to be their pastor, the clinical programs I wanted, and the exact university I wanted to teach in. I was selected for the Peace Corps. I met and married the perfect wife after only two dates and after seeing her in a dream. All the opportunities seemed impossible at first and all supernatural when they happened.
I decided to write this post today because I realize that after all these years, God changed the rules. Five years ago, as I was retiring from both the university and from the church, people were asking me, “Now what?” And for the first time in my life, I did not know. However, life happened: One day my wife said, “Look what I found in the paper, they are starting the first Tai Chi classes for seniors at the Senior Center.” So off I went, hardly knowing what Tai Chi was.
The next important chapter post-retirement, was attending a conference at Morningstar Ministries on learning to use the new media in spreading the Gospel. The folks from Charisma Magazine taught us about blogging. I had never heard of blogging. I came home and started my first Christian blog. In a short while, my local Republican party heard about my blogging and said, “Hey, we need you to blog to counteract the very active local blog on the Left. So, I started political blogging.
As always a very active person, it would be hard to admit that I was aging. As I look back now, I can see how, without me being aware, the Lord was fixing it so I did not have to deal with limitations. He knew I had to stop the pounding of my 10 K races. So, he dangled in front of me something I had hardly heard of, Tai Chi–the perfect exercise for one as they age. Secondly, He knew it was stressful to be supply preaching all over the place, so he slipped me into a ministry from my easy chair–blogging. He knew it was getting harder to handle all my volunteer work, traveling all over, so he gave me a community action work to do while settled in my warm, cozy home. Not one of these activities had I known about before so that I could desire them. God is so good!!
Saturday, December 8, 2007
The diversity police want us to stop saying Merry Christmas at this time of the year, substituting instead Happy Holidays or the like. For centuries in our country, this season of the year has been to celebrate the night the Creator of the Entire Universe visited his creation!!
Now we are being asked to make room for other Holy Days as follows:
Chanukah the Festival of Lights, is a celebration of the victory of the Maccabees and the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple. It also commemorates the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days.
The Bodhi Day signifies the day when Lord Buddha achieved ‘Bodhi’ (Release From The Bodily Imprisonment). It was the day, when He attained “Enlightenment.
Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday bringing a cultural message which speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense.
Eid al-Adha is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims worldwide as a commemoration of Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael for Allah. It does not always fall in this season.
As the kids like to exclaim: “Big Whoo!”