NEW

Anglican Futures: Anglican Alphabet Spaghetti

Anglican Futures Anglican Alphabetti Spaghetti A dummies guide to the plethora of organisations and acronyms linked to faithful Anglicans in the UK and Europe. I once spent some time around military personel.  Everything had its own TLA (Three Letter Acronym) right...

Canterbury Tales: Favourite Bible Stories Retold by Archbishop Justin Welby

Canterbury Tales Favourite Bible stories retold by Archbishop Justin Welby The Good Samaritan A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead, halfway...

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) met in Synod on 18 June.  While there, they elected two suffragan bishops to aid Bishop Andy Lines in providing episcopal oversight for the overall work.  Bishop Lines also...

Pride Flags Causing Conflict at Christian School

Pride Flags Cause Conflict at Christian School Conflict has broken out in a Christian school in Oxfordshire over the display of “Pride” flags. The institution in question is Kingham Hill School.  The same Trust (Kingham Hill Trust) oversees Oak Hill College, an...

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers The Prayer Book Society, which will soon celebrate its 50th Anniversary, is raising funds to put a special edition BCP into the hands of junior choristers around the nation.   The idea came to...

Book Review: Reimagining Britain by Justin Welby

Reimagining Britain Foundations for Hope Justin Welby Bloomsbury, 2018, new edn. 2021 (ISBN: 978-1-4729-8497-5, 322pp, £12.99) The Archbishop of Canterbury has made several notable political interventions recently, including over ‘partygate’ and the Rwanda deportation...

Birthday of Anglicanism in America

Birthday of Anglicanism in America By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins June 16, 1607 was the birthday of Anglicanism in America. On this day Captain John Smith and 104 others celebrated the Lord’s Supper when they arrived safely in Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown was the...

Barnabas Fund Report: Two ChiBok Girls Found

Barnabas Fund Reports Two Chibok Girls Found After 8 Years 24 June 2022 Two women, who were among hundreds of schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from the Nigerian town of Chibok eight years ago, have been found. Hauwa Joseph was discovered among a group of other...

New Bishop-elect for the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory

Church of Ireland News New Bishop Elected for Cashel, Ferns & Ossory The Church of Ireland diocese of Cashel, Ferns, and Ossory now has a bishop-elect.  The Venerable Adrian Wilkinson, Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross was elected to succeed the Rt Revd Michael...

Editorial: Lessons to be Learned from the American Pro-Life Movement

Editorial Lessons to be Learned from American Pro-Life Movement Friday, 24 June 2022, the Feast of St John the Baptist, will be a date which will live in infamy amongst the supporters of abortion.  On that date, the US Supreme Court, overturned the precedent set by...

Should I Stay or Should I Go: Part 6 by Revd Dr Mark Pickles

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Part 6

Contending in Love

The constant opposition that Jeremiah endured didn’t serve to harden his heart towards his wayward people, rather their hard-heartedness to the Word of God and refusal to listen to it and repent, broke his heart.“My joy is gone; grief is upon me, my heart is sick within me.” (Jeremiah 8:18)

The condition of the Church of England in our day, ought to provoke a number of responses within those who love the Lord Jesus and the gospel, but one of the strongest ought to be a stirring of our hearts, because we love the Church.  A love that ought to cause us to be willing to spend and be spent for the cause of the gospel within her.  As under-shepherds faced with the existence of wolves from without and within, rather than giving us reason to abandon post and flee, we ought to be willing to follow in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep to give up our very lives for her renewal and reformation.

Sometimes, in our discussions, debates and deliberations there is a missing note-the note of love.

For example, if one of my children on reaching adulthood, formally rejected the Christian Faith and embraced a faith or a lifestyle completely hostile and diametrically opposed to my Christian Faith, what would happen?  We would no doubt have many heated conversations, discussions and arguments.  Our relationship would be massively impacted but no matter how fiercely we disagreed or how strongly I disapproved of their lifestyle choices, I would always love them and I would wrestle for them in prayer, ceaselessly.  Furthermore, although I would continue to challenge and confront them, the way in which I did that, my manner and tone would convey a depth of love and concern, the purpose of the discussion would not be to ‘win the argument’ but to win their hearts.  All too often in ecclesiological debate that can be lacking.

One of the hardest things can be to hold to strong convictions with humility, these can so easily be ‘either/or’s.  Furthermore, there is all the difference in the world between believing the Bible to be God’s infallible, inerrant Word on the one hand and believing that therefore my interpretation of it is also infallible and inerrant on the other.  The two realities of my creatureliness and my sinfulness mean that my understanding and my interpretation of God’s truth are inevitably incomplete and prone to error.  Of course, God’s Truth can be truly known because He has revealed Himself to us, but it cannot be exhaustively known.

So we need to hold to the Truth we have received with conviction AND humility.  Resisting the twin dangers of convictional arrogance that assumes we are always right, that not only is Scripture without error but so too are we in our interpretation of it or a misplaced humility that doubts the possibility of knowing Truth truly and is filled with uncertainty and confusion.  

Often this a matter of manner and tone, the way in which we relate, discuss, and debate but we must do so with love and with humility whilst tenaciously holding fast to biblical truth and the biblical gospel.  

We can also be prone to misunderstanding and confusing what it means to love someone.  If we hold to the truth of God’s Word is it not loving to allow falsehood to flourish.

Our culture confuses love with tolerance.  It believes that to love someone means always to affirm and never to challenge or to confront.  It believes rather, that to challenge and confront is inevitably judgemental and arrogant.  It believes that loving someone equates to telling them what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear.

Excerpted from: Gospel-Driven Anglicanism by the Revd Dr Mark Pickles, 2017.

Previous

Next