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Archbishop Calls for Listening and Unity

Archbishop Calls for Listening and Unity Justin Welby Appeals to General Synod Before Vital Debate The Archbishop of Canterbury has appealed to General Synod for greater listening and unity. He addressed the membership ahead of their three-day gathering, expected to...

Anglican Myth #3: The Bishop is the Focus of Unity

Anglican Futures Anglican Myth #3: The Bishop is the Focus of Unity "Plural Truth", "Walking Together", call it what you like, in the Archbishop of Canterbury's understanding of the church, God no longer speaks clearly through the Scriptures, instead he speaks through...

St Helen’s Bishopsgate “Pauses Contributions to Common Fund”

St Helen’s Bishopsgate “Pauses Contributions to Common Fund” The Standing Committee of the PCC of St Helen’s Bishopsgate has written to the Bishop of London to make plain their theological opposition to the proposed same-sex blessings proffered by the House of...

Hull Parish Rejects Authority of Archbishop of York Over False Teaching

Hull Parish Rejects Authority of Archbishop of York Over False Teaching St Andrew’s Kirk Ella has written a very direct letter to the Archbishop of York about his support for the same-sex blessings proposals.  In the letter, they pull no punches and announce that with...

Barnabas Fund Report: African Hospitals Give Thanks for PPE as Ebola Breaks Out in Uganda

Barnabas Fund Report African Hospitals Give Thanks for PPE as Ebola Breaks Out in Uganda Christian hospitals in Africa have given heartfelt thanks for a huge consignment of personal protective equipment (PPE) shipped by Barnabas Aid’s medical.gives programme. “We want...

His Majesty’s Declaration Pertaining to the Use and Understanding the Articles of Religion

His Majesty’s Declaration Pertaining to the Use and Understanding the Articles of Religion Words do have meaning and particularly when they pertain to how we are to understand the doctrines of the Church.  In an earlier era, under a different monarch named Charles,...

Keene Review: Finding Your Best Identity

Finding Your Best Identity A short Christian introduction to identity, sexuality and gender Andrew Bunt IVP, 2022 (ISBN: 9781789744200, 90pp, £8.99)   The most casual glance at biblical passages such as Matthew 6 or 1 John 2 indicates that ‘the world’ is entirely...

CEEC Calls for Action

CEEC Calls for Action  Offers the Church of England a Better Way Forward After failing to provide a quick substantive answer to the Blessings Proposals  by the House of Bishops, the CEEC has responded in a very clear way in stating its opposition to what has been...

Thomas Cromwell: The Man Behind the Curtain

Thomas Cromwell The Man Behind the Curtain By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins So many “Thomases” in the 16th century, it’s hard to keep them straight! Thomas Cromwell was beheaded July 28, 1540 by order of King Henry VIII for the crime of treason and heresy, but his real...

New Bishop for Complementarian Churches Consecrated

New Bishop for Complementarian Churches Consecrated The Revd Rob Munro was consecrated as Bishop of Ebbsfleet on Thursday 2 February in a service at Canterbury Cathedral.   In keeping with the complementarian understanding of ministry, Bishop Munro was consecrated to...

Pilgrim’s Process by the Revd Dr Peter Sanlon

Pilgrim’s Process

Broken Hearts

We all like to feel good about ourselves. Indeed there is a popular school of thought which suggests that the thing which most holds us back in life is ‘low self-esteem.’ When this outlook is accepted, the Christian message is adapted to one that affirms and congratulates us on our skills, character and abilities. Having made us feel comfortable with who we are, a self-esteem boosting religion can introduce us to Jesus and share ways he can help us in life and perhaps make us feel even more happy and satisfied.

Such an approach to Christianity is — unsurprisingly — popular and widely commended. Because we all like to feel good about ourselves. The problem is that God does not lead his pilgrims along a road that merely affirms and commends them. The way into the road that leads to heaven includes an unavoidable and essential humbling of pride and breaking of our hard hearts.To be sure there is more to a relationship with God than a broken heart — but faith in God cannot be experienced apart from it.

When we are confronted by Jesus our complacent hearts ought to be broken and humbled by the immense price he paid due to our sin. We see a fresh vision of the depths of our self-love and sin — and if we are clear sighted about that, it is heart wrenching. An outlook that is wholly consumed with self-esteem cannot enter on the spiritual path that leads to the celestial city, for it requires a broken heart.

Have you ever truly grieved for your sin? Have you ever wept at the price Christ paid for you? We do not live in that place of broken heartedness permanently, but at some points in life we must pass through it if we are to draw near Jesus as our loving saviour.

To be sure it is unpleasant and disorientating to feel broken hearted before the cross – but those who are determined to only ever feel good about themselves will never experience the comfort and peace that comes from knowing that God will not despise a ‘broken and contrite heart.’ (Ps. 51:17)

Rev. Dr. Peter Sanlon is minister of Emmanuel Anglican Church, Tunbridge Wells: www.emmanuelanglican.uk

 

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