An important and sound reflection in view of recent issues that have upset many of my readers. Am particularly pleased with Nicholas’ central emphasis on ‘accountability’, which is where the many non-traditional, modern churches can be vulnerable – yet 30 years ago ‘heavy shepherding’ gave rise to concerns and reaction to steer away from that style of pastoral oversight.
When I objected to joining a church as a possible new believer the Lord gave me the definitive answer by opening my new bible to Hebrews 13:17 – ‘Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so their work will be a joy and not a burden, for that would be no advantage too you.’ Such a clear directive was foundational to my journey along ‘The Way’!
Today I have spent some time reflecting on history and tradition, having watched Gavin Ashenden’s presentation on why he left the Church of England. Earlier in the week, I read a post at Cranmer’s site about the problem of schisms in politics and churches. Christianity has a long history of dividing into factions. In the very pages of Scripture we read:
“For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:11-13, NKJV)
Verses like these present us with questions. When is it appropriate to put aside one’s differences and go…
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