Saturday, 23 June 2012

Ecclesiastical Confusion

Anglicanism in Northern Ireland is still seeking to 'suck' ministers from the non-conformist tradition into its ranks, and has had some success.

In the past, in their ecumenical drive, they have appointed non-conformists to the role of canon in St Anne's cathedral in Belfast, and now they have appointed a female Methodist minister and a Romanist priest as canons of the cathedral.

I can understand the Romanist priest having no difficulty in accepting this appointment given that his religious tradition is identical to that of Anglicanism.

But for non-conformist ministers to accept such a dubious honour is for them to betray their past and also to forget all that Anglicanism has done to oppose the Gospel and to eject some 2,000 ministers from their churches because they refused to conform to the dictates of Archbishop William Laud in the seventeenth century.

The Methodist female academic views it as a great honour to be so 'elevated' to the role and rank of canon within Anglicanism.

This shows one very clear thing: these people are totally ignorant of the Scriptural teaching regarding the offices of the church, and secondly, they are ignorant of church history.  Further, all forms of Anglicanism have been resolutely opposed to the Gospel and to Gospel preachers, yet even evangelicals within Anglicanism will shore up the church at all costs.  Why?  Because the church always comes before the Gospel in the minds of ecclesiastics of every denomination. 

That the church of Christ in our land is hopelessly confused about the basics of the Gospel and church order is abundantly clear.  That the church must have another reformation and revival of true and vital religion, is also clear.

But so long as its ministers and members are prepared to shore up what they know to be rotten to the core, so long will reformation and revival be delayed.  Yes, they will pray for revival and have their half nights of prayer for revival, but in so doing they are merely mocking God.  they themselves are not prepared to do anything to sort out the spiritual and ecclesiastical mess in which they find themselves.

Until the church leaders are convinced of the need for church reform according to the Scriptures, there will be no change.  Men can bring change into the church as visible, and they must do it; but only God can give life. 

Ecclesiastical Indecency

Richard Baxter in seventeenth-century England:  

“Nothing is more indecent than a dead preacher, speaking to dead hearers the living truths of the living God!”

Friday, 22 June 2012

Lloyd-Jones and R W Dale


Watch this space for comment on the positive influence that Dr R. W. Dale (1829-1895), minister of Carrs Lane Congregational Church, Birmingham, had on the thinking and preaching of DMLJ on the doctrine of the atonement.

It was through reading Iain Murray's biography of DMLJ (Vol.1) that I discovered that Dale, James Denney and P. T. Forsyth were instrumental in changing the theology of DMLJ to a more fully biblical content.

Initial impressions are that Dale believed that Christ died for the sins of the world, as did DMLJ.  Both held that Christ died for mankind, for the human race, for humanity, for all men.  Both agreed perfectly with Calvin's soteriology.

So, so far as soteriology is concerned, Dale agreed with Calvin and DMLJ agreed with Dale.  Christ died for all men.  His atonement was offered for all because it was intended for all.  "...the Death of Christ as a Propitiation for the sins of mankind."  "It almost appears as if the Death of Christ, which expiated before God the sins of the human race..."  "... the Propitiation offered by Christ for the sins of the world."  "...the effects of His Death extend to the whole universe."  "...His Death could be the ground on which God forgives the sins of mankind..."  "the Christian Church has maintained that the Death of Christ is the ground on which God grants to mankind the forgiveness of sin."

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

'Kids' or Children?

Have you discovered that many Christians are now referring to children as 'kids'?  How many 'kids' have you?  What does the church run for the 'kids'?  Are the meetings for 'kids'?

They have obviously not been told this, but I am taking it upon myself to tell readers, and would ask them to pass this information on, that 'kids' are the offspring of goats!  Christians do not have 'kids' but children, children of the covenant, children with innumerable privileges that other children do not have.  They are taught the Scriptures and the Gospel, are provided with access to the means of grace, are shown what Christian believe and how they live, have opportunities to see Christianity at close hand, can enjoy fellowship with other Christians, etc.  These are the children of believers, not their 'kids.'

So when you hear someone else, Christiuan or non-Christian referring to children as 'kids,' then just gently remind them that they ought to refer to children as 'children, and not as the offspring of goats.