Monday, 31 December 2012

The Unchanging God Who Changes Everything

New Year, Old God.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
James 1:17

God the Father doesn’t change; a new year doesn’t bring us a new God.  He is the same, he always will be.  And so is Jesus:

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Hebrews 13:8

The seasons come and go: people are born, people grow old and people die.  We change our minds, change our outlooks, and change our ideas.  God never does. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Is that not an encouraging thought? 

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The CoE: England’s Notional Church?

National church

I am not one to comment on the affairs of Episcopalians as a rule.  The issue of whether women can be bishops in the Church of England is one that I honestly could not care less about.  This is not because I do not have an opinion on the question of complementarianism. (Word would like me to change that to ‘complement Arianism’.  I would rather not complement Arianism if it is quite alright.  Santa has the right reaction to that particular nonsense.)  It is rather for the simple reason that as a plain and simple Baptist I do not think there should be bishops of any gender.  Or for that matter a Church of England.  Still ‘the best laid plans’ and all – there was one thing I heard on the matter that made me think perhaps I would mention it after all.  That being a quotation from Sir Tony Baldry MP:

“If the Church of England wants to be a national church, then it has to reflect the values of the nation.”

Hmm.  That is an interesting statement.

Here are another couple of statements:

“I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.
John 17:14-15 ESV

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Romans 12:2 ESV

“And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”
Ephesians 1:22-23 ESV

That first one of course is from Jesus, the second two from Paul.  So Sir Tony says that to be a national church the CofE must embrace national values.  God says to be a church you have to be prepared to reject national values.  Sir Tony may disagree but I rather think that the Apostle is more qualified to speak on the church than an MP is.