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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Does Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney Know Jesus Christ?

The Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney is proud of its evangelical tradition. It talks much of trusting Scripture and regarding it as authority for understanding the mind of God. More than that it trusts Scripture for understanding life. Its theological seminary, Moore Theological College, is held as the bastion of truth on theological matters and the hope for training men an women to go, principally, into the Diocese but generally into the world in the name of Jesus Christ. Where the Church globally is succumbing to the world the Diocese looks to itself and its evangelical tradition to draw courage to continue the fight.

But how goes it beneath the surface, beyond all the bluster?

Recently I read a few words from the late Bishop J.C. Ryle on "Reality." Both Neil Moore and I have previously quoted Bishop Ryle. He still has relevance and I sense he has something to say to all of us who regard ourselves as a) evangelical and, b) having it altogether concerning our faith.

Bishop Ryle said "How much evangelical religion is completely unreal? You will sometimes see men professing great affection for the pure 'gospel,' while they are practically inflicting on it the greatest injury. The will talk loudly of soundness in the faith, and have a keen nose for heresy. They will run eagerly after popular preachers, applaud Protestant speakers at public meetings to the very echo. They are familiar with all the phrases of evangelical religion, and converse fluently about its leading doctrines. To see their faces at public meetings, or in church, you would think them eminently godly. And yet these people in private will sometimes do things of which even some heathen would be ashamed. They are neither truthful, nor straightforward, nor honest, nor manly, nor just, nor good-tempered, nor unselfish, nor merciful, nor humble, nor kind. And is such Christianity as this real? It is not. It is a miserable imposture, a base cheat and caricature."

Such words as these ought to make us all stop and consider our ways. Are our ways consistent with the faith we profess?

Mindful of the purpose of this sydneyanglicanheretics site to expose the descent of the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney into heresy via heterodoxical belief on the creation of the world, I was struck by Bishop Ryle's early statements: "... You will sometimes see men professing great affection for the pure 'gospel,' while they are practically inflicting on it the greatest injury. They will talk loudly of soundness in the faith ..." Is this not a fair synopsis of the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney?

A fair criticism of the Diocese would be to say the overwhelming rhetoric both orally and in print coming from the Diocese is that the gospel is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, dying for our sins and being resurrected that we might live. Nothing wrong with that as far as it goes but then cause for criticism kicks in. The Diocese is unfit to explain the nature of who it was who was crucified and resurrected. More precisely, the Diocese will be inconsistent in explaining his nature and thus unable to explain his nature.

Commencing with Archbishop Peter Jensen and the tergiversating doctrine of Moore Theological College on Creation, an influence exists within the Diocese which inhibits an inquirer's capacity to identify Jesus Christ with the Creator. That which is espoused by those sources leads the inquirer to formulate a nature of a Creator who scratched out a creation red with tooth and claw while formulating a nature of Jesus Christ who was meek and caring, healing the sufferings of the helpless and dying for our sins. The two characters are miles apart in nature. The latter is attested in the Bible and is real but the former is alien to the Bible and untrue. But errant influences within the Diocese urge an inquirer to marry the two natures. As such, a great injury has been inflicted on the gospel, on Jesus Christ himself.

Several New Testament passages make it clear that Creation occurred through and by Jesus Christ (eg John 1 and Colossians 1) but I draw attention to Hebrews 1:1-3b:

"God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person ..." (NKJV)

Jesus Christ is the express image of God's person (some translations have nature). If you want an idea of the manner in which God created, you only need look to Jesus Christ. Did the Creator use a slow, death, disease, suffering and dead end riddled process? Look to Jesus Christ and you will see one who wept over suffering; healed suffering and disease with quickness; where there was non-life he made life and did it expediently; he altered the chemical structure of water to turn it into high quality wine - all this and much more with just a thought or a word.

More than that he who has all authority in heaven and on earth demonstrated himself to be the antithesis of "survival of the fittest" by suffering death on the cross so that those who could not, by their own efforts, see and enjoy God.

Further, a day has been appointed, at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, when all those who left this world in right relationship with God, will be raised up instantly, though their body long before having been obliterated, and on that day they shall be given a body which never decays. Again, I say, instantly.

All these expressions of will display a nature of Jesus Christ completely in contrast to a nature which is cruel, incompetent and likely to engender a death, disease, suffering and dead-end riddled process of creation. Remember who it was who said:

³ “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:3-10
, NKJV)

Is the one who delivers on those promises one who kills and maims to make a world? Is he who is light also darkness? Is he who is life also death?

It is time for those within the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney who hold to Theistic Evolution and those within its theological seminary who allow Theistic Evolution to be believed within the Diocese, it is time for them to recognize the damage they do to the nature of Jesus Christ and the damage they do to his church.

These of whom I speak declare loudly a faith in Jesus Christ but they corrupt his nature. They defile his office as Creator. They present, in nature, two contrary Sons of God to the world.

I call on these people to forsake their pride and repent of their sin. I appeal to them - is your pride worth more than the souls of those who will be lost to Christ in future years because they are presented with two Sons of God and will end up throwing off both? Come back to the Bible in your belief and trust the one who was there at the creation of the world. Know Jesus Christ as he is revealed there from the beginning, as he appeared Incarnate and as he is upon return.

The deception is exposed. You can no longer thow this issue off as not being a gospel issue. It is a gospel issue because the nature of Jesus Christ is assaulted. Repent!

I ask again, is your pride worth more than the souls of those who will be lost because of the low view of Christ you present to the world?

Sam Drucker

10 comments:

Eric said...

Sam,

Thanks for your thoughts.

Stephen Gould used to criticise the standard model Darwinian story as being more about late 19th C Victorian values than about science.

So, pointedly it is more about the values of the world (progress, improvement, getting better and better) than Science, and it contradicts what a Christian should consider: in a world cursed and getting worse and worse, or at least staying cursed and not improving, how can theistic evolution sit with the nature of our Creator as shown in the Beatitudes. He is about the poor, the weak, the not great (as he shows elsewhere in the NT); yet theistic evolutionists must have him contradict this in his 'creation method' and favour the strong over the weak: a very materialist and humanist view of things that in no was connects with God as he reveals himself in the Bible!

neil moore said...

Sam, needless to say I agree with you and Eric.

Any attempt by our chums on the other side of the fence to invoke a notion of the "God of the Old Testament being a vengeful God" is completely off the mark.

It is the same God of Old and New Testaments. He had to deal in judgement against the evil things being done and to prevent the evil (and its impacts) becoming worse.

Neil

John said...

Eric,

You've really hit on an irony here. The SADs rave on and on about Jesus, but pay zero attention to who he really is. If they'd actually think about, for example, the Beatitudes, as you suggested, rather than thinking the Gospel is ONLY about the crucifixion they'd maybe begin to know something about the real Jesus rather than the Marcion-inspired idol they tout.

AnnettSSours said...

great ...........................................................

gwen said...

Sam,

I think there is another saying of Jesus Christ in the Beatitudes which also adds weight to your case.

Jesus said "You have heard that it was said 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist and evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."

The will for life behind a statement like that is just so unlike a being who would create through a means involving death & struggle and getting the better of your adversary for survival.

Gwen

sam drucker said...

Thanks to those who share my views.

Perhaps I should have emphasised a little more the 'two natures' Theistic Evolutionists have to invoke in Jesus Christ but I think you get the point.

Sam Drucker

Critias said...

I guess some people have problems seeing Christ as Lord of all creation, and therefore, his ways are over all creation: TE-ers must think that his Lordship is limited to 'salvation' only, and so can entertain the idiot idea that Christ did in creation what he does nowhere else and lent might to the powerful! More SAD crazy talk.

Critias said...

Just thought you'd like this link:

http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/literature/2010/01/09/lobbing_a_grenade_into_the_tetrapod_evol

Eric said...

The 'killer' for me for theistic evolution in the light of Hebrews 1:1-3b is that it does not return glory to Christ. The automatic response that TE produces is denial of the place of our creator, not recognition of the creator. It results in a view of the world that has it as being firstly material, whereas the creator tells us that it is at first personal.

neil moore said...

Very good point Eric.

Personal Creator and, by necessity, a Personal Saviour. A Personal God who made a world to relate to Him and to itself.

Neil