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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sydney Episcopalians Evade Blessing and Honour

"Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. 'Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?' they asked. 'Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren't all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?' And they took offence at him. But Jesus said to them, 'Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.' And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith." Matthew 13:54-58

"Familiarity breeds contempt" or so the saying goes. This is clearly demonstrated some 2,000 years ago when Jesus of Nazareth returned to his hometown and, despite their knowledge of him performing miracles post commencement of his ministry, his former neighbours could not believe he was of God, neither would they listen to his teaching. According to Matthew, their lack of faith prevented them benefiting from miracles of healing at the hand of God.

Apparently, that Jesus came from a family who were all known to them, that they had seen Jesus and his brothers and sisters grow up in the house of the town carpenter and that this family were seen to be "as common as mud" was sufficient barrier to prevent the people of Nazareth experiencing one of the greatest privileges any town, in the history of the world, could enjoy. Here among them was the Son of God - God in the person of the Son but they would not know it. As theologian D.A. Carson put it "Obviously some of the questioners' motivation springs less from a serious desire to know whence Jesus derives his authority than from personal pique that a hometown boy has outstripped them." This is sad story. No doubt there was an expectation of Messiah but Messiah did not come to them in the form they expected so the people of Nazareth missed blessing and honour.

The negating of blessing and honour experienced in Nazareth may well be occurring in the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney today. In one sense it may be worse in Sydney. Though the people of Nazareth did not heed what he said at least they allowed Jesus to teach in their synagogue. Were it that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, walked the Diocese of Sydney today it is distinctly possible that few Clergy would let him into their pulpit. Why? Because he hasn't come from the desired sources.

Similarly, few Clergy in the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney will allow Biblical Creationists into their pulpit. By my raising it here they will be less likely to do it but that is just their sin having its way. Because I donated a small sum to the ministry of Creation Ministries International, the major Biblical Creationist organization in Australia, I receive their ministry diary. It disappoints me to consistently see so few ministry events appear in Episcopalian Churches in Sydney Diocese. As has been said several times on this blogspot, the Biblical Creationist of today is in agreement with Martin Luther, John Calvin, Puritan writers and Sir Isaac Newton (the greatest scientist in the world according to most scientists) on the doctrine of Creation. Why then is an organization like Creation Ministries International so despised in the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney? Because its speakers are not in accord with the doctrine of Creation taught nowadays in Moore Theological College, the Diocesan theological institution.

Biblical Creationists trust the word of God in Genesis chapter 1. Moore Theological College does not. Oh, the latter say they do and they say that all views are presented but the "proof is in the eating." Why is it that most graduates of that institution today advocate a departure from a historical prose reading of Genesis chapter 1? Why do they see devices within the passage which lead them to believe the Holy Spirit is concealing truth in Genesis chapter 1? For the graduate today there is something hidden or mystical because of the structure and content of the passage. Further, why do graduates of Moore Theological College, when in ministry, deny the pulpit to those who, like Luther, Calvin, the Puritans and Jesus Christ (Mark 10:6) regard Genesis chapter 1 as historical?

Sadly, most Clergy in the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney commit a similar offence as the people of Nazareth by setting up a barrier to those they scorn as being not of their expectation, not of their class. Their means of discernment is built on shifting sand. They deny those who come in the name of the Lord and they deny the congregation under their pastoral care blessing and honour.

Sam Drucker

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