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Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Prickly Problem for Gap Theorists.

Gap Theorists are those of the church who dismiss Biblical chronology in favour of the world's view of an old (billions or million of years) age for the earth. Traditionally, the Gap Theory proposes a long age between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 during which the earth and all its inhabitants (pre Man) were destroyed by God and most, if not all, fossils found today are relics of that destruction. Generally, Gap Theorists will accept thousands of years passing from the appearance of Adam to the Incarnate Son of God.

Commonsense adherence to the reading of the Word of God speaks against their preferred position and, increasingly, the fossil record indicates likewise.

One example from the fossil record is revealed in the following article.

In accepting the long ages of the geologic column, Gap Theorists are confronted by cactus fossils found in the Eocene ('dated' 35-55 million years), rose fossils from the Miocene (5-23 million years) and Oligocene (23-35 million years), plus many others dated prior to the alleged appearance of man. However, the Word of God says that thorns and thistles are a product of the Curse (Genesis 3:17-18).

In agreeing to the ages of the geologic column and consequent ages of thorn fossils found therein, Gap Theorists are putting a product of the Curse for Adam's sin prior to Adam's sin. This is a nonsense and demonstrates the danger of not accepting the Word of God as intended - be sure your sins will find you out!

To accept God at His Word one is obliged to regard the thorns found in fossilized form being, not millions of years old, but thousands of years old and buried in the rock strata subsequent to Adam's sin - possibly buried in the Flood of Noah's time.

An even greater disparity of dating arises with respect to spiny plant fossils found in strata assigned to the Devonian Period ('dated' 360-410 million years). Again, well before the appearance of man according to the world's current dating method.

By taking God at His Word in Genesis 3:17-18, Biblical Creationists have been subjected to criticism from Theistic Evolutionists and Gap Theorists of having to assert that God created thorns and thistles after having rested from his Creation activity. This is a false argument and proven so by scientific observation. Thorns and thistles are not a new creation but a mutation - degenerative leaves or parts of leaves that didn't unfold properly or bases that have failed to grow into leaves or are left over when leaves fall off or failed branch development.

Being mutations, thorns and thistles are in accord with other mutations which came upon living forms because of Adam's sin and have caused disease, suffering and death ever since. As such, the existence of thorns and thistles are testimony to the Word of God and the need to take God at His Word.

Gap Theorists (and Theistic Evolutionists) are left to the embarrassment of inadequately explaining nature when putting the current world view (the splintered reed of Egypt) above faith in the Word of God.

Sam Drucker

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fools for Christ Used of God.

A quick scan through all, bar one (Andrew Mackinnon), comments flowing from this article written about Jesus Christ and Creation give much reason to question the future of the Episcopalian (Anglican) Diocese of Sydney. While the reader might give some assent to the content of the article, the author gives himself away in subsequent commentary as being so flaky in his doctrine and reading of Scripture that you just couldn't accept anything he said with any conviction. In short, his words are no more than litter blown about in the breeze.

As the Diocese continues to go backwards in doctrinal standard its effort to be an instrument of God in the building of the Kingdom bear little blessing. Just realistic thought of drawing the ungodly in any number to sit attentively under the gospel of Jesus Christ is beyond reach for the Diocese. Drawing the already churched who bring with them distorted doctrine from churches abandoned by God may be a possibility but the ungodly is another matter.

Contrast that with my encounter last night.

A young woman wanted to resolve the question of whether there was a God. She was of an Atheist inclination but wanted to dot the i's and cross the t's. Her first resort was to science. She read books and magazines from secular sources but eventually became frustrated at the lack of case for ruling out God. Eventually she was invited to hear a Biblical Creationist speaker. The content of the message led her to reading Biblical Creationists material. She became a convert to Jesus Christ. That occurred in April, this year.

Just four months later, the church of which she was now part permitted this alive and enthusiastic convert to conduct last night's event involving a Biblical Creationist speaker. She advertised the event beyond the church and attracted some online discussion and, to my observation, Atheists or, at the least, Sceptics and other non churched in attendance - all in a church building. I counted fifty adults present of whom, by the degree of engagement and my later inquiries, a quarter of which I can confidently say were ungodly.

To give occasion to the event the young woman dressed smartly in a colourful court jester outfit - declaring tongue-in-cheek she was a Fool for Christ - and gave her testimony before introducing the speaker. The speaker had been an Atheist for longer than most in the room had been alive giving some credibility to be able to speak of the two states of belief.

The ungodly were really polite and attentive listeners. They afforded the speaker opportunity to give a beautiful and complete gospel message (Creation to Resurrection) which the Biblical Creationist position, and thus God, upholds. Question time was a probing time with several questions from the ungodly. Again they were really polite - a credit to their nature. About an hour later, question time finished as did the event as a whole. Ample supper was taken and opportunity presented for more questions and purchasing DVDs and books while free literature was also available and sought.

One of the ungodly was heard to say of the speaker "He was really persuasive!"

I also later learned that there were others present linked to the young woman who were church attached but not necessarily Biblical Creationists.

This was an event, I am confident, used of God for Kingdom growth and it was a joy to be part of, if only by being in the audience to observe and hear how things unfolded.

The Bible doubters of the Episcopalian (Anglican) Diocese who I refer to at the commencement of this blog run last.

Sam Drucker

Thursday, August 23, 2012

True Evangelism

Last month under the heading of The Need for Preaching the Character of God I posted an extended extract of Walter Chantry's 1970 book "Today's Gospel - Authentic or Synthetic?". Despite being an observation from more than forty years ago I regard it to be an incisive essay on much of the state of evangelism today.

I provide herewith a much shorter extract from the book:

"Sincerity and genuine conversion are not the only qualifications necessary for the work of an evangelist. An ability to convey the Biblical gospel is essential.

Since evangelicals are honestly asking why God has not attended their giant projects with His power, it is time to re-examine the content of the gospel most popularly preached. We must plunge beneath the superficial reports on methods and unity to focus attention on the foundational issue - the doctrine fostered by our evangelism and missions. Surely no issue can supersede the necessity of preaching the truth Christ delivered to His disciples!

Needed most of all, then, is the demolition of the dreadful trend that sees the gospel as simply a few facts. True evangelism preaches the whole counsel of God with explanation and application to sinners

It speaks for itself.

Sam Drucker

Monday, August 20, 2012

Raising the White Flag Sydney Episcopalian Style

From what I have heard about the expressed views of the Rector of St. John's Anglican Church, Ashfield, Sydney, on Genesis I should think the Sydney Atheists are right to champion the seeming sentiment of the sign on the church property.

Sam Drucker

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Thirty None Articles of Religion

Some weeks back my attention was drawn to a blogspot entitled A Restless Faith authored by a former Moore Theological College lecturer by the name of Keith Mascord. Not only I but others around the world took interest in and were disappointed with the author's attitude to the Word of God disclosed in a blog entitled Noah, Gender Roles and Same-Sex Marriage and subsequent comments to that blog.

Looking back at comments from others I have pondered a response given by Keith Mascord to a question from a man named Trent. The fellow Trent asked Keith Mascord "You move in Sydney Anglican circles and seem to have done so at various levels for some time. You would have a pretty fair idea of what is going on within that Diocese. The points you made to me today on the Thirty-Nine Articles, Article 9, justification by faith, Reformation understanding on doctrine and bible teaching, the question mark over whether Adam was a real person, unbaptised babies who die going straight to hell – are these thoughts the general thinking of the Diocese?" to which Keith Mascord replied (in part) "I am still an Anglican minister/priest. Re the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, it has been a while since I have read through them – but did a few years ago in the context of a discusison about tightening adherence to the 39 Articles here in the Sydney Diocese. From what I remember of the discussion (and there were a lot of Sydney Anglican ministers there), it was acknowledged that the Articles, though a fair articulation of Reformation convictions, nevertheless need to be understood within their historic context. Most would have had trouble saying a straightforward YES to each and every one of them. Moreover, the Articles themselves acknowledge changes in understanding over time."

It is my understanding that the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion were devised by the newly Reformed Church of England in the Sixteenth Century as a standard of doctrine to which Clergy of that denomination must ascribe upon ordination - even in Australia.

The perception of Keith Mascord as to the general feeling within the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney toward the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion presents an ominous future for this link to the Reformed doctrine of the past.

Other comments by Keith Mascord on his blogspot and his citing of the view of a present Moore Theological College lecturer on Inerrancy of Scripture and Homosexuality give cause for concern and have been dealt with here subsequently.

However, it is worth reminding readers that what we have reported on is just more of what has been happening across Christendom for some centuries. Churches and denominations are falling like 'nine pins' to the world. For so many, the doctrine and creeds arising from the Reformation are proving an embarrassment to those today wanting more relevance to the world rather than to God and to those who spent their blood achieving the Reformation of the Church in the Name of Jesus Christ.

For an example in that regard take a journey back forty years to see how one writer, John R. de Witt, described the outlook in the Presbyterian Church in the USA:
" ... we should resist with all our power the drive to re-write the standards of the Church because the motives for doing so are wrong. What I have said before is, as you see at once, immediately related to this. What we are facing at the present time is a desperately serious state of affairs within the historic institution of the Church. I have yielded as much as I could to the sincere men of evangelical profession who would like to re-dress our holy faith in modern garb. We must try to understand them, to appreciate them, and to deal gently with them. But we must also warn them, and warn them as solemnly as we can. For they are playing into the hands of those who would detach the Church from her historic, constitutional position, and loosen her from the carefully wrought out, longsomely acquired, biblical foundation upon which she has always rested. The power of the ecclesiastical establishment at the present time, even in the bulk of the Reformed churches, is not in the hands of men of evangelical faith, but in the hands very often of apostates, heretics, men who have departed from the position of their fathers and who now want to drag down the Church as a whole after them. I do not impugn their sincerity. That is not in the province of any one of us to do. But I do denounce their doctrinal corruption and their unfaithfulness to the Word of God. And I do declare that, insofar as they believe the lie rather than the truth, they are the enemies of the souls of men. We are therefore to give them no countenance at all, and to resist their machinations, their projects, their plans now specifically with respect to the re-confessionalization - the which is really the de-confessionalization - of the Church. I can speak most knowledgeably of my own situation, of course, and I have very little acquaintance with your own. But I know that in the Southern Presbyterian Church what men want when they speak of writing a new confession of faith is to do away with the Westminster Confession, and with a binding obligation to it, and to be free to believe what they wish, to be free from the Word of God and from the gospel of Jesus Christ." (extracted from "Does the Church Today Need a New Confession of Faith?" by John R de Witt in June 1972 issue of Banner of Truth)

Keith Mascord discloses a similar trend within the Episcopalian (Anglican) Diocese of Sydney and he is pleased to be part of it. That at least one present lecturer of Moore Theological College is similarly minded to alter doctrinal positions established in the Reformation is a portent to the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion soon becoming Thirty None Articles of Religion.

Sam Drucker

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Time For Reflection.

Rev James W. Alexander was the eldest son of Rev Archibald Alexander, First Professor of Princeton Seminary. James was born in 1804 and followed his father into ministry in the Presbyterian Church in America. He finished his ministry at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York when passing from this life in 1859 - a momentous year.

Among his works, James Alexander had this observation to pass on to following generations:

"All defection from the faith begins in decay of piety. Sound doctrine is a plant that will not flourish in a soil which has lost the warmth of gracious affection. There may be scriptural creeds, in the very words of the venerable reformers; such are the Confessions of Germany, Holland, and the Swiss churches; but the body of the people, and especially the clergy, will go off into the most destructive errors. There was a period of 'dead orthodoxy', as it was called in Germany, which preceded the grand apostasy. For a time there was fiery contention for the symbols, resulting in the unrelenting persecution of such men as Spener, Francke, and Canstein; but shortly the door was opened for the irruption of a rationalistic deism. Decay of vital godliness leads rapidly to heterodox teaching. Times of outward prosperity are seized by the adversary for carrying on this disastrous work. Wealth flows into the church, and Christian professors, forgetting their vocation as a 'peculiar people', emulate the world, in their expenditure, their possessions, and their entertainments. The question which is common among us, as to the lawfulness of certain frivolous amusements, is a question which could not be so much as agitated in a flourishing and spiritual church. No man can think of it as mooted among the Apostles or early martyrs, among the reformers or covenanters. But at a certain stage in the declension, we find members of the church opening their houses for the midnight dance; then going freely to the theatre, and to games of hazard; and finally, making
shipwreck of the faith. As piety decays, there are great tenderness for error, and great latitude in the exposition of doctrine. A spurious charity forbids every word of harshness towards even gross error. Indifferentism is the mother of heresy; as we may read in the annals of Wittenberg, Geneva, and Cambridge; and both have their descent from worldliness in the church. Whatever, therefore, promotes piety, in the same degree promotes the belief of truth

As the Episcopalian (Anglican) Diocese of Sydney pursues relevance, while having a present and past Lecturer of its theological seminary confessing doubt on 'Inerrancy of Scripture', while having suffered extraordinary constraint on its finances due to high exposure to the Global Financial Crisis, while having little to show from its endeavour to have 10% of the population of Sydney in Bible 'believing' churches and now proposing a tax on parishes to buy land for church buildings in developing areas (a cost previously met from investment returns) surely the time as come to reflect on the words of Rev James W. Alexander.

Sam Drucker

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Past & Present Ministers Compared.

Living in a time, as we do, when the Church struggles to reach the lost in effective ways it can be helpful to see how others in times past saw similar times. We may even see the problem today had its birth in an earlier generation.

J. C. Ryle, Church of England Bishop of Liverpool in the late Nineteenth Century in England had a few words to say about his observation of the Established Church in his day. I repeat his words herewith:

"Would we know why the ministers who profess to follow the evangelical fathers are so much less successful than they were? The question is a delicate and interesting one, and ought not to be shelved. The suspicion naturally crosses some minds, that the doctrines which won victories a hundred years ago are worn out, and have lost their power. I believe that theory to be an entire mistake. The answer which I give to the enquiry is one of a very different kind. I am obliged to say plainly, that, in my judgment, we have among us neither the men nor the doctrines of the days gone by. It is a humbling conclusion; but I have long felt that it is the truth. Give us like men and a like message, and I have no fear that the Holy Ghost would grant us like results.

Wherein do evangelical Churchmen fall short of their great predecessors? Let us look this question fairly in the face. Let us come to particulars. They fall short in doctrine. They are neither so full nor so distinct, nor so bold, nor so uncompromising. They are afraid of strong statements. They are too ready to fence, and guard, and qualify all their teaching, as if Christ's Gospel was a little baby, and could not be trusted to walk alone. They fall short as preachers. They have neither the fervour, nor fire, nor thought, nor illustration, nor directness, nor boldness, nor grand simplicity of language which characterized the last century. Above all, they fall short in life. They are not men of one thing, separate from the world, unmistakable men of God, ministers of Christ everywhere, indifferent to man's opinion, regardless who is offended, if they only preach the truth. They do not make the world feel that a prophet is among them, and carry about with them their Master's presence, as Moses when he came down from the mount. I write these things with sorrow. I desire to take my full share of blame. But I do believe I am speaking the truth.

It is no use trying to evade the truth on this subject. I fear that, as a general rule, the evangelical ministry in England has fallen far below the standard of the last century, and that the simple account of the want of success to which so many point is, the low standard both of doctrine and life which prevails. Ease and popularity, and the absence of persecution, are ruinous to some. An extravagant and excessive attention to petty details withers up the ministry of others. An absurd straining after the reputation of being 'intellectual' and original is the curse of others. A desire to seem charitable and liberal, and keep in with everybody, paralyzes the ministry of others. The plague is abroad. We want a revival among evangelical ministers. We are where we are, because we have come short of our fathers.

I repeat it emphatically, for I believe it sincerely. The first want of our day is a return to the old, simple, and sharply-cut doctrines of our fathers; and the second want is a generation of like-minded and like-gifted men to preach them. Give me in any county of England and Wales a man like Grimshaw or Rowlands, or Whitefield, and there is nothing in the present day which would make me afraid. Let us ask Him who holds the stars in His right hand to revive His work among our ministers, and to raise up men for our times. He can do it. He waits to be entreated. 'Then let all who pray cry night and day to the Lord of the harvest, "Lord, send forth more labourers into Thy harvest.

What Bishop Ryle saw in his day has as much import to the Episcopalian (Anglican) Diocese of Sydney and its theological seminary - Moore College - today.

Sam Drucker

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Strange Message Coming Out of Moore Theological College.

Readers will be aware of concerns we have with doctrine being taught these days at Moore Theological College - the theological seminary of the Episcopalian (Anglican) Diocese of Sydney - particularly with regard to the Office of Jesus Christ in Creation.

Attempts to point out the doctrinal problem in person to person dialogue with graduates or lecturers of Moore Theological College result in frustration because of a clear disjunction on their part between the Word Written and the Word Incarnate. They will not admit to a disjunction but attempts to expose it on the subject of Origins meets with evasion because of an incomplete, thus unsustainable, Christology on their part - the cause being their incorporation of the world's view of Origins into their reading of the Word Written.

It is with intrigue therefore that we read in the August 2012 edition of Southern Cross an article written by Rev Dr Mark Thompson, Head of the Department of Theology, Philosophy and Ethics at Moore Theological College under the heading "Supernatural".

Dr Thompson either inadvertently or covertly exposes an "Achilles' Heel" of many within the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney who have deserted their Reformed roots on Origins but declare themselves to be Reformed and Conservative Evangelicals. The bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ after three days dead, as recorded in the Word Written, is upheld by most within the Diocese despite scientists declaring no basis in science for belief in such a notion. Yet the many have willingly cast off the testimony of the Word Written on Origins in deference to scientists who declare no basis in science for belief in such a notion.

Dr Thompson does not come out and say what I have just said but I invite readers to get a copy of the August 2012 edition of Southern Cross and see how, in arguing for belief in a supernatural as opposed to a natural understanding of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and other recorded phenomena in the Word Written, Dr Thompson either inadvertently or covertly exposes the dichotomy that exists within the Diocese.

In case readers can't get hold of the original article I will provide some extracts which take nothing away from or distort the original intention of the author. In speaking to the Resurrection being the centrepiece of God's eternal purpose and this being the common confession of Christians over the past 2000 years, Dr Thompson says:
"The resurrection is most certainly not a natural event. People who have been dead for three days do not suddenly get up, walk, talk and eat breakfast with their friends."


"The resurrection makes clear that Christian faith and the focus of Christian faith are both profoundly supernatural ... It is this supernaturalism at the heart of our faith that is all too easily forgotten by some."


"The challenge can be seen in the way we approach the miracles in the gospels. Through the centuries there have been attempts to explain the miracles of Jesus in terms of the regularities we observe in our world. Some suggest that the miracles weren't really miracles at all. Others insist that it is only as the miracles are explained in terms of the world as we normally experience it that they become believable. So the miracles are only believable once they cease to be miracles." At this point one hopes that Dr Thompson would not neglect the first recorded supernatural act of the Word in the gospel according to John viz. the creation of all things (John 1:3).

Almost as if he is taking a swipe at Theistic Evolutionists, Dr Thompson goes on to say:

"Yet once we accept the argument that an event, a series of events or an idea can only be believed if it can be explained in terms that we dictate we have, consciously or not, raised questions about the supernatural dimension of the Christian faith. We've actually accepted one of the fundamental tenets of today's scepticism. It is not just that human reason has become the ultimate determiner of what is acceptable and what is not (an attitude strangely reminiscent of the Garden of Eden), but today's consensus on how the world works becomes the standard that our reason uses. Claiming to stand in the heritage of Galileo, we become more like those who opposed him because they were wedded to a view of the cosmos they had inherited from Ptolemy. The supernatural doesn't easily fit into a view of the universe we have embraced and so it is dismissed without further consideration."

and he then goes on to say:

"The right use of reason is an important part of our response to the gospel. The capacity to think is a good gift from God with which we can serve each other and him. The difficulty arises from the fact that every part of us, including our reason, is affected by the consequences of the Fall. Our reason can become self-centred and self-serving. We can also make our reason the arbiter of truth and error, of good and evil. We can forget that we view everything around us from a limited point of view. We cannot escape our location in history, in particular community, or in a 'tradition' of one kind or another (even if that tradition is simply a repudiation of all tradition). Yet God suffers no such limitations and his words never prove mistaken." [emphasis mine]

Finally, I cite the following from Dr Thompson:

"If the supernatural dimension of the Christian faith exceeds our capacity to reason that should not surprise us. We may not be able to fathom how a man could rise from the dead after three days. The creation of all things from nothing by the word [Word] of God might boggle our minds. The mechanics of the flood or the Exodus or the miracles or the resurrection of all to judgement might elude us. Yet we cannot be satisfied with what we can explain in terms of our experience of things. We cannot afford to dismiss the testimony of Scripture because we can't figure out how this or that was done. Instead we need to trust the one who gives us these words in order to understand who he is, what he has done for us and how we ought to respond to him."

It would be interesting to engage with Dr Thompson to ascertain how complete is his argument, whether he consistently applies it throughout the Word Written and whether he makes a seamless connection with the Word Incarnate.

Nevertheless, any thinking person within the Episcopalian (Anglican) Diocese of Sydney upon reading Dr Thompson's article should be asking themselves the same questions I would be asking Dr Thompson.

Sam Drucker

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Prophecy on Britain.

Notwithstanding current excitement and delight in Britain generated from performance success by its Olympians there remains, on a broader scale, a shadow over the nation. A prophecy some 75 years ago is working itself out in the decline of Britain. Without dramatic change the result will be fatal.

J. H. Merle D'aubigne had this to say in 1847:

"There is no people to whom religion [Christianity] is so necessary as to the British. The material, agricultural, manufacturing, and mercantile interests are so predominant, that, were not religion [Christianity] to counterbalance them, the nation would be undone. The energetic activity which distinguishes the Britons; those gigantic enterprises that characterize them; the founding of an immense empire in India; the gates of China, which her powerful hand has wrenched open; that creation of Australia; those expeditions to the poles and to every climate; that abolition of the slave trade and of slavery itself-all these giant-like labours require that a pure religion [Christianity] should animate the people, that oil should be always pouring into the lamp, and that a truly moral force should inspire, moderate, and direct all these efforts. If the Britons, and even the Germans, are much better colonisers than the French and the nations under the Papal rule, it is to the Gospel that they are indebted for it. Neither is this all. Even the admirable political institutions of Britain have need of the rule of faith; the liberal in States, notwithstanding their many elements of disorder and dissolution, are not only still in existence, but increasing more and more in power and importance, it is because they are the sons of the Puritans.

From the very moment that England begins to yield; nay, from the moment she ceases to press onward in religion
[Christianity], we think she will decline towards her abasement, perhaps to her ruin. Evil elements are not wanting. She possesses, to a greater extent perhaps than any other country, a low, impious, and impure literature; and the efforts made to diffuse it among the people are very great. If once the mighty flood-gates, which religion and morality oppose to these infamous publications, are thrown down, the torrent will break forth and overwhelm the whole nation with its poisonous waters."

That which is overhauling Britain has also reached those nations identified as Western in culture and which have their historical roots in a once Great Britain.

Pray in all earnestness for revival of Reformation faith in the preaching and teaching of God's Word accompanied by an outpouring of God's Holy Spirit. Anything less is death by however many cuts.

Sam Drucker

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Down For The Count..

On June 22, 2012 I posted a news flash revealing a result of the most recent Census of Australia showing people with "No Religion" now exceeding those ho declare themselves to be Anglican (Episcopalian).

Delving a little deeper into the statistics, a journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald produced an article in last Saturday's edition of the newspaper which can be found here.

I wish I could report better news. The Lord our God deserves to have His Name identified with a more triumphant cause. Additionally, the Church of England cum Anglican cum Episcopalian Church has had some faithful and helpful Ministers of the Word in centuries past. Even here in Australia the Church of England has had a more glorious and influential role in the life of the Great Southern Land that became Australia.

One cannot help but notice that in the Diocese of Sydney - which has prided itself on being the Conservative and Evangelical hub of the Anglican Church in the world - just about all is going wrong.

Consider for a moment the declaration more than ten years ago by the Archbishop of an initiative to get 10% of the population into Bible-believing churches. As the ten year period was approaching the Archbishop, fully supported by the Diocese, launched into Connect '09 for the purpose of connecting with people who were outside the Church. Here it was, the Church now fully engaged in evangelism and fulfilling the Great Commission albeit in Sydney.

However, who, except God in Heaven, would have envisaged the Global Financial Crisis and the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney found exposed to huge liability through what many would regard as dubious financial investment practice. All this on the eve of Connect '09. Was there not a message in the timing of the burden then imposed on the Diocese?

Year 2009 came and went with efforts from parishes to connect with the surrounding community. There were occasional reports in the Diocesan newspaper Southern Cross of events and connections but it was all far from declarations of the Spirit of God mightily at work. At best one could regard the effect as underwhelming. The Archbishop later studiously examined parish annual statistics and thought he saw a small amount of church growth. Nothing was shown as to the extent of transfer growth (those moving in from declining denominations) included in the 'increase'.

Now comes the stark Census figures showing the greater number of "No Religion" to Anglicans for the first time in the history of the nation and, according to the Sydney Morning Herald article, the Diocese of Sydney cannot just pass off cause to the inclusion of high church and liberalism of other Dioceses in Australia for the reduced Anglican (Episcopalian) statistic because the influence of the Sydney Diocese is diminishing as well.

Isn't it time for the Diocese of Sydney to recognise that something is seriously wrong! What it is doing is not working. There is hardly a sign that the Lord is prepared to bless the work of the Diocese. Ask yourselves, "Would the Lord be prepared to bless an endeavour if the church is not prepared to take Him at His Word?" Repent! Throw out of your theological institution those lecturers who demonstrate they do not trust the Word of God but reinterpret it in the light of what the world tells them. A clean out in ministry throughout the Diocese is also necessary - a Reformation.

Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney you need to know the times. Repent and believe.

Sam Drucker