Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Way to Go, Bishop Iker!

Orthodox Christians within the Episcopal tradition in the United States must surely be heartened by the defense of the Gospel that Fort Worth Bishop Jack Leo Iker is leveling in a statement on his Web site where he advocates his diocese vote to "realign", essentially seceding from the Episcopal Church USA and submitting itself to the ecclesial authority of the more biblically faithful jurisdiction of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.

Iker lays out ten reasons for doing so, and some of it sounds like inside baseball to me as a Reformed charismatic evangelical. But the last and most important reason he lists got a very, very hearty Amen from me (emphasis mine):

Most importantly, this decision is about the truth of the Gospel and upholding the authority of the Holy Scriptures. We believe in God’s full self-revelation in Jesus Christ, not in the speculation of humanist unitarians who have been elected to high offices in our church. Many leaders of TEC [The Episcopal Church] are teaching a false Gospel and leading people astray. Now is the time for us to take a bold, public stand for the biblical faith and practice of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.
My prayers are with Bishop Iker and my brothers and sisters in his Fort Worth diocese who are committed to the preaching of sound doctrine, evangelizing the lost for the kingdom of God. We might have differences on secondary issues of doctrine, but we share a love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the preaching of which alone has the power of God unto salvation.

May God grant wisdom, peace, and grace to Bishop Iker and his flock as they seek to herald the Gospel in spite of the ear-itching spirit of the age which has seized the ECUSA.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Jesus: Lord and Christ, Not Mere Community Organizer

If you trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation and believe what the Bible teaches about His person and work, the following has to be rebuked sharply and seized upon as a teaching moment, whether you're a liberal like Jim Wallis or basically conservative like Al Mohler.

"Remember, Jesus was a community organizer, Pontius Pilate was a governor."

That aphorism has been working its way through liberal Web sites and even onto the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

But such a snarky political line dismisses the true scope of the person and work of Jesus Christ, and should be rebuked as such. As St. John writes in Revelation 5, Jesus Christ is the central figure of all of history, fulfilling in his death and resurrection God's glorious plan of salvation for fallen, sinful humanity:

6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”


Now, if by community organizer one means that Christ has purchased with His blood His church from all tribes, languages, peoples and nations, then, okay, but that's not what is meant by the political slogan in question, which aims to denigrate GOP vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin while elevating Democratic Sen. Barack Obama (although tongue-in-cheekedly) to a saintly if not messianic height.

Christians left, right, and center should object, not out of prickly sensitivity but out of a desire to remind people that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah, that he died for the sins of the world, that there is salvation in His Name alone, and that He is returning to earth some day to judge the living and the dead, rewarding those who love His appearing and casting away those who are dead in their sins.

So let's hear a strong objection from all self-professing evangelical Christians, regardless of their political views. Obama-voting evangelicals need not sit by while their Lord and Savior is dethroned from the right hand of the Father for mere political expediency.

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