Sunday, 16 February 2014
'Sunday' on Sunday....
Waking from an enjoyable dream that dissipated instantly my bleary mind was welcomed into the world by the wireless. Hiding my eyes from the bright light that came through the opening in the grubby curtains I listened far from attentively to yet another bland Sunday morning BBC offering, this one cleverly called, 'Sunday.' This purports to be a news programme for those who have some sort of 'faith,' and results in being another middle class liberal approach to the subject like most everything else on Radio 4. Jesus is rarely mentioned, his book only to find 'inconsistencies.' I heard news of the pope tweeting in Latin and this was followed by another justification for 'gay' vicars as apparently the Church of England has made another compromise regarding this.
I switched off.
I can only take so much from the 'blind leading the blind' that I thought stuffing my unhealthy breakfast down my throat and having the weekly bath more important. My neighbours consider at least one of these important also I have found. Worse still there was no 'Match of the Day' to watch while straining to keep the eyes open. Instead I stared at the blank TV screen out of habit. This is a bad sign.
I cogitated on what had filtered into my mind. In his book 'Knowing God,' Jim Packer tells of meeting a man who has been removed from his job in an Anglican establishment because he actually accepted the bible as the word of God. He was a bit down because of this but on the other hand as he put it, "I have known God, and they don't!" What he meant is clear, the others had a religious opinion, he on the other hand had 'met' Jesus in a very real way, as indeed all Christians have.
He did not necessarily mean seeing any manifestation but in a very real sense Jesus himself had revealed himself to him. It can happen suddenly and sometimes unwanted, as it did with me, or over a period of reflection, however one day the individual can say they have 'met' with God. The bible will become clearer when this happens, although as this man discovered not everyone will accept this. Too many in all churches today have not met Jesus, their religion is based on 'loving others,' but it lacks something, the God behind it. That is why evangelical churches grow and established ones fail, if there is no Jesus the church becomes at best a social club. This may be nice for those attending, but it is not God. The one who has experienced Jesus in his life is never the same again. The bible guides the believer into an understanding of who he is and what he is, those who fall into opinions not based on what is found there suffer many problems. The Church of England today suffers because they no longer base their life on this book. Instead many who have not experienced the Living God offer platitudes and opinion, a church indeed without power. Jesus power changes things! The subjects this morning included gay priests, yet the new testament has only one priest, Jesus. He is both the offering for our sin and the Great High Priest, through his atonement we can be saved and find a new life. The fact that this never crops up in such programmes indicates the failings of the programme and the CoE.
Gay priests? You cannot be a 'priest, the new testament has only 'elders.' Their job as church leaders is to point to the Messiah himself, not priests who stand between you and God.
Can a Christian be homosexual? Yes, but he will know this to be not part of Gods plan and seek to bring this under Gods control. Those who advocate living together and same sex marriage are far from their God and clearly in the wrong. The Christian has to bring every aspect of his life to Jesus and put it under his authority. Many fail here. Jesus however knows those who are his and is always there to forgive the repentant and support them as the attempt to follow him as a disciple.
Some have decided it is 'discrimination' to oppose 'gay priests,' on the grounds of 'equality.' This is false. 'Equality' it is not, equal as an individual but gay behaviour is not of God. It is correct to oppose anything that harms Gods world and his people. There is indeed discrimination, we find it where Christians are harassed and abused by the gay lobby simply for speaking the truth. News reports have spoken of many harassed this way, even though the report is biased against the Christians. The laws recently passed on the UK and Scotland will soon see many churches suffer for refusing to allow gay marriage. Some will be taken before the courts, courts which will support the gay lobby as they have shown often before. We must get used to this, in days to come those who know their God will be asked to suffer more than this. The west as a whole is going through a change which will affect each one of us. It is not just the climate above that is changing, the liberal west has lost all sense of any 'absolute.' The spirit of the air is determined to keep it this way. We need to be clear where we stand, either for Jesus opinion or for the worlds.
The church, whatever denomination, must return to preaching Christ crucified and his Lordship. Those who meet Jesus realise their need and must change their ways, turn their life right around and put their faith in this man who is God. They can receive the forgiveness for sin from the one who gave his life on the cross for them. Their life will then be hard, but Jesus will never leave them, I have found this, and if he continues to still be here for me he can be there for you. Jesus is alive, and those who know him have many tough times, but he is worth knowing.