Friday, June 30, 2006

Healing and Reconciliation?

Richard Mansel, a dear Christian, recently sent me a link describing the actions of the House of Deputies in the Episcopal Church. By 72.9 percent of the vote on June 20, they approved the Windsor Report's invitation to engage in a process of healing and reconciliation. This healing and reconciliation actually "compels each church to consult the wider Communion when making significant decisions." Basically, they are not willing to halt the approval of homosexual bishops and clergy nor to refrain from "blessing" same-sex marriages.

It seems the way to union and healing for Episcopalians is to forsake the teaching of God for the "wider" communion. If there are some folks out there who disagree with what God teaches, it seems preferable to them to seek reconciliation with the other folks even if it means forgetting the teaching of God in Scripture. How sad! They would rather have the communion of men than the holiness of God. They would rather sit silent and allow sin to continue. It is not any surprise, then, when the same group of Episcopalians would not endorse a resolution to say that Jesus is the only way to salvation (thus denying John 14:6 and Acts 4:12). When you jettison God's will in one area, you find it easy to throw it all out (thus James 2:10).

Those among churches of Christ who are seeking communion with brethren who err on the instrument are basically saying the same thing. Healing and reconciliation with error is actually breaking communion with God. To give approval, to bid godspeed, to those who teach and practice error is to participate in their evil deeds (2 John 9-11). The Bible still teaches that God will uproot every plant which He has not planted. Where in the New Testament has God planted the use of instruments in Christian worship?

Instrumentalists must appeal to a "wider" understanding than the New Testament. They made the argument in the 1800s that we must "keep up with the times." They believed we must change or die! (And so the doubters speak today.) They said people will not come to our churches unless we change. In spite of their prognostication, in the 1900s a cappella churches outgrew the instrumentalists, thus disproving that we must give in to the world to grow.

It should not surprise us that in 1989, the Disciples also voted that Jesus was not the only way to heaven.

And they say there is no slippery slope! Nonsense.

Real healing does not come with giving up our faith to the world's fickle notions; it comes when we with humility and love give ourselves fully to the will of God. How can righteous people forsake the Lord to get along with people? Will those "people" judge us in the end or will the Lord? Did the people of the world send their Son to die for us?

Romans 12:2 should be shouted to us all: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

Let us hold fast to the Lord and not give in to peer pressure and the desires of men.


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