Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Anglicans: Is "coming to the table" enough, or does Jesus care about the result?

A piece by UK Evangelical Anglican Charles Raven points out the manipulative misdirection of appeals to "family conversation" as the primary work of the church:

"Why this preoccupation with interminable and inward looking dialogue? What about a passion for reaching the lost, for faithful teaching and preaching, for the glory and honour of Jesus Christ? However sincere or even passionate the Primates may feel themselves to be, this is actually ‘dishonest conversation’ which displaces the gospel and is spiritually dangerous. Fundamentally, this is because ‘conversing’ has come to replace ‘confessing'...

... Part of the art of this debased conversation is to use the language of domesticity with words like ‘family' and ‘table’ in the foreground. So Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi of the Anglican Church in Burundi said that the absences from the meetings were 'very understandable. But what we have to understand is that the Anglican Communion is like a family.' In the same briefing from the Episcopal News Service, Presiding Bishop Jefferts-Schori comments 'Conversations can be difficult with anyone. If we’re not willing to continue in conversation, there’s not much opportunity for healing or reconciling. We need to come to the table.'"

Even a dysfunctional, destructive family can compel its members to come to gatherings (think of some nightmare holiday gatherings people describe). But Jesus had this to say about what constitutes his family:

While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.Matthew 12:46-50

1 comment:

The Underground Pewster said...

I wonder if this family started reading Titus 3 at the table, got to verse 9 and decided that was a good stopping point so missed verses 10-11.

9 Avoid foolish arguments, genealogies, rivalries, and quarrels about the law, for they are useless and futile.

10 After a first and second warning, break off contact with a heretic,

11 realizing that such a person is perverted and sinful and stands self-condemned.