Friday, January 31, 2014

Anglican Identity


One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, Trinitarian and Biblical
One:  There is one body and one Spirit… 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” (Ephesians 4:4-5)   We see ourselves as one tradition among many in the Body of Christ, and we affirm and stand alongside other Christian traditions and denominations as brothers and sisters in Christ who are also firmly anchored in the Trinitarian, Apostolic Faith.

Holy:  …let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood… you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people…”  (2 Peter 2:5, 9)  We are a work in progress, being sanctified (being made holy and into the image of Christ) by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

Catholic:  In liturgical and sacramental continuity with the ancient Church.

Apostolic:  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship…. (Acts 2:42)  We are “…built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets” (Ephesians 2:20). We are committed to receiving and passing on to future generations the Faith once delivered to the Apostles.

Trinitarian:  And I (Jesus) will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17This is the Spirit of truth…” (John 14:16-17)   

Biblical:  …The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart…” (Romans 10:8). As Anglicans we see Scripture as clear, sufficient, supreme, authoritative and transformative.

Prophecy

On a recent Sunday following Communion, we received a prophecy delivered by Rev, Nancy.  It was approximately as follows: 
I am here with you.
I am always with you,
Whether you believe it or not, I love you. 
I have always loved you.
Draw near to Me.
Prophesying, or speaking words and thoughts given by the Lord and directed to the people gathered, is a spiritual gift for the edification, exhortation, encouragement or comfort of God’s Family.  St. Paul says about prophecy in 1 Cor.13:1, 3-   Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. 3…the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.

The prophecy given  was not planned; in fact, Rev. Nancy was a bit surprised when these words came to her.  As the Celebrant that Sunday, I intentionally placed a moment of silence after the Prayer of Thanksgiving to see what the Lord might say to us individually or corporately, silently or aloud.  During these times of silence in the liturgy, listen for the Lord’s voice.  He may not be asking you to speak it to the congregation; then again, maybe He is.  Either way, be attentive with your spiritual ears open.  The Adult Forum is also a good time to share what you hear and discern in our worship.

Father Rob

Science and Religion

Being an engineer with great love for math and science, I very much enjoyed a conference last week sponsored by the Diocese of SC.  All the speakers except one were world-class scientists comfortable with the relationship of science with their Christian Faith. The other speaker was a bishop who is very comfortable with his theology and its relationship with the sciences.  These speakers affirmed the understanding that the Lord is the master engineer, biologist, physicist and mathematician, and that there is not a conflict between His science and the Christian Faith.
 
Science intellectually attempts to answer the “how” questions of the universe; Christianity as a religion based on revelation from God gives us the “why” of the universe.  The synergy between science and the Christian Faith wonderfully reveal the workings of God’s world to us.
 
What I gained most from this conference, however, was a better understanding of a different sort of religion, Scientism. The core belief of Scientism is that science can explain the world without belief in the creating and sustaining hand of God.  I learned that Scientism requires far more faith than I can muster.                                                                                                                 Rob+