The Anglican Church of teh Holy Trinity uses this mission statement month-after-month in our newsletters and elsewhere. This, statement suggests that we (the Body of Christ in this place) are a beacon (the light of Christ) shining into dark places (into the world around us steeped in sin and darkness), calling others to something better, which is a new life in Christ. Our mission statement captures the Gospel Imperative of Matthew 28:19,20 (the Great Commission)- Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Through the “Good News” we bear and the Godly lives we live, we permeate our culture as a beacon of hope to a perishing world, for Christ is this world’s only hope. This is the message we project with our mission statement, and the message has probably never been more needed than in these times of moral and spiritual disarray.
If we are going to be effective at being Christ to the world around us, we need to understand it. Edwin Lutzer in his book, The Church in Babylon, outlines some of the sources of the moral and spiritual disarray we have inherited:
· The bitter fruit of the sexual revolution- From a Christian perspective on sexuality, Western Civilization is in open rebellion. Like many revolutions, there are consequences and causalities, such as stable biological families, the sacredness of life both born and pre-born, the divine beauty and integrity of life-long, monogamous marital relationships, the virtues of a life sacrificially lived for others rather than for instant self-gratification, and then finally, loss of God’s moral absolutes in the face of man-made relativism.
· The bitter fruit of the technology revolution- Television and instant media have proven to be allies the sexual revolution. Technology has been a blessing in so many ways, but it requires the exercise of Godly virtues to counter its poisonous fruit.
· The bitter fruit of the anti-Christian revolution- Secularism has grown intolerant of the Christian worldview. Alasdair MacIntyre, a moral philosopher who captured my attention back in my seminary days, writes in his book, After Virtue, that Western Civilization has lost its ethical and virtuous moorings. It is up to the Church to carry the virtues of Godly living through these spiritually dark times and throw a lifeline to those who want to join us.
To God be the Glory, Father Rob