Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Underground Pewster responds to "Canterbury: Repentance And Reformation Before Reconciliation"

Fr. Dale Matson

From The Underground Pewster in response to “Canterbury: Repentance and Reformation before Reconciliation”

“Good points. Let me present a question. Unity in the Church as it now stands appears to mean being able to share the communion cup with those who you see supporting an ‘innovative’ (AKA heretical) Gospel. Is that theologically tenable? I don't think it is, but I will leave it to wiser minds such as yours to spell it out. The "innovator" will claim that his position is Spirit led, not heretical, etc., and therefore those who believe communion has been impaired by those innovations are labeled as the ones who are less than Christian.  A renewal is clearly needed, but Canterbury has not wanted to offend anybody except perhaps the "orthodox" recently. I think any honest attempt by the Church to create unity will have to come out of a search for the truth. I don't see that happening anytime soon. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer reflected on his days at Union Theological Seminary.
" the conflict between determination for truth with all of its consequences and the will for community, the latter prevails. This is characteristic of all American thought, particularly as I have observed it in theology and the church, they do not see the radical claim of truth on the shaping of their lives. Community is therefore formed less on truth than on the spirit of 'fairness'." 
(This sounds like a potential canonical exam question)

If only purity of doctrine could save us. The Law itself couldn’t save us. Having said that however, heretical doctrine could surely damn us. Look at our Christian brethren in the Lutheran Church Missouri Syond and the Wisconsin Synod who are orthodox in their doctrine but don’t share altar and pulpit fellowship with one another. Do we sup with the Big Endians or the Small Endian Lilliputians? How much doctrinal agreement is necessary? What must we agree upon? I hear often that someone is a “Creedal Christian”.  Is it the “I believe” (rite I) or the “We believe” (Rite II) in the Nicene Creed? The Nicene Creed is more than a set of truth statements. It is a mystical document that is confessed with the mouth AND received in the heart by faith.
If God the Holy Spirit is doing a new thing in the Church of Christ, He will not contradict what has already been revealed in Scripture.  Even the Gospel was tested with Scripture by the Bereans. (Act 17:11) Scripture is like a proof set of Johansson gauge blocks where we measure truth, and Tradition is the working set of ‘Jo blocks’. As a journeyman plumber I knew plumb lines did not parse the truth. Reason is intellect informed by God through revelation. Even the contemporary Christian church is a measure of the truth. A province or denomination by itself does not speak for the one holy catholic and apostolic church and has no authority to innovate.

“I think any honest attempt by the Church to create unity will have to come out of a search for the truth.”

I think much of the church has been captured by the spirit of the age. The spirit of the age includes a mixture of individualism (a sense of personal entitlement), feminism, humanism, rationalism, science as religion, anomie, moral relativism, consumerism, and nihilism. These unclean things have crept into the church and were given lodging. They are the ‘legion’ of this age that possesses the church. The bishops did not man the watchtowers and the prophets were afraid to speak. The truth we seek is Jesus the Christ; The Way, The Truth and The Life. It is His church, He is the head, let us not be ashamed to proclaim this. Any organization that does not proclaim this is not a Christian church. 

And yet God’s people remained arrogant. There is no agreement because there is an endemic spirit of confusion. Pilate said, “What is truth?” (John 18:38) Wherever there is evil, there is confusion. There is especially confusion about truth.  And Satan is the author of confusion. Today we are reliving the tower of Babel. It is Babel 2.0. The spirit of the age, I would have to say, this is Satan celebrating the Fat Tuesday of an era before the real season of repentance begins.

I believe God is about to call his church out of captivity. He will gather the scattered denominations together. We are about to awaken from our slumber. I believe we are about to see a huge outpouring of His Spirit. Satan’s preemptive ascendance in our age is a good indicator that God is about to bust a move. God will not be fair. He will be Sovereign and true to His word.
Pax et bonum,

The Underground Pewster has his own blogsite called “Not Another Episcopal Church Blog”


Dale Matson said...

I guess I did not fully answer your question on the previous post. I will comment here. Your question is whether you should accept the cup from Waldo. Fortunately, he does not invalidate the sacrament by his heresy so you still profit from the cup. The irony is that he is taking the sacrament to his own detriment. I commend you for remaining a prophetic voice within TEC.

The Underground Pewster said...

I understand. This unity thing is tough.

The Underground Pewster said...

I just learned a substitute bishop will be present at next month's special service. I guess the Lord saw that I was still troubled.