Wednesday, July 8, 2015

R.C Sproul Jr. On Chruch Of England Bishop Libby Lane

 Bishop Menees
Over the past several months there have been an increasing number of news reports out of the Church of England that have me unsettled. I read these reports and think of where I was 10- 20 years ago in the Episcopal Church. Today I read an article by Dr. R.C. Sproul who really put words to my thoughts and so I would like to share with you his article: If You Give a Gal a Bishopric… R.C. Sproul, Jr. Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr. teaches at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida where he also serves as a teaching fellow for Ligonier Ministries. He is also the former editor of Tabletalk magazine.

 Dr. R.C Sproul Jr.

"The attempt to change God the Father to God the Mother is full bore idolatry—a syncretism of the spirit of the age. I remember some of the most emotionally powerful moments of worship that I have experienced occurred in a context where there was the least amount of belief.

There was a time in my life when I regularly went to worship at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, a beautiful church building that had this glorious liturgy. And it would be my habit to go there on Sunday morning and to sit in the pew and listen to the music and to work through the liturgy. And then when the pastor got up to preach I also would get up and walk out of the building because I knew what I was going to hear was not going to be faithful to God’s Word. old, but I'm not old enough to remember when the Episcopal Church was a faithful church, generally speaking.

More recently, the Church of England has ordained their very first female Bishop, her name is Libby Lane. Not long after her installation as a bishop, she proposed some significant changes that would take away what yet remains the best part of the church of England: so much of the liturgy that is in the Book of Common Prayer. You see, that is why I loved that worship service, because that Book of Common Prayer was infused with Scripture and infused with sound doctrine even though the people saying it, the ones leading the liturgy, didn't believe it. The actual words were the words of life. But now comes Bishop Lane and she has some changes in mind for the Book of Common Prayer. It is not changing the doctrine of how we have peace with God, it is not changing the doctrine of man, it is not choosing Arminianism over Calvinism, she just wants “a few changes.”

Instead of referring to God the way the Bible does, in masculine language, she would like to see it include some feminine language for who God is—referring to Him as Her, referring to our Heavenly Father as our Heavenly Mother. Now the reasoning is pretty simple; her thought is that this would be more inclusive and make other people feel more welcome because, somehow, referring to God in the masculine is off-putting to a certain class of people. I agree. This class of people, however, are those who do not like God. When we read through the historical accounts of the Old Testament, I’ve often argued that the most frequent sin that we see crop up among God’s people is idolatry. And that idolatry almost always takes the form of syncretism. That’s a big word but is really not that complicated of a concept. Syncretism is the blending together of two things. In this context, the blending together of the worship of the true and living God with the spirit of the age. When the children of Israel start worshiping Baal, they don’t say, “Yesterday we worshipped Yahweh, but this is not going well so let’s worship Baal instead.” Rather, what they did was that they would blend together the qualities, the characteristics, and the liturgies of Baal to mix them with the qualities and characteristics of the true and living God.

Well, that should be instructive to us. The temptation isn’t going to be those who show up and say, “You know, that whole God thing, the whole Trinity thing, let’s try a whole different God.” Rather it is an attempt to redefine and reshape who we think God to be and to do so in a way that accommodates the broader unbelieving culture. That is exactly what we have in this proposal, in this suggestion. If we can take the true and living God and we can reshape Him, remold Him, and in fact rename him, or put Him through the liturgical equivalent of the surgery of Bruce Jenner, we can turn Him into a Her, our God into a goddess. I wish Miss Lane would heed the wisdom of my favorite Anglican, C.S. Lewis. It was Lewis who told us that–recognizing that God in one sense transcends gender, God is not a man–God is so utterly masculine that all of us are feminine in comparison. Masculinity is essential to what God is. That is the reason that God is described to us as our Father, that is the reason His son is called the Son. There is a reality about who He is and we have to hold onto it and not accommodate or mold and shape God into our own image. We have to, being feminine, respond to His leadership. And when God says He is our Father, our calling is to say 'Yes, Father' in return."

1 comment:

underground pewster said...

I don't know how many times it take to recite the Lord's Prayer in order to get the idea that Jesus wants us to pray to the Father. I guess for some it takes a lifetime.