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"Vision 2019 is an opportunity to say 'here's what I think our church needs to be about.'"
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Message from Glen, Diocese of Yukon

I have been watching, reading and reflecting on most of the responses to this all important question, and have noticed many similar hopes for our future.  The desire for more youth, the hope for unity, and the greater acceptance of all people, are all tops on many lists.  There are others but it’s these social agendas which are so prevalent in many ‘visions’, that I wish to address.

As a church what is our mission?  Are we fighting to end the horrors of AIDS?  Are we trying to looking to erase atrocities happening to women in other countries?  Are we hoping to be inclusive of everyone and anyone’s behaviours as long as they are ‘good’ people?  Or is it having lots of potlucks, fundraisers, soup kitchens, or saving the planet?  We in the Anglican Church of Canada have lost focus!  Don’t get me wrong, all these missions are well intentioned and are worthy causes for any Christian…however, where is the Bible…where is Jesus Christ?

The social ills of society, the newest ’cause’, or latest segregation, is always just around the corner; Jesus himself said, “The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.” And it’s not just the poor; all these other concerns will always be there also.  Until Jesus comes again, they will be with us.  Why??  Because we are sinful beings, human brokenness will continue to cause heartache and injustice somewhere.  With our focus increasingly on the poor (and other concerns), we are LOSING JESUS!!

The reality the Anglican Church of Canada is facing is that more of society is finding their spiritual needs met in these ‘good work’ causes.  That means less and less are finding their spiritual needs met by Jesus Christ.  We are becoming merely a social club with a social agenda (or as I previously said multiple agendas).  And I hate to say it, there is already a multitude of organizations with social agendas doing the same thing; and the church is becoming simply one in a crowd.

What makes us unique is what we need to focus on.  Jesus Christ is what makes us unique!  But where is He?  Sure we remember Jesus in our Sunday worship services, but where is Jesus in our communities?  Heaven forbid we mention God or worse, Jesus, outside our church buildings…it’s not politically correct, we may offend somebody!

My vision for the future of the Anglican Church is one where we are not afraid to speak out about being a Christian, where we are not anxious about living out our faith.  My vision is being a church that understands and believes in Biblical truth, and one that teaches others everywhere that same truth.  My vision is being a church who knows it is by the death and resurrection of Jesus that we are saved, not by good works; it is only this knowledge of our salvation, which compels us to doing good works.

My vision is certainly NOT intended to say we forget the concerns of society, but instead to remember we need to address good works proudly in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.  I believe if we do this, just like the early Christians who were willing to be persecuted for their faith, people will see what makes us unique is what makes us worth following!

In short, any club can feed and cloth the poor, but a Christian church does the same in the name of Jesus Christ.  Is our future as a club or a church?

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3 Responses to “Glen, Diocese of Yukon”

  1. Frank Wirrell says:

    Until we have a Primate and a House of Bishops that accept the authority of God’s word and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ the church will continue in its freefall into apostasy and irrelevance. It will be nothing more than a club as you have stated.

    You are quite correct in stating we are called to preach Christ and Him crucified. Currently the emphasis is on being politically correct by condoning sin and seeking to “bless” it – something that is totally impossible.

  2. David, Diocese of Yukon in Alaska says:

    Very good Glen. You are so correct! Christian doctrine matters because doctrine is Christian teaching and that teaching is about the Truth – Jesus is the Truth. This is what our Apostolic Faith says – but are we listening?
    As a litmus about where we stand today … consider how much attention is directed at the social causes (as important as they are) but ask Anglicans today what the Solemn Declaration 1893 says and what it means and I’ll bet you get a blank stare.
    Let’s not to forget the warning St. Paul offered in 2 Timothy 3:1ff. “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come … holding the form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these … always learning and never able to come the knowledge of the truth.” And then consider St. Paul’s charge then to Timothy in the next chapter, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Jesus Christ, who is to judge the living and the dead … Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires…”.
    Doctrine matters and if we fail to grasp that first, then all our good works – as though they can stand alone with or without Christ – will amount to rubbish in comparison with the power of the Gospel which is ours in Christ to tell the world about.

  3. Bill; Pitt Meadows, BC says:

    It seems to me, Glen, that your posting charts the boundaries of the divide that bedevils our church in our culture. On the one side I see Christians who are obsessed with doctrine, virtually to the excusion of all else, and on the other Christians whose faith in God, revealed to us in Jesus, calls them to act within their communities. In each encounter in life we have the choice to listen to the Spirit and act in that moment as Jesus did, or not. Do we trust the Spirit that came upon us at Pentacost and do as that Spirit called the apostles to do, or do we split hairs over the interpretations of church fathers and theologians who have, seemingly, worked mightily over the millenia to take Jesus out of Christianity?

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