Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Michael Adee's question about last words and following Jesus 1
Some of the last words spoken by a once vibrant Christianity in seventeenth century Japan were spoken from crosses placed far enough into the sea that at tide time the one on the cross would suffer from the sea as will as the cross.
Truly, words spoken for Jesus Christ are important to the whole Church. Although they may not always be positive about the immediate future they will always be enfolded into the faithfulness of Jesus Christ toward his Church.
An essay on the More Light Presbyterian Site demeans the words of one pastor while upholding the words of another. Michael Adee of more light has quoted Rev. Ron Scates of Highland Park Presbyterian Church and Rev. Kathy Collier of First Presbyterian of Forney about the vote on amendment B taken in the Grace Presbytery meeting.
In the article that Adee is quoting from, the reporter, Sam Hodges, writes that Collier “supported the change, saying it was past time for the denomination to accept qualified pastoral candidates regardless of their sexual orientation.
'This is a call from God for us to welcome all of God's children,' she said after the vote.”
The reporter also quotes Scates, “The P.C. (U.S.A.) is just one symptom of the greater demise of the American church, which has lost its biblical moorings."
Hodges continues, “Scates added that he's confident the language will not be changed in this national vote, but he wasn't so sure about the next time.”
‘It may pass, in which case you're going to see the P.C. (U.S.A.) fly apart,’ he said.”
Adee, demeaning the words of Scates with a statement writes, "I would not recommend Scates' picture of the Church to an evangelism committee working on outreach in their community, to a confirmation class or youth group, or frankly consider it a life-giving one for my own heart and soul."
He goes on to ask the question, “Based upon these 2 statements and their connotations which are only snapshots, of course, which picture of God, faith and the Church, essentially of Christianity, do you want to prevail? Which picture do you want to be "the last word" about what it means to be Presbyterian, to be Christian, to be a follower of Christ?”
Interesting question. Undoubtedly the most important question that can be asked now or ever of Christians. Strange, all I can think of at the moment are the words of Jesus, the Lord of the church, “Be faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10b)
So let me rephrase Jesus' words so that it will answer that question. Being Presbyterian (hopefully), Christian and a follower of Jesus Christ, means being faithful to Jesus Christ even unto death.
And to go further being faithful to Jesus Christ means that sometimes Christians will need to be faithful when everything is flying apart, when evil seems to have taken the day, when crosses are washed with sea water.
There is another part of Adee's essay I will address perhaps in the next day--about loving God.