Submitting to one another (Ephesians 5:21)

“Let’s face it: I’m a 21st century Westerner. More than that, I’m an Australian. So naturally, I have a deeply ingrained, culturally conditioned reaction against authority and ordered relationships.

This anti-authoritarian reflex is part of my cultural heritage. The generation before mine was a generation of social revolutionaries, overturning all kinds of social norms in the name of justice, liberty, and equality. Going back a few centuries, my cultural ancestors were convicts – underdogs chained up and transported here by the British Empire for all sorts of misdemeanours: political insurrection, stealing handkerchiefs, etc., etc.

This heritage has made a deep impact on me. Instinctively, I don’t like ordered relationships. I want to sit in the front seat of a taxi next to the driver, not in the back like Lord Muck as if I’ve got tickets on myself. I’m uncomfortable with people making something of me just because of my position or status. I run away screaming when people use titles like ‘Reverend‘ and ‘Doctor’ (well, not literally, but at least this is what I’m doing on the inside). I feel the Aussie reflex to cut down the ‘tall poppies’, to make sure everyone’s on the same level. …”

The Rev. Dr. Lionel Windsor helps unpack Ephesians 5:21. Take the time to read or listen – at Forget the Channel.

Thank God for ordinary pastors

“The noble task of the ordinary Christian minister is essential for the future health of the churches which make up the Anglican Diocese of Sydney. Yet challenges to the ordinary Christian ministry abound!

The world around us seems to be spinning away from its Christian moorings at a rapid rate, the frailty of the flesh and the failure of leaders in the church saddens us all too regularly, and the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, as he has always done – crouching even at the rectory door. …”

– Moore College’s Dr. Mark Earngey writes to encourage us to be thankful for ordinary pastors – and to pray for more of them. At The Australian Church Record.

Christian singing: Why and how? (Ephesians 5:19–20)

“Christian music is one of the most powerful and enduring ways to teach theology. Singing gets under our skin and into our souls. So the words really matter, at a detailed level. We repeat those words again and again and learn to love them. …”

– Lionel Windsor continues on his journey through Ephesians and encourages us to think about what we are doing (and not doing) when we sing in church. Read or listen at Forget the Channel.

Marriage motions passed as General Synod support questioned

“If we abandon God’s Word we have nothing to offer the world. That is why this motion is before you tonight,” said the Dean of Sydney Kanishka Raffel as he introduced one of the key motions of the 2019 Synod, one which he said he moved ‘with a heavy heart’.

“My heaviness of heart is because the motion before you addresses not a departure from God’s word in the laws of the land but a departure from God’s word that is being promoted by Bishops and Synods in our Church.” Dean Raffel said. “There is one God and Father of us all, one Lord, one faith, and one baptism – but Bishops and Synods in our church nationally, risk rending the fabric of our fellowship by promoting a theology of marriage that is contrary to Scripture.”

The motion followed the Archbishop’s Presidential Address where he spoke of at least two Dioceses pushing to bless same-sex relationships. A ten-point motion, seconded by Bishop Michael Stead, reaffirmed man/woman marriage as the doctrine of scripture and of the Anglican Church, declared that blessings or affirmations of same-sex marriage are contrary to scripture and called for action where the doctrine was not being upheld.…

Read the full report by Russell Powell at Anglican Media Sydney.

The Stingy Religious?

“According to a highly publicised 2015 paper in Current Biology, children who have been brought up religiously are less generous than their religion-free peers.

The good news, if you can call it that, is that only in the last couple of months and some four years after the event, it’s now reported in Psychology Today that the paper has been formally retracted …”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Gordon Cheng points us to the Bible’s teaching on generosity.

The Bible and Same-Sex Marriage: An Overview from Ridley College

“Our purpose in writing this brief letter is to support our fellow Anglicans in wrestling with this issue by offering a summary of the scholarly discussion over what the Bible teaches on homosexuality, and an explanation for why we believe the traditional path on marriage and sexuality is the one that Christ is calling us to take.”

– Ridley College, Melbourne, has issued an open letter affirming the Biblical doctrine of marriage.

As David Ould notes, this is a significant contribution to the conversation among Australian Anglicans, especially in the light of the unilateral action of the Diocese of Wangaratta.

What do you want to become? (Ephesians 5:5–7)

“What do you want to become? When you close your eyes and picture yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, what will you have become? What do you hope for, pray for, and plan for? …”

Don’t be deceived, Lionel Windsor at Moore College has some encouragement for you from God’s word.

False Comfort: The Treacherous Gospel of Wrathless Universalism

“An increasing number of Christian books, podcasts and blog posts tell us that we shouldn’t believe in a God who judges and punishes sinners – especially on the Cross of Jesus or eternally in Hell. Sooner or later, they assure us, everybody will be saved.

Here are 10 questions to ask when you encounter such theology …”

– Here’s a helpful post by Andrew Moody on a very sobering topic, at The Gospel Coalition Australia.

Holy talk (Ephesians 5:3–4)

“Human beings are social creatures. We need to belong. One of the most obvious ways we do that is by the way we speak. Whenever we speak, in all sorts of small ways, we’re signalling to others how and where we belong. Often our nationality, our social class (or our aspirations!), our particular generation, our allegiances, influences, and personalities are all revealed when we speak.”

– As he continues his reflections on the Letter to the Ephesians, Moore College’s Dr. Lionel Windsor turns to chapter 5, and the complete inappropriateness of pornolalia.

Read or listen here.

Dean of Sydney and GAFCON Australia react to the Wangaratta same-sex blessing vote

At today’s The Pastor’s Heart, Dominic Steele speaks with the Dean of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, about the decision of the Diocese of Wangaratta to reject the Biblical doctrine of marriage.

See also:

Statement from Gafcon Australia – 9 September 2019

The Board of Gafcon Australia expresses its dismay over the decision of Synod of the Diocese of Wangaratta to make provision for the blessing of same-sex marriages. We believe this has torn the fabric of our communion within the Anglican Church of Australia.

This decision is contrary to the teaching of Scripture about the nature of human sexuality and marriage. It is also contrary to the doctrinal position of the Anglican Church of Australia. General Synod has repeatedly affirmed that marriage is a lifelong exclusive union between a man and a woman. The Bible does not allow the blessing of any sexual relationship which is not marriage between a man and a woman.

Contrary to the views expressed by Bishop Parkes, the Anglican Church of Australia has always been a church that confesses its faith. Every deacon, priest and bishop has declared their faith and pledged their commitment to our doctrine at their ordination. This confession includes adherence to the Holy Scriptures, the Creeds, the Book of Common Prayer and the 39 Articles of Religion. Bishops are required to “correct and set aside teaching that is contrary to the mind of Christ”.

The resolution in Wangaratta is emblematic of a move in the Anglican Church of Australia away from our doctrine. Several Synods have now passed motions calling for services of blessings of same-sex marriage. Moreover, the Synod of the Diocese of Grafton showed its theological drift in June this year, by voting against affirming “the authorised standard of worship and doctrine of the Anglican Church of Australia as set out in the Fundamental Declarations and Ruling Principles of the Constitution.”

We therefore extend an invitation to any member of the Anglican Church of Australia, including those in the Dioceses of Wangaratta and Grafton, who are troubled by these developments, to contact Gafcon Australia atinfo@gafconaustralia.org or any of the Board members listed below.

Gafcon Australia is a growing movement of Anglicans across the breadth of the Australian Church, who uphold and promote orthodox, biblical teaching. Our aim is to provide mutual encouragement, fellowship and support for those who are committed to the same, both those who feel out of step with their Bishop and/or Synod, and those who are committed to working within the Anglican Church of Australia for biblical faithfulness. We are glad to affirm our commitment to the doctrine and order of the Anglican Church of Australia as it has been handed down to us. For more information see www.gafconaustralia.org

Gafcon Australia Board

The Rt Rev Dr Richard Condie (Chair), Tasmania; the Most Rev Dr Glenn Davies (Deputy Chair), Sydney; the Rev Stephen Carnaby, Tasmania; Mr Philip Gerber, Sydney; the Rev Paul Hunt, Adelaide; the Rev Joshua Kuswadi, NT; Mrs Fiona McLean, Melbourne; the Very Rev Kanishka Raffel, Sydney; the Rev Trevor Saggers, North Queensland; Dr Laurie Scandrett, Sydney; Dr Claire Smith, Sydney; the Rev Peter Smith, Perth.

– Source: GAFCON Australia.

Australian Church Record Journal for Spring 2019 now out

Download your copy of the latest Australian Church Record Journal for Spring 2019 here.

Contents:

Thank God for Ordinary Pastors
Mark Earngey

Wangaratta Defies National Church
Kanishka Raffel

The Opened Eyes of Wilberforce
David Ould

Evangelism in the Upper Mountains
Jon Guyer

Gospel Growth through ANeW
Sam Broadfoot

New Life in an Ancient Parish?
Ben Wilkinson

Contending side by side
Tom Habib

Some Observations for Ordinary Pastoral Ministry
Archie Poulos

The Christian and His Worship
D. Broughton Knox.

Costi Hinn shares his story of God, Greed and the Prosperity Gospel

“Collin Hansen interviews Benny Hinn’s nephew Costi about growing up believing the prosperity gospel and how he came to see it as incompatible with the Bible.

For Costi Hinn, the prosperity gospel is family business. He worked for his dad and also his famous uncle Benny…”

– A fascinating interview at The Gospel Coalition.

Why the Physical Earth matters to God

“The grandeur and intricacies of the physical earth are breathtaking. God did not hold back when he made the world with its beauty, interdependence, and complexity. It is not a temporary commodity; it is a masterpiece. It is not surprising, therefore, that God is concerned about what happens to the earth. He is not going to give up on it because of the introduction of sin. He will not allow Satan to have the final word. It is God’s earth, and the Bible tells us that he intends to renew it.

Sadly, many Christians do not share God’s commitment to the physical world. …”

– Moore College graduate, and Principal of Christ College Sydney, Ian Smith, writes at the Crossway blog.

Ian has recently written Not Home Yet: How the Renewal of the Earth Fits into God’s Plan for the World. (Available from Reformers Bookshop.)

See also this Interview posted by Reformers.

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