Monday, August 25, 2014

FW: "The church is patient. It can wait. For it has a future."




Feed: Mercy Journeys with Pastor Harrison
Posted on: Monday, August 25, 2014 9:20 AM
Author: Rev. Matt Harrison
Subject: "The church is patient. It can wait. For it has a future."


It is certainly no accident that almost all leaders of the ecumenical movement came from this youth movement [i.e. SCM]. These "movements" belong to the shape of church history in our century. In them lives, alongside the genuine Christian faith, the enthusiasm and chiliasm of Pietism and Methodism, as it was still alive around the turn of the century. Enthusiasm does not understand the objective means of grace of word and sacraments. This is why these circles could so quickly exchange their bible faith for a modern theology for which the Scripture was no longer simply God's word. This explains the enthusiastic urging of communion fellowship even where the sacrament was understood totally differently. Enthusiasm does not understand the dogma of the church. How can there be unchanging doctrine that remains the same across all the centuries? The truth is for the church "the faith, once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). Even for Rome the revelation of doctrine is ended with the death of the last apostle. Enthusiasm, however, searches for a truth that will be revealed first in the future, when the Christians or churches gather around the Scripture and the Holy Spirit then must work the great miracle to let new truths break forth from his word, to use the words of the preacher of the Pilgrims. It is characteristic of all these circles to think that the essence of baptism, the essence of the Lord's Supper will first be understood in the future, that it must be possible to go beyond the petrified frontlines of the confessions to know the full truth, of which each only sees a part. In fact, perhaps first the "young" churches will manage to do what the old ones were unable to do: to find the truth in which Zwingli and Luther, Rome and the Baptists are one. This explains the urging of discussions, conversations, conferences. The unity of the true church is founded on the truth that is already there. Enthusiasm seeks the unity in a truth that has not been found yet. The church teaches. The sect discusses. The church is patient. It can wait. For it has a future. The sect is impatient. It must have it all quickly, if possible find a new doctrine of the Lord's Supper on a conference lasting two weeks. The sect cannot wait. For it has no future, although it always talks about the future.




[1] John Robinson 1575-1625. W.H. Burgess, John Robinson: Pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers (Londom: Williams & Norgate, 1920), p. 240.

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