Of course there is only ONE CHURCH, and that was established by God to commemorate the Crucifixion and unfair death of His Son, Jesus. We know, like any village, there are many houses, all of which the owner’s think their’s is special. Our minds may immediately think of Rome or Canterbury, but there are thousands of churches who believe themselves to be the unique successor to our Saviour.
Even within a church (and it suits me to use Church of Rome as an example) there are hundreds of different groupings of people with beliefs and practices they believe are unique and correct. The Roman Church has both Pentecostal and Evangelical groups that are worldwide, but let us not confuse Roman Evangelism with that of Our Father and His Son. We need to remain faithful to OUR beliefs, shaped by Our God, following and preceding the death of His sinless Son.
There can be good and eatable parts to a ‘bad’ apple! The Anglican Communion News Service published today tells us:
The Bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, Howard Gregory, has called for equal treatment for male and female victims of rape, a clearer definition of rape, and for an end to the exemption that prevents men being charged with raping their wives. He also called for the current legal prohibition against anal sex to be removed.
The Bishop of Burnley in the north-west England diocese of Blackburn, has accused priests of deserting the nation’s poor and working class areas. In a speech at the evangelical New Wine festival, Bishop Philip North told the stories of people who had come to faith through ministry in deprived areas, before saying: “I could tell plenty of stories like that, stories where people from hard backgrounds living in the toughest parts of the country have come to faith in Jesus Christ through passionate and committed Christian ministry which has combined service and proclamation. What worries me though . . . is the stories I cannot tell.”
A new three-part BBC television series exploring pilgrimage will follow seven famous people as they embark on a 15-day pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago in Spain. The Revd Kate Bottley, vicar of Blyth and Scrooby with Ranskill, and Chaplain of North Nottinghamshire College in the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham, is one of those taking part. Bottley became famous in the UK after staring in the Channel Four programme Gogglebox, which looks at how people watch television. She is now a presenter of the popular Songs of Praise television programme and BBC Radio Two’s national Sunday morning early breakfast programme.
The Pope has called for a Forum to that will include discussion of a thesis on the 95 new aspects of evangelism, but we must remember that this is Roman Catholic evangelism, and may have nothing in common with Christian Evangelism, when Christ alone forgives our sin and changes the lives of sinners or brings them healing.
Religion is again gaining the headlines. Keep praying and labouring where God has placed you. Another man’s pasture may LOOK better than where God has placed you, but HE knows HIS plans for your future and the sheep he has given to you for safe-keeping till the day Christ’s return. ++