Thursday 3 January 2019

At this time of the year two of the saddest words of the English language are used; namely if only. We look back on some of the events and occasions and in the gift of hind sight realise the opportunities we messed up on and how things could have made such a difference,…if only we had etc. I wonder if our Church leaders feel that way when they look at the state of Christianity in the country today.

The Church in this country, is losing members almost weekly, and is failing to be of any interest or relevance to the under 50 age ranges. This should give all sincere Christians real concern, and as we enter a new year reflect on the challenges facing the Churches, especially the Church of England.

The foundation of the Church is built on the teaching of the apostles. However unpleasant it may be to accept, we are failing God, Jesus, the saints down the ages and the Church we called to serve and save by failing to maintain that teaching.

In every business the owners, or the company which owns, want to promote the product they have to the best advantage. When one considers the success of just two outstanding British companies such as John Lewis and Marks & Spencer, the application of the desire for perfection in every aspect of their business, promotion, caring for customer satisfaction by offering what is sought, and the loyalty of staff, the reason for such success is obvious; commitment to the purpose of their business. Bankruptcy does not face them.

The Church is engaged on the Lord’s business and we should show similar devotion rather than appear to be striving for bankruptcy. Jesus said, ‘I will build my Church’, but it seems as if those within are saying and we will knock it down.

Can anyone imagine a manager in a secular business being allowed to tell customers not to believe the firm’s
advertising because it wasn’t true, or the goods being offered were faulty; he would be dismissed forthwith. Would a branch manager be allowed to sell goods from a rival or be indifferent as to whether customers attended his branch?

Such comparisons may appear frivolous to some people, but just take some similar situations to those displayed by those engaged in the Lord’s business.

The purpose of the Church is to offer and present the teaching of the Apostles, which we know as the New Testament. This tells us God made a man and then woman to be man’s companion, equal in every way but different in style. But our bishops tell us God got it wrong, so we must offer services to change the gender of people and restyle them.

In addition, God was wrong to suggest a man must only marry a woman, it was perfectly good for it to be another man. Furthermore, as managers we must not offer just the product we are in business for, but also what people in opposition to us would like others to have. If we go bankrupt, we can always apply for work in their occupations.

Whilst our branches should be clean and appealing, letting people know what is on offer week by week, and then having that offering carefully presented with enthusiasm and purpose to make the people want to come to us regularly to be served, as long as the places are opened so people can please themselves when they come and there are special offers such as baptisms and weddings and transgender services to be had, all will be well.

So, coming back to reality, we should never suggest the Bible has got things wrong; we must maintain the Bible is the inspired, authoritative, unbreakable, fully trustworthy Word of God, and stop trying to please people in order to be accepted.

God chose 40 men of different occupations and characters and over many years inspired them by His Spirit to write all He wanted people to know and believe and practise. They did not know each other or what others were writing. There are so many interlinked stories yet there was no contradiction on what was collectively written; not even the most sophisticated computer could do that.

The Church has thrown out the Bible and in doing so the country has lost its influence, guidance and standards with the consequence the young are growing up not knowing right from wrong.

In recent times the leaders of the Church have made one concession after another to meet the agenda of the LGBT activists, who will never be satisfied until everybody not only accepts their agenda but approves of it. How individual people live is a personal matter for each person, God gave us free will and we place ourselves in His hands; we don’t bear personal animosity, but we do resent the provocative acts of the activists who have caused so much hurt in pursuit of their agenda, causing people to be deprived of their occupation, just for having a different belief.

If you are not a (true) believer these things may not matter to you, indeed may seem trivial to mention, but to those who have chosen to enter a preaching ministry it is quite out of order to support, and even more so to practise. If we are to be the witnesses for Jesus, we must tell positively what Jesus stated and commanded.

Today there are many attacks on the truth of the Bible. The Bible is not the book of the month; it is the unchanging book of the ages. The early Church never questioned it, they just preached it. Can you imagine a Muslim cleric ever questioning the Koran?

If the Church is to survive in any meaningful way it is down to the ordinary Church members, as there is now no one on the national scene with any notable charisma or the will and courage to speak out.

I close with this prayer.
God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit upon the Church in the burning fire of your love; grant that your people maybe fervent in the fellowship of the gospel that, always abiding in you they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service. Defend your Church from all false teaching and give to your people knowledge of your truth that we may enjoy eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.

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