Monday, 8 February 2010

An Anglican Discovers the Gospel

"While the World is a beautiful place, I have seen enough of it to believe there is something very very wrong. As I grow older and better understand myself, I also realized that I am no better than the World around me.

In a world of radical evil in every direction, the only thing that can expunge that evil is blood atonement provided by an innocent.

We are fortunate in that God has chosen to expunge that evil by his own blood, in a horrible humiliating death upon the Cross.

Without the centrality of this Gospel, all Christianity is pietistic, and the pietist can pick his poison. The pietist can:

-buy an indulgence, attend a Latin daily Mass, and shop for every trinket Mother Angelica sells

-sell your car, cut off the electric, and grow a beard

-move to the desert, learn the Jesus prayer, and fast on raw vegetables

-Stop drinking and smoking, quit dancing, comb your hair like a helmet, and litter the countryside with Bible tracts thrown from your car window

-Focus on earthly justice for any of the oppressed nations or classes du jour

None of these practices are bad things, dependent upon ones individual circumstance (Except perhaps the littering). While I personally did not try them all, I always looked for something to do. However, none of these things will ever save us. Before my thick head finally got the Gospel, my experience with Christianity was a seesaw from enthusiasm/Pharisaic to depression/despair. Perhaps ironically, I first heard the Gospel in a way I could understand it from Lutherans; not Anglicans (Thank you Todd Wilken and Issues, etc. You changed my life forever)"

Read the whole reflection over at 'The River Thames Beach Party' by clicking on the post title. Have a look around while you're there, there is much of value for Lutherans in the classical Anglican tradition. Meantime, I have a widget linking to 'Issues Etc.', the Lutheran radio program from the US that was instrumental in the conversion of the author of the above words, in the right-hand column.

PS Thanks to the author, Richard, for kindly allowing me to post this excerpt from his longer reflection here at the old manse.


Matthias said...

Thanks for this Pastor. Interesting Francis Schaeffer said the same in different words in that true spirituality is not a checklist of what taboos one avoids after conversion eg:
dancing,smoking and alcohol. (Are these not in the same vain as those mentioned by this writer?)but rathera relatonship with the Living God through Christ's Death-the centrality of the Gospel
Indulgences? were they not being talked about at WYD in Sydney?

acroamaticus said...

Yes, indeed Matthias, an indulgence was attached to World Youth Day, as also to visitors to Rome in the Jubilee year of 2000 (a revival of a medieval tradition) and the re3cent tour of England by St Therese's relics. In fact, the decade since the signing of the "Joint Agreement on the Doctrine of Justification" by the Lutheran World Federation and Rome has witnessed a revival of indulgences...Go figure!

The Midland Agrarian said...

Thank you for the kind words Pastor.Glad to find your site, You have a very thoughtful and excellent weblog here, and I will look forward to reading more.


Eric said...

Greetings! I am one of the authors over at the 'River Thames Beach Party' and have stumbled onto your blog through Richard's lovely reflection. I just wanted to say "hey" and have enjoyed your blog from what I've seen so far.

acroamaticus said...

Thanks Richard and Eric for stopping by the Old Manse. Always happy to have some Anglicans visit!

Matthias said...

Tetzel's ghost must be laughing but wait what is that other apparition behind him ? It's Luther reminding us of the dream he had where satan came and showed Luther all of his sins . He says agin what eh said to satan
the only indulgence i will do today is to mention that my dear old Mum was a Sydney Anglican who taught me to love the hymns of the "English Church',and to welcome Richard and Eric to Australian cyberspace