bishop bena Feb 2018
ONE MORE STEP TOWARD A BIBLICAL CHURCH
Bishop David Bena
Unless you've been under a rock since you were born, you are aware that we have for the last seventy years (since the end of WW2) been going through a great cultural change, probably the greatest change since the industrial revolution. These cultural changes have greatly effected the Church Universal. Some groups have happily embraced cultural change at the expense of bible truth, some have slowly caved to the avalanche of cultural change; some have tried very hard to stand for biblical truth and lifestyle, and some have tried to abandon modern society altogether.
Anglicans in America have been hit hard. Since, in my opinion, The Episcopal Church has always tended toward an avant garde position on things cultural, this group was particularly hard hit. In my lifetime, I have seen doctrinal positions cast into doubt (Trinity, Virgin Birth, substitutionary atonement, bodily resurrection of Jesus, etc). I have also seen traditional sexual mores cast aside by church legislation. It's been a tough time for those of us "trying hard to stand for biblical truth and lifestyle." Attempting to be as non-judgmental as possible due to the realization of our own sinfulness, we stood for Biblical Truth and Lifestyle even as The Episcopal Church culture continued to swing wildly away from an honest and intellectual view of Scripture and morals. Eventually we found it necessary to usher in a more conservative brand of Anglicanism in America. And that has been a wonderful gift from God.
Now that we don't have to argue among ourselves about the doctrinal issues I mentioned above, and since we don't have to argue among ourselves about what God's ideal is for marriage and sexual behavior, we seem to find ourselves arguing about things that used to divide us - predestination vs free will, high church vs low church, all male priesthood vs male/female priesthood, and now, use of charismatic gifts vs cessationism.
Brothers and sisters, CANA was built to be a refuge for those who wished to stand for biblical truth and still remain thoroughly Anglican. As part of ACNA, we all wish to share the Gospel Truth of Jesus in America and grow as a biblical church (Romans 1:16 - "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel. for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first, but also to the Greek." ).
My advice? Now that we're free from a seemingly apostate church, let's give each other charity as we disagree with each other from time to time. The things we are arguing about now? I do not believe they effect one's salvation. You may disagree with this, but an examination of the Bible will show that we are arguing among ourselves about non-salvation issues these days.
We are One in Jesus now. Let's show it by rallying around Him and gifting one another with charity, God's gift for each of us. As we move into the Lenten season, may we humble ourselves and our attitudes, asking God's forgiveness of our sins and extending forgiveness to those brothers and sisters with whom we may not be in full agreement as to just how we are to live the Gospel in our churches, homes, and environment. That is my prayer for you, beloved.