Monday, 18 May 2009

(The Priests) Were Worthless Men. They Did Not Know The LORD.

To my Anglican friends, I would commend yesterday's sermon from Edson Baptist Church. Pastor Terry Stauffer's focus was not on the current troubles in the Anglican communion, but I certainly saw relevance in the passage selected, 1 Samuel 3.

From 1 Samuel chapter 3:
Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the LORD.(v 12, ESV)

Now Eli was very old, and he kept hearing all that his sons were doing to all Israel...
...And he said to them, "Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the LORD spreading abroad. If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?" But they would not listen to the voice of their father...(22a, 23-25a)

And there came a man of God to Eli and said to him...
but now the LORD declares: 'Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house...
...And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever.(27a, 30b-31a, 35)

Read the entire passage here

The first problem was that the priests did not know the Lord - a problem in many liberal, or should I say apostate, churches today. Therefore the things of God, His glory and His commands, are treated with disdain.

But God will not tolerate this forever. I believe He will, "remove their lampstands" so to speak, and He will raise up faithful followers, those who will adhere to His teachings and stand for His truth. I hope this is an encouragement to my friends in the Anglican Network in Canada. I believe the unfaithful will decline and the faithful will increase. (And frankly, I don't think you need to hold on to your buildings and property to do so, if you can forgive this personal comment, but that's another issue.) It may not seem so, in the midst of the battles in which you are now engaged, but God has promised to honour those who honour Him, and, in His time, His promises will not fail.

I also see relevance in this passage to those who believe they should remain in parishes or dioceses in the ACoC where falsehood is being accepted as truth. Eli scolded his sons, but effectively did nothing about their behaviour, and as a result, he bore the brunt of God's anger. Blame was laid at his feet. It was his house that was cut off forever.

One can talk for only so long. There comes a point when one must actually do something.

Take Care


Alice C. Linsley said...

John, this reminds me of 2 Chronicles 15:3 which says that before King Asa's reforms there was no teacher-priest in Judah. There are times of drought when it comes to hearing the Word and then there are times of reform. Let's pray that the newly constituted Anglican Church in North America will mark a time of reform.

John K said...

Indeed. Imagine how a believer must have felt in those days -- completely alone and abandoned, humanly speaking. But we can look back in confidence knowing that God did not allow the extinction of His people then, nor will He now, no matter how it appears to us when we see what is happening in the world and in some churches.