what is amazing about the liberals in the Anglican Communion is that, despite our abundantly clear talk, they still don’t understand our position. It must be that they don’t understand because no-one, surely, could be so dishonest as to deliberately misrepresent what their opponent is saying?
Thing is, that becomes a bit hard to believe when the person talking nonsense is the Primate of Canada, Andrew Hutchison
Here’s his blog piece from today.
I am going to a meeting with a gospel of hope and a preferential option for the poor and we are debating who is in and whom we are going to keep out. I have been at this long enough to know that it never boils down to one simple question. Meetings like this are filled with all manner of ego, authority and power but as we gather and are preparing to begin, that endless stream of humanity that I saw on my way haunts my memory. I wish we were dealing with what difference a gospel of hope could make in their lives, rather than worrying about strategies for the Primates and the politics that are an inevitable part of such gatherings. Please remember to pray for my brothers and sister who share in these meetings in the next few days. There is a huge amount at stake and the world needs to hear the good news again – that the gospel does not say God so loved the Church – rather it says God so loved the world!
This is a great example of both abuse of and total avoidance of what the bible says. Consider his first statement about “a gospel of hope”. Notice how Hutchison uses those words in a completely different way to the Bible. For Hutchison, “hope” is about “a preferential option for the poor” (particularly those in Tanzania who he spends a whole paragraph describing in his post). In the Bible, hope and poverty are considered completely differently:
Colossians 1:3 We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the saints. 5 Your faith and love have arisen from the hope laid up for you in heaven, which you have heard about in the message of truth, the gospel.
Simply put, the “gospel of hope” in the Bible is nothing to do with alleviation of poverty. It is about a certainty of an eternal future. Why is that eternal future so important? Well, Paul goes on to explain:
Colossians 1:21 And you were at one time strangers and enemies in your minds as expressed through your evil deeds, 22 but now he has reconciled you by his physical body through death to present you holy, without blemish, and blameless before him 23 if indeed you remain in the faith, established and firm, without shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has also been preached in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become its servant.
The Christian hope is that whereas we used to be stangers and enemies of Christ (as the context makes clear) we are now reconciled to God by His death on the Cross. We are now considered to be holy, without blemish and blameless. What must we do? Simply “remain in the faith” – that is, just keep trusting Jesus who has done everything for us to make us right before God.
As Paul puts its, we should continue, “without shifting from the hope of the gospel you heard”.
But, Hutchison seems to have another gospel – one that’s not about presenting us as holy, without blemish and blameless before God but about the here and now.
And that’s why we worry so much about these things. Because unrepentant homosexual practice, the Bible is clear, is a bar to entry into that saving hope (just as other blatant unrepentant sin is) (1Cor. 6:9; Jude 1:7 etc). Hutchison, and so many like him, ignore the real gospel and, to compound their error, then encourage people in activity that scripture tells us is a bar to entry into that gospel hope.
And, to make it worse, he then butchers the words of Jesus Himself (not that other scripture is less authoritative):
There is a huge amount at stake and the world needs to hear the good news again – that the gospel does not say God so loved the Church – rather it says God so loved the world!
There is “a huge amount at stake” – as John 3:16 (which Hutchison has so abused) makes abundantly clear.
John 3:16 For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone would pursue the United Nations Millenium Development Goals.
whoops, no, hang on a minute – I think that’s wrong.
*flicks through bible*
John 3:16 For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
That’s the gospel, Hutchison.
As someone once said:
John 3:10 Jesus answered, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you don’t understand these things? 11 I tell you the solemn truth, we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony.