Schismatic Leader speaks of the Prayer of Jesus: “That ALL may be One”.

Here on Feedspot, we have the incredible message of a dedicated schismatic – the secretary of the separatist ‘Anglican Church’ of the GAFCON, the Rt. Reverend Peter Jensen (former Archbishop of Sydney), enunciating the message of Jesus to His disciples. He gives the three principles of Jesus last discourse; (1) Knowing Christ; (2) Believing in Christ (who is the ‘Word-Made Flesh), and (3) Maintaining the Unity of the Body of Christ, the Church.

The first 2 principles, knowing and believing in Jesus Christ are, of course, rooted in the fundamental realities of the Christian Faith. Since the Incarnation of Jesus as ‘THE WORD’ one needs to understand that the words in the Old Testament of the Bible are given to us to enable us to understand God’s initial work of creation of the world – through the experienced inspiration of the early priests and prophets of the Jewish community – who felt called to become God’s chosen people, having been delivered out of captivity in Egypt to begin a new life in Palestine. Having established the distinctive way of life that God revealed through the Mosaic Law; successive leaders then added new laws that applied to the Jewish community in Israel, which appear in the O.T. Books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. However, with the prophetic Tradition, there were indications of a Messianic figure, whose distinctive life-style and teaching would establish the ‘New Israel of God’ – on the basis of ‘A New Covenant’ that would come about through his revolutionary life, death and resurrection. The Spirit of God would be poured out afresh on the world enabling a fresh and new understanding of righteousness, that was to come through grace rather than works; by the sacrifice of Christ, rather than human striving for holiness – which belongs to God alone.

In Jesus Christ, God’s living Word has been translated as the source of all our being. While the Scriptures are ‘words about’ God – The Word made flesh in Jesus Christ became the earthly revelation of God Himself! The Scriptures lead us to the Word-made-flesh – the Living Word who saves us and has redeemed us ALL. Sola Scriptura (which Jensen represents) will not and cannot redeem us. Jesus alone has performed that task through his Life, Death. Resurrection and Ascension to God the Father. The Scriptures lead us to Jesus, but HE is the definitive WORD of GOD.

The third principle of Christianity and the Christian life – stemming from Jesus, The Word – is that full membership of the Body of Christ consists in ‘maintaining the Unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace’. Schismatic activity – such as raising up alternative ‘Anglican’ Churches around the world (the work of GAFCON) – is definitely antithetical to the Gospel inclusion of ALL people that Christ prayed for in his high-priestly prayer: “Father, that they may be one as you and I are one, so that the world may believe that it was you who sent me”.

The signs of belonging to Christ – established by Jesus himself – are the Christian sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. In the first, we are bonded with Christ through entering into his death and resurrection. In the Holy Communion, we are reunited with Christ by sharing in the gifts of bread and wine which he set apart for the purpose of sanctification for all believers – as a memorial and a ritual of participating with one another in the death and resurrection of Jesus. When one refuses to share in the Eucharist, one separates one’s-self from the Body of Christ – an action which breaks down – rather than celebrates – the dominical Body of Christ which was established for our salvation.

Biblical faith – without heed to the inclusive prayer of Christ that ‘all may be one’ – is simply not good enough. One is not saved from dereliction by the words of the Scriptures (important though they are as a record of mankind’s understanding of his relationship to God-in-Christ). Until the Word became flesh in Jesus, man saw God ‘through a glass, darkly’. Now that Christ has come – “The Light to enlighten the Gentiles” our eyes have been opened to ‘the ways in which God’s mercy works’; towards all people, sinner and saint alike. No longer is one seen to be saved by the Law, but rather by faith in ‘The great love of God as revealed in The Son’, Jesus Christ, himself. The Law alone cannot save anyone. Love is the key to salvation. We are all sinners who need to know our fallen nature in order to accept our need of God’s forgiveness and redemption. Only God’s love and power can save us.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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