Lessons from faith-history as solid ground

Oct 12, 2021 by

From Gafcon Great Britain and Europe:

The film ‘Waterworld’ was released in the mid 1990’s, and starred Kevin Costner as a solo adventurer making a living on the high seas, in a dystopian future where global warming had resulted in most of the land being under the ocean. At the time the movie was panned by the critics for its overblown budget and (to their minds) ridiculous premise. But consequently, commentators have praised the film for the message of its themes – not only environmental, but cultural and philosophical.  Just as the characters in Waterworld can only live day to day, in the present, with all trace of humanity’s past submerged, no reference points for guidance and an uncertain future – isn’t that how we could describe the spiritual state of many in the West in the 21st century?

…It is knowledge of God’s gracious dealings with his people in the past which give us reference points and resources for today, and guidelines for the future. As we see how our ancestors in the faith understood God, worshipped him, and interpreted events around them in the light of faith, so we can live with our feet on solid ground instead of endlessly surfing the waves of contemporary fashion and our own sinful and confused feelings.

Children in schools who are taught to practice ‘mindfulness’, for example, and encouraged to “be true to yourself”, but do not learn about the bible, the nature of faith, or the Christian foundations of our European nations, are in a spiritual and psychological ‘Waterworld’. When churches begin to abandon the clear teaching of the bible, for example about sex and marriage, it can in part be traced back to a failure to follow the advice of the Psalmist to focus on telling the next generation about the Lord and his salvation. As a result the  landmarks appear to have been lost, and the church has ended up following what the world thinks and does.

…As Anglicans who face uncertain times ahead, we must continually look to these sources of inspiration and guidance. In particular it would good to revisit the events which led to the formation of the Gafcon movement. Some of our readers were there at the time and remember it well, but the new generation needs to hear about this recent example of faithfulness to what the bible teaches, so that “they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds, but would keep his commands” (Psalm 78:7).

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