Reformed and Always Reforming?

I attend a majorly conservative and Reformed Evangelical wing of the Anglican denomination which is keen on its laypeople knowing and disseminating sound doctrine on various matters of Christian faith. Its local college is of major importance for the diocese and further afield, and there is much to be appreciated for what it’s worth.

But for all the goodness to be had in the diocese, it also seems to me that, due to its prominent status as a conservative, Protestant, Evangelical and Reformed Anglican denomination, Sydney Anglicanism fears moving outside certain chosen areas of emphasis perhaps for fear of derailing its intended mission.

This has its benefits and its drawbacks. Benefits include a fairly rigorous investment surrounding the chosen issues of import. One can attend an Anglican church in Sydney and expect a good discussion on issues as Predestination, subtleties of the historical Calvin, Church polity, practical ministry (e.g. Youth Ministry), relationship-building, social concerns, Covenantal Theology, (Paedo-)Baptism, the Kingdom of God, etc.

But it also has its drawbacks. For example, an intense interest in Soteriology and Ecclesiology will inevitably lead to a disinterest in other important areas such as Eschatology and Creation.

Now I, for instance, happen to have an intense personal interest in Eschatology and Creation. Yet seldom if ever does one ever hear any substantial sermon series on these topics. I don’t believe I have ever heard a sermon dedicated to one of these. If I have, it was so long ago that I have forgotten about it.

For me, this has led me to seek attendance in other denominations, not as a substitute, but as a supplementary.  In my local area, there is a small, independent, Evangelical Pentecostal church, whose sermons frequently dwell on the End Times. Often, sermons will resonate with some allusion to the End Times, and the current signs of the age.

Some people think dwelling on the End Times is a waste of time. It’s distracting. I disagree. I find it helpful and enriching. It gives purpose and meaning to one’s faith. Actually, in my experience, teaching about the End Times in Years 5-6 Scripture class has been amazing! Kids immediately discern the practical significance of the challenge of Christian faith in the knowledge that their present attitudes towards God and His Son Jesus will have direct implications for their standing before God in the future.

So I do appreciate the Sydney Anglican churches. I only wish for a more balanced discussion.


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