Focusing on What’s Important in Christianity

Recently received the following response from my post Is Evangelism unAnglican?:

I just discovered your blog this afternoon.  Haven’t explored it much yet, but I feel comfortable here already.  Currently, I remain a traditional Anglican (Episcopal Missionary Church) who came to Canterbury by way of Constantinople (altough brought up as a vaguely Protestant Army brat).  My daughter, baptized Greek Orthodox, and exposed to Anglicanism along her journey, now attends a Serbian Orthodox church.  My granddaughter is being reared in that tradition.  My husband is a very-lapsed Presbyterian with more than a nodding acquaintance with evangelicalism (Christian and Missionary Alliance).  Our small family practices many varieties of Christian expression, and I personally have learned to respect all of them. (Close Catholic friends round out the picture.) Your inclusion of Anglicans ("Is Evangelism unAnglican?" posted 9 April) is very gracious.  Thank you for your charity, and clarity.

Such a mixture of traditions and institutions isn’t uncommon these days.  It makes a lot of people in Christianity nervous.

With my own broad background, I think that three questions are central in sorting out the real value of people’s spiritual situation:

  1. Are they really different as a Christian than they would have been otherwise?  That’s the essence of being "born again," that the change makes you into a new person.
  2. Is that change centered on the person of Jesus Christ, and made possible (both in this life and in eternity) by Jesus Christ?  (If you’re not sure of what that entails, click here.)
  3. Is the church you’re in making it possible for you to fulfil God’s purpose for your life as described in the Holy Scriptures?

Evangelical churches are successful primarily because they make it relatively simple for people to come to the place where they can answer all three questions, "Yes!"  But two things need to be kept in mind:

  • Evangelical churches do not have an exclusive franchise on this kind of success.
  • If they fail in this task, God will find someone who will do it.

As far as this woman’s husband is concerned, reading this would be profitable.  Her daughter has signed up with a tough bunch with the Serbs.

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