Friday, March 02, 2007

The Issue of Clarity

The Associated Press reported yesterday some remarks by the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, The Most Reverend Katherine Jefferts Schori (I suppose being elected the head of a denomination makes one more reverend than all others). A supporter of gay weddings and gay clergy, Mrs. Jefferts Schori is trying to get the liberal majority of her church "to roll back their support for gays - at least for now." If she fails in this effort, the worldwide Anglican communion will essentially disassociate itself from the American church.

The comments which really bothered me, however, were about idolatry. Here is what she said:

"We are being pushed toward a decision by impatient forces within and outside this church who hunger for clarity. That hunger for clarity at all costs is an anxious response to discomfort in the face of change which characterizes all of life. The impatience we're now experiencing is an idol - a false hope that is unwilling to wait on God for clarity" (emphasis mine).

What Jefferts Schori is really saying is that God has not been clear in the past. She is saying that God's Word lacks clarity, and that the desire for clarity requires patience, a waiting for God to speak more clearly. In other words, until now, she believes God is guilty of mumbling. I can only assume that Jefferts Schori ignores 2 Timothy 3:17, which states that Scripture thoroughly equips every man of God. Therefore, our desire for clarity is not an idol, nor a false hope, but is rather the expectation of God's promise to teach us all things through the ministry of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26).

The Bible is clear on such subjects as homosexuality, liberals merely object to its teaching and are waiting for God to change His mind. Conservatives know better. God's Word is unchanging and will outlast heaven and earth. God has spoken, and only those who born again and possess the Spirit of God can discern and accept His words (1 Cor 2:14). As our Lord said in John 8:43, "Why do you not understand my speech? Because you are not able to listen to my word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do." And in v.47, "He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God."

The issue isn't one of clarity. God is absolutely clear on matters of faith and morals. The issue is that of faithful obedience to God's Word. Such a desire to obey God is no idol, but the mark of true faith. Those like Mrs. Schori merely want to undo what God has done, and unsay what God has said. This is a clever ruse, but in the end a futile endeavor. For God's people will always stand up and defend the "faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

"God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" (Numbers 23:19).


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