Saturday, October 23, 2010

Exhortation to Augustine Presbytery

Exhortation from the Presiding Minister
Ephesians 3:20-4:32
Lynchburg, Virginia
October 21, 2010


We have many things to discuss today. This passage gives us some insight into how these things ought to be done. The apostle has just spent three chapters climbing the theological high ground. And then that theological high ground leads to his assertions of practical Christianity. Not just doing things decently and in good order. The theological high grounds lead to the intensely practical Christian behavior of being kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

Brothers, what are we doing here? We must be reminded. We are shepherds of God’s people. The reason we are here is so that we may be equipped in Christ’s Church to care for His sheep. Do not lose sight of that.

Pastor Douglas Wilson was just in Lynchburg for a debate and conference and he told us about a famous essay of G.K. Chesterton. Calls had gone out for essays to address the question, “What is wrong with the world?” There were numerous submissions and I want to read Chesterton’s short response to you. What is wrong with the World? Chesterton answers in two words. I am.

Gentlemen, the sooner we get to that answer the better we will be equipped to serve the Lord, the world and our own congregations. St. Paul understood this, St. Paul, the aged, the chief of sinners.

Brothers, I cannot speak for you but what is wrong with the world? What is wrong with husbands? What is wrong with fathers? With Pastors? With Sons? With friends? I know the answer. I am.

We have some important items on our agenda today. We are receiving churches into the CREC. This is joyous. We are to support them and keep them accountable. We have overtures that call the Presbytery to look at itself and its actions. We are considering a name change for the CREC.

Emotions and opinions run at different levels on all of these things. Some of these actions and decisions have large ramifications. Others, not so much. And we must confess our own ignorance as to whether these things are even truly important in the long view of Christ’s Kingdom. We will know in 10 or 20 or perhaps 100 or 500 years, when you are all dead and gone. Humility is in order.

But if we be humble men, and we must be, then we will be able to treat all of these things and the men that present them, as we should. We should be able to speak the truth in love. Let us show true Christian maturity in our actions and attitudes towards one another.

In closing, Let me ask you this question. What is wrong with Augustine Presbytery? I know the answer to that question. Do you?