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  ANiC Newsletter: 8 June, 2010 ... pdf version
    

Handle with prayer!

News – ANiC and AEN   

ANiC parish and project news
Christ the Redeemer (Moncton, NB) is growing to encompass three satellite congregations in Sussex, Miramichi (Bay du Vin), and, very soon (Lord willing), Quispamsis.

St John’s Richmond (Richmond, BC) – You can see a photo of newly ordained ANiC deacon, the Rev David McElrea. David is now serving at St John’s Richmond with the Rev Sean Love.

Good Shepherd (Vancouver) parishioners accompanied Bishop Stephen Leung on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, the end of May, where they visited ANiC’s representatives in Jerusalem, the Rev Jess and Erica Cantelon. See photos.


Special prayer requests
Please pray for the
ANiC parishes involved in litigation with the Diocese of New Westminster. They are going back to the trial judge on June 11 to address the issue of costs. The diocese is also seeking other terms that the parishes’ legal counsel will argue “is more properly to be considered by the BC Court of Appeal in the ongoing appeal proceedings”.

Please continue to uphold the
ANiC members at the Anglican Church of Canada general synod in Halifax (June 3-11) – as well as orthodox Anglican Church of Canada members at the meeting. The Rev Sharon Hayton, rector of The Open Gate, Victoria, and Louise Karlsson will represent ANiC at general synod from June 7-11. They are there to quietly observe, listen, pray, and encourage orthodox delegates. Sharon can be reached at shaytonanic@gmail.com.

Please pray for meetings of
ACNA’s Executive, House of Bishops and Provincial Council this week.

Bishop Malcolm wishes to thank his brothers and sisters in ANiC for their prayers and good wishes. He is out of hospital and coping well with his illness.


Calendar of upcoming events – for your interest and prayer support
June 3-11 – Anglican Church of Canada General Synod, Halifax, NS
June 7-11 – ACNA House of Bishops, Provincial Executive and Council meet in Amesbury, MA
June 11 – Court hearing in Diocese of New Westminster v ANiC parishes on the issue of costs and other clarifications of the trial judgment
June 14-18 – St Luke’s (Pembroke, ON) – "Wholeness through Christ" inner healing week
June 19, 3 pm – St Alban’s (Ottawa, ON) – The Rev David Robinson ordained to the priesthood
June 20 – St John’s Vancouver confirmation service to be held at St John’s Richmond
June 12-22 – St Matthias & St Luke pilgrimage to the Holy Land
July 23 – Holy Trinity (Marlborough, MA) – Ordination to priesthood of the Rev Michael Bickford
Sept 13-16 – BC Court of Appeal hearing in Vancouver
Sept 17-19 – St Luke’s – Spiritual renewal with Bishop Malcolm & Archdeacon Paul Crossland
Sept 18 – St George's Ottawa, Day of Prayer in preparation for the ANiC synod
Nov 3 – Clergy day, Ottawa, ON
Nov 4-6 – ANiC synod with Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, Ottawa, ON


News shorts – Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

Archbishop Duncan addresses annual Provincial Council meeting
ACNA has published the address given by Archbishop Bob Duncan to today’s meeting of the Provincial Council in Amesbury, Massachusetts. He touches on the recent changes within ACNA, the Anglican 1000 movement (to plant 1000 churches in five years), and the growing recognition for ACNA internationally and ecumenically. On the divisive matter of women’s ordination, he says that the GAFCon Primates Council will appoint a theological task force to consider both the theological and structural issues.


Pittsburgh parishes receive back interest on frozen endowments
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that ACNA parishes in the Diocese of Pittsburgh recently received back interest on frozen funds. However, the principle of those parish endowments remains frozen due to the ongoing litigation brought by the Episcopal Church.


ACNA ministry partner holds annual spiritual retreat, July 16-19
The Anglican Coalition in Canada, a ministry partner of the Anglican Church in North America, is holding their annual Christian Ashram weekend retreat on July 16-19 in Abbotsford with speakers Bishop Silas Ng (ACiC) and the Rev Josh Wilton. See ACiC brochure for details and to register.


Other ACNA news
Boston Globe – June 3 2010 – New start for former Episcopalians


News shorts – Canada

Anglican Church of Canada General Synod underway
Matters to be addressed by synod
Writing in the National Post, David Jenkins outlined some of the issues facing synod:
Falling church membership – “In 1961, 1.3 million people attended an Anglican Church; in 2001, 658,000 attended; and in 2009 325,000.”
The blessing of same-sex unions – “Rather than the free-for-all debates that few look forward to, delegates will be meeting in small groups to shape (or manipulate, depending on your perspective) resolutions which will then be passed to the floor… It looks as if the finesse that will be attempted at this synod is to squash motions that would publically commit the whole Canadian church to the blessing of same sex unions. Instead, synod will push for the local option: dioceses and churches that want to proceed can do so – the decision will be delegated down.” (See also the Anglican Journal article on the “indaba” small group format for dealing with the sexuality issue.)

David is following general synod closely for the AEC blog, providing up-to-the-minute online reports. Other sources of information include the Anglican Journal website and the synod webpage.

Earlier, Archbishop Hiltz told the Anglican Journal that he would like to broaden the international reach of the Anglican Church of Canada and form stronger international relationships. The bishop of the diocese of Jerusalem, Suheil Dawani and his spouse, Shafeeqa, addressed general synod on June 5 and 7. The Journal reports that
“…synod passed a motion committing the church to a stronger partnership with the diocese of Jerusalem.”


Presidential address
Archbishop Fred Hiltz, in his presidential address to synod said it was his “earnest hope” that the time spent in synod on the issue of sexuality would result in a pastoral statement. Earlier, he had told the Anglican Journal that he was
“optimistic that the capacity of our church to live with differences [on issues of sexuality] is growing.” Similarly, the Primate of the Episcopal Church, Katherine Jefferts Schori, recently said, “I think the church, and certainly the part of the church in the United States, is reasonably clear about where we're going, even though everybody doesn't agree. And those in the church, I think, are willing to live with that tension.”

Commenting on the Covenant, he characterized the section dealing with the consequences of walking apart from the Communion, as “challenging”. He also said that the Anglican Church of Canada was not – yet – one of the Provinces that the Archbishop of Canterbury referred to in his recent Pentecost letter, since Canada had not “formally through their Synod or House of Bishops adopted policies that breach any of the moratoria”. He then went on to lament the lack of significant sanctions for those Primates engaged in cross-border interventions.
“I maintain and have publicly declared my belief that those interventions have created more havoc in the Church, resulting in schism, than any honest and transparent theological dialogue on issues of sexuality through due synodical process in dioceses and in the General Synod.”

In a subsequent news conference, the AEC blog tells us that Archbishop Hiltz believes the Covenant will undergo further revision. He also recognizes that if a motion is passed approving same-sex blessings or allowing local options this action would break the current moratorium in the Communion. David Jenkins comments wryly in a National Post article on the Primate’s views of what action by general synod would constitute breaking of the moratorium and what would not.

Reporting on Archbishop Hiltz’ address, Neale Adams writes in the Anglican Journal that, by repeating some of the same objections to Canterbury’s Pentecost letter as Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori,
“Archbishop Fred Hiltz… has allied himself with the U.S. Episcopal Church in a dispute with the Archbishop of Canterbury.”

The
Anglican Communion Alliance (formerly the Anglican Essentials Federation) responded to Archbishop Hiltz’ address by welcoming his counsel not to act on the matter of same-sex blessings. However they disagreed with the Primate in his criticism of cross-border interventions. They said, “…we are dismayed that the primate… appeared to speak harshly of those who have left us, as having committed the greater sin when what they were doing was reacting to those who had already gone contrary to the wishes of the Communion; and…received no approbation.”

Motions passed by general synod
The Council of General Synod (which governs between the triennial sittings of General Synod) was reduced by 42 members to 28 members.
The Primate, General Secretary, and Prolocutor were given veto power over expenditures authorized by General Synod. The Journal reports that “During the past two years, the national church has been kept afloat through a series of undesignated bequests totalling $7.3 million. Without these bequests, the church would have had a deficit budget of two million dollars in 2008, and a deficit budget of $873,000 last year…To reach a balanced budget in 2012, COGs has decided the deficit should be no more than $500,000 this year, and $100,000 in 2011…”
A study was approved to look at implications for the ACoC of “the cessation of the solemnization of matrimony by the clergy” and moving to only blessing “…civil marriages that conform to a canonical definition of marriage…”


Budget cuts
The Anglican Journal reports that the ACoC’s budget will be cut by “about $1.1 million in 2011 from the Church’s current $10 million budget”. The cuts will affect ACoC programs and staff. Revenue from the dioceses declined at a rate of about “3 per cent per year for the last decade due to declining church membership.”


Sexuality discussions
Significant time is being devoted to discussions on issues of sexuality – this time in small group discussion. The Anglican Journal reports delegates are experiencing “fatigue and weariness” in addressing same-sex blessings yet again The AEC blog has transcribed and posted the first report compiled from the discussion groups.


Anglican Communion representatives at general synod
Bishop Suheil Dawani (Jerusalem) spoke to general synod expressing his gratitude for diocesan partnerships with and financial assistance from the Dioceses of Ottawa and New Westminster. The ACoC is strengthening ties with the Diocese of Jerusalem. In a news conference, the AEC blog reports that Bishop Dawani distanced himself from the actions of his Primate (Presiding Bishop Mouneer Anis) in stepping down from the Anglican Consultative Council, claimed his diocese was making no effort to evangelize, and expressed displeasure at the GAFCon Primates selecting Jerusalem for their 2008 conference. In the same news conference, the bishop’s wife, Shafeeqa Dawani, expressed her strong opposition to the wearing of the burka.

On June 8,
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori addressed the general synod. A report on her address can be found on the AEC blog as well as a report on her news conference.


Upcoming national conferences
Cranmer Conference, June 25-27 – The Cranmer Conference is an annual gathering organized by and for young adults (in the 19-30 year age range) to engage with the classical Anglican tradition of Christianity, through lectures, a high level of thought and discussion, worship and friendship. This year’s event will explore the meaning of Christian orthodoxy through the Lambeth Quadrilateral. It is planned for June 25-27 in Dunnville, Ontario.

Muslim ministry – The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada’s Canadian Network for Muslim Ministry is planning its first national conference in Calgary, November 11-13 with the theme of “Loving Muslims Together”.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis people – In response to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s 11 June 2008 apology to the First Nations, Inuit and Métis people of Canada, a “National Forgiven Summit” is planned for 11-13 June 2010 in Ottawa. This will involve up to 5000 Christians from first peoples communities across Canada and is part of a larger initiative to bring release from the bonds of bitterness and brokenness through practicing the “…Christian principles of forgiveness within the indigenous culture...”

Fulfilling God’s purpose in the workplace, July 17-24, Huntsville, ON – This Business and Leaders conference put on by a ministry partner of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, is committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in the marketplace and wants to help us bring life changing influence into the business world using biblical principals.


Other Canada news
Montreal Gazette – June 3 2010 – Anglicans aim to defuse gay-marriage issue
Anglican Journal – May 28 2010 – …Executive director of philanthropy leaves General Synod
Halifax Chronicle Herald – June 5 2010 – Hiltz preaches middle ground
Anglican Journal – June 6 2010 – Birds and bees
ACoC website – June 6 2010 – Signs of hope amid challenges [re. Bishop Dawani, Jerusalem]
Anglican Journal – June 7 2010 – Historic St Paul’s is full of life
Anglican Journal – June 7 2010 – Resolution, resolutions and more resolutions
Anglican Journal – June 7 2010 – Primacy ‘though the lens of mission’
Anglican Journal – June 8 2010 – Giving peace a chance [Interview with the wife of Bishop Dawani]
Anglican Journal – June 8 2010 – Does the church need to ‘regroup’?
Anglican.ca – June 8 2010 – Canadian Anglicans commended for contribution to…Communion
Anglican.ca – June 8 2010 – Doing church differently
Christian Post – June 7 2010 – Anglicans in Canada favor dialogue over debate on homosexuality
Toronto Star – June 4 2010 – Anglicans try again to find same-sex blessings consensus


News shorts – United States

US Episcopal Church (TEC) Primate fights back
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has responded to Dr Williams’ in a pastoral letter. Reuters writes that she rejected the idea of the sanctions saying that the Archbishop of Canterbury had overstepped his reach and that it was “a troubling push toward centralized authority…”

In complaining of a double-standard, she says,
“We are distressed at the apparent imposition of sanctions on some parts of the Communion. We note that these seem to be limited to those which "have formally, through their Synod or House of Bishops, adopted policies that breach any of the moratoria requested by the Instruments of Communion." We are further distressed that such sanctions do not, apparently, apply to those parts of the Communion that continue to hold one view in public and exhibit other behaviors in private. Why is there no sanction on those who continue with a double standard?"

She asserts that the consecration of partnered homosexuals in TEC results from the leading of the Holy Spirit within TEC over the last 50 years.
“The Spirit does seem to be saying to many within The Episcopal Church that gay and lesbian persons are God's good creation… exemplars of gifted leadership within the Church, as baptized leaders and ordained ones. The Spirit also seems to be saying the same thing in other parts of the Anglican Communion… We recognize that the Spirit has not been widely heard in the same way in other parts of the Communion. In all humility, we recognize that we may be wrong, yet we have proceeded in the belief that the Spirit permeates our decisions.”

The Anglican Curmudgeon provides an intriguing analysis of this missive.

Professor Christopher Seitz responds in a treatise on the Anglican Communion Institute website in which he addresses
“…the idea of the Holy Spirit (the Advocate, the Comforter) inspiring the church to receive something new.” He says, “This mindset is deeply tied up with the progressivistic orientation of Western consumerism, where the old is constantly to be discarded, as new, better, improved versions are marketed for our attention and our consumption.”

The Anglican Journal reports that the Presiding Bishop, in Canada for Anglican Church of Canada’s General Synod, said the sanctions “really jumped” the process by imposing penalties suggested by the fourth section of the, as yet draft, Anglican Covenant. The AEC blog’s full transcription of her news conference includes complaints that Dr Williams had not adequately addressed cross-border interventions and didn’t “understand how difficult and how painful and destructive its been both in the church in Canada and for us in the US…”

The Episcopal Church has armed its members with talking points stressing the might of the Episcopal Church and its independence of other Communion members.

For a good chuckle, see Matt Kennedy’s amusing take on the Episcopal Church’s reaction to the minimalistic sanctions.


Other US news
Washington Post – June 2 2010 – Virginia Supreme Court to rule on…church property fight
Church of England Newspaper – May 28 2010 – The crisis over homosexuality has passed, Jefferts Schori says


News shorts – International

Further reaction to Canterbury’s Pentecost letter
Dr Williams’ Pentecost letter to the churches continues to make headlines in BBC, CNN and Reuters. Some have expressed pleasure at the ABC’s taking disciplinary action – however mild – against TEC, while others regret that by imposing equal sanctions on cross-border leadership, the ABC is equating this to same-sex blessings and consecrations which precipitated the fracture in the Communion.


Anglican Communion begins to implement “sanctions”
Secretary-General Kenneth Kearon has issued a statement outlining the steps he is taking to implement the mild sanctions unveiled in Dr Williams’ Pentecost letter. Canon Kearon, who in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury appoints members to the ecumenical commissions and to the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order, states:

“Last Thursday I sent letters to members of the Inter Anglican ecumenical dialogues who are from the Episcopal Church informing them that their membership of these dialogues has been discontinued….

“I have also written to the person from the Episcopal Church who is a member of the Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order (IASCUFO), withdrawing that person’s membership and inviting her to serve as a Consultant to that body.

“I have written to the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada to ask whether its General Synod or House of Bishops has formally adopted policies that breach the second moratorium in the Windsor Report, authorising public rites of same-sex blessing.

“At the same time I have written to the Primate of the Southern Cone, whose interventions in other provinces are referred to in the Windsor Continuation Group Report asking him for clarification as to the current state of his interventions into other provinces.”


Canon Kearon acknowledged at a news conference at the Anglican Church of Canada general synod in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that the sanctions were “fairly minimal”. The AEC blog reports that he also said the matter of sanctions targeting dioceses that repeatedly break the moratoria remains an open question. He also indicated that there is not a moral equivalency between the moratoria, but that they are equally destructive.

The Rev John Richardson (aka The Ugley Vicar) has written an intriguing analysis of Canterbury’s letter and Canon Kearon’s statement. His primary point is that an inconsistent understanding of “moratorium” is being applied to the Episcopal Church vs the “border crossing Primates”.


Bible in the Life of the Church project tackles first issue: the environment
The Anglican Communion’s Bible in the Life of the Church project has selected its first, and presumably most pressing, issue: the environment. The Anglican Communion news service says the project is focused on discovering
“what the Bible tells the church about saving the planet from environmental damage.” The news release adds, “The Bible in the Life of the Church is a major project being undertaken over three years by the Anglican Communion, mandated by the Anglican Consultative Council at its Jamaica meeting in May 2009. It is seeking to discover how Anglican Christians read the Bible, recognising the very diverse contexts they inevitably bring to this reading. The work of this project will largely take place in a number of regional groups based around theological education institutions in East Africa, Southern Africa, South East Asia, Oceania, North America and Britain. The Steering Group also includes members from Cuba and Nigeria.”


News in brief from around the world and the Communion
England – The Telegraph reports that the Church of England’s House of Bishops has agreed at its meeting in May to allow divorced clergy to stand for election as bishops.

England – After addressing the Anglican Church of Canada general synod in Halifax, Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori will preach and preside at Southwark Cathedral (London, England) on June 13. The Church of England Evangelical Council has called this invitation to the Presiding Bishop “provocative and discourteous of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is a further attempt to promote an agenda which runs contrary to the historic Christian consensus on the relation of Christian doctrine to Christian behaviour.” The American Anglican Council has compiled some of the unbiblical pronouncements of various Episcopal Church leaders, including the Presiding Bishop.

Nigeria - The Church of England Newspaper reports that a government leader in Nigeria has taken the Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, to task over the consecration of a partnered lesbian by the US-based Episcopal Church (TEC), saying this diminished the moral authority of the Church in Africa. The same article reports that Archbishop Okoh expressed similar sentiments in warning church leaders about the push by United Nations agencies to normalize homosexuality in Africa, saying it was un-Biblical and un-African. He is reported to have said, “If the UN has made itself an agent for the propagation of homosexuality globally, then it is time for us to pull out of the organisation. This is because the UN has no right to determine for or impose moral standards on us [Nigeria]. Let us stand firm and refuse to be bought over by the West.’’

PakistanCompass Direct News reports that 250 Christian families have been ordered to leave their homes in the Punjab Province by the head of a Muslim village. The expulsions were ordered, apparently, after the Christians “…objected too strenuously to sexual assaults by Muslims on Christian girls and women…” The report says that “Most of the village’s Christian men work in the fields of Muslim land owners, while most of the Christian women and girls work as servants in the homes of Muslim families… [T]he impoverished Christians were living in appalling conditions.”


International media coverage
The Church of England Newspaper – May 28 2010 – Corruption is causing Nigeria to commit “suicide by installment” archbishop says
Church of England Newspaper – May 28 2010 – Zimbabwe court ejects breakaway bishop from church property


Soul food

God’s created order marred by sin
Abortion
While President Obama declared June ‘Gay pride month’, Pope Benedict called on Christians for the month of June to join him in prayer “for our culture and institutions to respect human life from conception to natural death.”

At the upcoming G8 summit in Canada this month, there will be a push to incorporate abortion into the Millennium Development Goal focused on improving maternal and child health and reducing mortality by two-thirds in children under five by 2015. However, a recent study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation shows that child mortality rates are falling in every region of the world, and are at an all-time low. Another new study from the World Health Organization and UNICEF indicates that the highest risk for mothers and babies is immediately before, during and after birth. The report indicates that “2 million maternal, newborn, and stillbirth deaths result each year from a lack of skilled birth attendants” and simple health services. Both studies weaken the argument for including abortion in the package of maternal and child health initiatives.

While Stephen Harper is among those taking a stand against including abortion in this international initiative, Canada itself has no laws limiting abortion, which is funded by public health care. Currently abortion in Canada is legal up to and including partial birth. The Conservative government has taken the position that it will not endorse or introduce new legislation on abortion, so Harper is opposing a private member’s bill put forward by one of his own MPs that would make it illegal to coerce a woman to have an abortion.

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada provides a resource discussing the irrationality of Canada’s current laws in relation to pre-born, newly-born and being-born child.

An article in the National Post reports that the welfare of mothers has been buried in abortion politics. Focusing on needs of women, two senior Roman Catholic Church officials launched an appeal to re-frame the abortion debate and create more programmes to assist women in distress in Canada. They said,
“[We want] government agencies to take on their proper role in affording help for pregnant women in distress … to address the extraordinary high number of abortions in this country.” Cardinal Marc Ouellet also defended the unborn, even in the case of rape. Surprising voices speaking in support of Cardinal Ouellet included both a rape victim who had an abortion and a woman conceived by rape who was thankful for her life.


Engaging with culture
Of all the mainstream Canadian media, the National Post provides the most coverage of religion and matters of interest to people of faith. Recently it started a blog called Holy Post which it would like to build into a national forum for the exchange of ideas on matters of faith. AEC blogger, David Jenkins, recently contributed articles for Holy Post on the Anglican Church of Canada general synod. Why not have a look at Holy Post and comment online on the articles of interest?


Just for laughs
As the year-end neared, the church budget showed a marked deficit. Screwing up his courage, the minister announced to the congregation:
“I have good news and bad news. The good news is that we have enough money to meet our budget. The bad news is that it’s still in you pockets.”

After circling the block in futility, a frustrated minister parked his car in a no-parking zone in a large city and rushed to his appointment – only time to scribble a note and place it under the windshield wiper. The note read:

I have circled the block 10 times. If I don’t park here, I’ll miss my appointment. “Forgive us our trespasses.”

When he returned, he was dismayed to find a parking ticket along with a note from the police officer which read:

I’ve circled this block for 10 years. If I don’t give you a ticket, I’ll lose my job. “Lead us not into temptation.”


Please pray...
For ANiC members at the
Anglican Church of Canada general synod, as well as for the ministries of the Anglican Communion Alliance and Zacchaeus Fellowship.

For
ACNA’s Executive, House of Bishops and Provincial Council meetings this week.

For those who will be ordained to the priesthood:
The Rev David Robinson on June 19, 3pm at St Alban’s (Ottawa, ON)
The Rev Michael Bickford at Holy Trinity (Marlborough, MA) on July 23

For
ANiC projects, church plants and parishes, especially as they seek to proclaim the Good News to those in their communities who desperately need new life in Christ.

For
donations to ANiC to help meet the current budget shortfall.

For our
bishops and clergy and their families.

For funding of the
Anglican Relief & Development Fund Canada’s Kenya Malaria Prevention Project. Funds are urgently needed to begin this life-saving and life-changing project.

For adequate
funding of the legal cases and disputes involving ANiC congregations:
For the Vancouver-area parishes appealing the earlier court decision, and for their legal counsel Geoff Cowper & Stanley Martin as they prepare for the appeal to be heard Sept 13-16. Pray particularly for the June 11 hearing on the issues of costs and other matters.
· For the Ottawa congregations newly embroiled in legal action.
For all the congregations involved in court proceedings and disputes. Pray for a continued focus on, and blessing upon, their ministry in the midst of this turmoil. Pray for peace for the wardens and trustees who are on the front lines and bear the burden of risk and responsibility.
For the leaders and parishioners of the dioceses pursuing eviction of and legal damages against ANiC congregations and wardens.
That God will be glorified by our conduct in all court proceedings.

For those in positions of leadership and influence in the
Anglican Communion, that they would seek to honour and obey God above all else.

For
Christians facing violence and persecution in Pakistan.

That
our nation would return to God and His moral principles.


And now a word from our sponsor
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!

Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. The saying is trustworthy, for:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.

Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene… But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.


2 Timothy 2:1-26 ESV



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