Friday, 5 June 2009

Bishop's Visitation

This evening I served at the Bishops Visitation at the Cathedral. This is the services where all the newly elected Church Wardens are formally admitted to office.

The service was very well done bringing together a mix of traditions in Anglicanism we had everything from a praise band though to Faure.

What I liked about the service was that it did have traditional elements, we had an anthem by Faure, we had incense being burnt, we had a Magnificat chanted, we had three decent hymns and we had sung prayers. In addition the two "praise band" songs we had, although not to my personal taste, were at least not heretical. One of my major problems with "praise songs" when chosen at the Cathedral is we often sing (well I don't because it is heretical) the song In Christ alone my hope is found had often been the one of choice.

This song, which I believe originally came from NFI a "restorationist" denomination is heretical due to the second verse :-

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live


Specifically the problem with this is that it refers to PSA (Penal Substitutionary Atonement) which is contrary to the teachings and doctrines of The Church of England.

A belief in PSA would mean a belief in a blood thirsty God who was only interested in revenge. That's not the God I worship. In addition PSA would mean that there was no need for a resurrection of Christ - the work would have been completed on Good Friday. The resurrection is not an afterthought - it is the centrality of the Christian Faith. Our salvation comes from not just Christ's death on the first Good Friday, but also from Christ's victory over death and his glorious resurrection on the first Easter Day.