I recently came across an article that dealt with something I have been seeing for a while now – growing and deepening differences and disagreements among evangelical Christians.
The article doesn’t mince words. Its main point is that evangelicalism is fracturing in ways that won’t be undone. “The tectonic plates are shifting underfoot.”
With all this happening around us, it’s fair to ask what does it mean for Epiphany to be an “evangelical” church? First and foremost, it means we believe in the saving power of the unique Gospel of Jesus Christ and we believe it must be shared with others. Secondly, it means we believe the Bible is God’s trustworthy revelation of Himself to us. Third, we believe that following Jesus is a “whole life” commitment, not just a Sunday thing.
Much more could be said, and should be said, to unpack all that (the Anglican Catechism is a good place to start), but that’s the heart of who we are. My hope is that anyone who shares these commitments feels at home here. I pray that anyone who may not share these commitments or partially shares them, finds Epiphany hospitable, humble, loving and neighborly. Frankly, if we are not these things, our opportunities for sharing the good news of the Gospel as a church will be very limited.
At the end of the day, I’m convinced that the vast majority of the time we don’t grow the church by dividing it. While we may (and do) see things differently in all kinds of ways at Epiphany, first and foremost we share the same Lord Jesus and confess the same creed every Sunday. Let’s commit to seeing that in each other even in times like these when it seems the (evangelical) earth is shaking.
The Rev. Peter Frank, Rector