Wednesday, 22 October 2008

I'm like a bird

Being back at college has slowed my blogging up a little! Some of it is time, some of it that more questions are raised in my mind through being here and I need to process them further.

One that continues to swirl around in my mind is my calling as a evangelist.

I will be Ordained in June (ish) 2010 (On that note Sam, what's your view of Baptist Ordination? As a Anglo-Catholic I'm sure you wouldn't see it as valid, but what about since your involvement with us evangelicals?) as a accredited Evangelist. In January I will begin the process of seeking God, with the help of the college, to what God is calling me into next.

My time at college has sharpened that calling to be a evangelist. I have never felt it so strongly. The irony of that is that I have led fewer people to Jesus this year than ever before (I know that it is God who brings people to himself, but I believe God uses mere mortals like us to show them the Way).

The problem is that I'm not sure if churches are looking for evangelists. I'm not sure they even know what to do with evangelists. So I'm entering a period of time where I may have to break new ground.

I'm looking forward to the next 18 months discovering God's next step for me and my family. I can't wait! I feel like a bird who's in a cage waiting to be released into the wide open space. So my wings are flapping widely at the moment, and I know soon enough the door will open!


Sam Norton said...

Not valid? In what sense? It wouldn't be one recognised by the "one holy, catholic and apostolic church" but it would be one recognised by your own church (and others) which is, presumably, the more crucial thing.

I think there is a difference between a vocation from God and the recognition in "apostolic" terms. After all the RCs don't recognise my ordination as valid - doesn't mean I agree with them!

Joe said...

Why wouldn't it be recognised by the one, holy catholic and apostolic church seeing as I am a part of that?

Is it because you believe in 'apostolic' succession whereby the Bishop has to lay hands on you?

Was not John Smyth, the founder of the Baptist Church, an ordained priest within the Anglican church? He laid hands on leaders which has continued to this day. He wasn't a Bishop, but was set apart in the apostolic succession...

How are you by the way? Haven't seen you properly for ages. Be good to catch up soon for a chat and a cuppa.

Sam Norton said...

Well... the concept of apostolic succession is a disputed one. Classically it means the apostles laid hands on... who laid hands on... who laid hands on - and it applies to bishops. There's no dispute (generally speaking) about that applying to Orthodox/RC; Anglicans and Lutherans claim it for themselves, and so on. RC's don't recognise the Anglican claim because of a dispute about wording (by which they shot themselves in the foot, as the wording was the same as that in use in the Medieval RC church!). It's not generally seen as something that can be passed on by a priest - which is why the re-union with the Methodist church has failed a couple of times.

There is, of course, a way of seeing 'apostolic succession' in a more bottom-up way, ie to do with the preservation of the faith once handed down to the apostles, and any church which preserves that teaching preserves the apostolic succession.

This probably is something best preserved over a cuppa! (except I've given up caffeine, so it'll have to be herbal)

Joe said...

Cuppa it is then! I'll have the caffeine seeing as I'm tee total...I need some kind of 'hit' ;0)

Let me know when you're free and we'll sort something out.