Anglican Perspectives

Times they are a changin’ but Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever

I was in beautiful Vancouver, BC at the Anglican Church in North America’s Provincial Council and needed a cab. What I ended up getting was a lesson from a Sikh taxi driver on the evils of “global power brokers and politicians” and how each person in each of their reincarnations was responsible for “sharing the light inside them.” He explained how “prophets” like Jesus, Mohammad and the Sikh Gurus all shared this light and were equally good examples for us. I squeezed in a few words about Christ and his uniqueness, but it `was clear that this man wanted to do the talking. We got to our destination and my co-worker Mary and I got out. As I closed the car door Mary said, “Robert, I felt like I was back in 1960’s for a minute there.” While I wasn’t yet born in ‘60’s, it didn’t take much of an imagination to see how our driver’s worldview hearkened back to Woodstock, free love and opposition to “the establishment”. I think what amazed me the most was how our driver, claiming to be familiar with the world’s religions, failed to see that the teaching of Christ, Mohammad and Guru Nanak are incompatible. This intelligent, spiritual man was living in spiritual darkness, unable to see the fallacy of his faith.

 

Back on the campus of the University of British Columbia where the ACNA’s meeting was taking place, I ran into signs (literally) of spiritual darkness. This poster (below) was just one of many alternative sexuality posters on display in the lobby of the Student Union. I had to Google “third gender” and “agender” and let’s just say that they weren’t what Jesus had in mind when he created them “male and female.” I don’t assume every student at UCB believes this but some certainly do. Likewise, I don’t assume every Vancouverite holds mutually exclusive faith claims but I do know the city needs Jesus.

 

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To me, the Provincial Council and its meeting location was akin to holding a Maglite convention at the entrance to a cave. It was easy to see the dark places and where Christ’s light needed to shine. I’m thankful for our brothers and sisters in Canada like Bishop Charlie Masters, Canon Paul Donison and Ms. Marilynn Jacobsen who are actively sharing the Gospel and shining the light in that part of the world.

 

Lest I think my own country to be a city on a hill, the day after I got home to the USA the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. One week later The Episcopal Church in the United States authorized a gender-neutral marriage rite.

 

 

Back in the 1960’s, when my Sikh cab driver may have been theologically trained, Bob Dylan wrote “The Times They are a-Changin.” The song became a sort of anthem for change in society and politics and has been covered and quoted countless times. To be sure, our own times are changing. We know, however, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) and that God does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17) His precepts are trustworthy and are established forever. (Psalm 111:7-8) The Bible tells us that He does not change his mind and does not lie. (Numbers 23:19) It says, “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because ofyour evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven…” (Col. 1:21-23). Let us continue in the faith and continue to spread the gospel in these changing times.

 

Robert-Lundy-Communications-Director

Robert Lundy is Director of Communications for the American Anglican Council.

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