Michael Lawson, Chairman of the Church England Evangelical Council, Church of England Evangelical Counciladdressing Evangelicals in the Episcopal Church at the Episcopal Evangelical Assembly at Virginia Theological Seminary on September 11th 2009:

‘You have stayed in the Episcopal Church. Staying must mean a call to a greater discipleship and a call for a greater and uncompromising mission… you have no mandate to remain in the Episcopal Church and simply fade into the background, keeping your head down, avoiding controversy. The Episcopal Church is in the wilderness, but it’s not the only wilderness Christian history has witnessed, there have been many such periods. How does the scripture address us in such situations? In Hebrews 3.12–13, the context is exactly that desert-like experience where God’s word is thwarted and rejected… and it is a call to a greater discipleship: See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Episcopal evangelicals are some of the most strategic people in the world… [able to] bring transformation back into the gospel message… Remember Luther, “there is not and cannot be any reason for tearing oneself away from the church in schism; rather the worse things become, the more one should help her and stay by her, for by schism and contempt, nothing can be mended.”’

The complete talk can be heard or downloaded here, and the text can be read or downloaded here.

A report of the discussion at the Assembly, and Chuck Alley’s address to the Assembly, will be posted shortly.

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