First week in Advent. Thinking again about the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Maranatha, come Lord Jesus. Preparation for that coming includes the church being prepared as a bride for her husband. Just as a bride is thoroughly looked at on her wedding day - the dress, the hair, the flowers ... so we will be judged. What will the Lord find?
An aspiration we can have as that well prepared bride is to be pure and spotless. To be the church God wants us to be, without addition or subtraction. A few weeks ago a memorable phrase was posted on The Conciliar Anglican with respect to Anglican attempts to be and to model for all churches that pure prepared bride:
"Anglicanism offers the pure Gospel, without anything being added or taken away"
In the context of the post the possible "added" things was a reference to Romanism and the possible "taken away" things was a reference to Puritanism. But today we can think of other matters which might constitute additions or subtractions from an Anglicanism which offers pure Gospel. As time permits through Advent I will offer a few thoughts on these matters.
In conclusion today I simply offer this: when the controversies of today's Communion are peeled back to find the core, it is about the gospel: what it is, and whether the Anglican church (here, over there, and everywhere present on the globe) offers that gospel and only that gospel. Being Anglican is only important if it is Christian discipleship faithful to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Everything we do is measurable according to that standard. Anything we do which fails that standard should be left behind, like the bride-to-be's everyday clothes when she steps down the aisle in her wedding gown.