Dear O dear. Another Evangelical attack on World Youth Day

What on earth is the matter with our Evangelical bros. and sists. in Sydney? Don’t they get it that World Youth Day will be the biggest evangelistic event since sliced bread was baptised? Or is it that they can’t quite get their heads around the Pope=Chief Evangeliser when they have been used to Pope=AntiChrist all their life?

Here’s one that a friend sent me today. Ray Galea has written “Nothing in my Hand I bring”, and you can read an extract of it at the Sydney Anglican website. Here’s what they say on the website:

As the Catholic Church in Sydney plans to accommodate half a million visitors for World Youth Day 2008 in a logistical exercise that will be bigger than the 2000 Olympics, Ray’s book serves as a reminder that Catholicism is not a friendly bigger Christian brother, but rather an international organization that “at almost every distinctive point undermines the person and work of Christ that I have come to love, and want to honor and serve”

Lordy, lordy, lordy. I find it kind of staggering that they can put such stuff on an official Anglican Church website.

Perhaps I should point them to the Holy Father’s address to the representatives of Christian communities in the US just the other day.

Too often those who are not Christians, as they observe the splintering of Christian communities, are understandably confused about the Gospel message itself. Fundamental Christian beliefs and practices are sometimes changed within communities by so-called “prophetic actions” that are based on a hermeneutic not always consonant with the datum of Scripture and Tradition. Communities consequently give up the attempt to act as a unified body, choosing instead to function according to the idea of “local options”. Somewhere in this process the need for diachronic koinonia – communion with the Church in every age – is lost, just at the time when the world is losing its bearings and needs a persuasive common witness to the saving power of the Gospel (cf. Rom 1:18-23).

You’ve got to admire a guy who can talk about the need for “diachronic koinonia” as the antidote to “the world losing its bearings”. But that’s the point, ain’t it? While these Sydney-siders are trying to cement attitudes of division in the Church, not only with other Christians such as Catholics but with the other churches of their own communion, the rest of the world is “losing its bearings”. And here comes a Christian event proclaiming the name of Christ that is “bigger than the 2000 Olympics” and they write a book to expose the false prophet.

For many reasons, the strength and vivacity of evangelicalism in the Sydney Anglican church may be admired. Lord knows they have been sorely tested by the “prophetic actions” of their sister churches. But they seem sometimes just a little to ready to opt for the “local option” of going it alone. Nor do they reserve their abrasive attitude for members of their own communion with whom they differ. As this new book shows, they are no more ready to receive the “bigger Christian brother” who comes to them in peace and in the name of Christ.

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