We have come through the initial phase of a new Reformation: the recovery of essential truths. But we are tired. Like Luther after his trials were over, like the Church of England after the reign of “Bloody Mary” was ended, we are tired. We have entered the “Elizabethan Settlement” phase of this new Reformation. It remains to be seen how the compromises will be worked out in the interest of comprehension and catholic unity. When challenges come to this endeavor, we must pray for God’s protection and blessing on His Church and the renewal of our hearts, and minds, and strength by the power of God’s Holy Spirit.
And when the temporal leadership and institutions of Anglicanism sometimes fail us, I am still inspired by these words from Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher who said that Anglicanism “has a special responsibility at this time in the world. We have no doctrine of our own—we only possess the Catholic doctrine of the Catholic Church enshrined in the Catholic creeds, and those creeds we hold without addition or diminution. We stand firm on that rock. We know how to bring to bear on our Christian devotion and creed all the resources of charity and reason and human understanding submitted to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So we have a freedom and embrace a faith which, in my belief, represents the Christian faith in a purer form than can be found in any other Church in Christendom.”
Archbishop Fisher concluded, “That is not a boast. It is a reminder to us of the immense treasure that is committed to our charge — the immense responsibility on us in these days to maintain unshaken those common traditions that we have inherited from those who have gone before us.”
May God confirm these words and the love of the Church of which they speak to our hearts and minds, through the power of the Holy Spirit, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
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