Monday, August 07, 2017

Canon Phil Ashey: On lawsuits and losses: a Meditation from Psalm 37

August 4, 2017

In his book The Contemporary Christian, John Stott writes that a follower of Christ should have a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. Without both, he or she is unarmed. With the newspaper only, you have the calamity and depravity in the world with no hope to offer. With only the Scripture, you have hope but no sense of where to apply it.

So, on this day of prayer and fasting for the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Diocese of South Carolina, for the decisions that lie before them in the face of the South Carolina Supreme Court’s decision to award 29 of their churches to The Episcopal Church (TEC), it seems appropriate to take the decision in one hand, and the Bible in the other, and seek God’s mind in this situation to direct our prayers.  As I prayerfully and carefully reviewed the decision, the facts around it, and all the reports and reviews published so far, I believe the LORD directed me to Psalm 37:

“Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon wither away.” (Ps. 37:1-2 NIV)

Psalm 37 addresses the question “How should God’s people react when ‘evil men’ and ‘those who do wrong’ succeed in their ways?”

The decision of the South Carolina Supreme Court in the matter of the ACNA Diocese of South Carolina vs. the TEC Diocese of South Carolina (Heard September 23, 2015 and filed August 2, 2017) appears to be such a case.  The net effect of this case seems to be the transfer of the property of 29 congregations from the ACNA Diocese of South Carolina to TEC.  Ultimately this could mean the displacement of thousands of families from the place where they have worshiped for generations.  It could mean the loss of all the ACNA Diocese of South Carolina offices, the bishops residence and more... the rest


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