Last night I drove to Cheltenham to speak on behalf of the Protestant Truth Society at Cheltenham Evangelical Free Church on the queastion Who is the Head of the Church?
Here's an excerpt from the intro:
At certain points in church history the big issue has been, “Who is the head of the Church?” This was the case at the time of the Reformation, when the Reformers insisted that Christ alone is the head of the Church to the exclusion of the pope. It was the defining point in the Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843 that led to the founding of the breakaway Free Church of Scotland. The seceders could no longer tolerate the position where local grandees appointed church leaders. In 1934 the German Confessing Churches published the Barmen Declaration in an attempt to resist the Nazification of the Church. They asserted that the Church belongs solely to Christ and is subject to his Word alone.
I suggest that this is one of pressing issues of our time. In recent years the Government has attempted to ride roughshod over aspects of the historic teaching of the Church. Secular rights-based equality legislation has trumped biblical teaching on sexuality. Christian adoption agencies have had to close. Back in January of this year there was a titanic battle in the House of Lords to protect the freedom of Churches to employ only people whose beliefs and lifestyle are in accordance with the Bible.
Also, we can’t ignore pope’s visit to UK in September. The Roman Catholic Church claims that the Bishop of Rome is the head of visible church. The goal of ecumenical movement is to reunite Christendom under the authority of the pope. How should we respond to that as Evangelical Protestants?
So, as we consider “Who is the head of the Church?” we will be bearing in mind both the political and the religious contexts of the question.
To be continued...
To be continued...