Archbishop warns against Bible complacency

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The authority of God’s word remains a key struggle for all Christians – even in places like Sydney with a strong biblical heritage – said Archbishop of Sydney Peter Jensen at CMS Summer School’s communion service on Sunday.

Dr Jensen, speaking in his capacity as CMS President on 2 Peter 2 and 3, warned the 2000-strong gathering of CMS members, supporters and missionaries against false gospels that promise elusive liberation.

‘Freedom is not simply a multiplicity of choice,’ he said. ‘We are created as worshippers of the one true God.  You will reach your full human potential when, and only when, you are worshipping the Lord God. That’s where you will achieve your greatest freedom.’

He warned against teachers that ‘plausibly falsify the gospel’, giving their listeners a gospel that trivialises sin, does not hold the world accountable to God, and marginalises the sin-bearing death of Jesus.

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‘[False teachers] are not so silly as to come along and teach you a totally different gospel. They give you a gospel: it is a selective gospel…you will not hear the whole gospel from them.

He challenged his hearers not to be complacent – letting the Bible become nothing more than a ‘comfortable armchair’, and cautioned against searching for spiritual experiences that take the place of the Scriptures.

‘The spiritual experiences which we should be longing for are called repentance,’ he said.  ‘They arise from reading the word of God, from relying on the Word of God to shape us and transform us.’

Dr Jensen pointed out complicity with false teachers and conformity with the culture at large as key vulnerabilities for Christians.

‘We desire the good opinion of the culture around us. We like to be liked by our fellow Australians.  We don’t like it when we are unpopular,’ he said.

His conclusion: remember the Word, and remember the Lord.

‘You will find your true joy, you will find your true freedom in being a Bible Christian,’ he said.

‘Each generation needs to assimilate the heritage of biblical Christianity for itself. It is never an easy business,’ he said.

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