My Twitter alert went off yesterday, informing me of a breaking headline:

My Twitter alert went off yesterday, informing me of a breaking headline: the Vatican had just announced a new set of canon laws, called “the Apostolic Constitution,” whereby disaffected Anglican priests and parishioners, in fact entire Anglican congregations, can now be welcomed into Rome’s embrace and communion. The decision, “reached in secret by a small cadre of Vatican officials” (Associated Press), apparently caught even the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, by surprise. What is no surprise is that growing segments of conservative Anglicans in both the East and West—distraught over the blessing of same-sex unions and openly gay clergy—have been seceding from the Anglican communion. Rome’s move is an unsubtle gesture, in spite of the Vatican’s esprit de corps of ecumenism, to draw all to her. As the Associated Press writer noted, “The Vatican move could be taken as a signal that the ultimate goal of ecumenical talks is to convert Anglicans to Catholicism” (SBT 10-21-09). But is anyone surprised?

And in our quiet corner of the world we gather to celebrate Creation Sabbath, a liturgical festival that joyfully reminds the worshiper we are children of the loving Creator, who after shaping our planetary home into existence in six days then rested on the seventh day, bestowing it as a gift day—the Sabbath day—to the human race exclusively for the enjoyment of our friendship with him. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy,” he later etched with his finger into his granite Decalogue (Exodus 20:8). Why? “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (v 11).

The seventh-day Sabbath remains the greatest ecumenical gift ever entrusted to the human race. For what more tangible and periodic bestowal could the Creator have conferred upon humanity—to unite his children to each other as one, as well as to bind them to him in strong ties of love—than the universal bestowment of the seventh day of the week as the divine-human Rest Day for all earth inhabitants? If on every seventh-day Sabbath humanity gathered to worship our Creator, celebrate our unity and remember our destiny, would we ever need secretly-formed canon law to make us one? The truth is, if we hadn’t forgotten our Creator and abandoned his Sabbath, the only breaking headline these days would be, “Peace on earth.”

Comments

Pastor Nelson, Afew years ago you gave a series of meeting on the internet at the Grants Pass, OR SDA chuurch. In one of the meetings I am sure you said, statutes means, food, Exodus 15:26, keep allHis satutes, I will putnone of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that heaketh thee. Where can I find twhere it says, statutes is food. How can I prove that staatures means food? Blessings Dale Cottrell

Thank you for your explicit summary of an event that surprises me little. I left the Australian Anglican fellowship late in 1970 and this was one of my many reasons for doing so.

Pastor, I cannot express how much I enjoy your topics. God has used you to bring me closer to Him. I was absolutely lost after my husband died 4 years ago now I am finding my way back. I woukld love to see you give a sermon on Romans 13:1 especially now that it seems folks are more involved in dislikingpeople in office so much.

I recently shared that (due to adoption) I was baptized Catholic at birth, Methodist at age 3, Seventh-day Adventist at age 11, and recently re-baptized Adventist (after 40 years)...into my new relationship with my Forever-Friend Jesus Christ. I did not realize that I was speaking to a staunch Roman Catholic sister who promptly informed me that, "once a Catholic, always a Catholic". This launched an intense, but misguided effort to convert me back to the Catholic church. I was firmly told that God sees a "diamond" on my heart from my Catholic baptism and that the Catholic church is the only true church, because the first pope was Peter, like the disciple, the rock on which Christ built His true church...she offered me Catholic studies, invited me to mass, and pressured me to return to my Catholic "roots". Thankfully, my personal beliefs are built on a firm foundation of Biblical truths, and a strong personal relationship with Jesus, but I was humbled to learn that my lighthearted story about chilhood baptisms, could be so offensive to others. I feel that this was a good wake up call...to commit key scripture to memory, to be more aware of others, and to pray without ceasing!

Thanks for taking an interesting (but subtle) news note and making it so relevant to us right now. Appreciated this post!

As Korah says, thanks for taking a interesting and subtle news note, and making it so relevant to us right now. It fascinates me, that this Apostolic Constitution was proclaimed within hours of the finish of the Conference on Marriage, Homosexuality and the Church. Interestingly, the Vatican has invaded the personal space of the Anglican church chiefly because Anglicans can't seem to control their lusty urges as far as homosexuality is concerned. This news thus seems to underscore the absolute correctness of the position taken by Andrews Conference on Marriage, Homosexuality and the Church. Those who believe otherwise should note the very real religious consequences.

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