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Ordination​s Bring Challenges

Ordination​s Bring Challenges

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Published by Fr Stephen Smuts

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Published by: Fr Stephen Smuts on Nov 05, 2012
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05/13/2014

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 Ad Clerum 6/12 November 2012 All Saints
1
 
Ad Clerum 
November 2012 Number 6/12
Dear brothers in the LordAs Ordinations approach and new members of the clergy are set to enter the fight at ourside, let us spend some valuable minutes evaluating our own ministries and the mostrecent achievements of our lives as Christian leaders and the pastors of our people. Arewe still driven by the zeal that filled us when we came for ordination, or have we “lostour first love”?Being a Traditional Anglican means really that we are determinedly orthodox in ourapproach to our faith. We do not seek or allow innovations with regards to thefundamentals of belief to distract us from our core task, and that is the bringing theGospel to all men, through our Anglican expression of the Faith. It does not mean thatwe are narrow-minded bigots, but it does mean that we understand the parameters of what we can and cannot do.As far as I am concerned, being a Traditional Anglican also embraces a few otherimportant qualities. We are to be perfectionists – certainly in terms of our preaching,teaching, pastoral care and the management of the liturgy in our parishes, and we areserious competitors in terms of achievements for Christ.
 
 Ad Clerum 6/12 November 2012 All Saints
2
 But can a Christian be competitive? We most certainly can! Not only
can
we becompetitive, we
must 
be! The writer to the Hebrews speaks those wonderful words;
“surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, we run with patience the race that is set before us, our eyes fixed upon Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith….” [Heb 12: 1-2]
 I can speak for myself when I tell you that in the face of a mediocre and thoroughlycompromised main-stream Anglicanism, I feel energised by the purity of what we teachand preach, and the way in which we are able to present ourselves and our message.Being a Traditional Anglican frees us from the need to conform to the world, and allowsus the glorious liberty of the children of God, especially in not being tied down to any of the feminist or other liberal agendas that bind so many of our brethren. We are not agroup of frustrated sociologists, but can operate as theologically driven men of God.Let us return to the beginning paragraph of this
 Ad Clerum; “ 
Do we still have the zealthat drove us when we came for ordination?” I sincerely hope we do, for in the face of so many new clergy entering our ranks, the level of competition has just increasedconsiderably. Whatever we have done up to this point has to be accelerated. Whateverwe have planted up to now has to be surpassed again and again; that is if we wish towin the race that we entered in the service of Christ our Saviour at our Ordination.The Psalmist continually reminds us;
“I will pay my vows unto the Lord, in the sight of all his people; in the midst of the Lord’s house….Praise the Lord.” 
[Ps116:16] and
“Offer unto God thanksgiving and pay thy vows unto the most Highest 
” [Ps50:14], and in Psalm61:8 we are told to
“daily perform my vows”.
Our disciplined conduct and our zeal asPriests are to be an inspiration to our new colleagues, as they see for themselves that itis entirely possible to fulfil our high calling and our vows to God. All young men andnewly appointed people look for role models on which to base their own life of service….will it be you? Will it be the holiness and order of your life that provides theexample they are looking for? Will they one day say with pride,
“I modelled my ministry on the holy and blessed life of Fr John”? 
I most sincerely hope so!
“Paying our vows to the Lord” 
means that our study and exposition of Holy Scripture willbe dedicated, pure and accurate, and that we will refute error as we find it, but withlove.
“Paying
 
our vows” 
also means that we will pray without ceasing, for that wepromised at our Ordination. Brothers, a life of prayer cannot be contrived, it has to be areal and living thing, and the results are as clearly visible as a life of deceit.

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