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ACCESS Ministry's head Evonne Paddison's speech to Anglican Evangelical Fellowship

ACCESS Ministry's head Evonne Paddison's speech to Anglican Evangelical Fellowship

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Published by PaulGallagher
Paddisons speech transcript shows a clear disconnect between ACCESS ministry's actual, stated and planned mission to take the gospel into every school and convert children to Christianity and her public denials of this.
Paddisons speech transcript shows a clear disconnect between ACCESS ministry's actual, stated and planned mission to take the gospel into every school and convert children to Christianity and her public denials of this.

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Published by: PaulGallagher on May 13, 2011
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05/13/2011

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Making Disciples in Every Generation
Speech by Evonne PaddisonGiven at the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion (EFAC)National Conference - 2008
Background:The EFAC Conference was held from September 10- 13 at Ridley Melbourne, saw more than200 people from around Australia come together to look at, "Discipleship the Heart of Mission."Speakers included: Bishop Graham Cray from the UK, Archbishop Peter Jensen, KanishkaRaffel and Rev Dr Evonne Paddison.The original audio for this transcript can be downloaded here:
http://www.efac.org.au/images/audio/PaddisonConf08.mp3Total Time: 53:46
BEGIN TRANSCRIPT:
Well it's great to be here with you and thank you for the invitation.Just let me tell you what I'm doing, we’ll have a look at the topic is growingdisciples for every generation. That's a big topic so let me tell you what I'mgoing to do with it. We’re going to have a biblical look at discipleship, whatare the marks of discipleship? And then I'm going to focus on discipleship toyoung people, and I can see so many of them here and that's great.The year was 155 A.D. and the place was Smyrna, Roman province of Asia.There was a new wave of persecution that was sweeping against the Christianchurch and the proconsul of Smyrna was especiallyvigorous in that pursuit andprosecution of the followers of Jesus and of course he focused on the BishopSmyrna. A man named Polycarp who was almost 100 years old. An old disciple.When the Christians of Smyrna found out that an arrest warrant had beenissued for Polycarp they whisked him away hid him in a barn to protect him,but the police found him and he was caught he was brought into the city hewas taken to the center of an arena where there were thousands of peoplecrying out for his execution. As the old man stood in the middle of the arena,I'm sure you all know the story, he's anticipating that soon he would die, theproconsul it would seem that moment of sympathy for the old man. He raisedup his arm, he silenced the crowd and when everything was quiet he shoutedout to Polycarp, Polycarp curse the Christ and live! And with a strong voicePolycarp answered back, 80 and six years have I served my master and king andhe has done me no wrong I dare not blaspheme him now. And with that refusalto renounce his faith in Jesus Christ the proconsul brought down his arm andPolycarp was executed. He became a Christian martyr.
 
Well, what does Polycarp mean? Come on you Greeks scholars. Much fruit! AndPolycarp was a disciple of Jesus who like his name remained abiding in thevine. And bore much fruit for his master and his king. Oh to be a Polycarp. Itis set of Polycarp that he was disciple by none other than the apostle John.Now whether that's accurate or not is another matter. Polycarp proved to be afaithful disciple and because I think there is no better place to begin looking atwhat the Bible has to say about discipleship than the Gospel of John. I knowthat will surprise some of you. So let's first of all look at discipleship in John'sGospel. Looking at what are the marks of discipleship. Well firstly respondingand abiding in belief. One of the key concepts in John Gospel is of coursebelief. A disciple is a believer, and a follower of Jesus. Someone who responds,believes and goes on and abides in the word of God in Jesus's words. And of course John wrote his Gospel with this purpose as it's pointed out in John 2031.He's written his Gospel so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ. The sonof God. And that by believing you may have life in his names.So disciples believe who Jesus really is, they accept except his claims and Johnalso tells us that belief undergoes a process of gradual understanding andperception this occurs through adherence to the words of Jesus and of coarserelationship with him. This is how one grows as a disciple and following theresurrection the disciples came to fully understand who is and who grasped hisfull status as the son of God the Christ. Now John also contrasts defectivebelief with true belief and we heard about that in the bread of life discoursethat was read to us. So in chapter 6 verses 51 to 58 Jesus made the incrediblestatement of who he really is. I am the living bread that came down fromheaven if anyone eats of this bread he will live forever and the bread that I willgive for the life of the world, his alarming words, he is my flesh. And we aretold after many of his disciples heard this they turned their back and a longerwalk with him. Well that is the defective beliefs he didn't continue they didn'tabide.But by contrast, we have Simon Peter's statement and it is the most powerfulstatement about what true belief is all about. Jesus said to the 12, do you wantto go away as well? And Simon Peter answered him, Lord to whom shall we go?You have the words of eternal life and we have believed and have come toknow that you are the holy one of God.What a statement. That is the statement of the true believer. Thus disciplesare ones who believe in Jesus as the word who gives eternal life. And disciplesare ones that go on and abides in Jesus wordsSo in John 8 31:32 we find, So Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him, if you abide in my word you are truly my disciples and you will know the truthand the truth will set you free. Abiding, as we know, means remaining it;means remaining convinced of the truth of Jesus words. Living one's life in the
 
truth of Jesus' words. The truth and belief and reality of belief is proventhrough abiding in the word of truth. That is what it means to be a disciple,spot in belief and applied in the words of Jesus that is the first mark in John'sGospel of discipleship.Now the second mark of discipleship found in John is the command to love oneanother. In John 13 remember the scene, it's a magnificent scene just afterJudas has left the upper room to betray Jesus, a defective disciple, Jesus says,a new commandment I give to you that you love one another just as I haveloved you. They're familiar words aren't they? You are also to love one another.By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one foranother. Disciples of Jesus love each other as Jesus has loved them and of course this presupposes that disciples are members of a faith community.That's part of being a disciple. And such love shows that one is in fact a discipleof Jesus. It is a reflection of the love of Jesus and it shows the influence of Christ in a believer's life. As CK Barreck(sp?)tt puts it , one has ceased tobelong to the old world. It was Tertulian Bishop of Carthage in the secondcentury living in the midst of Christian persecution who wrote, he wrote thisabout Christians, that he then will want to exclaim, see how these Christianslove one another, they are ready to die for one another. That is the mark of discipleship.The third mark of discipleship in John is bearing fruit. So in John 15 verseeight this my father is glorified that you bear much fruit and so prove to be mydisciples, that you bear much fruit. I guess as we see that verse one hasreminded again of dear old Polycarp. Mr. much fruit. One is able to bear fruitbecause one is in the vine and through true attachment to the vine brings life.And of course in the discourse we are told the vine that does not bear fruit, thebranch, I'm going to get there, the branch that does not bear fruit will be cutoff. Discipleship is a growing and developing way of life which results in fruitbearing but what is the fruit bearing in John's Gospel? Well, it is clearly beinginvolved in the mission of Jesus. If you've got your Bibles there you might carrythem. In chapter 15 verse seven, Jesus says if you abide in me and my wordsabide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. And as I readbefore my father is glorified by this if you bear much fruit.Mark Twain's, Huck Finn, shows a great misunderstanding of prayer, and actuallynot that he knew he was doing this but what it means to be a disciple of Jesusfor that matter. When he says in, to Mrs. Watson, he's speaking he says Mrs.Watson told me I could get anything I wanted I praying for it, she said if I go inmy closet and pray I get it. And I needed some fishhooks one time so I went tothe closet I shut the door and I prayed, but it weren’t so. And I got to thinkingabout it and I decided there was nothing to prayer.Well, he's got it wrong hasn't he? Our father delights to see his mission tofulfilled, and the prayer requests that will be answered are associated with

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