We live in a society that is changing rapidly. Life is becoming faster paced; our surroundings and social circles are increasingly split into multiple categories through the separation of church, family, education and work; and many of our interactions and activities are shaped or even controlled by electronic gadgets. Our beliefs and attitudes are influenced by exposure to a wide range of influences, and cultures that were founded on godly principles are increasingly being corrupted by selfishness, immorality and rebellion against God. Yet we are exhorted not to be conformed to the pattern of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, and to live as salt and light in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation (Romans 12:2, Philippians 2:15, Matthew 5:13-16).
In Advent 2017, Bishop. Elmer initiated an online diocesan seminary, using video conferencing to bypass the difficulties of trying to gather in person. The purpose is to equip and strengthen the clergy to become more effective ambassadors of Christ to our parishes and missions, to those from other churches who may attach importance to academic credentials, and to a broken world that is in desperate need of the truth.
The introduction, “Fight the Good Fight of Faith” by Don Allsman and Don Davis, reminded us of the Biblical foundations of the Christian life and encouraged us to persevere in the face of trials, temptations and opposition. Our current book, “Theology: the Basics” by Alister McGrath, is helping us to examine in more depth some important topics such as faith in God, creation, and the identity and work of Jesus Christ, and to understand more clearly the difference between the truth we believe and some of the lies that have shaped the culture and at times influenced the Church.
Beyond the nine students who have enrolled so far, the goal is for all clergy in the diocese to benefit from this training, in order to be more thoroughly equipped to handle the word of truth, and for the churches of the diocese to be better prepared to fulfill the mission that God has entrusted to us. Pray for clear understanding and for wisdom in application so that the Lord will enable us to make a great impact in advancing His Kingdom.
by: Deacon Andrew Gossage