The Living Word 2008 conference in Singapore is now over, which I have publicized rather late since I had recalled it only last week and then decided to go for it at such a later timing. I went for all three evenings, and besides meeting various friends and fellow Singapore Christian bloggers, I was rather delighted to get my hand on a few interesting books, and the messages was just WOW! The book of Revelation was never made so exciting before [I tend to ignore apocalyptic literature compared to other genres due to its manifold complexity, and "newspaper exegesis" just turns me off].
I will be preparing a review of the talk to share with all soon, preferably after I receive the MP3s of the sessions which I have bought so that I can include audio clips at certain points. But for now, I would just like to post my sentiments on Singapore Anglicanism.
The Singapore Anglican communion has positioned itself with the conservative, biblical faction within the wider conflict in the worldwide Anglican communion. As the apostate liberals in the ECUSA and their wimpy allies in Europe attempt to force the communion into apostasy, the African and Asian communities are fighting for the faith and against the heretical nonsense put forward by these liberal apostates. In the backdrop of this front in the Truth War, it seems that the Singapore Anglican communion has decided to identify itself at least loosely with the Reformation, marking an interesting contrast compared with the other mainstream groups in Evangelicalism.
During the three evenings, the hymn by Martin Luther A Mighty Fortress is our God was sung each evening. This fact alone piqued my interest. The hymn is NOT just merely another hymn, but is in fact the anthem if you will of the Reformation itself, seeing also it was written by the Reformer Martin Luther! It is a battle hymn to be sung as Christians face the forces of darkness and grasp by faith the power of God for the advancement of the Gospel! That the hymn was sung in each session seems to suggest a possible alignment with the great Protestant Reformation, especially since the erupting controversy in the worldwide Anglican communion is getting ever more heated as the bishops are now gathered at Lambeth where this particular issue is expected to dominate and probably split the entire worldwide denomination. [It is sad that only when the detestable moral abomination of sodomy infiltrates the highest echelon of Anglican hierarchy that the conservatives start to be outraged about the apostasy in such churches]. Probably for once conscious of the possibility of great deception and of real spiritual warfare [not the fake Charismatic kind], the Anglican Diocese of Singapore is doing what no other major church body in Singapore has done so far in seemingly aligning itself with the Reformation. It is totally ironic that the one denomination which historically was known for its irenicity and the embrace of the via media seems to be more militant with regards to the Gospel than the traditional Evangelical denominations of all stripes (ie Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist) plus the New Evangelical (ie EFC) and Pentecostal denominations (ie AoG) who have all fallen asleep it seems.
But many who are first will be last, and the last first (Mt. 19:30)
I do not want to mention too much here of Carson's excellent exposition of Scripture now except to say that tonight's last exposition shows forth a vigorous presentation and a powerful call of the Gospel, nothing like the effeminacy which mark most pulpits in Singapore. Carson's Gospel-centered approach is most definitely refreshing, and all the more so when seen in stark contrast compared with the superficial nonsense occupying the churches in general. And when we come to the fact that Carson was officially invited by the Diocese of Singapore (not just any single church), this seems to suggest even more of some sort of alignment with the Reformation, although I don't think they invited him because he is a Calvinist. =P
Nevertheless, this is indeed a positive sign in Singapore Anglicanism, and for that we should rejoice. Although the controversy comes late, it is my opinion that God allows this controversy to awake the Anglicans out of their slumber. May God be so pleased also as to force the other Evangelicals out of their slumber by sending controversy if necessary.
A Mighty Fortress is our God by Martin Luther
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.