Anglicans charged to make the world a better place
Guardian Lifestyles Editor
Published: Oct 24, 2013
Anglicans were charged that as Christians they must seek to make the world a better place and to do all in their power to cause others to do so as well by Anglican Bishop Laish Boyd during his charge at the opening of the 112th Session of Synod. He said that is why a social awareness and social conscience must always accompany the gospel.
“The Christian must look out into the world and challenge the world to be a better place, while reading our Bibles and newspapers and magazines,” said the head of the Anglican church in The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
With unemployment a “biting concern” and in some islands as high as 19 to 23 percent, Boyd reminded Anglicans that history is full of difficult times and that in every age the faithful have been put to the test – whether it was Moses leading a large group of people through the wilderness and the trying experience they all had; or them trying to settle in the Promised Land, a new and often uninviting land; or Elijah fleeing for his life in a climate made intolerable for the faithful by King Ahab and Queen Jezebel; or when Paul wrote to Timothy lamenting the direction so many were headed in, when he said that people would be “lovers of their own selves… lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God”.
“These times described are akin to the challenging times we face in our world today – the pressures, worries, forces, the screens (television and computer), the information overload and circumstances that affect us,” said Boyd.
“But in this environment as a church we must stand fast, do right and believe that God is still in charge of His world. 1 Peter (4:12) advises: Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.”
While crime continues to be a major concern in the country, the Anglican bishop in his opening charge said human life was still a wonderful thing and that they must never forget that their cup is half full, not half empty, even though there are things that would challenge, upset and offend them.
“In these kinds of times the Church must stand fast and never give up. This world is God’s and we do our part, stand firm and persevere in all of the quarters we frequent, and we let God do the rest,” as he addressed the audience in Christ Church Cathedral.
Addressing topics such as the government, crime, jobs, taxation and the environment, Boyd said the issues were only some of the concerns they pray and agitate about, but that the church must continue to be the church. He said the members must continue to stand on the gospel tradition as the Bible teaches and encourages a set of values and a way of life that cannot be beaten.
He told Anglicans that they should set the right example in their lives. He reminded them that no one is perfect, but told them that they are called to a standard that Jesus calls them to.
“Be people whom others can respect and look up to,” said Boyd. “Show forth in your life on Monday through Saturday what you stand for by going to church on Sunday.
“For too many of us, there is a divide between the two. We have one set of values on Sunday, which we throw away for the rest of the week. People do not see what we claim to believe, and so they take us and our faith for a joke because they do not see seriousness in us.”
The bishop encouraged Anglicans to support the work and ministry of their church. He told them that it was the spiritual family to which they belong, and to let their allegiance be seen in their living, their priorities, their commitments and their finances.
“Be a good citizen,” said Boyd. “The biblical standard is that we should render to Caesar and to God what belongs to each. Our faith should be lived out in part in our national responsibilities. Give time to your country, serve your country, respect and support the laws and programs and initiatives of your country.”
The Anglican bishop also encouraged them to get back to basics – prayer, Bible reading, acts of Christian charity, personal sacrifice, individual devotion and going to church regularly.
He also told them that whatever happens, to not give up, as it is God’s world and God’s country.
“Never get tired and say that all is lost because all is never lost if citizens who believe in God keep on working and building because they know that faith in Jesus is lived out in whatever country Jesus put you in. Even national life is a part of the ministry of the Christian so in this service and in all Christian work we persevere,” said Boyd.