Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cundy: a branch of the one vine

Wednesday, May 19, 2010
    Feast of Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, 988
    [Jesus:] Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.
    —Matthew 23:10 (NIV)
    While the local church is not the total body of Christ, it must be seen to be [that body’s] particular expression in its worship, ministry, and mission. It has authority to preach the gospel and administer the sacraments, but does not possess that authority in isolation, only as part of the total catholic Church. The authority of the local church can never, therefore, be absolute or autonomous, for, if it [asserts such authority], it denies that it is a part of the larger body and confuses the Church of God with its particular expression in the local church. It therefore requires a structure which allows it to act with the authority of the Church of God, because it must be Christ to its local community—while, at the same time, demonstrating that it possesses such authority only because it is part of the total Church of God whose authority is derived from its organic relationship with Christ, its Head.
    ... lan P. M. Cundy (b. 1945), “The Church as Community”, in The People of God, Ian Cundy, ed., vol. 2 of Obeying Christ in a Changing World, John Stott, gen. ed., 3 vol., London: Fountain, 1977, p. 36 (see the book)
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You are the source of life for Your church.
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