The Church’s Divinity
I hope in Jesus Christ before I hope in the Church.
Unlike her Lord’s humanity the Church’s humanity is flawed by sin so though I love her it is with critical loyalty.
And yet the Church contains Christ’s divinity which triumphs age by age so that, as Chesterton said, when she seems to be going to the dogs the dogs die! The Church’s divinity has shone on, despite persecutions and divisions, as it shines now in our land over apathy and unbelief.
John Henry Newman noted the triumph of the Church’s faith over heresy down the ages and called the Church of his day to take that long view.
I try to take that view despite current divisions. The best sort of traditionalist – and by God we need traditionalists – holds faith in the ultimate triumph of the Church’s divinity. We hold Newman’s long view, confident in the Lord’s promise through Matthew 16.18 that ‘the gates of hell will not prevail’ against his Church.
We love the Church but with a critical loyalty. Even if there be sin and hypocrisy in her, there is holiness shining out. Only if Jesus be proved a hypocrite would Christianity collapse! He alone is without sin and since his divine nature is present in his people we can take hope. Just as people got affronted by his holiness in the Gospels we can take heart that people today get affronted by holy living among church members!
The Church’s humanity will fail. Her divinity will prevail!
In that deep operation of the Holy Spirit lies our hope and salvation!
Broadcast by Fr John Twisleton (Rector of St Giles, Horsted Keynes, West Sussex) on Premier Christian Radio DAB Digital Radio Freeview 725/ Sky digital 0123 in London on 1305 1332 1413 MW