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Lectionary

5 November 2019

Today is Guy Fawkes’ Day, and I have for years enjoyed the V for Vendetta fantasy of Parliament being destroyed — however, it appears that Parliament, or at least the last interation, did a good job of blowing up themselves. Hence the current election.

But we should not be considering Parliament. Or High explosive. We should consider that there are always those who would blow up our congregations and fellowships by bringing novel ideas within. They look to dreams and mystics. They despise their bodies, the rules of nature, or both (and call it queer theory). They will not merely be apostates, but drag others with them.

Such are always with us. Any mechanism of man they will subvert: any worthy priniciples and structures will be broken. The “Semper Reformans” cry of Calvin was a call to continual reflection and repentance in the light of scripture — not a call to political arms or to being aligned with this world. The Magisterium was supposed to protect the Roman Church, but (under the current post Vatican system) subverts good teaching and right living.

We are not to be blind to this.

Instead we are called to persevere. And mistrust the mystics, together with those who talk about spirituality.

Jude 5-21

5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterwards destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgement of the great day— 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. 9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgement, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. 11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. 12 These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved for ever.

14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgement on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favouritism to gain advantage.

17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

This is a season of scoffers. Do not be them. Do not be like them.

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