14 Jan 2022

There is true leadership and then there is the leadership of this world. The historians and journalists live the leadership of this world, for its systematic corruption and idiocy sells papers better than celebrity gossip. The times are fallen, and often these two things are conflated. There are many vain and unruly men who want special attention because of who they are or who they know. These courtiers are to acknowledged but not followed. It is not your rank, it is leadership.

Zechariah led. Though he had bee made mute.

In these fallen times, true leaders are often silent. You can tell them by the people attracted to them: the competent, the wise, those who can and will contribute. The noisy get the NPCs.

Titus 1:1-16

1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before times eternal; 3 but in his own seasons manifested his word in the message, wherewith I was intrusted according to the commandment of God our Saviour; 4 to Titus, my true child after a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour.
5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that were wanting, and appoint elders in every city, as I gave thee charge;
6 if any man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having children that believe, who are not accused of riot or unruly. 7 For the bishop must be blameless, as God’s steward; not selfwilled, not soon angry, no brawler, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; 8 but given to hospitality, a lover of good, soberminded, just, holy, temperate; 9 holding to the faithful word which is according to the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in the sound doctrine, and to convict the gainsayers. 10 For there are many unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped; men who overthrow whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. 12 One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, Cretans are alway liars, evil beasts, idle gluttons. 13 This testimony is true. For which cause reprove them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure all things are pure: but to them that are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16 They profess that they know God; but by their works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Revised Version.

Luke 1:1-25

1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to draw up a narrative concerning those matters which have been fulfilled among us, 2 even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, 3 it seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things accurately from the first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus; 4 that thou mightest know the certainty concerning the things wherein thou wast instructed.
5 There was in the days of Herod, king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abijah: and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. 8 Now it came to pass, while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, 9 according to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to enter into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the hour of incense. 11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: because thy supplication is heard, and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn unto the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before his face in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to walk in the wisdom of the just; to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him. 18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak unto thee, and to bring thee these good tidings. 20 And behold, thou shalt be silent and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall come to pass, because thou believedst not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. 21 And the people were waiting for Zacharias, and they marveled while he tarried in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: and he continued making signs unto them, and remained dumb. 23 And it came to pass, when the days of his ministration were fulfilled, he departed unto his house. 24 And after these days Elisabeth his wife conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, 25 Thus hath the Lord done unto me in the days wherein he looked upon me, to take away my reproach among men.

Revised Version.

The liturgy of the Temple was described in detail. Zechariah was taking part as was his duty. All priests were to serve. The people who were not priests prayed at this time, but the liturgy and psalms we have with us. When he left, mute, the people had clearly witnessed that he had a vision from God. He was not expected to have children: now he did.

We have a basic liturgy, given to us by God, and we are fools to change it overmuch. If we do this, we are not innovative, we are apostate. But the leaders of this world tread where no sane theologian will go.

One of the practices, however, stood out more than all of the others because of its intense theological ramifications.  There are, of course, theological ramifications to this entire attitude of allowing politicians and power-mad medical bureaucrats to dictate how the Church worships, allowing the sanctity of the Church to be invaded by the same intrusive health measures that have made everyday mundane living so miserable and thus interfering with the Church’s being a holy sanctuary from the evils of the temporal world, and essentially telling the Church to walk by fear rather than faith, the opposite of the Apostolic injunction.   There was one practice, however, that had much more specific theological ramifications than all of this.   This was: communion in one kind only;.

This practice explicitly disobeys the Thirtieth of the Articles of Religion.   That article is entitled “Of both kinds” and reads: The Cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the Lay-people: for both the parts of the Lord’s Sacrament, by Christ’s ordinance and commandment, ought to be ministered to all Christian men alike.

Even more astounding than the fact that our Church was so brazenly doing what its Reformed Confession forbids was the theological justification we were given for this.   We were told that Concomitance was the official teaching of our Church.  Concomitance is the idea that although the bread is specifically said to be the Body of Christ and the wine is specifically said to be the Blood of Christ, both Body and Blood are received in each element because they cannot be separated, any more than the two natures of Christ can be separated in His One Person.   This was the argument the Church of Rome used to justify her breaking from the universal practice of the Catholic Church of the first Christian millennium, the only one of the Churches to emerge from the Primitive Communion of Churches to do so, by withholding the Cup from the laity.

Gerry Neale.

I have no doubt that at the last day those who have been noisy in their theological disputation will find themselves corrected. The traditions of men inevitably influence what we say and do at worship. These things need to be changed with great care. This is one reason that the Papists and Anglicans who stick to the old prayers make less errors. But the liberal part of both churches is noisy, and wants infinite inclusion. There is not a slippery slope that they do not like.

They are not true leaders. Shun them.