As a Christian, whether in leadership or not, it is right and necessary to know that ambition does have its place in support of Christ’s Church.
If all we Christians take God seriously, we shall “become ambitious for the spread of his kingdom and righteousness everywhere.” May this be our common goal, and may we “therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2 – ESV) AND > May we be among the bold/ambitious laborers. Keeping in mind that though we are differently gifted, we can, should, and must be willing to say to our Lord Jesus, “Here I am send me”. He can and does use in countless wonderful ways whosoever will.
Let’s look at what the late John Stott has to say on rightly ordered ambition.
“Ambitions for self may be quite modest (enough to eat, to drink and to wear, as in the Sermon [on the Mount]) or they may be grandiose (a bigger house, a faster car, a higher salary, a wider reputation, more power). But whether modest or immodest, these are ambitions for myself – my comfort, my wealth, my status, my power.
“Ambitions for God, however, if they are to be worthy, can never be modest. There is something inherently inappropriate about cherishing small ambitions for God. How can we ever be content that he should acquire just a little more honour in the world? No. Once we are clear that God is King, then we long to see him crowned with glory and honour, and accorded his true place, which is the supreme place. We become ambitious for the spread of his kingdom and righteousness everywhere.”
- 172 -173 “The Message on the Sermon on the Mount” (Inter-Varsity Press)
You may or may not know that your blog host here spent 33 years in the Episcopal Church (TEC). From the Episcopal Church I have numerous fond and transforming remembrances of many of Christ’s bondservants I came to know and love and by whom I was influenced, most often in positive and sometimes profound ways.
From 2003 to 2009 (the latter year being my time of departure), TEC willfully took a path oriented to relativism, proclamation of different gospels (see II Corinthians 11:3-4 and Galatians 1:6-9, for example ), abandonment or specious reworking of vast sections of Holy Scripture (an unbiblical hermeneutic resulting), evisceration of the mission of the church to go and make disciples, and a whole host of other actions that demonstrate the truth of Richard Niebuhr’s critique of the so-called liberal gospel: “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”
My breaking point came slowly and after much prayer and not a little separation anxiety. Thanks be to God for PEARUSA!
I must note that I know a good number of parishioners and clergy still in TEC who by grace have maintained their Christian orthodoxy and witness despite the increasingly negative and pernicious actions and influences of the relativist revisionists in positions of power within TEC and its governing structures.
When thinking upon the dominical declaration (ref. Matthew 16:13-19) of the Chief Architect, Foundation, and Bridegroom of the ecclesia, οἰκοδομήσω μου τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, I will build my church, it makes me blanch to apprehend how far afield TEC has walked away.
With that sad picture in view, I share a link to a timely article that ought to warn us all about making untenable compromises when it comes to matters concerning the faith once delivered to the saints.
Hie thee hence, praying before during and after reading.
Grace, mercy, and peace be multiplied to you and yours this Advent season,
While working through several concerns this week, in prayer this came to my mind and heart: There is a heavy shortage of truth in this world nowadays. I submit that a prime reason for this is that Christians forget or willfully ignore the wonderful, inexhaustible verity of the one, real truth.
To make the whole matter worse, this forgetfulness and ignorance bear awful, bitter fruit amidst the Christian family, and worst, result in an image of the church that the wanting, waiting world regards and then turns away in revulsion; the very opposite desire of our LORD that we be light and salt. Relativists look askance at this existential wasteland and roll out marketplaces of truths for the choosing.
We have work to do. Repentance first, though.