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Buckle up and “Fight the good fight with all your might”

[Hymn: Words by John Samuel Bewley Monsell 1811-75. Music by William Boyd 1847-1928].

Easter is over for another year, but as always, it was a reminder of what it cost our Lord Jesus to accomplish our salvation; the reconciliation of our relationship with God, fractured by your sin and mine. Last month, on April 27th, was the 48th anniversary of that reconciliation in my own life. Lately I have been increasingly aware of the battle we are in as Christians, against a world determined to undermine the faith which we profess. I would like to encourage you, and myself, to keep on fighting, and not be tempted to give ground in that battle. Here’s something I found in my “STUFF” from 2009:

“Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester is hard to ignore. He announced recently that he is to retire early; the Church of England will be the poorer for it. Born in Karachi to parents who converted to Christianity from Islam, he was the first non-white diocesan bishop in Britain and…he knew about fighting for your faith…

He has lamented “the long withdrawing roar of the sea of faith . . . nurses cannot pray, the creed cannot be recited at Christian services for fear of offending non-believers”. Bishop Nazir-Ali spoke out against the soggy, “anything goes”, political correctness that characterises the modern Church of England. Sometimes his conservative views got him into trouble… Other times they chimed with the attitudes of many conservatives in the church. People will have different views on some issues but there is no doubt that conservatives in the Church of England have lost their most outspoken champion.

Now Bishop Nazir-Ali intends to take up the cause of persecuted Christian minorities in the Middle East, Pakistan and places like Orissa in India. It is a worthwhile mission.

His departure will leave a gap, both in public debate and the church. It takes a brave person to stand up against the tide of fashionable opinion and he was prepared to do so repeatedly. At this time of great flux many are reconsidering their values. It could be that the church rediscovers a more courageous defence of its own beliefs. If that were to happen, Bishop Nazir-Ali’s own brave stand will not have been in vain.”

[Adapted from an unattributed article: “A troublesome priest in a timid church”; in The Sunday Times of March 29th 2009].

I want us to think about the following statements in this article and consider what the Bible says about these things:

  • “He knew about fighting for your faith.” – 1Timothy 6:11-16; 2Timothy 1:5-7.
  • “He has lamented “the long withdrawing roar of the sea of faith . . . nurses cannot pray, the creed cannot be recited at Christian services for fear of offending non-believers”. – 1Peter 3:13-18.
  • “Bishop Nazir-Ali spoke out against the soggy “anything goes” political correctness that characterises the modern Church of England. Sometimes his conservative views got him into trouble…” – 2Timothy 4:1-5.
  • “It takes a brave person to stand up against the tide of fashionable opinion and he was prepared to do so repeatedly.” – Hebrews 10:32-39.

Brothers and Sisters, let’s be willing to “Buckle Up” and take the ‘good fight of the faith’ into the world and not wither under its attack, nor timidly give ground to accommodate its ever-changing opinions, however ‘fashionable’? [See 2Corinthians 10:1-5].  

So let’s you and I be ‘hard to ignore’ in that fight and, may our God strengthen us all in it.

Pastor Frank.




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