January 8, 2019
“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.” -G. K. Chesterton
I’m currently in Melbourne, Florida attending the Anglican Church in North America College of Bishops meeting from January 7-11. Please keep us in your prayers so the Lord will help us lead you aright for His glory.
Last week Archbishop Foley Beach wrote to ACNA Bishops asking us to ensure we disciple members of our dioceses to live godly lives. By the grace of God I have been doing that over the years and I know the Lord is at work in our lives. Among several areas of godliness, the Archbishop is particularly concerned about the issue of pornography. Here is his note:
“I just finished a very disturbing article. We are going to need to be more intentional about discipling our people to live godly lives in the culture in which we find ourselves. Article HERE.”
We are not where we should be in matters of godliness but I believe that through believing the gospel and obeying God’s commands the Holy Spirit is transforming us day by day by His power to live holy lives in the world.
So if you are struggling with pornography, do not despair and I write not to condemn you but to encourage you to repent and seek help from the Lord in prayer and some form of counseling and accountability. This is holy war against the enemy of our souls. Here’s a link to a page from The Gospel Coalition where you will find numerous articles and talks on the topic of pornography. Please read as many articles as you can as you equip yourself and others to engage in this spiritual battle:
In addition, “Focus on the Family” has several pages dedicated to it and also their counseling hotline as a resource:
Parents, be aware that your children may have been already exposed to pornography. Please take appropriate steps to help them. I would like clergy to address this matter pastorally in your congregations in a way that will help those struggling to press forward with hope to victory. I would caution all of us to avoid an accusatory and condemnatory approach because most of those who struggle with pornography already feel guilty and helpless. Instead, do your best to help them and come alongside our brothers and sisters who are struggling or feel entrapped in this.
But just in case you are not convinced about God’s call on His children to be sexually pure, here is God’s Word to you: “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8.
With Jonathan Edwards let us all resolve to live for God even if no one else does.
Finally, I ask you all to pray for one another so that this year will be a year of growth in gospel godliness in the fear and grace of God. In the words of Charles Spurgeon, “Pray that this year you may be holy, humble, zealous, and patient; have closer communion with Christ, and enter more often into the banqueting-house of His love. Pray that you may be an example and a blessing to others, and that you may live more to the glory of your Master. The motto for this year must be, “Continue . . . in prayer.”
The Rt. Rev’d Dr. Felix Orji, OSB
Anglican Diocese of the West
St. Francis Cathedral Church
470 Eagle Drive
El Paso, Texas, 79912
“We are justified by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone. True faith always yields the fruit of obedience to one degree or another.” Dr. R. C. Sproul