Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Brethren Under the Lordship of Christ

On Sunday morning, June 22, 1958, Paul Robinson who was President of Bethany Biblical Seminary preached on the topic "The Brethren Under the Lordship of Christ" to the Annual Conference worshippers.

It is most significant that in this anniversary year we have directed our thoughts to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Here we come to the central affirmation of the Christian faith.

The earliest statement of faith in the New Testament church undoubtedly was the simple clause, "Christ is Lord." ... After more than nineteen hundred years of Christian experience, and in this two-hundred-fiftieth year of the Church of the Brethren, we can express Christian truth no more profoundly or make no confession more demanding than to say, "Christ is Lord."

... This is the beginning of discipleship, but it is only the beginning. It is not enough simply to say, "Christ is Lord." It is possible for us to declare our loyalty to Christ with out lips but to be utterly lacking in the testimony of life which bears witness to his control. ... Becoming a Christian meant many other things, Alexander mack and the small band of earnest seekers after truth in Schwarzenau restored this basic principle to the heart of their spiritual pilgrimage. For the Brethren, Christianity has always been discipleship. The primacy of this fact has influenced the life of the church beyond measure. Across these two and one-half centuries of our existence, we have not been very articulate in setting forth what we believe in any kind of systematic statement. But like the first-century disciples, we would rather say, "Come and see. We will show you what we believe by what we do."

...we stand in this dramatic moment in our history. Ours is a dynamic mission. To us as to all the church has been entrusted a gospel that is the power of God and the salvation of the world. As we begin the second quarter of a millennium of our history, the Church of the Brethren will stand daily at the crossroads of our destiny. Will our heritage become for us an asset or a liability? ... will we dare to live under the Lordship of Jesus Christ? ... Only we and our children, and our children's children, can answer. But answer we must!

Source: The Adventurous Future, chapter 25