HATCH AND MATCH

Neal Pollard

I have heard of Shake-n-Bake, cash and carry, Mutt and Jeff, and Laurel and Hardy, but “Hatch And Match” was a new one on me.  It was reported by Ruth Gledhill, the Religion Correspondent for The Times Online out of London, England.  “Hatch and Match” is the nickname for religious services being conducted by certain congregations within the Church of England for couples, already shacking up, who want not only to get married but have their children baptized (or even themselves baptized) into the Church of England.  While the rank and file of priests are opposed, there are officials who believe it is a good idea.  Stephen Platten, chairman of the liturgical commission, is quoted as saying, “This does not mean the Church is changing its teaching.  This is a way for the Church to reinforce its commitment to marriage.  The Church has always attempted to meet people where they are.  But it has also tried to teach something of what it believes the Christian faith to be.”  Statistics reported in The Times reveal that 44% of children in England are born to unmarried women.

I have to agree with the objecting majority.  “The proper place for sex is within marriage” and it will certainly “confuse” people’s thinking about sex and marriage.  So often, those in the position to most influence a moral recovery and repentance seem far too ready to compromise God’s Word to accommodate people’s sinful lifestyles.  As those striving to restore New Testament Christianity, may we never bow to the pressure to conform the church to the world.

A story is told of an army flag bearer traveling with a regiment charged with taking a strategic piece of ground.  Enemy fire was brutal and casualties were mounting.  The brave flag bearer made his way up to the hill, where he planted his nation’s flag.  Meanwhile, the battle heated up and the weary soldiers were ready to beat a retreat.  Their highest ranking officer still standing pled, “Bring the flag down to the troops.”  The flag bearer retorted, “No, bring the troops up to the flag.”  Thus we find ourselves in a fierce battle with Satan and the world.  The temptation is to plead, “Bring the standard down to us.”  But our Lord demands, “No, bring the people up to the standard.”  May that be our conviction as the world moves further and further from God, in ethics, morality, and doctrine.  Let us not only stand our ground, but advance toward higher ground!

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