Thursday, July 17, 2008

Church of England R.I.P.?

Here is a fascinating article from the Spectator, by Theo Hobson. His take on the current state of the Church of England is that the church was supposed to be diffused "liberally"through society under the state's laws and culture, but since Rowan Williams, (who previously was not a part of the state church, being from Wales), became Archbishop of Canterbury, his focus on the Anglican communion rather than solely on the Church of England, allowed the evangelicals to gain too much power and left liberated England out to dry, and now it will die.

What's fascinating to me about the article is how Machiavellian it is. There is nothing about what is true or scriptural. His explanation for the problems in the church is that the "bigots" have gotten too much control and the Archbishop inartfully let them have it by not sitting on the fence regarding homosexuality which would then have allowed the culture to transform the church in this matter.

This brings to mind that to those without faith, the matters of the Kingdom of God are incomprehensible, and for those of us with faith, often difficult. Hobson obviously cannot acknowledge that the purpose of the church is to transform culture nor that this is because Christ is the true King, Lord of Heaven and Earth - even of the Church of England.


  1. Isn't that the problem? That the anglican church is trying to transform culture. The inability to act may be the only thing protecting the rest of us from the devastating effects of their moral ambiguity.

  2. Thank you for your comment.
    The point of view of the author was that the culture should transform the church, not the church transform the society. I think the Church of England has been transformed by the culture; a hedonistic, materialistic, patronizing culture, (I'm speaking in generalities, of course). The point at which I would agree with the author is that when the Church of England wants fellowship with the Anglicans in the south who still trust the Bible as God's Word, there must be conflict.
    It is always a temptation of any church to fit the culture in which it exists. We see this in Russia where the Orthodox Church is in a mutual supportive position with the authoritative government as well as here in the west where certain churches align themselves either with the political left or right. Unlike the author of the article, I find this dismaying and I try to weed out those tendencies in myself. It is difficult.

  3. I understood the point very well.

  4. Then no, I would not agree that the Anglican Church is trying to change culture, but to conform to it. In any church that goes astray there is usually a remnant that remains faithful, and that is what many in the C of E want to change, not the culture.