Wednesday, May 28, 2008

No one comes to the Father except through...well, through anyone, I guess (what passes for controversy in the Church of England)

Wow...I may have beaten Red Stick Rant to an Anglican story.

True Discernment linked to an item from the Christian Post.

The Church of England is divided over a proposed motion for it to proclaim Christianity as the only way to salvation and offer strategies on how to evangelize Muslims.

Senior church leaders as well as some Muslim figures have voiced anger at the motion proposed by Paul Eddy – a lay member of the church’s General Synod, according to BBC. Eddy, along with traditionalist Anglicans, argues that the church should stop avoiding hard questions about its beliefs.

The Church of England must make it clear that it believes in what the Bible says about Jesus being the only way to salvation, he said. Currently training to become a priest, Eddy believes that being upfront about the church’s beliefs will be helpful to Muslim-Christian relations.

“Most Muslims that I’ve talked to say, ‘I really wish that Christians would stop watering down their faith and expecting us to do the same,’” Eddy said on BBC Radio Four on Sunday. “Until we start really saying what we really believe in our faith, there will be no respect.”

Also, Muslims expect Christians to believe that Jesus is the only way to God, Eddy noted.

Here is the proposal:


Mr Paul Eddy (Winchester) to move:

‘That this Synod request the House of Bishops to report to the Synod on their understanding of the uniqueness of Christ in Britain's multi-faith society, and offer examples and commendations of good practice in sharing the gospel of salvation through Christ alone with people of other faiths and of none.’

124 Signatures (February 2007)


To be available for signature at July Synod 2008 (July 2008)

I'm still searching for open opposition to the proposal, but I did find this little comment from that theological bastion, Salon:

This is actually quite clever: on one level Eddy is calling for Muslim evangelization, while on another he is calling for the church to be more like Muslims, defining non-evangelical forms of Christian faith as "watering down". Eddy doesn’t appear to have any "examples and commendations of good practice" of his own (door-to-door, perhaps, like the Jehovah's Witnesses? Or what?), and one suspects that this is merely a bit of PR to put non-evangelical Anglicans on the spot.

Indeed, Eddy’s background is in PR, and he works closely with Andrea Minichiello Williams of Christian Concern for our Nation on a number of issues (I blogged Williams a week ago here) – Unity at Ministry of Truth has dubbed him as "God’s own Max Clifford". Williams, it should be recalled, promotes the views of a man named Sam Solomon, who warns that Muslims are motivated by hatred and that even moderate Muslim neighbours will turn into killers in the right circumstances.

In other words, vote against the resolution because Paul Eddy is a fascist. Or something like that.

Which raises the question - if John 14:6 were put up to a vote in your average Christian denomination, what lengths would people go through to defeat it?

P.S. For a different view on what Christian churches should do, see this blog post from Francine Hardaway. While the blog focuses on politics (and I even dragged Twitter into the comments), there is some discussion about how a Christian church should be welcoming.

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