Conservative Anglicans have carried out a strange coup to form a church within a church. On first consideration, non-believers might welcome the increasing disintegration of a major world religion. But, in fact, the impact seems to be far from good, with fundamentalists seeking to snatch control of the Anglicans’ global organisation and moral authority.
The group said it would stay inside the Anglican Communion, but with its own statement of theology and council of archbishops. ….
The move underlines the alliance’s independence from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and makes clear that it will no longer recognise Dr Williams’ traditional role as the leader of the world’s Anglicans.(from the BBC)
The BBC has a few soundbites about the issues that divide liberal and fundamentalist Anglicans. These basically come down to views on gays and women.
The BBC’s “debate” between Paul Eddy, from the UK Conservative Anglican network, and Californian Bishop Marc Andrus shows the staggering gap in intelligence and goodwill between the two camps. Andrus so outclasses Eddy as to make him look like a simple-minded fool. (OK, I guess that is no great feat.)
Ironically, Paul Eddy said that the Anglican communion must be paramount, with everybody holding to the same doctrine, which seems to conflict with the GAFCON plan to set up its own international power network within the church.
And how about this from Paul Eddy on “THE NEED TO CONVERT PEOPLE OF OTHER FAITHS”?
The Great Commission [Jesus’s instruction to the disciples to spread his teaching] remains as relevant in 2008, whatever the political and religious tensions, as it did 2,000 years ago. The Church in Africa is experiencing huge growth – in Muslim countries among others. It is a Biblical mandate which orthodox churches believe in.
A Biblical mandate to convert? To convert Muslims, even? Argh!
Sunny Hundal had some things to say about Eddy, when he discussed an article, in a new rightwing magazine, Standpoint, by Bishop Nazir-Ali. This bishop is the most senior UK churchman on the conservative side, in the battle for the soul of the Anglican communion.
In fact, the type of society Nazir-Ali wants isn’t far from the utopia that conservative Muslims want to develop, except it’s a different religion.
Hundal said that Nazir-Ali, disappointed that Rowan Williams was chosen as Archbishop rather than himself, is launching a power play, gathering a posse of supporters and gaining media attention through the manipulation of fears of Muslims.
.. for example, he backed a motion by the Church of England’s General Synod member Paul Eddy on evangelising other faiths (but focusing on Muslims to guarantee headlines). Paul Eddy just happens to be a PR consultant who has worked with the purity ring campaign and Christian Concern for our Nation. Remember CCFON from the Channel 4 documentary on Christian fundamentalists?
Converting Muslims is a bit of a theme with Paul Eddy. In March, according to Anglican Mainstream
A traditionalist Anglican has said he will continue with a campaign for the Church of England to work explicitly to convert Muslims to Christianity.
Paul Eddy, a lay member of the General Synod, has come under intense pressure from bishops to withdraw his plan.
Apparently this contentious motion is to be put to the Synod on 4-6th July, over the objections of almost all senior church figures..
You might understand the Church of England being unable to successfully face off an aggressive PR consultant, them being so unworldly and all. You can understand the right-wing press being happy to jump on any conservative bandwagon, that’s their social role.
But, I am a bit miffed that the BBC is happy to treat this guy as a handy rent-a-speech chap. The BBC is surely no stranger to the wiles of PR consultants. OK, there’s a dull issue that’s got to be aired on TV or the website in a couple of hours.. They’ve got his phone number…. Lazy.
So I really hope that that Channel 4 documentary becomes required viewing for any members of the General Synod.