After decades of slow-motion suicide, the Church of England decides that killing itself faster is the cure:
The Church of England is just ‘one generation away from extinction’, the former Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday. Lord Carey laid the blame at the feet of Church leaders who he said should be ‘ashamed’ of their failure to bring youngsters into their services.
His stark message was echoed by the Archbishop of York, who told the General Synod that compared to the need to attract new worshippers, ‘everything else is like re-arranging furniture when the house is on fire’.
The Most Reverend John Sentamu told the Synod – where leaders will debate how to persuade traditionalists to accept women bishops – that they spent too long ‘arguing over words and phrases, while the people of England are left floundering amid meaninglessness, anxiety and despair’….
Church of England Sunday congregations are running at half the numbers of the 1960s, and over the past two decades Roman Catholic churchgoing has seen a similar decline. Christian numbers are rising fast in some parts of the world, notably in Africa. Worldwide, the Anglican churches have between 70 and 80 million followers – many of whom look to the Church of England for a lead.
Embrace the world and die. Abandon Biblical doctrine and die. Permit women in leadership and die. The Church can, and will, survive any amount of persecution. The Gates of Hell themselves cannot prevail, much less bloodthirsty atheist dictators.
But the one thing no church can survive is cutting itself off from its own source of life and nourishment. There are always a plethora of excellent, logical, and convincing reasons why the Church should embrace sin, abandon doctrine, and walk upon the broad and easy path to the approval of the world. And the churches swayed by that reasoning always end up dying. The pursuit of approval always ends in apostasy and societal apathy.