By Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has said that the possible split in the Anglican Communion due to “profound disagreement” over homosexuality would set a bad example for the world.
“A schism would not be a disaster. … God is bigger than our failures, but it would be a failure,” Welby told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program.
“It would not be good if the Church is unable to set an example to the world of showing how we can love one another and disagree profoundly, because we are brought together by Jesus Christ, not by our own choice.”
Welby made the comments ahead of a widely awaited meeting of world Anglican leaders, which has been overshadowed by bishops from Asia and Africa threatening to walk out over disagreements on issues regarding homosexuality.
Related article: Sin, corruption and Islam: Justin Welby on the threats facing the Anglican Communion
Today, almost all religious denominations, like AA chapters, are disagreement-born separations from earlier bodies. In the West, however, modern secular governments do not permit the conservatives their traditional practice of slaughtering the heretics.
Thank you so much, Chris. I always suspected that Archbishop Welby was secretly planning to have an auto-da-fé right there on the steps of Canterbury Cathedral. But now, thanks to you, he won’t be able to do it. Why? Because you have reminded him that here in the West we no longer permit such things.
If only Archbishop Welby were a Muslim ayatollah of some sort, then he could slaughter heretics to his heart’s content. Some of us used to think that the Spanish Inquisition was a pretty terrible thing, but our peace-loving Muslim neighbors are showing us here in the 21st century with all of their bombings, hangings, stonings, burnings, throat cuttings, honor killings, tossing people off buildings, etc., that we Christians don’t have a clue how to be really and truly brutal to those we consider our enemies. Maybe this is one of the things that we Christians can learn from our Muslim neighbors. You think?
Why Chris; what a thoughtful, honest, fact-filled, Bible based statement. Your spewing of hate really uplifts the Christian conversation. sarc.
True, in the history of the church there have been many unnecessary schisms that were resulted from human failures on both sides. But there are several schisms without which the church would not have been the church as Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior instructed it to be and thus they were absolutely necessary. Compelling and justifiable reasons for such schisms have been discussed by Catholic and Protestant theologians, for example, in the cases of separation from Judaizing, Gnostic and Arian errors. The church cannot blame the apostles at the Jerusalem Council, the Church Fathers, and the Nicene bishops for the divisions, although there could have been much more civilized way of handling the situations. Otherwise, the Christian confession of one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church loses itself any real meaning.
The question if current debates at the Anglican Communion with regard to the homosexuality should lead to a separation must be viewed in light of three schisms mentioned above. I may add one more here, the one during the Reformation era, simply because Anglican theologians in general, unlike the Catholic church, have justified the fourth.
Calvin emphatically argued that leaving the Catholic church was not a schism. It was only reforming the church as Christ and the Church Fathers intended it to be.
I agree with W. Pannenberg: “Those who urge the church to change the norm of its teaching on this matter must know that they are promoting schism. If a church were to let itself be pushed to the point where it ceased to treat homosexual activity as a departure from the biblical norm, and recognized homosexual unions as a personal partnership of love equivalent to marriage, such a church would stand no longer on biblical ground but against the unequivocal witness of Scripture. A church that took this step would cease to be the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.”
The Christian church should not bless nor prescribe unions of adultery and fornication, although Christians, unlike the past, must find some Christian way to minister to them in love.
Incidentally, it is interesting to observe that the pro-homosexual lifestyle has been encouraged by denominations in the West that were one-time sending missionaries overseas while the missionary receiving churches are against the non-confessional and non-biblical lifestyle. Perhaps, the churches in the West, America included, may have to welcome “immigrant” missionaries from those younger churches as their missionaries had been once welcomed by the young receiving churches.