In my youth, our church choir used to sing the last line of each verse of Thy hand, O God, has guided, with great gusto: “one Church, one Faith, one Lord”, lingering lovingly on those last words.
The fifth verse said much:
And we, shall we be faithless?
Shall hearts fail, hands hang down?
Shall we evade the conflict,
and cast away our crown?
Not so: in God’s deep counsels
some better thing is stored:
we will maintain unflinching,
one Church, one Faith, one Lord.
Rather than ‘maintain our church unflinching’, the Anglican church has become irrelevant to most British people except for rites of passage. Ecumenism has given way to inter-faith dialogue while Christians are persecuted abroad. Our tolerance has become our undoing. From The Telegraph: “In non-faith state schools, Christian assemblies are being dropped in favour of multi-faith worship, despite a legal requirement for Christian collective worship, and children are no longer taught the Lord's Prayer” according to an Ofsted report:
Reports from Wales indicate that their politically obsessed Archbishop is to dine out in celebration of inter-faith dialogue "aimed at promoting understanding and tolerance across the country in the wake of international terrorism fears."
Tolerance and understanding are fine but we are not all playing by the same rules. Christianity is being undermined in our own country.
In some predominately Muslim schools mentioning Jesus is now regarded as unacceptable. The God of Abraham has to be the same God for Jews, Christians and Muslim or there would be three gods so if “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” why do we deny that truth by not proclaiming the Christian message? As another hymn aptly puts it:
The Church’s one foundation
is Jesus Christ, her Lord;
she is his new creation’
by water and the word;
from heaven he came and sought her
to be his holy bride,
with his own blood he bought her,
and for her life he died.
Our church is dying while her leaders play politics. Faith needs to be nurtured; it is much more than a history lesson. Our ministers both sacred and secular must act quickly before it becomes no Church, no faith, one Lord.