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Monday, 7 June 2010

“One Church, one Faith, one Lord”

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.


  1. Human being is a product of his culture, language and faith. There is a positive co-relation between language and culture. If Muslims become notoriously monolingual Brits than there is a likely hood that they will adopt English culture. They will still be the underdogs of the British society. In the past they were victim of Paki-bashing in all walks of life by the British society in every walks of life becuase majority of them were not well versed in local accents. Now Muslim youths born and educated by British education sysytm are being victim of terrorism by British establishment. Thousands of them are being searched by Police in streets and many of them are behind the bar without any trial. A lot of Muslim youths are imprisoned by British courts on the slightest excuses. The number of Muslim prisoners is on the increase in British jails. When they come out of jail they will become real criminals and terrorists while British foreign minister has said that Muslims are law abiding and committed citizens.

    I am concerned with the education of bilingual Muslim children. I set up the
    first Muslim school in London in 1981 and now there are round about 140
    Muslim schools and only 11 are state funded. I would like to see each and
    every Muslim child to be in a Muslim school.

    A study by Bristol University reveals that a high level of racial
    segregation in Oldham schools and tension between communities resulted in
    recent riots in 2001. The solution is that those schools where Muslim
    children are majority, may be designated as Muslim community schools. The
    native parents do not want their children to be educated along with migrant
    chiildren. As soon as they find that the number of other children are on the
    increase, they remove their children to those schools where native children
    are in majority.

    In the 70s, when I raised ithe issue of bilingualism and Muslim schools, I
    was given the impression that British education system does not believe in
    bilingualism. According to varities of studies, a child will suffer if
    he/she finds himself cut off from his/her cultural and linguistic roots.
    Arabic is our religious language and each and every Muslim must be well
    versd in Quranic Arabic. This the main reason why I believe that Pakistani
    parents must find marriage partners from Pakistan for their children.
    Pakistani children and youths suffer more than others because they find
    themselves cut off from the literature and poetry. Majority of them are not
    even well versed in Standard English. This is the main rason why majority of
    Pakistani children leave schools without goood qualification. English is
    their economic language while Urdu is their social and emotional and Arabic
    is their religious language.

    There are hundreds of state schools where Muslim children are in majority.
    In my opinion, all such schools may be designated as Muslim community
    schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models. There is no place for
    a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school.

    Bilingual Muslim children have been in state schools for the last 50 years. They have been suffering from Paki-bashing. They have been unable to develop their confidence and self-esteem due to racism and bullying. This is one of the main reason why they have been unable to achieve good grades. They have been suffering from Identity Crises. They do not know where they belong. Muslim school with bilingual Muslim teachers is only the answer.

  2. Thank you for your illuminating comment IftikharA. You amply illustrate my point that in dialogue our leaders are not playing by the same rules. My post was a plea for the Anglican Church. At no point have you expressed your sympathy for us nor do you show any understanding of our plight yet we both worship the God of Abraham. We are all God’s children; He doesn’t have favourites yet you imply that Muslims are entitled to special privileges that are not accorded to Christians, particularly those persecuted in Muslim countries. Again you are silent on that point.

    Your extreme assertions speak for themselves but one wonders why any self-respecting Muslim would want to live in what they regard as the God forsaken country you described here:
    There are good and bad in every society but you are happy to tar everyone with the same brush if it suits your argument whilst claiming discrimination if it doesn’t.

    I worship in a multi-cultural congregation where the only discrimination shown is against fellow Christians by people of their same ethnic background for daring to believe Jesus Christ to be the Saviour of the World. God gave us free will. The Jews had endless laws which made His people captive until Jesus redeemed them. You imply the same rigid regime as if it were a universal truth without the humility to accept that people who cause no harm to others may see things differently.

    Had you shown a modicum of sympathy for God’s children other than those whom you seek to profit by your deeds your comment would have been more meaningful but in any event you make my point for me very well. Thank you.

  3. That's a remarkably bad post. Really if a Muslim wants to ghettoise his or her own population to the exclusion of the "native" one ("there is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school") then what is he/she doing in this country in the first place? There are countries where you can do that, but I wouldn't like to think it would be here.

  4. Thank you for your comment Jon.
    I was disappointed by IftikharA's approach. His concentration on perceived difficulties for Muslims in their adopted country while ignoring the problems facing indigenous Christians said more than I managed to do in my blog.

  5. IftikharA needs to know it is not only Pakistani people with strange accents who are taunted in Britain!

    I have white British parents but was brought up in another country. I speak English as my teachers and parents taught me to speak it, and we obviously did not have regional British accents, so I speak "received" English with some frayed edges. I have moved around a lot with hubby chasing work after moving here, and I have been sneered at for being "uppity" from citizens of: Herefordshire, Wales, Birmingham, Liverpool, York, and Durham along the lines of, ...."Eeohu - aren't we posh?" or, "Since when did you have posh friends?" said with surprise to my friend while ignoring my presence. I could go on. I don't let it worry me, and I have made friends with some of the sneerers who acted out of ignorance rather than malice.

    Will finish by asking IftikharA how strangers with foreign accents in Pakistan are treated, especially children? He/she should get over the self-pity and work at cohesian, not division, among our fellows. Learning discernment would be useful too, discerning between racism and bullying-for-the-sake of it, something children of all cultures and races have always done and always will do. Sadly, some kids never grow up but they are the minority in Britain and only a bigot would suggest otherwise.