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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The not so quick and the dead


The Archbishop of Canterbury The Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby pays a visit to St Alban's
  Academy in Highgate                                                                        Photo credit: Birmingham Mail


In my previous entry I referred to a report that the Archbishop of Canterbury was to visit a school in Birmingham where 80 per cent of its pupils are Muslim and just eight per cent of its pupils are Christian. He has. A report on his visit to St Alban’s Academy can be read here.

The reports I have seen so far concentrate on gays and gay marriage. Referring to Church of England’s laws the Archbishop said, "Marriage is between one man and one woman for life and sexual activity should be confined to marriage" before adding that he [like many of us -Ed.] has many gay friends who do "incredible" work. He  admitted that he "struggled" with his views on homosexuality adding: "I’m listening very, very closely to try to discern what the spirit of God is trying to tell us." That sounds like sandy ground to me, just as in Wales where 'consultations' are taking place to to be ignored, as before, if they don't meet their Archbishop's expectations set out here.

Important though the sanctity of marriage is it was this quote which worried me more:
"Answering a pupil who asked whether he would encourage him to convert from Islam to Christianity, the Archbishop said: 'I am not going to put pressure on you, and I wouldn’t expect you to put pressure on me'."

'Pressure' is reserved for Muslims who have no scruples about gaining converts for Allah. Examples here and here; ideology here. From another report today on the Facing Islam Blog:

"ISIS has abducted dozens of Assyrian men, women and children, including 12 from Tel Hurmiz, 15 from Tel Goran. They have been brought to Jabal Abdul Aziz. The residents of the villages of Tel Shamiran (approximately 50) and Tel Jazira (about 40) are being held captive in their own villages by ISIS.
 A number of churches have been destroyed, including the church in Tel Hurmiz, one of the oldest churches in Syria, the Mar Bisho church in Tel Shamiran, the church in Qabr Shamiy and the church in Tel Baloua.
Three weeks ago ISIS ordered Assyrians in the region of Hassaka to remove the crosses from their churches and to pay jizya (Christian poll tax), warning residents that if they failed to pay they would have to leave or else be killed."

The Principal of St Alban’s Academy told reporters: "Our collective Christian, Muslim, Sikh and Hindu parents and those of other faiths or none send their children to St Alban’s because of its high expectations and good discipline founded on strong moral and religious principles and because they recognise the value of children being encouraged and supported in their faiths. Despite the fact that the school has a Church of England ethos, its multi-faith intake means it has strong partnerships with various establishments including Birmingham Central Mosque. [My emphasis - Ed.]

The Principal talks about a Church of England 'ethos' but I see little evidence in the reports. Perhaps he is unaware that it is the duty of all Muslims to convert infidels to Islam believing that "Islam is the one true faith that leads to salvation". Archbishop Welby may have been caught on the hop but I was disappointed that he didn't grasp the opportunity presented to him when asked about conversion.

Muslims need to know Christ. How else are we to conquer the evil that is being allowed to spread around the world on the absurd pretext that Islamic extremists have nothing to do with Islam? They are emulating their prophet while non-violent Muslims are spreading their religion surreptitiously. Turning the other cheek is one thing, turning away from Christ is quite another. According to research by the Pew Research Center, "in 34 of the 38 countries where the question was asked, at least half of Muslims believe that Islam is the one true religion that can lead to eternal life in heaven". We need more Christianity and less political talk so that people know the truth.

If I may Archbishop, some recommend reading from 2 Timothy 4:

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

7 comments:

  1. If the AofC were to apply 2 Timothy 9 (which it it doesn't sound like he did), it would certainly be interpreted by the pupil and/or his/her parents as putting on the pressure to convert. Any Christian leader who shies away from an opportunity to spread the Good News of Jesus to little ones such as these is not a leader at all.

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  2. "And the Lord turned and looked upon Peter and Peter remembered..." Luke 22.61-62.
    In reply to the child's question with regard to 'conversion', Archbishop Justin should have anticipated a question of this nature ,and then he might not have fallen into a political trap.I am sure that someone had planted this question in the child's mouth.
    Was is not folly of the Archbishop to corner himself ?
    In the way in which the Archbishop answered he was reinforcing the apathy that exists in this country towards Christianity, and in doing so he is promoting the void (I referred to in the previous blog) in the following of Christianity ,and virtually inviting the Muslims to step into the vacancy. Although Archbishop said "....I would not expect you to put pressure on me" , does the Archbishop not know this is their modus operandi ; a modus vivendi does not truly exist within Islam ?

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  3. What a shame! If the leadership of the church does not lead by example then what are the rest of us to do? And what abbout Christ's Great Commission at the end of Matthew's Gospel? Our duty is to go into the whole world and make disciples - and what a story we have to share; one of love not compulsion; one which brings joy; one which allows us to sing and play music in honour of Our Lord; one full of colour and light; one in which our Saviour bled and died for us. Surely we should be desparate to share that story? Maybe His Grace was worried that if he did share his faith with a muslim girl he would be arrested for insulting Islam and persecuting someone of a different faith. No wonder people think the church is dead.

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  4. He could have replied openly that it is his calling, and that of every Christian, to bear witness to Jesus Christ, who said himself that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

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  5. 80% of the students are Muslim but the school is called St. Alban's. How ironic!

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  6. He should have said
    "There is no need to try and convert you. Remember that Jesus is a muslim prophet, and muslim prophets cannot lie, and Jesus said 'I am the way the truth and the life', so if you are a true muslim, you will convert yourself to being a Christian!"

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  7. Evangelical Ed : Brilliant !

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