The Church of England has drifted away from the Bible for years, but now it may be on the verge of a complete break.
The church’s leaders don’t think so, but what they’re planning may effectively sound the death knell of the church as a home for Christianity.
What they have in mind is “to create a pagan church where Christianity was very much in the center,” according to the Rev. Steve Hollinghurst.
In an addlepated bow to multiculturalism, the church is training ministers to create, quote-unquote, new forms of Anglicanism that will make people with “alternative beliefs” feel at home.
“I would be looking to formulate an exploration of the Christian faith that would be at home in their culture,” Hollinghurst told the BBC.
Hollinghurst works for the research unit of the Church Army, an evangelical wing of the Anglican Church. He describes himself as a “Researcher in Evangelism to Post-Christian Culture.”
“Needless to say that’s a bit of a conversation stopper when asked ‘so what do you do?’ down the pub,” he said, “so I tend to put it more simply by saying my job is to find out how Christians can communicate their faith effectively with people who don’t have a church background.”
The Church Mission Society has been given the job of training ministers to lure “spiritual” people to the church, meaning practitioners of Wicca, Druidism and the whole range of New Age beliefs.
The announcement was timed to coincide with solstice celebrations at Stonehenge, which is a hotspot for modern pagans.
Andrea Campenale, spokeswoman for the Church Mission Society, said, “Nowadays people, they want to feel something; they want to have some sense of experience. We live in reflective England where there’s much more of a focus on ourselves. I think that is something we can bring in dialogue with the Christian society.”
Details about how the church plans to adapt to pagan beliefs were not available, but it doesn’t sound promising.
This is the same church that gave the world the United Religions Initiative, founded by Bishop William Swing, now retired, in San Francisco, an effort to create a “religious United Nations” and eventually a universal religion.
Like that effort, this seems like an idea that is destined to go very far from the teachings of Jesus.
Based on what Hollinghurst has revealed, it sounds like the plan is to adopt pagan ideas and put a Christian label on them. The potential for heresy is obvious.
Throughout history, the church has fit in to many cultures and allowed converts to bring symbols of those cultures with them, so this may sound like the same thing. But the church has always held to its principles. A Christmas tree in a church is a pretty trophy, not an object of worship.
What the Church of England is planning sounds like they are willing to make Christianity the window dressing for pagan religions, just for the sake of collecting dues.
If that happens, the Church of England will be completely lost.