It has finally happened. The General Synod of the Church of England has decided to debate the single most controversial, divisive, polarising and shocking issue in the Church today.
Yes folks: The ‘E’ Word: Evangelism!
Perhaps like me you are wondering what is so controversial about evangelism. Well apparently a lot, a movement of Synod Members oppose the bill calling on it to recognise explicitly its aim of converting people to Christianity. The opponents claim:
“the issue will simply serve to damage the Church’s relations with members of other religions, including Muslims.”
Now i am pretty sure that Jesus’ last commandment before heading heavenward was to instruct us to spread the news of the gospel until all have had a chance to hear – and to baptise bel;ievers (paraphrase to see a verbaitum quote read Matthew 28)
In fact in my view the Whole Bible is about God’s saving love for all people, and how he wants us to be the instruments of spreading news about Him.
As an Anglican I have long since stopped worrying about the nonsense that Synod pontificate, the discussions they have so often have so little relevance to actual ministry in the Parishes.
What I found so sad about this debate is that it even needs to happen. A Church that has distanced itself from Mission and Evangelism is a broken Church.
We shall see who gets their way, in this. In actuality it will make little difference to Churches actively and properly engaged in mission.