Friday, March 20, 2009

Learning from Europe

Several Global Church leaders have challenged American church leaders to keep their eye on and learn from what has happened and is happening in the European Church. Their fear, if we don’t change, that we won’t be far behind.

With that in mind, I’ve tried to educate myself. Along the way, I found the following 2008 article from the Christian Culture Journal. I contemplated whether or not to post all of it, thinking that we might get so distracted with the discussion of discrimination, that we'd miss some of the other significant thoughts on the division of church and the massive decline of professing Christians. Although some of the conclusions feel like a bit of a stretch, I thought I’d share it in its entirety as written. I found it interesting for many reasons.

"The divisibility of the Church is the cardinal document of Anglicanism, and its most fundamental heresy." Abbott Chapman (20th cent)

According to a recent study conducted by the U.N., two-thirds of British citizenry claim no religious affiliation. The 23-page report by a special rapporteur of the U.N. claims that the 2001 census which found that nearly 72 per cent of the population is Christian is no longer accurate.

Excerpts from TIMESONLINE: "The report calls for the disestablishment of the Church of England. It says that the role and privileges of the Church do not reflect “the religious demography of the country and the rising proportion of other Christian denominations”.

"The report says that there is an “overall respect for human rights and their value” but it gives warning of discrimination against Muslims.

"Citing research that 80 percent of Muslims in Britain feel that they have been discriminated against, the report singles out the Terrorism Act 2000 for particular criticism. Under the Act police in some areas can stop and search people without having to show reasonable suspicion.

The report’s author also criticizes terms in the Terrorism Act 2006 for being “overly broad and vaguely worded”.

Certainly, if a church is founded upon the notion that Christ's Church can be divided, then this same church therefore becomes subject to division, disestablishment and even elimination itself. The curse of the Reformation may well be the Islamization of Britain.

"And so the stage is set for the chastisement which the prophecies say will be very severe for England." Catholic Prophesy, Yves Dupont.

For the sake of maintaining the article's "integrity", I posted all of it. I don't believe that the Reformation will cause the Islamization of Britain. So please don't read that into why I posted it. And while any bit of discrimination certainly bothers me, my greatest concerns from the article are two fold: (1) The shrinking church and (2) the divided church.

"Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand." Mt 12:25

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