A game of two halves

Half the children born this year will see their parents separated by the time they reach 16. Halfway through this century, demography could make Britain Islamic. Half the number of folk attend Anglican churches today compared to fifty years ago.

Hair-raising halves calling for no half-measures by all Anglicans in proclaiming the Gospel. Yet the General Synod seems half asleep to the fact that if proper provision is not made for traditionalists, the recent exodus to the Ordinariate is half those who’ll eventually go.

The Ordinariate itself is a halfway house between a church seemingly establishing the unscriptural paradigm that women must be bishops because ‘gender equality’ demands it, and a church maintaining the equally unscriptural paradigm that the Pope is infallible because God must have appointed a doctrinally unerring earthly agent.

Even if Islam isn’t dominant by 2050, Christians are beginning to experience the first signs of becoming a disregarded, persecuted minority. Today, attempts to ban wearing of Christian symbols. Tomorrow?

St Paul faced persecution of an intensity yet to visit today’s church, but was no stranger to arguments among believers. He argued with Peter but united with him to preach Christ. He told the infant Church that it was ‘high time to wake out of sleep’.

Will the elderly, half-awake CofE realize that today’s descendants of ‘Paul, Apollos and Cephas’ can be still be rejuvenated for mission by accepting the Three Province solution? Half a moment’s thought would show how.

Arguments about episcopal jurisdiction could be put to bed. Canterbury, York and the new province could unite to proclaim the Gospel. It may seem foolish to those who seek certainty, even if infallibly guaranteed, but, as Paul said, ‘the foolishness of God is wiser than men.’

Alan Edwards

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