The Church that doesn’t ‘do God’
or a tour of an Anglican cathedral which did not mention God, Jesus, Christianity or the Bible.
Tim Montgomerie of ConservativeHome tells of a tour he took of Salisbury Cathedral last Friday. The tour guide recounted the details of ‘the stone used in the Cathedral's construction. She was instructive about the art, about the candle for Amnesty International and told us proudly that Salisbury was the first Cathedral to have a girls' choir’.
But there was not one mention of God.
Mr Montgomerie rightly had no expectation of a sermon or a declaration of the Gospel of salvation. But he would have appreciated a hint, a murmer, a whisper, a slight allusion to the God of Glory who inspired the sublime majesty of the architecture.
He says: “With so much ignorance of the Christian story these visits provide an opportunity for the Church of England to say a little of what motivated previous generations to build such magnificent monuments to God. But nothing.”
And so he asks: “Where is the Church's passion to share the good news?”
The reality is that the Church of England has adopted the very deity which St Paul found in Greece. In the Acts of the Apostles, he proclaims: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.”
The Church of England is busy making unknown what it has previously known. It is so busy selling teddybears, making coffee, preaching inoffensive political correctness and developing gay liturgy that it has lost all sense of its spiritual raison d’être. One comment in the thread, from the professing atheist Mikey, says: “I am atheist but would have more respect for the Church if it had a tiny bit of confidence in its message.’
Well, Mikey, Cranmer has more respect for open-minded atheists than he has for a lukewarm church. He would rather live life with the vibrant passionate godless than do God with the tedious passionless.
It is one thing for this anti-Christian Labour government to eradicate Christianity from the public sphere; but quite another for a supine Established Church to assist it by error, oversight or purposeful omission.
Yet perhaps the Bishop of Salisbury might respond that his cathedral is to be worshipped in, not toured...