IN OUR OPINION.....
IS THIS REALLY WHAT ROWAN WILLIAMS IS AFTER?
THE Archbishop of Canterbury announces out of the blue that it would not be "the end of the world" if the Church of England was disestablished. But he thinks that this is not quite the moment to make the change.
He knows perfectly well that there is a large Labour lobby pressing for disestablishment. He knows that it has received a big boost from the PM distancing himself from Crown Appointments. The Archbishop knows that the right of bishops to sit in the House of Lords is under review. Why does he carelessly toss this remark into the works when the C of E is in such an unstable condition anyway?
Which leads to another question, Why do we worry? Would it matter? Is the C of E in its present decadent condition worth saving? Frankly is it of concern to anybody but Anglicans?
Our concern is not for the Church of God, for that we have no fears, but for the country. Consider a few of the implications. Moves to disestablish the church are only part, though an essential part, of a campaign to separate Church and State. The old Protestant vision of the UK as a theocracy with the Queen as God's representative, deriving her authority from God and answerable to Him for both the country's temporal and spiritual affairs, would be gone forever. The Queen would cease to be Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The Act of Settlement would immediately disappear as it links the Head of State with the Church. The church would now be run by the clergy, as is the Church of Rome. The Laity would lose the right to the last word in Church affairs through Parliament. And, lest we should be accused of erastianism, let us remind ourselves that Parliament cannot force anything on the Church. It can only say, 'Be reasonable. Think again'. Is that such an intolerable yoke on the neck of the church?
But this separation of church and state would have even more serious consequences. We will be in the situation of the USA which cannot officially, as a nation, pray to God in an emergency or subsequently thank God for his mercies.
Parliament, the courts, the police, the armed forces, state schools and who knows what else would follow, each being meticulously decontaminated to remove any lingering reminders of Christianity. The Bible would have no official place in national life.
This is not a theoretical possibility. As in the USA, we would have secularist zealots looking under every flat stone for evidence that the state might be in some way allying itself with the Christian religion, however remotely.
Disestablishment is the starting point of this godless process and the Archbishop of Canterbury knows that.
In practice secularism would become the state religion and Rome would barge into the religious vacuum left by the C of E. By removing another important prerogative from the Queen it would be a big stride toward a Republic with secularism as the de jure established religion and Rome as the de facto established church.
And apart from the occasional tiff, Rome and secularism get along surprisingly well together.
Courtesy of: BRITISH CHURCH NEWSPAPER.
16 January 2009
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