The Flaw

Someone said to me last week that the main strength of the Church of England is its acceptance of every shade of theological opinion within its membership. Most Christians will have heard this argument before. It’s a good thing, Anglicans will say, that within its ranks, it’s possible to be a radical evangelical or virtually an atheist, or hold any theological view between these extremes.

I think that the development of this ‘believe – whatever – you – like’ culture is not so much a strength, but rather a fatal Flaw, running like a fissure to the very foundations of the C of E, waiting to bring down the tottering building which stands above it. I’m pretty sure that most, if not all, of those who defend the Flaw today would not use a similar argument as being reasonable in any other arena.

What would we say, for example, to the formation of a political party which encouraged within its membership, Marxists, fascists and anarchists?  Or what would we make of a new football club which decided it would keep the rules of the FA but not enforce them, and would, moreover, allow some players to spontaneously break out, mid-match, into a game of cricket, rugby or tiddlywinks if they felt so inclined? We’d ask such organisations how they could possibly have any direction or focus when all their members were allowed, or even encouraged, to pull in different directions.  Yet this very principle is what many well-meaning Anglicans are trying to cling to. 

If The Flaw is a good thing, then can the organisation resting on it stand for anything in particular? And if it tries to stand for everything, will it not end up standing for nothing?

  1. Chris,

    I think you have answered your own question. This will be a fatal flaw if it continues.
    My question is, what are the evangelical wing doing about it, and is it working?

  2. I agree, again I hate to use the old adage “if you do not stand for something you fall for anything”. if I may add my bit to that we have in the named circles such as some of the C of E and other denominations lost sight of the meat of our very being and what we stand for as Christians.Where is the person in the C of E that is going to uphold the word of God and actually apply it to their attitude in every area of life particularly in standing for truth in these sad days of error and where there is grey for people or where truth has become relative.You would not surprise me if you said “I know someone like that in my Church” As a matter of fact I still would not be surprised if I was told “I know a Church like that”. This may be yesterday’s news for that person who told you what the main strength of the C of E is. It is also yesterdays news that we are to contend for the Faith.However it is relevant for today like the Cross, like standing for truth. Like having some good old guts to actually stand up for what you believe in and not cow down to the first person that says”Are you contesting what I am saying ?” Result: let’s change our whole doctrine for you are you happy now ? Like the spoilt brat when he grows up he will consume you !
    Surely as Christians is’nt the Word suppose to discipline us not the mass ?

  3. Chris Lazenby

    Thanks Anticochean!
    You’re dead right; I changed the last paragraph from a statement to a question and have indeed answered it to some extent. However, the whole piece was really intended to get people thinking and inspire some discussion on the topic.

    The evangelical wing of the C of E is (in my humble opinion) fighting a losing battle and needs our constant prayer. As a current member of this losing side, I say this with heartfelt sincerity.

    Chris Lazenby

  4. I think back to the divergent opinions of Dr Martyn-Lloyd Jones and John Stott. I can see Stott’s point, but as a one time Anglican, I believe Lloyd-Jones was right.

    What do other people think?

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