An Anglican bishop is speaking up. Tired of his church’s perceived impotence and irrelevance while England’s evangelical roots are being duly pulled up and supplanted with seeds of tolerant inclusivism, this Jack is shimmying up the beanstalk. Bishop Michael Nazir-ali of Rochester is taking off the proverbial gloves and serving notice to satan’s dark kingdom that it is high time for England to again reassert her Christian identity. Amid a “multi-faith mish-mash” the good bishop sees the bludgeoning and erasing of his own.
And it’s just plain ticking him off.
He is calling for the evangelical population to rise and be counted, to resist neutrality and irrelevance and is even calling out Prince Charles for wanting to be known as the “Defender of Faith” (i.e., all faiths) instead of guarding the sacred trust handed down to the Heir of the Throne as “Defender of THE Faith.” Ahem, Christianity.
Nazir-ali’s England now embraces “rooms for reflection” instead of hospital chapels and spaces previously set aside for Christian worship are known as “multi-faith venues.” The Bishop of Rochester is from Pakistan and knows well the price to be paid for being born Muslim and converting to Christ. It’s not for the faint of heart. And he knows all too well that too much blood has been spilled in the soil of his adopted homeland and the hallways of its history still echo with the voices of brave and gallant warriors of the faith.
Time will tell if his co-mingling voice will fall on deaf ears. There is more. A law may soon be passed making it illegal in England to refuse any kind of service to gays (are you paying attention, evangelical America?). If one’s moral and spiritual code compels them to refuse to rent a room to a gay couple at their bed-and-breakfast, the government will shut them down. If a pastor refuses to marry a gay couple, he will be fined and imprisoned. If a church school refuses to include curriculum that endorses the homosexual lifestyle as a viable alternative, there would be recriminations.
I guess the point of this is: what might God be stirring over there in the stiff-as-a-board Anglican institution? Bishop Nazir-ali is not alone. Other clerics are now joining ranks and crying from the rooftops. Could it be that satan has awakened a Sleeping Giant? Is a Wesley right now stomping the sleep out of his legs? Is a Wilberforce now rising to challenge the status quo? Is a Cranmer ready to cast off compromise and offer his hand to the fire? Is there a new Latimer begging to be lit on fire for God? Is there a William Wallace itching to “pick a fight”?
We can only pray.