Wednesday, May 04, 2011

When the Lights Go Out: The Death of a Denomination


Adrian Hamilton is concerned that the Church of England “will not survive my children’s lifetime and quite possibly not even my own.” Writing in The Independent [London], Hamilton writes of a Church of England that remains established as the national church, but is no longer established in the hearts of the nation.

Interestingly, Hamilton argues that the very fact that the Church of England is an established state church is among the chief causes of its predicament. For most Britons, he argues, the role of the nation’s state church means very little — “some exotic clothes and ritual prayers on state occasions.”

And yet, what Hamilton notes most of all is this: “What is really worrying for the future of the Church, however, is that its leaders themselves seem to have ceased to believe in it.”

Hamilton is not a conservative. He rather smugly dismisses controversies over sexuality and gender. Those debates are not killing the church, he argues. Instead, it is the unspeakable apathy that marks the British people with regard to their state church. “The majority of people are quite happy to profess themselves Christian and Anglican,” he says. “It’s easier to accept than asserting a different faith. But they are not so happy to go to church services or take an active part in its activities.”

Consider this assessment....

To read more, click here.

2 comments:

Charles said...

Dr. Mohler seems to be quite concerned about the Anglicans. However, some of his concern should be directed at his own denomination. Using General Social Survey data, the Southern Baptists declined from 9.4% of the population during the 1985-1990 period to 7% of the population for the 2006-2010 period, a 25.5% drop. He might be surprised to learn that TEC had a slightly smaller percentage drop during the same period. Again, what's he trying to prove?

Robin G. Jordan said...

Charles,

From Dr. Mohler's other articles I gather that he is concerned with developments in his own denomination.

The Anglican Church is the largest Protestant denomination in the world with 80 million members in a single denomination, topping the Assembly of God's 40 million members. While there are 100 million Baptists, they are divided into several denominations. I would think that it is natural for Dr. Mohler to take an interest in developments in the Anglican Church, in particular in the Church of England, the mother church of the Anglican Church. The Anglican Church is a major player in Protestant Christianity. What happens in the Anglican Church affects other Protestant denominations, including Dr. Mohler's own.