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Saturday, January 07, 2017


Désolé, pas de traduction.
Cranmer posted 95 theses by Martyn Percy.

Rather long-winded, more like two theses in 95 sentences.

One of the commenters retorted with this, which had the benefit of being sufficiently concise and apposite for me to read to the end:

The church doesn't need 95 theses, just a few, nailing to the foreheads of the Bishops. My view:

1. The church is introverted, as are most of the clergy, and struggle to talk to those who are not regular congregants. I know one vicar who shakes with fear when talking to anyone who isn't a churchwarden. It needs a heavy dose of extroversion and should prioritise the recruitment of extroverts.

2. The church needs to recognise that Britain is now no longer a Christian country but will be again if it does the right things because if it is true to the Word of Christ no power can withstand it. All too often its leadership seem bereft of confidence in the soundness of its message and publicly doubting leaders destroy their own followers' conviction.

3. Parish churches and clergy are the front line. No withdrawals because local Christians drift away and Christianity's presence is made invisible without them. Sacrifice everything central to bolster the presence on the ground. I did this at a very large bankrupt retail business, putting resources liberated from the centre into the front line. In three years we were voted by our peers the best in sector from being a laughing stock.

4. Leadership and management are different things. It strikes me that the church has little effective of either. Leaders have courage and conviction. Ours precious little of either and people have little respect for them as a consequence. It's little surprise that it is the two third world Bishops in the recent church (Sentamu and Nazir-Ali) who have won some respect outside the church because they have suffered and spoken out unapologetically for Christianity - they are authentic unlike most of the rest.

5. Defend traditional COE dogma and belief based on the 39 Articles. Clergy who won't or who seek to overturn them should be sacked, as should others who are not sufficiently competent. Such are leaches on the faithfulness and generosity of the the faithful. Homosexuality without repentance should be condemned, as should adultery and other modern preoccupations. Such people should not be clergy or even churchwardens.

6. Don't aim to be popular, aim to be respected for your courage and consistency. Criticism from the powerful means you're making an impact and doing the right things.

7. Don't align with any secular ideology - take them all on and speak truth to power based on the Word of Christ. They are all failures and as passing as blossom.

8. Speak out on the Islamification of the West and on the lethal dangers posed by multiculturalism. There are huge numbers of conservatively minded people out there who feel betrayed by the Church which they believe should be defending them and our civilisation. No one else is and it represents a huge gap in the market for Christianity to re-engage with matters about which people are really concerned.

9. Focus on making CoE schools more thoroughly Christian, set up Christian sports clubs etc. Learn from the re-evangelisation of Britain by the Wesleys etc in the 18th and 19th centuries. Get out there. Social media is a huge opportunity as it bypasses the secularised monopolies of mass communication, but to be noticed the message needs to be punchy and to upset the right people

10. Teach quite clearly that the only salvation is in Christ, and not by works, or charity or being nice. Too many clergy are tainted with universalism, which raises the question - why make the sacrifices of being a Christian if it makes no difference. Teach what the alternative to salvation is.

11. The clergy need to be equipped to argue against atheism on secular grounds. There's enough articulate philosophers and scientists out there who believe in God and Christ on evidential grounds to do this. I'm amazed how few clergy seem able to make the arguments. When one does, those of Dawkins etc are rapidly stripped of the impression that they are the only logical world view.

12. Revitalise the monastic tradition in this country so that they become the strongholds of the uncompromised faith as they were in the days of the early church.

Christianity is not there to sort out the problems of this world, only God can do that. Our job is to help as many people as possible to find freedom and salvation in him.

In summary, confront, don't concede or apologise for what we are, but do so rationally and calmly. Don't expect to win them all, just one soul to start is an invaluable achievement.