(Church Times) Archbishop Justin Welby: Church needs to avoid drifting to divorce

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury said on Wednesday that the Church must not become like a marriage in which a couple have drifted apart and are content with their independent lives.

Speaking at the opening of the Evangelical Alliance's (EA) new headquarters in King's Cross, London, Archbishop Welby said: "It is too easy for the Church to be comfortable in separation, like a bad marriage where the couple has drifted apart, but not to the point where they'll divorce. They just sort of somehow live separate lives in the same house; they don't talk much except what's necessary to keep things running along. And they may not even notice that the separation is growing and deepening, but they live with it. And the Church can fall into that trap - in fact, over many years, has fallen into that trap."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)

5 Comments
Posted August 30, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Well, this is much better than his confused and confusing homily in Mexico.  It’s still not the kind of thing I’d like him to say or that I’d say if I were in his shoes (and I’m very, very glad I’m not), but it’s much clearer.  However, it still isn’t sufficiently clear, especially in that controversial section in which ++Welby acknowledges how the Millenial generation (under 35) finds the strict traditional Christian stance on sexuality in general, and homosexuality in particular, not only wrong and deeply prejudiced but even incomprehensible.  Personally, I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t think that we should ximply kow-tow to that sea change in the culture (as say, the Dean of Washington Cathedral, Gary Hall+, has openly done with no shame whatsoever).  I don’t think he is advocating that the Church roll over and play dead, although some people (from across the spectrum) have indeed interpreted his remarks that way.  No, he is calling the Church, and not least its conservative evangelical wing, to become far more aggressive and intentional in actively spreading the gospel, with all the moral implications that go along with it.  If so, I’m all in favor of that.

As for the divorce analogy, I don’t think that the main dynamic has been that the two sides have been “drifitng apart.”  It’s much worse than that.  Now, I would agree that when divorce sadly occurs, both sides have always contributed to that tragic outcome and there is no completely innocent party.  But the fact remains that in most cases, one spouse is much more interested in saving the marriage than the other spouse.  And I think it’s abundantly clear that in the case of the impending Anglican Divorce, it’s the orthodox side that has consistently worked to save the unity of the Communion, whereas the “progressive” side has manifestly refused to do what it would take, which is their repentance and abandonment of their false gospel of inclusivism and relativism, along with their antinomianism.  To use the divorce analogy, it’s the Liberals who have committed adultery.  They haven’t “drifted apart” from the rest of us, they’ve willfully and intentionally chosen to “walk apart,” in the famous language of the Windsor Report of 2004.

Still, in the end, it’s plain that, unlike his stalling predecessor, who continually kept kicking the can down the road and thwarting all attempts at real resolution of the crisis, ++Welby knows and publicly declares that the current state of affairs is unacceptable.  We just can’t go on living independent lives under the same institutional roof.  And he’s absolutely right about that.

David Handy+

August 30, 8:53 am | [comment link]
2. Sarah1 wrote:

The problem is that he won’t publicly recognize that the “divorce” was never a “marriage” in the first place.  Those currently in charge of TEC don’t believe the Gospel and there will be no unity between them and those who believe the Gospel, no matter if we are in the same organization or not.

Living in a house together isn’t the same as a “marriage”—so the analogy is hopelessly flawed.

Here’s a better one.  People pretending to be owners and lovers of a valuable and historic treasure have taken over control of the national organization representing that treasure.  They need to be deleted from the organization or the organization needs to be deleted from the overarching international organization that represents that treasure.

And in the end, either that will happen, or wide swathes of the people within the international organization will continue to move farther away from the charlatans and hucksters in charge of the national organization.

August 30, 10:27 am | [comment link]
3. Br. Michael wrote:

Personaly I don’t care what he says.  I want to see what he does.  He could declare TEC out of communion with him unless they return to the Gospel and the Biblical understanding of human sexuality as reflected in Lambeth 1.10.  Absent something like that all we have is a continuation of Episcopal double talk and useless words.  I don’t intend to play that game again.

August 30, 1:07 pm | [comment link]
4. Jim the Puritan wrote:

This is not a marriage that is “drifting apart.”  It is a a marriage where one partner has been repeatedly and continually deceptive, dishonest and unfaithful to the other.  And so far, the ABCs of the world have sided with the unfaithful partner and told the faithful one that for the sake of the “marriage” she just has to try harder to get along with the adulterer.

August 30, 2:30 pm | [comment link]
5. upnorfjoel wrote:

Interesting that he should use marriage in his analogy here!

August 30, 10:20 pm | [comment link]
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