Top Anglican Advisor Issues 'Apocalyptic
on the Future of Western Christianity
Monday, Dec. 13, 2004 Posted: 5:27:13PM EST http://www.christianpost.com/article/church/1732/section/top.anglican.advisor.issues.‘apocalyptic.warning’.on.the.future.of.western.christianity/1.htm
A senior advisor to the Archbishop of
Canterbury issued an “apocalyptic warning” about the Anglican
Communion and the Western churches in general, as she ended
her tenure on the 19-member Archbishops’ Council.
Jayne Ozanne, one of the more evangelical Anglicans, warned
the Archbishop that the a time of “great persecution was coming.”
Her statement, which was not meant for public view, was leaked
to the Times in London on Saturday.
paper comes in the midst of one of the largest fracture in the
history of the Anglican Church. The relationship between conservatives
and liberals spiraled downward at a furious rate in recent months
following the ordination of an openly homosexual bishop in the
United States and the blessings of same-sex unions in Canada’s
October, the church released an extensive report on the affects
of homosexuality in the communion to help appease the situation.
However, the report was only mildly successful: leadership in
conservative nations and bodies criticized the report for its
leniency toward the liberals and for its failure to address
the essential theological problems underlying the situation.
one of the 19 members of the Archbishop’s Council since 1999,
echoed the fears of many evangelicals in her statement.
remain convinced that the only way for the Church to survive
the storms that are currently besetting it is to embrace the
hard truth with honesty and humility.” Questioning whether Church leaders really believe any
more in a God who can move mountains or
in a God who can raise the dead, she warns that the Church seems to
have forgotten how to meet the cost of being Christian,” Ozanne
council is the Church’s policy-making body and has met consistently
behind closed doors.
took note of the numerous developments that have occurred within
the church during her tenure that held the Church back from
has been nearly six years since I was invited by Archbishops
George and David to serve on the first Archbishops’ Council.
Much has happened since then, both to move the Church forward
and also, I fear, to hold it back,” she said.
to the Times, Ozanne also “argued that it is her duty to “speak
about some of the white elephants in the room that few of us
like to admit are there.””
took note of the destructive characteristics of Western Christianity.
giving is not a concept that we in the West have either embraced
or understood. We are too comfortable and, as a result, too
see a time of great persecution coming, which will drive Christianity
all but underground in the West. I believe that this will primarily
take the form of a social and economic persecution, where Christians
will be ridiculed for their faith and pressurised into making
it a purely private matter.”
the established Church will self-destruct, “fragmenting into
various divisions over a range of internal issues”, she predicts that a new “Church
in England” will take root, consisting of non- denominational
cell groups throughout the country, according to Ozanne’s statement.
While Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams did not comment
on the statement, one member of the council – who did not wished
to be named – said to the Times that Ozanne goes to a particular
evangelical church and that her perception is “governed by that
Peter Crumpler, another member of the
Council said the statement was merely the personal view of Ozanne.
“The Church of England encourages a lively
exchange of views.” He added: “We face challenges in an increasingly
secular age. We are facing the future with realism.”
Meanwhile, Phillip Giddings, a key player in England’s evangelical
movement, said Ozanne’s warning should not fall on deaf ears.
“This was a personal reflection from Jayne
and it needs to be taken seriously. I think it a real possibility
that Christians face the kind of persecution she predicts and
the established Church faces some real challenges, which we
need to address. Those of us in leadership positions need to
take very seriously what she has warned about,” said Giddings,
one of the founders of Anglican Mainstream.
Said Giddings: “What she says reflects
the reality that there is an ongoing division within the Anglican
Communion and the Church of England in particular on matters
of authority and the relevance and authority of Holy Scripture.”