CofE postpones debate
A debate about seeking to convert followers of other faiths, scheduled for discussion at the General Synod of the Church of England, has been postponed to 2009. The debate would have taken place just weeks before the ten-yearly Lambeth Conference and could have proved controversial.
The motion called on the House of Bishops ‘to confirm their understanding of the uniqueness of Christ in a multi-faith society, and to publish details of best practice in evangelising people of other faiths’.
However, in seeking to derail the discussion before it properly began, some Anglicans claimed the motion showed no sensitivity to the need for good inter-faith relations, and that the demand for evangelisation contributed nothing to the efforts of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs ‘trying to learn to respect one another’s paths to God and to live in harmony’.
Paul Eddy, who brought the motion, said he was not surprised that it didn’t get timetabled, considering the media reaction and opposition he had faced from many bishops. Nevertheless he believes the church needs to discuss evangelism and emphasise its commitment to take the message of Christ to the whole world.
The debate has been postponed until the next Synod at the earliest.