news from ekklesia

By staff writers
September 22, 2003

Archbishop tells Evangelicals to listen

-22/9/03

Recent political infighting and controversy around the issue of homosexuality had ìeaten out the heartî of the Church of England, the Archbishop of York said today.

Dr David Hopeís comments came as he called upon delegates at the National Evangelical Anglican Congress in Blackpool to ìstop, look and listenî.

The issue of homosexuality has threatened to send deep divisions throughout the Anglican church since the appointments of two openly gay bishops, in Reading and New Hampshire, earlier this year.

Many Anglican organisations throughout the world attacked the decision to appoint Canon Robinson, and called on the Episcopalian House of Bishops, which appointed him, to be separated from the rest of the Church.

But speaking to around 2,000 clergy and lay leaders of the Churchís evangelical wing yesterday, Dr Hope challenged the Anglican Communion to remember its role in listening carefully to sharp divisions rather than creating schism among itself.

ìThe truth is that we have become altogether too busy and too noisy, too wordy and too chatty,î he said.

ìDoes our worship really have to be wall to wall words, music and action? Do our prayer meetings and Bible study groups have to be a series of monologues that the Lord will just do this, that or the other thing?

ìWhere is the stillness, the silence, the listening what used to be termed among evangelicals the quiet time?î

Quoting John Charles Ryle in his 1879 book, Dr Hope opened his address by saying: ìPolitics or controversy, or party spirit, or worldliness, have eaten out the heart of lively piety in too many of us.î

He added: ìThose words could easily have been written today for they are just as relevant and pertinent not simply for those who describe themselves as evangelical Christians but for each and every Christian person quite regardless of church or denomination.î

Without referring specifically to the arguments which have caused such deep divisions in recent months, Dr Hope warned that if infighting was all that people ìout thereî saw in the Church, then it would not be listened to never mind taken seriously.

ìThe quiet time, the time to stop, to look and to listen amidst the cacophonous clamours in both church and world is even more essential today than it has ever been.

ìFor if people out there the world beyond the church are only able to perceive ëchurchí in terms of ëpolitics, controversy, party spirití to use those words of Ryle, then what hope is there that the Gospel of Reconciliation with which we have been entrusted is likely even to be heard let alone taken seriously?î

Archbishop tells Evangelicals to listen

-22/9/03

Recent political infighting and controversy around the issue of homosexuality had ìeaten out the heartî of the Church of England, the Archbishop of York said today.

Dr David Hopeís comments came as he called upon delegates at the National Evangelical Anglican Congress in Blackpool to ìstop, look and listenî.

The issue of homosexuality has threatened to send deep divisions throughout the Anglican church since the appointments of two openly gay bishops, in Reading and New Hampshire, earlier this year.

Many Anglican organisations throughout the world attacked the decision to appoint Canon Robinson, and called on the Episcopalian House of Bishops, which appointed him, to be separated from the rest of the Church.

But speaking to around 2,000 clergy and lay leaders of the Churchís evangelical wing yesterday, Dr Hope challenged the Anglican Communion to remember its role in listening carefully to sharp divisions rather than creating schism among itself.

ìThe truth is that we have become altogether too busy and too noisy, too wordy and too chatty,î he said.

ìDoes our worship really have to be wall to wall words, music and action? Do our prayer meetings and Bible study groups have to be a series of monologues that the Lord will just do this, that or the other thing?

ìWhere is the stillness, the silence, the listening what used to be termed among evangelicals the quiet time?î

Quoting John Charles Ryle in his 1879 book, Dr Hope opened his address by saying: ìPolitics or controversy, or party spirit, or worldliness, have eaten out the heart of lively piety in too many of us.î

He added: ìThose words could easily have been written today for they are just as relevant and pertinent not simply for those who describe themselves as evangelical Christians but for each and every Christian person quite regardless of church or denomination.î

Without referring specifically to the arguments which have caused such deep divisions in recent months, Dr Hope warned that if infighting was all that people ìout thereî saw in the Church, then it would not be listened to never mind taken seriously.

ìThe quiet time, the time to stop, to look and to listen amidst the cacophonous clamours in both church and world is even more essential today than it has ever been.

ìFor if people out there the world beyond the church are only able to perceive ëchurchí in terms of ëpolitics, controversy, party spirití to use those words of Ryle, then what hope is there that the Gospel of Reconciliation with which we have been entrusted is likely even to be heard let alone taken seriously?î

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.