March 23, 2017

March 13, 2015


Southwark Responds as Story Hits the Mainstream Media

The Southwark Muslim Prayer Story has begun to hit the mainstream media in a big way. A quick google search shows an increasing number of papers and other online news services picking it up.

A number of images (screengrabs from the video) are being used repeatedly including this one which shows Cannon Goddard affirming the commonality of Allah and the God of the Bible, not a sight that will make the orthodox happy and which is beginning to give the bishop of Southwark no end of trouble.

I reached out to the diocese for a response and got this:

A spokesperson for the Diocese of Southwark said,
“The Bishop of Southwark takes very seriously his responsibility to uphold the teaching of the Church and to work within its framework of legislation and guidance.
It is quite clear that Islamic prayer should not take place in a consecrated building.  This is why he has asked the Bishop of Kingston to investigate fully what happened. It is inappropriate to seek to make further public comments on this matter until this has happened.”

As the Bishop affirms his “responsibility to uphold the teaching of the Church”, conservatives will be wondering why he hasn’t done so with regard to the question of sexual ethics and same-sex blessings in particular. His initial clear response now is seen to be an outworking of the united representation that many conservatives in the diocese have made to him. Evangelicals and orthodox Anglo-Catholics represent a substantial proportion of the diocese, despite it’s liberal leadership, and an even more substantial proportion of it’s annual income. The future of diocesan finances may depend upon how this is all resolved.
As the story grows and grows, just remember where you read it first!


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11 comments

Excellent work reporting this, David!  The bishop is exactly correct when he says, “Islamic prayer should not take place in a consecrated building.”  We would never expect to see the Holy Communion celebrated in a mosque, nor should we have Muslim ritual prayer in a church.

[1] Posted by Katherine on 3-13-2015 at 07:01 PM · [top]

“It is the same God we share - the same tradition.” – Reverend Goddard

This is what comes from identifying “God” with whatever we consider ultimate, instead of the God who has revealed himself in the Old and New Testaments.  The God of the Christian tradition is not the Allah of Islam; and the Koran contradicts and perverts the teaching of the Old and New Testaments in many places.  It is NOT the same tradition!

[2] Posted by ToAllTheWorld on 3-13-2015 at 09:00 PM · [top]

What Muslim theologian anywhere would agree that Allah is “within us”?  How completely ignorant of basic Muslim thought.

[3] Posted by James Manley on 3-13-2015 at 09:41 PM · [top]

What can they say?  The Church of England no longer has a Biblical practicing theology.  They might as well open the churches of England for druids and witches.

[4] Posted by St. Nikao on 3-14-2015 at 08:53 AM · [top]

Please revisit this two years from now.

[5] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 3-14-2015 at 09:40 AM · [top]

#5 We’ll possibly get a legitimate opportunity. I can well imagine this happening: The Bishop will set up a task force to investigate the issue, containing a reportedly completely balanced selection of hand-picked liberal churchmen, who will spend two years holding conversations in order to bring into dialogue the various tensions regarding this issue so that everyone can appreciate how the other perspective flow from a legitimate view of the changing winds of the Holy Spirit, before issuing a strongly worded statement at the bottom of page eight of the diocesan newsletter something along the lines of:

In March 2015 a few complaints were raised against the staff of one of the Southwark churches concerning an innovative form of service which went beyond the then guidelines of acceptability recommended by the diocesan office. The Bishop’s task force suggested that those concerned breached a number of minor Church canons, and should agree to voluntarily submit themselves to various appropriate disciplinary measures (which will not be enforced) including attending a diversity seminar so they can learn not to fear the other perspective and a temporary reduction of the number of free cakes at deanery synod meetings.

[6] Posted by Boring Bloke on 3-14-2015 at 07:21 PM · [top]

#6 (and others)  ...and they’ll want us to hang around because they want our money.

[7] Posted by Reformed Wanderer on 3-15-2015 at 06:39 AM · [top]

and they’ll want us to hang around because they want our money.

And if you stop giving it to them, they might actually do something.  As long as the money keeps flowing in from conservative and traditional congregations, the CoE hierarchy will keep spending it on destroying Christian orthodoxy.  If you don’t want more gay marriages and Islamic worship in your dioceses, stop providing the money that supports those activities.  Do it NOW- because with the state of your seminaries, if things go on as they are, there will not be any conservative or traditional clergy- they will all be “open evangelicals” or “affirming catholics.  Those of us who were in TEC and watched it happen here may carry that particular chain throughout eternity- do not follow our lead and let this happen in England.

[8] Posted by tjmcmahon on 3-15-2015 at 10:55 AM · [top]

Some Muslims say that “allah” is simply Arabic for “the god.” However, it’s my understanding that Muslims really don’t want Arabic-speaking Christians to use that word for God.

The Bible: Jesus is God.
The Koran: Jesus is not God.

Once we keep that in mind, there can be no legitimate interfaith relationship between Christians and Muslims - only tolerance, as with other heresies.

[9] Posted by Ralph on 3-15-2015 at 01:07 PM · [top]

Ralph, Arabic-speaking Christians call God “Allah” in Arabic.  It means “God.”  They do use “Yeshua” for Jesus, not the Muslim “Issa,” who is quite a different guy in the Muslim legends about him than the Jesus of the Christian faith.

I wonder if you are thinking of Muslims in Malaysia, who have prohibited Malay-speaking Christians from using “Allah” in Bible translations into Malay.  I expect their argument is that there is a word for “God” in the native language and therefore no need to use the Arabic “Allah” which the Malaysian Muslims use.

[10] Posted by Katherine on 3-15-2015 at 07:35 PM · [top]

“His initial clear response now is seen to be an outworking of the united representation that many conservatives in the diocese have made to him.”

David, I am sure that is right, and those who seek to renew the Church of England from within should take great encouragement from it.  I don’t know whether they will succeed in the end (I frankly doubt that they will) but whatever, it is very important that they fight. 

There is an important factor about England that doesn’t apply in Australia or North America:  Between one half and one third (depending on which survey you use) of the population still consider themselves Anglican or Church of England, yet only about 2% of them attend church even once per month.  That is a lot of the population who see the Church of England as their spiritual reference point, even though they have walked away from it. 

When these people hear the Archbishop of Canterbury allowing that same-sex marriage are okay, or when they hear the Bishop of Buckingham peddling outright apostasy without any sanction or complaint from his fellow bishops, they assume that that must be the correct theological position of Christianity.  The intellectual baggage that they take with them whenever they hear Christian outreach is thus a real weight on their prospects of understanding the gospel.

It is therefore vital for all Christian outreach that Anglicans in England publicly signal their disagreement with the false gospel propagated so often by its leaders.

[11] Posted by MichaelA on 3-15-2015 at 08:49 PM · [top]

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