by Ethan Cole, Christian Post
Posted: Monday, May 26, 2008, 17:27 (BST)
The Church of England is divided over a proposed motion urging it to proclaim Christianity as the only way to salvation and offer strategies on how to evangelise Muslims.
Senior church leaders as well as some Muslim figures have voiced anger at the motion proposed by Paul Eddy – a lay member of the church’s General Synod, according to the BBC. Eddy, along with traditionalist Anglicans, argues that the Church should stop avoiding hard questions about its beliefs.
The Church of England must make it clear that it believes in what the Bible says about Jesus being the only way to salvation, he said. Currently training to become a priest, Eddy believes that being upfront about the Church’s beliefs will be helpful to Muslim-Christian relations.
“Most Muslims that I’ve talked to say, ‘I really wish that Christians would stop watering down their faith and expecting us to do the same,’” Eddy said on BBC Radio Four on Sunday. “Until we start really saying what we really believe in our faith, there will be no respect.”
Eddy went on to note that Muslims expect Christians to believe that Jesus is the only way to God.
“They will expect us – if we’re true Christians – to try to evangelise them, in the same way they will expect us, if they’re true Muslims, to adopt their faith,” he said.
But the problem is that the Church, in an effort to be inclusive and to avoid offending people of other faiths, has “lost its nerve” and is “not doing what the Bible says”, he claims.
"Both Christianity and Islam are missionary faiths," Eddy pointed out. "For years, we have sent missionaries throughout the whole world, but when we have the privilege of people of all nations on our doorstep, we have a responsibility as the state church to share the gospel of Jesus Christ."
He urges Anglican bishops to give Church members advice on how to evangelise, and how to better support Muslims who have converted to Christianity and who are now ostracised by their communities.
The proposal is expected to be discussed at the General Synod summer meeting, being held from July 4 to 8 in York.