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Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1090
Germany NRW

 Church of England to debate conversion rules

By Robert Pigott
Religious affairs correspondent, BBC News

The General Synod of the Church of England is to discuss a motion calling on it to recognise explicitly its aim of converting people to Christianity.

Critics of the plan say raising the issue will simply serve to damage the Church's relations with members of other religions, including Muslims.

However, there is strong backing for the controversial proposal.

The motion calls for bishops to give extra training and encouragement to clergy to evangelise non-Christians.

But the motives of Paul Eddy, the traditionalist synod member who tabled the motion, are not limited simply to winning potential converts among the Muslim, Hindu or other communities who might be susceptible to the Christian message.

His motion goes right to the heart of the central division between liberal and traditionalist Anglicans.

'Liberal drift'

In the past these tensions have focused on what the Bible teaches about homosexuality.

With his motion, Mr Eddy intends to tackle what he sees as a liberal drift in the Church by challenging the synod to confirm a traditional, if sometimes uncomfortable, duty.

Naiz is a former Muslim, who joined the Church of England.

His conversion illustrates just how sensitive the issue of evangelism can be.

He has been disowned by most of his family, and threatened by other Muslims. But he insists that converting other people like him is a Christian duty.
"Jesus said to his disciples 'go and make disciples of all nations by baptising them in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit and teaching them every thing I have commanded you'. So it's the duty of the Anglican Church to do this."

Stephen Longden travelled in the opposite direction. He is a former Anglican who converted to Islam, and now prays regularly at the mosque in Cheadle in Manchester.

Mr Longden sees nothing wrong in the Church trying to convert his fellow Muslims. He says Islam can expect to more than hold its own in the battle for converts.

"There's an emphasis on prayer, so there's a spiritual side of it. And of course there's strong family values and all the kind of support that comes through that".

The imam at Cheadle Mosque, Abu Eesa, says it is natural for all religions to seek converts among other groups. He does so himself.

Abu Eesa acknowledges that "there would be a level of disappointment from someone like myself... if I thought I have not explained my religion well enough to a Muslim that would make them go elsewhere", but he condemns the sort of hostility encountered by Naiz.

"Any religion that believes it's going to bring tangible benefits - peace, satisfaction and understanding in this life and the next - would like to share that."

Free choice

Naiz's vicar - who didn't want to be identified for fear of further exposing Naiz - takes a similar view to Abu Eesa.
Leaving aside Church politics, he believes important principles are at stake.

"We're in a country where we value free choice and freedom of choice.

"Why should people be frightened to talk about what they believe in this country.

"I think it's everyone's right to share with others what they think, and have a discussion and make their own mind up."

The motion will be fiercely resisted by synod members who see it as inflammatory and divisive, but Mr Eddy has chosen the territory for opening his second front against liberalism carefully.

He knows the duty to spread the message and teaching of the Bible - as a universally accepted duty for Christians - is hard to argue against.

 2009/2/11 7:08Profile

Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732

 Re: Church of England to debate conversion rules

"We're in a country where we value free choice and freedom of choice.

"Why should people be frightened to talk about what they believe in this country?".

This seems to be the actual issue that's being debated here.


Mike Compton

 2009/2/11 8:45Profile

Joined: 2008/6/1
Posts: 1

 Re: Church of England to debate conversion rules

just a note as to the actual scripture refered by Naiz. He refers to the verses which states 'jesus said to his desciples "go and make disciples of all Nations by baptizing them in the name of the ...'
Just to clarify my Bible says 'Go ye therefore, and teach all Nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:' Matthew 28:18.
A misunderstanding of this verse as it has been quoted verses how it is written in the Bible can very easily cause the real meaning to be lost as has happened here. Mr. Naiz quotes ' Go and make desciples of all Nations BY baptizing...'. This misquotation of scripture has given the impression that salvation is by baptism and NOT by the finished work of Jesus Christ, this misquotation also if you consider it quite easily causes many if not most "christians" to believe in a false hope, it also takes the Perfect Lamb out of the picture called salvation and by doing so, the church who teaches this damns their parishioners to eternity in Hell.
A word of advice to this church is to be sure of the faith by which you are saved(if you are) and if you are not saved then, pursue after the salvation that Christ gave his life for, for it is the only way to get saved and ensure your place in heaven.
Verses refering to salvation can be found throughout the Bible, but to help you allplease refer to these verses:

Romans 3:10-acknowledge you have sinned before an Almighty God
Romans 6:23-this gives the penalty for sin.
Romans 5:8-tells us Christ died for us.
Romans 10:9-10-shows how to be saved.
Romans 10:13-tells us who is saved.
John 14:6- teaches us Christ is the only way.
John 12:48-tells us the penalty for rejecting Christ.

I do not know how to express how important it is to ensure your salvation, or to explain the importance of studying scripture to be sure you have made an accurate reference to it.
thank you

 2009/2/22 14:58Profile

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