Church of England Envisions 'Christianity-Centered Pagan Church' [Excerpts]
As part of its drive to retain congregation numbers, the Church of England is training its clergy to create a "pagan church" where Christianity will be "very much in the center," a British newspaper reports.
The mother church of the worldwide Anglican Communion is seeking to create new forms of Anglicanism with which people of alternative beliefs should feel comfortable, according to The Telegraph.
"I would be looking to formulate an exploration of the Christian faith that would be at home in their culture," the daily quotes the Rev. Steve Hollinghurst, who is advising the denomination in its new endeavor, as telling the BBC.
What the church is looking at is "almost to create a pagan church where Christianity was very much in the centre," he adds.
"Nowadays people, they want to feel something; they want to have some sense of experience," Andrea Campenale, who works with the CMS, was quoted as saying. "We live in reflective England where there's much more of a focus on ourselves. I think that is something we can bring in dialogue with the Christian society."
Hollinghurst works at the research unit of the Church Army, an evangelistic organization founded in the Church of England and now operating in many parts of the Anglican Communion.
On the organization's website, Hollinghurst describes himself as "Researcher in Evangelism to Post-Christian Culture."
Britain is no longer a Christian country, "yet spirituality is very much on the agenda for many," he goes on to say. "My own spiritual journey began in my teens with an exploration of all kinds of faiths and alternative spiritualities before choosing Christianity as my path. Since then I have always been interested in the spiritual quest of others and how Christianity might connect with their quest as it has done with mine."
If God became human in Jesus not only to relate to humans but also to transform creation so it can fulfill its calling, "then Christianity ought to be relevant to all people," he adds. "But how can that connection be made when for many it seems to be a tired old religion, a relic of a passing age? Needless to say I enjoy a good challenge!"
[TBC: The message of biblical Christianity may be offensive (Galatians:5:11), but it is not cultural. It's “accultural” that is, apart from culture. It is the outward traditions of Anglican Christianity which have become obsolete, the message of God remains absolutely applicable for our times. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans:1:16).]