Thursday, 14 February 2008

A House Divided

"Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." ( Matthew 12:25 )

These words were spoken by Jesus to the Pharisees following their comments about casting out devils. But they seem to fit the bill in many modern day situations. Most recently, they have become a metaphor for the Church of England.

I speak of the latest gaffe perpetrated by Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, who has shocked the world by calling for parts of Sharia law to be introduced in Britain.

"Sharia law in the UK is unavoidable." These were the actual words he used.

Dr Williams is not an unintelligent man. He must, undoubtedly, have satisfied the higher echelons of the Church of England as to his ability and acumen to be the best banner man to lead the church into the twenty-first century. Really?? Surely, he has failed to look deeply enough into the thoughts behind these words and the repercussions they would have on society.

My view is, he has fallen into the old but ever enduring pit of apologetics where it is always fashionable to give deference to the 'away' team at the expense of the 'home'. Sadly, we have turned it into an art form in Britain. We do it ad nauseam.

Why did he not realise that by advocating fundamental forays into state law, he is attempting to undermine the whole structure of society? This could only lead to unrest and division on a gargantuan scale.

As I write, I learn that Dr Williams has now faced the synod, the church's governing body, and has staunchly defended his words. Already, I detect the stench of yet another schism. Is there a hidden agenda? Time will tell. Interestingly, though the Archbishop has plenty of supporters, his predecessor, Lord Carey has just said "Acceptance of some Muslim laws would be disastrous for Britain."

Perhaps Dr Williams needs to look more closely at the above scripture. The words of Jesus should ring loud and clear. For any invasion by Sharia law would indeed make the church, and the country, a house divided.