Society needs braver church, says Bishop

Western Christians need to recover their nerve in the face of “militant secularism”, the Bishop of Rochester has said.

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, who recently talked of British ‘no go’ areas for non-Muslims, refused to be apologetic for his obligation to witness to Muslims about the Gospel.

He was speaking at the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), a breakaway meeting of over 1,000 Anglican bishops and clergy from around the world taking place in Jerusalem.

He said “militant secularism” means the West is “losing the Christian discourse at the very time when it needs it most”.

All that is of value in western culture, he argued, “largely depends on its Judeo Christian heritage”.

He called on his audience to pray that “we are able to recover the Christian nerve in the West and to make sure that the Gospel is not lost”.

He added that the Christian view on issues such as the sanctity of life was being rejected in favour of utilitarian arguments – “the greatest good for the greatest number” – or “leaving the ‘yuck’ factor to decide what is permissible for people”.

He recently wrote an article for Standpoint magazine, in which he said that the rejection of Christian values in British society had left a vacuum which could be filled with those of secularism or radical Islam.

Speaking of social changes over the last fifty years, he said: “While the Christian consensus was dissolved, nothing else, except perhaps endless self-indulgence, was put in its place.”

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