Christians shouldn’t feel nervous about sharing their beliefs in today’s multicultural society, according to the two most senior clerics of the Church of England.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York said that Christians shouldn’t be “embarrassed” about conversion.
Their warning came in a foreword to a new official Church of England report called Sharing the Gospel of Salvation.
In their joint foreword to the new report, the Archbishops write: “In a society fixated on personal choice, it is sometimes, paradoxically, frowned upon to promote one’s own choices as good for others.
“The stronger sense of difference and diversity – including religious diversity – in Britain today has challenged us to become a more generous culture.
“Sadly, it has also made many nervous of publicly espousing a vision of the common good for all people.”
They added: “If we keep always in mind the central insight that it is not we who bring others to Christ but God working in them, we can avoid colluding with the marketing mindset which would paint every evangelist as a huckster and portray God’s children as ‘targets’ for conversion.”
The two Archbishops admitted that the word ‘conversion’ has developed “unfortunate connotations”, but add: “Conversion must never become a word of which Christians fight shy.
“In Christ, old identities are never the last word and the good is offered for all the world. So there should be nothing embarrassed or awkward about the Church’s commitment to draw others to Christ.”
The report also warns of the “toxic” mix of racism and colonialism in the British National Party’s misuse of Christian rhetoric and imagery during recent election campaigns.