Posted by: stpowen | March 14, 2013

What is the Point of Archbishop Justin Welby?

What is the Point of Archbishop Justin Welby?

2 Timothy 4:1-2. ‘I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.’
Mark 8:38. “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

I wrote {1} at the time of Archbishop Welby’s appointment about the hopes that many Christians had for his tenure. He is supposed to come from the Evangelical wing of the Church of England, and although the term ‘evangelical’ is now so broad in meaning as to be virtually meaningless, I felt that at least he could not be as useless as his predecessor. I hoped that, unlike Dr. Williams, at least he would know what the Gospel is and that he would take the unique opportunities that the Archbishop of Canterbury has to preach it publicly.

Alas, in the months since he took the job, I have waited in vain to hear a single report of him calling upon sinners to repent. Nor have I heard a word from him until this week concerning same-sex ‘marriage.’ I have been hoping that he was holding fire until the debate comes up in the House of Lords.

In the last few days, Welby has broken his silence, but only to engage in a political debate. Now it is good for Christians to remember the poor- the Scriptures demand it of us- but it is we ourselves who are to help the poor; we are not to wait for governments to do it for us. Where do we find Paul calling upon the Roman government to increase public spending? ‘For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.’ Mr. Welby spoke up, not for the poor, but for the half-baked liberalism that has already bankrupted the country. Iain Duncan-Smith quite rightly slapped him down, and the bold Archbishop backed off and ran for cover {2}.

The Archbishop’s other foray into the public arena this week was indeed on same-sex ‘marriage.’ Here he was even more feeble, leading me to wonder if he has decided that the battle is already lost and not worth fighting over. Let me remind him of the well-known words attributed to Martin Luther: “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battle front besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” Welby’s job is to stand up for righteousness, to confront men and women with the law of God and to convict them of their sinfulness and their need of a Saviour. Then he is to preach Christ crucified as the one perfect propitiation for sin. None of these things has Archbishop Welby done. I ask again, what is the point of him?

‘And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briars and thorns be with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words nor be afraid of their looks, though they are a rebellious house. You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious’ (Ezek. 2:6-7).


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