- Historically, the Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic streams of Anglicanism in the UK had a strong emphasis on social reform as an aspect of gospel witness. William Wilberforce’s commitment to the dismantlement of slavery and John Stott’s work to incorporate the article on “Christian social responsibility” in the Lausanne Covenant of 1974 are examples from the evangelical stream. Bishop Frank Weston’s address at the 1923 Anglo-Catholic Congress and Archbishop Michael Ramsey’s writings on Christian social responsibility, and his insistence that clergy “witness to justice and brotherhood and human dignity” in their churches and communities are examples from the catholic stream.
- The threefold renunciation in our baptismal liturgy of the world, the flesh, and the devil presumes the idea that society and spiritual powers and our own desires can lead us into sin. The description of the demonic origins of war and ethnic striving in the writings of the church fathers is evidence that these powers are not merely interpersonal.
- Global Anglicanism is often engaged politically. See the church of Uganda here: https://churchofuganda.org/info/archbishop-kaziimbas-new-years-message-about-elections. If we are to follow the lead of the global south, we must think carefully about the shape of our witness.
- An examination of our calendar of saints reveals that they are often praised for their faith in Jesus and for the social reforms that they brought about as a result of their faith. Our own Prayer Book calendar has a category for saints called “Reformer of Society” which includes a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.
- If we have the saints, the Prayer Book, and history on one side of justice, then what is the explanation for controversy?
Anglicans, we can do better. https://t.co/M6kksjuMo5
— Esau McCaulley Ph.D (@esaumccaulley) February 21, 2021