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I am compelled to offer this brief response to yesterday’s news that Michael Nazir-Ali has converted to Catholicism and that he could be ordained in the Catholic Church as soon as next month.
Following Gavin Ashenden’s conversion to Catholicism in recent years, this news perhaps doesn’t come as such a huge surprise.
I am grateful that these high-profile spiritual leaders – and Fathers – are taking such a drastic course of action, not because their thinking is correct and faithful but because their headlines are broadcasting to the entire cosmos that there is a gargantuan problem – nay chaos – within the Body of Christ.
This latest conversion of Nazir-Ali is further proof that the Church is in critical, free-fall chaos, a primary symptom of which is Satan’s inculcation of Catholic solution as a plausible remedy.
The exact problem with both Ashenden and Nazir-Ali, and others, is that they are not fully wrong; their assessment of the establishment of the Church of England is bang-on: we must get out.
However, like a pimp’s walk of shame from one whorehouse to another, it is a ludicrous solution for an adulterous Bride and a false, spawning ‘gospel’, to ignominiously traipse to another brothel in search of fidelity.
Rather, in order to navigate and survive this ensuing and ramping chaos of the Church – to be faithful to Jesus who is coming soon – there is need for greater vision and greater courage. I fear that the blinkered, decades-long result of entrenchment in an institution such as the Church of England is a chronic lack of both.
Where is the repentance? Where is the national spiritual leadership? Where is the vision to conceive, by the Holy Spirit, a new way forward? Where is the truly, root-level radical? Where is the new wine and the new wineskin? Where is the spiritual violence?
The message that this trend is sending to the kingdom radicals now being primed for the future travail of the Church – i.e. that converting to Rome is the answer – is, in my opinion, the profound work of darkness.
Matthew 11 showcases both the gentleness and meekness of Jesus (as reflected hugely in the lives of these two dear brothers) but I fear that it also displays a prophetic, spiritual violence of the kingdom of God that is almost entirely absent from our British church context.
Isn’t this latest headline only further proof that the genuine preparation of the Bride of Christ for the return of Christ will integrally involve the turning of the hearts of the fathers to the children (Malachi 4; Luke 1) and an underground, knee-worn desperation that is simply incompatible with this kind of ecclesiological rationale?