Skip to comments.C. S. Lewis - From Christian Apologetics 1945 [and timely still]
Posted on 07/21/2006 5:39:02 PM PDT by sionnsar
(Lewis, a confessed layman, is addressing an assembly of Anglican priests and youth leaders.)
It is not, of course, for me to define to you what Anglican Christianity is - I am your pupil, not your teacher. But I insist that wherever you draw the lines, bounding lines must exist, beyond which your doctrine will cease either to be Anglican or to be Christian: and I suggest also that the lines come a great deal sooner than many modern priests think. I think it is your duty to fix the lines clearly in your own minds: and if you wish to go beyond them you must change your profession.
This is your duty not specially as Christians or as priest but as honest men. There is a danger here of the clergy developing a special professional conscience which obscures the very plain moral issue. Men who have passed beyond these boundary lines in either direction are apt to protest that they have come by their unorthodox opinions honestly. In defence of their opinions they are prepared to suffer obloquy and to forfeit professional advancement. They thus come to feel like martyrs. But this simply misses the point which so gravely scandelizes the layman. We never doubted that the unorthodox opinions were honestly held: what we complain of is your continuing your ministry after you have come to hold them. (pages 89-90)
Malcolm Muggeridge described the Anglican clergy as the only profession in the world required the willingness to commit perjury as a condition of admission.
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