Archbishop Welby on Living in the World as a Christian

Justin Welby delivers his second keynote address | Photo: Richard Washbrooke for The Lambeth Conference

In his second of three keynote addresses, Archbishop Justin Welby focused on the duty of Christians to build unity, and saw signs of hope in the Lambeth Conference. Some excerpts:

Christians are the largest nation on earth. In the first 315 years, Peter’s so-called holy nation conquered the world’s greatest empire without the sword. Today there are two billion of us. All over the world, we run schools, clinics, hospitals, we serve refugees, we wash the feet of those on the street, we feed the hungry, we care for the orphan and the alien. We challenge governments over justice, we set up charities for those caught in war. …

We are harried and persecuted. We are hunted as Christians, from one killing ground to another. But we do not hate, as our enemies want us to. And may I say, by God’s grace — by God’s grace — this week we have disagreed without hatred.

A reporter who’s a Christian said, “I rejoice and I’m sad. I rejoice because this week I’ve seen something new: People who disagree, loving each other. But my news editor is very sad, because there is nothing to say about that.” …

It is the churches working together, ecumenically, united, that have the global networks to do right. …

The Communion must be united in a way that reveals Jesus Christ. The miracle that God has brought about in the church is not that like-minded people like each other, but people who would cross the street, cross the city, cross the ocean to get away from each other learn to love one another. We’re seeing that this week. But to keep it going is difficult.


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