The Archbishop of Canterbury is a good man
It’s inevitable when you’re a leader. People will start to come after you. Lots of people are after Archbishop Rowan Williams, for lots of different reasons. Now some people are coming to his defense. Finally.
One recent notable example is a Facebook group started by Dave Walker. It’s called “The Archbishop of Canterbury is a good man.” If you’re a Facebooker, I encourage you to check it out, and sign up.
Richard Kew has written a passionate and thorough defense of Rowan Williams and his leadership. Here’s a snippet:
Perhaps there is an inevitability in an aggressively secular society for Christian leaders, especially if they appear a bit quirky or are intelligent way beyond anything the lowest common denominator can imagine, to be attacked, misrepresented, and ridiculed by the forces that are at play. What is more difficult to stomach is when these individuals are set upon by those who should be their own spiritual kith and kin. Some of the things that have been said about Rowan Williams in the last few weeks, and by those who are fellow-travelers along the Christian way, have been at time scurrilous. I just hope the Archbishop doesn’t sit up late at night surfing the web looking for them, for they would cause him a great deal more pain.
As I have watched Rowan Williams these last few months (and you get a much closer view in England than the USA), I have seen a man who is an example of Christ to me. He appears to be someone who has been so captured by the redeeming love of Christ that it is reconciliation and forgiveness that he seeks, even when being bombarded by viciousness from Christians and secularists alike (although for different reasons). As a person he seems to be in the process of thoroughly absorbing the message of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, of forgiving his enemy and turning the other cheek. Wherever we are on the spectrum of the conflict that is tearing at the very fabric of the church, this is an example from which we can all learn and seek to emulate.
Rowan isn’t perfect, but he’s doing the best he can. More to the point, he’s seeking to behave as a Christian leader. Not enough Christians who are leaders manage to put those to things together.
(Kew’s article first appeared on his blog, the Kew Continuum.)