"Those who founded the [Church Missionary] Society were close to those who fought against the slave trade in the British Empire and also those who were working for better conditions for working people in England. They were concerned, troubled and angry that working people in England and slaves in the British Empire could not truly experience their own full humanity. And so their missionary activity was always connected with the concern to set people free for their full humanity." - Rowan WilliamsThe Eclectic Society was a remarkable group of men. They founded CMS, fought for better working conditions in Great Britain, fought against the slave trade in the British Empire, and ensured a Christian chaplaincy to the new colony in New South Wales. They wanted to liberate people from a life that was thoroughly dehumanizing. But they also had a deeper motivation: to see the Christian faith spread and for people to know real humanity, the "measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph 4.13).
Friday, October 30, 2009
Free for Their Full Humanity
Rowan Williams recently had this to say on the foundation of CMS: