Middleton Murry on the Timidity of the Church

Writing around 1938, with the world on the brink of global war, Murry saw the Christian church as the real saviour of humankind: “No institution in the world is so committed by its own profession as the Christian Church directly to combat the world-sickness”.

The trouble was that the Church lacked courage to meet that commitment. Murry spoke of “the fearful dumbness” of the churches of the time. He thought that it was “the deep and inarticulate desire” of people for a brave church, braver then they themselves:

“The common man shrinks from the doctrine of losing his life to save it… But to the Christian Church it should be easy, or if not easy, a doctrine for which it has always been prepared. ‘He that will lose his life for my sake and the Gospel’s the same shall save it’… Now that the condition of the world really does demand the simple Christian heroism to which each Christian dedicates themselves anew when they partake in Christian worship. to which each Christian priest is dedicated by profession, the Church fades away. Of the Fatherhood of God, and the brotherhood of Man, it knows nothing when it comes to the pinch”.

[The Pledge of Peace, 1938, pp.75-76].