Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Jesus was not a socialist

Of course, He wasn't a capitalist either, in case anyone misunderstands me!

One of the principle messages of Jesus' ministry, as well as that of the early church and a recurring theme of the whole Bible, is that of providing justice for the poor, helping the poor, feeding the poor, and so on. It is absolutely clear that Christians have a duty to the poor.

The problem is that we have changed the emphasis. We often concentrate on the duty of the state to look after the poor, rather than the church. The side effect of doing so is that we make it someone else's duty rather than our own, and instead of concentrating on directly supporting people we concentrate on campaigning for someone else to do it.

Our first duty towards helping is to do it ourselves. The old mantra of 'work all you can to earn all our can to give all you can' is as applicable today as it ever was. We each need to be giving as much as we can afford, if not a little more. This will be different for all of us.

Give us a heart of generosity, and not a heart of judgement. Let us give each out of our own riches, and not seek to expect others to do the churches duty for us.

We need a state that looks after the vulnerable in our society and across the world, but much more that that we need a church that lives a life of sacrificial love for others.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Governments and Christians

As Christians, we believe that the coalition government was chosen by God.

We also believe that the next government will be chosen by God.

So what are we worried about? Let's go out and play our part in making it happen.

Romans 13:1New International Version (NIV)

Submission to Governing Authorities

13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Stereotypes in Politics

I imagine we all agree that stereotypes are a bad thing - especially if we use them to define our view of a group of people.

Many of us, however, struggle to use this principle in our views of political parties.

How many of us think, of one (or more parties) "I don't see how anyone can be a Christian and support them"?

The trouble is, we often hold an unfavourable stereotypical view which colours our judgement, and therefore our view of other parties is more affected by our own allegiance, than it is by anything else.

Consider this: if Christians are in a party you really hate, then that is de facto evidence that your view of that party is wrong. Let us start treating our brothers and sisters with respect, and start from the assumption that they know what they are doing.