I can remember, many years ago, hearing a man called Dave Carr preach. One of the phrases he used in his sermon really struck me, he said;
The biggest threat to the Church in Britain will come, not from world religions but, from political correctness.
The idea behind political correctness is not a bad one.
We should think about the language we use and the effect that our language, behaviour, attitudes and so forth have on others. However, when pushed too far, political correctness creates an atmosphere of fear and actually closes dialogue and creates walls that it was intended to break and, on that basis, I think David Carr is right.
I was recalling this yesterday, when I read of the resignation of Lib Dem leader Tim Farron. Now, as I have said previously, my blogs are not intended to be political. Until the recent election, I wasn’t entirely sure who Tim Farron was. However, during the course of the election he was catapulted into the limelight for his Christian views and his struggle to answer certain, media placed, questions. His resignation announced on the BBC News website with the headline
Farron quits as Lib Dem leader over clash between faith and politics
In a statement, he said he was “torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader”.
This statement made me really sad.
I don’t agree with a lot of Tim Farron’s views, however, to have faced the media onslaught, the challenging and questioning that he has been through must have taken an incredible toll on him. Jesus words;
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” (Matthew 5 vs. 11)
My thoughts and prayers are with Mr Farron and I hope he finds some respite from the pressure he has been under.
I was also reminded that, during the Blair years, one of Tony Blair’s spin doctors famously said;
We don’t do God
And with Mr Farron’s resignation, I am sure there are many who will be reflecting upon their faith, politics and public life. Should God be kept out of politics? Is there any place for God within public life?
Big questions, no easy answers. But, let me share with you the conclusions I have come to.
I believe that God, the Christian faith, public and political life cannot be separated. God’s heart is for all people and He, therefore, has a concern for all that affects people. Politics affects people, therefore you cannot separate God from politics. Jesus once said,
You are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5 vs. 13)
When we add salt to our cooking, it should season the whole dish and not just part. When Christ is in our lives He makes a difference to the whole of our lives and that includes our public as well as our private life.
Now, when it comes to political and public life, I can guarantee that there will be people out there of all political persuasion and none! I cannot (and would not) inflict my view upon you, and I ask you not to inflict yours upon me!
What I hope we can agree on is that our Country and our world needs Christians to not only speak the words of Christ but, to live the teachings of Christ at this difficult time.
One of the things that I have been challenged about recently is how the Bible teaches us that we should pray for those in authority (1 Tim 2 vs. 2), whether we like them or not.
So, I am praying for our nation. Our leaders. The world and world leaders that;
we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. (1 Tim 2 vs. 2)