Interesting tweet from “True Conservative” MP Mark Pritchard last night:
If some parts of the Church of England preached a little more gospel and a little less politics – perhaps church would be in a better place
— Mark Pritchard (@MPritchardMP) December 22, 2013
Whilst on the surface of it, it can seem like the above is a random dig at the good old C of E, the timing of it seems to coincide with a report in The Guardian – Charities condemn Iain Duncan Smith for food bank snub, which includes the following:
Iain Duncan Smith, the embattled work and pensions secretary, is refusing to meet leaders of the rapidly expanding Christian charity that has set up more than 400 food banks across the UK, claiming it is “scaremongering” and has a clear political agenda.
The news will fuel a growing row over food poverty, as church leaders and the Labour party accuse ministers of failing to recognise the growing crisis hitting hundreds of thousands of families whose incomes are being squeezed, while food prices soar.
Responding to requests for a meeting from Chris Mould, chairman of the Trussell Trust, which has provided food supplies to more than 500,000 people since April, Duncan Smith has dismissed claims that the problems are linked to welfare reforms and attacked the charity for publicity-seeking. In his most recent response on 22 November, Duncan Smith made clear that he had received enough letters from the trust and referred Mould to his previous answers. His deputy, Lord Freud, the minister for welfare reform, also explicitly rejected an invitation for talks on 30 August, telling the trust’s chairman that he was “unable to take up your offer of a meeting”.
Read the rest over at theguardian.com
So, about the tweet itself.
If Churches are meant to just preach “the gospel”, what are churches meant to do about verses like this from Matthew 25:
34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’
If Churches are preaching about a gospel that impacts on our everyday life, how is that going to be separated from politics? Particularly if (as the BBC once told us), politics is part of our everyday life:
It feels like the MP is saying that either the gospel shouldn’t be part of every day life, or politics shouldn’t be part of every day life. I’m not sure if either separation is possible.
How about you?
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