Church, Gospel, And a Little Less Politics

Interesting tweet from “True Conservative” MP Mark Pritchard last night:

 

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?

Bible for atheists – like lager without the alcohol?

Loving this from Channel 4

“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and avoid, and darkness was on the face of the deep.”

With those words begins the best-selling book in history, the Holy Bible. Sacred to millions – a basis for faith.

But what if God were removed from it altogether? The Good Book is one philosopher’s attempt to write a secular bible – laid out in the same way but drawing on thousands of years of non-religious writing from the likes of Homer, Aristotle, Baudelaire, and Darwin.

Even someone as well-connected as George Pitcher, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s secretary for public affairs, speaking in a personal capacity, said: “We welcome it. God, as I understand God, is big enough to take insults, ridicule, being ignored – anything of that nature. So we must push the limits of our faith.”

But he continued: “Taking God out of the Bible? It’s rather like alcohol-free lager. You ask yourself: what’s the point?”

Bit of a shame that AC Grayling misses the point a little.

Read the full article here.

Hundreds set to propose to David Cameron this Valentine’s Day!

Treat Someone SpecialValentine’s Day is less than one week away! So if you’re lucky enough to be in a relationship, you may wanna do something about it. In fact even if you’re not in a relationship, and you just like buying decent cards for weddings and things, you may also want to check out the following from Share Creative:

In the run up to 14th February, hundreds of people in the UK will send Prime Minister a Valentine’s Card to raise awareness of the 27 million people all over the world (including the UK) who won’t be shown that they are a Special Someone. These are the people that are trafficked into situations including prostitution, begging, forced labour, military service and domestic service.

This year, you can help stand against human trafficking through a number of the ‘Special Someone’ initiatives.

There is an opportunity to buy Valentine’s cards for your loved ones at www.treatsomeonespecial.com. For each card sold, another will be sent to David Cameron asking him to hold to his commitment to prioritise tackling the trade in people and opt in to the revised EU Directive on Human Trafficking. Proceeds from the cards will support the work of anti-trafficking agencies.

Last May, when the Coalition Government formed, they promised to make tackling human trafficking a priority. However, the UK is currently one of only two EU member states that are yet to opt in to the directive – an agreement which offers better protection to child trafficking victims, greater powers to prosecute traffickers and protection for victims in criminal proceedings.

There are a host of other creative initiatives on the Special Someone website. Sarah Burnett of Share Creative says, “With human trafficking now the fastest growing illegal industry, we need to realise that it’s a very real, very lucrative and very close problem. As we treat those we love this Valentine’s Day we’re also taking action to fight the treatment of people as commodities.”

Share Creative

Care

Stop the Traffik