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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

David Cameron's Christianity

Nice little piece from David Cameron in the Church Times. All about Christianity, its beneficial aspects, its principles of love, charity, responsibility and so on. No mention of Jesus's promise that "in my Father's house are many rooms. Just the right number of rooms.  No spare ones, because that would reduce your benefits", but you can't have everything.

In fact, no mention of Jesus at all. And that's maybe what divides David Cameron's idea of Christianity from mere Christianity (I'd love to be wrong, by the way). Because mere Christianity isn't about lovely buildings. It ain't about hardworking people, or generosity, or any of the many wonderful things that Christianity gives us.

You can't be evangelical about Christianity. Not in the strict sense. Because Christianity isn't the thing itself. Christianity is the way that people respond to something - the organisational form of a personal response. The codification of a direct encounter, expanded across 2 billion such encounters.

In short, my faith - and mere Christianity -is not about "Christianity". It's not about lovely buildings. I'd cheerfully see every church building in the country fall down tomorrow, if it meant one more person knew Jesus. I'd see every organisational form of Church fall apart under the weight of their own committees, if by that happening one more person knew the life of Christ in their own life. Unlikely, I know. But given the choice I'd vote that way, because one eternal human life is worth more than all the architecture and all the organisations in the world.

The source of Christianity is Christ. The reason we love our neighbours is because God first loved us. The reason we try to make this world better, is because God loves it so much.... yeah, you know the rest.

Which is why Dave Cameron's words are lovely; they're well-meant, I'm sure, and they're to be welcomed.

But they're just not at the heart of the matter.

2 comments :

  1. Brilliant - well said!! But isn't it so sad that there are many other people who don't understand that knowing Jesus for ourselves is the centre of our faith, and many of these inhabit the church pews on Sundays! And, even worse, some of them preach from the pulpits - I once heard a chaplain at one of the schools where I was a housemistress say to the girls one Sunday,"It doesn't matter what you believe, so long as you do the right thing"! I was internally incandescent!! But as I was a very new member of staff, I didn't have the courage to challenge him, sadly. We need to follow the call of St Francis of Assisi - 'Rebuild my Church, which, as you see, is falling down" (and this wasn't the buildings - they can, as you said, fall down any time soon, as far as I'm concerned, and all the Church structures as well!)

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  2. Giles Fraser seemed to say much the same sort of thing in - horror-of-horrors - the Daily Fail.
    See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2603462/Bless-Dave-doing-God-But-theres-faith-gooding-religion-lite-A-combative-Easter-message-former-Canon-Chancellor-St-Pauls.html

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