‘Rector’s Letter’ January 2016

Jefferson“New Year – Same Old News?”
Well possibly, because some things never seem to change. But sometimes, we may be unaware of events that don’t always make the news.

For instance, in the last year:
* Christian street preachers have been arrested for reading from the Bible.
* An occupational therapist was disciplined for praying for a Muslim colleague and giving her a book.
* The Crown Prosecution Service obstructed the private prosecution of two doctors, who had been filmed offering ‘gender abortion’ and the judge ordered the person, who tried to bring the case to pay £25,000.
* A Family Magistrate was reprimanded for his views that children do best with a Mum and a Dad and he was ordered to go for ‘re-education.’
* A Christian-run bakery in Northern Ireland was convicted of breaching political, religious and sexual orientation discrimination regulations for declining to produce a ‘gay marriage campaign cake’.

Of course, in comparison with wars elsewhere and terrorist atrocities nearer home, all of the above may seem trivial, but it’s not trivial.
Instead, it is symptomatic of a clear, determined and progressive move away from Christian teaching and Christian values in our country. And, sadly, the vast majority of church members appear to be simply unaware or unconcerned about what is happening.
As Christians, we are called to respect authority (Romans 13), even if we disagree with those in authority and to pray for those who carry heavy responsibility (1 Timothy 2). However, to do that more effectively, we need to be better informed.
So this year, why not get in touch with any of the following respected Christian organisations such as CARE (Christian Action, Research and Education), Christian Concern, and The Christian Institute. For as the Irish statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke (1729-97), once famously said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Therefore, wrote St. Paul, “Do not let evil defeat you, but instead overcome evil with good” (Romans 12). After all, we are called to be ‘watchmen’ on behalf of our nation (Ezekiel 33), because Jesus came that we might have life, life in all its fullness” (John 10).
And if more of us as Christians could begin to live out this sort of life, then the ‘old news’ might at last be replaced by The Good News (St. Luke 2:10-11). Now that would be something worth hearing and reading about.

With best wishes,

Charles Jefferson