“Plastering Over the Cracks?”

by the Revd Dr Hayley Matthews, member of the National Executive of UNITE representing the Faithworkers’ Branch
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They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious.  

‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.

Jeremiah 6:14 NIV

Recently a builder dropped out of a job on my house. He wanted to know if I was having the work done for myself, or simply to sell it on or rent it out.  When he discovered that it was for myself, he pulled out because that would mean that he couldn’t simply board over the cracks and the damp and then skim the lot with fresh plaster. Instead, he would need to check for and treat any issues with the damp course, and then he would need to insulate and line the room before plastering.  The job became messy, awkward and potentially very time consuming.   A “quick fix followed by a quick pay out” it was not.

Papering, plastering or even talking over the cracks in any room, be it literal or figurative, is never a long-term solution. Even if it does the job long enough to ‘sell it on or rent it out’, at some point the whole thing is going to come crashing down around somebody’s ears. And then it will not only need to be done properly, but it is likely to include significant remedial work to undo any further damage from both the original issue, and the consequences of ‘the inevitable fall’.

If ‘the’ fall teaches us nothing else, it teaches us to tread carefully when covering over our mistakes or even our inner rot if we stretch the analogy.  The fig leaves and ‘hiding from God’ were as ineffective as boarding over the damp and plastering over the cracks. It simply couldn’t be done.  Precisely the same applies to conflict.  For conflict is bruising, and particularly wounding to any party that is either power-less or powerless in comparison to the other.  Yet Christians can still fall foul of the temptation to ‘plaster over’ the deepest of wounds in order that unity, which seems apparent on the surface of some of their most broken relationships, may be maintained.

We find this in the current debates around gender, sexuality, BAME and different abilities.  Groups of people have rightly felt marginalised and excluded from taking an active role as living bricks in the temple of Christ.  They have been unable to exercise their God-given gifts and talents and in many cases, held to standards of delivery or lifestyle that are either inappropriate or simply impossible to achieve.  Each of these groups[1] is subject to a majority group, free to exercise their own rights, exercising privilege over them and making decisions about them.

It seems inconceivable that any committee, albeit made up of the good and Godly, could make decisions on behalf of people groups living with identity and ability issues that are unknown to the group itself.  Pure Doctrine is a delight sitting in the hallowed halls of esteemed universities scribing one’s notes, but all genuine theology is contextual; it’s where the rubber hits the road and reality meets divinity; it’s where Christ sends out His disciples in pairs knowing full well what they will face in His service; it’s where creation continually creaks and groans with the birthing of new understandings, new knowledge and an ever expanding grasp of what it is to be human living in the vast universe gifted to us as curators.

I cannot know your privilege or your disadvantage I can only grasp mine; I can only view our respective lives and have a sense of where we might sit in that pecking order and how I might use any privilege I might have to shrink the distances between us.  But I cannot do that unless I first listen to you, open up my table to you, that you might hear how we are thinking of approaching your unique identity, the one I have absolutely no experience of living with.  This is the bare bones basis of reflective practice, of contextual theological praxis – what I like to think of as a practising priest as “bread and butter” theology.  It means that I need to be willing to hear things that I don’t want to hear, to be hurt myself as I hear your pain and anger and to risk being deeply wounded as I begin to recognise how I have wounded you.

The truth can be profoundly painful, but refusing to acknowledge the depth of any wound connected to a human being’s basic personal and relational identity will not do if we are the bearers of Christ’s light seeking to enlighten those ‘bruised reeds’ and ‘smouldering wicks’ to whom we have been sent as harbingers of God’s love.  Why plaster over these difficult topics with vaguely ameliorating platitudes that please no-one?  Are we guilty of simply papering over the great gaping wounds of persons forbidden to love, disabled from service, or simply excluded whether that be via unconscious bias or worse, deliberate prohibitions, spoken or unspoken?

Genuine peace is costly.  Genuine peace-seeking is a painful process.  It does not make us ‘feel better’ but confronts us with our own biases, privileges and lack of compassion and understanding.  We come face to face with our own deeply writ prejudices and we are humbled by the process. It is neither a pleasant task nor one for the faint-hearted but it is necessary if the prize – the pearl of great price – is to be won.

So please, do not send out yet another missive saying, “Peace, peace, when there is no peace”.  Tell me that we grasp the pain of our sisters and brothers in Christ who have and do feel wounded on the grounds of their identity; tell me that we are deeply wounded as a Church by our own sins of omission and commission towards people who belong to minority groups; tell me that there are no easy answers and that we are listening and learning and that it is challenging and painful to hear; tell me that you can’t imagine being in love with somebody you can’t hold in your arms or how soul destroying it must be to hear somebody tutting every time you do a reading.  Then ask those whom you wish to open up the breadth and depth of the Kingdom of God to how that might look to them.  For it is imperative that we grasp that people of excluded and minority identities do not hear ‘you are fully welcome’ they hear the sound of someone peeling back a sticking plaster, or worse still, a door closing and silence. For some, that sound is synonymous with God.

Imagine if what they heard was, ‘Come in and tell us your story; let us dress the deep wounds of our sisters and brothers; let us – together – find peace.’

Footnote

[1] The diversity within these groups is beyond the scope of such a brief blog, not to mention intersectionality where two or more of those minority identities are lived out by any one individual.

Posted in Church of England, Hayley Mattews, Human Sexuality | Leave a comment

An Old Dirty Candle to Transform the Darkness…

by the Very Revd Dr David Ison, Dean of St Paul’s

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Round the corner and down the aisle as you walk under the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral is the Dean’s Vestry.  On the mantelpiece of the fireplace next to the Dean’s cupboard there’s a small and cheap rectangular tin candleholder, with a dirty old candle about the size of my little finger stuck in it by means of a piece of old newspaper. I’ve often wondered what that candle was about, until a few weeks ago when I was poking around in a room in the cathedral I hadn’t seen before, and found an old guidebook from 1926 which gave me the answer.

On 21st December 1868, the Revd Robert Gregory was installed as a canon of St Paul’s Cathedral. He was in his late 40s, an energetic vicar in south London, and already a noted reformer. His mission was to turn St Paul’s Cathedral from an erratically staffed, dirty, dark, and underused institution into a cathedral fit for the glorious age of Christian faith in Victorian London.

Because he was known to be a reformer, his colleagues wanted nothing to do with him. So, on the longest day of the year, after the evening service had been sung and the few choirboys and singers had left, the Archdeacon of London and the verger accompanied him by the light of that small candle up to the high altar of the cathedral, where he was unceremoniously installed on a single chair.

In the following 22 years as a canon, and for 20 years after that as Dean, Robert Gregory provided much of the driving force that transformed St Paul’s into the institution that we see and know today. He reached a financial settlement with the Ecclesiastical Commissioners that gave the cathedral decades of reasonable financial stability, although it would have been helpful to us if he’d known about inflation! He recruited the reforming organist John Stainer, who got the music into shape using the new choir school to provide well-trained choristers and ensuring that the adult choir actually turned up – for many years there was a weekly disciplinary meeting to try to get the unruly choir, clergy and vergers under control. His energy drove through a decoration scheme for the dome and the quire, culminating in the beautiful mosaics which now adorn the East End of the cathedral. A wonderful reredos behind the altar and a pioneering scheme for splitting the organ into sections were parts of his legacy.

One of Robert Gregory’s final acts was to secure funding from his American friend John Pierpont (JP) Morgan for the installation of electric light in the cathedral. Gregory went from from lighting one candle in the darkness, through perseverance, shared vision, response to public concerns about the inadequacy of the church, and a pioneering engagement in the spiritual and social life of the City of London, to the final triumph of a cathedral blazing with light. In his last few years, policemen helped him across the road from the deanery into the cathedral for daily prayers, as he contemplated the beauty and wonder of a building designed by Christopher Wren and beautified further and made fit for purpose through the vision of himself and others.

In my role as Dean of St Paul’s, I find Robert Gregory an inspiration. I certainly won’t be here for as long as he was, but I believe as he did in the power of vision, particularly shared vision, as we seek to discern what God calls us to do in the service of Jesus Christ, and put it into effect with faith, hope and love. Whether that calling is to us individually, or to us together: remember the power of God’s vision to change us and the church as well as the world.

In an age of change which can feel dark and threatening, with an uncertain future and ongoing conflict, where injustice and unkindness, terror and coercion, discrimination and abuse are all too common – let’s take inspiration from Robert Gregory and what he achieved in the service of Jesus Christ, beginning with a small candle shining in a dark place, and ending in a blaze of light and glory.

 

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Hopes and Dreams

by Jayne Ozanne, Editor of ViaMedia.News

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So the waiting game is nearly over, and we shall soon know what the Bishops believe we should do as a Church with regards to the challenging topic of sexuality.

It has been a gruelling process, which has left many of us bruised, battered and hurt.  We chose to make ourselves vulnerable, we brought ourselves to the table and sat through discussions about whether we are going to heaven or hell.  We have had our private lives dissected, our faith challenged and our integrity questioned.  We have been the subject of unkind and prurient banter and ridicule, particularly in relation to what we can and can’t do in bed with our life-long partners.  All so utterly demeaning.

We have been told not to be so emotional, to not share the pain of our journeys or the harm that has been done in God’s name in certain churches using disgraceful spiritually abusive practices.  We have relived our pasts and reopened old wounds.

However, we have done so willingly as we believe this sacrificial path has been what the Church has asked us to do.  The powers that be have asked us to trust them, and so we have.  They have asked us to be open, and so we have been.  They have asked us to believe that they will hear our stories and reflect on our testimonies – even if they then did chose not to have an openly LGBT member as part of their Reflections Group.

Trust.

It’s hard to trust a group of mostly middle aged heterosexual men who have a history of causing pain, and adding to confusion – rather than confronting it.

But this time it’s going to be different we’re told.  This time.  Just trust us.

This time, they know that the stakes are too high for us to be given just more platitudes that add to the “fudge” that exists in the heart of the Church.  This time they know that they have to make some clear and concrete decisions, because otherwise they will undermine all the trust that has been placed in them, at their own request, by the LGBT community, by those desiring an inclusive Church and by society as a whole.

Because otherwise the trust we have put in them would be broken.  And as we all know – it would be impossible to rebuild.  Many would just walk away knowing that yet again they have been let down by an institution that is bound by fear and compromise.  An unholy mess that creates smoke and mirrors that fool no one.

So I, like thousands of others, wait patiently – in hope that our nightmare will soon end.  No need to tell them the world is watching, that God is watching.  They know.

Trust us.

Posted in Church of England, Human Sexuality, Jayne Ozanne | 5 Comments

Bursting the Bubble

by the Rt Revd David Walker, Bishop of Manchester

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That different groups live alongside each other in Britain, but never meet, has been flagged up as a concern, over several decades, most frequently in response to an outbreak of community disorder in our cities. It’s presented as a problem of poorer communities inhabiting parallel worlds. Official responses are directed towards bringing the different parties together, so that they can learn about each other and come to a point of mutual respect, trust and friendship. Much good work has been done, not least through initiatives such as Near Neighbours, a project conceive and initiated by the Church Urban Fund. But the core analysis has been that living in isolated bubbles was a problem for the poor. A problem they needed to be helped by us to solve, so that they could become more like we whose wealth and security allow us to move comfortably with others equally fortunate, whatever our diversity in other ways. Meanwhile the comfortable classes remained blind to their own bubbles.

In another part of the social inclusion sector, I was chairing a meeting a few years ago that brought together agencies involved in helping people back to employment in a conversation with people living on estates with low levels of paid work. After all of the service providers had in turn set out the marvellous opportunities they had to offer I turned to the residents and asked them, “Is that how it feels from your perspective?” Immediately, we were in a different world; one where fear was the dominant emotion and even the physical layout of furniture seemed designed to intimidate rather than welcome. I coined the phrase that, “If a service is not being accessed, then it is by definition not accessible”, as a way of suggesting that the problem, and hence the solution. may lie more with the provider than the service user. I suspected it was the first time many of the agency staff had been challenged to see things from the viewpoint of the other side of the reinforced glass partition, to enter the other’s bubble. It has coloured the way I have engaged in such programmes ever since. It underpins the “co-production” strategy of working with those who are “experts by lived experience” on which the work of the Manchester Homelessness Charter is founded.

And yet as 2016 ends, I’m beginning to realise that the problem of living in bubbles goes much wider in our society. A striking piece of research has shown that one the biggest differences between those who voted for Britain to leave the EU and those opting to remain was in the brands that they feel most positive about. Be it a preferred news source or a favourite food product, not a single item appeared in the top ten list for both groups. We are not simply encased in our bubbles by the social media networks we inhabit but by a wide range of aspects of our lives. I suspect someone will soon produce a comparable piece of research based on the US presidential election, and show similar results.

The majority response from those on the losing side of Brexit has seemed to be that society ought to educate “them” better. And meanwhile somebody should censor the “post-truth” blogs and websites that feed them the lies “they” are so eager to swallow. Less prevalent, but equally missing the point, has been the view that the moral weight of any majority, simply by virtue of being a majority, is such that we need to accept it on its own terms. Yet neither of these projects would get us out of our bubbles. We would continue to live parallel lives, accepting or rejecting each other’s views, but still disconnected. Rather the call to engage, to engage in the way we have often demanded of just the poorest in our society, is a call to all of us, not just those for whom it is professionally desirable. We need to befriend not to berate, to love those we have been tempted to see as the enemy. These are the qualities that I see time and again in the lives and work of clergy ministering in inner our cities and outer estates. Maybe our New Year Resolution for 2017 could be to behave a little more like them.

 

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Couldn’t We Just “Dissolve the People”??

by Rt Revd Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool

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After the uprising of the 17th June the Secretary of the Writers Union had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee stating that the people had forfeited the confidence of the government and could win it back only by redoubled efforts.

Would it not be easier in that case for the government io dissolve the people and elect another?

Bertolt Brecht, “The Solution”, 1953

For the past few years we have been treated each Autumn to a series of (usually) light-hearted grumbles from Anglicans/Episcopalians about the coming of Christmas. These are not the usual grumbles about commercialisation and vulgarity, but specifically liturgical grumbles that the nation is celebrating Christmas too early, is putting up its trees when it shouldn’t and is ignoring the season of Advent.

This is usually a bit of fun, as the picture indicates. But it makes me uneasy just the same. For me it hides a nagging truth about the attitude of Christians to the world God loves. It seems that if the people around us don’t get our Christian thing, don’t see the point of our spiritual preparation, don’t see what we’re up to, then somehow it must be their fault. They are letting us down. Can’t we dissolve this disappointing England and elect another one?

But God loved the world so much that he sent his only son. And of course the world God loves is the real one, the one we’ve got, indissoluble. Shot through with the love of the One who loves it so much. In need of conversion certainly, but also in need, serious need, of loving and of being heard.

When I was installed as Bishop of Hertford in St Albans Abbey in 2010 I preached a sermon in which I said that the Church of England was not about the Church but about God and about England, that these were the poles of our thinking and our loving. The true God and the real England; God as God is and England as England is. And I said that when Christians find it hard to bear too much reality then the easiest way out of that was to get interested in the church. And we are, I said, many of us, very interested in the church. Extremely interested in the church. All too interested in the church; in its politics, in its gossip, in its image.

Well, the church rightly deserves a measure of interest. As well as being a fractured and fractious institution, the church is the mystical body of Christ in which we are by God’s grace incorporate.

But the main things for us will always be God and England. The church in itself has no right of purchase on the people, and wishing they knew all about Advent – that is, nostalgia for the years of Christendom – is not a virtue but a snare. If the Bible is our guide then we can expect the ways of the changing world to speak to us of God’s action[1], not simply of human foolishness and forgetfulness. And as we dialogue with the world God loves, we can expect to learn something as well as to teach.

It is easy to forget how quickly England is changing. In 1993, in a speech defending the place of Britain in Europe, John Major as Prime Minister said:

‘Fifty years from now Britain will still be the country of long shadows on county grounds, warm beer, invincible green suburbs, dog lovers and pools fillers and – as George Orwell said – “old maids bicycling to Holy Communion through the morning mist”… We are the British, a people freely living inside a Europe which is glad to see us and wants us.’ [2]

Twenty-three years later the morning mist has dissolved like the football pools, and the England we have now is a different place. And yet we’re called to love it just the same, and perhaps also to learn what God is doing in it, and to join in.

Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be, but not all change is for the worse. Nostalgia for the England of 1993 cannot be unalloyed. In 1993 for example if that old maid cycling to Communion was in a same-sex relationship, she would almost certainly not have dared say so when she got to church; not 18 months after “Issues in human sexuality”, not when Section 28 of the Local Government Act still had ten years to go on the statute book[3]. More people may have known about the liturgical year, but for many of them love was a secret thing to be treasured but not shared. And that has changed now, and changed for the better.

This is indeed a strange new land, this late-Christendom or post-Christendom England, in this post-Brexit UK, in this post-Trump West. But we cannot dissolve it. We can’t be with an imagined England that we love. We have to love the one we’re with, the real one. We have to speak the love and the truth of Jesus to this strange and unyielding England that we are called to love, and we are bound by our love to listen to the echo of faith as England reflects it and speaks it back to us. Called to speak critically, called to defend fidelity and steadfastness and gentleness and spiritual seriousness, but also called to discern the signs of the times and perhaps to see the hand of God in the swirling of the times. Because sometimes the culture has good news to offer. Sometimes the long arc of history does indeed bend toward justice.

God loves England so much that he gave his only son. And the angular, angry, diverse, confused voices of England are not to be ignored, or conformed to the cultural prejudices of Christian people, but listened to and grasped and discerned and permitted to change us, even as in the Scripture Peter was changed in his encounter with Cornelius[4], and Jesus in his encounter with the Canaanite woman[5]. Ours is an historic faith, and a faith in the One who not only entered history but who loves it still and who is in it still and who still has much else to teach us[6].

The true and real God is a consuming fire[7], and the real England is getting pretty hot to handle too. Between them they form the crucible of our discipleship, as we follow the call to love and to be changed and to grow and to be real ourselves. And if bearing all this reality is not the heart of our incarnate faith this Advent, then what is?

Meanwhile, as Aleppo burns and as Christmas draws near, here are five liturgical things to do[8]

5-steps-for-christmas

Footnotes

[1] See for example Isaiah 44:28ff with its inclusion of the emperor Cyrus in the purposes of God.

[2] John Major, speech to the Conservative Group for Europe,  22nd April 1993.

[3] Section (clause) 28 of the Local Government Act 1988: “No Local Authority shall promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”. The clause was repealed in 2003 by Section 122 of the Local Government Act of that year.

[4] Acts 10

[5] Matthew 15:21ff

[6] John 16.12

[7] Hebrews 12:29

[8] From Jarrod McKenna; https://www.facebook.com/jarrod.mckenna

Posted in Bishop of Liverpool, Church of England, Social Justice | 1 Comment

A Political Advent…

by the Revd Jody Stowell, Vicar of St Michael and All Angels, Harrow Weald

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As we enter this first week of Advent, I have once again been drawn into the story of God as a political event.

At my church we are looking at the book of Isaiah over the next few weeks as a slight digression from the lectionary and I am struck afresh by the current message which is caught within its pages.

‘When you come to appear before me, who asked this from your hand?  Trample my courts no more; bringing offerings is futile; offering incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and calling of convocation – I cannot endure solemn assemblies with iniquity…Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.’

Says the Lord in Isaiah chapter 1.

It is both a harsh judgement and a pathway of redemption to the people of God.  It is a harsh judgement on empty ritual; offerings that are no longer symbols of a life lived lovingly, justly and in step time with God.  And it is a pathway of redemption because there is the potential to learn.  The offerings that we are called to are to seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.

In a year where party politics has been high on the agenda, it is worth re-establishing for ourselves what it means for us to have a Christian faith, the heart of which is profoundly political.

In Advent we turn our hearts again to welcome the coming King.  A King who is a threat to the current political structures of Rome.  A King who is a threat to any political structure which will oppress the poor and marginalised, whose Kingdom is the great upside down Kingdom, where the first will the last and the last will be first.

And as subjects of that King, the one who calls us friends, we are to join with him in the upsetting of any political structures which are creating a system that oppresses the poor, whoever we understand the ‘poor’ to be.

In Harrow we have Street Pastors, Foodbank and Firm Foundation, who work to address the immediate needs, and some long term needs, of those who have found themselves to be ‘the last’.  But one of my ongoing questions is how these amazing and God-filled ministries can work together with others to challenge the system that creates the need that they serve.

One of the ways that we are exploring doing that in Harrow, together with those of all faiths and none, is through the community organising movement Citizens UK.

Citizens has been running for about 20 years, beginning in Tower Hamlets.  It’s most famous national campaign has probably been regarding the Living Wage, seeking to challenge employers to offer a just wage and contract to their employees.  There are local chapters all over London and the UK and each is engaged in political action which is important to their particular local community.

The beauty of Citizens is that it is set at the heart of the local community and can help to uncover the marginalised voices which often get lost in the big political system of central government.  When people of the local community collectively say that the wages that they are being paid are simply not enough on which to live, or that there are not enough houses at an affordable rent for key workers in the community to afford, leading to lack of teachers and nurses, then it is that local community who are impacted by these things and can organise themselves to affect a real and lasting change.

And if you need convincing that joining together with those of all faiths and none in this endeavour of the Common Good, is a distinctively Christian act, we need only look to Jesus.

This Advent we wait for the King of the Cosmos to enter the world, identifying with all and every human being who ever lived, inviting them to become part of the re-creation of the whole shebang.

An invitation that was, and still is, offered to everyone.

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“Absolute is NOT fabulous!”

by the Very Revd Dr David Ison, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral 

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The last Sunday in November is dedicated to Christ the King. It’s a recent commemoration, started very deliberately by Pope Pius XI in 1925 to recall Christians to the truth that their allegiance is to their spiritual ruler in heaven, as opposed to the earthly supremacy which was being claimed by the new Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, who had begun calling himself Il Duce, the Leader. Pope Pius was putting down a marker that for Christians, no earthly man is their Leader, but only Jesus Christ our heavenly king.

The feast of Christ the King is thus a symbolic and subversive celebration; it puts all earthly authorities under question, whether individuals or electorates. It proclaims that the rule of God is for truth, justice, compassion and peace, and that rulers on earth are subject to the rule of God’s kingdom; and that God cares nothing for our status or importance, our wealth or privilege, and cares rather about justice and service to the poor, and love shown to the weak and needy.

Which political party will promise to care for the poor of the world, and carry out its promise? Which democratic government will confront its people’s prejudices to have compassion on destitute refugees, or have the courage to close down the life-destroying arms trade, or confront us with the necessary cost of caring for our environment? And which Church or religious authority has the grace to admit that it has failed to live out the truth it proclaims, and that before God it has done wrong?

A strength of having an established Church in England and Scotland is that it bears witness to what Christians believe, that all of us stand under the judgement of God’s truth, love and justice.  The fact that judges and local councils still come to church for legal and civic worship, and that Parliament when it meets begins with prayer, acknowledges that their values come from beyond themselves and the people they serve, and that they are liable to a higher power – which is in my view the main justification for an established church. And yet churches, denominations, sects, scholars of different faiths, can fall into the same trap as some politicians in believing that they or their human organisation or nation have absolute rather than relative power, and that they need to defend their position rather than humbly seek the truth, in politics or gender or race or sexuality.

Jesus was crucified for subversion of absolute political and religious power. In John’s Gospel account of Jesus’ crucifixion, the chief priests were more direct than Pilate: ‘Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor’, they said. They recognised that Jesus as King makes claims on the loyalty and actions of all: that in the light of Christ, the claims and orders of politicians, kings and emperors, priests and imams and prophets, are not absolute but are subject to scrutiny and question. A true love for our country and for our Church includes the need to ask questions of all authorities, to recognise human fallibility, and to refuse to sacrifice others on the altar of injustice, even if that requires the sacrifice of ourselves in the process.

For followers of Jesus the King, there can be no unqualified and absolute obedience to political or religious rulers. That’s why humility, dialogue, and the willingness to truly entertain the possibility that we might be wrong, are essential in tackling difficult issues. Because we live in divisive and dangerous times, we need more than ever a commitment to the even-handed, compassionate and truthful justice of God in the face of intolerant and violent language and actions. Those who claim absolute authority, whether elected politicians or dictators or caliphs, or those who troll on the internet or daub hateful slogans on churches or mosques or synagogues, or oppress people by claiming to know the mind of God, will be subject to the just and gentle rule of Jesus Christ our Judge.

 

Posted in Church of England, Dean of St Pauls, Social Justice | 1 Comment