In an earlier post I mentioned the Spring Harvest, theme, ‘Only the Brave -Determined Discipleship’. In his foreword Justin Welby points out that the most frequent command from God in the bible is, “do not be afraid”. The challenge from the study book is to not simply believe in Jesus but, ‘to live him, love him, share him’.
I thoroughly enjoyed Jeff Lucas’ teaching and I want to be brave, but I have a problem – it’s fear. I’m looking for leadership, for someone who will ‘speak truth to power’, but what I hear is the echoing silence of fear. And what worries me most is that all these gifted, clever, strong people in positions of authority and power are either more afraid than I, or worse, ‘batting for the other side’.
Out there, in the big, wide world I meet all sorts of people. I have friends and acquaintances who are atheist, agnostic, humanist, Hindu, Muslim; and their biggest problem with Christianity is the church. Some of them seem better acquainted with the gospel than many Christians. To be fair it’s not so much the Church my friends get confused about, it’s some of its members, especially those at the top. (They have a tough job, we must keep on praying for them, even when they break our hearts).
My friends want to know why bishops and archbishops, leaders of the growing churches such as New Wine and New Frontiers, executives of e.g. The Evangelical Alliance, etc. don’t speak out about the injustices in the Middle East. And they are bemused and appalled when sometimes they do speak out and reveal their ignorance. How can they not know what is going on and it’s history? Of course, my friends are as likely to be misinformed as are the rest of us, but the lack of balance and the simplistic buying in to the ‘western agenda’ raise questions I can’t, (daren’t?) answer.
I’m not very brave, I don’t like hurting peoples feelings and always want to see the others’ viewpoint, which can be difficult when they won’t see mine. It’s easy to hide behind a blog, except I’m not really hidden, so out in the open, here’s my plea. Is there a Christian leader in UK; someone from Spring Harvest, from the Evangelical Alliance, New Wine network, a bishop or archbishop even, who will inform themselves and condemn, a) the misreporting on Syria, b) our arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and c) the murderous assaults on Palestinians?