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Friday, 16 June 2017

Well, he's a Christian!

One of the headlines in the MSM during the past week - later, understandably, overshadowed by the tragedy of Grenfell Tower - was to do with the resignation of of Tim Farron as leader of the Liberal Democrat party. His stated reason for having arrived at the decision to do so was that he felt it "impossible" to be Lib Dem leader while "living as a faithful Christian" and that he wants "to remain faithful to Christ".

How dare he?! What right has he to seek to live "as a faithful Christian"? I mean, how totally illiberal is that?!!

Being back in the UK for a brief visit, I was able to read today's edition of the free newspaper "Metro". In it, someone named Sophy Ridge defended a TV programme that she apparently hosts - "Sophy Ridge on Sunday". She confesses that, on her programme she "... pressed him for his personal views on abortion. Some viewers believed that I was wrong to do so - that his private belief should remain just that, private. Mr Farron accused me of 'banging on' about his faith. In his resignation statement he said: 'I seem to be the subject of suspicion because of what I believe and Who my faith is in. In which case we are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant, liberal society."

I confess to having had no time at all for Tim Farron and the Lib Dem's insistence that the 2016 referendum result was the result of people not knowing what it was for which they were voting. I was extremely disappointed when he eventually gave in to the badgering and - it is claimed, on the advice of others - declared that the "marriage" of homosexuals or lesbians, is not a sin. In making that statement, he went totally against the teaching of the Bible (although not of certain major denominations!).

Ms Ridge continues, in an attempt to defend herself, by writing that "Voters have a right to know what their political leaders believe in. Gay men have a right to know if politicians believe they are committing a sin when they 'make love' (my quotation marks!), and women who have had abortions have a right to know whether politicians think they have done something wrong." She may have a point! However, when Muslim Sadiq Khan was campaigning for the position of mayor of London, I do not recall any reporter, journalist, or TV 'celebrity' asking him if he believed that homosexual activity is sinful! Considering the treatment of homosexuals - and adulterers (well, the female involved!) - by his fellow Muslims, I wonder what his answer would have been. If he had been interviewed by Ms Ridge, would she have pressed him for a definitive answer if he had prevaricated in the least? Somehow, I think not! It is, and for some time has been, "open season" on those who claim to be disciples of Jesus, while Muslims have become a "protected species"!

My friend, David Robertson, ends his own comment on the Tim Farron situation with these words: 

"Tim Farron has done us all a big favour.

His warm, clear and impassioned plea for religious tolerance is what needs to be said – and acted upon. His example of giving up his role as leader of the party when faced with the choice of his Christian faith or his political career is shining: "I joined our party when I was 16, it is in my blood, I love our history, our people, I thoroughly love my party.  Imagine how proud I am to lead this party.  And then imagine what would lead me to voluntarily relinquish that honour. In the words of Isaac Watts it would have to be something 'so amazing, so divine, (it) demands my heart, my life, my all'."
We need Christians who will get their hands dirty and get involved in politics (we really don’t need the opposite – politicians who get involved with and seek to use Christianity for political ends). We need Christians who will be faithful – even to the point of committing political suicide. The love of Christ demands our heart, our life, our all.  And we need a Church which, instead of turning itself inside out in order to fit the culture, seeks to turn the world upside down."
May all of us, who also claim to be disciples of Jesus, be prepared to put serving Him first; make Him our priority; serve Him above all else. Then, perhaps, the world will see that serving Jesus does make a difference - and a positive difference. 
Some eighteen hundred years ago, a man known as Justin Martyr claimed that good Christians make good citizens. Let those of us who follow the Saviour prove him right - whether we are in the political spotlight, or not.

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