Thanks be to God

The Church of England - - LETTERS -

Sir, My re­sponse to your Letters page this week was, “Thanks be to God!” – thanks that I was in­tro­duced to the Chris­tian faith by people who be­lieved that Je­sus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, that his words and ex­am­ple are the rev­e­la­tion to the world of the na­ture and pur­poses of God and that his teach­ing is aimed at me.

Many of your cor­re­spon­dents this week ap­pear to place Je­sus well down the list of spir­i­tual lead­ers: they dis­re­gard his main mes­sage as to what we should learn from such events as the dis­as­ter recorded in Luke 13 and the fall of the tow­ers, they for­get his ad­mo­ni­tion to cast out the plank in our own eye be­fore at­tempt­ing to re­move the splin­ter from oth­ers’ and ig­nore his para­ble of the Pharisee and the pub­li­can who went up to the tem­ple to pray. Of course, we all need to re­pent many of our ac­tions and as­pects of our lives, but it is im­per­a­tive that each one ex­am­ine his or her own con­science be­fore we con­fi­dently iden­tify the sins of our neigh­bours and blame them ac­cord­ingly for our cur­rent prob­lems. I have never for­got­ten the words of The Rev Humphrey Beaver, con­duct­ing the three-hour vigil one Good Fri­day in the early 1950s: “It was not the sins of the flesh which put our Lord up there, on the cross, but the sins of pride, greed and hypocrisy.” I be­lieve he was right.

I have never heard it sug­gested that the Pharisees, Sad­ducees, Ca­iaphas, Pi­late, et al. were prac­tis­ing ho­mo­sex­u­als.

I can­not un­der­stand how so many of your cor­re­spon­dents ap­pear to value the words of (eg) Amos, Isa­iah and even Paul more highly than those of Je­sus and pre­fer the “You have heard it said...” let­ter of the law to “But I say unto you...” prom­ise of the ful­fil­ment, not the de­struc­tion, of the spirit of that law.

The story of Noah shows us the God of power whose pur­pose is to save and redeem us from our­selves, rather than the pro­jected quick-to-take­of­fence god on a short fuse who has been used by the pow­er­ful and self-right­eous to ex­alt them­selves and sub­due the hum­ble be­liever from ear­li­est times.

I have found that young people who are “too grown up” to take the story of Noah’s ark, with its pairs of tigers, pen­guins, ele­phants and po­lar bears se­ri­ously, be­come very thought­ful when they re­al­ize that “the whole world” can mean only the whole of the known world at the time of any event or story, and are ready, then, to be­lieve in God’s sav­ing power.

I can see why many of my pupils used to ac­cuse Chris­tians of hav­ing “cre­ated God in our own im­age.” If that is what we have done, then we need to re­pent.

Mary P Roe,

Bices­ter, Oxon

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.