The Church of England - - Reviews - with Amaris Cole The dis­cus­sion of pol­i­tics of­ten causes ar­gu­ment, anger and some­times of­fence. By the time you read this, many of you who are over 18 will have voted in the Euro­pean Elec­tions, as well as some lo­cal elec­tions, too. Were you sure of who to

The teenagers in the video speak of an ‘un­holy al­liance’ of bankers ‘who want us to be debt slaves’, of the ‘Cap­i­tal­ists who want to make us wage slaves’ and ‘mil­i­tant ho­mo­sex­u­als’, among oth­ers. They say all these have taken Bri­tain away from Chris­tian val­ues it once held on to. But in po­lit­i­cal terms, what are Chris­tian val­ues? Is it ‘de­mand­ing’ the end of im­mi­gra­tion and gay rights? The Church of Eng­land don’t think so, which is why the Gen­eral Synod voted to ban any clergy from be­ing BNP mem­bers.

This is not to say all Chris­tians feel the same po­lit­i­cally, and in­deed, the BNP may have Chris­tian fol­low­ers. Groups such as the Chris­tian So­cial­ist Move­ment, the Con­ser­va­tive Chris­tian Fel­low­ship and the Lib­eral Demo­crat Chris­tian Fo­rum‘s ex­is­tence prove the vary­ing views.

Chris­tians in Pol­i­tics, a group that en­cour­ages the po­lit­i­cal en­gage­ment of those of the faith, say on their web­site: “Few would dis­agree that a con­cern for the poor and for fam­ily life are key bi­b­li­cal em­phases. How­ever, whether we should re­spond by re­duc­ing the tax bur­den to en­cour­age phi­lan­thropy or by rais­ing taxes to fund so­cial wel­fare pay­ments is not quite so clear!”

If views can vary that much, should be­liev­ers just stay out of pol­i­tics in case they have got it wrong, then? “Pol­i­tics is a spir­i­tual mat­ter! The gospel mes­sage is rel­e­vant to ev­ery area of our lives, in­clud­ing our po­lit­i­cal life. When we bring godly wis­dom to po­lit­i­cal de­bate with an at­ti­tude of hu­mil­ity and con­fi­dence, so­ci­ety is blessed as a re­sult. And when we com­mu­ni­cate Christ in the ‘pub­lic square’, the good news is preached in words and in ac­tion,” Chris­tians in Pol­i­tics go on to say.

So what does this mean? The BNP Youth video didn’t show a lot of love or hu­mil­ity. Whether you agree with their views on the causes of so­ci­ety’s prob­lems or not, there must be room for the re­spect of all people. While it is easy to get wrapped up in po­lit­i­cal rights and wrongs, it is our job as Chris­tians to set the ex­am­ple of love to all those we meet, de­bate with and cam­paign about, whether we agree with their po­lit­i­cal views or not.

Some of the stu­dents from the video FREE CEN ON­LINE FOR ALL STU­DENTS! Email your course de­tails to subs@church­news­pa­

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