Pas­sion­tide - the call to trust in Christ alone

The Church of England - - LEADER & COMMENT -

In De­cem­ber 2011 Prime Min­is­ter Cameron en­dorsed the rel­e­vance of Chris­tian faith in the pub­lic fo­rum. Chris­tian­ity was very im­por­tant and helped other faiths to feel safe, he said. He en­cour­aged Chris­tians not to be shy about their faith and speak up. He recog­nised the core sig­nif­i­cance of Chris­tian­ity to our so­cial foun­da­tions.

He then went on to use state power, with no demo­cratic man­date, to re­de­fine mar­riage. He did not sup­port ex­emp­tions for Chris­tians in pub­lic ser­vice who could not en­dorse or rat­ify ‘gay mar­riage’, and so opened up a line of fire onto such Chris­tians, who have been los­ing their jobs as a re­sult.

Michael Gove sim­i­larly has de­clared him­self a Chris­tian who be­lieves in the im­mense con­tri­bu­tion of Chris­tians in so­ci­ety, in char­i­ta­ble work, ed­u­ca­tion and care, while sup­port­ing the re­moval of mag­is­trates who say that chil­dren be­ing adopted are best placed with a mum and dad, rather than ho­mo­sex­ual cou­ples. Both politi­cians have, no doubt sin­cerely rather than cyn­i­cally, an­nounced sup­port for Chris­tian faith, while at the same time drop­ping metaphor­i­cal gov­ern­men­tal bombs on it with the new state sec­u­lar­ist ide­ol­ogy.

Nei­ther seems to re­alise that sex­ual mo­ral­ity is wo­ven into the Gospel, and is not a de­tach­able ex­tra for the state to re­move as it fan­cies. Ed­u­ca­tion, Mr Gove’s ear­lier re­mit, has like­wise been handed over to the sec­u­lar­ist, anti-Chris­tian ide­o­logues. To take one ex­am­ple, the old sec­tion 28 has been in­verted so that any scep­ti­cism about the ben­e­fits of ho­mo­erotic sex must be kept quiet in today’s class­room, it is ut­terly taboo.

The new head of the Equal­i­ties and Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion, David Isaac, has been ap­pointed be­cause he was chair­man of Stonewall and suc­ceeded in over­turn­ing sec­tion 28, ac­cord­ing to Nicky Mor­gan the Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion. Will his ap­point­ment serve to make the in­qui­si­tion against or­di­nary Chris­tians ever greater? Yet the gov­ern­ment talks of ap­pre­ci­at­ing the faith!

Chris­tians can­not look to politi­cians for the kind of help af­forded to ‘mi­nor­ity faiths’ in law, pol­icy, and the ju­di­ciary. As Good Fri­day and Easter ap­proach in the Church calendar, we are taken to the cross and to cru­ci­fix­ion. Je­sus died at the hands of politi­cians, re­li­gious rulers, sol­diers and com­pro­mis­ers with truth. While it seems quite amaz­ing, it is now true that our faith is al­ler­gic to gov­ern­ments and most politi­cians who are happy to push the Gospel into the closet, even to crim­i­nalise it, as sev­eral court cases and in­dus­trial tri­bunals show.

This Pas­sion­tide we are starkly re­minded that our faith is in the cru­ci­fied Christ alone, the true Word of God that un­masks all fal­sity and hypocrisy. As the state is now de­ter­mined to push the Gospel away in favour of other ide­olo­gies and idola­tries, Chris­tians will per­haps get closer to the faith of the early church, to Christ alone as their Lord, and in­creas­ingly find­ing the gov­ern­ment, ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, and ju­di­ciary, hos­tile rather than ap­pre­cia­tive.

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