St James Ministry Team

A blog from the Ministry Team of St James Church, Colwall, Herefordshire, UK

2011-08-16

Christian politics

I have just heard Melanie's sermon for last Sunday which I gather caused some discussion about whether it was too political.  For myself I thought it was a splendid sermon and highlighted the conflict between Jesus teaching and practical politics.  Of course, one must have the rule of law and and this must be enforced with punishments.  But, as Melanie says, we must distinguish between justice and revenge.  Justice requires an investigation of the causes of the riots, rather than an instant reaction following our own prejudices.  And then we must try and ensure that they do not happen again.  The society we want to see is the kingdom of God and to bring that about we must behave as God's subjects and that includes doing politics from a Christian point of view.

2 Comments:

At 27 August 2011 at 15:29, Blogger ken said...

Like Chris, I'm entirely happy for Melanie to express political opinions in her sermons. The Gospel is concerned with and impinges upon politics. If we should have differing opinions, well, that's OK: at least the sermon has provoked us into thinking about the matter.

However, I wasn't happy about what Melanie said on this occasion about Jesus. Jesus had been very busy and people hadn't understood what he was about; so "he is cheesed off; he's had it up to here; he's not interested". And when he was approached by this Gentile woman "he insults her" and "he calls her a dog". A little later Melanie continues, "Jesus, like the rest of us, got irritable, got annoyed and sometimes said things I suspect he regretted."

I'm sure that Jesus,like the rest of us, did get tired, did want a break, did justifiably get annoyed and indeed angry, but I cannot believe that he so lost self-control that he became irritable and said things which he later regretted. I suppose he might have been cheesed off if that means fed up, but I can't believe he was not interested and most of all that he ever gratuitously insulted a woman. Maybe sometimes people needed to be insulted to wake them up to their shortcomings, but this woman had done nothing wrong; she was simply making an emotional plea for her daughter's healing.

I suspect that Jesus was looking to see how she would respond when he quoted her a proverb: It is not fair to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs. The children were the Jews and the dogs were the Gentiles. Jews did call Gentiles dogs. And her reposte couldn't have been better. It was clever enough for her words to have been remembered and recorded in the gospels.

So, I'm happy with politics - especially if I agree with them! But I can't go along with a crotchety and thoughtless Jesus, however tired he was.

 
At 28 August 2011 at 08:40, Blogger ken said...

I ought to add that I emailed Melanie to tell her of my comment and to assure her of my continued support.

 

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