Tuesday, 1 July 2014
Making a difference in the world
God wants us to make a difference in the world; in our family's, our communities; our countries and in the world as one planet.
What does that mean?
Here are my thoughts in light of Bishop John's talk at conference (June 2014).
God is a creator God.
We believe He was the spark at the beginning of time, the one who imagined all of the universe into being.
I believe He is the why behind the complexity of evolution and the myriad of creatures, plants and systems. Science explains the how, when, where; God explains the why. He loves the world He created, the animals He populated it with and us, His ultimate creation and companion.
If as Christians we believe that God made the world and loves it all then how can we stand by whilst our collective actions destroy the planet? How can we litter our planet with plastic? How can we pollute our atmosphere with chemicals? How can we allow this to happen and not say and do something?
In Genesis we are called to care for the planet; we are made stewards of God's creation. We need to get involved in the environmental debates and start taking action; we must not sit and watch it all be destroyed.
Everyone likes to pitch in on the economy, everyone that is except the church. Why is that? Did not Jesus turn the tables in the temple because of the money laundering and squandering, and I'm pretty sure he told the ruck to give up their riches of they wanted to get into heaven, that sounds like economics to me.
I look at my immediate community and I see the gap between the haves and the have nots; those who have paid off their mortgages and those who are saddled with debt greater than the value of their house. And if I look just a half mile further I'll see council houses which are poorly maintained and are too small for the families they contain. I live in an affluent area and yet economic division is everywhere and that is what Jesus told us to work against.
Look at the country as a whole. In the UK there are the super rich and the famous who avoid their taxes in order to be even richer. They take their wealth offshore and they fly across the globe in private jets. Then there are the middle classes, working in professional jobs to support their families in their aim to get to expensive universities and saddle themselves with debt for years to come. Then there are the working class, keeping up with the rent just about by holding down two jobs; valuing happiness above all else and encouraging their children to see bigger. But that's not the whole picture, because there are the non working class who are trapped in a cycle of social support and education deficiency; who struggle to feed their families and rely on food banks. And if you look closer you might just spot the homeless. And you won't see the refugees because we're trying to find good reasons not to let them have a life of any sort.
Don't get me started on the developing world, but I'm sure you can imagine how massive a rant that would be.
Does this sound like a balanced society?
It screams to me of major problems which as a church we should be highlighting. Problems in the tax system and the support system and the education and employment systems.
What would Jesus do?
He'd be turning tables all over the place and demanding equality for all. We should be doing the same. By writing to our MPs and campaigning and mapping a difference for all.