Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Cameron's Easter Message

The recent budget gave tax breaks to the rich while doing nothing to ease back on the drive to eliminate free public services. So what is in store for those who can not afford private healthcare and education and who don't have the public providing us with a rent free house in Whitehall and an estate in Bucks? Wonder no more David Cameron has laid out his vision for the poor in his Easter message. 
I think there is enormous potential in churches and faith-based organisations to tackle some of the deepest problems we have in our society, whether it is educational and under-attainment, whether it is homelessness, whether it is mental health.
Call me old fashioned but I am not convinced that people who hear voices in their head telling them what to do are the best placed to offer mental health advice. Similarly I am not keen to have my kids educated by people who openly seek to discriminate on the grounds of sex and sexuality.
But why you may wonder would the churches want to help Cameron? Well apart from letting them keep representatives in the upper chamber, exempting them from the burden of tax, seeking to involve them in all levels of government how about a bit of flattery. This is from his speech.
I think that we have lots of things going for us as a country, all sorts of difficulties and challenges, but the greatest need we have in our country is to have strong values and to teach our children and to bring people up with strong values. The values of the Bible, the values of Christianity are the values that we need – values of compassion, of respect, of responsibility, of tolerance. Now, I’ve made this argument many times that you don’t have to be a Christian or you don’t have to adhere to another religion to have strong values, to believe in strong values or to pass those values on to your children, but the point I always make is that it helps. We’re always trying to tell our children not to be selfish, but is there a better way of putting it than ‘love thy neighbour’? We’re always telling our children to be tolerant – I know I am, and often a fat lot of good it does me – but is there a better way of explaining tolerance than saying, ‘do to others as you would be done by’? It’s the simplest encapsulation of an absolutely vital value and the Christian church and the teaching of the Bible has put it so clearly.
So what teaching about tolerance, compassion and neighbourly respect can we find expressed so clearly in the bible? A small sample....

How to treat other faiths
Ex 23:24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.
Deut17:2:5 If there be found among you,...man or woman, that hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.
Phil 2:10-11 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Lev 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Romans 1:31 they which commit such things are worthy of death,

Interracial relationships
Deut 7:3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.

Corporal punishment
Psalms 89:31-32 If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.
Non believers
Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

1 Tim 2:11-14 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

From the last verse we also learn the vital Christian value of bearing a grudge. Something I hope to do in respect of Mr Cameron come election time.

1 comment:

  1. There's this one too: Deuteronomy 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

    I think it rules out about 90% of the human race, especially Scotsmen.