Monday, 31 December 2012

Theology and Justice

I love theology. I love my Bible. I was gifted with growing up in churches where the Bible was taught faithfully and where my love of what God has to say about the world around me grew.

As a children’s worker I explain the term “theology” as “What God thinks about stuff”. We learn what God thinks by studying the Bible. Simples! (To quote a well know meerkat) 

But quite obviously - we’re not God, and it’s often just our interpretation of Scripture that gives us our theology. I’m careful to keep that in mind when working and having fellowship with friends who may view what God thinks in a different way to me.

In short - I am fallible, along with every other human who wants to follow God. I try to bear this in mind when I hear others with a different point of view, by agreeing to differ on many things that do not affect our belief that Jesus is the son of God and is the source of our salvation.

Our organisation (Children Worldwide) has a diverse membership, with just about every flavour of churchmanship represented. In my opinion - this is healthy. It causes me to think, to sharpen my study of different subjects and to look at why I believe the things I do.
We unite on the important things and happily differ on the other things.

Over the last year I’ve seen lots of views on differing theologies, with people attacking others about various points of doctrine  - and I have been sad. I have ended up being disillusioned about the church nationally. Not with God - my love for Him and my faith remain firm.

I am sad because there are some church groups whose love for the Bible and theology appear to be more important than caring for the vulnerable. They comment on social issues from a so called theological standpoint and then do nothing to be part of the cure.

Yesterday I saw a tweet from Jamie Reed MP:
“7 years as an MP. Still waiting for a 'Christian' to send me a letter on child poverty. Plenty on homosexuality and abortion.”

I was horrified. That tweet really summed it up for me.

It is a fact that many churches are just ‘getting on with’ helping those who are vulnerable, in poverty and needing support - they just ‘do’ what their Heavenly Father commanded them to do…. Care. They probably haven’t written to an MP about about homosexuality or abortion either, because they are getting on with being Christ in their communities. I applaud them.

There are many ‘judgements’ made in the the name of theology, but only a few acts of justice.

I want to see that change.

My New Year resolution is simple - to gently challenge those who "judge but don’t challenge injustice".

My first example is this:

If you write to your MP about abortion laws, you must also write to him about child poverty, about the lack of care for children who will be born with additional needs - or better still, as a community, do something about it.

If you don’t want abortion (And I don’t), there will be consequences to that. More children with additional needs (Are your churches able to cope with that?) and more children living in poverty. There will also be more children in need of fostering and adoption. Are we up to the consequences of answered prayer.

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