Vicar’s reflection

Christ Church is a charity - Reg 1130922                                      

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Simon (our vicar), and his wife, Mary Ann, returning on the train that runs the length of Southend pier after walking to the end.

Vicar’s reflection

Last time I wrote about the polarisation of society through the start of the Brexit journey, I urged readers to behave in a way fitting to our calling as Christians, echoing the words of Paul in Colossians 3:12-15.

I fear things have not changed. In fact, I spoke at the midnight service on Christmas Eve of the blatant manipulation of ‘Prime Minister’s Question Time’ to achieve Facebook posts to reach a different audience with a one-sided agenda. The battle is on to persuade the younger generation that the opposing party is deceitful, incorrect or damaging to society; however, the tools they use are the same. Perhaps a reflection of Archbishop Justin Welby’s reference to ‘populist leaders that deceive’.

My personal fear is that as a nation we have lost the core Christian values that have helped shape society in the past, that have made this country a safe haven for so many. Where has the ability to reason gone? The will of the minority to stop freedom of speech by students in the policy of ‘no-platforming’ is worrying. Paul spoke in Athens to a mixed reception but the Epicurean Stoic philosophers debated with him and in front of the Areopagus he was given freedom to speak and people made up their own minds.

We must use our understanding of Christology to shape our thoughts and ability to discern. The Bishop of Liverpool calls American Evangelical Christians not to be “uncritically accepting” of all President Trump says. That doesn’t mean ‘don’t listen’, it means learn to filter what you hear through biblical, Christ-centred values. Perhaps people today have lost these ‘core’ values and are unable to discern what they hear and in fear introduce censorship.

Oh, how we need Christ back in our society today – we are called in all times to be ‘light and salt’. In 2018 let us put that call into action.