Saturday, March 28, 2015

Who is My Neighbour?

If you read this blog regularly you'll know all too well that I gas on about all manner of social issues from war (& peace) to poverty, to inequality, to care of the planet. I do so because I figure that the prophets and Jesus call me to care about these things and more. Salvation, from my reading of the bible, isn't just me and Jesus, even though that relationship is central to my faith. It's just that if my heart has been changed by Christ, it really should show up in my desire for justice for others and for the planet. In fact, the prophets and Jesus warn me not to get all holy and religious if I'm not willing to love my neighbour. Remember the parable of the Good Samaritan?
It's encouraging from my standpoint to see that the Church of England has released a 52-page position paper in anticipation of the upcoming election in Great Britain. The title is in the form of a question "Who is My Neighbour?" and it is followed by another question "How should Christian men and women approach the General Election to be held on 7 May 2015?" The C of E offers a rationale for the paper:
Some people, including some in the positions of influence in the media, politics and elsewhere, claim that religion and politics cannot mix. They assert that religion belongs solely to the private sphere and must not trespass into the realm of political or economic life. Although this is often treated as a universal truth, it is a view largely confined to the modern-day European context. In previous centuries, and in most parts of the world today, it has been accepted that religious belief of its nature addresses the whole of life, private and public. It is not possible to separate the way a person perceives his or her place in the created order from their beliefs, religious or otherwise, about how the world’s affairs ought to be arranged.
Take a look at the pdf and see whether you agree with the approach of the bishops.
Are you proud of the United Church for its positions on different social issues or do you wish we would pipe down? In your view should we be more focused on the issues of personal salvation or does  the phrase "thy kingdom come" in the Lord's Prayer compel us to be engaged in the issues of the day? Do we need a paper like this prior to our federal election later this year?
                                                                                   He Qi




Frank said...

I think proclaiming the "social gospel" is a rooted value within the union; particularly across the prairies.
A very interesting dimension is the temperance movement, stemming from amongst our methodist forebears. Albeit an anachronism by today's standards, it might be interesting to understand the basis for its passion in earlier times.
Nevertheless, the concept of social justice and related issues remains a pillar of the faith.

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