Shades of Grey

2015-02-07 17.11.51

 

 

The recent shootings in Paris and the various responses to the Charlie Ebdo campaign have highlighted that many people don’t know what to believe. It seems that our society has embraced so much relativistic thinking that we don’t know what is true anymore. In other words, we’ve accepted the idea that if something is true for you then you must live by that. The very notion of persuading anyone toward our beliefs has become anti-social! Recently I heard a programme on BBC Radio 4 talking about language change over time, and how in the past generation words relating to obligation and authority have become less popular. In the Bible Paul hints at this type of culture in his warning of mocking and rebellious attitudes in the last days. In all this, the Church has lost much of her confidence in the very concept of truth. The Church seems to be more fractured than ever when it comes to the matter of truth. One casualty is our collective confidence. We don’t really want to speak out on anything in case we cause offence. No-one is quite sure who should speak anyway. If any significant leader expresses an opinion on anything, the foaming seas of Facebook and Twitter will certainly bring out some destructive comments from within our own ranks!

 

However, there are growing areas of consensus: The desire for the church to express the love of God in a hurting world; The recognition that an important prophetic cry is to speak up for the poor and marginalised. Perhaps there is an emerging awareness that the core motivation of the Church must be to be like Jesus? Jesus was and is confident. He knows what he believes and he speaks out unafraid of being misunderstood and yet starts from love and compassion. When we search for absolutes in a confused world let’s take a lead from St Paul: “I know who I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have entrusted to him.” As we know Him, our confidence rises up!

 

This article appeared previously as an editorial for Harvest magazine, published by Together for the Harvest in Merseyside.http://www.tfh.org.uk/

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