This Month's Message

Harpley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Life is my Message." Mahatma Gandhi

Reverend Judith Pollard
Team Vicar

 

 

 

 

JULY / AUGUST 2017.

Religion and Politics don’t mix!

So some would say.  Are they right?

Politics and religion are both important topics – more important than most topics in our lives – much more important than sport and even the good old British weather!  However, they can both be controversial and generate different beliefs and feelings and so they are sensitive topics to talk about.  It’s said that to bring up either in a crowded room will create an argument – bring up both together and there’s likely to be a brawl!

It could be said that religion deals with eternal things, spiritual things, things ‘not of this world’ whereas politics is very much ‘in the world’ dealing with the stuff of government, law and order, pot holes in the road, taxes, welfare, safety and protection.  So on the face of it they don’t appear to have anything to do with each other.

Jesus told his disciples (us) we are to be ‘in the world’ yet ‘not of the world’.  Complicated?

I often use stories or symbols when I am explaining matters of faith to people.  Being ‘in the world’ yet ‘not of the world’ can be demonstrated using water coloured with a little food colouring (representing the people of God) and oil (representing the world).  Pour both into a jar and they will always separate out, but shake it up a bit and they mix wonderfully well!  Left to stand the oil and water will naturally separate out again but the oil takes on colour from the water showing that when we go out and mix in the world we are to have an effect on it.  Being a Christian in the world by sharing God’s love and goodness with the world is the way we can all help bring a little colour and beauty to it.

The church is in the world.  It may not be of the world but it is definitely in this world. 

And this world is a political world.  Christians are both religious and political people.  We believe, teach and confess things about God and we participate in the world of government and politics.

Some may still say politics and religion don’t mix but, faith, I hope, influences every area of my life – otherwise it’s less important than my hobbies or indeed the weather – and that surely would be an insult to God.  Archbishop Welby reminded all Christians before the General Election that “Religious belief is the well-spring for the virtues and practices that make for good individuals, strong relationships and flourishing communities”  “The Christian virtues of love, trust, justice and hope should guide our actions, as well as the actions and policies of all those who seek to lead our country.”

The world in which we live is complicated and there are no simple religious answers to the problems we, as individuals, or the world faces but as the Archbishop of Canterbury reminded us we all have a duty to play our part

With Love

Revd Jane


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