Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Cameron is not the problem, the Church is

David Cameron is not the problem. Now don't get me wrong David Cameron is a problem but he is not the problem. Rather he is the manifestation of a much bigger problem and if we in the UK are unhappy and distressed about today's same sex marriage vote in the commons, then let's step back and think of what the cause and source of our diabolical abominations is.

If I had just one take home point for this post, it would be this: bad results come from bad actions which come from bad thinking which come from bad beliefs. Simply put, the reason we had today's vote in Parliament, was because the Church in the UK is in a dire state.

Let's consider this first by thinking of an everyday example. Consider a piece of graffiti in your local park. If you were trying to get to the bottom of such a nuisance problem, who/what would you blame? The graffiti paints? Of course not. The graffiti paints were just a mere tool in the hands of a messed-up perpetrator. So then is the problem young Timmy, who decided to scribble in bright colours, "Tom is gay"? Well in a sense yes but why did crazy Timmy decide to scribble the insult in the first place? Well it came from his thinking; he thought, this would be a good idea and instead of believing what his parents have always told him (that you should never to be rude to others, especially not in public) he believed his mates instead who said to him "go on Timmy, it'll be a laugh"

So now, let's apply this to the today's deplorable and ultimately futile attempt to redefine marriage. Is the problem David Cameron? Well not really - he is just one man and he is not a Fascist dictator (well not yet anyway) and anyway he didn't get to be PM all by himself (you can thank devious Mr Clegg for that). But are the feckless Lib Dems (and short sighted Tories) to blame for helping Cameron to Number 10? No their decision to support Mr Slippery was informed by their thinking which ultimately came from their beliefs. In short, our problem is not simply our Prime Minister or the House of Commons but our beliefs.

How does all this relate to the homosexual marriage debate? Let me mention something that might look like I'm changing the subject but which in fact is central to this issue. Earlier today I looked at the sermon archives of some of the big London Anglican churches trying to find out how many sermons had been preached on the topic of divorce in recent years. Here are some findings:

All Souls Langham Place - less than 10
St Helen's Bishopgate - less than 10
Dundonald - less than 10
HTB - less than 30

So of the thousands of sermons preached in leading London churches over the past decade, less than 50 touched on this important issue addressed severally in both the Old and New Testaments and which is major pastoral issue in our society. What's the point of all this? My tentative guess from this sketchy survey is that UK churches (especially those that are loudest in proclaiming that they are bible believing/word centred) are not all that big on speaking up for marriage by tackling one of it's most aggressive enemies, divorce. If my analysis is correct, then arguably we Christians have played a big part in advancing the contemporary decadent morality by our insipid defence of marriage and in our embracing of the culture's views e.g. that cohabitation and divorce are ok. Thus given such a degradation and distortion of marriage which we Christians have tacitly endorsed, isn't it the case that many homosexuals (and the culture at large) have rightly concluded that it is not they who have changed but rather marriage itself?

Think for example of the symbolic white dress that is worn by many a bride - how many sexually active 'Christian' couples have made a bad joke of this traditional image of purity? How many couples have considered the wedding dress as a merely beautiful garment long before homosexuals tried to make optional a wedding dress of any sort? Many Christians in line with the surrounding culture have embraced a highly individualistic and egalitarian view of marriage with the resultant flailing commitment to childbearing, to traditional gender duties, and even (permanently) to spouse. That homosexuals now therefore want this strange new thing which marriage has become should surprise no one. We Christians have played a major role in fanning the flame of wickedness which now engulfs our depraved society.

What is the solution to this mess? The Church needs to pick up her mantle again as the herald (and incarnation) of Truth and Grace. The reformation our society badly needs has to start in our own House by first, repenting of our own evil and malaise and second, by exhorting Christians to live out of sacrificial and life-long marriages. This - and only this - is the hope for our nation. Kyrie Eleison

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