The God Bit: Sunday 10th February

Blue ButterflyIt’s been a momentous old week hasn’t it? There are not many times in your life where you witness the approval of a landmark piece of legislation.  I’m very happy that homosexual men and women will be able to marry because I believe that equality is something that transcends any faith. It wasn’t right that their relationships were viewed as inferior to those of heterosexual couples, especially when several notable people have long viewed marriage as something that you do repeatedly for the publicity (we can all think of at least one). Heterosexuals have no right to withhold marriage from gay couples who are more than likely going to make a better job of it.   Theirs is a hard-won victory and I applaud them.

But not everybody is happy and I know that many people of faith are going through a tough time as they seek to live in a world that seems to hold different values to their own.  They should not be disheartened.  Christians are not called to pass judgement on others and certainly not those who don’t share their faith. Paul, writing to the Corinthians asks; “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?” (1 Corinthians 5:12). I think a lot of people forget that Paul said this, although they’re frequently quick to remind people of other things Paul said. Paul asks only that we keep accountable those who call themselves Christians, not judging them, but reminding them of the way that we’re called to live.  There are few better verses to illustrate this, than Micah 6:8: “And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

This week we acted justly.

But giving people the right to live in stable, faithful, legally-binding relationships is a minor matter compared to the massive festering issue of world poverty that still remains unsolved.  If you want to jump up and down and wave placards at Parliament then do it to get David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband wholly behind the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign.

We’ve been horrified this week that beef doesn’t necessarily mean beef in lasagnes and burgers, as horsemeat has found its way into our ready meals. OK, it’s not a pleasant thought but it’s largely a cultural one; as horses are something British people ride, win medals on and back in the 3.20 at Newmarket.  We don’t eat them, but they do in other bits of Europe. Again, it’s ‘horrific’ to us, but yet (perplexingly), we’re seemingly OK that people in other parts of the world starve?  OK, so we can’t all record a charity single to enable the shipment of shed-loads of grain to these parts of the world, but we can exert pressure on our leaders because they’re the ones who can.  The IF campaign is focusing on four key things:

Enough Food For Everyone IF we give enough aid to stop children dying from hunger and help the poorest families feed themselves.
Enough Food For Everyone IF governments stop big companies dodging tax in poor countries.
Enough Food For Everyone IF we stop poor farmers being forced off their land and grow crops to feed people, not fuel cars.
Enough Food For Everyone IF governments and big companies are honest and open about their actions that stop people getting enough food.

This week we’ve made Britain a fairer place, now let’s take those same values of justice and equality and apply it to the slightly more crucial topic of food.

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2 Responses to The God Bit: Sunday 10th February

  1. Allie says:

    Your articles are always enlightening, Rachel. I really enjoyed this one. I’ve never been a fan of Paul, but maybe because I have totally missed Corinthians 5:12. Thank you for finding Biblical verses that speak of not judging others; so many people are too quick to find chapter and verse against everything of which they disapprove.

  2. Wonderfully put :) I used to stand against gay marriage, but came to some conclusions that resonate strongly with what you have written here. I’ll add this thought – how can we condemn gay marriage, but essentially be OK with gay relationships outside of marriage? I think that is the stance of a lot of Christians, without realising it – we’re keen to explain how we don’t judge the individual, we’ve all got a gay friend, it’s just that marriage is sacred. So sacred that at least 50% of all marriages end in divorce, in and outside the church.

    Anyway, thanks for highlighting the important issue of global poverty, and reminding us of the power we have as individuals to influence governments and bring about real, lasting change. It’s easy to give up on what seems a like a hopeless situation, but it’s not really that hopeless, is it?

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