Traditional Christians have become used to being told we are psychologically damaged goods. With every attempt to uphold traditional Church teaching, we are assured that we are homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic and have just about every other kind of irrational fear possible. This is par for the course when it comes to society in general – that there can be a gulf between the world and the Church should come as no surprise.
More interesting is when unbelievers, who have as much understanding of theology as I have of equine psychology, attempt to define who is and who is not a Christian. ‘How can you claim to be a Christian if you believe: in restricting immigration, that the election of Trump is not ‘an existential threat to humanity’, that the NHS is not the established religion of the UK etc., fill in the blank from your own experience.
What is most disturbing of all is when we hear the same cries from within the Church. For many Christians including some in leadership positions, fighting for the soul of the nation is unacceptable for the believer, unless that is you do it on progressive approved lines.
In order to silence traditional Christians progressive Christians routinely employ the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) test. This is the same test they scorned as simplistic when used by evangelicals as a moral guide, but it seemingly works fine as a political guide. Jesus, they argue, commanded us to love our neighbour. The command to love our neighbour, however, is a bit more nuanced and involves more than waving ‘No Borders’ placards.
Loving our neighbour means getting involved and speaking out when we witness corrupting moral influences wrecking families, marriages, children and babies in the womb. It involves being concerned and speaking out when we see the Christian heritage which shaped a free and tolerant society being squandered on the altar of progressive ideology. It involves standing up against the divisions and conflicts created by identity politics.
The Christian Church shaped the nations which became the United Kingdom; it created the institutions and standards which formed the very concept of the West. If we truly love our neighbour and have their best interests at heart, it involves trying to reverse the wilful destruction of what has made the West the West.
We have all heard variations of a recent conversation, ‘The God I worship is a God of love. He has room in His heart and at His table for all’. Not to get into sacramental theology, but the same Jesus who sat at table and dined with sinners also entered the Temple, overturned the tables and fashioned a whip to drive them out. We breathe in an atmosphere of cheap grace when we confuse being a Christian with being nice.
Jesus was not nice. He was not a ‘new man’ desperately trying to get in touch with His feminine side. Most of Jesus’s adult life was spent working on building sites and He was no doubt used to somewhat robust language. In the New Testament we find Him calling opponents ‘vipers’, and ‘ravenous wolves’. He described religious opponents as ‘whited sepulchres’, saying that no matter what they were like on the outside on the inside they were stinking, rotten and corrupt. A New Testament way of saying ‘You get right up God’s nose’. It is no stretch of the imagination to see Him going a bit further than as using terms as innocuous as ‘snowflakes’.
Speaking of those ‘who cause my little ones to sin’ Jesus said it would be better for the guilty to have a millstone tied round their necks and be thrown into the deepest sea rather than have Him get His hands on them. When 1400 vulnerable young girls were given drink and drugs and then sexually abused and raped in Rotherham it was hushed up by the authorities in the name of political correctness. WWJD?
There is forgiveness, but forgiveness means more than saying. ‘That’s OK, it doesn’t matter’. Jesus takes forgiveness seriously, after all He died to bring us forgiveness. It involves admitting wrong, contrition and repentance. A few of those directly involved in Rotherham have suffered in their careers and we can sincerely hope they have sought forgiveness.
However, those ultimately responsible, those in politics, the media and academia who have created and fostered the attitudes which led to the cover up continue blithely on with their progressive project. Christians should be robust enough to say, ‘It’s not OK, it does matter’.
God is love. Love means more than soft focus and violins. It means protecting the vulnerable. Sometimes love means standing up for what is right. We protect what God loves when we stand against what He hates.
There is a day coming when the lion shall lie down with the lamb, but it’s not today. Today we have to protect the lambs from the lions, and that means being willing to confront that which would destroy.
When what is good and true is being destroyed is no time to be silent, or complicit.