Just reflecting about the resigination of the Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral, Rev Dr Giles Fraser. While left-leaning The Guardian fetes the man, I hear, maybe not surprisingly, the Daily Telegraph takes another view.
Whatever side you take, he typifies the need for the Christian to speak up and get involved in politics and injustice, even when it doesn't always make you universally popular with your own peers.
US Christian activist Shane Clairborne says:
"Theologian Karl Barth said, 'We have to read the Bible in one hand, and the newspaper in the other.' For too long we Christians have used our faith as a ticket out of this world rather than fuel to engage it.
"In his parables, Jesus wasn’t offering pie-in-the-sky theology… he was talking about the real stuff of earth. He talks about wages, debt, widows and orphans, unjust business owners and bad politicians. In fact Woody Guthrie breaks it all down in his song “Jesus Christ.” The song ends with Woody singing, “This song was written in New York City. If Jesus were to preach what he preached in Galilee, they would lay him in his grave again.”
"The more I read the Gospels, the more they seem to confront the very patterns of the world we live in. At one point Mary, pregnant with Jesus cries out: “God casts the mighty from their thrones and raises the lowly… God fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich away empty…”. You can’t help but think if she were alive in contemporary America some folks would try to accuse the Virgin Mother of being Marxist or promoting class warfare. But all through Scripture we see this–over 2000 verses about how God cares for the poor and most vulnerable.
"What would Jesus say about Wall Street?"
What would Jesus say about the Square MIle?
Would he be for locking up St Paul's Catherdral or for an open air church service?
The thing I am taking away is that if we want our message to be heard we have to first hear what culture is saying. This is not so much about wanting to sound populist like a politician, but to help us avoid sounding pompous like an old fogey.
May God grant us wisdom and courage in these times!