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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

20 June 2014: Rev'd Chris Williams, St Mary’s, Liss

A Christian Country?

Financial crisis? What financial crisis? The Sunday Times Rich List informs us that the income of the super-rich has doubled in the last five years while the average working person continues to face a cost-of-living crisis and is £1,600 a year worse off since 2010. These are just two statistics among many that show that we live in an increasingly unfair and unjust society. Sadly, too many of us seem content to collude with the political and financial powers that both cause and encourage this situation.

David Cameron considers this to be a Christian country but I wonder how far Jesus would approve of his name on the headed-paper of a value system where the rich get richer and the poor, poorer. Jesus began his ministry with the following statement: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.” A truly Christian country is one that is good news to the poor, the oppressed and the powerless.

Jesus stuck to this manifesto throughout his ministry and, in the end, became too much of a threat to the powers of his day and he was executed. Too often in this country, a Christian is considered someone who goes to church, tries to do good and probably gives to charity. Those are laudable things, but unlikely to bother the powers too much or challenge injustice in society. Maybe a truly Christian response to some situations is anger - but anger inspired by love and compassion. I wonder what that sort of anger looks like?

This article was submitted for publication in the Petersfield Herald on 20 June; it is possible that it was published earlier or may be published later.

The Rev'd Richard Saunders of St Mary Magdalen wrote an article "Do we live in a Christian Country?" which can be seen on the PACT web site

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