Skip to main content

In the country of the coalition the hypocrite is King.


This morning I will preach on Jesus driving the traders out of the Temple. A much referred to passage in recent months- but I won't dwell on the implications for St Pauls. Because for me, at the heart of the passage is Jesus clearing the way that ALL can worship God, uninhibited by the traders, by the people who want to make a fast buck or who purely want to be exclusive.

Jesus in that moment condemned the hypocrisy of selling access to the Divine.

This morning I condemn the hypocrisy of trading access to the Divine in pursuit of political gain.

It is my belief that David Cameron is playing with people of faith. He uses the word Christian to defend his vision of England but will sell people of faith out when it comes to marriage, public professions of faith and the right to dress according to our beliefs. He will allow free schools to bear the brunt of angry publicity as he quietly privatises education (and the Church of England should be ashamed that we have complied with this agenda). But he won't stand for religious bodies to have different policies as they arrange the adoptions that his government so craves.

This is hypocrisy of the worst kind. Mr Cameron is taking that which people hold most dear and is selling it, I believe to try and widen his electoral appeal and shore up his coalition.

And for that reason should Mr Cameron choose to attend the communities of faith in which I preside, I will find myself with a verbal whip of cords driving his inconsistent political point scoring games out of a place where none should find barriers to worship.

You can call me exclusive, you can say that Jesus would have welcomed Mr Cameron. But I turn you to the rich young man. Jesus challenges some to the point where they are faced with their own inadequacy/ hypocrisy. I turn you to John 2 when Jesus attacks those who keep people from the divine. I turn you to the fervent anger of Jesus disciples at injustice..

And lets face it: chances of Mr Cameron turning up in Inner City Leeds...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

NO MORE MAGIC BULLET- or why I have stopped watching the West Wing

I love the West Wing. It still rates as one of the most well informed and influential series of the genre. Its speeches have been stolen by people who have osmosed its hope for a better way of doing politics. When we watch it today it holds a very particular kind of resonance because it demonstrates a civility that has been drowned in a sea of hate. It has positive images of a wrestled out faith, is rich with camaraderie and pith and is just good telly.
But its bad for me. 
It pains me to admit this, but the West Wing makes me think I can change the world in a way that is simply not helpful. 
It holds out the present hope that the world can turn on a single conversation. With the brave statement or right turn of phrase one might change the debate, and in turn might change the world entire. The moment in the Oval where they realise that if they take no credit they can save social security. The moment where Donna remembers to pay welfare payments. The realisation that all the NATO people a…

A very dull post about what I do with my time...

Each year I take a calendar month and record what I do in it. I break each day into twenty minute chunks and note down what happens in each twenty minute block. I don’t do the same for designated Sabbath time (nor do I note each bit of time outside of the beginning and end of a working day, no-one needs to know how long I clean my teeth for).
I categorise each thing that I do (an imperfect science) with a view to getting a handle on what I do with my time. 
This year I did the audit in November (as clergy I always avoid doing this in Lent, Advent or August). 
So- what did I discover?
I work around 55 hours a week. (thats up one hour from last year) That work is spread over five and a half days. The only sabbath day that was interrupted by work was about processing a painful meeting.  Of 26 working days, I worked 12 evenings.
In terms of what I do:
In November 17% of my time was taken up with prayer, reading and learning. Thats a slightly false read as I had a 48 hour away time in there. Prayer…

Oxpresidentgate and a Crisis of Generosity

Its been an interesting start to the year for the third sector. As we all get to grips with GDPR (more later), we have been subject to increased media attention as first we reeled from President’s Club revelations to the far deeper impact of this week’s revelations about Oxfam (and others).
There is much that can be written. Undoubtedly there are some in media and politics who will seek to exploit the 1/3 of us who don’t think aid should be sent overseas to change policy off the back of bad behaviour by some people. We could face a drop in giving to international development, as supporting Oxfam is no longer seen as acceptable (like buying a plastic bag). I suspect this will recover at some point, possibly in different form.
However, there is a deeper moral crisis for third sector organisations and my fear is that Christian charities are not immune.
To explore this let me go back a month. The President’s Club- where charities were set to receive significant amounts of money from an…