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June 2013

August 30, 2013

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Thoughts From The Cottage

 

Dear Friends

 

In the local government elections UKIP surprised many people and 
did rather well, particularly in the Conservative Party heartlands. 
Interestingly they do not have any seats in Labour controlled 
authorities. Are they a party of protest or are they here to stay? 
This is the question political analysts and pundits have sought to 
answer. A far more interesting question is whether their policies 
are those a Christian could vote for.
 
One problem is that they do not have in depth policies on 
education, health, benefits, employment, transport, environment 
and so much more. What they have is headline grabbing policies on
 three areas that touch the heart of many people. Firstly they 
oppose  so called ‘same-sex marriage’ and on this they are fully 
in agreement with traditional mainline Christian doctrine, teaching a
nd standards. This has attracted many Christians who oppose 
the government legislation and attempts to redefine the God-given 
gift of marriage. Secondly they want to bring the UK out of the 
European Community. There are differing views amongst Christians 
over this but it is right to ask whether nationalistic views are ever 
in accord with the mind of Christ. Furthermore the contribution 
to world peace made by the EEC can not be underestimated 
neither should the cost of disentangling ourselves from the EEC. 
Thirdly they want a virtual end to immigration into the UK. I 
struggle with this because I can not see how I can minister in a 
church which genuinely says that everyone is welcome whilst 
supporting a political party that says some people are not 
welcome to live in the UK. It would make a mockery of praying 
‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’. 
Of course Christians have a variety of political views but it is 
incumbent upon all Christians to ensure that their views are in 
accord with the mind of Christ.
 

This last point bears further consideration. How does a Christian know the mind of Christ? Why do apparently devout Christians have such differing views on a wide range of subjects? Surely if we are all really tuned into Christ we would all have the same views on every subject. Sadly we are not there yet, and probably never will be this side of heaven. However there are things that we can do to get closer to the mind of Christ. None of it is rocket science. There are two main things we need to do if we want to more of the mind of Christ. Firstly we need to spend more time with him in one to one conversation and in groups. This is how we get to know someone and with Christ it means more time in personal prayer, more time in group prayer and more time in worship. The early church met together daily to pray and it produced results. The second thing we need to do is to spend more time studying the maker’s instructions. In our case it is the Bible. We need to read it, study it, immerse ourselves in it and discover through it the joy of living the way God intended. Both our prayer and our Bible Study have to be approached with an open mind. We are not seeking God’s blessing on our will or Biblical proof for our lifestyle and behaviour. We are seeking God’s will for our life and then moulding our lifestyle and behaviour to fit it. Beware, if we do this seriously then things will change for our church and for us personally. We will become different people and a different church

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