It is time for the churches to ditch the rhetoric of 'Christian Britain' and religious identity and to replace it with a new discourse based on a Christian vision of justice and equality, rather the hankering after a bygone age which will do nothing but fuel the BNP’s racist ideology.Jonathan Bartley :: Ekklesia
Jonathan Bartley's article on "why churches should listen to what Nick Griffin said on Question Time" is an excellent article that will be challenging to some... especially older Christians. Basically, the gist is that we need to think long and hard about the rhetoric we use.
Whilst I believe we should be grateful for what we have in Britain... we must realise that Britain is no longer a "Christian" country... and, to be honest, I doubt it ever was. Yes... the church has been key in building what we have but so to have secularists and folks of other faiths.
Whats more... there is no such thing as a "indigenous" Brit. Yes... I am a white Scot... my parents are white Scots... my grandparents were white Scots... but that doesn't mean I am "indigenous" - it just means my family tree has lived in Scotland for a good while. I believe there is Irish blood in mean... although I haven't investigated this by any means.
We need to divorce faith from country of origin, if you ask me. Britain isn't a Christian country but a diverse "saladbowl" of people of faith and those with none.
And as followers of God in the Way of Jesus we need to do all we can to maintain/develop this "saladbowl". Whereas in a "melting pot" everything becomes a similar stew... in a "saladbowl" every ingredient retains its uniqueness - a tomato is not a lettuce and a lettuce is not an onion etc.
How do we maintain this? by speaking up for the oppressed... by siding with the minorities... by sitting down with the broken, hurt, addicted, sidelined; by advocating for the powerless and speaking up for the voiceless. Whilst working with those in power... and those with a voice... to demonstrate, in action, a different way... a way based on love & mutual appreciation.
We need to realise that a mono-culture is a bad thing... by being not only dull but destructive and entropic. It breeds "us and them"... or "in and out"... or "the other".
The word "whosoever" is an all encompassing word that transcends nationality, culture, race, creed, belief, faith, sexuality, gender... it transcends all the silly little things that we use to divide us. God's love is there for all... not just some subset elite.
So I call out to those who speak out as Christians or on behalf of Christians... you only speak for me when your message is one of love... where judgement & elitism are absent... and where justice and egalitarianism are at the forefront... because, as Paul says in Galatians:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.Galatians 3:28.
Therefore... Nick Griffin... you do NOT speak for me. Stephen Green... you do NOT speak for me.