Don’t Talk about Religion or Politics!

There is an old saying that you may have heard in one form or another which basically says “don’t talk about Religion or Politics”.  You may see this as a notice at pubs and bars or have been discouraged from discussing these topics at at parties and get togethers.  Politics and religion, as we can easily demonstrate from history, are very divisive subjects and have been the start of many a national conflict and war, not to mention countless broken families and friendships.

Why?  When people discuss either Religion or Politics the views and attitudes of those involved becomes polarised, I accept that this is a generalisation but I do not believe that this is a gross over-generalisation.  We have seen this here in the UK both pre and post the Brexit vote. Families have been divided and friendships have been broken due to the polarisation that occurs when we start to talk openly about our views.  This has been demonstrated right at the top of our political tree with the break in relations between the former Prime Minister David Cameron and his long term friend Michael Gove.  It has been widely reported that they have not spoken since the Brexit vote due to them campaigning on different sides of the Brexit argument.

Similarly the US Presidential election has been very polarising, Republican, Democrat, Conservative, Liberal, Christian Right, Christian Left; they all have their standpoints  and judging by what I currently see on Social Media there is very little common ground between the differing sides and very little chance of bridges being built. There is intransigence and unwillingness to see the others point of view and engage in constructive discussion.

The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress (Joseph Joubert  1754-1824) That is the problem with us though, when we engage in discussion invariably we want to win, we want our viewpoint to be recognised as the superior one, or the right one, or the one with the most credibility. We want “Victory”, even when it is family or friends. Is it any wonder that there is so much division in society today, so much misunderstanding of the other. Discussion leads to argument leads to fighting leads to war. Why can’t we have discusion leads to understanding leads to respect leads to co-operation.

Going back to where we started, Religion and Politics, whatever your flavour or persuasion these are things that can change the world, these are things that matter, things that we need to talk about. We should not be afraid to talk about them but if we do then we should do so with the aim of progress not victory.


Header picture from https://pixabay.com/en/users/mattysimpson-466065/

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Culture Change

We were reminded in this morning’s service (24/02/2013) that we as Christians are made for something different to the norm of this world. If we pin all our hopes of health and happiness on the society we live in and it’s media based, celebrity culture then we will be left feeling empty, disappointed and wanting. For me the message put into words some of the things that I have been feeling and that have been at the back of my mind but which i have been unable to express or put words to. As we look at our society today, we see despair, we see people pinning their hopes on things which will decay, happiness is in the next smart phone, the next gadget, but the happiness is fleeting and gone as soon as the next best thing comes along. As Christians, as Children of God we are called to live above and beyond the material, beyond that which will perish, not putting our hopes in any man or in things invented by man , we are called to live our lives through the Power that comes from God and which he imparts to us by His Holy Spirit. Our natural instinct is to live in the physical, in what we can see and feel and touch, but God calls us to be changed, we are called in Romans 12v2 to be changed by the renewing of our minds, that we might show His love, His compassion, His way which is a different way, a way of hope and love to those around us.

The full message is on our Church website ==> here

Thanks Becky for a great message and timely reminder 🙂