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Seeing things his way

Read time: 4 minutes.

Hearing his voice

Calvin Robinson (@calvinrobinson) has become a popular social commentator. He's also studying theology. He unusually tweeted a piece from 1 Corinthians 13 and had a variety of replies from 'Stop pushing religion! It puts me off you! ...' to 'Like a breath of fresh air blowing from an opened window in[to] a stale, fetid room.' or '... could have been written today. We are all the same. I love "love is not irritable or resentful".'

This sounds to me like the kind of response you get to Jesus's words, reflected by Paul and others, from the Spirit. Even people who have never heard those words before can instantly understand where they are coming from and react accordingly.

Our social comment must always come from a desire to see what God is saying to us all, and a desire for all to respond to him. We can be bolder than we think, Paul saw that God is always bursting in and evoking a reaction.  We just have to see and be brave.

Black History Month

A comment to the authors of Black History Month coverage in the recent news email.

When I first heard about 'Black History Month' some years ago I wondered what it was for. The first impression was that it is making up for something that is being suppressed or misreported by British/US historians. Obviously clarifying this would be a good thing although most academics are liberal in their outlook so tend to notice and cover these points. If it is not an academic exercise - what else is happening? The group 'Don't divide us' says:

(BHM) is an educational initiative whose aim is to celebrate the contributions of black people in history. Its aims are therefore curricular and socio-political... The curricular aim is to expand reading/content to include accounts that have been ignored or only briefly acknowledged in the curriculum. The socio-political aim is an aspiration to improve the social status of black people today.'

So it's not about history as such,  it is about improving the social status of a particular small group (3-4% in UK). Again this can obviously be a good thing, although it would be good to be clear about it. But it is problematic to assume that all people who are Black want to be treated the same, or indeed agree with each other over history, customs, victimhood or many other issues. There is also the vague sense that the rest of us need to feel ashamed about something. So we have to be careful to check that a particular social enterprise really does have a heart for genuine diversity, inclusion, equity (and Grace).

Amplifying the ability to shame people

As Nana Akua points out some use BHM to focus on slavery, maybe because this amplifies the ability to shame people into supporting a particular worldview. The fact that rival African tribes sold each other into slavery in the first place is overlooked.
Thousands of Europeans were enslaved by North African traders. All races have experience of this as oppressor and victim. However we are not guilty for what happened in the past any more than we Britons can claim credit for the first prohibition (and costly suppression) of slave trading. What we can do is recognise that God continues to lead us to seek Truth, Grace and forgiveness on all sides.

Positives of our past

Looking for a more positive and inclusive approach Calvin Robinson says: "We're too afraid about talking about the positives of our past. We need to have a more balanced approach and talk about the whole of our history and everything which shaped our nation. And then we can re-unify people and say "you know what, we're all British this history belongs to all of us and let's accept that and move forward as one people", and not separate each other based on 'black history' and 'white history'.

Leaving the Cult of Wokeness

Africa Brooke who came from Zimbabwe makes the point that a lot of the rhetoric around racism is not about fairness and truth. She sees herself as now 'leaving the cult of wokeness'.

I think we have to be careful of what is approved by our culture, what we pick up from the tone of the news etc. We've heard about being wise as serpents as well as innocent as doves. There is a lot of Providential good in the world to be thankful for - but we need now, more than ever, to be mindful and enquiring about what comes by.


Climate - not fundamentally scientific, economic or democratic

Had to come up! There is a Christian perspective to this, or put another way, the World's consensus is unsurprisingly not free from ideological influence and bias.  As with other things, the enemy likes to appear reasonable and measured, but cuts up surprisingly rough when challenged with even innocent questions, as if speaking heresy - why is this?

I don't think anyone is questioning the general direction of things - though there are many aspects 'Unsettled' as described by Obama's Science Chief Steven Koonin (you can read the possibly surprising introduction on Amazon).  What has been challenged is the veracity of the accepted conclusions and therefore the responses which are not fundamentally scientific, economic or democratic.

In the short article  'What is a pagan goddess doing in a place of Christian worship?' some of the CoE response is unpacked - Earth-worship with sacrifice anyone -  at £1700/household/year until 2050? (

How do Christians respond to 'The world would be better off with no humans' (re David Attenborough)?

There is strange stuff going on - like the Insulate Britain campaigner who admitted he did not have double glazing on his house...

Because of all this there is so much more need for Christians to affirm Grace and Truth and Hope in the face of blindness, prejudice and disorder.