Friday, 25 April 2014

I have a story to tell you

I have a story to tell you. I have a good Christian friend. This person works two days a week. Recently they went after some other part time work. It transpired that the new employer whilst they could only offer a bit more work nonetheless could not offer my friend the position whilst they were employed in the first part time position. "Because you will need to be available to work flexibly through the week". In other words we buy your entire soul and pay you for only part of it. We are still in Easter week and Christians have had to a face a full onslaught from some leading luminaries of Atheistic thought through the festival. They tell us that we live in a Post Christian age and generally would be better off without that superstitious self. Another random story this week told of HMRC selling private records.

Here's the deal, you do not randomly get good governance or corporate probity. Both of these seem worryingly lacking in post Christian Britain. When someone says Human Rights are god given or are naturally inallienable, who's right? I grant in the first instance Human Rights come from our own assertions. That's the record and like museums who "preserve in perpetuity" there's nothing inallienable in them, certainly not in the atheistic humanistic world. Of itself the world of nature, the one that has no creator, is red in tooth and claw. It may offer some form of gaia, not all the violence within it may be simply random. but there is in the world order, enough creature eating, enough volcanos to make naive claims that humanity can answer all its own questions, just that, naive.

Put simply the idea of the judgement of God, even the wrath of God is practically very sensible. Unless humans can find a moral structure by which to be held to account, all sorts of horrors will unfold. Professing the Christian faith does not guarantee good answers, the experience of Roman Catholicism and Nazisim in World War Two indicates that. But throw it all away, deny the history which concluded that in Christ's example there was an exemplar of the way humans should conduct business is to invite the chaos that the last 30/40 years of British life is full of.

It was very interesting that in the Easter row other religions rowed in behind Britain's Christianity. So did Jack Straw go out of his way to acknowledge David Cameron's view. The point of my opener was to say this is not arcane discussion. It has every day implications. We see the consequences in liberalising licenseing laws and the binge drinking and the NHS bill that followed.

So what sort of Christian should you be? I am not telling you, Christianity comes in a huge array of forms including David Cameron's woffly version. It is not a neat format and even those who tell you that there is a book of answers, are not quite right IMHO. It is an experience. It is about reflecting on the nature of love and grace. It is about asking non-believers what grace means to them? Many Christians will reach different conclusions to others, same sex marriage is a good example. But it is CERTAINLY about reading the Gospels, the Good News.

I am going to close by asking you the reader, do you regularly open up the four Christian Gospels? 5/6 times a year would count. If you do comment yes. If you don't I will say there is a good case that you should and that as we in Britain lose that habit so too will our national character change and not for the better.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

A new county hall in Ashington

 Worth bringing this over from my Facebook to memorialise it:
Robert Forsythe shared a link.
Ah well, nothing like moving county hall to Ashington. . Now Plashetts would have had a frisson.
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  • Robert Forsythe Journal take . We were told unitary council was about saving money and yet there has been little evidence of the success of that since the districts were abolished. Northumberland would be best governed with three unitary councils and then the North and the West would not be bled by the South East.
    Northumberland County Council has announced plans for a new base in Ashington
  • Robert Forsythe Sir John Hall commenting about the Ashington move "“The only way the town centre is going to be regenerated is by this bold move by the county council.” Heard all that before about Prudhoe "Robert, this shopping centre project MUST go ahead or the town will die". Dramatic words from people who do not have a Plan B. Prudhoe has shown it was not that desperate (although a new town centre so long as it was QUALITY would be nice). Is Ashington so dependent on one thought that having got rid of coal it HAS to have local government bureaucracy? It is all old fashioned thought, we must have our pet dreams and put all our eggs in one basket.