Governance Word on the Week 9th January 2021.
It only happened once. I was invited to allow my name to go forward to become a town counsellor! It’s not that I had ever been conspicuous in local politics, quite the opposite, and so took refuge in St Paul’s advice to his young prodigy in his second letter to Timothy. “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer” (Chapter 2 verse 4).
My nominator was to have been the Rev Murdo McLeod who pastored a church which he had founded after his conversion to Christ. He had been working in an English industrial town 300 miles from home and was on the upper deck of a bus which was taking him to his lodgings after the day’s work. The bus stopped at traffic lights and an open air preacher’s voice penetrated the noise of the traffic to reach Murdo’s ears.
The preacher was urging people to turn the Lord and quoted the verse “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans Chapter 10 verse 13). Murdo had learned the verse a long time ago at his mother’s knee but it came to him afresh and he was converted. He heard and obeyed.
Because Christian conversion is a life-changing event which, among other things, enables the convert to see people in all their needs. The desire to do something about these needs can be expressed in many ways. The one which backfired this week in Washington arose when Christ controlling influence is usurped by something which could be called “The Cause”.
This Cause reads Scripture through the lens of its chief exponents. Their interpretation of the Word, which seems so right, is not rigorously tested but accepted as truth.
The problem is deep seated. Once having made ‘The Cause’ omnipotent it requires something akin to re-conversion to restore Christ’s pre-eminence.
I saw it in my parents love for Winston Churchill. He had been the great wartime leader and because he had “won the war” was given the accolade of infallibility! Alas disillusionment was slow to come. It is so hard to see your hero in a different light.
There is one hero who grows bigger until he becomes all encompassing. And He is the one who must have the pre-eminence. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Jesus in Colossians Chapter 1 verses 16/20.