A fascinating discussion on the Sunday programme today around the new book edited by the Archbishop of York, On Rock or Sand?
On the one hand, if the Church of England offers specific policies it is meddling and out of its depth. On the other hand if it offers statements of principle it’s being vague and wishy-washy.
All of which is a neat way of saying ‘keep off the public turf’ – religion is a private lifestyle issue and should keep in its place on Sunday mornings. It was summed up when Ed Stourton asked ‘where is the line (that the church shouldn’t cross)?’ To which I would want to say, ‘There is no line’! Christianity is a faith which looks for the new heaven and the new earth – a completely restored creation. Therefore we are concerned with everything, on our planet and beyond. If God is God at all, he is the God of the whole universe (or even, all the universes). So suggesting that Christians have nothing to say about something as near to home as poverty in our own country would be ludicrous, except that so many people do it. It acquires credibility by being repeated: but that doesn’t make it any less bizarre.
Of course I’m not expecting everyone to agree with a Christian critique – but as long as there are Christians we can do nothing else but offer our vision of the world for which we hope.