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Showing posts from February, 2017

The Wall

I have held off from preaching or writing about Mr Trump, partly because I am naturally cautious when it comes to witch-hunts. It sadly does not surprise me that exactly the people who object to his famous Hadrian fantasy now want to block him from entering our country, despite having made no objections against various visiting despots from the Middle East, Indonesia and China. 
Even so, objections to Trump's wall stand firmer than it does itself, especially when it is propped up by cherry-picked biblical witness. It surely did no credit to Christianity when Trump's reverend stooge cited sacred scripture at his inaugural speech to prove that God is "not against" building walls. 
Now this may well be true when one is defending one's people from marauding tribes, as in the Old Testament story cited: and I suspect that very few of the people who hold up placards calling for "no borders" leave their front doors and windows open to all comers at all hours. But…

Salt and oil: 4 before Lent

Salt used properly and in moderation does not replace the taste of the food it seasons, but amplifies the flavour already there. Light does not create things out of the darkness, but picks out objects which already exist. Our Lord came not to destroy the natural order of creation, but to bring out the hidden sanctity of that which was, after all, created and called good by God. And so the we, the Church, are called not to overthrow the natural order, to refuse or resist it, but to find the secret savours and hidden shapes of goodness which God implanted in the world and to throw them into relief, reveal them.

The Reformers got into a terrible pickle over this, and some of their successors carry on the trend. It started with the notion that since only God is good, and only the sacrifice of Christ has the power to save, our own actions or ‘works’ make absolutely no difference whatsoever to our salvation. Faith alone matters; works, however good they might seem, are redundant. Some more…