It is unusual times when the Church is more progressive than the State but we may actually be in such times. Britain has reached a place where polarized views and a lack of respect between the people who hold those views predominates. As the country staggers around in shock, we are all showing our uglier sides.
You see, I grew up in a church for most of my life, apart from a few 'wilderness years' that all Christians seems to wander through in a Pilgrims Progress kind of way. Having always been in a church or Christian environment I have an idea as to what I think a Pastor should look like. Kind, patient, wise, understanding, slow to judge etc.
In the light of the recent terror attacks in Paris, it might not seem the best time for this blog about the positive nature of faith; I did pen in before the most recent incidents. However, on the other hand maybe this is just the right time to put out this opinion, to exercise freedom of expression, in favour of faith. No one should be cowed into a corner at a time like this unable to express thought and opinion.
The church is rightly finding its voice again, calling for example at this election time for a "fresh moral vision". A vision where people are paid a decent living wage for the work they do, where the vulnerable are cared for and respected. Where government institutions treat people as people not numbers on a balance sheet.
The people working hardest for charity and justice at home tend to think those same values should shape our treatment of all the world's citizens. This Pastoral Letter invites us to recognise in each of our fellow humans the image of God. It is credible because the Church is not just saying these things. In England's poorest communities, it is living them out.
We've all got that one person we had a crush on when we were at school. That one person who stays indelibly printed on our mind and makes us feel weird every time we think about them for the rest of our lives. The person that will forever be fifteen years old to us, even though they must have grown up too.
In the game you play as 'The Inquisitor' charged with safeguarding the realms against the emerging power of evil, dragons and all. It's a simple enough story, though I'm doing injustice to the finer details, and is easy to explain thanks to a reliance on established fantasy norms and one suprisingly prominent gaming one.
Jesus and I have been separated a few years now. Well, we're divorced actually. Now, I know that whenever a marriage fails it's always the other person's fault and I'm not saying I'm perfect, but I had really, really tried to make it work. In the end, it was his moody silence that finished it off for me; all those years of absence...