Sunday, 25 January 2015

A Taboo subject?

Few things are not open to discussion these days, and yet there are some, that when raised cause raised eyebrows, huffing and puffing and shouts of that's personal or discrimination.

I wonder, if you stop for a moment what subjects, if raised in conversation, would raise your hackles? Abortion or the right to choose? Murder in the name of religion (whichever religion)? Immigration? Poverty? Sexual orientation? Marriage or what it means? State controls over our lives? Tax cuts or increases? NHS Reforms? Lives endangered by radicals? Government snoopy our communications? Freedom of speech? I could produce quite a list but hopefully you get the picture.

Jesus, as we read, in the gospels, seems not to have had such taboo's - challenging the things that were not right in society in 1st Century Palestine. For example Jesus points out that observing outwards signs of religion makes no difference if a persons heart is not tuned to God. If our hearts are not in the right place in terms of understanding, compassion and faith, then what we think, do and talk about - our actions, will not be in tune with God. Jesus challenged wrong attitudes and thinking throughout his earthly ministry. The problem for us is that one persons wrong attitude seems to be another person idea of right.

If I take just one issue in the UK at present, the lack of funds for the NHS, many want the latest and often high cost treatments to extend life. We expect medical miracles as a matter of course, daily. But if anyone were to suggest that we pay 10% more in tax to pay for improvements, I suspect there would be an outcry. Money is often at the bottom of our basic reason for reacting to something, how does it affect my wealth or finances?

The same often happens related to church. Does money act as an enabler or disabler? One piece I read the other day suggested that perhaps in churches we can be so focused on the churches money and protecting how little it often has to work with, that we might miss the point that all that we have is God's and so our income, homes, cars ... are all God's and therefore are all part of the resources of His Church. Of course there is the other perspective that the church does not need our money etc. does it, because it has lots of its own? . Where our treasure is ... . How ready are we to hold that lightly to what we have here on Earth and invest it into God's Kingdom and treasure that is eternal?