Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Taliban method, Jesus method

Yesterday Gayle Williams, a British/South African Aid Worker, was gunned down on the streets by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The way they do business pretty much indicates what they really stand for, and the fear, and fantasy and hatred. Christians are subject to fear, fantasy and hatred too — some may recommend fighting fire with fire — an understandable angry reaction, but exactly the opposite of the way Jesus preached and lived.
What’s the Christian way do business?

One of the workshops at Swanwick was led jointly by the Area Dean of Tower Hamlets (Alan Green) and Hussain Ali of the Southwark Islamic Forum. Alan and Hussain led us as brothers and friends through the complexities of life in Tower Hamlets, with its waves of immigration over the past 400 years, and the significant efforts of people of goodwill to discern a way together.

Trying to scope how Christians can help build cohesion in a diverse community, Alan quoted a sermon of Thomas Ken, preached at Little Easton in Essex in 1682:
Not only are we by grace made like to God, but he is also pleased actually to dwell in us, and to consecrate our souls to be his temples... So, when in gracious souls, we discover all the fruits of the Spirit, a kind of glory brightening their conversation, and a sacred amiableness breathed on them from heaven, we are sure that God inhabits there, and cannot but reverence his temples.
In other words our duty isn’t a matter of politics, or being nice to people in the hope of getting something out of them, but an expression of how are called to be in Christ — Christlike.

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