Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Whistle down the wind

I'm going to take chapters 2 and 3 together, because they both speak to the same issue - how do we express our faith when considering the politics of the country we live in.

In the second chapter of Wallis' book, he considers how we can change the political will of our leadership. He tells of how he leads people to identify politicans when in Washington - they're the ones with their fingers in the air trying to detect which way the wind is blowing. To influence them, it's no use trying to tell which way the wind is blowing, because they will move int hat direction. The real challenge is to change the way the wind is blowing.

He cites the example of Martin Luther King and his fight for the rights for Black Americans to vote to be enshrined in law. When Lyndon Johnson said it was impossible, he started marches in the south that got national press coverage - and the political attention to change the law.

In order to make the wind change, however, we need to be public in our belief, not private - which is the point of the third chapter of the book. He contends that American political parties have managed to convince people a faith in God is a private thing, and has no part to play in the moving of society generally.

Well, to misquote an old Chinese proverb, "it takes one rolling stone to start an avalanche." If we call ourselves Christian, then we say we are in a relationship with God that permeates and influences everything we do - public AND private. Be extension, therefore, we cannot begin to influence society unless we start to live our faith out - and that's a real challenge in our secular and "Rich Christian" world.

Fortunately, we have examples to consider - Luther King, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Wilberforce, Wesley and others. Think that over today when you wonder how you can change the world.

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