To the Readers,
Jack and I have agreed to have a “debate/discussion” surrounding faith and religion within our country, the UK, and both agreed to handle this topic carefully and with respect as it is a sensitive topic. We decided also to do this upon the announcement of the new Archbishop of Canterbury, and base it off of his opening statement/policies. However, I know many who read the blogs on this site are our close friends, who know us very well. As many of my friends know I am a Christian, I deeply believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, I have made a personal declaration to follow them and try my hardest to allow them to guide me through my life.
Many will probably be expecting me to argue the cliché topics. To say what I think/know is right, but this would not be a healthy debate. The Rev Justin Welby mentioned 2 major socio-political areas of discussion that face the church; Women being ordained as Bishops and Same Sex Marriage. To those who are interested in hearing his views on these please I ask that you follow the link below and watch the video of his Opening Statement:
However, I am not going to argue any of the topics as expected. I think it would be a waste of time. But I would like to focus on probably the more important parts of Rev Welby’s Opening speech.
The first thing he discusses is that within the Church (Both the CoE and the World Church) there are disagreements, however, he emphasises that he looks forward to discussing all matters that face the Church and Society, but he expects that we do it in Love. By this he means we respect our differing views and take into account fully what people say and that, at least for him and people of faith, will deeply think and Pray upon it. I have no issue with the opinion of others, what I do not like are Militant Believers, I use the term Believers here to apply to EVERYONE of an opinion toward anything, a Bible Basher is just as ignorant and thoughtless as a Militant Atheist, both arrogant and foolish and simply disagree with the “opposition”. Like Rev Welby says:
I have always recognised and celebrated the remarkable signs of God’s grace and action in the ministries of many people who cannot in conscience agree with this change. Personally I value and learn from them, and want the church to be a place where we can disagree in love, respecting each other deeply
We should not argue with each other but disagree in love and respect of one another’s opinions and be open to learn something, whether or not that changes our stance.
Secondly, Rev Welby speaks of being Adverse to Exclusion, Christianity is not a faith that is exclusive, any who preach a message of hate and exclusion is wrong (whether that be from within the faith or those outside opposing religion). We are not to exclude anyone from anything no matter what or who they are. As Jesus said “Let those without sin throw the first stone”, please do not as many may likely do and linger on the word sin, I am not talking here about who is sinful, look from a different perspective not as the one having rocks thrown at but as the one about to throw. So, let’s take it away from religion and faith and look at basic equality rights, if I were to say that you cannot go to University because you’re blond haired, and that is because I hate blond hair (not my opinion), would that be fair? No! Of course not. Who gives me the right to say that I should exclude you from University when it is obvious that I am doing it out of spite? I have known the harshness of people that have excluded me due to who I am, and I choose to INCLUDE them in the respect that I give to everyone no matter what or who they are.
Finally, on mentioning the area of Gay marriage (again not the topic I will speak about) he describes the need and willingness to create safe spaces where topics such as Same Sex marriages can be spoken of respectfully, openly and with and in love. He describes that the position of the Church is and should be one AGAINST homophobia. Expanding on this the Church, as should most religions, faiths and humanitarian morals, are and should be against HATE. To hate is the problem here not the issue, whether you are religiously inclined or of a humanitarian philosophy, you will and must agree that hate is a harmful and dangerous thing. To allow us to hate will only lead to arguments and an unwillingness to listen, learn and respect each other for who we are.
I apologise for those wanting to read a rant about my stance (which would not have best represented a wide and diverse faith, or worse expecting me to represent all “mainstream” religions, as I definitely could not have done that) on current socio-political-religious debates and issues. I give you this, the topic of HATE and LOVE, and where you wish to stand.
As for me I stand with Love.
PS. Next week I will bring a humorous rant about comedy music and its massively supported scene on YouTube. See you next week 😉 also Jack’s article will be published on Wednesday.