Saturday, September 23, 2006

Do Christians Care?

Dear friends, (posted by an iBridge friend)

Er, hope this doesn't spoil your weekend. Just a few thoughts on recent onversations here. If the justice/politics discussion has cooled, I hope we keep it warm (ok, not hot - point taken).

We tend to express appreciation for Christians involved in politics or the upper echelons of power. That's fine, but we should each play our role as responsible citizens who question abuse or misuse of power. You don't have to be in DAP nor a thinktank. Indeed, one John Chung and one Ong Kian Ming are enough .

One thing that keeps me going in raising political concerns in small ways is a consistent response I get from people I meet in 'activist' circles. When finding out I am a Christian, they often respond with surprise. Some have said, 'Oh, I thought Christians don't care about such things.'

That's right, those are the words: don't care. To some people, Christians appear as narrow-minded proselytisers who care for souls but couldn't care less about the real predicaments people face at the hands of authorities. Christians are timid folk who tend to fall in line with whatever the govmen says. This is a distorted view, but I think we've allowed it to cross peoples' minds.

It may seem too harsh to say we do not care, but it's fair to say that we often fail to care. Or fail to show that we care.

If we say and do nothing against injustice, then effectively we fail to show we care about justice. I often fail to care for the old and infirm, the depressed, the unreached soul. Of course, we do not need to overburden ourselves with the task of changing the world, which can also mislead us to think that being Christian means being good. We are corrupt, and prone to wander (as a beautiful song, Come Thou Fount, puts it).

James reminded us to share practical things we can as Christian citizens do. Here are some common, highly unoriginal suggestions:

1. Register to vote - and vote ( to check you're registered)
2. Get in touch with your MP, tell him/her your concerns
3. Write to newspapers, internet media to raise concerns
4. Spread the concern to friends and neighbours - make it part of Christian witness

The Bible never addresses justice - or love or grace or forgiveness - in relative terms. It is not enough for rulers to be more just or relatively just; in God's sight, they must be just, full stop. I believe we have sufficient knowledge and collective wisdom, and the guidance of Scripture, to discern just from unjust laws.

A judicial system should strive to be just (otherwise, why call it so?), and a democratic system should strive to be governed by the people.

Let's continue to work out these issues.

Have a good weekend!

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