“Once upon a time there was a God, and he looked lovingly down upon his creation. The problem was that most of them wanted nothing to do with him. Try as he may the majority remained content to live their lives independent from their creator.
“But God loved his creation, and there were a few who were faithful to him. But God knew that if they stayed mixed with the others, then their numbers would quickly dwindle. There was much at stake, and he wanted to protect them from the influences of others. So he came up with a plan to separate the faithful from the others. That way the faithful would be less easily lead astray; and that way the faithful could become a beacon to the rest of the world.
“So with plan of action in hand, he began to carry it out. With the help of the faithful he began to clear a space for his faithful to live in. Unfortunately, before they were even finished, the faithful came under the influence of those they were supposed to replace. As a consequence the plan was never fully realised, and God had to come up with another plan to save his faithful.”
One of the strange things I’ve found today is that representatives of the church often speak out on issues, without considering all the theological issues involved. Indeed in regards to the refugee crisis, the leaders have been being quite vocal in terms of the need for compassion for the refugees, but very quiet when it comes to how the growing influence of other beliefs will affect God’s faithful.
The story of God’s covenant people in the Old Testament represents a different side of the story, to that which is currently being advocated by Christian leaders. It describes the lengths that a compassionate God was prepared to go to protect his people. And on that basis a theology of separateness and distinctiveness should also be part of the debate. It shouldn’t be totally ignored.
Now in one sense we live in a secular society, and therefore God’s laws are not seen by the majority to apply. Nevertheless church leaders need to realise that when they speak out, they need to represent all of God’s values, not just some of them – and certainly not only the popular, or more acceptable ones upheld in our society.
© 2015, Brian A Curtis