Monday, 28 July 2014

Open letter to Philip Hammond

With a little help from 38 Degrees, I've just written the following letter to Mr Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary. Perhaps you'd like to write your own?

Dear Mr Philip Hammond,
First off, welcome to your new role. I guess there's never a good time to take on a role like this, but you seem to have taken yours up during particular unrest about the situation in Palestine.
Thanks to social media and the constant under-current of religion and politics it doesn't seem there's a person in the country without an opinion on the matter, and they're not shy about sharing it.
I understand that the UKs political relationship is biased towards Israel, not least because we were heavily involved in starting this mess in the first place, but I think we need to make a statement to both parties that this behaviour can no longer continue.
Neither party is in the right here, both must be called to account. The UK must be seen to not be supporting one side or the other, so this means withdrawing financial (and other non-humanitarian) support from Israel.
Whether or not either side has committed war crimes, this has become a very dirty war, with many innocent lives paying the price. Both sides should be investigated. I honestly do not understand why the UK abstained from the UN vote to do so? Was it because only Israel was targeted? Would the UK vote on a resolution to investigate both sides?
Peace talks need to focus on two areas. 1, Hamas, on behalf of Palestine, must accept that Israel have a legal right to some of the land, as per the UN resolutions from 1947; 2, Israel must return land to Palestine that it has taken since that date and remove all blockades around those borders. It must cease and desist from attempting to claim further land, if necessary by having it's armed forces disbanded.
The general populous of both sides have a right to a free and pleasant life. I don't for one minute think that the UK should intervene in the way we did in Iraq or Afghanistan, but we do need to take measures to prevent further innocent bloodshed. I hope I can count on you to represent the growing opinion in this country that this must end now. Enough is enough.
Yours sincerely,
David Lumm

Friday, 13 June 2014

Is God authoritarian?

I'm currently reading Follow by Floyd McClung, a very challenging and thought provoking read. Today's thought centres on one point. Is God an authoritarian?

The book spends some time talking about how we're to give God complete control of our lives. However he seems to approach this from a very authoritarian point of view. That God literally wants to control every aspect of our lives, I'm not sure yet whether he means at the macro or micro scale.

I guess it may be because of my increasing distance from the institutional Church and increasing leaning towards universalism, but I find myself kinda confused that we would take people from their perceived freedom to become slaves (willing or otherwise) of the King. Surely the good news is freedom? Are we not adopted children of the king rather than His servants?

I seek to bring in God's Kingdom, to be and proclaim the good news. But should I really seek to be micro managed?

Jesus seemed to outline a different model of leadership, so why do we treat God the Father as an old world King? Is it because he had to give all of those rules to the Isrealites? Was that for his benefit or for theirs?

I may just be overreacting, I almost certainly am, but I was interested in starting a conversation. Is it about giving up myself completely and allowing him full control, or is it more about becoming one with him and Jesus and the Father are one?

Answers on a postcard please!