Syriza, Podemos, Le Pen, Brexit, now Trump. What’s happening? As long as the debates are conducted in black and white, each side too angry too understand the other, we will not find a satisfactory way forward.
This post describes some historical causes with theological significance.
In my interim position as acting General Secretary of Modern Church, it might have been wise to hold off a little longer before trying to speak into what my ten year old granddaughter calls the ‘emptiness inside us’.
Right now, the emptiness is the terrible silence that lingers on when all that can be said in the immediate aftermath of last Tuesday’s US election result has been said.
The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month was when the Armistice was signed at the end of The Great War, the war to end all wars. So Remembrance Day was the day when work stopped at eleven o’clock. To remember the futility of war.
Between 1914 and 1918 soldiers dug themselves into trenches and emerged to battle it out on the field until one side was victorious among the dead bodies. Such was the scale of death that a new mood arose: it was inconceivable that nations would ever be so foolish as to repeat the tragedy. People wore red poppies to remember. Never again!
Our approach to evangelism and the way we have almost re-coined it in terms of commercial success has led to a somewhat neurotic obsession with numbers, and with where current numbers sit in relation to those of the past – ie ‘stats’.
Embedded somewhere in the stats are two interrelated groups of people, the mid-life group, ranging from early forties to mid-sixties, and those of all ages who linger on the edge of the Church’s life, either just inside or just outside its peripheries.
When it comes to deciding the future of nations, thinking ought to be a heart and mind business, rather than a matter of gut feeling.
Gut feeling has nothing to do with the mind and little with what is true and honest in the human heart. Gut feeling is emotional short term reactivism. When it is pandered to as a means to acquiring power it yields toxic results. Gut feeling licenses duplicity and it is gut feeling which is driving the American election. It is also shaping the news, because in regard to this election, there is nothing else to shape it.