By law, the State of Texas must allow the condemned a last word before they are killed. It has now also banned chaplains and all religious advisers who are not State nominated from being at the victim’s side. Back in 2018, when these words were spoken, the offender may have had a chaplain or mentor alongside him. But now he dies alone, or possibly ‘observed’ from behind a plate glass window.
God raised Jesus from the dead, according to the gospels. For some, it has become the whole point of Christianity.
But what it means has changed. Today Christians often interpret the Resurrection as a miracle that breaks the laws of nature – something you can only believe if you also believe in the laws of nature. Here I argue that treating it like this trivialises it.
In February 2014 local churches responded positively to the collapse of the sea wall at Dawlish in Devon, which saw the rail line severed and people evacuated from their homes because of wave damage.
At the same time villagers living on the Somerset levels also had to abandon their houses for fear of flood defences being overwhelmed.
But both these UK examples of the consequences of extreme weather conditions pale into insignificance compared with the recent destruction prompted by Cyclone Idai in eastern Africa, or the ongoing droughts of northern China or Australia.
The failure of our governing elite is technical and political, for sure. But it is also moral. They have short-changed the public for so long that they don’t know any different.
So writes Aditya Chakrabortty in a recent article in the Guardian, arguing that ministers act in their own financial interests rather than the interests of the country. This post asks what kind of moral failure we’re seeing.
‘To proclaim the need for new ideas has served, in some measure, as a substitute for them’ wrote the economist and diplomat, J.K. Galbraith. If his words were to be transcribed into the church language of today, they might read something like ‘To proclaim the need for newness and innovation, ostensibly for the sake of the many, at the expense of what is known and loved by the few, is to lose something irreplaceable and of great value to all.’
Something like this is about to happen in regard to St. Teilo’s Anglican church in Cardiff. St. Teilo’s is to become a resource church.
Designating a church as a ‘resource’ is a managerial decision. Whatever the reasons given for such a decision, they amount to takeover. In this case, it is the takeover, without consultation with its people, of what was deemed to be a failing church. A ‘failing’ church is one which does not attract enough people on a Sunday for it to be considered worth supporting, irrespective of the inherent reverence of its worship or of its care for the community it serves, despite the fact that reverent worship and care for the community are two aspects of biblical holiness.