Upcoming EventsFeb27Thu7:30 pm The State we are in….Lament, Rea... @ Christian Fellowship Church Café,The State we are in….Lament, Rea... @ Christian Fellowship Church Café,Feb 27 @ 7:30 pm – 9:15 pmWe would be delighted if you could join us… On THURSDAY 27 th FEBRUARY 2020 At Christian Fellowship Church Café, Belmont Road BELFAST BT4 2AN* From 7.30- 9.15ish An Evening re-launching Contemporary Christianity for the 2020’s… Thinking Biblically … Building Peace The programme will be relaxed and will start with coffee/tea at 7.30pm David Smyth (recently appointed Head of EA in Northern Ireland) will get us thinking by speaking on… The State we are in….Lament, Reality & Hope? Judith Hill (UTV reporter) will interview Rev. Norman Hamilton, our new Chairperson. Then we will have some time for your inputs … Continue reading →
You don’t have to be an Einstein to believe in moral absolutes
I think I have just discovered an alternative theory of relativity! Unlike its famous predecessor, which has baffled those of us for whom Physics is a foreign country to which we will never travel, this theory is so simple to be self evident. It runs like this. All questions relating to morality are both relative and contextual. All are conditioned by time and social context and subject to church law and personal conscience. There are, therefore, no absolutes. I am, of course, talking about the recent “scandal” surrounding child sex abuse. What has amazed me, is the fact that the debate has been determined by the two benchmarks of what church law did or didn’t require of its clergy at the time and how society at that time dealt with this highly charged issue. There is little debate that a conspiracy of silence existed in the 1950’s and 60’s in relation to this matter, a conspiracy which included, it must be said, some Christian agencies and so the Catholic church should not be alone in having to deal with the subsequent fallout. At present, however, others have a breathing space in which to reflect on their corporate and personal actions and inactions. My son wears a bracelet which has 4 well known letters WWJD. Although perhaps perceived as trite in some quarters, the maxim remains central to all Christian activity. Would Jesus do things differently if he lived today? I am sure the answer would be yes, in terms of his methods and his approaches. If however, the question was would Jesus' moral compass be different? or would he care less for the marginalised, the outcasts and those without voice, including vulnerable children? then I am afraid the answer would be no. To allow children to be mistreated by responsible adults is never acceptable and to be complicit in any subsequent inaction which allows that abuse to continue, can never be justified, temporally, legally or morally. The Church as structure, is a product of the incarnation and as a temporal institution it is as flawed as the humanity it embraces. Jesus reminded us that the gift of faith carries with it the obligation of faith and that those of us entrusted with stewardship of God’s people, particularly the vulnerable, will be judged with severity in the event that we fail or neglect that duty of trust. We need to challenge this new theory of relativity – absolutely. It is our Christian duty. Michael Wardlow. Mike Wardlow was the Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education from 1995 to 2009. He is now working as a freelance consultant, specialising in assisting organisations or groups which are working in the broad area of citizenship education, cohesion, integration, peace building and reconciliation. Opinions expressed by p.s. contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Contemporary Christianity. Contributors are invited to freely express their opinions, whatever the issue, in order to encourage robust and respectful discussion.