Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Hang On a Minute Lads, I've Got a God Idea

And it is with these (slightly modified) words from the Italian job ringing in my ears I realise that many, if not all, of the 'great ideas' I have come across over the past few weeks are actually anything but great. I've seen it in politics as Labour (you must remember them, the Party formerly known and spend, spend, spend) come up with a plan to save the world by cutting heating allowances for the top 5% of earners, and now vowing to continue with the family allowance restrictions. Whoo hoo - living out the legacy of the Bliar years and they swing from 'spend your way out' to 'save pennies - win the world!'.

The other two parties are not of course any better and if you want to see some good ideas just look at the deconstruction of state education that is the Academy system, and add to it the changes (actual, planned and imaginary)  to the GCSEs (or should I say 'iLevels' - thought it was something from Gove, not Jobs) and the popularist tosh from Cameron and Clegg and their ConDem Coalition.

Everywhere I look I see kneejerk responses to real situations and hear half-baked ideas from people who, with the education and opportunities they'd been gifted, really ought to know better.

I think one of the groups that used to be funded and run by the NHS who found themselves disbanded as the centre they were in was closed due to funding loss; they now meet in a church building.

I watch people who cannot feed their children and for whom, because often of circumstances not of their own making, have insufficient support and even less money visiting the local Foodbank (which is of course run by local Christians).

I visit people who are suffering from mental health issues and talk to mental health practitioners who are condemned to the same pain and frustrations as each other. One finds themselves looking at ways to pass on or reject those before them to keep what is an already overloaded caseload further increased; the other lives in their flat and smokes, drinks and slowly vanishes from this world because of the hopelessness of their situation. And once again, if it were not for those who open their church doors and welcome and visit and contact and care and pray - where would we be?

I've heard all the 'Big Society' talk - the passing back to the Church what was once their province as if it were a gift (you can see the same in congregations -  a microcosm of the world where those who 'could do better' are now being handed the running of congregations and told to be happy because it's 'collaborative') for which the Church should be grateful.

I am totally fed up with all the 'good' ideas both sides of my church walls - I've really had enough of the politicians who speak of growth, care, equity and yet take money (again) for various dodgy deals and turn a blind eye to those who have whilst proclaiming justice!

I am totally fed up with those who have no vision in the Church. Those petty, pathetic number crunchers who don't have, or foster, vision; what they want is goals, objectives and timescales they can hold people too not God inspired vision and courage. Where so many are visionary and bold (and thank God there are more of these than the spreadsheet Christians) the, often influential few, are looking to managed decline and light a candle before the shrine of sustainability, and this cannot be!

I've got a 'God' idea and it goes like this:

Be disciples and go into the world (the workplace, homes, the pubs and the clubs) and live out that reality and BE the difference. Let's stop making Church something we do for an hour or so every week and let's share the love.

Let us come alongside the broken, needy and helpless - clothing, feeding and housing the needy and  bless other who are doing it. For it doesn't matter who they are or why they are doing it - if they are doing it, then we should bless them and support them and encourage them and stand with them. As Paul says in Philippians 1.15-18:

'It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defence of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.'

Today I'm thanking God for many works in our town and area, some (just a few) being:

Starfish - Soul Café - FoodBank - Signs for Worship - Encounter - Friday Friends

Leyfield's Community link - Tamworth Covenanting Churches - Community of St Chad

Who do you have to be thankful for today?

Who needs your prayer, money, presence to bless others today?

Stuff the 'Good' ideas in the bin
Let's return to 'God' ideas and be the blessing we have always been - just more so!

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