Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I believe there’s a lot of value in cultural experience. It’s too easy to view the world from our own blinkered perspective. And we can maybe learn something from history as well. So this week I actually ventured inside Kedleston Hall for the first time in a couple of years. I’m not obsessed with the place, honest, it just happens to be a couple of miles from where I live. And this visit only really happened as my eldest grand-daughters requested a look inside as we walked the grounds last week. But I quite enjoy wandering around these places, seeing how ‘the other half’ once lived. Ok still do! The Curzon family remain in residence in their private wing though my only encounter has been literally jumping out of the way as they ignored both a speed limit and one way traffic system on a narrow access road. No comment. I did find it sad though to hear of thieves taking totally unique valuables a couple of years ago when security was basically non-existent. The present Lady Scarsdale quite rightly made great complaint to the National Trust about that, but then I wondered how the family became wealthy in the first place… for example they exhibit many curiosities brought home by one Lord Curzon when Viceroy of India around a 100 years ago. So whilst I have no reason to suggest they were in any way spoils of war, and I’m happy to presume local tradesmen were paid whatever the going rate was for their goods at the time; nonetheless I would condemn our military presence and rule of that nation and many others. No matter the challenges and needs faced by any trading company. But maybe the wealth we often simply took is now being returned? Yes, a sizable proportion of our national wealth is being exported to sundry back-office and call centres located in India. But I’m not so sure we pay them the real going rate today, Apple had some bad press on their manufacturing base in China I seem to remember. Cheap labour and still charging top price. Better that, than our historical human trafficking and slave trade I guess. That’s where much of the wealth of our nation, and others, originated so I reckon we should remember that history lesson. I wonder sometimes if we’re not all slaves to the FTSE 100 and it’s kin. Pursue profit at any cost in our materialistic, celebrity focussed western world. There has to be another way of living.

I believe the face of Christianity should often be countercultural. So today the post-modern norm suggests that there is no absolute truth, and all apparent realities including religion are simple social constructs. This popular belief system is totally incompatible with Christianity, and a personal relationship with the God who holds all truth makes that clear. God is not just a man-made idea. His existence to me is as tangible as any person I ever meet. Having once met with the Lord I could never turn away from his reality.

And our legal system is still rooted in many basic Christian principles… do not kill, do not steal are obvious examples. But increasingly there are laws today that cannot be reconciled with the Bible, which is the actual word of God. No principles which run counter to it’s writings can make that claim. So today divorce is way too easy and devalues even marriage itself. As for the proposal to redefine marriage to include same sex couples, it may be a great idea in the name of equality and fairness so I could be all for that principle. But it can never be said to please God as the Bible is quite clear about the nature of marriage. One man, one woman, for the whole of life. I’m out of space to talk about abortion. And I’m not suggesting that Christians are the only ones who believe this stuff. We aren’t. But ultimately it’s not what we think that matters; it’s what the Lord says that counts. Some things may be allowed legally and encouraged socially but we should not adopt them into our lives. There’s a very different way to live. So, again, the only truly reliable word we have from God is in the form of his book… the Bible.

Luke 6:37 ’Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.’ (NLT)

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