In Defence of Faith


John Gilday has penned an interesting piece which amounts to a critique of Jehovahs Witnesses. Firstly, let me acknowledge that John recognises clearly in his piece that their attitude is not the full story of how people of faith operate in politics and furthermore state that I am not here to defend them. As far as I am concerned they are a heretical cult. They commit numerous violations of Scriptural Law in regards to its injunctions regarding the Book of Revelations. They are indeed, happily for them, subject to its curses for the sin of adding too it and their view of Jesus is Scripturally unsound. In answer to Johns comments regarding the story of the worlds Creation and the account of it in Genesis I will merely ask:

Were you there when I laid the earths foundation? Tell me if you understand. 

Job 38:4 

Let me start with asking the question that article does, to a degree, ask by implication, which is does God have a place in politics? This is however, the wrong question to ask, because the answer is no. God has no place in earthly politics which is squalid and carnal in its nature and to say he does is to profane the holy. A better framing is whether the Christian faith has a place in politics and to that my answer will always be yes. Faith gives believers a moral compass a sense of right and wrong which ultimately is not governed by the dictates of what is around us but by our faith and love for the Lord. I cannot see how a moral compass in politics is a bad thing and to be honest too much in politics is governed by the needs of the now and merely reacting to what is around us. Christians by their very nature have a bigger picture understanding of the world and I can, once again, not see how that is a bad thing.

Love of God must be freely chosen to be meaningful and obedience to His Laws similarly so, Tim Farron when he quit was quite right to condemn those Christians who try and impose things on others through the political sphere. It is indeed something that the Church has been guilty of ever since the Roman Empire opportunistically adopted it as its state religion and started the current corruption that long-suffering Christians labour under the yoke of from the pulpit to this very day. Covenant Law is for the Church and for believers – so, while I am utterly opposed to same-sex marriage within the Church I see no way Christians can justifiably call upon a Gentile state [it is different for the Israeli state, for the Jews are born into the covenant as established by their forefathers] to stop it in a wider context. I would not vote for it were I be an MP in Parliament but nor would I vote against it.

Similarly though I expect the state to, in the politest possible sense, butt out of the Church – it has no right to impose itself on the Church which when all said and done is the House of the Lord, subject to His will and Law alone. It is in this context that I understand the passage in Acts which states;

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Acts 5:29

It is not a call to disregard the laws of men but to place the Law of God over and above them so if it comes to a clash between the two then Christians are to obey the Law of God. A concrete example would be Christian business owners who refuse a service, such as a room for the night, to a same-sex couple. By the laws of men they are wrong but by the Law of God they are right and it is the latter which they are duty bound to obey. Politically I would define myself as a libertarian for precisely the reason to my mind that libertarianism recognises the right of the believer to follow their faith and diminishes the ability of the state to override that. People of faith should not be hounded out of politics nor made to feel their faith is somehow unacceptable because its standards are different – to do so in mind is more than a little fascist and is against the libertarian spirit of UKIP. Democracy, after-all, is worthless empty-shell unless it is there for those we disagree with, unless it is for those whose views we might even find offensive. UKIP can be a Party where people of faith feel comfortable and that is becoming an increasing rarity, a perfect illustration of that are the conversations I have had with John himself where although we do not agree we have managed to find much common ground. So, UKIP, don’t become like the other Parties where Christians are increasingly marginalised and in many ways are persecuted. Once again, be the voice of the voiceless.

 

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4 Responses

  1. John Gilday says:

    Very well done, Darrell, an interesting read. And I’m grateful that, unlike everyone else seems to have done, you have not elected to misrepresent my case as one against Christianity as a whole.
    However, you issued a minor challenge. I should relish the opportunity to meet it. You asked “Were you there when I laid the earths foundation? Tell me if you understand.” Quoting from Job, 38:4
    Well, I wasn’t there. Neither were you. Nor in fact was anyone, because according to your own scripture, nobody but God was there to see, and according to most scientific explanations and theories, nobody at all was there to see. So any scriptural account is immediately to be considered hear say. I cannot speculate myself. I am neither a believer, nor am I a physicist. However, I must refer you again to my own analysis in my own essay. It reads in black and white for all to see in Genesis 1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” 1-3 On this, we can agree.
    One of the simplest facts in all of science is that water is a molecule consisting of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. Now one may learn in science classes at the age of twelve that most of the heavy elements, from oxygen up through iron, are thought to be produced in stars that contain at least ten times as much matter as our Sun. Our Sun is currently burning, or fusing, hydrogen to helium, to create the aforementioned heavier elements.
    In order to be a biblical chemist, as it were, one must rule out the simplest fact in chemistry – the molecular structure of water.
    Does this render the positive aspects of the Christian faith obsolete? No sir. My own favourite verses are Proverbs 17:21 and Revelations 21:6 Does it disprove the existence of a higher power? Not at all. What it does do, beyond all reasonable doubt, is discount the creation story as told in Genesis. And I should hope, in doing so, render the need for any kind of fanaticism based on the Judeo-Christian ideology even more ridiculous than it already is.

    • Darrell Goodliffe says:

      Hiya John, thank you for your kind words and I am glad you enjoyed the read. No none of us were but I will say this. Firstly a tenant of faith is suspension of disbelief – is it anymore improbable that the Lord broke the rules of physics in the act of Creation than Jesus rose from the dead or any other of the many other things science says are impossible occurred? I say not. This is where we differ I feel. I am prepared to make that leap of faith and you don’t want too and that is fine. However, I have to say in conclusion and in light of the above, nothing is disproved, as our Lord Jesus Christ says “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” Matthew 19:26 – however, I think having talked we are practically agreed that politically we want the same things

  2. John Gilday says:

    I’m afraid that on the issue of scripture, yes, we shall have to agree to disagree. I require some degree of evidence to believe a thing. However in the long run, such disagreement is purely academic. We are indeed more or less of one mind where politics is concerned, and the need for a secular state, with faith as a separate entity. This, I feel, is the part that matters.

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