reload The Race by Maurice McCracken

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Evangelical = no head on my shoulders.

posted by Little Mo | Permalink |
Weird? Well about 350 years ago it would have been true.

Serious. I have been reading a book this week that I found, in all places, in Ben Mandley's filing cabinet at the Leicester office, called "The story of the church." And I really didn't realise before that it wasn't all that long ago that people like me - ie people who don't find a via media between Protestant and Roman Catholic an acceptable expression of faithfulness to Jesus -were being put in prison, not allowed to own property or get a job, being starved to death, and yes having their heads chopped off. That's why they mostly moved to America. then some of them had a nice time under Cromwell, who went a bit mad and chopped everyone else's heads off, and then the Scots managed to get Charles 2 on the throne and he was even worse to the Puritans. Another great gift from the Scottish.

You know, sometimes I wonder whether all of our 21st century western Christianity is just so sanitised. Our, " I need God's guidance - should I be a lawyer or a pilot," theology is miles away from the majority of Christian history where it was "I need God's guidance, should I back down from what the Bible teaches, or should I get my head chopped off?" - so far away, it almost seems like a different religion. For these people, they didn't just say that the Gospel was life and death stuff, it actually was that for them. And it wasn't that long ago. And those times weren't that different from these times.

I suppose what I'm saying is, let's not shape a theology that "works" for times of comfort. Our heritage was forged in the fires of burned martyrs, beheaded Puritans, jailed preachers. Our idea of God shouldn't revolve around "what should I do with my life" as much as "thank God I get to keep my life for this long". Our forefathers didn't.


Anonymous Oxford Correspondant said...

Aye it is exactly 450 years ago (yesterday) that Latimer and Ridley were burned at the stake as martyrs for their beliefs.
The cross that marks the spot sits in a very civilised street in Oxford surrounded by dreaming spires and freshers at the moment. A far cry from the scene that night 450 years ago

3:02 AM  

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