I, along with the likes of Archbishop Cranmer, have been following the recent news coverage of Tim Farron. Mr Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats has received lots of interrogation about his Christian faith… especially because it’s of the evangelical sort.
Christianity is continuing to be challenged by the media and it seems that day by day, the pressure is increasing to try and justify any sort of Christian faith in the public arena. Certainly in the last 12 months, there has been massive tension between faith positions and the liberal social trend.
Of course, the liberal agenda fully supports tolerance, difference of opinion, subjective truth and all the rest, doesn’t it? No – this description cannot be further from the truth.
The liberal agenda, certainly from the point of the media, is thoroughly bigoted. Their agenda is all about conforming all people to their teaching. Woe betied if you deviate from it; public shame and punishment will quickly ensue.
And indeed, poor Tim is feeling the iron fist of liberalism as he’s squeezed tighter and tighter in the expectation that he might cave in. If you want to see this acutely, just take a look at the video where a news reporter tries to make Tim Farron look bad because his views on homosexuality. I think maybe he should have just given a straight answer and put the whole issue to bed.
It’s a shame that whether you are a good political leader or not, in this instance, boiled down to whether you approved of same sex relationships or not. No mention of the poor in society, no mention of the NHS. Simply a drilling into the personal convictions of an individual who happens to be the leader of the Liberal Democrats… who explicitly stated that he didn’t want to enforce his own beliefs on others.
I think he did very well.
Looking from a more positive angle, I think it was an excellent missional and evangelistic opportunity that the news reporter gave, and Tim Farron obliged. The fact is that we need more Christians who are prepared to look foolish so that they may shame the wise. We need more Christians going into the public sphere to be a prophetic voice to a society that is lost and confused about the things that truly matter.
This whole debacle reminded me of Polycarp’s martyrdom. Now, before you say I’m over exaggerating, Polycarp was martyred because he wouldn’t submit to the Lordship of Caesar.
He was asked,
For eighty and six years I have served him, and he has done me no wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King who saved me? You threaten with the fire that burns for a hour and then is quenched; for you do not know of the fire of the judgment to come, and the fire of the eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. But why are you delaying? Bring what you will!
May God help those who, feeling called to public office, face the fire of interrogation and slander.
Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre.
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