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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Comments

fernando

I agree both that we need to connect the ethic on this to Jesus and that what this decision says about the long term political view of the UK may legitimate a future increase of these kinds of weapons.

brodie

Fernando - I don't know how closely your able to follow the news events here in the UK. Recently there's been a lot of fuss over people wearing religious symbols. What has emerged from the political discussions that gave taken place around this is that many, perhaps most polititians think that religious view have no place in the public sphere or in influencing policy. What I find more disturbing than this is the number of Christians who would hold a similar view.

What are the feelings in Hong Kong over the North Korea missile issue?

Stuart

Here I think we need to acknowledge a tension and how we understand our response to it.

It is a tension that relates at least in my case to the 'baptist' (lower case)position of separation of Church and State.

This separation cuts both ways. On the one hand it means that the Christians need to decide whether they are able in the name and way of Jesus to support the financing and maintaining of weapons of mass destruction that may be used against others in acts if catastrophic violence in order to defend themselves. This is the first question the Church must ask. Not what should the State do - but what should we as followers of Jesus do. My own response to this would be that we could not support such an act. On the other hand, however, separation of Church and State Church means that the Church should not have the 'power to compel the State against its will' to accept this position. This however, does not mean that we should do nothing either in our own lives together or in the public sphere.

Accordingly the approach of the Church it seems to me has to be that of 'witness' - this involves demonstrating in our own corporate lives together non-violent practices and in the public sphere utilisng as appropriate democratic processes (where they exist)and participating in non-violent acts of word and deed to bear witness to what we consider to be an alternative possibility and exposing that which we consider to be expressions of powers and principalities of death and destruction.

brodie

Stuart - I agree in the separation of church and state and that we can not and should not compell the state to act against it's will.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that for me at least an argument for peacableness that is not built on the person of Jesus makes no sense. An argument against a nuclear deterrent based on percieved threats also for me at least holds little weight as threats change. Thus the argument must be one of principle and for me the principle is the peaceableness of Jesus.

Thus as we witness to Jesus this must include the exemplification of His peaceable kingdom in our lives together.

Stuart

I agree with you on this (and many things Brodie)and would feel that the peaceable kingdom is exactly what we should be bearing witness to both in our life together and in our public actions re Trident. I think we are singing from the same sheet.

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