We get a lot of bad news as a nation, but recently two particular news items have caused me to cheer rather than to mourn. The first was David Cameron’s announcement of the new ‘opt-in’ pornography laws (see here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23401076), and the second was the crack-down on explicit lad’s mag covers (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23558211). At the very least, these restrictions will help to protect and safe-guard the innocence and vulnerability of children, who don’t need to see naked women on supermarket shelves, much less be exposed to pornography. But I think these new laws, whilst not eradicating the root of the problem, are also a step in the right direction for our society as a whole.
But as I discovered, there are many who don’t seem to hold this view.
Here’s something I know I can easily forget: Jesus never promised us an easy life.
In Matthew 10:34-39 He says this:
‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the Earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword […..]
…and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.’
This is not the Jesus we sing about in Christmas carols, or see depicted on stained glass windows. The Church are more than willing to share Jesus’ compassion, humility and grace, but this radical side of Jesus? We’re not so keen to talk about that. Why? Because it’s uncomfortable. It demands a level of commitment and response that maybe we’re not ready to accept. But somehow, it’s commonplace for believers across this nation- and much of the Western world as a whole, probably- to agree with the lie that part-time Christianity is all that’s required of us.