I’ve just returned from Llanw, a Welsh Language Christian festival, the closest thing we have in Welsh speaking Wales to Spring Harvest. One of the seminars was lead by Arfon Jones, the faithful servant who’s working on beibl.net a sort of Welsh on-line Youth Bible. Arfon has a great passion for the Bible as a whole (obviously) but he’s at his best when he talks about what the Bible teaches us about justice; so I looked forward to his seminar on ‘A bias towards the poor’. He said a lot of challenging things but one thing that stood out to me was his warning that we as Christians, evangelicals included, tended to be selective in our Bible reading with regard to the poor and justice issues. The Bible does not compromise as politicians today do on these issues.
He said that we have a tendency to over spiritualize verses of the Bible. For example, we tend to claim that Jesus was talking about spiritual poverty when in reality he was really talking about real poverty etc… In other words we like to read the Bible through the eyes of our own lifestyle and our own political and social values instead of letting the Bible steer out lifestyle and our political and social values.
In this election climate I think Arfon’s challenge is especially important. As Christians we must not let our politics govern our faith but let our faith govern our politics. Over the next few weeks in the build up to election day I hope, time willing, to discuss what this means in practise.