I love the 9 Marks Mailbag. Full of great wisdom and insight that always make you think. I found the latest one really interesting, particularly the question about elders in politics.
This was absolutely fascinating. ‘Roman Catholics as individuals and groups may have different opinions about the Pope. After all, the Church of Rome is not a monolith, and even Popes polarize the assessments of the Catholic people. But what happens when negative voices become more frequent, more outspoken, more radical in their criticism, as seems to be the case in recent months?’
‘In 1 Timothy 5, Paul instructs Timothy—and through him the church of all times at all ages—how to deal with accusations against them. “Do not admit a charge against an elder,” he says, “except on the evidence of two or three witnesses” (9).’
John Stevens is absolutely right. We must not overstate the numbers of Muslims in the UK, we must defend their right to freedom of religion and we must – above all else – seek to reach them with the gospel. We are on the front lines of this sort of work, serving as we do in an overwhelmingly South Asian Muslim area of Oldham. We have had direct dealings with Britain First and have sought to minister to Muslim people in spite of them, which you can read here and here.
Dave Williams puts forward some helpful suggestions about supporting active gospel ministry in deprived communities. His first point is something we have been seeking to encourage for some time.
David Robertson is once again bossing the whole Brexit discussion. As something of a Bennite (not just on the EU), I absolutely agree with his assessment here.
‘Polly Toynbee, Guardian columnist and outgoing president of the British Humanist Association (BHA), writes… ‘Atheists are better for politics than believers’. Whilst I would fiercely argue against any notion that Atheists are somehow objectively worse for politics than believers, I’m not convinced Ms Toynbee’s case is particularly well established.’