Sanctity of life

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" 2 Corinthians 5.17


They say that a civilisation proves its quality by its care of the vulnerable. The aspiration of Christian community goes further, recognising that every human-being - poor, rich, old, young, of whatever creed or colour - bears the image of God. No talk here of levelling up or down, all are of equal and infinite worth. This calls for a society in which there is a place for everyone and nobody is expendable: criminals must be rehabilitated, the terminally ill accorded their dignity, unborn children given their opportunity and their mothers' the support they require. It will be expensive and therefore those who have more than they need must share their excess with those who do not have enough.


Public policy currently operates through an unspoken assumption that life is a competition, in which there will be winners and losers and that, as long as we have policies in place to look after the losers, the winners should be left alone to enjoy their spoils. What we now know about the world - climate change, finite resources, the decline of biodiversity, structural injustice, wealth inequalities - renders the current social contract naive, anachronistic, unfair and therefore requiring of change.


We inhabit an extraordinary planet of breath-taking beauty and plentiful, though limited, resources. God offers an eternal inheritance to all who will receive it and, in the meantime, his infinite spiritual resources to bring about our rebirth and enable us to live faithfully. Will we trust him? Jesus said it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven, not because riches are evil in themselves but they exercise such a hold on those who possess them that worldly riches can replace God in our affections - and they make a poor substitute!


So to bring about the transformation required by the current emergency, we need to remove the idols which dominate our lives from the throne of our hearts, so that God may take his rightful place and so change our worldview and our ambition - for the sake of the world and our part in it...

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