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Worlds apart

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 1 John 3.17

So, if she becomes our new Prime Minister, Liz Truss would apply the biggest increase military spending since the 1950s - the equivalent of 5p extra on income tax. Stand aside British citizens facing a cost of living crisis, how might I feel if I were among the millions rendered homeless following the floods in Pakistan? Such are the ones paying the price for human-induced climate change. Meanwhile the culprits, our fellow affluent nations of the world, are baulking on our commitment to contribute to helping those most vulnerable and least responsible.

Imagine what could be achieved if the money Liz Truss is promising to invest in bullets and bombs was instead invested in combatting the real enemy - climate change - and helping our fellow human beings at that equally real front-line of suffering? That might take the form of improving houses and flood defences and forest management. Or perhaps in applying our military's undoubted skills in rescue and reconstruction to develop a specialism in disaster relief?

The teaching of the apostles, which they received from Jesus himself and handed on to us, is that those with the means have a moral obligation to help those without. That obligation comes before concern for our own safety and prosperity. That might not be how secular society sees it - but we who aspire to have the mind of Christ must speak out against the prevailing selfishness and defensiveness of society, in favour of a more open and considerate attitude to need, suffering and injustice.



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