Christian Comment with Peter Farley of Minchinhampton Baptist Church: All or Nothing
ONE of my ex-colleagues, a respected friend for over 40 years, recently described this 'Christian Comment' column with these words:
"A homily starting with a neutral comment on something good, then changing gear halfway through to gently bring in endorsement from the Almighty."
If that's the case, I'll have to try harder this time!
What's wrong with a neutral initial comment that morphs into a reference to God?
Simply that the cart and the horse are back to front.
I am a Christian first, and that determines my view of the world - not the other way round.
Think of it like a mobile phone.
My phone has an operating system (Windows, in my case) to which I can add a series of Apps (browser, email client, Skype, and so on.)
But that doesn't make it a Skype phone.
The operating system and the Apps are not interchangeable.
So with life.
My 'operating system' is a world view shaped by the Christian faith, a view that starts with God.
To that, I can add Apps such as my chosen career, my musical or artistic preferences, my lifestyle choices, and so on.
But those things don't define me.
What does define me, first and foremost, is my 'operating system', my faith in the God of the Bible - a God who stepped into human history through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
From that, all the other things follow.
For me, faith is all or nothing.
It comes first, or not at all.
It's not an add-on.
But, to end, here's the conventional 'endorsement from the Almighty' in the words of St Paul:
"I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20.