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John Ross
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John, thanks for this. I think your outlook is soundly Christian and your hopes for a compassionate civil society eminently reasonable, though maybe unwelcome to an overly individualistic society. Although, in UK terms, my politics are generally conservative, I have always believed that a welfare state is a sign of a civilised nation and that there should be a national health service accessible by all and free at the point of delivery. The problem with the 'trickle down' argument, often promoted by the recipients of huge salaries and big bonuses, is that it doesn't trickle down deep enough. But the problem is not only national. As Britain's Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron, said the other day, much to the annoyance of the "aid sceptics" in his party, it is a fundamental immorality when nations find funds to bail out ailing banks, but do little to relieve the starving on the Horn of Africa. Although, as Cameron pointed out, it is essential that aid money be monitored carefully to see that it is not wasted by falling into the wrong hands. I'm glad to see Britain is pledged to increase its aid budget this year by £12 billion UK billion, that is.
There is a nice video, with good stills and music, of this simple but profound piece at:
Toggle Commented May 23, 2011 on One Solitary Life at John H Armstrong
John, it seems to me that what you say makes sense and that some Christians need to develop some sensitivity and awareness of how others hear such words as 'Onwards Christian soldiers'. And yet the hymn resonates with biblical sentiments. One does not need to be crassly triumphalist or some kind of abrasive Theonomist to hold a quiet and deep conviction that God's kingdom will came and his will be done on earth as in heaven. The spiritual warfare theme is likewise biblical. 'In hoc signo vinces' is an venerable and not unworthy concept. Christ indeed is a royal master and he does lead in victory against the foe (i.e. the devil and all that is Satanic). The problem is that so non-Christians many hear such words as a 'crusade' and conceive of conflict aimed at those who hold different religious ideas. We need to remember that the gospel is all about being winsome and attractive, not abrasive and combative. So rather than totally abandon such hymns, it is surely better to be thoughtful of the company we are in when we choose to sing it.
Toggle Commented May 15, 2011 on Onward Christian Soldiers at John H Armstrong
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May 15, 2011