Various Items 

Kirk minister takes issue with Prime Minister

Rev. Louis Kinsey, a Church of Scotland minister in Aberdeen, has put down a challenge to David Cameron over the Prime Minister's public comments relating to Christians fostering children.

Eunice and Owen Johns
Eunice and Owen JohnsEd preface: According to a report by the Christian Institute, the Prime Minister has "waded into the row" over Christian foster parents’ views on homosexuality by stating Christians should be “tolerant, welcoming and broadminded”.

David Cameron made the loaded remark in response to a question from the Derby Telegraph about a court case involving Eunice and Owen Johns from Derby — a Christian couple who were in line to be respite foster carers for children aged between five and eight.

Rev. Louis Kinsey has responded to David Cameron's remarks by writing:

I haven’t seen the full text of all that the Prime Minister had to say about the Jones’ case. I do find it interesting that on this specific occasion he identified himself as a churchgoer, though he could have declared himself to be a Christian. That option was open to him. He then seems to speak about Christians as though he is speaking about someone else, and not a group to whom he belonged.

Perhaps I am being picky. I always felt a similar thing about Gordon Brown when he was the Prime Minister. Mr Brown was often ready to describe himself as a ‘son of the manse’ and would speak of Christian values, when he felt the need to, but I cannot recall an occasion when he spoke the name of Jesus publicly or described himself as a Christian believer. I hope that I am not traducing him.

The problem for Christians about Mr Cameron’s remarks in Derby is that they seem to place him in the opposite corner of the ring from the Jones’. They have clearly stood firm in their Christian convictions. Mr Cameron, however, in urging Christians to be ‘tolerant, welcoming and broad minded,’ infers that the Jones’ were not ‘tolerant, welcoming and broad minded.’

And the inference is that neither are all who share their point of view. There is a growing view amongst Christians in the UK that their contribution to national life is not valued or wanted and that their beliefs and morals are ridiculed and rubbished. It would be a terribly sad thing to have to believe that the Prime Minister sided with those who scoff at traditionally minded Christians believers.

The point is that Christians increasingly find that our rapidly changing culture is anything but ‘tolerant, welcoming and broad minded.’ It is prepared to be tolerant of Christian faith as long as it is kept in the head or the heart. It is intolerant of Christian faith when that faith starts to affect moral behaviour, especially in the taboo area of sexual propriety.

It is not welcoming to Christians who bring their orthodox Christian views to adoption panels, or drug strategy forums, or registrars’ offices, or fostering agencies. It is not broad-minded to Christians who preach in the streets, wear religious jewellery, or run bed and breakfast establishments in ways that try to uphold Christian views about marriage and sexual relationships.

What Christians increasingly believe is that the United Kingdom is not ‘tolerant, welcoming and broad minded’ to them and to their views. But what the good people of the UK have not yet cottoned on to is that today it is the Christians who are in the firing line, tomorrow it will be very other person or group with conservative values and morals, whether they are religious or not.

A fundamentalist liberalism has taken root in British life and it will not cease to be vicious and vindictive unless and until all people of sense and perspective, both the religious and the irreligious, decide that enough is enough.

Ed footnote:
David Starkey, a self-professed gay atheist has expressed his concern about a growing intolerance in our society.

 David Starkey on the BBC's Question Time 

Further reporting on the Johns' case can be found at the Christian Legal Centre.
Also at the Daily Mail.

Louis KinseyRev. Louis Kinsey is the Church of Scotland minister at St Columba's Church in Aberdeen, on the North East coast of Scotland. He has ministered there since early 1991 and writes: "My ministry focus has been on preaching and prayer. Few things thrill me more than preaching".
His blog can be found at: Coffee with Louis

Louis Kinsey / Christians Together, 09/03/2011

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Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Various Items > Kirk minister takes issue with Prime Minister