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Questions of Faith 5

Continued from here.

What common ground do you share with the other panelists?

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Two years ago if anyone wanted to understand the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats, they would never think of starting with their commonalities.  The best way to understand Conservatism is on its own terms, as a distinct entity.  And the best way to understand the Liberal Democrats is to treat it as its own political party with its own philosophy and aims.  To begin by asking about common ground will not help you to grasp the true essence of either, but only lead to a superficial understanding.

Now that the two parties are in Coalition it's possible to look at common ground and to see that there are many ways they can work together fruitfully.  But you don't begin with common ground.

In the same way, the best way to understand the faiths we represent is not to begin with common ground but to treat us quite distinctly and according to our own ways of understanding.  That's not to say that we can't pull together - Coalition style - on a number of issues.  But it is to guard against having a shallow and superficial understanding of these faiths.  Don't start with the commonalities - treat each on its own terms.

The common ground which I believe exists between each member of this panel and indeed each member of the audience is a reality that not everyone will acknowledge.  But it is no less firm as common ground because of that.  I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ loves and has bled and died for each one of you and longs to draw you into the very life and love of  God.  Therefore I don't just have respect for you or tolerance for your position.  I love you and I know the love that Christ has for each of you whether you know it or not.   Jesus loves you and He loves me.  That's common ground between me and everyone I meet and it helps me to treat each person not simply with 'respect' or 'dignity' but with heart-felt love and compassion.

I believe what we need in a multi-cultural, multi-faith society is not simply "respect" or "tolerance" (such milky words!).  We need love.  Even love for enemies.  We need the kind of love that Jesus embodies and offers freely to all.  Therefore I believe Jesus Christ is our greatest hope for a united society and is the most firm common ground possible - even if right now you're not aware of it.

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Comments gladly received...

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0 thoughts on “Questions of Faith 5

  1. Dev

    would it be wrong to state the 'common ground' is that we are all made in the image of the creator

    but the basis of union with one another is the love of God shown at the cross

    would that avoid issues of what we can 'work together' on?

  2. codepoke

    I've only glanced at the first 4 of these. I had a little time and I read this one.

    Paul went to the Areopagus and evangelized. Such is what you want to do. Ordinarily, I'd be all about common ground, but I hope you go out there and show the difference Jesus offers.

    May the Lord bless (or have blessed, as the case may be.)

  3. Pingback: Question of Faith Video and Round-up « Christ the Truth

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