The Parish of Sandal Magna

Protest & Prayer

Every political party, every religion, every organisation has its extremists. In Jesus' day they were called Zealots and Pharisees. The Pharisees wanted to impose their brand of perfect religious practice on others. The Zealots wanted to revolutionise their society by attacking the Romans.
Why do extremists always get so much publicity and have such an influence over our society? They are a minority. They rarely hold power. In a dictatorship it’s easy; you just throw them in prison or make them disappear. In a democracy, where very vote counts, they sometimes hold the balance of power. Consider the Knesset In Israel where the religious right exercises disproportionate power in the coalition government to the detriment of the Peace Process. In addition the moderate voice of reason is often displaced because the media knows that stories about extremism sell newspapers or increase online clicks.
How are we to respond? Sometimes injustice requires dramatic action, such as that of the Suffragettes campaigning for the right of women to vote. Sometimes it requires non-violent resistance such as the campaigns of Gandhi and King, inspired by the teachings of Jesus. Sometimes it requires us to stand up and make our voice heard. There is a new kind of activism, often based around single issues such as the environment or gender equality, where the younger generation is reluctant to go through party or religious organisations, and more likely to network over the internet to make their voice heard, and be an agent of change. Whatever group or organisation we belong to, we can work for change from within by vigilant engagement, and through loving concern for those who are poor, oppressed, and vulnerable in our society. We can also continue to pray about issues that worry us. As Paul wrote:
 "Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life." Philippians 4:6-7


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© Sandal Magna PCC 2016.
Registered Charity Number 1131795.


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