Pastor’s Letter – January 24th

Pastor’s Letter – January 24th

Dear friends

There has been a lot of talk recently about “rights”.  This has been across a whole range of different areas:  my “right” to free speech; my “right” to choose vaccination; my “right” to not be offended; etc.  As a society we have those who are advocating a “Bill of Rights” as the solution to the increasing levels of friction that is arising as a result of one individual’s “right” transgressing another person’s “right”: when one’s “right” not to be offended clashes with another’s “right” to free speech; or, when one’s “right” to choose clashes with another’s “right” to stay safe.

While the Bible establishes universal human value and dignity as a consequence of every person bearing the image of God (Gen 1.26-27), there is not a lot of talk about “rights”, especially not as we hear it today.

Fundamentally the shift to thinking about “my rights” has arisen as a result of our society’s emphasis on the individual.  The individual has been enthroned.  We are all the “sun in our own personal universe”, and so everything should revolve about “me”.

So how do we think about this as Christians?

As individuals, we should see that Jesus calls us to stand against this cultural tide.  He is our model.  He laid down all rights to serve.  He calls us to take up our cross and follow, becoming the “slave of all” as he did (Mark 10.43-45).

As a society, it is more helpful to think more in terms of responsibilities than rights.  What responsibilities do we have to our neighbours (Luke 10.27)? How do we seek their good?  When we champion certain “rights” (and we should) we need to ask:  Is this for the common good or are our concerns about “rights” in general merely preferring the ones we want for ourselves? For example, will we defend freedom of religion as a principle:  for Muslims and Hindus as well as for Christians?

These are challenging times.  Many of the values in our culture are shifting.  We need to make a prayerful and biblical response, showing a love for neighbour that flows from our love for God.  He has shown us the way: ” the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,  and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10.45 NIV11)

Cameron Munro

Pastor | Trinity Church Brighton
0432 578 460 | | Day Off Fridays