Monday 26 September 2016

The Labour Party Conference 2016 - Saturday evening - Christians on the Left

The conference started on Saturday evening for me. Arrival in Liverpool was followed by an afternoon in the art gallery just opposite Lime Street Station; a dose of culture before immersing myself in the internal wranglings of the Party. That said, I was pleasantly surprised with the first fringe event, Christians on the Left - The Theology of Refugees.

This was a marvelous event ---- even for me, a decidedly non-believer in fact an atheist. The important thing was that all in the room were socialists and in this we were united. There was no debate about who we voted for to lead the party, this meeting was about refugees and how we should respond to their plight.

The main element was a forensic examination of what the Bible has to say about refugees presented by Tim Morley. As he started I braced myself for what was to come but within minutes I was fascinated with the story that Tim unfolded. I learnt that there are numerous references in the Bible to the alien, the stranger or the foreigner and in all cases there is the exhortation to treat them as you would be treated yourself ............ it even goes further by stating that we must honour and cherish them. After 50 minutes of carefully being led through both the old and the new testament I could understand why religious communities in Britain are so insistent that the Tories must change their policies towards refugees.

I left the meeting with my atheism intact but I did gain a profound respect for Christians on the Left and their message of love and understanding. There were a few statements that stood out:

  • Christians must love in both thought and action.
  • There is a place for righteous anger in the church.
  • Perfect love casts out all fear.
I think that these are ideas that even we atheists can accept and make a part of our lives. 

For those christians who might chance across this blog here are the references that Tim explored:
  • Leviticus 19: 17-18 and 33-34
  • Exodus 22: 21 and 23
  • Deuteronomy 10: 19
  • John 3:16-18
  • Leviticus again 24:22
  • Numbers 15: 15-16
  • Luke 4: 18-19
  • Matthew 25: 35-36

No comments: