Loving the unlovely
Richard Hall and Kim Fabricius have written to their local newspaper concerning its ongoing coverage concerning the killing of local schoolboy, Ben Bellamy.
Supporting the penalty given to the three young men convicted concerning this killing and arguing that they should not be released whilst a danger to the community, they then put the message of the Gospel;
The media goes banging on about how the UK is no longer a Christian country while simultaneously insinuating that the bottom line for those who commit dreadful crimes is to lock them up and throw away the key, and successive governments also collude in pandering to a public vindictiveness that (as polls on capital punishment continue to demonstrate) hardly needs encouragement.
Non-Christians can, of course, ignore the dimension of mercy and forgiveness that is at the very heart of the gospel.
They can also ignore those who appeal for a penal policy constructed around the ideas of restorative justice and rehabilitation into the life of the community, not to mention the personal repentance of offenders. But Christ himself forbids his followers to hunt with the hounds.
A recent poster outside a church in Australia caused quite a stir. It read: “Jesus loves Osama”. But this is true. And Jesus loves Joel Taylor, Joshua Thomas and Andrew Rafferty too.
It seems that they have received some negative reaction from some within the church. This saddens me because it seems that there are some within churches who seem to want to put limits on the love of God. Well there are none! The message of the Gospel is not to tickle our sense of self righteousness and respectability. It is more radical than that by far!
As Richard says of Christ;
"He writes off no one as irredeemable.
If the church cannot proclaim that message, we have no message at all."
And that is the truth without which we have no Gospel at all!