I went to London yesterday with my wife and the kids for a trip out and decided after my last post (’cause it’s not pretty) that I could at least try and say hello to Brian Haw (and Barbara Tucker) sitting opposite Parliament. What lovely people, we talked briefly about some of the issues they were challenging and it’s clear that there is a real cost / sacrifice involved in what they are standing for. I can’t say I understand everything that they are challenging (especially some of the legal stuff) but I do agree with most if it. I agree if we’re free to speak then that means freedom. To peacefully protest without threat of violence and abuse (from those in opposition to them) is perfectly reasonable to me. And to make war or take life in order to protect our own interests? Can that ever be right? When the systems we serve force us down inhumane or unjust routes surely we have have to challenge the system or change it completely? I wrote a post a while back about Reformation, perhaps it’s not just the church but also these things that need to be reformed? Sitting there for those few minutes it’s clear that their protest is upsetting to some and to be honest, perhaps it should be.
As a Christian our message is one of love, see 1 Corinthians 13. Do the things our government do reflect love? I personally can’t justify any crime or act of violence towards another human being, I even struggle with the idea of self defence given Jesus message to turn the other cheek. We use violence to bring about “peace” yet isn’t that exactly what Jesus’ life and challenging message confronted when he stood before the Roman empire? But there is good news, he told us there was another way, There is another true King, and his way is the way of love, respect, sacrifice of self, faith.
Jesus offers us forgiveness of sins, but surely there are greater issues of sin than we are willing to admit?
After we spoke Brian crossed over the busy road (He’s got the timing down to a fine art! It took me several attempts) just to say hello to my wife and kids who were waiting on the other side of the road for me.
Talk about inspiring, Brian has protested outside Parliament for over 8 years now and Barbara full time for over 3. He / they are truly committed to their cause. It’s a real challenge to me as a comfortable middle classed Christian, how committed am I to what I believe is right? What am I prepared to give up in order to fulfill the call over my life? We can sit and talk about it all we want but at what point do we stop talking and stand up?
As I sat there with these two people the sense of peace that rested there was great. I felt truly humbled to be in the presence of these people.