Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Poppycock!

I decided to leave this blog until after Remembrance Sunday, because although it relates directly to the subject of remembrance... I did not want to cross swords on that day.

Basically I have been very annoyed at the tactics of Ekklesia, a Christian think tank. I have grown very cynical over the precise nature of think tanks... and I am especially skeptical about the motives of think tank organisations that purport to be speaking out from a Christian perspective - "my own backyard".

Why?

I feel that these organisations are ego driven, attention getting monstrosities... they seek to make a name for themselves and bend society towards their own particular ideologies. What has angered me recently is this story, reported by the BBC last week.

I believe Ekklesia have deliberately and (conveniently for themselves) missed the point. By making anti-poppy statements in the days prior to Remembrance Sunday, they must have known that they would easily spotted on the political radar. Essentially they have stated that the poppy detracts from the Christian message because as a symbol, it implies that redemption can be achieved through military sacrifice.

I can't understand how anyone would seriously believe that. For me, the poppy has always been about remembering the heavy price that men and women have paid in the past... to safeguard the freedoms I have in the temporal world. Their sacrifice holds no meaning for me in terms of eternal salvation... nobody would claim it did... least of all the servicemen, many of whom came back with precious little to hold on to in this life. I know of a Burma veteran who when he arrived back in his hometown, fell out of his taxi and grasped the church gates to regain his footing. Emotionally that man never let go of his desperate hold on those gates... he endured terrible sufferings - but he knew there was a man - Jesus, who lived and suffered unjustly on account of him... and that helped sustain the veteran until he died.

I believe Ekklesia callously did this to make a name for themselves, just like Christian Voice did several years ago. They have conformed to the pattern of this world in their desperate and cynical cries for attention.

I have always remembered the price that was paid for me so that I could live with temporary earthly freedoms.

I will never forget the price that was paid for me so that I could live in eternal freedom with God my Father.

A longstanding tradition of mine during Remembrance Day is to misquote Churchill and use it as an opportunity to remember Christ's sacrifice. Jesus is the Man of Sorrows and is familiar with all our sufferings... sufferings that men who lay down their lives in defence of freedom, to a certain degree share. I will never confuse the differences in magnitude between those sacrifices... no matter what similarities they may share.

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
"Never in the field of human history was so much owed by so many to one man."

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