Over the past 20 years the national conversation about British Muslims has moved in the right direction. We now separate the “Islamist” from the “ordinary” Muslim. To realise there are “bad” and “good” Muslims is a helpful step on the national journey to ‘social cohesion’.
Talking about Jesus with our friends can be challenging. Whether the person we’re talking to is a close family member, a friend we know from the gym or someone we sit next to every day at work; finding the right words to express our faith isn’t always easy.
If we tried to understand Jesus through the behaviour of the IRA we would end up in ‘cloud-cuckoo-land’. Yet while it’s harder to deny the causal-link between Muhammed and the behaviour of Islamists, the link needs to be nuanced by Christians otherwise we become part of the problem ourselves.
ISIS is like a wounded animal lashing out with venom against a perceived enemy – the godless West. Its online recruitment of disaffected ‘losers’ (i.e. a Trumpism) is working in that it has turned one sympathiser into a collaborator with deadly effect at Manchester Arena on 22 May.
We all know that feeling at the start of a new year; Christmas celebrations are over and many of us have had these celebrations with family. These can be a mixture of remembering Jesus, God with us at carol services, along with fun, stress and tension on very busy days.
Another casualty of the ‘liberal left’ is a Christian prison volunteer forced to resign for quoting the Bible in a chapel service prisoners chose to go to. Once again aggressive secularism tips its hand as a greater enemy to Christians than Muslims ever were.
I’ve heard it said: ‘What do prunes and missionaries have in common? Both go into dark places and do good’. The traditional image of a missionary was David Livingstone in a pith helmet. It emerged in the 1800s during colonial expansion as commerce and mission endeavour flowed from Europe.