Justin Welby Making Speech At TUC Meeting in Manchester.
The church should and hopefully does act as a guardian of the poor as Christ commanded. "Feed my sheep" was his command to his disciples and that ancient message comes down to us today with the same meaning. As Christians whatever our financial status it behoves to help the poor, oppressed, homeless, etc.
Should Christians be involved in politics of either right or left? Well yes according to Franklin Graham who many would regard as being on the right and certainly Christians On The Left in the UK with their name speaks for itself.
Just such a Christian and leader of the Church of England involved in politics is Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. Welby was Eton educated and worked in the oil industry as a top exec. Despite his high flying credentials since becoming Archbishop and leader to the world's Anglicans he has taken it upon himself to identify with the poor and the downtrodden.
Recently, for example, Archbishop Welby backed an initiative proposed by a well-known think tank that the rich should pay more tax. Now adding to this he will make a speech at the TUC (Trades Union Congress) meeting in Manchester. Whereby he will make no bones about the fact that employers should look after their employees properly.
The TUC has already proposed that a four day week should be brought in because of technology affecting people in different industries. In making the speech about employers responsibilities towards their workers Justin Welby is backing what the TUC has already said about this.
Welby will say that the church and the Trade Unions have a common interest in making life better for workers especially for the lower waged. In the speech, he will outline that the trade unions and the church have worked together to bring change for the better about.
Justin Welby will also outline the falling membership of churches across the Christian denominations. The TUC also has membership falling and Justin Welby will propose that the church and the TUC must modernise to attract new members.
Justin Welby is certainly not nor will he probably be the last incumbent Archbishop from Canterbury to address the TUC. Before him, in 1879 Tait Campbell spoke at a TUC meeting and in 1997 George Carey did the same.
The TUC is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its inception. While not perfect the TUC has tried to guard and fight for workers rights.
Jesus: The Socialist?
Many would regard socialism and its far left protege communism as a Godless political ideology. However, this is certainly not the case for all political movements on the left.
The Christian Socialist Movement which began in the 1800's was a movement for the betterment of the working classes. However, it also carried with it a strong Christian ethos for the better treatment of the poor by those in power. The modern form this movement takes in the UK is Christians On The Left.
Many pundits on the left have described Jesus as a socialist when looking at the many things he said and did. Among them Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who upset those on the right calling themselves 'Christian'.
Of course, Jesus would not have described himself as a socialist because back then the term was unknown. This term did not come about until the industrial revolution in the 19th Century namely in the UK. However, if you look at the 'Beatitudes' and many other things Jesus said it is quite reasonable to assume that Christ would have been regarded as a lefty today.
Those on the right of politics who describe themselves as Christians (it is not my place to judge them) probably find what Christ said uncomfortable reading. For example when he told the rich man to sell all he had and follow him. Unfortunately, this rich man was willing to follow Christ but not give up his wealth. Hence Jesus commented that "It is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven".
Many preachers today especially of the evangelical fringe appear on our TVs dressed in finery. Speaking about the 'Prosperity Gospel' which is a million miles as far as I am concerned about the humble message of Jesus. Likewise, the Catholic and Anglican churches are not exactly short of a bob or two.
At the end of the day God, so some say, does not mind us being well off. But as Christians he expects us to use our wealth for those who do not have the opportunities afforded to them in life like the rich.
For me, I can see why those on the left would equate Christ's words as socialist. Those Christians who would describe themselves as on the right will, by and large, disagree with my discourse. That is a matter for them and how they relate to God.