Polling Station

Thankful that today I voted

This morning I was able to exercise my democratic freedom to vote for the national government and local councilors.

EUPOL Afghanistan: EUPOL's support to the Afghan Election Audit Process

EUPOL Afghanistan: EUPOL’s support to the Afghan Election Audit Process

I don’t really have a strong political view and see positives and negatives with all the parties, but I’m thankful that I was able to vote.

My vote was in secret and I’m reasonably assured that the ballot I cast will be counted accurately. I don’t feel the need to ask impartial observers to oversee the process.

When I got to the Polling Station there were no armed security guards and I didn’t feel that I was going to be attacked for exercising my right to vote.

Tonight the TV channels will waste hours of airtime talking about what may happen and tomorrow we will find out if anyone has managed to win this election by an outright majority. Regardless of the outcome I’m not expecting that in the days to come the army will be needed to quell rioting by supporters of any political party. In fact, even if a government cannot be formed straight away I expect that our armed forces will still work like normal, as will the police, hospitals and government departments.

In fact, with all parties trying to create their own version of moderate, I doubt that I will notice much change at all regardless of what combination of parties win. And for that I am surprisingly thankful.

Our political system and the parties that contend for our votes are not perfect. I would like things to be very different, but that does not mean that I don’t recognise that there are some things to be very grateful for.

John Finnemore at the Storytellers' Club

Comedy on the evolution of language

For the past few months I’ve been falling asleep to comedy shows on BBC’s iPlayer app. It started with Friday evening political satire and then progressed to sketch shows and sitcoms like Hut 33 (about codebreakers at Bletchley Park) and Cabin Pressure (about a fictitious airline) written by John Finnemore.

In my hunt for something fresh to listen to I found John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme, which is basically a sketch show. In the following example he highlights the way that language use changes over time.

Mike Frost: Live a questionable life

This is your primary evangelistic mission; live a questionable life.

Nobody is going to ask you about the hope that is in you; no one is going to respond with questions about who you are, or how you live, or what you’re doing, if you live just like all the other suburban middle class people in this country.

If you spend the same amount of money on a house as they spend, if you live in the same neighbourhood as they live in, if you take the same vacations that they take, if you renovate your kitchen in the same way that they do, if you have the same views that they have, live the same way that they live, if you spend money the same way that do, if you life looks exactly the same as theirs what would they possibly ask you about?

From: Exponential.org

Thought of the day

Oval Station Thought of the Day

Oval Station Thought of the Day – secretlondon123

This month’s Future First from Brierly consultancy carries an article called Attitudes to Church and Clergy in Britain. In it, Clive Field, says,

‘In a recent article, based on public opinion polls, I examined the attitudes of British adults to Church and clergy since the 1960s, with reference to their perceived influence and degree of confidence or trust in them.’

He then goes on to share an interesting array of statistics of which one segment deserves mention.

Adequacy of answers given by the Church to modern problems

According to the research the church only adequately answers people’s spiritual needs 51% of the time. Problems and needs of the individual and problems of family life are only answered adequately 27% and 26% of the time and social problems facing our country only 20%.

I’m not sure the numbers alone tell us anything significant but there’s certainly an implication that church leaders aren’t able to communicate what the Bible has to say to modern British society. Though, I expect there’s also some research to be done into how many respondents didn’t receive the message they wanted from the church so gave a negative answer.

However, I think Christians have a responsibility to think through the various issues faced by society today and ask what the Bible has to say about it. We also have a responsibility to help others think through these things.

So, two resources to recommend.

1) Go on the LICC Toolbox course and learn how to engage with modern culture as a Christian. If you live near London you have no excuse not to.

2) Have a look at some of the material produced by Focus over the past few years, especially the video series that questions science and faith. A new series on the question of why God allows suffering is coming up – see a trailer below.

Friday music: Happy

A few months ago, on Facebook, I started posting videos of Happy. One video a week on a Friday afternoon, just to make the time pass – and because it’s just the right time to feel happy for the weekend.

I’m going to keep the Friday music videos going for a bit longer on this blog, eventually moving on from Pharrell Williams. But, for now, just to get going. Happy Friday afternoon everyone.