A Russian search and rescue team loads their equipment to support the search for Indonesia AirAsia
flight QZ8501. (Darren Whiteside/Reuters)
The Russians are coming! - But fear not.
They were not invading. They are part of the multinational team searching for the crashed AirAsia passenger jet.
Disasters bring out the best in people. Countries which have been at loggerheads reveal common humanity when an Act of God occurs or when disasters strike. But that is the exception
On the surface, interfaith dialogue is harmonious but anyone reading just a little about Islam must be apprehensive. Read about the challenge which Islam presents to the Christian community here in "A Topical Study of the Qur'an from a Christian Perspective". Harmony will be achieved only on Islamic terms so it is not difficult to understand that deception plays a key role in Islamic propaganda. It is a successful strategy. In Germany protesters against the Islamisation of their country have been accused of "rising xenophobia" adding to the customary charges of Islamophobia and racism even though Islam is a religious ideology not a race. The protesters' fears are not unreasoned. That is made abundantly clear here in "Muslim Leaders in Australia Say Banning Terrorism Will Ban Islam". For another perspective read also Alexander Boot's blog entry "Muslim countries? Even Belgium is better than any of them".
But what of the Christian faith on this Feast of the Epiphany? The last entry of one of the blogs I follow ends depressingly for many 'traditionalist' Anglicans with the words ..."those of us who remain behind in whatever ecclesial funk holes are left to us for the time being - only a sense of the gathering darkness ....." How sad - and unnecessary.
'His Darkness' the Archbishop of Wales preached on darkness in his sermon on Christmas Day. Without any hint of irony he said "Stand up against the world’s darkness and show the light of God". Dr Morgan rightly drew attention to the plight of Syrian refugees forced to flee their country. Many thousands have died, others have been allowed to drift in vessels abandoned by their crews after paying their life savings to escape religious intolerance. Their oppressors in Syria, and in Iraq and elsewhere, are not interpreting the Quran, they are following the Quran.
Dr Morgan said: "The Gospel of John boldly proclaims that ‘the light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it’. Is that really the case, because it doesn’t seem to ring true to some of our experiences as human beings?" It doesn't ring true for some members of the Church in Wales but he, uniquely, is in a position to let the light overcome the darkness that hangs over many in his flock if he followed the Gospel instead of adapting it.
Be bold ++Barry. You can dispel the sense of "gathering darkness" and restore harmony to your Church. Cast aside your own intolerance and show the "light of God" to the Church in Wales this Epiphany.