Charity and Love
In his speech to the House of Commons last week in the debate on overseas aid, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said:
I know that a deep sense of conscience underpins the view that the amount we spend on overseas aid is a moral issue. Many hon. Members will know the words 'charity is patient, is kind.' I think of those words and I share that sense of conscience.
In making this statement, Mr Sunak displays his misunderstanding of St Paul, and his ignorance of the Gospel. For the love of which St Paul writes (translated - somewhat frustratingly to modern ears - as 'charity' in the King James Version) does not have patience for broken manifestos, or political games. The Greek word for patience in 1 Corinthians 13 has more to do with perseverance; and the word for kind has more to do with suitability, with usefulness. This whole passage is about the love which seeks to serve the other first, and self second. That love is found supremely in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. It is depressing to note how unfashionable this love is, within the church as well as without.
Rather than just moan, we should act. I am going to do two things, and I invite you, if you agree, to join me.
First, write to your MP asking for a clear plan back to the 0.7% commitment.
Second, take a look at Christian Aid's idea that each of us donate 0.2% of our income to the world's poorest. Click here and then act: and you will have made a decisive step to put love - not charity - into action.