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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Lessons from Corbyn & Trump

Something is happening.....
...on both sides of the Atlantic.

People are voting for straight-talking plain-speaking "ordinary blokes", rather than smooth-talking career-minded politicians.

On this side of the Atlantic the labour party is trying to find a new leader. Three of the four candidates sound exactly the same - politically-correct, bland, polished smoothies. Standing out by a few light years is an old geyser who speaks his mind simply and tells it like it is. He "aint bovered" what the media think, he has convictions and tells it like it is. You may not like what he stands for but at least you know what he stands for. The other three might change their minds on everything, should some opinion poll come out against what they presently believe. (For all I know they may have changed their minds six times since I began writing this blog, that's only a few minutes ago...)

On the other side of the Atlantic something similar is happening. Though Mr Trump is making a thousand politically incorrect statements, he's gaining in popularity.

Why this yearning for plain speakers?
Because we are surrounded by leaders who have no convictions and only one ambition - to get votes at all costs. If they need to change a view of theirs - any view - because it is making them unpopular they are very happy to do so. Popularity leading to power is all that matters, not principles.

Our nations seem to be weary of such politicians and would prefer someone real who "aint bovered" what people think of him/her.

It is intriguing to watch how the old dogs (e.g. Tony Blair) and the establishment media (e.g. BBC) absolutely hate these guys - they are stepping all over their polished blue-swede shoes (the opposition of a pagan institution like the BBC in itself should make us stand up and listen).

And the church?
I notice that Jesus bypassed the polished smoothies of his day (Pharisees and Sadducees and the like) and choose rough ordinary blokes as his followers. The leaders of the early church were uneducated ordinary blokes, filled with the Spirit, rather than filled with Degrees. And if there is something lacking - seriously lacking - in the western church, it is leaders who come from the ranks of fishermen and tax collectors. Most of the top leaders in the Western Church today are highly educated smoothies, who, frankly, all too often sound just like one another. We look in vain for the Peters and James's.

One example: I went to a church planting conference this year "A Time to Plant." The highlight for me was a small side seminar led by Dai Hankey, a proper Welsh "fisherman" church planter. So I thought when it came to interviewing church planters in the main sessions, this Welshman would - of course - be on the stage. The conference organisers would, of course, want wide representation.  Not at all, they opted for, "he's safe for the small side meeting attended by very few, folks, but we only want safe smoothies for the big show."  

We need Pauls, don't get me wrong, I'm talking about balance, here. Can you name one single major leader in the Western church, who is just a 'regular guy' to balance the books?

No? Well then, that's the point.

And we wonder why such great swathes of our nations are untouched. They are untouched because they look and listen to the preachers of our day and think, "Those guys aren't like us", and walk away - and in rejecting a culture they don't understand, they reject the Gospel and the Christ they need. 

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