With the recent release of Tommy Robinson, I have been reflecting on how he represents a swathe of the British population that has felt it lacked a voice. The rise of right wingers and common sense centrists on YouTube has gone some way to giving these people back a voice, but there is still much work to do. The question is, “Who’s listening?”
Prelates talk of reaching the strangers in our gates; no one could argue with such a Judeo-Christian ethic. Christ died for all, and God told the Israelites to be kind to the strangers in their land because they had been strangers in Egypt. So far, so good. But the Christian message is meant to reach all sectors of society: all are supposed to be transformed by the preaching of the Gospel; each one of us has something of the old man to crucify on Christ’s cross.
I cannot help wondering if, in its rush to be trendy, the many parts of the Church are losing the ability to bring the Gospel to people like Tommy Robinson. Our mission is not to turn people into Tony Blair supporters; our mission is to preach the Gospel in and out of season. If we are losing our ability to reach such an important part of society, I have to wonder if we are becoming too much like the world, too much like the elites who have bought into multiculturalism and all the other -isms that are causing such havoc in the world today. A good first step for our leaders would be to put some of that much mentioned empathy into action; it’s high time for them to learn to value something in the likes of Tommy Robinson, to see something of the image of God in him. For those who do take him seriously, such as Gavin Ashenden, “Good job!”