Christians on the BNP list? How broad can a church be?
But let us deal with that first.
Five ‘reverends’ are listed as BNP members, and one is specifically identified as belonging to the Church of England. Another is identified as a member of the Assemblies of God, another is a Quaker, one is Evangelical, one a Baptist or United Reformed, and there is even a ‘practising Catholic’. Quite a few are described (presumably by themselves) as ‘Born Again’.
Just how broad can a church be?
While accepting that one’s self-categorisation as a ‘reverend’ or a ‘Christian’ or as having affiliation to any particular church does not necessarily make it so, the delusion is sufficiently concerning to merit a degree of scrutiny.
The BNP believes that the white indigenous population of the United Kingdom should enjoy greater rights over the immigrants; indeed, it espouses deportation and enforced repatriation of the non-white non-British, and has a decidedly un-Christian view of them.
The Lord taught not only that we must obey the commandment to love our neighbour, but also our enemy (Mt 5:43). This neighbour is plainly everyone. He told the parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37), which the BNP might consider is an exhortation to set aside ethnic and religious differences in the expression of love and compassion. Further, if there is neither Jew nor Greek (Gal 3:28), then for Christians ethnic identity is subsumed to the notions of equality and all being one in Christ.
If Jesus were ministering to members of the BNP, he might just remind them that Asians are their neighbour, tell them the parable of the Good Muslim, and remind them that in Christ there is no white, black or brown, for all are one in Christ.
Cranmer shall leave matters of salvation to the Lord, but he shall say unequivocally that it is not possible to be serious about Christian discipleship or the Great Commission whilst simultaneously holding membership of a group which is antithetical to the concept of ‘church’. If eating food offered to idols (1Cor 8) might be deemed a hurdle to those who are weak in their faith, it beggars belief that an Asian Christian would perceive Christian BNP members as the embodiment of the love of Christ. The BNP efforts to establish the 'Christian Council of Britain' to ‘’represent Christian values and the Christian Heritage of the country’ is an affront to all that is Christian.
There are now calls for the dismissal of all those who are identified as doctors, nurses, teachers or the police.
This is repugnant and smacks of totalitarianism. Indeed, the prospect of BNP members being elected to office is even being used as a reason to dispense with elections.
The United Kingdom is a democracy, the BNP is a legally-constituted political party: it operates within the law, and has a message which some find attractive and a sizeable majority finds repugnant.
But so does Respect, or Veritas (does it still exist?), or the DUP or Sinn Fein, and some unenlightened ones might even find Conservative policy repugnant.
But if those in the public services ought to be sacked for holding discriminatory views, should a Christian who believes salvation is to be found in Jesus alone be permitted to teach children? Should a doctor who believes homosexuality to be a sin be in general practice? Can a member of Opus Dei be Equalities Minister?
It is a cornerstone of liberal democracy that the personal-politico-religious can co-exist with the public-religio-political while being at odds with each other. The alternative, as demanded by some politicians of the Left and vast sections of the media, is for the thought-police to patrol our religious consciences and political opinions, to ensure that both conform to the prevailing religio-political zeitgeist.