One of the frustrations of commenting on current affairs from a Christian perspective is how clueless some in the media and also politics can be when it comes to understanding even the basics of the Christian faith. Partly that’s the fault of Christians for not making the effort to explain ourselves clearly, but some of it too is sloppy journalistic assumptions or plain ignorance. Regularly I see the common mistake of misunderstanding the differences between cultural Christianity and what I would call genuine Christianity, i.e. a faith based on the teachings of the Bible and an encounter with Jesus Christ. Despite what some many think Christianity is not the Church of England or the Catholic Church. It’s not bishops, vicars, jumble sales or turning up to church, singing hymns and listening to a drab sermon. Although some might wish it was, Christianity is not the Vicar of Dibley or Rev, although Rev does come a lot closer to the truth. It’s much, much bigger and at the same time more personal than all of this.
For those of us who are willing or curious enough to take an interest in trying to understand what Christianity is and isn’t, there are usually going to be a whole load of questions we’re going to want to have answered: Who or what is God if he/it does exist? Why would anyone think that a book written two millennia ago is still relevant? Why would it make any difference if someone believes in God or not?
All of this leads me to a plug for the Alpha Course. And there are two reasons why I’m doing this. The first is that doing it really is an excellent way to explore the basics of the Christian faith in a friendly, honest and informal environment. Over two and a half million people in the UK alone have now been on an Alpha course. It’s popular because it’s accessible and delivers the goods.
The second reason is that this year’s Alpha season has now begun. The national advertising campaign is underway and there are plenty of churches all over the country starting the course during the next few weeks. You can find one near to you here. If you want to talk through some deeper questions and see what Christianity has to offer, then your opportunity has come…
Here’s a couple of videos explaining more from the freshly updated Alpha website:
Categories: Faith in society