God & Politics has now merged with the Archbishop Cranmer blog. Gillan can still be reached through the Contact Page. You can still follow all of his writing via the Facebook Page and Twitter. Otherwise please head over to ARCHBISHOP CRANMER.
This weekend marked a significant milestone in the life of God and Politics in the UK. Saturday’s post was the 500th at this site. To be honest I have no idea how I’ve managed to put together what must be easily in excess of half a million words since I launched it back on November 30th, 2011. The way this site has grown from a chance to share my thoughts with a few friends on Facebook to being currently ranked as the most influential Christian blog in the UK is in my mind a miracle.
I’ve talked previously on here about how God birthed the vision for this blog. I never set out to make this site a tool for my own self promotion; in fact it was quite the opposite – I was reluctantly dragged into it. Consequently I’ve never really felt God and Politics has been mine. It belongs to those who read it and to God as least as much as it belongs to me. It has cost me a lot of sleep and eaten up most of my free time and the question I’ve asked God repeatedly is ‘How long do you want me to keep going?’ because I know God will not start something unless it is capable of fulfilling the purpose He has given it.
Back in May I was prayed for by Bishop Sandy Millar who used to lead Holy Trinity Brompton Church until he retired and Nicky Gumbel took over. Without knowing my situation he gave me a very specific word. Just a few days prior to that, Adrian Hilton who runs the widely read religion and politics blog, Archbishop Cranmer, had asked me if I would be willing to come on board and work with him as he relaunched the Cranmer website. As I’ve prayed over these events and thought them through over the subsequent weeks, my heart has felt increasingly strongly that it was time to take things forward and let go of God and Politics.
It has been a turbulent time adjusting to that decision. I have made so many friends through this blog. I know there are many people who have an attachment to it and have been incredibly supportive. It has been successful in many ways, which makes laying it down all the more harder. However I know that if we hold on to things in life too tightly we can hinder God’s bigger plans. As Matt Redman’s worship song, Blessed be Your Name goes: ‘You give and take away. My heart will choose to say ‘Lord, blessed be your name’.’
So the time has come to draw things to a close here. This is not a death, more a step on to new things, even though I have little certainty of what lies ahead. Some have criticised me for the move to a more political blog, but I have been given full editorial control of what I write without strings attached, which is a very gracious offer. I have also begun writing monthly articles for Christian Today, which is also taking my writing to new places.
All I can say is thank you to everyone who has been part of this adventure of God’s so far. to all of my guest writers, to those who have commented and shared articles over Twitter and Facebook, I want to say how much it has all been appreciated.
I will continue to link to my posts and articles on Twitter and on the God and Politics Facebook page. The discussion forums at Archbishop Cranmer are busy but not too scary. They will certainly benefit from much of the wisdom that has been posted here.
There has been one particular Bible passage that has kept popping up in my pieces along the way. To me this sums up so much of what God and Politics is about; it focuses on society, politics and culture, but really it is all about God and how He is at the centre of it all:
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (1 Corinthians 1:18-27)
God’s kingdom is counter-cultural. It shuns the established norms and turns secular wisdom on its head. It offers something much better and eternal than the plans of men (and women). For all of us who seek to follow God, we have a part to play building that kingdom and working to make this nation one where God’s justice, mercy and love is not just confined within the walls of our churches. In the words of an amazing Rend Collective song:
Build Your kingdom here.
Let the darkness fear.
Show Your mighty hand.
Heal our streets and land.
Set Your church on fire.
Win this nation back.
Change the atmosphere.
Build Your kingdom here.
This is God and Politics’ farewell, but for all of us God’s glorious adventure continues and I hope you will continue to share my part in it with me.
Categories: Bible, Blogging, Faith in society
Thank you Gillan for all your work, I have so enjoyed reading your blog and you have brought so many issues to me that were important and that I needed to pay attention to. I am excited to see how the next part of your journey unfolds, God bless you and your family. Sophie x
Thank you Sophie for your support and encouragement. Plenty more to come.
The Lord bless you and your family for your hard, sacrificial service Gillan. Agree 100% with your remarks on His Kingdom and the 1Cor1 verses frequently sprang to mind when reading many comments on this blog.
It’s definitely the right time to move up a level, so…
‘May the Father of glory give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him and enlighten the eyes of your understanding’ (Eph 1:17-18)
Thank you Richard for all that you’ve given me over the last few years. It has meant a great deal. Your comments have been full of wisdom and the Spirit. Hoping you can find a way to still reblog posts when you choose to.
I am one of those who are attached to this site. What you have done here is awesome and much needed. I am not a lover of his Graces blog, he is clearly very clever but i have admired the more measured style and your graceful approach tending to look at your subject from different perspectives but ultimately taking your viewpoint from scripture. Whilst disappointed you have clearly prayed this through and thought about it a great deal and Gods guidance is the most important thing. What a great passage to finish on. As a vocal atheist who came to christ in 2007 that passage always resonates with me. Huge admiration to your family also please send them my kindest regards.
Thank you Graham for all of your support since the beginning and your guest posts too. I hope you’ll be able to keep track of my writing now things have changed. Really hoping we’ll meet up soon, especially as we don’t live to far away from each other.
I have really appreciated the perspectives that have been offered on this site. Thank you for your faithfulness and your dedication. I will miss following the comment threads on here, but will be reading your posts on Cranmer, and look forward to seeing where God leads you next!
Thank you Ali for the kind comments, they are gratefully received!
Wow. It’s been fun to watch, and even be part of, your journey. Amazing next step. Hope it all goes really well! Congratulations!!
Thanks Jennie. It’s been a pleasure to get to know you through this blog. Hoping to meet up again soon.
It has been endlessly stimulating to read the posts on this site: always well-balanced, and that is a huge tribute to you to have been so consistent over all the years.
I shan’t be subscribing to Cranmer, whose site, and its comments, are too often really odious to read; but I hope that your idea of linking to Facebook and Twitter will still make it possible to read your writings.
Can you say if that is going to be possible? That is, for non-subscribers to be given a link to what you are writing?
Every blessing, warm good wishes, and prayers for your future.
Thank you for your support Lavender. It’s been wonderful having you here. I hope you’ll continue to find my new pieces and find them as interesting.
God bless you gillan. What you did was kickstart a whole load of sensible mainstream thinking amidst all the ranty opinionated crap on the Internet (myself included!). I’ll miss your blog, as many will, and look forward to reading more from you elsewhere.
We are your church.
We need your fire in us.
Thanks Kevin. It’s been great finding you again through this and seeing what you’re up to. Lots more to come for both of us!
Thank you for a great blog Gillan. I genuinely wish you all the best (don’t forget this is stored by the UK Web Archive which means that generations to come will be able to look back at all this and hopefully find it all helpful, God willing).
Thanks Nick for your support and all of your contributions. I hope you’ll stick with me on the next leg of the journey.
Strange to think that all my writings will be preserved for generations to come!
Thank you for all your well written, thought provoking articles. This is (has been) my favourite blog to read and follow. Will look out for your writing on Cranmer and CT. Praying this new chapter will be a blessed one for you and your family.
I wish you well. It takes enormous courage and character to let go of something that is successful, but obviously this was an assignment for a season, and God is giving you an even bigger platform, which I know you will use well. “Well done, good and faithful servant of Christ” and blessings for the greater things which lie in store for you.