Thursday 21 March 2013

Examples of Grace

Sheikh Amed Magghabri (left) and Rev Isaac Poobalan at St John's Episcopal Church. Picture: Hemedia

Splendid examples of grace and charity are not always in great supply.  The new Pope's decision to do the Maundy liturgy in a Young Offenders Institution  is one such sign today.  Another was in the news a few days ago about the Congregation of St John's Crown Terrace Aberdeen hosting their Islamic neighbours.  This has led to some nasty abuse directed at the Rector, Canon Issac Poobalan and the Church  

I'll declare an interest here: Issac and and I were students at Edinburgh Theological College at the same time. He was Curate of the Church I did a 12 month placement at and I preached for him when he was parish priest at St Clement's Mastrick in Aberdeen.  He is a very nice guy and a thoroughly gracious and deeply prayerful Christian gentleman.  The abuse directed by "trolls" is both vile and unchristian.  Most of these so-called "commentators" hide their identity behind assumed identities whilst displaying their prejudices and ignorance in spectacular and blatant diatribes, often badly spelled and grammatically embarrassing.  However, I have every confidence that my gracious friend Issac will rise above their poisonous spleen and will continue to build bridges and the Kingdom.  And, incidentally, I was the 1st cleric in Falkirk to invite a Muslim to preach at a service rather than address a meeting after Church in the Church hall - so I'm doubtless as "unchristian"  as Issac.


  1. Unfortunately this kind of abuse has became commonplace after 9/11. This doesn't excuse it in the slightest but unfortunately it may take a generation for it to fade. I know a woman in her fifties who lives in the ethnic melting pot that is ... Falkirk ... who claims Muslim are taking over the UK! I think the "culture war" that has arisen since 9/11 is just a distraction from the rightward tilt to political debate since then, but it is small consolation. Abuse & bigotry are appalling but at least these "Christians" aren't firebombing mosques or shooting innocent Muslims like "Islamists" tend to do.It is fair to say that "Christian" bigots do tend to approve military action against Iran etc .... so maybe through their political consent their governments DO act aggresively towards innocent Muslims. But this line of debate can never have an answer except a commitment toward victory through grace & forgiveness against hate as Isaac has tried to show.

  2. I agree - right wing bombers seem to be less common than jihadist in the UK, but it's a pretty futile debate if you're line is "Our nutters are less dangerous than your nutters". Build bridges between the ordinary normal and sane - it squeezes out the extremists.

    1. Yes, I agree but angry, twisted abuse is bad but violence is a step above that.