It would be unfair of me to quote Professor Richard Dawkins in support of my beliefs, but he recently voiced a fear that if religion were abolished it would “give people a licence to do really bad things”. Saying that security camera surveillance of customers appeared to deter shoplifting, he thought people might feel free to do wrong without a “divine spy camera in the sky reading their every thought”. Of course, he didn’t warm to the idea and nor do I. God isn’t a cosmic CCTV operator, surrounded by banks of screens which record our sins.
But God does hold us accountable. It’s put concisely in the New Testament: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” There’s an unspoken view that this will apply only to subscribers, as though the formula, “But I don’t believe” will earn immunity at the Last Judgment.
Perhaps we in the Church became too complacent when the majority in this country claimed to be at least nominally Christian. We had forgotten that each generation needed to be converted afresh.
The commemoration of Christmas reintroduces each of us – believer and non-believer – to the astonishing picture of a powerless baby as the closest representation of the Almighty Creator that human beings could bear to contemplate.
— John Sentamu (@JohnSentamu) December 22, 2019