The challenge of change
How can Christians live faithfully in times of rapid change? Labour MP Stella Creasy and journalist Peter Oborne discussed the issue in Manchester in March. Simeon Mitchell reports
‘I have jumpers older than the internet,’ declared Stella Creasy MP, to illustrate the unprecedented pace of change faced by society. Today’s young people will do an average seven jobs in their lives, two of which have yet to be invented. She noted that Facebook has, within a decade, become so central to our personal relationships that it is cited in a third of divorce cases. ‘Change is now an integral part of our lives,’ she said: ‘And the disruption and uncertainty that causes is a challenge.’
Creasy was speaking at the ‘Brave New World?’ conference organised by the Joint Public Issues Team of the Baptist Union, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and the Church of Scotland, on 17 March. She argued that although we can’t stop change, we must seek to shape it.
‘When I first got involved in political activism,’ she reflected: ‘Coming from a community and a faith-based background, I believed strongly in the words of Martin Luther King that the moral arc of the universe was long but it bent towards progress. The honest truth for me now, 20 years on, is my recognition that that doesn’t happen inevitably: it requires action.’
For Creasy, Christian faith provides inspiration in this: ‘One of the things I draw from the stories of Jesus was that he was a man of change. He wasn’t a man who came to prop up the old order, he came to bring in a new order. It’s not about stopping change, it’s about making it work for people … and ensuring justice is integral to it.’..
Simeon Mitchell is the United Reformed Church’s Secretary for Church and Society. For recordings of the event and copies of resources, visit bit.ly/jpit18c
This is an extract from an article that was published in the May 2018 edition of Reform