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Viewpoint from John Nickerson 12/04/2013

Dove right
John Nickerson
congregation member, St Margaret’s Church, Hopton
‘To tell you the truth…’ How many times has someone begun telling you something using these words? Was it? Did you question it? Did you think you needed to question it? Did you just accept, at face value, what you were told? Was the person talking to you someone you thought you could trust, someone you could rely on?
Friends are people we can rely on – until they let us down. Radio and television personalities are people we respect – until we learn of their predations on young and vulnerable people. Hospitals, doctors and nurses we turn to when we most need help.  We trust them and we hold them in high esteem – until we learn of their antics to cover up their failings: dove leftdeath-rate statistics ‘massaged’ and feeble patients left to die from hunger and thirst. A judge and chief police officers have been discovered flagrantly breaking the law. The food industry has written ‘beef’ on the packet and sold us ‘horse’ instead. Priests, among others, have committed sexual offences against young people. Politicians make promises when seeking our votes but do ‘u-turns’ in office to confound our hopes. Their lavish, expenses-funded lifestyles are maintained by dipping deep into our taxpaying pockets. Journalists have hacked our ‘phones for the stories we don’t want told. Their behaviour has betrayed us all because our political masters have bowed to pressure from the ‘hacked-off’ to gag the press. If the press is not free to tell such stories we won’t know we’re being lied to – we won’t know the truth!
In days of yore it was the prophets’ role to confront the people and their leaders with their mistakes. They were not very popular! As the saying goes: ‘The truth always hurts’. Prophets stood with the priests as God’s special representatives. The prophet Isaiah (ch 37 v 26 - 29) gave God’s message: ‘Long ago I ordained it. In days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass, that you have turned fortified cities into piles of stone. Their people, drained of power, are dismayed and put to shame……Because you rage against me and because your insolence has reached my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will make you return by the way you came’
Will the new Pope, Francis, and the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin, both God’s special representatives, lead God’s people back by the way they came? Many times in John’s Gospel Jesus is quoted saying: ‘I tell you the truth.’ Will anyone recognise it even if they hear it?

Bertie (Guest) 15/04/2013 09:38
Thanks for this John, it's very thought provoking. I enjoyed reading it.