Monday, 7 April 2014

"Ok, yes I sort of, kind of, slightly.....sinned."

No-one should find pleasure in another person's wrongdoing and subsequent downfall. Or as St Paul says in his famous chapter in 1Corithians 13 verse 6,  'love...does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth'. So how to react to former Methodist minster, Paul Flowers the disgraced former non-executive chairman of the Co-op Bank, who was forced to resign after acknowledging his part in the financial difficulties of the bank, as well as admitting drug abuse and liaisons with rent boys?

In his recent interview with Jeremy Paxman recorded for Newsnight, Flowers spoke repeatedly of human frailty, and making mistakes, but when Paxman asked him if he had 'sinned', it was as if he had been asked if he'd ever walked to the South Pole on tiptoes. Why the difficulty? Flowers had been a Methodist minister for over 40 years and yet tells us that the word 'sin' is something he would scarcely use, and that he is, 'no better nor worse than anyone else'. One shudders to think what John Wesley the founder of Methodism might say. In one of his brother Charles Wesley's hymns, we are faced with a heart rending realisation of the depth of our sin,
Yet O! the chief of sinners spare,  In honour of my great High-Priest
Nor in The righteous anger swear, To exlide me from Thy people's rest 
Listen from 5 minutes 10 seconds for an alternative approach.

Charles Wesley knew that when sin is confessed and sorrowed for,  forgiving grace is freely given. As the last verse in his great hymn, Jesus lover of my soul begins,
Plenteous grace with Thee is given, grace to cover all my sin 

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