The Skinny on the London Bombing

Preacher2

I wonder what London’s most famous street evangelist will be preaching about today? When I photographed him last week at Oxford Circus, he was preaching on the evils of materialism and the need to receive Jesus. (Which is a good message, relevant to that location, and spoiled only by his insistence on wearing Calvin Klein labels – is that a deliberate postmodern juxtaposition or does he not realize the irony???) But I would be curious to hear what he is talking about today, the day after London’s most tragic terrorist bombing in its history.

Here is my sense of what is going on. The Skinny. A few humble thoughts that will rest here by themselves until I hear from the prophets and prayer leaders who, I hope, will have some more angles.

Preacher1

I cant help but notice that the nations most terrible bombing on Thursday came immediately after its greatest commitment to justice on Wednesday, an incredible high peak of a nation acting godly and committing itself to a scale of justice and generosity never seen before.

Coincidence? I don’t think so.

This week is the best of times and the worst of times. An outpouring of justice for the poor, and a spiritual backlash to accompany it. A great victory and a small defeat. A crushing of the head of injustice and a bruising of London’s heel. An opportunity for the nation to practice godly compassion and save millions of lives or an excuse to cower to ungodly fear and go back to our prisons of self-contentment

We have seen UK at an incredible peak through the Live 8 events and the Long Walk to Justice – a nationwide generosity and commitment to justice that is having an impact globally. Men who respect God and want to find his way forward have met together to discuss how to act justly and godly in this world. Justice flows from God who is just. The enemy is not happy and will try to dampen the spirit, sidetrack the conversations, and create fear and mistrust.

Preacher3

The way forward MUST therefore be to continue in seeking justice, food for the hungry, fairness in trade, and seeking the way of God for our nations. The decisions in Edinburgh have not yet been cemented. Lets keep praying and moving forward. Lets grieve for those we lost, yes. But lets also let God keep speaking to our countries and lets keep responding to his voice.

Do I hear an “Amen” in the choir?? Or am I just another crazy voice, a glorified street preacher who uses a keyboard instead of loudspeaker?

Preacher4

“Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will.” Hebrews 10:36

Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name “Precious” :-)

13 Comments

  • Thanks for this,
    I was wondering around in a state of confusion along Oxford street yesterday, unable to get to my office in Docklands, I decided to try to get home to Oxford, So was walking from Farringdon to Paddington, in hope that the trains were running.
    In the process I passed our friend the street preacher and was dissapointed (although not surprised) in his choice of message, he was preaching on the end times, we were to expect these things blah..blah..blah..
    So thank you for your blog, it helped in making sense of a senseless day. Since yesterday I also heard others (people of faith and people of none) put forward the same reflection. So.. in short I am in the Choir giving joining in with the Amen!

  • good thoughts andrew, so sorry for the mess. i pray what they meant for evil will be reclaimed for even more good to fight the poverty that causes this kind of hatred and destruction.

  • Bobbie,
    The hatred and destruction exhibited yesterday has nothing to do with poverty. They are not jealous of the west’s wealth in a “haves / have nots” sense — their anger with us is driven by their desire to reclaim the empire they held, which at its height stretched “from the western coast of North Africa to the frontiers of China, and from southern Poland to what is now Tanzania” (link). Since the 1600s or so, their empire has been shrinking steadily (now there is virtually nothing left in the way of a cohesive Islamic empire), under European colonialism first and now Western economic power, which they see as our “empire” (which is why they strike at financial districts, etc.). Their collective memory is much, much longer than ours, and they see themselves as part of a long legacy of warriors which has been humiliated by their decline, and they are doing their part to restore the empire.

  • “they”?
    what you say may be correct but it is not what i am getting at . .
    i dont think i made my point clear.
    i am not just looking to centre stage for the usual suspects (islamic militants) but rather i am sticking my head behind the curtains and asking if there is a much larger battle – one that is spiritual in nature but touches into the physical world at moments like these.
    So when i say “enemy”, i am not referring to Muslims (the Muslims in UK have denounced the act of terrorism) or even to the more fundamentalist Islamics (who we also must love) but i am saying that there is a spiritual war going on around us and our weapons are not of this world. Which is why we need to pray, and not get angry with people are just a tool of the enemy and not the enemy itself.

  • I dunno Andrew. Even if we get what we want in Scotland – which in itself is unlikely – it is only going to make the smallest dent in poverty. OK it should make the difference between life and death to millions of people – but people want and deserve more to life than being alive. The fight isn’t over yet.
    Even if we do it, the cost to ourselves is going to be a fraction of the costs of putting on an olympics.
    The difference falls firmly between talk and action. Either this stuff means something and therefore we have something to say to the poor and the bomb victim – something more than abstract spiritual concepts, something that makes a real difference to them in the here and now, or our religion is self-serving, glossy, pat-yourself-on-the-back-whilst-the-world-crumbles cowdung.
    At the moment, I confess it looks like steaming cowdung.
    J

  • Good words, Andrew. I’d not thought of the spiritual aspect in this horrible affair, so thank you for making me think.
    Let us pray that our reaction will be similarly just.
    Andy

  • Thanks for the reflections & for getting the “sinner or winner” guy into the post! A favourite of mine as a Londoner.

  • i know i probably sound like a fanatic – and maybe my street preaching friend and i are not so different . . . but i dont think i am crazy when i say that we are in the midst of spiritual warfare.
    and its not just the last few days. i have received other emails from people really going through massive attacks on their families and ministries in the past week – VERY VERY intense. Even people i thought were getting off light have been copping it. I have felt a sense of danger all week – and i have felt spiritual attacks on my own children that i wont go into here.
    but maybe joe is right and i am standing in stinking crap . . . but maybe . . on the other hand . . its one of those times where we really need to watch and pray, to be on guard, to rise to the occasion – and yes, joe – send some money and keep buying Fair Trade – but also increase our spiritual covering over our families and loved ones and keep our eyes on Jesus
    He is teaching us how to govern and times like these are our training ground.

  • no andrew, i think you are absolutely right. the enemy always seems to attack at the point when we see progress. at the point when we have a positive outlook- that we might have center stage… yes, God, Christ should be at center stage, undoubtedly… and that’s not so much true with the live8/mph stuff, but i think the spirit of God is there- i hope you follow because i don’t want to continue in that thought. what i’m saying is that as much as i hate the war analogy of “us against them” because so many people make it people v. people, spy v. spy, it’s really about the kingdom of God v. the dominion of Satan. and that war is SO real. undeniably real. in london. in buryatia. in new orleans. in a million other places. so we don’t lash out against those who committed the sins, we pray for them, and in doing so, lash out toward the true enemy- the spiritual enemy- Satan. but this should be understood. oh how it should be understood already by all of us in Christ. that way we recognize the issue, and we pray, and then we go back to doing God’s work instead of pausing even for the briefest second, so that perhaps the work of God in this world might be at center stage, that what we do for God is the focal point (maybe you see what i meant earlier now about live8/mph/one)… i’m rambling, but i pray you all understand. sorry for such a long post. please be praying for the gulf coast of the U.S. as we’re bracing for a very severe hurricane. thanks. -joe

  • Andrew,
    I have noticed in my own life that when I am reaching a spiritual high of some sort, I am usually faced with fierce temptation or emotional turmoil at the same time. Perhaps this is the same idea you are talking about, but on a micro level.

  • Sorry, no offense intended to you Andrew. The whole thing – ie the church etc – seems so petty and pointless at the moment.
    Mike has a good post, (I don’t know how to do links so this might not work) http://rivertribe.typepad.com/blog/2005/07/another_kick_in.html#more
    MJ’s words sum up some of what I feel:
    I woke shaking and thinking about love that’s in the world
    And if there is no bigger picture then it’s all obscene, absurd
    So you can pass me that revolver there but pass me a book I’ve read
    Pass me a fresh cut flower, sir, but don’t ask me what I dread
    That the good in me is dead
    See the whole song lyrics http://www.piperecords.co.uk/martynj/resource/mjlyrics.pdf

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