A Christian Perspective by John D Brown, FbRN Trustee
A consistent focus runs through much of the first three Gospels of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark and Luke. It tells of the coming, presence and characteristics of what is called ‘the Kingdom of God’ or ‘the Kingdom of Heaven’, in contrast to the kingdoms of the earth. The appeal of the Lord’s Prayer, in which the opening invocation is to ‘Our Father …’ rather than ‘My father …’, the acknowledgement that humankind is primarily corporate and only secondly individualistic, is to make the kingdoms of the earth a mirror image of the Kingdom of Heaven. But Christian Faith, particularly in western cultures, has always struggled with a tension between the corporate and the individualistic. ‘Is God for me, or for them, or for us?’ and again, ‘Am I for God, or for them, or could I be for both, if God is with both me and them?’ If the belief is that God is covert within all, then the impetus for Faith-based Social Action is for individuals to demonstrate their corporateness by striving for the well-being of all.