Saturday, 24 November 2018

Something More Than Writing

I have a confession to make. Let me put it like this.
What do you do if:

You believe that the Christian writer’s calling is to share in the church’s prophetic ministry 

You feel a burning message in your bones 

Other Christians seem unaware of it 

You have no platform, not being a minister, priest, preacher, or recognised speaker or writer on Christian matters?

Well, that is me. In 2016 the message was only a mild foreboding. I wrote a piece of fiction at the Scargill Writer’s Weekend about a German Christian taking the inventory of a Jewish businessman detained (with his full approval) by the new Nazi government, who is shocked to learn that the Jew has become a fellow Christian. I posted it on the ACW blog just before the Brexit vote, adding ‘You will probably know by now the outcome of the EU referendum. This piece may or may not be relevant. I rather hope not.’

Embed from Getty Images

It had begun: the awareness of the approaching dark cloud, and the increasing inner pressure to cry out. I had turned to the ACW blog as my platform. It seemed the natural place, and anyway I had no other, apart from my own blog, Ecclos.

And so it has gone on. In the course of two years, as the sense of darkness has grown, so has the urge to speak out. It has shaped a dozen blogs. I’ve tried to temper them and make them relevant to Christian writing; I’ve tried to avoid party politics. I’ve written stronger blogs, and shelved them so as not to sound unduly alarmist. I’ve interspersed them with gentler blogs, such as those based on the Epistle of St James (but even these have some of the burning in them).

And what is the burning message? Just this: Wake up and get praying. Pray for dear life. Forget divisions. Stop judging others. Unite and pray.

I think we need a nationwide day of prayer for the future of this country—or more than a day. The crisis is already upon us, and worse may be on the way. Britain faced its last great crisis in 1940, and at that time churches joined in national days of intercession every week!

I am no campaigner. I sent this suggestion to my diocese. They replied that existing programmes of intercession were adequate. I do not agree, so I posted the same suggestion on the contact pages of the two Anglican Archbishops. They are not going to take it up.* 

I have seen no warnings or calls to prayer from other Christian leaders. Perhaps I’m not looking in the right places. Mostly, the Anglican bishops are pottering around various worthy local enterprises—nothing wrong about that of course—while some are contemplating secession, of all things!

You may decide to write me off as a crackpot, or worse. I’d be happy for my forebodings to be proved groundless. I keep thinking that maybe things aren’t so bad, and then something else awful happens. So if you agree that there’s some truth in this message, perhaps you could act upon it and pass it on, whether from your own platform or by personal contact?

That’s my confession: I’ve been using More Than Writers for something more than writing: prophetic speaking, true or false.

*I’m delighted to add that on 16 November, when the Brexit agreement had just been announced, the Archbishop of Canterbury posted the following on Twitter:
Politicians on all sides are dealing with incredibly difficult decisions—let’s pray for them.  
Let’s pray too for the most vulnerable in our society, whose lives will be shaped for better or worse: we must not forget them. 
May we stay rooted in compassion, solidarity and hope.


  1. 'Like a mighty tortoise moves the church of God...' Let us pray that the tortoise gets to some kind of safe place before a big boot treads on its shell ... and silences its voice ... (Tortoise - the community of Christians)

  2. Thank you Susan,
    This reminds me of something I wrote post Referendum but which was primarily about the centenary of the battle of the Somme ... I made subtle references to the similarities in quality of leadership and the horrific outcomes ... I was advised by an acquaintance who had some knowledge of European politics to be careful how I shared it as the powers that be are watching ...
    As Christians, our writing may include prophetic warnings and interpretations of the times ... and this may become more relevant as the night approaches.
    We definitely need prayer covering and the compelling comfort of the Holy Spirit if we are to let the light shine through our words. Bless you, and all our fellowship.