September 28, 2010 Leave a comment
Listening to Nicky Campbell on Five Live this morning just before 7am, Stuart Elliott the former Hull City player and NI international was being interviewed about his decision to quit football and become a Pastor.
It’s quite well known over here that Stuart Elliott is very open about his Christian faith, yet as he explained his reasons for becoming a Minister, and gave his opinion on a few different issues including why the Pope’s beliefs are not shared by him it became more and more cringeworthy to me. I felt a bit ashamed of myself.
Stuart wasn’t expressing views that surprised me. In fact, I agreed with most of it – but listening to him felt embarrassing. Perhaps it was the starkness of what he was talking about – no embellishments, no illustrations, just a simple articulation of what he believed.
I wouldn’t say it offended me, but definitely stirred a strong reaction, maybe almost the sort of reaction someone strongly opposed to Christianity might have, which shocked me a bit.
Over the years I’ve developed a nostalgic affinity with the old road signs, smart-alec slogans, sandwich boards, and megaphone men that are still around – rather than regarding them as constant reminders of why I am here and what I must do.
Perhaps the reality of the gospel and the Kingdom of God is closer to us than any billboard or radio soundbite.
Maybe it is so much under the skin of those who believe, or believe there is something else…a desire so close to us that it makes traditional gospel methods at times seem alien and intrusive.
I’m thankful for men like Stuart Elliott who stand up for their beliefs in the way they do, but also the anytime/anywhere nature of the Holy spirit, reminding us that the Kingdom of God is at hand.
I hope being embarrassed at the radio this morning was positive thing. A reminder that the gospel message is relevant and speaks to a deeper longing.