These thoughts were posted to our Facebook page this morning They are good thoughts I share them with you:
Front row, from left: Imam Khadir Hussain (Mashid
Ayesha), Cllr Adam Jogee, Joanne McCartney (Deputy
Mayor of London), Ryan King, Cllr Joseph Ejiofor (Leader
of Haringey Council),Helen Millichap (Borough Commander,
Last night I sought to represent Christ and his followers at a vigil outside the London Islamic Cultural Society and Mosque commemorating the attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand. I am told there were around 200 people there, from many cultural and religious and non-religious backgrounds. You can read my words below:
My name is Ryan King. I am pastor of Grace Baptist Church Wood Green. One of the defining distinctives of Baptist Christian faith and practice is universal religious liberty, which extends to everyone the opportunity to freely worship and preach, to dialogue and debate, to honestly and openly try and test beliefs, systems, religions, sacred texts, philosophies, and ideas without threat of coercion or violence so that ultimately the one who seeks the truth finds and is set free by it.
When the Islamic community of Christchurch was violently attacked while peacefully practicing their religion, the liberties of us all were assaulted. We may hold to different beliefs, but we breathe the same breath, bleed the same blood, shed the same tears – and all of us long for eternity.
In his vile 74 page white supremacist manifesto, “The Great Replacement”, the New Zealand based Islamophobic mass murdering terrorist Brenton Torrant indulges in a bit of personal Q/A. One of the questions he raises of himself is:
“Were/are you a Christian?”
He answers: “That is complicated. When I know I will tell you.”
Let me, on behalf of true and faithful Christians everywhere, clear up any uncertainty, any confusion. The question of Torrant’s Christianity is actually not at all complicated, and it is telling that he does not know. In the New Testament we read, in 1 John 2:3-6:
This is how we know that we know him (Jesus): if we keep his commands. The one who says, “I have come to know him,” and yet doesn’t keep his commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, truly in him the love of God is made complete. This is how we know we are in him: The one who says he remains in him should walk just as he walked.
Later in his manifesto, Torrant addresses Christians directly with the question,
“What would Pope Urban II do?”
Frankly, this Baptist pastor could not care less about what a crusading medieval pope would do – indeed, no Christian should. We are those the Quran calls Ahl Al Kitab, People of the Book, and Ahl Al Injill, People of the Gospel. Our questions and answers then come not from a man in Rome, but from the Book, from the gospel. The questions Christians ask of ourselves are:
What would Jesus do? What would he have his followers do?
And again the ancient letter of 1 John provides us with the answer
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another.
To all then who are mourning, who are suffering, who weep this night: may you know and feel our love, the love of true Christians, the love of Jesus Christ, for you in your grief.