Random thoughts on Prostate Cancer, Voluntary Euthanasia, Local Shared Ministry, and other miscellaneous interests.
Monday, November 4, 2013
"We know what's best for you"
Our Government seems to be claiming that they don't have to listen to the electorate. On several major issues on which surveys show overwhelming public support they just refuse to act. The sale of national assets, and giving people some rights about their end of life are both matters on which the public is coming to quite strong views. On the former, a national and binding referendum has been forced. But the Prime Minister has already announced that, whatever the outcome, his government will not act on it. (I guess I do have to concede that, after strenuously opposing recommendations from bodies of all kinds, they have today announced stiffer blood-alcohol requirements for drivers...)
But on many issues, we have been told, “The government needs more evidence“. So they have kept calling for more and more research on issues which are less and less open to new insights. Meanwhile, the suffering, the high cost - and the anger - mount up.
I know a degree of conservatism is always necessary in those who carry responsibility for thepublic. I can understand that any government must move cautiously in areas of major change. But I have observed the same tendency in the western mainline church. The strategy of stipendiary ministry in small parishes has been clearly failing for decades. People want something else. But the official wheels are still turning only slowly.
Where, in government or the church, is a strong sense of vision of a better way? And where is the conviction to follow that vision and the commitment to bring it to life? Are not vision, conviction and commitment the heart of faith? If so, perhaps a strongly secular government may not be expected to exercise them.
Retired Presbyter of Methodist Church of New Zealand. Passionate pioneer in Local Shared Ministry, consultant in small churches, publisher of niche market books, producer of prosumer video, deviser of murder mystery dinners and former private pilot.
I trained for the Methodist Ministry at Trinity Theological College and eventually completed MA, Dip Ed as well.
Bev and I married just before my first appointment in Ngatea where our two children arrived. We went on to Panmure and Taumarunui. Longer terms followed at Dunedin Central Mission and the Theological College. During this time I was also involved as co-founder and second national President of Family Budgeting Services and adviser to the (government) Minister of Social Welfare.
My final four years were part-time, developing the first Presbyterian or Methodist Local Shared Ministry unit in this country and promoting the concept overseas.
Retirement has brought a whole lot more opportunities and challenges. We are now living in our own villa in Hibiscus Coast Residential Village.