Letter - January 2002
who share adventures also share special friendships.
recently demonstrated the point in an intriguing experiment. Volunteers had to
clamber across a rickety rope bridge over a deep gorge and thundering river.
Each member of the group was asked a series of questions by one of the
Half the group were asked their questions on the swaying bridge, the
other half once they were safely on the other side.
But the questions were a red herring.
After the exercise the group were asked to assess what they thought of
Those who found themselves sharing the middle of the bridge with their
researcher considered them more attractive and friendly.
They felt closer, had a greater sense of affection, and in turn felt this
share times of danger and risk brings people close.
This is why there are wartime romances.
It's why communities felt drawn together during the Blitz.
It's why Astbury started the Men's Service, as men looked again for that
fellowship and special friendship which had grown amongst those fighting side by
side during the war… and it is a quality that should be alive and well in the
life of the modern Church!
modern western society, the Church isn't usually thought of as an organisation
at the forefront of risk, adventure and danger.
But we are a historical oddity.
In times gone by and in many parts of the world still, to be a Christian
is to live dangerously.
We have fundamentally lost a sense of the adventure of Faith.
To believe and to follow, and to leave all else behind is part of the
Perhaps that is why observers of the Early Church said "See how
these Christians love one another".
don't think we're likely to be thrown to the Lions or stoned for our faith, but
I do sometimes think that we are just a bit too "comfortable" with our
Christianity these days.
I'm not going to go looking for persecution, but I shouldn't be afraid to
be different from the secular society that surrounds me.
And if we sometimes get shouted down, laughed at or misunderstood, we
might at the same time find a Church full of love and friendship to strengthen
and support us in our calling.
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