Friday, December 7, 2007
Wilberforce was a 'nutter'
I was given the honour of attending the William Wilberforce awards ceremony the other night where General Eva Burrows was presented an award for 2007 - for living a life in the spirit of William Wilberforce. I agree! What an honour - what a women of God.
To kick off the evening the president of Victoria Bible College, Mike Raiter, presented a short speech on Wilberforce - here's a taste:
"And you simply cannot understand Wilberforce apart from his Evangelical faith.
It’s fascinating reading about Wilberforce against the background of today where there’s so much discussion about religion and politics – so much concern about those who allow their faith to intrude on matters of public policy.
- and the striking thing is that when you read about Wilberforce how little – how very little - things have changed.
- the very same concerns were being echoed in his day.
The vast majority of his contemporaries viewed Evangelicals like Wilberforce and John Newton – with great disdain and suspicion – Enthusiasts – Saints.
Today the insults have changed – now Wilberforce would be tagged a ‘Fundamentalist’ – can there be anyone more injurious to the common good than any kind of fundamentalist?
Tony Blair sparked controversy this week by claiming that while PM he couldn’t speak openly about his deep religious faith because such people are viewed by society as "nutters".
Well, that was Wilberforce – he was a nutter.