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The Christian Institute

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Category Articles
Date October 1, 2002

THE CHRISTIAN INSTITUTE

Christians should speak out on these public issues because we know that God’s way is the best way – even for people who have no belief in God

Back in 1988 a small group of Christians met near Loch Rannoch to discuss many concerns including an ambitious proposal from Colin Hart and John Burn. As the two men outlined their vision for a Christian Institute, they could little have imagined what has since been achieved.

Three years later The Christian Institute had officially come into being. It was the vision of a small group of Christians. They – like many Christians today – were greatly concerned at the visible moral slide in Britain. They saw a need for a Biblically-based organisation that could respond to the many challenges to speak out for Christian truth.

Reliable and readable

Today, The Christian Institute employs twelve full-time Christian staff. It produces reliable and readable research on the latest moral issues. The Institute also speaks out in the media to give calm and clear Christian comment. Politicians and others in the public arena receive materials from The Christian Institute which help inform the debates. Christians and others concerned about moral issues receive regular information which keeps them up to date with what is going on in our nation.

For the first few years the Institute was run from one small room by Director, Colin Hart. The Institute campaigned mostly on education – including a successful campaign to change the law to support Christian teaching in schools in England and Wales. In 1996 the institute was able to appoint two full-time staff to join Colin. That year the Institute worked with MPs to oppose the Conservative government’s proposals to introduce no-fault divorce.

Other campaigns over the last ten years have included fighting to protect religious liberty, resisting attempts to lower the age of homosexual consent, arguing against drugs liberalisation, and calling for higher standards of taste and decency in broadcasting. The Institute produced an influential research report on the need to keep Section 28. The Institute has also argued against abortion, euthanasia and human cloning. Over the last year the Institute has been campaigning against some highly inappropriate sex education materials which have been recommended by the Scottish Executive. The Institute is also campaigning against plans to ban the smacking of children aged under three.

Because we love our neighbour

Christians should speak out on these public issues because we know that God’s way is the best way – even for people who have no belief in God. We should bestirred in our hearts when we hear policies which promote, for example, a liberal attitude to sexual ethics. ‘Sexual liberation’ is no liberation at all. It brings suffering and heartbreak to countless individuals and ultimately makes them slaves to an ever-more sexualised culture. Policies that promote a proper approach to marriage will offer hope and a future. True marriage gives stability and security.

We should be appalled when we see the authorities giving up on drugs abusers and leaving them bound to a life of addiction with the free provision of drugs on a long term basis. Christian rehabilitation centres are among the most successful, but there is little political will to see such centres promoted. The fact is, it is cheaper to keep heroin addicts ‘doped up’ on methadone than it is to offer them real treatment in rehabilitation centres.

We should be deeply concerned for ordinary families when we hear that the Executive wants to change the law on smacking. The Executive wants to make it a criminal offence for a parent to smack a child under three. Other legal changes involving banning the use of ‘implements’, shaking and blows to the head sound reasonable to many ordinary people, but are also likely to be unworkable in practice. The current law already outlaws all unreasonable punishment of children – and rightly so. So this proposed new law will not offer any further protection. Instead it will criminalise trivial actions by ordinary parents.

Get involved

The Christian Institute wants to help Christians think and act Biblically about current moral issues. If you would like to receive free, regular information, or obtain an information pack, contact:

The Christian Institute Tel. No 0131 226 3555 E-mail info@christian.org.uk

If you have access to the internet, The Christian Institute’s website is www.christianscotland.org

Over the last ten years The Christian Institute has achieved more than could have been humanly imagined. Many campaigns have been won, others have been lost. The important thing is that there was a witness to truth and to righteousness. We must be salt and light (Mt.5:13-16); with the Lord’s help we hope and pray that our work will continue to bring a Christian influence in our nation.

Free Church Witness September 2002

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