A ‘European Mindset’


John Sentamu: ‘My conscience tells me that I must vote to Remain’

Thu 09 Jun 2016

By Marcus Jones (for Premier)

The Archbishop of York has declared that he will vote to remain in the EU when the UK goes to the polls at the referendum on 23 June.

Writing in the Telegraph, Dr John Sentamu explained how he’s come to that conclusion.

He said: “My conscience tells me that I must vote to Remain in the European Union.

“The possibility of any kind of organised political life depends on successive generations accepting the responsibilities undertaken before them.

“This applies both to the internal stability of nations, and also to the external stability of relations among them.

“The implication of wanting to decide everything afresh in every generation is universal instability.

“If we are serious about supporting either national or international order, we shall have to be prepared to live up to inherited obligations, even if we may sometimes think that they would have been better not incurred.”

A ‘European’ Mindset.

What is conscience? If it is that which has been shaped by the prevailing (European) Social Mores (which is, in the main, Liberal/ Left), it would be exactly that–nothing more and nothing less—though some would argue that it has been influenced by other ‘factors’.

If I were to attempt a definition of a Christian Conscience I would say that such a conscience would be shaped by the Scriptures and, obviously, by the Third Person of The Trinity–The Holy Spirit. If this were the case, one would expect to be able to observe the practical consequences—should that conscience be actively dominant. The consequences would be two-fold—though these two things ought not to be mutually exclusive. They are summed up in the two commandments Christ gave: Love God (The Triune God) and love your neighbour as yourself. Of course, if my love for my neighbour has no concern for that ‘neighbour’s’ relationship with God–but only cares for their present needs–or for the cause of humanism per se–then it could not be considered a God-Shaped-Conscience–but rather a socially aware conscience–a conscience that is the driving force for social change—a change that, seemingly, aids the common cause.

A Christian shaped conscience would not—could not abjure from the command to ‘go and make disciples’. The Christian conscience is one that cares for the body and soul—though it could be argued that the common parlance of ‘body-soul’ is in danger of abuse. It was the apostle Paul who said that, ‘…if for this life [alone] we have hope, we are—of all people—to be the most pitied. Archbishop. I love your heart’s concern but—please don’t let its desire deny the lost their hope of heaven—of HEAVEN—a hope that is in Christ alone.

Derek White

About djwimago

First and foremost, I became a committed follower of Jesus Christ in 1976, previously having had ‘strong leftish/ atheistic tendencies’. I have been in Christian leadership in various positions: An elder (eleven years) at Bournemouth Community Church with oversight for mission and apologetics; a deacon at Lansdowne Church Bournemouth (nine years) --working with international students and co-leading the Young People's Work [then YPF] with my wife Jackie. I was a founder director of the International Training Network, Bournemouth, training centre for the teachers of English as a foreign language and the principal/director [1996-2010] of the Christian English Language Centre in Bournemouth and Christchurch, England. Since December 2014 my wife and I have been attending St Mary's Church Ferndown, where we are seeking to use our gifts for the Mission of Christ. Publications: I am the joint author (along with Rosemary Griffiths) of a book entitled ‘Walls that Divide’, which is due to be revised/re-edited. I have recently (January 2016) published an edited version of my MRes thesis--published under the title: 'Beyond Eden:God, Evolution and The problem of Evil. PS. It is a 'work in progress'... My ‘academic’ background includes forays into the world of: Sociology, Theology, Philosophy,English-Language pedagogy,linguistics and Philosophical Theology in The Open University, The University of Sheffield, Canterbury Christchurch University/Trinity College, Newburg USA, and The University of Exeter. On a more personal note: I’ve been married since September 1963 [one of God’s miracles] and have four [grown] children and nine grandchildren — the latest born in 2015. Four of the grandkids live 'with their parents' in Australia. There are also two great-grandchildren.

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