ADVERTISING
 
Tuesday, March 31   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Coronavirus
Which of these online initiatives should churches prioritise?






SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Interview
 

‘Euroscepticism makes some Christians blind to the mission challenge on their doorstep’

Jim Memory (European Christian Mission) on the ‘Brexit’ campaign in the UK: “Peace and open borders of today’s Europe are a huge opportunity for the gospel.”

AUTHOR Joel Forster , Evangelical Focus LONDON 02 MARCH 2016 11:59 h GMT+1
Jim Memory, ECM, EUrope, mission, Jim Memory, speaking recently in Sevilla (Spain). / J. Forster

“Christians are getting all their information on Europe from the media, which has made them increasingly Eurosceptic, even about mission in Europe, which is my particular concern”, Jim Memory told Evangelical Focus when asked about the so-called ‘Brexit’ referendum on 23 June.



Memory is a European Mission lecturer at Redcliffe College (UK) and member of the leadership of European Christian Mission (ECM). “I will be voting to remain in the EU”, he says, because “the EU has fostered peace, and ensured countless other economic and political benefits for over 500 million people.”



Why would so many citizens in the UK leave the Union? “Most EU citizens, not just the British, feel distant from Brussels, the unelected civil service that administers the EU, and its parliament”, he admits.



Memory has worked in church planting in Spain for many years. He now fears “this generation has been so influenced by political Euroscepticism that they are largely blind to the mission challenge on their doorstep.”



 Read full interview with Jim Memory.



 



Question. What are your thoughts on the start of the “Brexit” campaign?



Answer. This is not the start of “Brexit” campaign by any means.  The UK Independence Party was founded back in 1993, but long before Britain’s relationship with the rest of Europe was a common battleground, particularly within the Conservative Party. In many ways it was these divisions in his own party, and the growing Euroscepticism in the general population, that prompted David Cameron to promise an in/out referendum on EU membership as a pre-election pledge back in January 2013.



Over the last three years the debate in the UK has centred around three issues: economics, parliamentary sovereignty and migration.



Recent research by the UK Evangelical Alliance prior to the General Election in spring 2015 showed that whilst the EU/Europe was the third most important issue for evangelical Christians, it was not an issue that was talked about in churches.



In other words, Christians are getting all their information on Europe from the media which has made them increasingly Eurosceptic, even about mission in Europe, which is my particular concern.



 



Q. In your opinion, what is the most convincing argument for the UK to stay in the EU? And what is the most convincing argument to leave?



A. We are part of a privileged generation of Europeans. This year I turn fifty and I have never had to bear arms to defend my country. That is an extraordinary historical anomaly in recent European history.



The EU’s forerunner, the European Coal and Steel Community, was established by influential Christians soon after WWII with the express purpose of preventing another war in Europe. It rarely forms part of the debate, but economic prosperity, sovereignty and control of migration are only possible in a context of peace in Europe. 



In addition to this, there are good economic reasons for staying. Britain pays a very significant sum into the EU but its economic benefits in terms of employment, exports, investment and trade are overwhelmingly positive. It also enables the UK to influence EU politics and transnational problems like crime, terrorism and climate change. 



The most convincing arguments for leaving the EU relate to the issue of sovereignty and the EU’s undemocratic institutions. Most EU citizens, not just the British, feel distant from Brussels and the unelected civil service that administers the EU, and its parliament which approves laws.  Furthermore, leaving the EU might give Britain greater control over migration.



 



Q. How do you think Christians should approach the decision? Is there an awareness that this and other important political issues need God's guidance?



A. We do need to pray that God would help us think Christianly about this issue. To remember that we are called to “love our neighbour” and other Europeans are clearly our neighbours.



But more than that, I think there is a mission challenge. In terms of Acts 1:8, Continental Europe is our Samaria, our neighbouring province which we are called to evangelise with the gospel.



Previous generations of British Christians have seen it that way, yet this generation have been so influenced by political Euroscepticism that they are largely blind to the mission challenge on their doorstep. 



The peace and open borders of today’s Europe are a huge opportunity for the gospel, and British Christians should remember that, as much as the economic, political and demographic issues, when they come to vote in June.



 



Read Jim Memory’s article “Europe’s crisis, God’s opportunity”.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - ‘Euroscepticism makes some Christians blind to the mission challenge on their doorstep’
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Jonathan Tame: Economy, looking back at the decade Jonathan Tame: Economy, looking back at the decade

The Director of the Jubilee Centre (Cambridge) analyses the impact of the financial crises on families, and the future of the workplace in a connected world, from a Christian perspective.

 
Jim Memory: Europe, looking back at the decade Jim Memory: Europe, looking back at the decade

Jim Memory analyses the main issues that have changed Europe in the 2010-2019 decade. How should Christians live in a continent that has lost its soul?

 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Photos: European Week of Prayer Photos: European Week of Prayer

Christians joined the Evangelical Alliance Week of Prayer in dozens of European cities as local churches came together to worship God. 

 
Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’ Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’

Photos of the student conference that brought together 3,000 European Christians in Germany. ‘Revive our hearts, revive our universities, revive Europe’.

 
VIDEO Video
 
How should Christ's love inform your parenting of teenagers? How should Christ's love inform your parenting of teenagers?

Dave Patty shares about the notion of parenting children on God’s behalf.

 
What is a prayer meeting? What is a prayer meeting?

“Prayer is like a fire. One spark that someone prays should ignite a passion in someone else”. Mike Betts leads the network of churches Relational Mission.

 
Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’ Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’

A video summary of the student conference that gathered 3,000 in Karlsruhe, Germany. 6 days in 6 minutes.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.