Christmas, when people who rarely enter a church often pay their annual visit, could be a time to challenge perceptions of Christianity. Unfortunately, says Symon Hill, we seem to respond to their arrival by singing some of the most badly written, incomprehensible and theologically dubious songs ever produced. Perhaps it's time to shred the carol sheet.
In 2011, Symon Hill was on a pilgrimage of repentance for homophobia when he heard that the Church of England had launched another consultation process on sexuality. The process has led to the Piling Report, which speaks of being more welcoming while promoting policies that say the opposite. There are some good aspects to the report, but it is likely to make little difference to the lives of Christians in their own churches and communities, he suggests. It is a reminder that we cannot rely on hierarchical church processes - change will come from below, not from above.
Media coverage of George Windsor's baptism gave the impression that baptism is about conformity. Baptism began in a far more radical way, before its domestication by the powerful. Since then, many people have rediscovered baptism's original subversive force, as a sign of dedication to the kingdom of God – and a rejection of the kingdoms of this world.
What is Britain? This question doesn't seem to have been asked much in the many arguments around the Daily Mail's vicious attack on Ed Miliband's father. Ralph Miliband, the Mail maintains, "hated Britain".
One of the world's largest arms fairs will be held in London in September. Christians will join a day of prayer and protest on 8th September, recognising that silence in the face of evil is itself evil. However much or little time we have, and wherever we live, we can do something to speak out, says Ekklesia associate Symon Hill.
Nothing justifies the vicious murder of a British soldier that took place on the streets of Woolwich this week. We are right to condemn it. Consistency and integrity mean that we must also speak out against the killing of innocent people by the US and UK government in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
By requiring people to work without pay, the government's workfare schemes are pushing more and more people into poverty and unemployment, says Ekklesia associate Symon Hill. Christian organisations need to campaign against workfare, not participate in it, he argues.
Ten years ago today, he joined millions of other people around the world in marching against the planned invasion of Iraq. This week, Symon Hill was effectively banned from his local branch of Costcutter for trying to buy newspapers. It’s been a strange decade, he writes.
The European Court of Human Rights has rightly declared that Christians who object to same-sex relationships do not have the right to use their jobs to practise discrimination. A critic of the ruling has claimed that they should have the same rights as conscientious objectors in wartime. This attempted parallel is inaccurate and misguided.
The Church of England has announced that people in same-sex relationships can become bishops if they do not have sex. It is tempting to see this as a sign of progress, but for many gay and bisexual people it will be the latest message telling them that they are not welcome as equals in the Christian Church.