A lovely touchy-feely story in the Guardian today about David Cameron’s favourite Bible verses.
In his contribution to a project celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, the prime minister chose to write out two verses from Philippians rather than select a pair of biblical verses on the shortlist compiled by his office.
Philippians 4:8 and 4:9 read: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
All good so far. Good Pauline passage. No problems.
A Downing Street spokesman explained Cameron’s choices: “The reason he chose those verses is because he’s always liked them,” he said.
“They contain the central message of the Bible about leading good lives and helping each other as best we can. There is no hidden meaning and I wouldn’t read between the lines.”
Right. That’s the central message of the Bible. Be nice. Be good. Go on, you can do it folks.
Pity the central message of the Bible is the absolute opposite, that you can’t lead a good life, that you can’t do the best you can and that that means you fall way, way short of the mark and need a Saviour.
Either the spokesman decided to make up a nice explanation as to why Cameron chose those verses and so is completely misrepresenting Cameron to us (in which case Cameron let him lie) or Cameron in reality has absolutely no clue what the Bible is all about.
Namely, Jesus, not us and our failure to lead good lives and do the best we can.