Northern Men’s Convention and the Invisible Man

I attended the Northern Men’s Convention yesterday. I was looking forward to hearing Tim Farron, former Lib Dem leader, speak on being a Christian in the public eye. This man was a formerly something of a disappointment, wavering as he did regarding same-sex marriage, and then finally deciding gay sex wasn’t wrong at all. Then he changed his mind again, and resigned from political leadership. There was a sense of integrity about his resignation; I wanted to hear him today to finally give him the benefit of the doubt. Sadly, Farron did what he does best- buckle under the pressure and change his mind.

He tweeted- two days ago-

I agreed many months ago to attend a church-organised event but just today I’ve seen promotional material for it which contains things I’m deeply concerned and saddened by. As a result, I have withdrawn from the event.

The publicity in question, since removed, stated:

“Even since the last NMC the assaults on orthodox Christian teaching, and morality, especially in the area of sexuality, seem to have increased at an alarming rate.

“Those who have stood firm in the Anglican tradition at General Synod have been ridiculed and vilified. The leadership from those in authority in the denominations who should be the guardians of biblical truth has been muted to say the least and even in Bible teaching churches many appear to be wavering under the onslaught of the gay lobby 

“Add to this scenario the increasing problems associated with immigration, and Islam in particular and indeed many other things which push Christians further and further to the margins, there is for many a feeling of despair and even fear about standing up and speaking out.” 

The convention organisers confessed to the wording being ‘clumsy’ and supported Farron as best they could. This was generosity to which he wasn’t entitled. He knew it was an evangelical Christian event. His claim not to have seen the publicity until two days before seems a little odd. 

And if Farron thought his withdrawal would save face with the online liberal mob, he was also mistaken. One, quoted by The Sun wrote:

"While I assume you get invited to lots of stuff you should 1) have looked deeper into this church and realised how problematic your attendance would be 2) apologise to the many people in the party, and more widely, who are attacked and offended by this organisations (sic) message. 

The sooner we Christians realise that Tim Farron’s public contribution to the Christian faith is as much use as limp elastic from old underwear, the better for all concerned. Ignoring him will appease the online Twitter mob who despise Christ and His followers; it will save conference organisers from having to rearrange their schedules at the last minute; and it will even save Farron from having to change his mind so many times.

Perhaps the five hundred men who attended the Convention, who must daily make a stand for Biblical standards in an increasingly hostile world, were better off without meeting this mercurial politician. If he’s the best example of how stand up for Jesus in secular Britain, we were better off not meeting him.