According to the BBC Business web-page (29 June, 2012), the Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, has called for a ‘change in the banking culture.’ In light of the third major banking scandal this year, he said that bank leaders have manipulated lending rates and mis-sold financial products to small businesses, treating shoddily and letting down many honest and hard working people in the financial sector. He demands immediate and far-reaching action to reform the structure and culture of the UK banking industry.
In an interview following, on Radio 4’s ‘The World at One,’ Nobel economic laureate, Joseph Stiglitz, said the problem, in essence, was the system’s lack of transparency. He believes that the problem is not simply a case of a few rotten eggs corrupting the system, but that the system itself and its rules are not sufficiently transparent; and we have allowed things to be ‘not transparent.’ The lack of transparency, he says, leaves bankers prone to manipulate. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said, ‘British people are crying out for a return to good old-fashioned banking...’ – presumably, he means to the transparency of which Joseph Stiglitz speaks and to the trust that Sir Mervyn King believes is lost.
And we wonder when the Olympics begin on 27th of this month just how ‘clean’ from drugs competitors will be. Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) have been in use, apparently, from Ancient times, and detected as far back as 1904. Their use has become rife throughout the world of sport and so the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was set up in 1999 to counter the problem. With related bodies, the WADA constantly seeks ways to detect the ever more ‘sophisticated, potent and transparent’ drugs (‘transparent’, here, meaning ‘passing without detection’, of course!).
How great a contrast is all of this to genuinely transparent bankers and to properly transparent sportsmen! At our last Men’s Meeting some of us joined to watch the life story of the well-known Scottish missionary to China, Eric Liddell, who happened to win bronze in the 220 yards and gold in the 440 yards (in what was then a new world record time), in the 1924 Olympics in Paris. Whilst the DVD almost certainly portrays Eric Liddell in too-faultless-a-light, it nevertheless reveals the clear integrity and transparency of his character.
He died young, in a Japanese prison camp, aged 43. A P Cullen said, ‘We are here, first and foremost, in this Memorial Service, to give thanks to God for the life so finely lived, the fight so nobly fought, the race so cleanly run, and to find renewed inspiration for ourselves in the example that Eric Liddell left us.’ It is quite a testimony for a sportsman to have someone say that our race was ‘… so cleanly run.’ But the reference was not primarily to his running, of course, but to his life as a whole.
Not many Christians are Olympiads, but the crown for which they ‘go into strict training’ is one that does not fade and which lasts for ever (1 Cor 9:24)! Might we, then, as believers, and as a church, ‘… run with perseverance the race marked out for us? Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…’ Let us run a clean race and live as transparently before everyone as we can, and might we seek to do so this summer, and, indeed, throughout our lives!
For His glory,
For Home Group details, please contact one of the elders, or if you wish to join the Welsh-speaking Group, Ioan Davies (01678 – 521086), or the DolgellauGroup, Alan Woodbridge (01341 – 423218).
For Coffee Morning information, please contact: Carolyn Perrin, 01678 – 540614, and Edith Roberts, 01678 – 520274.
Fri 20 10.30 am CM (+ 4.30 pm YM; last of academic year)
Sun 22 10.30 am Morning Worship (+ SS)
Preacher: Dan Owen (Newtown; EMW Camp)
Ioan Davies is in Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant (10 am) + Sardis, Llanwddyn (2 pm)
6.30 pm Evening Service
Preacher: Gareth Williams
As arranged: HG
Fri 27 10.30 am CM
Sun 29 10.30 am Morning Worship (+ SS)
Preacher: Paul Gamston (South Craven, Keighley; EMW Family Camp); Ioan Davies is in Llansanan: Sardis (10 am) + Peniel (2 pm)
6.30 pm Evening Service
Preacher: Dyfan Williams (Northwich; EMW Family Camp)
Tue 31 7.30 pm PM
BALA EVANGELICAL CHURCH
EGLWYS EFENGYLAIDD Y BALA JULY LLYTHYR NEWYDDION 2012 NEWSLETTER GORFFENNAF
‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great crowd of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…’ (Hebrews 12:1+2a)
Photo: International Eisteddfod, Llangollen ‘Am hynny, gan fod cymaint torf o dystion o’n cwmpas, gadewch i ninnau fwrw ymaith bob rhwystr, a’r pechod sy’n ein maglu mor rhwydd, a rhedeg yr yrfa sydd o’n blaen heb ddiffygio, gan gadw ein golwg ar Iesu, awdur a pherffeithydd ffydd…’ (Hebreaid 12:1)