Tuesday 8 November 2011


Many of us to-day grew up in a totally different culture.  We may not have had all the wonderful technological aids and comforts that now are available, but we benefited in other ways. We were taught about the Bible at home and went to Sunday school as youngsters, learning the stories about Jesus, which gave us standards and values, and a good foundation for life.  We had morning assemblies in all schools, now largely avoided in (state) schools. Children are now denied these foundations and are growing up without knowing the country’s religious faith and heritage. 

This may not have been widely followed up in life, but the basics had been laid and our lives were directed by Christian values. We didn’t have the highest abortion rate in Europe, or the highest number of teenage pregnancies, we were not known as the most violent and drunken nation either.

We had firm views on morality, honesty, integrity, and expected to live in a well-ordered society and peaceful.  These were the foundations on which lives were built and expected.

This brings me to turn to Psalm 11 which states, if the foundations  be destroyed, what can the righteous do?’ 
     What then are the ‘foundations? ’   

The foundations that are spoken of are the foundations of justice and order that support a society and prevent it from crumbling, the social, moral, ethical, political and religious foundations.  Without much effort we can see those foundations are slowly falling apart
From a social point of view, If we consider the state of things in this country, I suggest one would really have to be living in a fools paradise not to recognize there is a general breakdown in society
If you should be brave, or foolhardy enough, to walk the towns and cities you will notice a complete breakdown of law and order.  Soft on crime, soft on the causes of crime is the order of the day, with the police either unable, or indeed unwilling, to act. Every kind of vice is open to view and revelled in, there doesn’t seem to be any sense of shame.

We have  witnessed the most horrendous behaviour on the nation’s streets; massive disorder highly organised, not confined to young hooligans, but including men and women of all ages and class; illegal occupations of land; and political protests with the intention of the organisers to bring the government down, all of which reveals the sort of society we have become. 

Morally, the moral boundaries have been swept away to such an extent that there are now no absolutes, all is relative and you just do your own thing and make up your own standards.  This is being taught in our schools and universities, and in intellectual circles the Bible is seen as some form of hate literature.  People believe they can do without God. 

Marriage (which is defined as being between a man and a woman) and the family are the bedrock of society, yet according to government, is of no more worth than any other form of relationship, and a father is not considered necessary in the family. This edict is now enshrined in law. 

Now we have a Prime Minister who wants to make marriage to mean two people of the same sex and considers it a matter of urgent priority so as to make Britain the leader of the world in this matter.  Few people are calling for this as civil unions have met the needs of society.

Politically, our governments once exercised their role with Christian values in mind, but recent successive governments have shown little, if any, concern for Christian standards.  Two of our three main party leaders are confessed atheists, and the third claims to ‘have Christian principles’, yet shows no practical evidence.

Legislation has been introduced which offends and contradicts Christian teaching and belief.  In addition, we have restrictions placed on the expression of our beliefs, which can lead to penalties being imposed, something which does not happen in relation to other faiths    

We now see politicians rushing to condemn the moral condition of the nation, a condition which most of them legislated to create and encourage, and which they now realise is a moral monstrosity

In our politically correct society it seems the power of evil is so great that decent people are afraid, even in danger, if they voice criticism.  They are accused of bigotry and all kinds of phobia     Dark clouds are descending on our culture.  Our children and grandchildren are growing up in a world so very different from the previous generations.  We all know this to be true yet we feel powerless to stop the slide into the abyss.

 Christianity has been the faith of this country for over 1500 years which  has brought and kept this nation as one, Christianity is being wrecked and the ensuing collapse of Christian values has led to an unstable society in which family life is being destroyed, and a moral and spiritual vacuum has been created. Now Christianity is being phased out of public life by politically motivated people, ideologues in the government and civil service who betray the culture which nurtured them.  
What then shall the righteous do? How should the Church respond?

The righteous can do their duty.  Because the foundations are crumbling and the social order is deteriorating, it does not mean we can stand by and just express regret.  We must do all we can to rebuild the foundations.  We can do what that little band of men did who met in the Upper Room 2000 years ago and turned the world upside down

The Bishop Nazir-Ali, who has been the one Christian leader prepared to speak out on these issues, stated, ‘if Britain is to defend its values successfully, it must rediscover the Christian faith in which those values are ultimately rooted.’    

We should be concerned about the way our faith is being undermined. It is not just any faith, but one which lies at the heart of our heritage.  If you reject Christianity you reject all our values and history. 

A great difficulty arises within the Church.  At present we have those who are theologically conservative trying to be faithful to Scripture, whilst those of liberal persuasion, want to rewrite those parts of Scripture which do not conform to modern morality and social custom.  It is fatuous and irrational to suppose biblical injunctions, which do not conform to modern attitudes, can be reinterpreted to suit to-day’s requirements. 
This can only cause confusion in people’s mind.     If Christians lose the shared beliefs that have held us together, we will begin to fall apart and disintegrate. 

Today, whilst the Church in the West may be losing followers, in stark contrast Churches in Africa, Asia, and South America, the Churches have memberships of thousands.  The reason these Churches are so strong is because of the strong biblical foundation, and they have not been tearing the Bible away as we have in the West.  They still believe it and boldly proclaim it.   
The Church is beginning to look more influenced by the world rather than the other way round.  The more we try to be relevant, the more irrelevant to our purpose we become.  We should not be blown away by every whim of public opinion, but let our anchor hold in the storms of life.

Let us stand for the old standards the way Christians once did not matter how difficult that might become and not go with the trend of the times

We need to be more positive, even aggressive, in giving people a clear vision of what it means to be a Christian and to have a Christian based society.   We now have to proclaim it boldly and challenge those who try to put us down.   There is a spiritual and moral vacuum, and if we do not fill it some other philosophy will which will be much inferior.

So, what for the future of the Church?  There is hope and confidence if all who believe in the Christian faith are loyal and support the Church and be shown to be doing so.  We must all  realize there is no hope if people are content to sit back and say ethereally, ‘God will provide’.   Christ did say ‘I will build my Church’, but He expects a little help from His friends.

The most important thing is to make sure our services are ell put together with tuneful hymns and simple messages which people can readily understand rather than abstract theology, showing how life can be improved and enjoyed through living the Christian way.

In addition, we must be welcoming when new people come and indeed to encourage our friends to join us.  All Christians and not just clergy have a duty to seek to enlarge God’s Kingdom.

In consideration that there is little positive teaching from national level, each individual Church has to try and be true to the gospel, as written in Scripture, and when it finds statements being made, which it finds unacceptable, to say so and dissociate itself from them.  

If the Churches and people of this great nation do not return to the Biblical foundations and the God who has cared for us, and if our government and judicial system do not stop legislating on anti-Christian principles, we will continue to see the foundations eroding.

No comments:

Post a Comment