I recently attended a Seminar/course in which the overall topic was child abuse. Also attending were policemen, doctors, many teachers, social workers and foster carers (which is how I came to be there.) It was quite a long and demanding day with many speakers, but my feelings about certain inherent flaws in our society were very much confirmed by what I heard there. Of the number attending, probably few would have claimed to be 'Christian' or indeed, would have claimed to be followers of any other religion. There is no way that one was in the position to test this conclusion, its just what one frequently finds in modern secular Britain. But one thing powerfully came across as I listened to leading teachers, social workers, police representatives, and the rest, speak. It is this;
NOW OUR SOCIETY HAS CAST GOD ASIDE, WE NOT ONLY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT CAUSES CRIME, BUT WE EVEN SEEM PARALYZED IN OUR ATTEMPTS TO DISCERN EXACTLY WHAT CRIME IS! EVEN MORE, WE ARGUE AS TO HOW IT CAN BE TREATED!
I use the word 'treated' since many now believe that punishment and correction have little place in how we handle offenders! The approach so often is to spend large amounts of money in setting up unwieldy committees or panels who may be set the task of providing answers to such questions as;
Why do youths steal cars?
Why do so many young teenage women now become pregnant?
Why do people break into cars to steal items they can see inside?
Why are a few prepared to batter an elderly person senseless just to rob them of a 'tenner'(£10)?
Oh, it goes on and on. The final conclusions from these 'research teams' are seldom dogmatic, but will often contain such phrases as, 'it appears as though these behavioural problems may arise from various facets of social deprivation' Oh yes, here we see another major problem which is rife in secular Britain; nobody, apparently, is responsible for anything any more! Rather, various factors have led to certain psychological grievances, so society, parents, schools - all of these will have to shoulder some blame.
A lot of this, frankly, seems not only bizarre but often just plain daft to the committed Christian. We would say that the problems all started in the Garden of Eden a long time ago and while Mankind remains in its consequential state of 'falleness', we are going to see crime. We can soon define crime by looking at the laws of God, the Bible also teaches us that punishment must have a place and although many of today's social liberals would hate to admit it, experience certainly shows that the presence of a deterrent does prevent a lot of crime. It also seems odd to us, as believers, to note how our modern societies refuse to tackle root CAUSES! No, as far as materialistic secularism goes, don't touch causes, just tackle the effects. Of course, many of these people can often be heard to make such comments as 'We simply don't know the causes'- I believe that they frequently know full well that that is simply wrong. No, CAUSES ARE NOT TACKLED BECAUSE OUR SOCIETY HAS BECOME AFRAID TO MAKE MORAL JUDGEMENTS! This is why we are seriously told, for instance, that the answer to those who will break into your car to steal valuables, is to hide them, so passers-by cannot see them!
Making moral judgements is wriggled out of time after time!After all, if one is going to make decisive moral judgements, how can one - for very long - refuse to acknowledge that our societies are in a mess and that a very large part of this has been caused by following paths which our leaders have actively encouraged? No modern politician, to take just one of several possible examples, dare question the huge presence of women in the work place. Rather, any concept that a woman's best place is in the home is now quickly shouted down as our modern permissive liberal quickly becomes a yelling, intolerant despot! It is not that it is wrong for a woman with a family and home to ever go out to work, but the absolutely massive presence of women in the work force (which nobody believed would happen, probably, even in the original 'burn your bra' era) has had a massive impact on family lives. The family home is suddenly a much more unstable place. This is inevitable with both parents (where there are still two parents living together!) dashing here, there and everywhere in order to make as much money as possible. Again, quite frequently politicians will admit this in private conversation, while not being prepared to deliver a public speech on the subject because of the 'fallout' - especially from the liberal media.
The massive and ongoing tragedy of abortion in which large numbers of tiny and unwanted babies are simply destoyed every year, continues even while large sums of money are regularly collected for the 'Children in Need' appeal! Here is a perfect example of the moral confusion which paralyzes our people. That particular appeal also regularly props up our modern mythological belief that money can solve all of our problems!
Against such terrible confusion, the words of the Shema thunder across the centuries from the Book of Deuteronomy;
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart; you shall teach them dilligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand (symbolic of everything one does) and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes (symbolic of everything one thinks.)"
(Deuteronomy 6: 4-8)
The laws of God provide a light to our paths so that there is no need of moral confusion. And those principles from Deuteronomy, while at that time pointing to the mosaic code of the Old Covenant, apply even more to the law of Christ, as outlined in the Sermon on the Mount. Here is a very sweet way of life in which those called of God can walk as brothers and sisters of the Lord Jesus Christ. We soon learn, as Christians, that the more we pray and study the Word and contemplate and meditate on the Law of Christ, the happier we can be, even though living in this troubled and confused society! As Paul said, the Holy Spirit gives us a vivid perception of sin so that we can quickly see through this liberal and permissive society and its flaws; we do not get taken in by its propagandists who we know are, at root, simply men and women in 'fallen' rebellion against God! (Though, undoubtedly, mostly ignorant of this fact.) Yet, as Paul also said, we, who are in Christ,
"...(are) rightly judged by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?...we have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2: 15-16)
The Holy Spirit grants us some of God's eternal perspective right now! This makes sin clear to us, even though those around us may not even believe in the concept of sin!
Let us rejoice that the return of Christ is assured, as is the eternal joy and happiness of the New Heavens and New Earth to come!
Robin A. Brace
COUNTERCULT AND APOLOGETICS
WITNESS TO THE WORD