HOW COME THAT OUR SOCIETY CANNOT SEE IT'S PROBLEMS IN THEIR ENTIRETY?
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Our politicians want to tackle crime - they say it is time that we got really tough with criminals! Wow!! This is just about what every non-politician has been saying for decades and wondering why its leaders have not acted more decisively!
But why is it that our leaders and politicians seem to isolate particular societal problems and then attempt to treat the effects rather than the causes of problems? Example? A certain leading London political figure - almost in the same breath - bemoans the city crime rate while welcoming the gay mardi gras! Without a doubt, to this politician, there is no contradiction in his position. Less than 50 years ago he would have been ridiculed, derided and condemned for this approach but times have changed and the liberal infiltration of large sectors of the media has proven irresistable. Nobody challenged the comments since it just would not have been 'politically correct' to have done so!
Another example? Here in Wales an influential politician has been very keen to make the 'morning after' contraceptive pill available to girls as young as 11 to help prevent unwanted teenage pregnancies. I was pleasantly surprised that there were howls of protest from many, including - without a doubt - many who would not call themselves 'Christian'. Yet, in other areas, this politician upholds standards of decency which many of us would agree with. Why the myopia? Why the moral confusion?
How come that our modern politicians can snap a little bit off a huge problem and say 'We must treat this!' whilst being quite prepared to not only refuse to contemplate the causes (although great swathes of the public are very aware of the causes) but also to decide not to confront equally big - or bigger - problems.
Many would say, for example, that the rate of abortions which we are seeing in Britain is an absolute disgrace and plainly immoral (it is not only those of us who are Christians who feel this!) There are several politicians who will privately agree with this evaluation but who refuse to make any kind of a public stand on the issue since they know that they would be severely lampooned in the liberal media for doing so and the fallout from this could be enough to ruin their careers!
The most vital thing for aspiring politicians to remember is, Do Not Make Moral Judgements! Because if you do, the media will find a way to get you lynched! Indeed, just as they attempted to do with a very senior Tory politician a few years ago when he started to talk about the nations need to 'restore family values'. Of course, large sections of the public were in total agreement with him but this very senior figure was still forced to back off very quickly because of the vicious reaction of the media.
Another example of the apparent inability of this society's leaders & commentators to see the totality of its problems, and to make some attempt to treat cause rather than effect is the attitude to football hooliganism. 'Something must be done about the hooligan element among ___'s fans' (several UK football clubs could have their name inserted there!) This is the cry! Clubs might be fined or whatever; yet no attempt will be made to address the unbridled fanaticism and hysteria among a few, or the lack of discipline in their lives/upbringing. Yet these are the causes! Why is this? Because we seem to have become paralyzed by a fear of making moral judgements. So our children may have some instruction on the subject of sexual relations in school, but it will normally be without any accompanying moral teaching. Is it any wonder some of these kids become so confused?
What is happening to the British people when a 2 hour television 'special' on the pro's & con's of abortion can produce little public response but when there is any suspicion of animal cruelty, switchboards will be jammed! Of course, one is not saying that cruelty to animals should be a matter of indifference (the writer of this article would be the first to protest!) but, rather, that compared to the taking of thousands of innocent lives each year, it is comparatively unimportant!
So in all of this we may perceive several patterns in our societies approach to social problems;
1. A preference to treat effects rather than to tackle the actual causes of problems.
2. A refusal to make moral judgements, and,
3. An 'ability' to 'snap off' a bit of a much bigger problem and say, we will have a go at remedying this.
Points 1 & 2 can probably be immediately tied together. Why? Because I believe that the reason our society prefers to treat effects rather than to tackle causes is because of point 2; ie., if one is going to tackle the causes of social problems of any kind, moral judgements are going to have to be made!
Also, it is surely not too long before we come to see that point 3 is also clearly related; why do our leaders prefer to 'snap off' this little bit of a much bigger problem, often getting quite excited about the possibility of treating it? Because it too is a way of avoiding making moral judgements!
To take on the bigger picture of root problems is certainly going to - sooner or later - involve condemning our modern society and the way we are living! Ah, that would be a brave leader indeed!
Against all of this, the Christian (and we speak of conservative, Bible-believing Christianity, accepting the perceptive criticism that liberal Christianity is really a different religion), the Christian has a different perspective, believing that 'the whole world lies in sin'. Yet Almighty God has granted His people a vivid spiritual perception of the sinful causes of all of our problems. To us, it is crystal clear that all of our problems started in the Garden of Eden, the fact that it is no longer politically correct to say such things or to talk of 'sin' is really nothing to do with it! In fact, everything which we see all around us only confirms this.
Our approach certainly tends to be corroborated by the fact that while mankind has tried every kind of 'ism' of its own devising (communism,capitalism,fascism, religious/politico governments of various hues) none have ever proven to be the answer to the problems of the human race! Our real problems lie within us. Indeed even some agnostic philosophers have noted this fact. There is a kind of poison which operates in our very natures which makes conflict with others more or less inevitable. Yes, there is good there too but the desire for self-aggrandizement and autonomy within us all, frequently breaks to the surface causing, at its worst, strife,mayhem and warfare!
Satan did not entirely lie to the first couple in the Garden of Eden when he said,
"For God knows that in the day you eat of it (the forbidden fruit) your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Gen3:5)
Mankind has indeed 'known' good and evil since that time, arrogantly making its own selection of what comprises good and evil. We will decide, says arrogant, fallen Mankind, We don't want anybody telling Us what good and evil is! Thus humankind have arrogantly 'known' or taken to themselves a prerogative which was never theirs to take, ie., the knowledge and judgement of good and evil from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2: 17.) The result was the need of a Saviour in order to redeem us from universal sinfulness! As Christians we know that this world stands condemned under God's law, but whereas the first Adam closed up the way to life, the second Adam, Jesus Christ, has now made it possible for us to be reconciled to God. The apostle Paul quite clearly says that whereas the world never quite understands Christians, we have a very clear and vivid perception of what makes this world 'tick' and where its problems lie. We have to thank the indwelling Holy Spirit for this! Notice how Paul expressed this;
"The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgements about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgement: For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2: 14-16 NIV)
This gives the Christian a very clear perception of the state of this world and a wonderful clarity on how it might start to solve some of its problems! And I think that we sometimes fail to realise that this perception and clarity is often just not there for many of our leaders; Believers will make quick connections and see Godly solutions but others do not seem able to. This however cannot be used to excuse our leaders refusal to make moral judgements which, after all, the Victorians were very good at!
There is a time to call evil, EVIL! Our leaders now avoid that, due to their liberal permissivism, ie., due to a philosophical approach. This also tends to be why they try to isolate problems, refusing to see the bigger picture which might lead to a need to tackle an underlying moral dimension. The causes of many of our problems are also frequently clear to large sections of the public who would have no claim to having Spirit-led minds. This is because these people simply refuse to buy-in to the non-judgemental, permissive approach.
And yet, at the end of the day, a man or woman who is led by God's Holy Spirit with a full awareness of the reality of sin, is going to have a clarity of perception which is not going to be found elsewhere. So we will undoubtedly continue to see our leaders giving these confused signals, they may want to continue to be 'tough on crime', well actually not all crime, they may want to be 'tough on drugs', while enjoying a huge revenue from tobacco, they might indeed want to be 'tough on intolerance' (if that is not a contradiction!) unless you are a Christian who suggests that Creationism should now be taught in schools instead of evolution (in which case you might meet a very intolerant reaction). Of course, we could go on, but there is little point; This society is very imperfect but so have all others been. Let us pray for the coming of our Lord's kingdom 'on earth as it is in heaven'
Robin A. Brace
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