The explosion of rioting, looting, arson and general lawlessness in London and other cities are distressing to those of us who love peace and have a genuine concern for the well being of our neighbours.
We have been waiting for some statements and guidance from the leaders of the Churches in our land. So far there has been nothing of any substance.
As the Minister of the local Church in Whiddon Valley I believe that it is right to share with you the Bible’s answer to these things.
The scenes that we have witnessed are a symptom of a deeper malaise. They show at their heart that we have a big problem in this country. Britain is a powder-keg of frustrations. Despite the incredible increase in living standards in the last 50 years, UK citizens are increasingly unhappy. People are feeling lost and isolated, often without family, community and faith.
Most of the rioters are unlikely to have been taught to take responsibility for their actions or to respect authority. They do not mind if they destroy their own communities because they have little to lose. They may have been in schools which lacked discipline and where they learnt that they can behave how they like with few consequences for their actions.
Some people will say that the State needs to spend more money to solve the problem. The Government certainly needs to restore discipline in schools as part of its solution. Yet ultimately the answer to this problem does not lie with the State – we need a moral revolution.
In the past, the authority of teachers was respected in the classroom. How was it lost so quickly? As a nation we need to look after each other, but not create welfare state dependency without teaching people to take responsibility for their lives.
Then we have the breakdown of the family – how many of those rioting have fathers who take an interest in their lives? The breakdown of the family is a result of the nation choosing sexual liberation over sexual restraint, causing a huge surge in the divorce rate and in fatherlessness. The consequences have been disastrous for society.
The Government needs to support marriage as a priority and address the decline of the family. But again, we need a complete moral revolution that will encourage people to take responsibility for their sexual behaviour, their marriages and their children.
The deepest problem of all is that Britain has, largely, rejected the Christian faith. This is why we now exist in a moral void. The Bible teaches us to train the young from an early stage to honour their parents, to honour authority and to honour God. If we do this, it will go well with the nation.
Yet instead of Christianity we have political correctness which provides the ‘moral’ compass for our political class and much of the establishment. What a terrible exchange! Political correctness is a concept that arose from a Marxist Institute in the 1920’s. It is an ideology that is man-made and which is utterly hostile to the Christian faith. It is a morally relativist system which makes excuses for those who commit crime and portrays them as the victims. Political correctness is responsible for schools where the teachers cannot discipline the pupils and for an undermining of authority.
There is an alternative – and that is a return to the godliness of previous generations which submitted to authority and respected others based on the teachings of the Bible.
1. First of all God has given the whole of humanity a set of rules which are guidelines for fulfilling and contented living. The Bible has God’s commandments which when followed are a recipe for good order and a satisfying community life. Who would not want “don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t murder” as rules to live by?
They are difficult to obey. Indeed each of us have to confess that we have broken them over and over again. Consistent obedience is only possible when an inner spiritual mechanism has been put in place in our hearts. All of us can partially keep the rules. We will probably be patting ourselves on the back for what we have achieved in obedience and will be proud that we have not rioted, not smashed shop windows nor stolen goods that do not belong to us.
But to obey God’s rules, as best we can, takes a reformation of heart! It comes through an experience of God Himself coming into our lives in a spiritual way.
2. Secondly Jesus Christ who is God, was the only man to keep all of the commandments all of His life.
This qualified Him not merely to be a role model for us – but also to die in our place in order to forgive us and give the power to obey, like He did.
Please do not dismiss this as religious talk. The riots and civil disorder must be a wake-up call for us all to consider our ways. We are all part of this community.
As God’s messenger and representative I write to tell you of the need of the human heart – to be converted and trust Jesus Christ.
I am not recruiting for Church (although you will always be welcome to attend and worship God with us). But it is my God given responsibility to make sure that you, my dear neighbours, are aware of the danger that our community is in if we do not think deeply about this serious situation.
We may not have had rioting on Whiddon Valley – but the potential for such things is buried deep in our hearts given the right circumstances.
The Lord God calls us to repent and turn to Him. He commands us to get right with Him while we can.
Please heed the warning which comes with a genuine concern for you all, from my heart. The Bible says “Righteousness exalts a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14 v 34.
May God bless you and your families and grant us true peace in our Community of Whiddon Valley and beyond in Barnstaple. If I can be any assistance to help you think this through then please contact me at the number below.
Pastor David Kay
We are pleased to be able to thank Pastor David Kay for his kind permission to reproduce this article