Monday, 1 January 2018

The trouble with the world in 2018

Our blessings in Britain range from our own currency, freedom, jobs and democracy to access to concerts and the internet. In addition, in this demi Eden, we have:
  • Gulf Stream weather which is mild compared with mainland Europe 
  • Deciduous trees - the most beautiful in the world 
  • Verdant gardens and public footpaths 
  • Singing birds and affordable pets to cherish and commune with 
  • Thousands of caring charities and voluntary associations (which other countries do not) supported by the world's most generous givers 
  • A romantic coastline 
  • Delightful and quirky little shops 
  • More books than any other nation (and we read more) 
  • A justice system above corruption 
  • A rich language, the largest in the world, which is the transglobal language 
  • Chatty unarmed (and sometimes armed) policemen 
  • Brave emergency services and military, protecting us 
  • Many theatres and a great history, notable for characterful buildings and towns of great age 
  • Gifted trained writers, musicians and artists 
  • Lively wits.
There is also much that is wrong and can be summed up as: a truly divided nation, dysfunctional families, confrontational politics, a national dialogue that largely only reflects the concerns of the fortunate, high levels of divorce, large numbers taking Prozac, high prices for basic homes, too many lonely people (especially the elderly and longer term ill), child abuse and cruelty, homeless people, food banks, lack of prospects for the disabled and long term ill, high levels of debt, hospital waiting lists, dumbing down, dead churches, blatant hypocrisy and discrimination against women e.g. in certain churches. There are also many institutions which seem to perpetuate rewarding the wrong people, those who do not ‘rock the boat’ but are ambitious for themselves. Although plenty of British people are warm and lovely, like people everywhere, a minority can be unpredictably spikey, arms’ length, snobbish, proud, sneering, patronising, bullying, judgemental, hostile, cold and ill-mannered (even those one is blood related to). There is also increasing anti-Christian hatred in public, which is hatred of God, who has given all these valuable gifts to a Christian country.

This New Year I have vowed to see things in the light of The Fall of Man. This priceless understanding, from the Gospels, explains a lot about life that leaves one with a sense of deep inner disappointment, incomprehension and, sometimes even rage. Without the Fall of Man (the doctrine of Man's free will), things would be heavenly: smooth, loving, mutually fruitful and fair. Instead, they have got infected with selfish ambition and rebellion against God (the spirit of ‘I did it my Way’) which the Bible calls 'sin' which includes:
  • Jealousy, egotism, narcissicm, lust, greed, coveteousness, idolatry, pride, contempt, lack of respect, sexism, racism, bad manners, ingratitude
  • Illicit desires, drug addiction, irresponsible drunkenness, crimes, violence
  • Rampant materialism, ideologies, love of money and status. 
On top of that is the challenge of undeserved illnesses (illness is also linked to free will), including mental illnesses which can negatively affect behaviour. A small minority of people seem to have or develop 'narcissistic personality disorder' but no one is sure whether this is an amoral, untreatable condition or a disability. They reportedly do not respond to kindness, just superior power. The truth is that we need to reclaim our country (and the world) from The Fall of Man and we are commanded to do 'good works' (which usually treat the symptoms, not the cause). Some secular liberals talk as if they have the power to change flawed human nature - which they do not. They can only introduce new laws and more public accountability, which may restrain evil, but can just drive it underground.  It costs a lot. New laws and temporary 'social work sticking plasters', cannot change Mankind's sinful heart.  Think of the horrifying misuse of the internet, today.... Nevertheless, we are called to do small acts of kindness which go a long way.

The fact is that The Adversary, The Prince of this World, is not going to give up this country without a fight and has servants everywhere, perpetuating or abusing a system in which they think they have a vested interest, though, surprise, surprise, the Prince of this World does not actually reward his servants (unlike God).

One can free oneself from the grip of The Fall of Man, psychologically, but actually reclaiming what is rightly His can only be achieved by Jesus Christ who overcame sin, pain and evil, on the Cross. For that divine rescue, we should be earnestly praying, while recognising that this world is under God's divine condemnation. Jesus came to rescue and heal only a section of it i.e. the part that humbles itself, repents and believes in Him. 

This is why Christians are called to 'go out like sheep among wolves' and proclaim Him 'Lord' in 2018.

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