Sunday, 8 February 2015

On Labels: Family Integrated - Utter destruction coming this way

Warning:  Apocalyptic post coming up.  Before I say what 'Family integrated' means, I need to say two things to prepare the ground, and this is the first.

A couple of scriptures to begin with.

Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.  Exodus 20:6
 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse. Malachi 4:6

I feel short-changed in a way.  For all the years I have been reading the New International Version of the Bible (NIV), and to a lesser degree the Authorised Version (the KJV), As a result, I thought that verse said 'curse' [Hebrew 'arar or qalal] as in 'whoever curses you, I will curse (Genesis 12:3), which would be bad enough of course.

Now let's have a look at the English Standard Version (ESV), which spells out the meaning of this more clearly:

And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”[a] Footnote:
  1. Malachi 4:6 The Hebrew term rendered decree of utter destruction refers to things devoted (or set apart) to the Lord (or by the Lord) for destruction

The actual word used here is the Hebrew word herem meaning totally abominable and only fit for complete ruin.  The equivalent Greek word would be anathema [see Galatians 1:8].

Many Christians recognise and state how important good, loving, stable, godly marriages are in the church.  I totally agree with these people.  What I don't hear so much is how important is the relationship between father and son, parents and children.  This relationship is under strain.  The way our society is structured does not facilitate good relations between the generations.

So to spell out what this means for us, if the strong bond between parents and children is broken, our society, our nation will be utterly destroyed.

Now let's have a look some topical news items to see how we are treating our children.

A conservative estimate of 1,400 girls trafficked, abused, drugged, gang raped in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. Largely by members of the the local Pakistani Community including a police officer and two local politicians.

Or how about the reported 13,000 cases of child abuse in Greater Manchester over six years?

Or the 105 people arrested in the Newcastle area for sexual offences, mainly against young girls?

Quite rightly, there has been much heart-searching and discussion in the media over the abject failure of children's charities, police and council officials to investigate these incidents and protect these children, even though they have been known about for years.  People are also asking whether the multicultural nature of our society can actually work.  

But there is one thing people are not highlighting.  Where are the fathers?  Where are the mothers of these vulnerable children?  Many of these children were in council care, but not all by any means,  Many were simply allowed to wander the streets and meet whoever they like.  Why weren't their parents (or aunts, uncles, legal guardians) protecting them?

How about abortions?  There are about 200,000 every year in the UK.  Over a third of them are repeat abortions, i.e. from women who have had at least one (sometimes more) before.  There are about 700,000 live births each year, so we have 2 abortions for every 7 live births.

Family breakdown?  A million children growing up without a father.  Over half of our children will not see their parents together by the time they are 16.

I could go on.

In the light of Malachi 4:6, do you think God is going to turn a blind eye to this?

We can be political about this and point the finger at negligent council officials or the evils of multiculturalism all we like.  The fact is, as a nation we have rejected God.  And we have stopped honouring our parents.  And we have stopped protecting our children.  As a result, we are reaping what we've sown.  It will only get worse from here onwards and the days of our gentle, civilised British way of life are numbered.

So where is the Christian church in all of this?  Are we lights to the world?  Are we the salt of the Earth or has the salt lost it's savour?  Will we be utterly destroyed as well?

The church can be described as a lifeboat.  The boat needs to be in the water in order to rescue anyone (so the church has to be in the world), but if the water gets in the boat (the world gets in the church) we will sink.  It's as simple as that.

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