Monday, 12 June 2017

The battle only we can win: The Gentle British

There's a battle going on in Europe, including the UK.  We're in a deep, deep crisis.  Some people are waking up to it, most have not.  Militant Islam has declared war on Europe.  We don't know how to fight it.  Culturally, politically and spiritually, I believe we have as good as lost the battle.  In the next few posts I will explain why I think this.

But there is good news.

The good news is, I believe that the church of Jesus Christ through his name, through the triumph of his shed blood on the cross and by the power of the Holy Spirit, will win the war.  To quote a song.

Yet O Lord, your glorious cross shall tower triumphant in this land
Evil confounding
Through the fire, your suffering church display the glories of her Christ
Praises resounding

It won't be won without much suffering, it won't be won by cowards or the faint hearted.  But I firmly believe that through Christ, his church will be triumphant in the end.

Years ago, one of my best friends went travelling abroad for a few months.  On returning, he told many tales of his adventures.  But his conclusion was to this effect.

You can’t beat England!  It’s just the best country in the world!  Peaceful, secure, orderly.  The people are polite, funny, civilised, kind.  I am so glad to be home!

We have enjoyed over 70 years of relative peace here.  World War II is only a very distant memory.  In fact we live on an island surrounded by a huge moat consisting of the North Sea, the Irish Sea, the English Channel and the Atlantic Ocean.  Nobody has successfully invaded our land for over 950 years.

Our country oozes with imposing historic buildings, quaint churches, village ponds and greens, country houses.  A galaxy of great inventors, engineers, thinkers, scientists, leaders, entertainers, writers, preachers, missionaries, soldiers, musicians and artists grew up here over that period.  Our health system is gloriously free, the benefits system at least keeps people out of the abject poverty we see in some countries.  The weather is mild, if a little rainy and the fields are green.  Our police are unarmed.  Nobody owns a gun apart from a few farmers and eccentric enthusiasts.  It’s a great place to live.

Over the years, we have also learned to basically trust our institutions.  So most of us, without really thinking very hard about it, carry the following assumptions:
  1. People generally tell you the truth.  Lies are ‘white’
  2. News coverage from the BBC, Sky and ITV can be trusted
  3. University education helps you to ‘get on’ in life
  4. Religious people are harmless, though a little odd
  5. School teachers, college and university lecturers, teach the truth
  6. ‘The system’, consisting of hospitals, police, the courts, parliament, banks, chemists, the benefits system, my local MP, social workers, the family doctor, will take care of me if things go wrong.

The people?   Polite, understated, humorous.  We like making fun of each other.  There is still a bit of a class system, which we take constant delight in laughing at.  ‘Posh’ people still talk differently from the ordinary folk.  Anyone who lives north of Peterborough or west of Oxford could speak one of an endless range of accents and dialects.  We are modest in manner.  We don’t like shouting and we will generally avoid getting into fights, especially over religion and politics.

Do we get passionate about anything?  Yes.  Sport!  It seems that we invented most of them.  Football (soccer) arouses the strongest emotions.  But we also love our cricket, rugby, tennis, motor racing and golf.  What else?  Some, a minority, are keen enough to have passionate political views.  What about our churches?  Our main established church, the Church of England, reformed in doctrine, but ‘Catholic’ in its procedures brings out a succession of pleasant, well-spoken, intellectual, mild-mannered leaders who rarely get heated about anything.  They are loved by some, passed over as irrelevant or weird by most except when we need christenings, weddings and burials.  Religious zealots, though disliked, are still quietly tolerated.

One thing the English are bad at is getting angry and speaking effectively.  The Scots, Welsh and Irish are a bit better at it.  We quietly seethe, complaining bitterly under our breath. 

So, what’s been happening lately in this mini-paradise?

Well, here’s is a sample of social trends.  Things going on ‘under the radar’, suggesting that not everything is rosy.

  • 185,000 unborn babies aborted every year.  68,000 of those were repeat abortions.  That’s a lot of lives.

The blood of the innocents cry out to God.  If he was to do nothing to Britain for this reason alone, he would have to apologise to Sodom.

  • Men and women don’t commit themselves to one another any more.  Now, over 50% of our children are born to unmarried mothers.
  • A million of our children are growing up without any contact with their father.
  • One in 11 adults on antidepressants
  • 9% of adults have no close friends at all
  • 13% of adults live alone

I could add some words about the culture of debt, especially among young people, the widespread occult inspired or sexually explicit song lyrics, TV dramas and addiction to pornography, the STDs among 18-24 year olds.  I could say something about how our elderly are being marginalised.  Do you get the picture?

As a parent, I can tell you that it’s extremely hard to find wholesome entertainment for our children (or for us), without looking like an oddball.  Many of our teenage children at school classes are made to feel ashamed if they are still virgins at 16 or 17.  The most popular shows on TV are either occultic or little short of pornographic.

I put it to you that we have abandoned the God who gave us our greatness, and we don’t care.  One of the most blessed nations on the face of the Earth.  And we have, on a massive scale, pushed him out of almost every area of public life.

We are destroying ourselves as a society, and much of the above issues do not hit the headlines.  We can safely sweep them under the carpet.  Are we just going to lay down and die, a once great country, without hope and without God?

What will jolt us out of our complacency?

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