Is Britain Broken?
There is, inevitably, much conversation and handwringing over the recent riots in the streets ofLondonand otherUKcities.
Diagnosis of the causes of the riots have been willingly offered by politicians and pundits. Answers differ across the political spectrum with David Cameron focussing on the “brokenness of society”, left wing politicians on “racial tensions”, and Tony Blair in today’s Observer indicating that the more immediate problem is family breakdown: we need to reform and intervene family by family. http://news.sky.com/home/article/16053854
All these issues are important, and evangelical Christians would do well to remember the political and social needs which the church is well placed to contribute towards meeting.
Others have spoken of the spiritual needs. Mike Ovey is particularly helpful in pointing out the link between greedy bankers, corrupt MPs (0verclaiming expenses) and youths rampaging and looting shopping centres for trainers and designer clothes (see http://www.oakhill.ac.uk/commentary/11_summer/looters_them_or_us.html).
As I have spent the last week preaching inSingaporecountless numbers of the congregation have asked me: what is the matter inEngland? Why are people behaving as they are? Part of the answer, in addition the things mentioned by politicians listed above is that idolatry, covetousness, greed, anger: the breaking of God’s law (at least commandments, 1, 2, 8, and 10!) unites the sins of all social classes and means that I need first to look inwards for a correct diagnosis. As Paul says in Romans 7:20-21 I remain capable of every sin and am enslaved and entrapped “another law” until God delivers me.
Yes, Tony Blair is right, the cure must begin with the correct diagnosis and the right prescription. But failing to see the inherent sickness in the human heart which has personal, social and political ramifications must be the place to start fixing the “brokenness”.