“We don’t do God…” So why are we surprised by the moral bankruptcy of society?

“We don’t do God…”  So why are we surprised by the moral bankruptcy of society?

In a society that has lost God, evil will flourish.  Whatever we may prefer to believe, mankind is not naturally ‘good’, and over the last few centuries we haven’t noticeably advanced spiritually, mentally or emotionally.  In fact, if current research on cognitive development is to be believed, since the arrival of the internet, the reverse is true! 

What’s indisputable, however, is that men and women have within themselves the capacity both to trawl the depths of hell, and ascend to the highest heavens – by virtue of the simple fact that we are spiritual beings in a physical body.  But the reality is that we are ‘small’ spiritual beings who, during our time on earth, have to grow.  And, sad but true, without help, we seem not just susceptible, but even predisposed, to evil.  More than that, to paraphrase St Paul, the good that we want to do, we don’t – though we seem very handy at doing the evil which in anyone else we cheerfully condemn.

And so in Western society today – which by and large boasts that God is only for the emotionally crippled and intellectually challenged – we see sexual abuse of all kinds proliferating, pornography spreading like an ebolic virus, drug and alcohol dependency rates climbing through the roof, and a determined assault on the right to life at both its beginning and end, with half of all conceptions ending in abortion, and the elderly growing increasingly fearful of going into hospital.  VfJUK humbly suggests that these, and associated, plagues are because we have ‘lost’ God, in his place deifying consumerism, secularism, and self-fulfilment.  And the Church, sadly, far from being the bulwark against chaos, sin and evil that it’s intended to be, has become complicit in this.   By attempting to make the gospel culturally relevant, it has only strengthened the moral vacuum in which these evils flourish.   

We all know there’s something wrong, of course, and as a society madly scrabble to try and combat the many problems as they come to light, one after another.  We put in place filters on the internet, for instance, to try and limit porn and keep our children safe.  We teach kids endlessly about ‘safe’ sex and give out lorry loads of condoms.   We ‘deal’ with unwanted pregnancy, that too early can blight a young life … we offer counselling against despair to children whose families have broken apart, and who have no idea where they belong.

The truth is, all these efforts and initiatives are no more than sticking plaster that never gets to the root of the disease.  And, because of that, all our attempts to safeguard society will ultimately fail, floundering on the rocks of moral and spiritual inadequacy.  The devil doesn’t actually need any organised battle plan to conquer society – once we turn out God, all Satan has to do is wander in and take control.

Which is why it’s not good enough for the Church to try and rewrite the Bible and contemporise its message.  It’s irrelevant that sexual practice in the 21st century has changed, or that by and large people now accept gender diversity and different ‘family’ groupings.  These things are wrong.  Period.  And it isn’t discrimination to stand up and say this kind of thing – it’s keeping the forces of chaos and disintegration at bay.  It’s about caring and looking after people; helping them be happy and realise their full potential.

Two thousand years ago Christ came to set us free.  By his death, he pulled us out of the slime, where we’d been thrashing round ever since Adam and Eve fell prey to the snake, and brought us into the Light and freedom. He restored us to that relationship with God which alone enables us to become fully the people we have been made, and are intended, to be.  And it’s that freedom and fulfilment we reject when we refuse to ‘do’ God.  

But it’s not even as simple as that.   Nature does abhor a vacuum, and the sad truth is that, where God withdraws, evil not only takes root, but spreads like bindweed, wrapping its tentacles round minds and hearts that have been left vulnerable; eroding the barriers that have kept the forces of chaos at bay and society safe.

Unfashionable though it may be to say this, it is only Christ who can reverse this trend.  Not increased contraception, sexual inclusivity programmes, DNA sequencing and genetic modification … not even other religions.  That saving, healing Light comes only from Christ.  Which is why the Church needs to wake up, and have the courage to start proclaiming the truth which Christians are supposed to believe.

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