Saturday, August 13, 2011

What Britain Needs is Another John Wesley

Melanie Philips is anathema to the liberal elites of Great Britain because she tells the truth. In her column on Aug. 11 entitled, "How the liberals ruined Britain," she asserts that the real reason for the recent riots is not poverty, but moral collapse:

So now the chickens have well and truly come home terrifyingly to roost. The violent anarchy that has taken hold of British cities is the all-too-predictable outcome of a three-decade liberal experiment which tore up virtually every basic social value.

The married two-parent family, educational meritocracy, punishment of criminals, national identity, enforcement of the drugs laws and many more fundamental conventions were all smashed by a liberal intelligentsia hell-bent on a revolutionary transformation of society.

Those of us who warned over the years that they were playing with fire were sneered at and smeared as right-wing nutters who wanted to turn the clock back to some mythical golden age.

Now we can see what they have brought about in the unprecedented and horrific scenes of mob violence, with homes and businesses going up in flames, and epidemic looting.

What is most astonishing about this is it was not accidental, but planned. Policies were enacted which anybody with common sense could see would lead to this outcome, but they were enacted anyway. It is not a matter of out-of-control young people, but rather it is a matter of a population (including the political class) that is immoral.

What has been fuelling all this is not poverty, as has so predictably been claimed, but moral collapse. What we have been experiencing is a complete breakdown of civilised behaviour among children and young people straight out of William Golding’s seminal novel about childhood savagery, Lord Of The Flies.

There has been much bewildered talk about ‘feral’ children, and desperate calls upon their parents to keep them in at night and to ask them about any stolen goods they are bringing home.

As if there were responsible parents in such homes! We are not merely up against feral children, but feral parents.

The Archbishop of Canterbury finally, after four days of rioting finally got around to making a speech in the House of Lords and what pitiful, fluff and insubstantial bromides he offered up. It is enough to make one gag: no gospel, no call to repentance, no mention of Divine judgment, no offer of Christ's power to change lives. Instead, he called on the government to solve the problem despite overwhelming evidence that the government is a big part of the problem. He said:

The tragedy of the events of recent days is that those who will pay the heaviest price are those who most need stability and encouragement in local communities - people who run small local businesses, people who need efficient emergency services, people, old or young, with limited mobility. In no imaginable sense does the violence we have seen help anyone; those who have been involved have achieved nothing except to intensify the cycle of deprivation and vulnerability.

That being said, we now have a major question to address, which is how to combat the deep alienation we have seen, the alienation and cynicism that leads to reckless destruction. The Government has insisted on the priority of creating stronger, better‑resourced local communities. This priority is now a matter of extreme urgency. We need to see initiatives that will address anxieties and provide some hope of long‑term stability in community services, especially for the young. Meanwhile the Church will maintain its commitment to all communities at risk, and is ready to offer its help and solidarity in every possible way. [my bolding]

You can see why people in the UK might wonder why, since we have a welfare state, we need a bunch of old moral scolds in funny clothes, who appear to have no function except to urge the government to do something. Do you really need all the paraphernalia generated by a State Church just for that?

Britain needs moral transformation and governments cannot do that. And dead, liberal Protestant churches with no Gospel to preach cannot do it. Only a revival of the Church in which the power of the Holy Spirit to change lives is made manifest is sufficient. Perhaps, if it gets bad enough and people get desperate enough they just might show the cultural Marxists the door and get themselves to church. It has certainly happened before and we pray that it happens again.

But the awkward question is, will there be anyone preaching the biblical Gospel if they go to church? If only God would raise up another John Wesley.


Apparently, I'm not the only one to whom John Wesley's name has come to mind recently. David Virtue offers his concept of the speech the Archbishop of Canterbury should have given here. It is heartbreaking to read simply because it puts into sharp focus how far the Church of England has fallen. But if the C of E won't preach the Gospel, God is capable of making the stones cry out.

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