The incendiary riots that engulfed London and other British cities this summer stunned the world with their blatant, senseless violence.
As police struggled to contain the roving hordes of young people who gleefully burned buildings and cars, looted businesses and assaulted even the elderly, British authorities quickly responded with a biting critique—not of social ills, but of the moral bankruptcy of the nation’s youth.
Prime Minister David Cameron called the four days of savagery “a slow-motion moral collapse” and wondered if his country has the determination to confront the problem.
One London Daily Mail columnist wrote that “the people who wrecked swaths of property, burned vehicles and terrorized communities, have no moral compass to make them susceptive to guilt or shame.”
Another journalist opined in the same paper: “Repairing this terrible damage also means, dare I say it, a return to the energetic transmission of biblical morality. … When church leaders stop prattling like soft-headed social workers and start preaching once again the moral concepts that underlie our civilization, and when our political leaders decide to oppose the culture war that has been waged against that civilization rather than supinely acquiescing in its terrible destruction, then—and only then—will we start to get to grips with this terrible problem.”
Well said by a secular journalist.
There’s no reason not to think that this kind of destructive behavior will not spread to America. For decades, our nation has been in a dizzying moral free fall, spinning ever so rapidly out of the biblical orbit that once guided and constrained us. Not only have we forgotten God, we now disdain Him.
Christians are all too often looked upon with contempt. Leaders who talk about the role of faith in their lives, or how it may affect their decisions, are viewed with skepticism and cynicism. In government and education, religion has been effectively severed from any role. Just the mention of the Name of Jesus in the public arena can bring severe consequences.
In our pluralistic culture where moral relativism reigns, is it any wonder that our moral compass points everywhere but to absolute truth? Parents no longer rear their children with biblical instruction, and young people in turn experience a virtual spiritual vacuum.
But I am not totally despairing.
I believe with all my heart that the “Gospel is the power of God for salvation” (Cf. Romans 1:16). I believe in the transforming power of that Gospel, which turns us from our wicked ways and makes us new creatures in Christ. I believe in the power of prevailing prayer, that God listens and responds to the pleas of His people as they repent of their sins and put their trust in Him (2 Chronicles 7:14).
I saw the power of the Gospel at work at Rock the Lakes in Milwaukee and Rock the Range in Denver, where hundreds of young people came to saving faith in Christ. They were convicted of their sins as they listened to the Gospel of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, and “were redeemed from the empty way of life” (1 Peter 1:18, NIV).
There have been Great Awakenings before in this country. I trust that God, in His great mercy, will again stir hearts, awaken dead souls and transform lives—young and old.
For His glory. For the sake of the soul of our nation.