Almost a week has passed since the latest wave of the riots that spread across the UK, yet the front pages of UK national newspapers continue to describe the aftermath on a daily basis. The headline of today’s Daily Mail reads: “Shame of ‘Riot Rapist’s’ Family" (August 15th 2011). It turns out that a 15-year-old boy used the mayhem around him as a cover for his degenerate crime, whereby he robbed a 13-year-old girl of her phone, before “throwing her on to the glass-strewn ground” and raping her. The boy’s mother, a “devoutly religious nurse”, is said to be in shock, being quoted as saying “We can’t quite believe this. We are a good family with Christian values. He is not from a broken home.”
I am sure that the family are indeed in shock, and for parents that have at least tried to bring up their children in the correct manner, the news of what their son has reportedly done must be unbearable. But, I believe that the quote by the boy’s mother is rather telling, and shows how society is beyond broken, and under the judgment of the Almighty.
Firstly, no man is good. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record Jesus as saying “Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.” (Luke 18:19). No-one is good save the Triune God! The supposed ‘righteousness’ or goodness of every single human being ever born is as nothing to the Lord of Heaven and earth, and none can be declared righteous on his own merit. Indeed, Isaiah states: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6). What a pronouncement! What a terrible indictment on those who proudly declare themselves to be ‘good’ people!
The Abject Failure of Modern Parenting
So, perhaps the single biggest problem with parenting today is that the vast majority of parents start with the assumption that a child is good, and that he merely needs to be instructed not to fall into wickedness, or what some call ‘peer pressure’. But, scripture says the complete opposite! A child is wicked from the very moment of it’s conception in the womb of it’s mother. The liberal atheist, who believes the law should take a cuddly approach with hardened criminals, will no doubt pour scorn on that statement, saying that the legal system should seek to ‘rehabilitate’ criminals instead of punishing them. But the Christian, and indeed, the mother of this boy who has acted so heinously should take note of King David’s solemn words: ”Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalm 51:5). Children are wretched from their very conception!
I don’t want to be misunderstood here. I am by no means saying that I hate children, and that they should all be treated mercilessly with a rod of iron! But the fact of the matter is that by nature, all children from birth know very well how to commit evil. It is therefore up to parents to lovingly but sternly rebuke what is wrong and immoral, and teach that which is good. It is a truism that children need not be taught evil, but must be taught to do good works, and this continues into adulthood. This is why David pleads with the Lord later in the same Psalm to “purge me with hyssop” (v7), “blot out all mine iniquities” (v9), and to create within him a new nature to reign over that which he was born into: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (v10). The Gospel of Jesus Christ states that we must be given a new nature in Christ - an imputed righteousness to save us from our sin, the reward of which is death and hell.
Yes, I of course feel for the family of this child, and they are rightly devastated at the dreadful thing that their son is accused of doing, but I cannot fathom why society in general is so shocked at the events that have taken place. The state of affairs is incredibly simple: We have rejected the whole counsel of God (which is not optional advice, but mandatory law) in how our land should be governed, and have replaced Christian values with a muddy and utterly useless humanism, in which even the worst criminal is assumed to have some inherent and intrinsic good, and where people are encouraged to do whatever they please, without moral restraints. That this is true is evident just by looking at the phraseology in use today, where people talk about ‘finding the good in people’.
Instead of teaching children Godly, wholesome things, parents look the other way whilst their young children assimilate terribly violent and explicit films, play video games with similar themes, get drunk, and dress immodestly. Only the other day I saw a group of children on their way to a kids holiday club at a sports centre, and one girl was wearing heavy makeup, had her hair done with the same attention that would be applied to a Hollywood actress, and was wearing hotpants, which are unsuitable for a woman of any age, let alone a girl that I would estimate to be less than ten years old.
Rejection of God the Real Reason For the Collapse of Our Nation
Of course, as David Cameron scrambles around saying that society is broken, and in the process of a “slow-motion moral collapse”1, he fails to acknowledge that the wholesale rejection of Christian principles is the reason for our social demise. Instead of being a thing of the present or future, this ‘slow-motion moral collapse’ has already occurred, and gained rampant momentum over the past fifty years. My only amazement is just how long the Lord has stayed the Hand of Judgment.
Just as King David pleaded with the Lord to purge him, so also our system of governance, as well as the judicial system, needs purging. Peter Oborne, a Daily Telegraph commentator, makes some excellent points in his article ‘The moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as the bottom’2. I don’t agree with every single point Mr Oborne makes, but it is interesting that much of what is morally wrong with society is obvious even to those whom I presume to be unbelievers.
Our government has been wholly villainous for at least a century. They make abhorrent laws that give legal precedence to the wicked over those who act righteously; they unashamedly milk a fraudulent expenses system; they employ criminals as advisors; and steal from those who honestly save money via inflation, thereby reducing the real value of our currency which carries the convenient side effect of making it easier for the government to dishonestly pay off its debts. They have created a benefits system which in turn has begat legions of people who believe that the world owes them something, and that they do not need to work for a living. They sexualise our children in schools; teach them evolution; and make sure that they imbibe the fundamentals of every idolatrous religion, leaving the Gospel strikingly absent; and cultivated a system in which crowd control takes the place of real education. They have taken away parental responsibility from fathers, and have fostered the breakdown of families through the promotion of feminism and divorce.
Indicative of this last point is another of the rioters: a middle class 16-year-old girl, who chose to steal a £500 iPad (tablet computer). Ironically, her father is a cameraman who has worked on documentaries on policing and justice. He is quoted as saying “Basically, I feel this is the end product of a society that tells you that you can’t discipline your children. They say, ‘If you hit me, it’s physical assault, and if you shout at me, it’s verbal abuse’.”3 The article goes on to say: “He added that when he had physically tried to prevent his daughter, who attended a prestigious all-girls Roman Catholic school, leaving the house to meet her friends she reported him to the police for assault”. Children are out of control, and far from being the solution, government is the original problem, and it must give responsibility back to parents. The girl has broken four of the Ten Commandments (Thou shalt not steal; Honour thy father and thy mother; Thou shalt not covet; and Thou shalt not bear false witness), and she will most likely get away with it.
Likewise, the child rapist, instead of being described as what he is: a vile child who should face prompt and severe punishment (not 'rehabilitation'), was instead painted as “vulnerable and troubled”. That is, after he “dragged her down an alleyway ... threw her to the ground, [and] forced her to perform a sex act and sexually assaulted her.”4 We should not be trying to ‘understand’ or ‘rehabilitate’ people like this, but swift judgment should be brought upon them, especially as he was old enough to know what he was doing. Instead, he was “bailed into the care of Greenwich social services”5, who will do no good whatsoever, given the godlessness of that particular institution.
Repentance and a Return to Godliness the Only Solution
The Prime Minister has rightly said that “the social problems that have been festering for decades have exploded in our face”6, but he refuses to admit that the core problem is that society - from the very top to the very bottom - has turned from God, and that the social disorder we see today (not just the rioting) is the direct consequence of this root issue. He claims to “know what’s gone wrong”, and lists: “irresponsibility, selfishness, behaving as if your choices have no consequences, children without fathers, schools without discipline, reward without effort. Crime without punishment, rights without responsibilities, communities without control. Some of the worst aspects of human nature tolerated, indulged, sometimes even incentivised by a state and its agencies that in parts have become literally demoralised”. Yet, these are only the symptoms of our abject godlessness, which is the core problem. For instance, saying that ‘children without fathers’ is part of the problem is all very well, but what real good is a father if he is not allowed to properly fulfill the role that God has ordained for fathers?
As we have seen with the example of the 16-year-old iPad thief, fathers are all but powerless to discipline unruly children. Cameron talks about personal responsibility, but the very nearly fully-totalitarian (yet seemingly benevolent) state has usurped almost all personal responsibility, from the right to defend one’s family, property and self; all the way down to the responsibility of parents to discipline their children. Instead, the state presumes to take control of children, defeating the natural family order ordained by God. As I’ve already alluded, ‘punishment’ is a word that is rarely heard these days in the legal system, so it is almost surprising to hear the Prime Minister use it, but he will fail to effect any change, because our entire political system fails to acknowledge Biblical morality, and in some cases actively persecutes it in favour of the nefarious, and the new humanist morality of the state.
Christians are not allowed to act according to the principles laid down by the Creator, and those parents that do try to take responsibility for their children through homeschooling or the teaching of Biblical values are harassed by the state. One family were abused (there is no other word for it) by social services because their child mentioned heaven and hell at school7, and the government has long been trying to interfere with what homeschoolers teach their children8 (although the Coalition government has removed these Draconian plans - for now).
In summary, the only solution is repentance. Government must return the statute books to a state which will be blessed by God, at all costs, and we must remove ourselves from any international groups or treaties that would prevent this. If a society seeks to honour God, He will honour that society. If a society seeks to tread God underfoot and harm His people, then a terrible and inescapable judgment will befall that society.
Our society is far beyond ‘broken’: It is stands in total opposition to God, and these are only the beginning of sorrows, unless we repent.
1 'Rioting and the slow-motion collapse of Britain, by PM’, Tim Shipman, Daily Mail, August 15th 2011, page 1
3 ‘Rioting and the slow-motion collapse of Britain, by PM’, Tim Shipman, Daily Mail, August 15th 2011, page 4
4 'Shame of ‘Riot Rapist’s’ Family’,; Nick Fagge, Emily Andrews, & Tim Shipman; Daily Mail, August 15th 2011, page 4
5 'Shame of ‘Riot Rapist’s’ Family’,; Nick Fagge, Emily Andrews, & Tim Shipman; Daily Mail, August 15th 2011, page 4