Thursday, 15 January 2015
A race of clever devils?
Another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord, nor what he had done (Judges 2:10)
Even when widespread God-awareness characterises a society, rank paganism is lying only just below. Take out vibrant spiritual leadership – as happened in the case of Israel, with the passing of Joshua – and it isn’t long before naked heathenism or outright idolatry begin to surface once more. For human nature, left to itself, will always dip. As Winston Churchill commented to President Rooseveldt’s emissary Harry Hopkins in the dark days of World War II, “Only one thing in history is certain; that mankind is unteachable.”
Every generation requires a few spiritual die-hards (even a few are enough) to challenge and then lift plunging contemporary viewpoints:
1. To learn backwards. The vast majority of mistakes are repeated again and again across the years. To get – even if only a little – into the world of books, can be enough to spot past errors, and be pre-warned!
2. To learn upwards. The most productive, creative and kindly societies in the whole world emerge when the Scriptures, that speak of CHRIST (as against a distortion of Him), touch both church and state. Everything is then lifted; sport, the family, art, education, politics and business standards. If we cannot learn this, we can only expect one result.
3. To learn forwards. What – supremely in our homes - are we aiming to create for the future? For the next generation will be shaped by this!
Two hundred years ago, Ashley Cooper wrote, “Education, without instruction in moral and spiritual principles, will merely produce a race of clever devils.” It only takes one generation!