Political Polarisation

I write this blog after much prayer, hugely concerned by the ongoing polarisation of our society.

Many blame the current political situation, but I think this is too easy to do.

Our nation has always been divided over politics, but never have I seen such disdain and hatred for those ‘on the other side’ of the debate.

Something of real significance has changed in our cultural psyche, as a nation we have forgotten how to empathise and we have forgotten how to compromise for a greater good. 

Politics has become dangerously personal and I am genuinely terrified as to where we are heading.

So what has changed?

Some say the rise of individualism, other’s blame the advancement of technology?

Both have isolated the masses into virtual groups of shared opinion, with little interaction with those who think differently.

But I feel that such theories overlook the most significant change in our society for over a millennia – the decline of Christianity.

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The Christian world view is built on the fundamental belief of our Trinitarian God – Three distinct persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) yet totally one.

Less than one generation ago millions of us would meet in our local churches every Sunday and worship the God of  both ‘diversity and union’.

We were all taught values (albeit not exclusive to Christianity) of Grace and Mercy, humility and empathy and we were called to follow Christ’s example and love the unloveable, defend the weak, seek justice and love our enemies.

Church played a huge part in building the tolerant and prosperous society that we all once lived in and there is no coincidence that the tragic decline in church attendance has led to opposite social outcomes.

But to what end?

We can of course look to other monotheistic religions whose deities are of singular personhood (and thus hinder any diverse expression), or we can collapse under the self-indulgences of polytheism?

We can continue to experiment (as we are) with secularism, but this has never ended well. Historically Atheist regimes unite their people under tyrannical oppression, or they simply collapse under the inevitable lawlessness of hyper individualism.

So what are our options?

I suggest coming back to church.

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Friends, I am not arguing for a theocracy, neither am I declaring a perfect state under a Christianised culture (we are all sinners). I am just highlighting the obvious social problems that follow when the God of the Bible is rejected and His church neglected.

History will tell you that Christianity builds a healthier society, it promotes both “Unity not uniformity, Diversity not disorder” and it does this because it is uniquely built on the truth of who God really is.

It is only in Christ that we can begin to love our neighbour as ourselves, (whatever their difference) and reverse our social decline.

Bear with each other and forgive one another, if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:13-14

An Atheist Mother’s Day

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This morning (Mother’s Day), my doting sons woke up early to prepare a wonderful surprise (within their adolescent capability) for my amazing wife. Breakfast in Bed!

The eldest nominated himself to be the culinary whiz, whilst the middle son made a wonderful card.

Placed awkwardly on a tray, they tip-toed up the stairs and presented it all to their sleeping mother. (The kitchen was left in a total mess!)

The front of the card had a smiling face, with rosy cheeks, bright eyes and long brown hair (it was my wife). The face was framed in a two layered heart, the inner a bright purple and the outer pink. It was beautiful. Inside my son wrote, “To Mummy, Happy Mother’s Day, Love” (and then their names).

My wife was overcome by emotion; she could see the love, effort and care that had gone into making such a card. She embraced my grinning sons who appreciated the gratitude for their labours. It was quite the scene!

It all got me thinking! What if my wife had viewed this cherished gift in the same atheistic ‘world view’ that most of our society share today?

What if she ruled my son out of the equation and assumed that the picture (however beautiful) had simply arrived by chance over billions of years? The heartfelt words would become meaningless, discarded as haphazard weathering on the page. How would my son feel?

What if my wife, instead of thanking my son, did a chemical analysis on the crayons and ink to find out their source, or carbon date the paper to find out its given age, or take a core sample of the dust that gathered and take it back to the lab?

The once loving Mother’s day exchange would become a cold and meaningless affair.- would it not?

My wife would have lost that moment of love with her son and my son would be mightily concerned with his mum’s lack of appreciation with his craftsmanship! The relationship would be broken!

This world view gives us the very same problem today with our creator God.

He has given us a world that screams out the hallmarks of intelligent design. From the intricacy of our DNA to the great and purposeful forces of nature, from the fine tuning of billions of factors required to support life (let alone sentient life) to the improbability of our very existence. He even resides in our own (and unique) ability to love, create and share, even at times that are counterproductive to our very survival. All such things that we experience each and everyday, that we often take for granted, but are all signatures of the love, provision and grace of our creator God.

Dismissing all He has done for us as our creator is like dismissing a handmade Mother’s day card from an adoring son.

Dismissing God from His creation turns life into a cold and meaningless affair.

Thank God this Mother’s day, that despite our rejection of the obvious, through His Son Jesus Christ, He has provided a way back to Him. Happy Mother’s Day!

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20