How do we heal society?

Earlier today I watched a fascinating interview with Laurence Fox on Triggernometry. It was an interesting interview, talking about many of the problems going on at the moment in society. I don’t want to get into all the politics and rights and wrongs of what’s happening in society at the moment, but I think many people feel that there is a real sickness and it’s getting worse.

Konstantin Kisin, one of the interviewers in Triggernometry, said the other day:

Do you want to learn the Bible and the Christian faith online? Check out my new resource:

A couple of years ago, I recorded a Christmas message called “Do you fell the shadows deepen?” If that was the case back at the end of 2018, it’s even more the case in mid-2020!

The most fascinating part of the interview I watched was the part starting at 38 minutes in.

If you don’t want to watch, here’s a transcript (typed quickly by myself – so might have a few mistakes..)

Konstantin: I don’t know, man, I want to have an answer. I want to go this is what we do, then this is what we do, then this is what we do. But all I can see now as we look into the future is, how do you stop the violence in the short term? OK, you prevent the protesters from both sides getting together, that’s what you do, right? What do you do after that? What’s the next step?

Laurence: (Pointing upwards) It’s that one up there I’m afraid, it’s the only answer, whether you believe in it or not, it’s the only answer. Because, what are we gonna come out of this with? We’re certainly not going to come out of the situation we’ve just been through with a great faith in scientists (laughter) … scientists are the new estate agents. People need meaning, right?

We’ve spent a long time looking to science, we have to turn around and look to the values, the real values society was built on, and those are Judeo-Christian values, and that’s – you’ve gotta look up there, and look at what was said by him and by the people that followed him. That’s what I reckon.

And that’s not coming from a person who’s profoundly religious. I’m just going, there is a manual, they wrote a book about this before, you know, and try and bring some of those values back. There are very complex things in the Bible which are really tricky to get your head around, and they can educate.

After that the conversation moved onto other things (although Laurence did briefly return to it later on by talking about Jesus’ words “love your enemies”.

I find it intriguing that Laurence recognises that what we need is a return to Judeo-Christian values. This is what I think a number of people have begun to realise, including people like Douglas Murray and John Anderson (former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia) – to name but two examples.

What I want to say is: can you have the fruit of Judeo-Christian values, without the roots of Christianity? Can you have all the good stuff – loving your enemies, for example – without the roots of actually believing in Jesus?

One of Jesus’ most famous teachings is “love your neighbour as yourself”. A lot of people have heard of that one. What most people don’t know is that this is only the second most important commandment. Let me quote the whole section of the Bible:

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’

Jesus replied: ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’

Matthew 22:34-40

So the first greatest commandment is to love God with everything we have. Now, the question is: can you have the second commandment without the first? Can we really love our neighbour without loving God?

I think Jesus would say, no, you can’t. That’s because we need his help, we need the kind of love that only he can give. In John 15:5, Jesus says: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” I’ve been reflecting on those words a lot lately: “apart from me you can do nothing”. Jesus says that we cannot do anything apart from him. The ‘fruit’ that he talks about is the fruit of obedience to God – love.

Love is not something which we can simply work up in ourselves; it’s something which is given to us by God. If we seek him, he will give it to us.

Is it really surprising that in a society which ignores and rejects God (like ours), that it doesn’t really love? Is it really surprising that there is so little forgiveness? Is it really surprising that woke heresy hunters are cancelling anyone who doesn’t agree with them? These are the fruits of a society which has turned its back on God.

So the choice that we face as a society for the road ahead is not between Judeo-Christian values and other values. It’s deeper than that: it’s between seeking God or not seeking him. It’s not what we will choose, but who. Will we choose the Lord who made us?

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

Postscript

As Laurence said: “There are very complex things in the Bible which are really tricky to get your head around”. If you’re struggling to make sense of the Bible, do have a look at my website Understand the Bible. It’s dedicated to helping people understand the Bible and the Christian faith from scratch (no prior experience or knowledge required). The course content is all free, there’s even a mobile app you can download to make it easier.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *