02 June 2008

Belief in God

I watched the Channel 4 Dispatches programme 'In God's Name' recently, originally broadcast on 19th May. As a committed Christian myself, I was encouraged in some parts and dismayed in others. We do not always do ourselves a favour in what we say, or do not say, and in the way we say it.

However, what really disturbed me was the voice-over from the interviewer. It was biased and patronising, and did not convey any real attempt to understand, but rather to alienate. I am so aware that to understand a world-view different from our own is very hard. But if a TV programme is to help us to do that, then it needs to let the people being portrayed speak for themselves, not undermine everything they say even as they say it.

Believing in God is not a minority activity. The majority of people in this world do so. It is only in the Western world, and especially in Great Britain at the moment, that we seem to find ourselves in a society where to believe in God, to really believe in God, is belittled as somehow delusional, or dangerous, or inadequate or old-fashioned.

And the consequences of this are clear for all to see - broken families; young people, disillusioned and aimless, roaming the streets engaging in violent and anti-socail behaviour at a time of their lives when they should be at their most idealistic and passionate; older people, alone in the world, alienated and separated from their families and communities who, in other societies, value and honour people in their old age.

But this is only a recent phenomenon. Up until about 60 years ago, there was a common understanding that our lives are rooted in God, that we depend on Him for our very existence, that His words are words of wisdom, to be treasured.

And what can change so rapidly in one direction can change just as rapidly in another. In the grand sweep of history, this secular worldview is just a temporary blip.


stephen said...

Is there any time left for folk who profess themselves to know Christ as personal saviour to stand and watch our towns and coomunities walking towards self destruction?
Surely all who know God to be real and have a personal relationship with Christ now have to be responsible for both fervent unrelenting prayer for and into their communities, and to step out in the power of the Holy Spirit to proclaim the love of Christ to those outside their own doorstep? Our youth is the future of this world - we have the tools to make a difference in their lives so lets not delay any longer - pray speak up and step out into the community and be God's healers, leaders and ministers.