A Sign of the Times?

Just before my father died in April 2021, we were in conversation about the state of the world when he said, ‘I/we didn’t fight in WW2 to end up with what we have ended up with in this country’.  My response was that I agreed wholeheartedly with him, and it has got worse, in my opinion.

As this is a publication that people of varying views will read, so I will keep my own personal thoughts within certain boundaries. I find myself in constant disagreement with those who say that things are getting better. Well, in financial terms, that is true; we are remarkably better off than ever before, but is that really a marker of this world being a better place?

Whilst there are more billionaires, millionaires, and just wealthy people in this world than ever before, across the world, poverty, malnutrition, and the daily struggle for existence continue unabated.

We in Western economies are overwhelmed with ‘stuff’, so much so that in the UK, Charity Shops proliferate as we constantly recycle our ‘stuff’ to buy more but different ‘stuff’. The infatuation with how we look has exploded in recent years. Whether it is hair, nails, lips, eyelashes, botox, tattoos, piercings, teeth, implants, etc., etc., we are becoming clones in pursuit of what?

Some people really do need to look in a mirror before they expose themselves to the world. When people are starving, I find it criminal when every day millions of pounds are spent on the idol of self, and who are we deceiving? Maybe some people really do need to get to ‘Specsavers’!

Where are the Real Leaders?

We seem to have lost men and women who are real leaders, people of integrity, who have values that cannot be bought or diluted. Where are they in the world today, because whether it is in the Church, Governments, and other areas of society, we are utterly bereft of quality leadership, lets be honest who is worth voting for in the coming election, because whoever wins it will be much of the same.

None of them will address the issues of immigration, the NHS, a far too generous benefits system, Global warming, reform of our tax system, getting to grips with our criminal justice system, and properly funding our social services [which are a shadow of what they were 40 years ago, and getting worse].

Who is going to say, ‘the majority of us do not need any more money, we are OK’? 

We all know the answer. It is no one because the world we have created is selfish; where we have taught ourselves that we should look out for number one, and it really is a dog-eat-dog. In the world today everything comes down to money, it has ruined sport, left millions on the outside looking at the haves jealously, and undermined so much of society that grew from WW2.

Then people tell me that they don’t believe in God and that the Bible is a patriarchal tool to keep certain people oppressed and maintain the powerful in their positions. Yet they will happily buy a crystal to put above their bed in the belief that it will help with their ‘Feng Shui’, don’t ask!

I am sure that we all remember the story of the Emperor’s new clothes, where the fear of being thought ‘outside of those in the know’ meant that the people in the story spoke contrary to what their eyes were telling them: the King was naked.

Jesus is the Way!

Jesus entered this world to destroy the idea that real leaders are powerful, wealthy, super-confident people who are winners. He came to point out that the pursuit of riches, possessions etc, is futile, we really cannot live by bread alone. He came to show us that life in all its fullness is not about what we have but about who we have, and finally, he died as an example to us that we will only really live when we learn to lay down what we think is important for ourselves. 

For this world, it is too late, I am convinced. It is too caught up in what it believes is success, but in reality, it is self-destruction and delusion, and it cannot turn back. For those of us who have read the Bible, this is no surprise, for the fool continues to build on the sand, whilst those who hear and act build on solid ground.

Every Blessing         

John Parker [to be continued]

Taken from the Church magazine April 2024.

(Stock photo from Unsplash)

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