Dear Bishop Manchester, I work with the most disengaged and hardest to reach young people who suffer from various addictions, and others presenting needs such as homelessness, unemployment and mental health issues. I recognise that much of this is a product of the spiritual wilderness of this century. How do you think we can start to fix this very broken society, as Christians and human beings? Thank you, Lizzie Norris
The Queen's Speech opening Parliament to set out the initial plans of the Government ended with the words: "I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels." The problem is that God does not seem to be taken into account in these counsels, and there is a failure to acknowledge that the problem with families, education and society at large is that "they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward" (Isaiah 1: 4). Indicators of our fundamental malaise include the facts that all the major "faiths" are commonly regarded as equally valid, "committed" civil partnerships are equated with marriage, family life is in total meltdown, Christians' freedom to express biblical truth and follow Christian practice is endangered, much education is secular and largely proceeds on humanistic presuppositions and greatly contributes to the godlessness of our generation, and the assumption underlying political agendas is that we have the solution to our problems entirely in our own hands.
"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" ie "What hath the righteous done?" (Psalms 11: 3). These are searching and humbling questions. We all feel helpless in view of the national situation, but nothing is impossible with God. Many years ago I recognised that Great Britain, once the spiritual beacon of the world, had lost its way. In the interim it has continued to lose its way and has entered a spiritual wilderness from which we must first escape before our broken society can start to mend.
So, the answer, as found in the motto on my episcopal amorial bearings, is to restore that which is lost:
† Restituere id quod amissum est †