Repairing the ruins — Charles Gardner

Jerusalem — an immovable rock for all the nations (Zech 12:3)

Saving the planet? It’s God’s house that needs rebuilding

By UK Correspondent, Charles Gardner

Partly to deflect attention from an increasingly perplexing Covid crisis, Boris Johnson no doubt hoped to inject a breath of fresh air with extravagant promises of wind power.

Within 10 years, every home will be energised by the ugly giant turbines already dotting our land and seascapes. All our domestic equipment, and even our cars, “will get their juice cleanly and without guilt from these breezes that blow around these islands”1, he assured us.

It was that telling phrase ‘without guilt’ that caught my eye, especially as I was studying the Book of Ezra where, in chapter 9, the word “guilt” is used several times to reflect the shame and shock over how God’s people had turned their backs on his commands.

Ezra – “too ashamed” to lift up his face to God – was appalled at the unfaithfulness of his fellow citizens who had forsaken God’s ways despite his goodness in rescuing them from exile and allowing them to rebuild the Temple. 

“What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins have deserved…” — Ezra 9:13

Sounds familiar. After God, in his great mercy, delivered us from the perils of Nazism by miraculous intervention at Dunkirk and at other times during World War II, we have turned our backs on his commands with reckless abandon, successive governments passing a string of laws completely undermining our Judeo-Christian foundations.

This is what we really need to feel guilty about – not carbon emissions, climate change, or even our colonial past. When we stand before the judgment seat of Christ – and we shall do (2 Cor 5:10) – will our ambitious efforts to harness the wind serve in our defence?

The green campaign is becoming increasingly glamorous, with Prince William now taking the helm and pop star Shakira named a judge in a new £50-million (R1.07-billion) eco contest to decide who’s doing the most towards saving the planet.

If we’re really concerned about extinction, there are millions who are dying needlessly because governments and their electors are not seeing the wood of reality for the trees of the green gospel. While we are trying to save the oceans and rainforests, unborn babies have no guarantee of safety in the womb.

In our topsy-turvy world, abortion provider BPAS (the euphemistically named British Pregnancy Advisory Service) claimed a record baby death rate a “success”2 after it was reported that abortion rates in England and Wales have soared since the introduction of DIY abortions in March. Right to Life UK said: “The rise in abortion numbers is not a ’success story’… it is a national tragedy.”

And according to Care for the Family3, a 15-year-old in today’s Britain is more likely to own a smartphone than have a father living at home.

Added to the state-sponsored murder of the unborn, we now have the introduction of state-sponsored child abuse in the form of sex education for young children covering areas once classed perverted – unmentionable in polite society, never mind in front of impressionable toddlers.

And yet with all our obsession over health, you’ll be hard put to find any warnings about the dangers of gay sex. Amazon, for example, has banned a medical book, The Health Hazards of Homosexuality, as ‘offensive’4.

Meanwhile the massacre of Christians in Ethiopia and Mozambique goes largely unreported in the mainstream media. In Ethiopia, where at least 500 Christians were killed by Muslim extremists this summer, “there are shocking reports of children forced to witness their parents being hacked to death with machetes”.5

Butchering the unborn, beheading the faithful – or death of a plant or animal species? Where does our focus lie?

At government level, however, the main debate revolves around health and wealth. What about honesty, integrity and truth? What about the most important issue we will ever face, addressed by Jesus when he asked: “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” — Mark 8:36f

Prince William talks of the need “to repair the planet”6, but Ezra addresses the need for “repairing the ruins” of God’s house (Ezra 9:9). Shortly before lockdown in Britain, which has suffered more acutely from Covid than most countries, stadiums and entertainment venues around the nation were succumbing to LGBT pressure by cancelling contracts to host evangelist Franklin Graham, who was to have preached the Gospel which alone can repair the ruins of our country.

Within a short time, everything stopped – shops, schools, even churches (many so-called evangelical ministers also opposed Graham’s visit) and especially sports venues. Millionaire footballers still play to empty stadiums. I believe there is a connection between opposition to God’s good news and the Covid pandemic.

Our idols have literally been taken away from us. Our godless society has come under judgment. But just as in Ezra’s time, when the people responded positively by confessing their sins, God is graciously giving us a chance to replace our empty idols with worship of Jesus, “the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15), so we can rebuild the ruins of God’s house.

We need to weep over the state of our nation. We are in great trouble and disgrace, as Jerusalem was described to the exiled Nehemiah. (Neh 1.3) Our walls have broken down and our gates have been burned. We have let every unclean practice and every false god into a society once cherished and honoured for proclamation of the Gospel and its Judeo-Christian values. Blowing our trumpet over the prospects of wind power won’t do it. Only repentance of our sinful ways will.

1Daily Mail, 6th October 2020
2Heart newspaper, October/November 2020
3Mentioned in a video teaching course called Raising Faith
4Heart newspaper, Oct/Nov 2020
5Ibid
6Daily Mail, 9th October 2020

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