The chief dangers of our ‘civilized’ society
Some thoughts on William Booths prophecy
William Booth gave a sobering prophetic thought more than 100 years ago about the then new 20th century. He said: “The chief danger of the 20th century will be religion without the Holy Spirit, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.”
How true it is, that the end of our civilized society draws near – and the reasons are embedded in these six characteristics. These characteristics of our modern society championed by the churches have rendered the voice of our churches absolutely impotent. The same-sex marriage debacle epitomises this. The result is a ruined failing society with vast numbers of children uncared for or abused, wives beaten to death, abortions decimating the diversity and strength of our society and along with a huge in-equitable distribution of wealth. We find Satan working through the destruction of the family for his purposes – for it is the family that provides an avenue to live out the gospel – where the husband loves his wife as Christ loved the Church, where wives submit to their husbands and were children obey their parents – micking the civil society with roles, responsiblities, order and purposes for every person. Divorce, allowed by the church, enabled the rapid progression of Satan’s plan to destroy the family. The notion of same sex marriage is anathema – it speaks to the very core of the sin of this world. Boothby noted six elements that were required to maintain a civil society. The fall of Rome epitomises all of these – Rome turned to sport, sex and pleasure – and consequently fell.
1. Religion without the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is shunned by all major churches in this country. A decade or so ago he was held up [wrongly] as a power for personal gain; now he is not even mentioned. The reason is obvious – the Holy Spirit was sent to convict you and I of sin (John 16:8, 9) and the last thing the world wants to hear, is that they are sinners. It is indeed a hard thing to be convicted of sin – for one needs to do something about it once convicted. It is the Holy Spirit that speaks to our conscience and produces the guilt within us. Without the Holy Spirit one may interpret the Bible in anyway one might be able to imagine, thus, each church, and indeed each person does what is right in his or her own eyes (Judges 21:55) – the salt has lost its saltiness (Mark 5:13, 9:15), and for this cause, our civil society is collapsing.
2. Christianity without Christ
It is perhaps farfetched to think of Christianity without Christ, when the very word ‘christianity’ means a follower of Christ. But many millennia before the 20th century, churches commenced following men rather than Christ (c.f. Revelation 2:18-29). Indeed the greatest evil of the Roman Catholic Church is to usurp Christ with human intellect; demanding the confession of sins to men rather than to Christ (1 John 4:15), adding to the Bible the whims of men, and ordering followers to obey the church rather than Christ, to satisfy hunger for power and glory. The modern liberal church is no better – Christ is not their head, nor do they bend the knee in acknowledgement of Christ, the supreme judge of the universe.
Without Christ, the church has no cival imperative – their words fall on deaf ears and whatever salt that is left, is in-effectual. It was the no-fault divorce, in this country, at least, that commenced the churches demise as a voice in civic debate – she lost her imprimatur of being the upholder of all things good, and kind and wholesome.
3. Forgiveness without repentance
Men and women who cause evil in our society no-longer seek forgiveness, but plead for “a second go”, because they had "mere;y" made a “mistake”, whether it be rape, or murder or sexual assault or drug doping to cheat. The sinfulness of sin is lost upon this generation – even in cases where the victim suffers for the rest of his or her life. Without a need for repentance, one does not need to come to Christ with a 'broken and contrite heart' (Psalm 51:17) and receive His efficacious propitiatory offering. Indeed one does not need an offering at all, even for restitution for the aggrieved party. The Bible is clear – wrong doing must be paid for; one needs to seek forgiveness after repentance – which means turning around to a completely new direction – so the same ‘mistake’ or sin is not repeated and finally restitution is required for the victim, whether family, neighbour or the state. This is what makes our society civil – where there is order and righteousness and justice with impartiality in dealing with those that do wrong and commit evil - or merely sin!
The gangs of children roaming the streets of main cities terrorising people epitomises the declension of our civil society whose members do not recognise the length and breadth and height of the forgiveness that Christ affords all who believe in him.
4. Salvation without regeneration
Salvation has been rendered to merely accepting ‘Jesus into our hearts’ which cannot provide an assurance of salvation. Indeed it is not salvation but a sop to liberalism. A person must repent – that is, turn around and literally face God – and allow the Holy Spirit to renew them. For without being born again one cannot be saved (John 3).
Too much preaching is about “I”. Indeed most, if not all, modern songs, sung (or yelled out) in churches today is about “I”. Can you remember using the word “blood” in any praise song sung recently in church? What about placing God on a much higher mantle than self? No - the liberal church places man on the same level as Christ – for after all we are ‘mates’, aren’t we? Not in the slightest – we are all hopelessly lost, and only by the GRACE of God have we humans even been considered for salvation – in that God considered sending His son the Lord Jesus Christ to die at Calvary because of our sin. Further, there is not a slightest bit of us God can use to rebuild a better and more perfect person – God must start again – this is being reborn; being regenerated (which means new birth).
Humans who believe they are somehow good, cannot see themselves for whom they are. Civil societies fail when pride (ego, and self-centeredness) is the way of men and woman; it is only the love of one for the other that can build a civil society – and this requires newness.
5. Politics without God
The Ten Commandments sets out the tenets of the natural law of man (Romans 1 & 3). Although the Ten Commandments appears twice in the Bible, they are in both times in Jewish context. However, these tenets where known since Adam – which is why Cain knew he had done wrong when he murdered Able, and thus applicable to the non-Jew equally as to the Jew.
The Ten Commandments are the bases of law for all civil societies – children obeying parents, not stealing nor lying or having sex with one who is not your spouse etc. Our parliaments, all of which are authorised by our various constitutions, which in itself acknowledges God, no longer acknowledge God. The Westminster system of government commenced a parliamentary day with pray to the Lord God Most High – this has been dispensed with – so there is not even a reminder that the leaders of our country are where they are solely because God has allowed it. In the past ten years our parliamentary system has been in a total state of chaos – there is no leadership or even a strong adherence of an ideology or doctrine. Indeed it appears that all our parliamentarians are solely in parliament for themselves – epitomised at local government level where “conflict of interest” has absolutely no bearing on their deliberations. Indeed the greater the level of conflict, the higher the chance the local government will act in that person’s favour.
Without a fear of God no government can possibly govern a people in a civil, equitable and fair manner.
6. Heaven without hell
For reasons that are completely foreign to born again believers the liberal churches teach a doctrine of heaven without hell. Indeed, it is considered to be unwise and perhaps even antihuman to teach that God will punish those that reject Him by placing them into an eternal lake of fire. This doctrine has rendered the gospel to no effect and thus the relationship of man with God to that of alienation. For without hell, one does not need a propitiatory offering, and therefore Christ is not required; and there is no need for intercession (Hebrews 7:25) – the gospel is null and void. It also allows humans to believe they can do anything they like – leading to a breakdown in society.
The result is a society that can do as it pleases – each person does what is right in his or her eyes. The structure breaks down because no lasting and meaningful relationship can be established because self is more important than society. One can steal or have sex with impunity – pleasure is more important than work; in equitability is the norm and hatred of any one who gets in your way is almost mandatory.
I could say much more – but in essence William Booth’s prophecy has come to fruition.