Today’s world has been well described as the ‘age of absurdity’. And there are abundant examples of this in the pages of our daily newspapers. Wednesday’s Daily Mail, for example, included a report of protesters aligned with the Black Lives Matter campaign bringing London City Airport to a standstill.
As the paper pointed out in its editorial, police shootings of unarmed black people are almost unheard of in Britain, which perhaps explains the shift in focus to the ludicrous claim that air pollution discriminates against minorities.
The popular tabloid also devoted acres of column inches to the scandal involving leading Labour politician Keith Vaz, forced to quit as chairman of the House of Commons home affairs select committee following a lurid expose in which he was caught on film having sex with ‘rent boys’. And yet it wasn’t this deed in itself that brought him down, but the fact that it somewhat compromised his position as head of a highly influential parliamentary body investigating, among other things, prostitution and sex trafficking.
Many of his colleagues were at pains to point out that he hadn’t broken any laws, which says something about the current state of our society! Mail columnist Quentin Letts, in mocking the overall ‘regret’ and ‘sadness’ with which the political establishment greeted news of his resignation, wrote: “If he had been filmed saying anything politically incorrect, he would have been shunned like a biblical leper.”
It was a well-aimed damning indictment on our generation, who will put up with just about anything except Christianity.
Another story reported on an unrepentant Independent Television (ITV) after receiving 170 complaints over a ‘gay’ kissing scene being shown on their prime-time soap hit Coronation Street.
Welcome to first century Rome, described by St Paul as a wicked world experiencing the “wrath of God” because they were determined not to follow his ways. The end result was a society full of evil, greed and depravity in which both men and women “committed shameful acts” with one another, and where they “invented ways of doing evil”, claiming to be wise, but in fact becoming fools with no understanding. (See Romans 1.18–32)
It was into this bubbling cauldron of godlessness that Paul brought the gospel. He could not have been unaware of the implications – that his message ran completely counter to everything the Roman world stood for – and indeed there were some fiery trials ahead. But it changed the world! Thank God he was able to assure the Roman Christians that he was “not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1.16)
At Thessalonica in ancient Greece, believers were dragged before city officials, with their accusers shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here…” (Acts 17.6, New International Version). This is also translated in other versions as men who have “turned the world upside down”.
But just as the Roman civilization descended into chaos and violence, so Western civilization is now experiencing the “wrath of God”. And why? …Because we have discarded the gospel that was such good news to those first century pagans.
Former Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips, who makes no claim to be either Christian or a religious Jew, has brilliantly grasped the nettle of these issues in The world turned upside down (Encounter Books) which chronicles how brainwashed we have all become by the brave new world’s politically correct dogma.
Christians seriously committed to proclaiming the gospel should prepare for persecution.