Will the Western Church go the same way as the Conservative party? by Gavin Ashenden for Christian Today
That we live surrounded by political chaos might be dispiriting, but should not surprise us.
Societies that turn their back on believing in God and reject Judeao-Christian morality, exchange a moral foundation that has worked astonishingly powerfully to create a stability and a creativity for the world of the mind, heart and spirit, for alternative values that often dehumanise, destabilise and disorientate.
The same is true of political parties. The chaos the Conservative party have fallen into is tragic and the cost will have to be borne by the whole of society.
All organisations go bad. It is the effect of unrestrained sin in the human heart. The Church goes bad like any other group of people, but it is capable of being renewed simply by acts of self-knowledge, repentance and the generosity of the Holy Spirit who has promised that this is the metaphysical deal.
Indeed when it comes to judging the Church in history the dynamic that should astonish and take people aback should not be the corruption of the Church – why on earth should that be a surprise since it consist of unstable people? – but the miraculous restitution and renewal, time after time after time.
But if a political party has a lesson to learn from the Church, the Christian community has a lesson to learn from politics.
The first is to watch with “there but for the grace of God go I”.
Without repentance and metanoia, the collapse of an institution is a dreadful and destructive thing to watch. Perhaps the party will get to rebuild itself in humility and self-knowledge, but nothing is guaranteed. Look what happened to the Liberal Party.
The second is to remember that not even democracy is guaranteed to survive. In fact, the political forces that are seeping through our culture are both avowedly anti-Christian and increasingly determinedly anti-democratic.