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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

19 August 2011: John Powell, Petersfield Methodist Church

All hell let loose

As is so often true, big troubles fill our news reports. There is massive unrest in the Middle East, as millions feel they are side-lined by the leadership. There is huge financial instability around the world. Many countries, including our own, have been living off borrowed money, and this cannot go on for ever.

There must be cut-backs; we all agree, so long as we are not personally involved. Now we have been hit by an outburst of lawlessness in our own, supposedly civilised and stable, country. This is uncomfortably near home. What has gone wrong?

There seems to be a lack of respect in the minds of the rioters - respect for property, and respect for others. The way the usage of the word 'wicked' has broadened in recent years may be relevant. It used to mean evil, spiteful, etc.; but now, in modern slang, it means excellent, or remarkable.

The boundaries between good and bad have become blurred. Morality has gone down the drain. As a nation, we have largely turned away from the Christian faith; in so doing, we have thrown out the understanding of right and wrong that real faith generates.

We all need to revisit our basis of living: to avoid being essentially selfish, and move towards an attitude of caring for others, especially the less privileged members of society. Jesus mixed with, cared for, and gave Himself for all sections of society. Do we?

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