How are Christians going to impact society in the 21st Century? Why is it crucial that they do? An introduction by Les Yates.
How are Christians going to have an impact on society in the twenty-first
century? The answer to this question must surely be the faithful proclamation of
the Christian gospel, changing hearts and not just influencing moral behaviour
is surely the greatest priority of God’s redeemed people.
However, as Christians, we are also urged, indeed commanded, to pray for our
national leaders and for those who have the responsibility of enacting laws that
affect us all. Christian involvement in national and local politics has been a
factor in bringing a steadying and stabling influence in the United Kingdom for
many centuries; the salt and light of Christian witness and influence cannot be
(pictured above is Les and his wife Anne)
During my lifetime, sadly, I have witnessed a marked decline in Christian
influence on society both locally and nationally and at the same time have seen
an increase of influence by pressure groups promoting their own secularistic
ideologies. The main purpose of secularism, by the way, is to separate the state
from religious institutions; hence we see Christianity increasingly marginalised.
One of the most ‘successful’ pressure groups of recent times must be Stonewall,
representing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights (LGBT).
Stonewall has only been in existence 30 years and yet they have helped to bring
about changes in our society that no one would have thought possible. One
cannot criticise the role they have played in alleviating the discrimination of the
aforesaid groups, but, like all secular agendas there comes the inevitable clash
of ideals with the principles and morality of Christianity. One recent example
has been the issue of gender, children are now taught in our schools that they
must now have the right to choose whether they want to live life as a boy or a
girl. Regardless of the biological problems faced by some unfortunate members
of society the Bible teaches a completely contrary view from the one LGBT is
The clash of religious convictions and compunctions with libertarian choices
have already resulted in Christians having to face court proceedings, a recent
example is the refusal of a baker to decorate a cake promoting gay marriage
in compliance with homosexual couple’s wishes. The marriage ordinance, with
its emphasis on procreation and the replenishment of the human race has been
the bedrock of all stable societies, but now has been seriously undermined and
weakened and the consequences of this folly have yet to be fully realised.
Abortion is also a major issue, the right of a mother to have an abortion means
that the rights of the unborn child are eliminated, not only the child’s rights, but
it’s very right to life is taken away.
Just like the fight of Christians against slavery, child exploitation and many
other evils in the society of past generations the Christian community must make
their voice heard. Abortion, euthanasia, religious freedom, the fight to maintain
Biblical foundational truths are worth fighting for, not just for ourselves, but for
future generations. That is why we support Christian groups such as the
Christian Institute. The Christian Institute has been very successful in helping
Christians who have faced discrimination in various contexts and has been most
informative in drawing attention to the current challenges and threats posed by
the secular anti-Christian agendas.
In our fight to protect Christian values, one has to say that the battleground has
changed dramatically over the last few years, certainly since I was fighting for
the preservation of the Lords’ Day nearly 50 years ago. We have lost much of
the legislation that protected Christian principles and we are now finding that
legislation is increasingly becoming more anti-Christian. In the case of Sunday
football in my early days, there were at least laws that I could refer to in
curtailing Sabbath desecration. There are still things that we can do and must do
if we are to have any relevance on the direction of our society and the way in
which it is now heading. Every individual citizen has the right to contact their
local M.P., every individual citizen has the right to complain to the BBC and
ITV over moral issues that demean and corrupt our society. A remark I read
recently in a local newspaper on some lewd scene on a television programme
said that there had been no complaints from members of the public.
The following quotation was quoted by J.F. Kennedy, the President of the
United States in 1961: ‘the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good
men to do nothing.’