Our journalistic loyalty is to the Gospel alone and we have no interest in being politically correct. Our editorials are therefore often hard-hitting and challenging, but never compromising.
Sample editorials of the English Churchman
EDITORIAL FOR Friday 6th September 2013:
Our Desperate Plight
Snippets occur in the daily press with increasing regularity, which tell us something very important for this country and its future. They are not major articles, but their appearance is an omen for those who peruse them. They speak of the rapid decline of the presence of Christianity in our nation. If the trend were to continue at its present rate, the demise of Christianity must ensue, not in some distant future, but in the space of a generation or two. One of the articles recently bore the title, “Christians could be a minority in ten years”. They spell out the catastrophic collapse of Christianity in Britain. An analysis of the 2011 census showed that mass immigration from the European Union had masked the decline in Christian affiliation. We suspect that these things are reported, not without some sense of glee on the part of many, that our society is ridding itself of the ‘incubus’ of Christianity, which they consider has had a deadening effect upon the vibrancy and sensuality that an uninhibited human nature can display.
But such thinking is very shallow and short-sighted. It reveals abysmal ignorance of human history. All empires have sunk into ruin when the inhibitions and restraints of mankind have been removed and free rein has been given to the carnal appetites. We are at such a period now in the history of western civilisation. The marginalisation of the church is not something over which people should gloat, but they should view it with trepidation. Institutional Christianity is the only thing that stands between us and the collapse of our civilisation. We do not need the Barbarians at the doors to complete the process of destroying our culture; we can do that for ourselves, when we abandon self-control and give free rein to our appetites as we are now doing. The only thing that stands between us and moral and civil chaos is the residual Christian ethic. We have squandered our moral capital and have nothing else to draw on. The church is now marginalised and society is bankrupt.
Most people today have no idea of the jeopardy in which they now stand. We are very diligent in our efforts to guard ourselves from enemies who may threaten our peace. We have warships at sea at all times armed with nuclear missiles to counter any threat that may come from that quarter. But this is a foe of a very different sort, and one for which we are totally unprepared. It comes from within. It has already gained admission into the inner citadel of the nation – the minds and hearts of men and women and young people. It began with what was euphemistically called “the permissive society”. That itself was a misnomer intended deliberately to deceive people. Permissiveness seems so innocent, it puts people at ease. How can you object to greater freedom and tolerance? But permissiveness undermines and destroys morality. Morality knows only two categories, “Thou shalt” and “Thou shalt not”. To say “You may”, which is what permissiveness is, disavows morality altogether – it is amoral. That was the fatal error that our leaders and trendsetters deliberately embraced in the 1960’s, and the process of descent into immorality has taken place unchecked since then. Christian teaching has been marginalised. We are effectively a heathen nation. It is time to wake up to the fact, and to do something about it.
AN OLDER EDITORIAL:
“What Does the Natural World Tell Us?”
We are informed by the press that Sir David Attenborough finds great consolation since the death of his wife in the contemplation of nature. Though he has spent his life exploring plants and animals in the natural world for his television programmes, he has only realised more recently how much nature has comforted him. Viewers of his programmes on the natural world have told him how much they had helped them to cope with grief, and he now realises that he has felt the same. “In moments of grief, deep grief,” he said, “the only consolation you can find is in the natural world … we are part of a big enduring thing.”
We sympathise with Sir David in his bereavement, and are glad that he finds comfort in nature. However, we confess to finding this strange in a number of ways, and especially in view of Sir David Attenborough’s declared atheism, and the way in which he has used his programmes on television to promote a godless view of nature as the mere product of evolution and blind chance.
The view of nature presented by Darwinism, which is the position that Sir David holds, is the very antithesis of what he now describes. Far from being something which induces peace and calm and reassurance, the picture of nature which Darwin conjures up is both monstrous and terrifying. It is “nature red in tooth and claw”; it is the doctrine of “the survival of the fittest”. Sir David has spent his life, and employed his considerable abilities as a naturalist, promoting the Darwinian view of the world and of nature. It is a view which has robbed many of religious faith, and of the peace and calm which come through faith in the God who made the world for his glory, and gave his Son to redeem sinful men and women, and reconcile them to Himself through the Gospel of grace.
Darwinism has done great harm and damage to many, individually and collectively, and also to our civilisation. G.J. Romanes was a young graduate, when he read Darwin’s book, The Origin of Species. It made an extraordinary impression upon him. He had been a devout Evangelical, but felt compelled to renounce his faith, and embrace the desolating picture of the world that the doctrine of evolution, the ‘new faith’, conjured up before him. “I am not ashamed to confess,” he wrote, “that with this virtual negation of God the universe to me has lost its soul of loveliness.”
Many others can similarly testify to the great damage and harm the doctrine of evolution has done to people’s lives and, indeed, to civilisation. It wrecked the world for millions, and left them feeling aimless and adrift in a universe of atoms all struggling to assert their own existence at the expense of others. That is Darwinian evolution. That is the confusion and despair that it has evoked. That is the creed that Sir David Attenborough has promoted through countless television programmes watched by millions. How then can he now turn to a nature which, according to his own understanding of it, is “red in tooth and claw”, for comfort, peace and solace?
We would entirely agree that nature can at times induce the peace and comfort of which he speaks. Indeed, nature, though fallen as a result of man’s sin, can still tell of the glory of God for it is God’s own handiwork, though marred by sin. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork” Psalm 19:1. The natural world, through faith, can speak of God and give assurance of God’s care for his creatures. Our Lord taught his disciples this very thing: “Consider the ravens… God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?” Luke 12:24. But complementary to that must be the revelation he has given in his Son, Jesus Christ, for man and the creation are fallen and in need of redemption.
However, it is precisely this theistic view of man and nature that Sir David has spent his life opposing and denying. We find it strange, indeed paradoxical, that now in defiance of his own presuppositions he can regard nature as consolatory and comforting. If he does, indeed, find it so, then it is grounds for his questioning the premises upon which he has formerly viewed nature and based his philosophy.