RIOTS AND RESPONSIBILITY

 

David Baker for East Dean and Friston Online

As I write these words, there have been four nights of rioting in various parts of the UK. When you read these words, will the situation have escalated – or died down?

It has been fascinating to hear the different solutions that have been put forward. Perhaps more money needs to be spent in deprived areas, it is suggested. Perhaps police need more powers, or stronger methods of enforcement. Others suggest that families need to take more responsibility. All these things may be true. However, most of the comments on the riots ignore the basic diagnosis that Jesus gives us, because they focus on external solutions. Jesus makes it clear that the basic problem is an internal one – within people: “For from within,” he says, “out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside,” (Mark 7v20-23).

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