April / May 2015 - Vol. 79

family standing before the cross of Christ
Reflection on “Progression of Erosion in Family, and What Can We Do…”
by Roger Foley

People change don’t they, and I am certainly changing in line with Job 19 [26a] and other Scripture passages. My change is gradual and feels somewhat comfortable. But other changes around me, and impacting me, are taking place with the speed and impact of a societal tsunami. They are coming in fast, in waves one after the other, as far as the horizons I see, and many of them are damaging and undermining Christian family beliefs, and by consequence the church.

In recent years I have seen an agenda of darkness which has eroded Christian parenting. We are now familiar with the mainstreaming of systems which lessen parental notification regarding things as serious as teenage abortions, and laws that lessen parental ability in the ways of disciplining their children. We now have terms such as ‘carer/parent’ replacing ‘mother and father’ or ‘mum and dad’. And in marriage we now have ‘partners’ instead of husbands and wives [well - not in my home]. We are well softened to accept same sex relationship to equal traditional marriage, and we are now seeing adoption into same sex marriages. That could be a little confusing down the track with two dads or two mums. And this will likely confuse a growing child to understand and embrace Christianity. We now see the mainstreaming of these new realities portrayed every evening in a variety of television programs. And millions of young children will grow up having known no other reality than that portrayed in media.

In April 2006, in Bogota, Columbia, Catholic Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko gave an address at a Latin American Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities. In his talk he included quoting other significant church leaders. He said ‘The expanding process of secularization and an authentic "dictatorship of relativism" (Benedict XVI)  have produced a tremendous absence of values in many of our contemporaries, which is accompanied by a joyful nihilism that ends in an alarming erosion of faith, a type of "silent apostasy" (John Paul II) and a "strange forgetfulness of God" (Benedict XVI).

And six years later the world renowned speaker and Evangelical Evangelist Billy Graham warned ‘Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone- except God’.

But other warnings go back further, given by men of God such as the insightful Evangelical Pastor [AW] Aidan Tozer. He warned of a ‘dangerous path of Christian compromise with the world’ and he is quoted as saying ‘Religion today is not transforming people, but rather it is being transformed by people’, and ‘It is not raising the moral level of society but rather is descending to join society’s own level’, and ‘Society is smilingly accepting its surrender…’

father with children
                    reading the Bible

What can we do? For me I see wisdom in Ephesians 6 [10-18]. In particular verse 12. Read it and then reflect on how many times the Apostle Paul exhorts us to ‘stand’- not to ignore, not to run, not to shrink in fear, not to say that’s some other person’s problem. Start at home, stand at home, and embrace the many rich gifts, blessings and support that you have in being a member of the Christian Community. Stand. We are the body of Christ today, we are a Christian people, and we are a part of the answer in God. 
Roger Foley is the senior coordinator of the Lamb of God Community. He and his wife Veronica live in Christchurch, New Zealand. 
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