After the recent London riots, Prime Minister David Cameron spoke candidly and courageously of “Broken Britain” and "slow-motion moral collapse". This was an honest assessment of the state of some parts of British society and community. One of the key factors he identified is that of troubled families.
But it’s not just Britain that is broken. All across the western world, and especially here in Melbourne, we have evidence all around of a broken, dysfunctional society. Many young people lack a clear sense of identity, leading to depression, hopelessness and even suicide.
Binge drinking and alcohol fuelled violence is common place. Clubs and pubs are fighting the move to limit the amounts gamblers can use on poker machines, in a tacit admission that problem gambling is responsible for much of their revenue.
Way back in the 1850s the people in the lower ranks of English society were the poor. Their lives were characterised by drunkenness, fighting, gambling, cruelty to animals, reckless living, immorality and criminal behaviour. They were often illiterate, hungry, desperate and hopeless.
In short, they were part of a broken Britain.
But one group enabled the pieces to be put back together. The Primitive Methodists brought a message of hope and transformation. The change was so significant that the 1851 census noted their success.
“that … for every convert added to their ranks, society retains one criminal, one drunkard, one improvident, less.” (An improvident is one who is careless, reckless or negligent)
Will you pray with me that God will raise up a group of people who are as passionate and as effective as the Primitive Methodists?
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