The damning verdict of the book of Judges is that ‘each one did what they thought was right in their own eyes’ this wasn’t an anomaly, a blip in the history of discipleship. It is the usual human condition.
Hence when Jesus comes along and leaves a commission to “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you”, it was always going to be a big ask.
According to today’s Guardian only 2% of Anglicans (and 14% of Muslims if you want the comparison) are influenced in their ethical thinking by their local or national leaders.
What should we make of that? Does the church’s competing voices mean there’s no clear direction to listen to anyway? Do it’s shameful compromises and scandals mean there’s no authority left to speak with? Are ethics personal and private and best left to families as Brown suggests? … Is it worth getting out of bed and preaching / teaching tomorrow at all?
Whether anyone listens we can still do two things. Firstly teach what Christ has told us to – namely his disciples should obey his commands. Secondly pray for a nation changing miracle.
As NHS budgets get tighter and ‘mercy killings’ get more common place what do you expect to see? This limited to people with ‘six months to live’ or increasing calls for euthanasia on demand… And who’s demand – state, family, patients? What we can have little doubt of is that once prised open this box lid will not be easily shut and is likely to have its hinges broken right off.
Back in the day each one did what was right in their own eyes. It didn’t mean God didn’t have an opinion. It doesn’t today.