“You must be born again” John 3:7
The fundamental requirement in making this world a better place is captured in John 3:7, “You must be born again.” That’s the bottom line. It’s the old story of the pig in the parlour. You have to change its nature before it is fit for such an environment.
We seem to have forgotten this truth. Billions of dollars are poured into social reform. Government and non-government organizations strive to advance the well- being of society. Service clubs and charities endeavour to upgrade health care, improve the quality of the environment, and alleviate suffering.
But despite these efforts the world is not a better place. Crime is on the increase. Schools have become bloodbaths. Suicides are commonplace. Strike action is regularly reported in the newspapers. Child custody battles are fiercely contested. Struggles with depression are at an all time high. Families are left destitute because of gambling debts. Thousands of unwanted babies are aborted around the world every day. Alcoholics Anonymous has a steady stream of clients. And poverty is still evident on the streets of our cities.
The Band-Aid of secularism has obviously failed. But that’s not surprising. For secularism begins with the effect and ignores the cause. It attempts external reform and negates the necessity for internal transformation. In short – the secular world view, with its attendant philosophies of moral relativism, multi-culturalism, pragmatism, and utopianism, is only skin deep.
In contrast, the Christian believes this world can be a better place when we become men and women of another type. When God’s Kingdom is born within us – not created from without. When the root of all greed, selfishness, bitterness, anger, drunkenness, sexual immorality, envy, hatred, debauchery, discord, and the like, is confessed as sin and cleansed by the blood of Christ. If you want to make the community better, make the individual better. It’s a matter of first principles – “You must be born again.” Otherwise, you’re putting the cart before the horse.
As D. L. Moody said, “The blood salvation has a wonderful effect upon men’s characters. They rarely remain subjects of charity, but rise at once to comfort and respectability.” History proves Moody right. Every time a clarion call is made for men and women to be “born again” the resultant transformation has resulted In a better world. For sin is a cancer and only the blood of Christ can cure it. Ignore this fact and this world will never improve.
Yes, when we have the courage to go deeper and further than social reform. When secularism is seen for what it is – an artificial, superficial and perfunctory salve. When we wake up to the fact that “the material order rests on the spiritual order,” Kirk. When we get to the root of the trouble – SIN – and turn to Christ as the remedy. When we embrace a relationship – not religion. When we’re “born again.” Then hope for today’s world will be renewed. Drunkards will be made sober, the rich generous, employers just, prostitutes pure, sad hearts glad, penitentiaries empty, trust restored, and peace will reign supreme.