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LATEST NEWS: TACKLING CRIME

 

 

There can be little doubt that crime – particularly violent crime – is on the increase in the UK. Hardly a day seems to pass without a report of a stabbing having taken place on the streets. Gun crime is also far more common than it was a few years ago. Older citizens often talk about the escalating crime figures and recall the days of their youth when far fewer murders took place. A murder in a local community then was a shock, but local media outlets now seem to report news of a murder on a daily basis. Coupled with this trend is another significant fact. Many of the murders we hear of nowadays are being committed by young people who are hardly more than children and who cannot be named for legal reasons. Something has gone drastically wrong, and no politician is able to stem the tide.

 

 

 

There is actually another connection which ought not to be ignored. While crime has increased, the amount of Bible teaching in the country has decreased. Those who remember the days when murders were rare were brought up at a time when the Bible had a far more significant role in society. A greater number of people were under its influence then. God was feared, and more respect was shown. Children were more likely to attend Sunday School, and Scripture was taught in schools. As the years have rolled by and other religions have been welcomed, Scripture teaching has been pushed aside for fear of offending people of “other faiths”. Secularism has increased, and more today call themselves atheists than in a bygone age. Humanist funerals are now common, as people see no need to acknowledge God. Evolution is promoted by the media and taught as fact rather than theory. Accountability to God is an old-fashioned concept and has been rejected.

 

 

 

Is there really no connection between these trends and what is taking place in society today? At one time Britain’s laws were based upon the Word of God – but not any more. Former Prime Minister David Cameron has seen to that by arrogantly introducing same-sex “marriage” a few years ago. Judges and magistrates have gone “soft” on punishment for crime. Prisons are over-crowded. Social workers readily admit that imprisonment and probation do not work. Those who begin the cycle regularly re-offend. There has to be something better – and there is. We need to get back to the Word of God.

 

 

 

Consider the Law given by God to Israel in Old Testament times. The teaching of Exodus 21 and 22, for instance, is clear and makes sense. A few examples can prove this. The man who smote another and caused his death faced a certain death sentence, but murder had to be distinguished from manslaughter (Ex.21:12,13). If one man deliberately injured another and incapacitated him, he would be liable for the loss of the injured man’s time and would be required to pay accordingly (Ex.21:18,19). Apply this principle today: why should a person who deliberately causes criminal damage not be required to repay fully – not simply a token payment? Gruesome as it may seem, is not the principle of “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” recorded in Exodus 21:24 fair? If someone knew that the hurt caused deliberately to someone else would be justly inflicted upon them in return, might it not act as a deterrent?  Instructions relating to domestic animals were immensely practical too. If an ox gored a man, causing his death, the ox must die. If the owner of the ox had been warned beforehand but had ignored the warning given, he too would have to die. Harsh? Not necessarily. If the owner took precautions he could easily save his own life and also spare the life of any innocent third-party. These regulations in Exodus 21:28,29 encouraged social responsibility.

 

 

 

Responsibility lies behind all of this – and by this we mean primarily responsibility before God. If we fear God and seek to please Him, we will naturally respect both the person and property of others. Human rights will not be necessary: they will have been covered already. We need to return to the Bible. In its pages we read of Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, who came into this world to die for sinful people. We also read how our sins can be forgiven if we repent of them and place our trust in Jesus Christ. When we have done this, we will automatically live by higher standards.