I was drawn to an article by Melanie Phillips entitled: ‘An unholy war in the Guides and why we must ALL fight the secular bigots’.
In 6 days time the Guides will change the historic promise made by all Guides and Brownies from ‘to love my God’ to ‘be true to myself and develop my beliefs’. The organisation will also drop the promise, ‘to serve my country’, which will be replaced by ‘to serve my community’.
Chief Guide, Gill Slocombe states that some girls found the old promise confusing, but the new wording would be easier for Guides to make and keep .
The Guide movement has had a historic link with the church with many local groups still meeting in church premises. The change to the Guide promise has therefore outraged many Christians, who perceive it to be a step by the Guiding establishment to accommodate itself with the rising tide of atheism and secularism by jettisoning values that are timeless.
Melanie Phillips does’nt mince her words in contextualising the issue: “It is, indeed, the principal weapon of unholy war wielded by the forces of militant secularism, which are intent upon destroying the Judeo-Christian basis of western morality. It supplants traditional morality and the concepts of right and wrong, truth and lies by a creed which says in effect, ‘Whatever is right for you is right’.............So the new Guiding promise is all about being true to me, myself and my beliefs, whatever they may happen to be. It represents the antithesis of duty to others. It says, more or less, ‘I promise to serve myself’.
It is a promise for a narcissistic, self-centred and morally vacuous age.”
These sentiments were reinforced this weekend by Lord Sacks, Chief Rabbi who has been one of the country’s highest profile religious commentators for the last 22 years. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Sunday programme he said Britain is ‘losing the plot’. Referring to the 2008 banking crisis, Lord Sacks said: “When you begin to lose faith and society becomes very, very secularised, you first see a breakdown of institutions, whether they are financial, economic or… marriage is an institution......
And then you ask why they have broken down and you arrive at one word: trust. Trust means having faith in somebody else to keep their faith with you, so there’s something about religious faith that undergirds trust as a whole in society and when trust breaks down you see institutions break down.
Individualism is no way to build a society... if people work for the maximum possible benefit to themselves, then we will not have trust in industry, economics and financial institutions, we will not see marriages last.”
Wise words from the Chief Rabbi!!
As a born again person of faith, I am thankful that the Bible is both the bedrock and backdrop for my life. Thus I can truly say that it is faith in its author, the living God who makes life worth living, giving me great hope.
As the great old song written by Edward Mote, a pastor at Rehoboth Baptist Church in Horsham, West Sussex says:
My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
No merit of my own I claim But wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
Let's build our society on the solid rock of faith, not the sinking sand of atheism and secularism.