Violent London & Bloody Lancashire

You know there’s something wrong with Britain when Somali migrants in London are sending their teenaged children back home, feeling they’ll be safer there than here (The Guardian, 9 March 2019). As politicians posture and hand-wring, record numbers of young people are murdered on our capital’s streets. A spirit of lawlessness seems to be pervading many youngsters, with the ambition to harm and mutilate appearing noble and worthy. Only this week in court, a Preston Bench was given details of a young man’s attack on a random stranger- involving beating him about the head with a claw hammer. We were spared the worst details, yet my stomach continued to churn. And ten minutes later? In an unrelated incident, another young man went out on the busy streets of Blackpool armed with a six-inch blade and a hammer, muttering the words “I’m going to show them what I can do”. Both are certain to receive her Majesty’s hospitality, but what happens when they come out?

Christians, on the other hand, must never engage in violent, threatening conduct. Though we be insulted, spat upon or mocked, we retain the dignity of our calling and the gentle patience of our God, Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:9).

As George Fox informed the Commonwealth’s Commissioners in 1651 

I told I lived in the virtue of that life and power that took away the occasion of all wars… I told them I was come into the covenant of peace which was before wars and strife were.

As he told Charles II nine years later:

And as for the kingdoms of this world, we cannot covet them, much less can we fight for them, but we do earnestly desire and wait, that by the word of God’s power and its effectual operation in the hearts of men the kingdoms of this world may become the kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ, that he might rule and reign in men by his spirit and truth, that thereby all people, out of all different judgments and professions might be brought into love and unity with God and one with another, and that they might all come to witness the prophet’s words, who said, ‘Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more’.

We must pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We must also pray for the peace of London, Preston and Blackpool.