Right in the centre - Finding the foundation


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

Millions of words and tons of ink have been poured out decrying the state of visible minorities and poor people in Canada and the United States. That we still have minority and poverty issues in North America is both disappointing and discouraging, but it should not be surprising.

All the tragic events of the past days, years and decades show that while, in general, we have life pretty good, we have some disastrous gaps in our society.

We need to step back and push the reset button.

Let’s get back to basics. People are born, they live and then they die. Some live a long time, some only a few hours or days, but no one, not one person, falls outside that scenario unless the child succumbs to stillbirth or abortion. (By the way, over 90,000 babies are aborted each year in Canada, but thankfully, that number is steadily dropping).

Once a person grasps the born-live-die concept, it should be much easier to take the next steps. One has no control over where, or into what situation, they are born. One has only some control over when and how they will die. A child has little control over how they will live, but as adulthood approaches, everyone has some control of how they live. How Should We Then Live: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture is a major Christian cultural and historical documentary film series and book. The book was written by theologian Francis A. Schaeffer and first published in 1976.

Every problem faced by mankind can be individually or collectively faced and solved by faith in God and Christ. God and Christ are never wrong, never. Unfortunately, that can’t be said about individuals or people collectively. In fact, while Christianity has and continues to do wonderful things for people, some Christian people and organizations continue to do horrible things to people.

Let’s call Christianity what it is intended to be, namely the foundation of society. If a building has a firm foundation, a good, strong foundation, then the building has a chance it will stand. Without a firm foundation, a good, strong foundation, the building cannot stand. Even with the best of foundations, if the builder doesn’t put good stuff into the building, then the building is doomed.

So it is for individuals and for society. If there is a firm foundation, a good, strong foundation, then the ills that may come aren’t the foundation’s fault. God and Christ are never wrong, never. People? Well, that’s a different story.

The Christian church was (is) the foundation of North American society. It’s hard to tell today, as every other belief and non-belief system is held in higher esteem by people, by the education system and by governments. It’s also hard to tell within the Christian church itself, as God and Christ aren’t always taught and esteemed within the church.

If we esteemed God and Christ, as the New Testament asks us, as individuals and nations, to do, then there would be some drastically different outcomes. There would be no excessive force by police. There would be no such thing as capital punishment. There would be no poverty and we would learn how to operate society so there would be no poverty. There would be no homelessness. Building codes, regulations and financial policies would be gently and quickly moving everyone towards owning their own home and land. There would be no more serfdom, which is the only label you can put on chronically used public housing. Public housing is meant to be a step towards home ownership, not what it has become now.

If we esteemed God and Christ, as the New Testament asks us, as individuals and nations, to do, there would be no drug and alcohol abuse issues, no domestic violence and basically no problems.

There are those who will scoff at this proposition, but I challenge us all to esteem God and Christ, as the New Testament asks us, as individuals and nations, to do and then prove this theory wrong. Our problems, no matter how large or small, are not God’s fault. He built the foundation and we keep building on sand. Individually and collectively, we should not be surprised if we choose sand for our foundation and the building crumbles. Time to get back to standing, and building, on the firm foundation.

Disclaimer: The writer serves as a volunteer chair of the Manitoba Community Newspaper Association. The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being  the view of the MCNA board or Banner & Press staff.