I have watched with some interest the riots that have been going on in England. It saddens me to see people hurt and policemen put in harms way. There is no excuse for violence of any kind, but I do understand where it comes from. It stems from a lack of love for ones neighbor that can only be generated by the application of the gospel. Where the gospel has dominion there is peace and where it is not there are riots like we see going on in London.
Im am not speaking of some kind of theocracy or heaven on earth when I refer to the gospel in this manner. I believe Jesus meant it when He said that, “my kingdom is not of this world.” What I am saying is that when the gospel takes root in hearts, it brings people together it does not divide and cause violence. This seems counter-intuitive to modern thinking because people have been conditioned to think that religion or “fundamentalism” causes bigotry, hatred, and violence. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. If modern western sensibilities founded on government education and psychological conditioning were the answer then why are Londoners rioting?
There will be many professors, doctors, and social scientists that will analyze what has happened in London for years to come and I’d be willing to bet that none of them will cite a lack of the gospel as the contributing factor. Be that as it may the scriptures are crystal clear:
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
– Ephesians 2:13-16
The gospel is the best riot control I can think of.