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The many grim headlines that have met us in recent days point to a nation caught in the tug-of-war between chaos and control, and remind us that we are in this dilemma because we, as a culture, have rejected the Lordship of Christ. We encounter grievous injustice, and try to deal with it with all the resources of pagan or secular worldviews; the results are what we see unfolding.

There can be no doubt that self-consciously Christian societies have often failed to live up to their own principles. But what should be noticed is that these failures were a contradiction of their principles, not an accordance with them. That means that such a society would have within itself the resources to address its failures with repentance and reconciliation. There is a divine standard of justice, pure and glorious, to which all men stand accountable; there is an identifiable spiritual root to all injustice, sin in the human heart; there is a means of challenging wickedness with the gospel of Jesus Christ, of calling sinners to repentance and of seeing change, reconciliation, healing, and love that transcends boundaries.

But a secular or pagan society–and are these different things, or only different names?–does not contain within itself the resources to address injustice. That is why the efforts to address it turn towards chaos or control. The way of Christ has been excluded from the start, in pursuit of freedom from God. But freedom from the Righteous One will never mean righteousness, nor true freedom. A society that rejects the God who is the divine standard of justice cannot be expected to arrive at justice in its social dimensions.

The solution to our situation is neither revolution nor authoritarianism. It is conversion. The price of a just and peacefully society is repentance. Repentance of what? Many things. But, in the first place, of our secularism. If we will not have Christ, it is control or chaos. If we do not want chaos or control, we must turn to Christ.