Absent Fathers

24 04 2010

What has happened to that once great nation, Britain? On a long flight home to Australia, I had opportunity to watch 2 movies:

(1) Into the Storm, starring Brendan Gleeson, as British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. The film highlighted Churchill’s bold, tough, lonely leadership, and his genuine desire to serve his nation, against Hitler’s madness, even at the cost of precious life—for the benefit of the world. For his nation, Churchill exercise fatherly leadership. Strength was not absent.

(2) Harry Brown, starring Michael Caine as a self-appointed vigilante, Harry Brown, a former Marine! The film was in itself, social commentary upon the moral bankruptcy, corruption, lawlessness, and cowardice of British street gangs. And it highlighted the need today, for the exercise of strong leadership, for the rediscovery of moral courage, on a national-scale. The need for vigilante movements, is a bad sign for any community; it arises from inadequate leadership.

The two movies seemed to sit in stark juxtaposition. Stark.

(1) Comment regarding Into the Storm: Fearing many casualties, Winston Churchill during WW2, on June 4th, 1940 said publicly:

“… I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.”

(2) Regarding Harry Brown, the actor Michael Caine, reflected on the story saying that he learned from the film of a wasted generation in the 2000’s in Britain. Considering the social scene in Britain, today, (some 60 years since Churchill’s great speeches and leadership), Caine said:

the “irresponsibility” of absent fathers, was “the start of all of this”. “Sadly the state cannot provide fathers,” he concluded.

Sometimes things come to us, and leave us with an impression, which is difficult to fully articulate. Yes, Britain and all other nations need quality leadership. Lawlessness is always a disgraceful situation. However, mere heroics in not the answer, or way forward. What is most needed is genuine hope—and the desire to make a significant contribution. This together with fear of ultimate judgment, needs to be recovered in Britain, and other nations.

THE NEW LEADER: neither stubborn, not mere invader of personality!
In Jesus Christ, the Early Church saw that the world had a new ascended leader—for eternity. That is why they so often quoted Psalm 2, and Psalm 110. I think the Risen Jesus pointed them to these two Psalms, prior to his ascension, and prior to Pentecost, for they are both quoted over 20 times in the New Testament.
Psalm 110:1 The LORD says to my lord, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.”

Psalm 2:1 asks, Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain?

Psalm 2 continues on: 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and his anointed, saying, 3 “Let us burst their bonds asunder, and cast their cords from us.” 4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the LORD has them in derision. 5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, 6 “I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.”

7 ¶ I will tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have begotten you.8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” 10 ¶ Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, with trembling 12 kiss his feet, or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way; for his wrath is quickly kindled. Happy are all who take refuge in him.

Britain once based their approach to society, upon Christ’s active, present-leadership. Let us come under this gracious Lordship of Jesus, of the truth, and begin to expect greater things from our society and community. Pray that ‘absent fathers’ will come to know The Father, through his son. Pray that schemers and users, will come to behave as true sons, trusting the Father, for the whole future. Pray that many will respond to the gospel!! And so find true courage, in this man, patience, graciousness, and perfect timing in ordering the world.



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