Do the English Riots indicate a sociological breakdown?

I’ve been very quiet on the Blogging front since the summer recess from University began. And I’ve found immense pleasure in taking a break. But I did say that I would comment on things if I felt the need, and today is one such time. I’ve been watching the goings on in London and various other cities in the UK. I’ve been pondering the happenings in my heart. And now, I feel it is my time to blog about the situation. If it’s one thing the UK currently has to ask itself, it is the question to which I title my blog post for today. Moreover, why is a sociological breakdown happening before our very eyes? (if we answer yes to the former question).

The thing is that in my opinion, we have been hurtling down the wide road to sociological destruction for a very long time. Two girls who were rioting didn’t have a clue why they were doing it, but it was to ‘show  the Government and ‘rich people’ that they can do whatever they like’, apparently.

And this is the teaching that kids of the late 20th and the start of the 21st century have been taught. ‘Do what you want! Who has the right to stop you?‘. Of course, this takes away all sorts of moral boundaries and healthy ethical fences. And a direct result is the pandamonium that has happened over the last few days.

But the main problem, in my humble opinion, is that the nation has forgotten the God who loves the UK, who wants to redeem the UK. They have forgotten and deliberately go against and rebel against any form of moral code, especially the ones that have been installed in this country as part of our Christian heritage, and in turn, our social and ethical fabric. Instead, the god of the UK matches the following description precicely…

2 Timothy 3

1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

The scoundrels who are going around terrorising people and stealling and living in filth fit the passage of 2 Timothy 3. They have deprived minds, they have no self control, they are disobedient wretches against their parents and the law. They are proud and abusive. They are the devils work, visible on the streets of our very country.

There will never be total peace in the world. The world loves sin too much. But it is not too late for a country to be redeemed. That is clearly shown in the vast amount of good that people are doing in protecting their cities, cleaning up after the rioters and doing an amazing job at looking after each other. I really do applaud the brave efforts of such people, many of whom have little or no faith in God whatsoever. However, this is the theology of common grace in action. That God places his blessing and mercy on Christians, and non Christians who seek to do good and strive for justice to be done in the earth. But there is more than common grace to be had…

It is my feeling, as instructed by the Almighty Himself that in order for a nation to be right, it must follow Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. This is the way that a nation is redeemed. I’m not talking about Theocracy. I’m talking about people coming to know God for themselves. I’m talking about a reestablishment of Christian values and morality.

Until that time, I can only predict that further sociological breakdown, more intense rioting and bad, beastly behaviour by two-brain-celled ASBO wearing chavs will ensue.

So, immediately, I do believe that the English Riots indicate sociological breakdown. But gold has to go through fire before it is refined. Could this be the birth of a revolution in sociological and ethical thinking that will lead the UK back to it’s Christian roots?

Isaiah 57

1 The righteous perish,
and no one takes it to heart;
the devout are taken away,
and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
to be spared from evil.
2 Those who walk uprightly
enter into peace;
they find rest as they lie in death.

3 “But you—come here, you children of a sorceress,
you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes!
4 Who are you mocking?
At whom do you sneer
and stick out your tongue?
Are you not a brood of rebels,
the offspring of liars?
5 You burn with lust among the oaks
and under every spreading tree;
you sacrifice your children in the ravines
and under the overhanging crags.
6 The idols among the smooth stones of the ravines are your portion;
indeed, they are your lot.
Yes, to them you have poured out drink offerings
and offered grain offerings.
In view of all this, should I relent?
7 You have made your bed on a high and lofty hill;
there you went up to offer your sacrifices.
8 Behind your doors and your doorposts
you have put your pagan symbols.
Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed,
you climbed into it and opened it wide;
you made a pact with those whose beds you love,
and you looked with lust on their naked bodies.
9 You went to Molek with olive oil
and increased your perfumes.
You sent your ambassadors far away;
you descended to the very realm of the dead!
10 You wearied yourself by such going about,
but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless.’
You found renewal of your strength,
and so you did not faint.

11 “Whom have you so dreaded and feared
that you have not been true to me,
and have neither remembered me
nor taken this to heart?
Is it not because I have long been silent
that you do not fear me?
12 I will expose your righteousness and your works,
and they will not benefit you.
13 When you cry out for help,
let your collection of idols save you!
The wind will carry all of them off,
a mere breath will blow them away.
But whoever takes refuge in me
will inherit the land
and possess my holy mountain.”

 14 And it will be said:

“Build up, build up, prepare the road!
Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.”
15 For this is what the high and exalted One says—
he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place,
but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite.
16 I will not accuse them forever,
nor will I always be angry,
for then they would faint away because of me—
the very people I have created.
17 I was enraged by their sinful greed;
I punished them, and hid my face in anger,
yet they kept on in their willful ways.
18 I have seen their ways, but I will heal them;
I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners,
19 creating praise on their lips.
Peace, peace, to those far and near,”
says the LORD. “And I will heal them.”
20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea,
which cannot rest,
whose waves cast up mire and mud.
21 “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

Dean Roberts

Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre. Read More @

  • Rachel Maynard

    I’m so glad to find the blog of another Welsh person. I feel like we’re few and far between!

    I agree with what you say about the riots, but I can’t help but feel compassion for some of those youths. Who is showing those young people the love of Christ and giving them something else to live for beyond pointless violence. They really need our prayers.
    Great post 🙂

    Rach @

  • I don’t think the Riots indicate a sociological breakdown per se. That was indicated years ago when young people were found murdered in the streets by gang cross fire or as victims of knife crime. Our society has been broken for a long time – I realised that when I was a teenager which meant the rot had crept in long before – and people are either blind to it, prefer to ignore it or just don’t know what to do with it.

    I don’t think the riots have shown half of what is wrong with society but they definitely demonstrate a worrying lack of self control and awareness. Ironically, I feel this might have been brought on by a lack of independence and critical thinking whether taught in schools or elsewhere. Far too many of those caught and charged were those whose emotions got caught up in the excitement of the mob; others speak of unfair treatment at the hands of the police. Instead of going against the tide, they swam with it. Perhaps they simply haven’t been equipped with the tools to deal with society and the injustices of the real world; perhaps they’ve been spoon fed shallow and materialistic dreams.

    I get the feeling this might all too easily pass away – the right people will go to prison and get released and get smarter next time and the rest of us will go to our beds thinking everything is fine now. I think the real problems run too deep for those in power to deal with. Not to sound too Isaiah-esque (I can’t help it – I’ve been reading up on the prophets of late!) but this is one of those times before our judgement, that time when the balance is restored. We certainly live in interesting times, but then, who doesn’t?

  • Gribble the Munchkin

    Although i disagree with you about god and him being needed, i do feel we’ve failed the looters. We’ve let society become broken through our own inaction, inattention and apathy, not to mention our own greed and flawed priorities.

    We’ve been invading other nations that have done nothing to harm us, while at the same time education has floundered. We’ve ignored the sink estates, safely out of sight and mind. We’ve lost a generation of poor kids and given them ignorant, crude man-children as role models. We’ve welcomed Russian billionaires of dubious character with open arms, paid sportsmen tens of millions and at the same time put the squeeze on our scientists, social workers and health system.

    As a society we need to start levelling the playing field. We need to tax more heavily the ultra rich and provide better starts for those from deprived backgrounds. The very rich benefit greatly from our society and they need to realise that there is an obligation upon them to give back in return for the privilege they enjoy.

    Its not the sole cause but it would be a start.

    It would be nice to find some way to focus our society into producing people we need too, tradesmen, creators, programmers, scientists. Rather than making every kids ambition to be a singer or footballer. Or even worse, footballers wife.