Peter Horrobin

Founder & International Director of Ellel Ministries

Today I looked into the eyes of a boy…

A little while ago I was deeply impacted by the experience of lost-ness that I saw in the eyes of a stranger – a young boy I passed in the street. I am still haunted by what I saw – this is what I wrote as a personal response to what I had seen:

Today I looked into the eyes of a boy and his ten-year old friend. They were playing in the street outside a shop. Their eyes were empty of love, nurture and a knowledge of God.

I thought of my own childhood where loving parents made sure that I grew up with a knowledge of God, His love and care for me and the eternal consequences of sin. And what is more, they introduced me to the Saviour.

Today is Sunday, a day when today’s generation of children are growing up without any understanding of having one day a week set apart for God.

I thought of how Sunday had been such a special day – a day when there was time to learn about God.  Church and Sunday School were at the heart of life and I knew that the centrality of Sunday worship held the key to life seven days a week.

Yesterday I read in the Daily Telegraph that today’s generation of mothers consider children to be an interruption to their social life.

I thought of how my own Mum and Dad joyfully anticipated and welcomed me into their world. Their children were the heart of their life – not an interruption. I knew I was loved, wanted and precious.

Earlier in the week I read of how the latest contraceptive advances, with no possible side-effects, will simply make the lining of the egg unwelcoming to an advancing sperm, preventing fertilisation, and making perfect birth control a soon-to-be experienced reality.

I realised that the hidden motive behind advances in “family planning” have never been aimed at creating a better family, but only at liberating society from any commitment to sexual faithfulness in marriage.

That night I scanned the TV programmes and saw that anyone could watch the most intimate details of sexual expression, pornographically displayed for informational entertainment.

I realised that with 70% of our children having their own TVs in their bedrooms, and there being no longer any holiness about intimacy, that we have a generation of children growing up without boundaries or restraint. What they see – they will do.

On the other channel was ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Voodoo’, chronicling the adventures of discovering religion by a member of a well-known pop-group.

I remembered that I was brought up in a world where every school in the land began their day with an act of Christian worship and that whether or not one practised the faith, it was implicitly understood that Christianity represented the truth about God. In today’s multi-faith jungle there are no longer any absolutes, an act of Christian worship has virtually disappeared, a Christian nurse would be breaking the law if she prayed with a dying patient and no TV channel would dare give an hour of precious TV time to ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Becoming a Christian’!

Then I watched the advertisements for the new generation of children’s toys. The overt message behind the adverts was that the toy can now become your friend, your mother and your father! I saw, too, that the latest exciting computer toy for kids comes with its own built in daily horoscope.

I realised that the toy makers are trading on the lack of human parenting, by creating toys that will fill the love-shaped hole in every child’s heart. A cuddly doll was sharing a pillow with a child and singing her to sleep with a lullaby. The child-sized toy pony would be your ‘friend for life’ and the horoscope message on the computer has completed the transition from awareness of God to worshipping a new age, occult spirit.

I turned on the news and heard of a man who was killed by stones while playing cricket with his son in the park. His murderers were children aged twelve to fourteen. And another young teenager lies dead in a city centre with a bullet through his head.

I remembered the discipline of my childhood at school and at home — and thanked God for it.  Discipline is no longer a feature of our wayward society and society is paying the price for its own rejection of what constitutes Godly order.

I opened the newspaper again and learned of a famous pop singer who was arrested for the drugs she was carrying on her way into the country in which she was performing. And another one has had her children removed from her care by the authorities because of her unsuitability as a parent.

I realised that in the name of entertainment the enemy has won the hearts and minds of a teenage generation who worship their “pop-idols” and then do what their idols do. No wonder over half our teenagers have tried drugs at school and many are hopelessly addicted to the thrill of the next fix.

I read that over half our children are now being raised in one-parent families, the majority being raised by Mothers with little or no in-put from a Father.

I grieved over a generation of fatherless children who will never have the encouragement of a Dad’s ‘Well Done’, will never experience the love and discipline which provides the security to grow, make mistakes and grow again or be able to look up to the Father role model that all children, boys and girls, need to have as a solid reality in their lives.

I went to my room and wept for a generation of lost children who will never know the innocence of growing up, the thrill of doing things with Mum and Dad or the joy of discovering the Jesus, without whom I could not have survived what was to come.

They are children of the children who were born in the moral revolution (rebellion) of the wayward sixties and seventies. Real love, morality and discipline have largely disappeared and in its place we have false love (sex), many comfort substitutes, amorality and rebellion. The sins of the fathers, like chickens, are coming home to roost. The wind has been sown, the whirlwind is to come.

Over a hundred years ago William Arthur wrote of the then British Empire that “The morality of England affects the world”. The worldwide influence of Britain meant that this statement was a fact of nineteenth and early twentieth century life. As a result God used the spread of Empire as a unique vehicle for spreading the Gospel from a Kingdom whose morality and law was solidly built on scriptural foundations.

Today our nation (and the world) is very different. Neither Godly morality nor the laws of God are any longer at the root of our society. We have sold our birthright – and we are now wallowing in “the mess of potage”. The enemy is delighting to use whatever channels of influence we still have to export the mess.

As I turned my tears into prayer, I was haunted by the face of the boy with whom this meditation had started. I felt the heart of Isaiah when he became aware of the filth of the society of his day – living among a people of unclean lips. Today we live in a society which is corrupted by uncleanness – from top to bottom. God did not wash his hands of the society Isaiah came from, but he did ask Isaiah a question, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8)

I am praying that the look in the face of a child will freshly envision each of us to both a renewed commitment to being a true disciple of Jesus and a renewed willingness to be one of God’s special agents, carrying the message of our Saviour to a lost generation.

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