I’m in London this month, and this past week the newspapers reported the results of a new “commission” that has decided in the tiny slot of religious programming it produces, the legendary British broadcaster BBC airs too much Christian content and should produce more shows for Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. I completely understand that since the BBC is a government broadcast entity, as demographics change, it should reflect those changes in it’s programming. At the same time, I admit feeling great sadness as Christian influence continues to move to the margins of British culture.
This follows a ‘Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life’, whose results were published in December 2015, offering the same conclusions in other areas of British culture. The Daily Mail reported that this particular “study” was paid for by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, which until recently funded the militant Islamic rights group CAGE and the Open Society Foundations, backed by the ultra-liberal billionaire George Soros. So there’s plenty of reasons to believe it’s not the most “balanced” look at the situation.
As a result, Christianity continues it’s decline. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, said he was concerned about the changes: “There is a real feeling by Christians of being let down by the establishment. Christianity is fighting for its life in Western countries.”
Perhaps the thing that concerns me the most is that the very values that built Western Civilization were to such a great extent based on the Bible. Beyond the rather pointless debate on whether or not Britain or the United States were founded as “Christian countries,” there’s no question that the values our laws, politics, education, and more were built on were the Judeo-Christian principles found in the Bible.
So it’s interesting and rather ironic that countries where those Biblical principles have been valued are the very countries so many others want to move to – but once they arrive, they want to change those principles to align with the cultures they’re trying to escape.
Add to that the British voices in media, government, and business trying to silence Christians, and it’s a very tough time for Christian faith in the public square. Frustrated at Britain’s acquiescence to confront these challenges, author of the book Rage Against God, Peter Hitchens put it this way: “Why do we so lack the confidence to do this, and readily abandon a heritage of such power and beauty, which has brought us so much good, for a multicultural wasteland in which a dozen competing faiths squabble in the ruins, and everyone else bows to the neon gods of consumerism?”
The BBC can do whatever it wants, but what Christianity needs are more articulate voices speaking the truth in these changing cultures. Voices who don’t just speak from the Bible, but also speak from history, culture, media, and current events. Voices who have access to secular media platforms, or who have such a large following, they have influence in the greater culture.
And I would encourage Christian broadcasters throughout the United Kingdom to see these challenges and think more strategically on how to answer the questions being raised in today’s culture of unbelief.
This may be our last stand. Let’s not squander the opportunity to make a difference.