The law cannot change the world…

….but Jesus, Compassion and the church can!

If there is one thing I learned today, it is that the law won’t change the world – at least not the way it should be changed. We were invited to the guest program at the EO Family Day, featuring a number of politicians in debate on the topic of ‘the family’. With the elections coming up in November, everyone tried to convince the audience that the family was really important and that their party knew what to do about the increasing social and family-related problems in society. They talked a lot about labour participation of women, taxes, economic models… but the real questions lie way behind these issues. And as long as politicians think laws and regulations are the answer to child abuse, school dropouts, divorce rates, youth criminality, etcetera, there is a long way to go.
The debate was interesting because just last week there was quite a hassle about a mother leaving her kids (who were in sheer panic) behind to get herself locked up for at least a year in a Big-Brother type of reality tv-show. This case shows how difficult it is to fight moral decline with law – there is really not a lot you can do about it. And as it turned out, most political parties indeed did not know what else to do than just talk and make public statements. (Honestly I believe they did the best they could in this case, but still. The Labour socialists put much more of a moral appeal in their statements than ever before, and that made some impact.)

Later that evening, during the Hillsong concert, Compassion showed a video of (our former colleague) Steven in Bolivia, visiting his foster child. The little guy sat at his lap when Steven asked what he liked most in his life. ‘To go to church’. ‘Why?’ ‘Because I don’t get beaten there’. It was heartbreaking to see. At the same time there was a spark of hope: it does make a difference to know Jesus! Steven challenged the audience to be Jesus’ hands and feet to this world. And I’d say: don’t count on the law to change the world. It will simply not work.

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