Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this. – the words of Solomon from Ecclesiastes 7:10
When I was young many waterways were horribly polluted. I once stood on a footbridge in Toronto and watched the Don River flowing blood red beneath my feet.
When I was young we hardly ever saw First Nations people. They could not leave their reserves without permission from the Indian Agent.
When I was young there were deadly epidemics of diphtheria, tuberculosis and polio.
When I was young, babies were being born with missing limbs because of a drug their mothers had taken.
When I was young, the children of unwed mothers were committed to mental hospitals for life (during the Duplessis era in Québec).
Today the Don River, and most other rivers, runs clear and clean. Today there are no Indian Agents. Today those diseases I mentioned have been virtually eradicated. Today drug testing is more stringent, though not yet perfect. Today no one can be kept in a mental hospital against his will, unless he has committed a crime. In many ways we are living in better times today.
As Christians, we bemoan the fact that so many people whose parents and grandparents were faithful church attenders have given up on church. We wonder what is wrong with them. Do we ever stop to ask if their parents and grandparents read the Bible and prayed? Yes, most homes had a Bible in grandpa’s day, but usually it sat on a shelf and gathered dust. Do we ask if there was any real evidence of a living faith in their parents and grandparents?
What is the remedy for a faded, worn-out, dysfunctional Christianity? Isn’t it to open our entire being to the Word of God and the Spirit of God? To love God with all our heart, soul and mind? To live in that love, to walk it and talk it? Not in a boastful or argumentative way, but in thankfulness and praise.
Wouldn’t that be a contagious faith? There is nothing hindering us from living such a faith today, except our doubt and timidity.