Tuesday this week saw Ephraim Mirvis, Britain’s Chief Rabbi,...
Why are we so ignorant of the past?
This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and will scoff and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ People will answer, 'Because they have forsaken the LORD their God, who brought their fathers out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them--that is why the LORD brought all this disaster on them.'" (1 Kings 9:8-9)
God identifies with his people through historical acts and here He is reminding Solomon of the major act in the history of mankind before the advent of Jesus. The Exodus, the escape from Egyptian captivity.
It’s all about remembering. The Old Testament is full of events and history and these were key events that had to be remembered, even now.
But … not so our current generation. Our society is one that is tearing up its roots left right and centre and has an inability or unwillingness to learn from history, but will rather live for the moment.
"Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."
This is actually a quote from Paul in 1 Corinthians 15, an ironic tirade against the society of that day. But it’s still with us – just live for the moment – with no thought of yesterday or tomorrow.d57
In the summer of 2015 Jeremy Corbyn was the odds-on favourite to be the next Labour leader, with an audience rating of 84.3% after a TV debate with other Labour candidates. He was duly elected with a huge majority. To a friendly Martian, observing us from his spaceship, this all seems quite sensible. Here’s a man who looks good on TV, is saying the right things, and people responded with their votes.
But now we rewind, to just a few weeks earlier. The Tories and the Greens were so overjoyed that Corbyn had entered the nomination process for leader of the Labour party that quite a few non-Labour activists and even MPs bizarrely managed to join the Labour Party and voted for him as leader!
Why were they overjoyed? For this we again rewind, a few weeks earlier still. Everyone knew at that time that Jeremy Corbyn as leader of Labour would guarantee that the Labour Party would be unelectable. Why would that be? Because here was one of the most hard-left MPs around. He had defied his own party over 500 times. He’s a patron of the Palestine Solidarity campaign, urging a boycott of Israeli goods and a chairman of the Stop the War coalition, funded by some very questionable sources. He freely met with IRA and Palestinian terrorists and members of the Iranian militia and considers Hamas his friends. He is no friend of Israel or the Church, mixing freely with known anti-Semites. He was a throwback to the days of Michael Foot, another Labour leader who was demonstrably unelectable.
We have been manipulated, coached, seduced by very clever people, (we call them ‘spin doctors’), who know how to press the right buttons to affect public opinion. They can do this because these people know the big secret … these days we mostly have the attention span of a goldfish. We respond to whatever we have been fed in the media. Because we have lost our sense of history, even the get-up-and-go to check out things for ourselves. The French historian Bloch said “misunderstanding of the present is the inevitable consequence of ignorance of the past”. The past just seems to be another country for most of us, like one of those exotic holiday destinations that’s always just beyond our grasp.
Next week we read of the consequences of such thinking …
This is an extract from the book, Hebraic Church, available for £10 at http://www.sppublishing.com/hebraic-church-101-p.asp