Rise in crime due to lack of Christian duty

Leonard Lang

To the Editor: 


Regarding the rise of crime rates in Weston County, as reported in the Jan. 18 issue of your newspaper.


A society’s crime rates are a somber measurement of the presence or absence of good morality among its constituents. And the only effective source of morality in any society are its religious institutions. A rise in crime then is an indicator that the churches are failing to: No. 1, uphold and maintain God-ordained standards of morality for their own members; and No. 2, are failing to evangelize the lost and unconverted as Christ commissioned them to do. 


In regards to point No. 1, it is a sad reality that most churches continue to condone the drinking of alcohol, which deranges the mind, excites the baser passions, and at the same time it suppresses the constraints of a person’s moral conscience as to what is right and wrong. As a result, the use of alcohol both permits and stimulates a person to commit crimes of all kinds that he or she would never do if they were sober and in their right mind. 

Alcohol can accurately be described as liquid insanity. Yet most churches today still tolerate the use of alcohol by their members as if it were of no moral consequence, even though the Bible says, “Whether therefore ye eat or drink… do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31) Obviously, the consumption of alcohol does not glorify God in any way, but it actually opens wide the door to the temptations of satan. 


Ask most anyone involved in the courts or law enforcement and they will concede that if we took away the viciously destructive influence of alcohol and drugs out of people’s lives, crime rates would fall like a rock. Therefore, to lower crime rates, we absolutely must reduce the usage of alcohol, marijuana, and other mind-altering substances. And this will happen only when a community’s moral leaders — the churches — take an open and vigorous stand against alcohol as many of them once did. As long as alcohol is freely consumed, there is no hope of substantially diminishing a community’s rate of criminal activity. 


Concerning point No. 2, basic fact, crime rates are the highest among the secular and irreligious. And while Weston County has a significant segment of its population who are active members of a church, it also has a very large percentage of those who are totally unchurched. High crime rates are evidence that the churches are failing to evangelize these people and bring them under the saving and sanctifying influence of the Bible and the God of the Bible. If surveyed, I believe a large number of the youth in Newcastle would be found to be woefully unaware of the Ten Commandments, which are God’s fundamental definition of morality. How can we expect moral behavior from people who are ignorant of what standard of morality is and what it requires of them? 


When I was a resident of Weston County, the church I fellowshipped with in Upton systematically canvassed most of the northern half of the county for five years with Christian literature offering everyone an opportunity to respond to the gospel invitation. It seems that if the churches are to do their Christian duty, they need to do something similar in order to personally contact the many there who are lost, unsaved, and engaging in destructive anti-social behavior with all of its terribly negative consequences for themselves, their families and the community as a whole. 


— For a better world, Leonard Lang


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