This is written by my friend, fellow apologist and guest blogger, Kevin Moss. He writes from where he calls “across the pond,” in Wales, in the UK.
Last Saturday, my wife (Mags) was singing in a Christian choir, which annually organizes a large Christmas Concert in the St. David’s Hall in Cardiff. People come from all over Wales to it, and there’s a massed choir of hundred’s – and a children’s choir. Sixty happy, bubbly, energetic kids sing a repertoire of upbeat, Christmassy pieces.
It’s all great fun. The audience is several thousand strong and we ooh and aah over those sweet kids.
Except the whole thing is now entirely subverted by regulation. Because of the horrific abuse of children in the UK, over many decades, there’s now a vast rulebook of procedures to be followed by anyone working with them. This means that the adult choir members, many of whom know the children well from their own churches, are not allowed any contact with them. In the UK, anyone who ‘works’ with children has to have a ‘Criminal Records Bureau’ (CRB) check: if you don’t get vetted, then – tough – you can’t have contact with the children.
Mags was heartbroken. When children she knows wanted to run to her for a hug, the adult supervisors had to pull them back. Adults without CRB checks could not even walk through a room where the children were grouped together. When a child was upset, or tired, or fell over and hurt themselves, if no CRB-vetted adult was available, then they had to be left to their own devices.
All of which is deeply disconcerting, but what’s the relevance here? Well, clearly, there is a background of abuse to be dealt with—human nature hasn’t noticeably improved since the time of the Canaanites. And then there’s the way we respond to it. The secular response to child abuse seems to see ‘compliance’ as the answer. The idea that people might be able to love kids in a positive, constructive way, isn’t factored into the bureaucracy which is designed to engineer out the possibility of abuse. But the same bureaucracy also has the effect of subverting the very possibility of something better. I’m not sure there are useful parallels to be drawn with God’s actions in relation to the Canaanites, but I do think that the apparent harshness of the secularist’s response to a phenomenon does effectively remove the grounds for their objection to God’s solution in this instance.
And I do think that, what we’d like to view as ‘progress’ (in a humanistic sense) is nothing of the sort.