Jerry Johnston Interviews Peter Hitchens on the Health of the Church in Britain
Churches are closing in Britain at an alarming rate and being turned into restaurants and dance halls. The few surviving churches seem to have lost any power to prevail against the overwhelming flood of unbelief. While in London, I filmed with Peter Hitchens. Peter is the brother of the late prominent atheist, Christopher Hitchens. Author of the Rage Against God and prominent contributor to The Daily Mail newspaper, Hitchens converted to Christianity from atheism. I asked Peter Hitchens about the state of the church in Britain. Why is it so impotent? He told me,
“Why is the church everywhere so impotent? The church is impotent because it’s standing against the power of what I call selfism, the belief that your fundamental duty is to yourself, that nobody should have any control over your own body or your own actions except yourself. Well, how can it stand when it’s lost any kind of real power to say that there is an eternity, that death is not the end, and that what we do here matters somewhere else. If what we do here doesn’t matter anywhere else, then why shouldn’t we all be selfists, why shouldn’t we all just be crude followers of what we believe John Stuart Milton said that if you don’t do any obvious harm to anybody, you can do what you like? It’s a very powerful argument, particularly since it suits us all so very well.”
Sadly, this “selfism” has infiltrated the church. Oftentimes, men and women in the pews suffer from lack of discipleship and their hard questions remain unanswered. The church must regain her stance on essential Christian doctrines before American churches too, are turned into restaurants and dance halls.