Scandal has hit the game of soccer in the United Kingdom this last week with revelations of professional youth coaches sexually assaulting boys and young men. Scandal too surrounds the Russian athletics teams with allegations of systematic doping to boost performance.
In recent weeks and months, international sport has been hit by scandal – world soccer and world athletics organisations.
Corruption is rife, and it follows along with big money and the super status of winning the top prize.
Human beings are susceptible to wrong doing, cheating on their fellows to gain some sort of advantage or perverse pleasure.
Time and again the Christian contention that human beings are fundamentally sinners in need of a Saviour is shown to be correct.
All the laws and regulations, all the positive thinking and all the money invested in solving various forms of problem are shown to be inadequate in the face of the simple sinfulness – the fundamental selfishness – of human beings.
The humanist says we can change ourselves, and that all human beings are fundamentally good. This is the thinking behind the so-called politically correct thinking that reigns in the western world today.
The Christian asserts the opposite, however. Human beings are not fundamentally good. Yes they are made in the image of God and are capable of great good. But they are fundamentally flawed by the stain of sin.
My several decades of experience of this life tell me this is true.
What my several decades of experience have also shown me is that Christ alone can set a sinner free from sin.
Only the shed blood of the sacrificial Lamb on the altar of the cross can find forgiveness for us before the terrible Holy Awe of the Almighty Creator.
Only the power of the risen Saviour in the heart of the believer by the presence of the Holy Spirit can actually bring forgiveness and provide the power that overcomes sin.
But to find that forgiveness and to know that power requires a realisation that each of us are sinners before a holy God and that only God can make it right.
That is on the individual level.
For whole societies there is a grace of God available to protect and deliver them. But it is only available to those who run their societies according to the Maker’s Instructions.
For the past half century, western societies have been busy casting out Christian teaching, Christian perspectives and Christian truth.
The upshot is a world increasingly obsessed with Self, Sin, Money, Pleasure and Power. The strong exploit the weak for whom there is no relief. The Rights of the oppressor are held up in the face of the non existent rights of the abused, the victim.
The scandals we see today do not result from a past steeped in Christian values. These scandals result from the post Christian world where we have taught our children that all that matters is what they want, that they have Rights, and that the material here and now alone matters.
There is no longer a God who cares; there is no longer a God who watches over our lives to bless those who do good, and to punish those who do wrong; we are our own god, and what we decide we want is right.
Well scandal and corruption have abounded in this climate, and we can only expect more of the same.
As a society, we have chosen to reject God; do not be surprised when he then rejects us …
But for those individuals who do see the error of their ways, who do realise what has gone wrong, there is indeed hope if they will turn to God and accept his verdict on them.
Sinners for whom there is no hope, but in Jesus Christ.