The modern American city is not a wholesome place. But it is a fascinating place. Its glare and noise, its confusions and intensities, its crowds, its gayeties, its opulence, entrance and captivate our fancy and challenge our ambition. The world, the flesh, and the devil are working overtime to subjugate completely these strongholds of our nation's life. They are succeeding far too well.
The multitudes are crowding into our cities. The churches, weakened and moribund, are being crowded out of our cities. Christ is being defied and denied, and we go on our way, unheeding. Even the moral law is set at nought. The thunders of Sinai are not often heard in New York and Chicago. The Ten Commandments have as little binding force as they had in corrupt Corinth. The people of our cities are too often not only irreligious, but shallow, hard, and loose-living.
Greater, however, and far more terrible than the sin of the irreligious worldly man is the sin of the easy-going churchman, dweller in city or suburb, who cares little and does less for the redemption of the people from their iniquity. White and silent and beautiful, Jerusalem lay bathed in the sunlight of the early morning, a slumberous Oriental city. But not stone or mortar, gardens or palaces, drew tears from the eyes of the Master. Seeing Jerusalem, He saw beyond and beneath it. He saw another city sacked and despoiled and plundered, the city of the soul. Looking across to the Temple heights He saw other temples falling into ruins, the temples of human life and character. This is the vision that we need today! Who weeps with Christ over the cities of today? In what shall the cities hope if the churches fail to truly represent Christ? —The Watchman-Examiner.
Among the diabolical teachings which have flung many into the abyss of moral degeneracy, is Freudian psychology or psychoanalysis. According to Dr. Freud, self-restraint is dangerous. One must not repress his base passions else he stands in danger of becoming seriously inflicted with a neurosis that borders on insanity. Humanity is taught to follow the inclination that affords most pleasure, and to suppress conscience and inhibitions. Undermining dissipation and immorality in every form and degree are perfectly legitimate according to the teaching. Dr. Freud also intimates that adjustment could be made for most of the ills and abnormalities of mankind if self-restraint is cast aside and the baser instincts given full reign.—Gospel Herald
Warden Lewis E. Lawes of Sing Sing Prison told the seventieth annual convention of the National Educational Association that "criminals springing from our schools and colleges are more bra zen, more vicious and more desperate than ever before in the history of any civilized community."
Men of the world are finding out what the church has always held to be fundamental in life, that education is good in its place but nothing but through the regenerating power of Jesus Christ can furnish the foundation of Christian character. —Wesleyan Methodist.
I have long been convinced that the "catch, convict, confine" process is not enough; that there is a missing link somewhere in our program. That link is crime prevention. . . . Obviously the most effective type of prevention is that which heads off the development of criminal careers by the prevention of juvenile demoralization.
One obvious reason why the present situation is especially critical is the changed position of the church in community life.
A hundred years ago—even fifty years ago — most children attended Sunday school regularly—although perhaps under protest! — and were there taught principles of moral and spiritual conduct which were more or less common to all denominations or sects.
Their elders—perhaps because of the absence of golf courses, automobiles and commercialized forms of amusement — attended church services, at least on Sunday, and many of them regularly on prayer-meeting and other nights. Nowadays many children never see the inside of a Sunday-school room. Many of their parents never attend the church or participate in its work in any manner. To a large extent, therefore, the church has lost the influential place it once held as an instrument of crime prevention.
What we must do, however, if we wish to prevent delinquency, and thus prevent crime, is to go out and find the probable —even the possible—delinquent child before he becomes delinquent, and do whatever is necessary to keep him from getting that way.
This is obviously a much larger order than the detection and prosecution of crime or the confinement and parole of criminals, because it must enlist the services of the home, the school, the church — the character-building organizations—and the court, the police, the entire community. —Homer S. Cummings, in Liberty.
Some time ago educators told government officials that if they would support compulsory education they would do away with war, ignorance and criminality. Since this request was granted, educators have enjoyed the golden age of privilege. But war is more universal, there is still terrible ignorance in many places on the globe, and according to J. Edgar Hoover, who knows more about American moral conditions than any other man, there are "in America three and a half times more criminals than students in our universities and colleges." Christ is the answer to our great need—not education.—Gospel Herald.
When John Dillinger, most notorious criminal of the '30's, was a boy in his early teens, he was taken to court for some minor charge. He was released on probation and went back to his parents and started attending a Sunday school in his little village church. However, some of the parents in the school heard that a boy with a court record was attending, went to his teacher, and said, "If John Dillinger continues to be in your class, I shall have to withdraw my son." The teacher, not knowing what to do but anxious to keep the favor of the parents, told John what had happened. He never returned and less than a score of years later was known and killed as the most dangerous criminal in the country.—Sunday.
That was a sad declaration recently made by a judge who said, "Of ten million arrests in the United States, eighty- five per cent of them were under twenty years of age." What is to become of a nation producing criminals at this age?
The above statement is an indictment of the home life of our country. The old-fashioned God-honoring home is almost gone. Cocktail-drinking fathers, cigarette-smoking mothers, and movie-crazed children, and you have the environment of criminal youth.
The above is also an indictment of our public schools. Another observer in speaking of our grade and high schools says, "The criminals they contribute are more brazen, more vicious, and more desperate than any other."
How long will our people sit idly by and allow our youth to go to destruction? Who cares? Who will pray in dead earnest until the moral bath of a spiritual revival cleanses our land? —Courtesy Moody Monthly.
J. Edgar Hoover of the Federal Bureau of Investigation recently said:
"This country is in deadly peril. We can win the war and still lose freedom for all in America. A creeping rot of moral disintegration is eating into our nation. I am not easily shocked nor easily alarmed. But today, like thousands of others, I am most shocked and alarmed. The arrests of teen-age boys and girls are staggering, and some of the crimes youngsters commit are almost unspeakable."
"Crime among youth would be practically negligible if the young people attended Sunday school regularly during their formative years. Surely no one cognizant of the true crime situation in the United States can be blind to the importance of the activities of this institution in reducing materially the army of youthful offenders and delinquents."—Selected.
Do you remember what Clarence Darrow said when he was defending young Leopold, the brilliant student and dastardly murderer of the Franks boy? He said, "If this boy is to blame, where did he get it? Your Honor, it is hardly fair to hang a nineteen-year-old boy for the philosophy that was taught him at the university. It does not meet my ideas of justice and fairness to visit upon his head the philosophy that has been taught by university men for twenty-five years." —The King's Business.