I remember very well listening to a sermon by the late Eric J. Alexander from the Book of Revelation (allow me to encourage you to listen to the series) in which he quoted some words of Lord Reith, the first Director General of the BBC.
Lord Reith had just entered the boardroom of the BBC and found a number of the younger men in animated discussion. The DG asked them what they were so passionately discussing. They answered, ‘We are writing the obituary of the Christian church.’
It was the early 1920s. Secularism, idealist philosophy, liberal theology, and a largely spiritually-anaemic church seemed to sound the death knell of Christianity in the UK. Lord Reith’s response was memorable: ‘Gentlemen, the church of Jesus Christ will stand at the grave of the BBC.’
I can still remember the riveting effect of the words in my mind and heart. We live today in dark and foreboding times. I am not thinking primarily, or even at all, about the recent pandemic, the war in Europe, and the economic strains at home. The darkness that I am thinking about is darker and more destructive and demoralising than any of these.
Gentlemen, the church of Jesus Christ will stand at the grave of the BBC.