It always bothers me to see thugs on tv threaten a business owner if he or she does not give them money. Even before I had my own business it was disturbing to know that some promise to harm an owner and family members if "protection money" is not paid. A brave friend in seminary ran a guy out of his store after the intruder threatened him if he did not give money to him. Why does that happen in some communities and not in others? As far as I know, this has never happened in this area and I am grateful.
"There is no fear of God in this place." one Biblical person asserted. Where there is an awe of God and therefore respect for his laws, these criminal acts do not exist. When we lived in New York City, I walked my dog though many types of neighborhoods. I noticed that the Jewish areas were always safe, clean, and full of respectful folks who never threatened each other or anyone else. I did have a 130 pound Great Pyrenees with me, but I am convinced that love for the Old Testament kept them from a multitude of sins against themselves and others.
Jesus taught that we should treat others as we want to be treated. Even without supernatural conversions, society is much safer and more productive when we respect the laws of God. But as a minister of the gospel, it is my duty (and that of all Christians) to encourage everyone to have the law of God written in their hearts. In other words, God calls each of us to be born again, or converted to follow Jesus Christ as boss.
In 1949, the Isle of Lewis in Scotland had many God fearing folks, but they were almost all older people, for very few of the young adults or teens were converted. They were for the most part respectful of their elders, yet the Christianity of their parents seemed alien to them. They were drifting into lifestyles that would wink at, and finally embrace crime. After several became broken over the waywardness of the youth, they began to pray for revival. Largely through the prayers of two Smith sisters in their 80s, God sent the Rev. Duncan Campbell who spearheaded the revival that swept thousands into the kingdom of God.
It is easy to find many who criticize youth for their destructive behavior. But where are the Christians to "stand in the gap?" Where are the Christians starting prayer meetings to pray for deeper and deeper layers of repentance? Where are the Christians to pray as the Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne prayed, "Lord, make me as holy as a saved sinner can be?"