Agree wholehartedly with this comment from Mike Judge at the Christian Institute.
Obviously the breakdown of the family has played a big part. But how should we deal now with people who are already what Lord Baden-Powell called "poor-spirited wasters"? Well, Baden-Powell's solution in the army was simply to give them hard physical work. And lots of it. Wish it would happen. People are just crying out for strong leadership, iron discipline, and clear boundaries.
This is a part of reaching people with the gospel. If you hate all forms of authority, you're going to have a bit of a problem with God. It's a question of remedial help for people whose consciences have already been hardened, people who are just "takers" and give nothing back. As a church we can help individuals one at a time who we encounter but it is reeeeally hard.
It is my hope that the authorities will be tough in dealing with this mess, and that the policy-makers would start to value the family more. It is not a quick fix. It has taken several generations of family disintegration to produce social conditions such as these, so any good input now will take several generations to show itself in family structures. I wonder if any policy-makers have the patience for long-term investment when our democratic system kicks them out after 4 years if they haven't produced good results.
"My son, if sinners entice you,
do not give in to them.
If they say, "come along with us;
let's lie in wait for someone's blood,
let's swallow some harmless soul;
let's swallow them like the grave,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
we will get all sorts of valuable things
and fill our houses with plunder;
throw in your lot with us,
and we will share a common purse" -
my son, do not go along with them,
do not set foot on their paths;
for their feet rush in to sin,
they are swift to shed blood.
How useless to spread a net
in full view of all the birds!
These men lie in wait for their own blood;
they waylay only themselves.
Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain.
It takes away the lives of those who get it."
Proverbs 1v 10-19.