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House of Lords member at U.N. notes global problems, ‘genuine alterna

NEW YORK CITY (BP)–The answer to problems facing governments around the world is not communism, socialism or capitalism, but Jesus Christ, a member of Great Britain’s House of Lords told nearly 200 members of the United Nations community March 16.
“The old left has failed and the old right has failed,” said Lord Brian Griffiths as the featured speaker at a luncheon sponsored by the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board. “The left and right both say the path to the good society is the renewal of our political life, [that] if we change the architecture of our societies, people will behave basically in a good way.” But all have failed, Griffiths said.
“The genuine alternative is Jesus who said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life,’ and I believe there is something different that results from trying to follow him.”
Griffiths, an economist, educator, author and political strategist who served as domestic policy adviser to former Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher, clearly and boldly described what he believes makes up the Christian way, “the first of which is an encounter with the living God.”
“You may say, ‘How can a reasonably intelligent person, a banker and a member of the House of Lords say this?’ but it really is so. It’s a personal encounter, a transforming encounter. … It’s extraordinary, and I can tell you it actually happens. There are people here who know it’s true.”
Quoting Scripture as often and as easily as he did economists, philosophers and theologians, Griffiths asked, “How does the Christian faith impact society? I believe if you are a Christian you become a part of the church, the body of Christ, and you have an immediate responsibility to your brothers and sisters. Jesus said we are called to serve our neighbors and to love them.
“This experience changes your life, your thinking, your ambition and your worldview,” Griffiths said. “And, I’m convinced if we want the 21st century to be different, we have to accept one fundamental point: Changed architecture may be good but if we want to create the kind of society God intended, the renewal of our societies starts with renewal of people.”
He concluded by challenging those in attendance with the claims of Christ. “Every one of us must face up to the challenge which Jesus gave his disciples when he said, ‘Who do people say that I am? Who do you say that I am?’ I believe being prepared to answer that question openly and honestly could give politics in our countries a new dimension in the next millennium.”
Paige Patterson, SBC president and president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C., in attendance at the luncheon, praised Griffiths for “beginning where these folks were and moving to that which is most vital … a relationship with Christ. It was a splendid presentation to many who were doubtless hearing the gospel for the first time.”
Robert E. “Bob” Reccord, NAMB president, presented each person attending with a Bible in their own language and a copy of the book “Deliver Us From Evil: Restoring the Soul in a Disintegrating Culture” by Christian apologist Ravi Zacharius. Reccord also extended an invitation saying, “Today we pray that you would seriously consider a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.”
Phil Roberts, director of NAMB’s interfaith evangelism team which coordinates the United Nations ministry, said, “This was an unabashed, undiluted challenge to the world to consider the claims of Christ. We are most appreciative of Lord Griffiths’ bold presentation of the gospel.”

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  • Martin King