Why Does the World Look Chaotic?
Seemingly, one cannot turn on the television, pick up a smart phone or log onto their computer without being inundated with news of chaos. Moreover, the chaos often seems to be breathing down your neck or creeping up in your own community. But why? Is society truly more chaotic and tempest tossed than ever before?
I would posit that despite perception things are not worse than they have ever been before. Contrary to prevailing opinions, things have been bad before, and they will be bad again. What makes things look so bad now is the over-abundance of media coverage. That, and out incessant need to know everything all the time.
A Place for Concern
I recently pointed to the French Revolution to warn my fellow Christians of a few things. One of them being that this isn’t the first time in history that a “populace” movement has resulted in massive societal upheaval. One fellow Christian questioned why I spend so much time talking about these things. In short, their concern was that I am not focused enough on God and His Word.
I think that Christian culture has moved in a particular direction by two different paths. At one time Western Christian culture was worried about all things societal. Intently worried. But why? I would argue that for a time Christians were engaged with western culture in a powerful way.
The Reformation and the development of Christian philosophers sparked a passion for intellect. This translated to awareness of culture in the laity of many churches. The days of blindly following an “all-knowing-all-seeing” fellow human as one’s authority were done. Christians learned to think for themselves. Furthermore, they learned to ask why, to so many of life’s questions. This translated to engagement with shifting cultural and societal standards.
Sadly, the modern Christian movement in the West was co-opted by the left over fifty years ago. The “Turn on, tune in and drop out” movement made famous by Timothy Leary, flooded Hippie Culture. Hippie Culture flooded the Jesus Movement from coast to coast. This led to a corruption of the Intellectual Church.
Instead of being wary of cultural changes and societal shifts and asking “Why?”, Christians began to say, “Okay!”.
Is There a Reason Why We Should Still be Concerned?
One of the great Christian philosophers of the modern era was Francis Schaeffer. His seminal work, “How Should We Then Live?” (1976), ripped prevailing culture, not just generalized society, but lackadaisical Christianity. Schaeffer appealed to the strength of reason in his book. It was a battle cry to the Church. Sadly, in all but a few corners that cry went unheeded. This work was preceded by another seminal work called “Escape from Reason” (1968).
Schaeffer was taking the carotid arterial pulse of Christian culture. Sadly, he saw what many others wouldn’t heed. The Church’s femoral artery was severed. The Church was bleeding out.
But time would tell if Schaeffer was right. He was! Today, we see it everywhere. The left has corrupted the visible church. Consequently, many so-called “sound Christians” are turning a blind eye to the invasion by the enemy. They espouse that all that matters is the need for fellow Christians to stop looking at changes in society. Anyone standing up and crying out a warning like a watchman on the wall is told to “just trust God”.
I am not decrying trust in God. As Christians our only hope and surety is God. However, He has given us reason and intellect and observational skills. We are made Imago Dei. This means, that like God, we can see and warn. Isn’t that part of the Gospel message? A clarion call of warning to errant sinners?
I would argue that part of the life of the Christian is to act as a prophet of sorts. Not a person that predicts future events as the prophets of the Old Testament did. Instead, people who cry out and warn of impending calamity brought on by massive societal upheaval. Upheaval that comes from the corruption of virtue by miscreants and malcontents.
Why the Church is Weak
There was a time when the Church was the vanguard of society. As with any conflict the strongest and best equipped troops led the way in battle. Thus, for many years, Western Society counted on the Church to fend off the barbarians of culture.
Instead of being told to spend all their time with their noses buried in religious texts and writings, Christians were compelled outward. Reformers like Luther and Calvin motivated their disciples toward practical action. Acting as generals in societal wars, men such as this despised the soldiers of corruption and compromise. The Church was pushed into places that it previously had not wanted to go. Religious men and women were no longer allowed to live in cloistered enclaves of comfort and relative ease.
Instead they were given marching orders. When asked why, they would be pointed to Holy Writ and were told, “Because our Lord commands it.” Luther may have come out of the cloistered life, but Calvin was a student of society. Both men, had studied law in their respective homelands and their minds were keen for the work of societal observation.
Despite the reputation that Calvin carries today, his commentaries and works were not massive tomes of out of reach theological treatises. Why do I say that? All one needs to do is read his “Institutes of the Christian Religion” to see he was compelling the laity to practical life application. The Institutes were written for the king of France. And it was in that work the Calvin displayed his aptitude for reading society, “The human heart is a factory of idols.” He was warning his king of the dangers of the human condition.
This is why the Church is weak today. The Calvins and Luthers of today are jeered and ridiculed.
So, why is my Heart Aching?
My heart aches today because the institution that has the answer to get society back on track is crumbling. Yes, I know the Gates of Hell will not prevail against Christ and His Bride. But lest we forget, we are warned that in the last days there will be great apostasy.
So many have tried to measure this through varied devices. Fundamentalists see Satan in every scheme to place the Mark on all people. Charismatics see the apostasy as a lack of vibrant embracing of miraculous sign gifts. Each camp has their own ideas on what it may be. However, I am not sure we can pinpoint what it is.
I will say this, the great falling away is upon us. The Church is full of cowards. I am not talking about obvious false converts. Wheat amongst tares. I am talking about true Christians with no backbone to speak of. Droves of Christian men and women are caving to the pressures of societal change and embracing counter Christian thought.
As the old saying goes, “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it…” The Church needs to be reminded of this. The French Revolution didn’t just turn on the royalty and the aristocrats. The mob turned on the Church. So, some of you may argue that was then. The Roman Catholic Church in France was corrupt. But ask yourself, if that was why priests were murdered. Was it the corruption of the church that the mobs despised or was it the order that the church brought with it?
Make no mistake, pressure to cave to the prevailing winds of societal change will blow with hurricane force until the American Mob eradicates the one stabilizing influence that stands in its way.
My Heart may Ache, but I will not Bow
I will not crumble like a dried and wilting flower in the face of opposition. As Luther so famously said, “I cannot recant. I will not recant. Here I stand! I can do no other.”
I will stand strong and firm and even if I go alone, I will go. Western Society needs the stabilizing force of a vibrant and vocal Church. Why? Because, by my estimation it is the Bride of Christ that offers the answers to a hopeless decline into chaos. The morass of ethical turpitude that is bearing down on the West today can be thwarted. However, a silent and cloistered hand wringing Christianity will not prevail. Christians cannot win the day in this contemporary time if they bow to moral decay for the sake of peace. Nor can we win the day if instead of warning others we close out eyes and pretend that it is not happening.
Christians you need to know. There are men and women that do not share your faith that will stand with you in this fight. Moreover, they may very well be the intended targets of the Gospel cure. But you will not know if you withdraw from the fight in hopes of being left alone.
So that is why my heart aches. The very people that I should have the most in common with are often the very ones to abandon me. So, do not ask me again why. Do not ask why I spend so much time commenting on societal changes. I speak because I see. It makes my heart ache that many of you are too blind to see and speak yourselves.
Soli Deo Gloria!