At Christianity’s End
aymon de albatrus
"I tell you, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"" (Luk 18:8)
The mainline Christian denominations are declining in the Western world and the developing world. Indeed, they are largely dead in Europe. Europe has undergone a profound, incredible de-Christianization. Many churches are closing their doors in Europe and the few, which are opened, accommodate just a few people in their old age.
It is estimated that in England, that bulwark of Christianity that sent thousand and thousands of missionaries all over the world (many even to their early death) only about 4% attend church regularly, and diminishing fast.
The churches growing in the West are of the Charismatic, Pentecostal type, generally the name-it-claim-it churches that preach a Health and Wealth Gospel. Their church services resemble more a discothèque than the church of Christ with loud drums and rock music. These churches preach the prosperity "Gospel" which teaches that if you have enough faith, of your own, you will be healthy and wealthy, and entitled to abundant life now. In other words, these churches are selling a version of the capitalist philosophy as "Gospel". They are offering a natural Heaven on earth now. They are concentrating more on the gifts than the Giver.
They preach about what Jesus can do for you, all that your selfish desires want, rather on what Paul said: "to endure suffering as a good soldier". In our contemporary churches you will never hear the words that Jesus said to His disciples: "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers and sisters, and besides, even his [own] life, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me, he cannot be My disciple." (Luk 14:26-27)
It is a sobering thought to remember that Jesus and His Apostles all suffered martyrdom, even John that was boiled in oil, but survived. The call of Jesus was and is: "And He said to all, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily. And let him follow Me." (Luk 9:23) The call is: "Pick up your cross and follow me" and NOT: "Pick up your riches, enjoy them and have fun and be merry". Christendom seems to be at its end because we have majored on these carnal desires rather than on the call of our Master.
How did we get to this state of things?
Well Christianity started with Jesus Christ, of course, after His death around AD 30. With the Apostles it was spread across the Roman Empire and eventually to the West and part of the Orient and East. Christianity, notwithstanding the many vicissitudes remained ingrained with the fabric of the West and the East as integral part of those societies. In the 1500s a doctrinal revival came with the Reformation which basically divided Christendom in two aspects, Reformed in the Anglo-Saxon world Roman Catholic in the Latin world and Orthodox in the Eastern world. Yet, all Christians professed the same God and believed in the same Saviour, with technical variations in professing the faith.
The cancer in the West found its way with the Enlightenment in the 18th century, this was a revolution to overthrow Christianity as well as the Church. Then in the 19th century, a greater challenge to Christianity arose in the intellectual realm: Darwinism. The concept that we are no more than animals and that we descends from monkeys, took hold of the elites and then of the populace in general. This belief consisted that not only was Christianity a fraud, but that God did not exist as Nietzsche said: "God is dead". And the logical conclusion to this tenet was that if Gods is dead, and there is no life after death, one must build the best of all possible worlds here on earth for, of course, and given that humans have no more worth than the animals they must have fun now. This ungodly concept of Evolution in now so well entrenched in our society that it is presented, everywhere as a fact when indeed it is a theory never proved and yet it is taught in our schools as an absolute fact.
Then came World Wars I & II which spawned Democracy as we know today fostering its gods: Materialism, Hedonism, Amusements, Technology and all that has to do with our carnal nature and total rejection of the concept of God. . Thus, just a couple of centuries after the Reformation in the West, belief in God gave way to one strange new god after another. Yet God commands: "You shall have no other gods before me." (Exo 20:3) and so we are currently paying the price for that rebellion in having strange gods for ourselves: "If you forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he has done you good." (Jos 24:20)
The West has effectively supplanted the God of Christianity by the gods of modernity: money, sex, fame and power. These gods give a good natural life, but they cannot sustain life. As Christianity is a dying faith in every Western nation, every Western nation is dying for the fate of the West is closely tied with Christianity. We are dying spiritually and no nation has ever survived without believing in something greater than itself.
Interesting to note that since the beginning man has translated into building the beliefs of his inner self; for example the first great buildings in Christendom were churches and cathedrals, then after a couple centuries from the Reformation came the palaces and luxury, then the commercial skyscrapers such as the very tall twin towers of the World Trade Centre. It is sobering to consider that these landmark of people trying to reach the sky were brought crashing down by a few Muslims who hated America, the very people that God has used many times in the past to chastise His rebellious children.
Christianity is still growing in the Third World, where populations are still growing, but Islam forcefully challenges Christianity there and apparently winning ground. Indeed, the battle for the future is decided in this century, whilst weak and uncaring "Christian" Europe views the struggle from the windows of its nursing home, alas.
Secularism (Religious scepticism or indifference with the view that religious considerations should be excluded from civil affairs or public education) seems to hold the keys to our society. The improvement of life by material means, the "religious" belief in science and the idea that "it is good to do good" are all principles of Secularism and seem to be a blueprint for the way most of us live our lives. Modern man is influenced by many philosophies and religions, but of all of them, Secularism seems to be the most universal in this hedonistic world, even more so than Christianity.
Another huge factor that has contributed significantly in the spread of disbelief is the mostly ungodly media. Everyday the world is hit with a surplus of images and messages of a decidedly non-Christian, sometimes anti-Christian nature. Films, TV and the mainstream media are the biggest "moulders of opinion" in the nations today and frequently provides a rather negative portrayal of Christianity; especially right-wing Christian leaders. Media outlets appeal to a huge cross-section of society and contribute even more evidence that we are fast approaching a post-Christian nation if not the world. Truly, it is collective brainwashing perpetuated by a bunch of God hating people.
Verily, at the moment Christendom seem hard pressed from every side and even appears on the way to extension, but we that believe have a holy hope that all things are in the hands of our Sovereign God and nothing moves unless it has been decreed by God to be so and He has an immutable plan for the redemption of His people that are innumerable: "After this I beheld, and, see, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindred, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." (Rev 7:9-10)
If God is God and if Jesus is God then we have nothing to worry or fear for His church in 2000 years has gone through many difficult times and has endured. True this period is perhaps the worse one for under persecution the church thrives but now we have something very subtle and worse, Democracy and Evolution, only these two devilish devises are enough to sway millions from the concept of God and our Lord Jesus Christ has clearly warned us about these deceptions: "For false christs and false prophets will be raised, and they will give signs and wonders in order to lead astray, if possible, even the elect." (Mar 13:22) Moreover the church is not ours but His and He is well able to defend it as He has promised: "And I say also to you, That you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Mat 16:18)
The words of our Lord are clear and powerful: Nor Hell, Nor Satan, Nor Demons, Nor what evil man can devise will prevail against His church and we can believe it for He is God. Christianity will end at its prescribed time as decreed by the Almighty God, that is: "For truly I say to you, Till heaven and earth pass, one stroke or one pronunciation mark shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." (Mat 5:18) i.e. at the end of times when all be fulfilled, to which we may be very near.
Therefore let us rest with great faith in the words of our marvellous Master, the Lord Jesus Christ: "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Luk 12:32)