Thursday, May 31, 2012
So what about today? Should we be predicting disaster? I have to say I have concerns. I don't have faith in technology. I don't have faith in the strength of the human spirit. I have faith in God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. So when societies move away from that then you can expect that things are going to come undone. I have been pessimistic about Europe for a long time. I saw some enclaves that I thought would hold out against the onslaught of secularism like Ireland and Poland. But in general there was very little faith in Europe, very few going to church, very few children, very little respect for Christian morality. You add to that huge Muslim immigration and you can easily see Western society quietly fading away.
Many don't see that as a bad thing. They think all the western values like human rights and democracy will remain intact. I don't. I see them as having Christian roots. If Europe ceases to be Christian then why would they respect that? I even wonder about values like science and education. Would they just fall apart as well? They would take longer but when the foundation falls then nothing is safe.
Look at the trouble people are having getting democracy and education established in Muslim countries. How long have we basically had total control of Afghanistan? Even 10 years ago I thought if we persisted eventually people would see the benefit and buy in. Now I see the problem as deeper. It is a religious issue. Even the Bush administration, who understand the importance of religion better than most Western governments, was not able to directly address religion.
I did once think the bible belt would save the US from the same fate. It may still. I am just less sure about that. After 8 years of Bush didn't bring very many positives I am wondering. It is not that the Christian cause had temporary gains that were wiped out when Obama was elected. That would have been disappointing. But we went backwards over those 8 years even on social issues. That is when gay marriage gained momentum.
Beyond that, I tend to be less optimistic on environmental issues. More concerned about addictions. Less impressed with the overall quality of political leadership. More concerned with some signs of real moral cracks in the evangelical movement. There are just a lot of reasons to be concerned that the foundations of western society are not going to hold.
The one area of real optimism has been the Catholic church. Even in the few years since I became Catholic it has grown much more orthodox. There are a lot of bishops and a lot of lay leaders who really seem to get this. Pope Benedict has been amazing both in his teachings and in the appointments he has made. It is like the Catholic church hit its low point and is already on the road to recovery. Everyone else is still on the way down.
Of course that is the west. The west is not the whole world. Christianity has long been associated with Europe but it really isn't true anymore. Western countries have much less than half the Christians and Western Christians tend to be more wishy-washy. There are a lot of good things happening in Africa and Asia.