The health of Christianity in the West is often measured by church attendance and it sadly reveals a steep decline. Generally speaking, Western society is disenchanted with religion. The alarming violence displayed by Islamic extremism hasn’t helped. However, the abandonment of Christianity creates an ‘open window’ that inevitably leads people to ask questions about the origins of evil. This allows black magic, Satanism, belief in the occult and superstition to creep in. It also creates an ‘open window’ for the replacement of Christianity with other religions.
Many modern Westerners are not Christians. However, Western civilisation has Christian roots. It’s not possible to understand or uphold Western ideas of law, liberty, government, education, family, morality or culture without tracing their connection with the life and teaching of Jesus.
So an attack on Christians anywhere is an attack on the foundations of the Western world. Viewed like that, news of violent attacks on churches – even rather empty ones – in the name of any religion should be clearly seen for what it is.
Closing the window
While Christianity has declined in the West, it has grown steadily in the developing world. The affluence of the Western world has often made Christian religion seem superfluous. Whereas those living a more frugal lifestyle may value the Bible and its message of hope much more highly.
Another reason is that Western society now favours setting its own rules. More and more people in the West prefer to ‘follow the crowd’ rather than be guided by the Bible. The result is confusion and a growing uncertainty about what’s right and what’s wrong.
Many people now don’t accept that their actions should be Bible-based, even though their Creator has provided the Bible to help them live meaningful lives that have direction and purpose:
“Every scripture inspired of God[is] also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16 RV)
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8 NIV)
The West is now a disenchanted, secularised society that thought it could be emancipated by throwing out religion. Instead, a window has been opened to superstition and religious confusion. Alternative beliefs and practices are being allowed to replace the original Christian gospel.
By ignoring the Bible the Christian church has lost much of its relevance in Western society. It leaves an ‘open window’ on basic Bible doctrine, accepting almost every ‘wind’ of social and religious change that comes along. Closing that window can only be done by reading the Bible for ourselves and accepting its guidance.
The Bible tells us about a time in the past when there was a lack of strong spiritual leadership:
“…every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 17:6 KJV)
Concerning the future it also says there will be:
“people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world.” (Luke 21:25-26 ESV)
Christadelphians believe that these words have an application today. If that’s true, notice what happens next:
“they will see the Son of Man (Jesus) coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” (Luke 21:27 NIV)
The Bible is telling us that Jesus will return to set up God’s peaceful kingdom over all the world.
The Bible then gives us this advice:
“when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:28 ESV)
Given all the problems in the world, there is every reason to get back to reading the Bible.