And why both the West and Islam are destined for destruction
The world can be divided between east and west and their respective view with regard to what is the ultimate or eternal reality? Eastern thinking says the permanent reality is the spiritual realm. The west says that this physical world is the final reality. Eastern religions including biblical Christianity consider the physical realm to be a temporary reality (and I say biblical because much of modern western Christianity is not biblical).
Judaism, Christianity and Islam all had their roots in eastern thinking. In eastern thinking, one’s belief about God and the spiritual realm dictated every aspect of life including sexuality, family, marriage, children, education, work, government. In ancient eastern cultures wars were a natural occurrence as an expression of the conflict between differing beliefs about God. The wars between Israel and Egypt are only one example of a world that was constantly at war. They fought over whose god was God? There could be no compromise. They could not coexist since allegiance to their god was total. There was no pluralism or multiculturalism.
In contrast modern western culture, with the exception of what would be called derogatorily “fundamentalists” (see, all eastern thinkers are “fundamentalists”), see the physical realm as the primary or (depending on whether or not one is “religious”), the only reality. To the westerner, religion or spirituality or what one believes about God is something reserved for an occasional worship service or discussion. For most westerners, except for those weird fundamentalists, one’s beliefs about God have nothing to do with sex, family, marriage, education, children, work, recreation or government.
Western culture was formed by the humanist tradition, which places man at the pinnacle of the evolutionary ladder. The idea of God as Creator is rejected. (It is surprising how many western so-called Christians believe in the theory of evolution) Humanism is an outgrowth of Greek culture and philosophy and I don’t mean by that early Greek polytheism. The early Greek philosophers, Aristotle, Plato and Socrates sowed the seeds of humanism and it was this Greek philosophy that was adopted by the ruling Roman class (not to be confused with the lower class polytheists). The Roman generals and Senate did not believe in any god other than themselves. Emperor worship was simply a utilitarian strategy for maintaining allegiance of and power over the lower classes. (It is interesting that the prophet Daniel’s vision of the northern conquering king, possibly Roman and a type of the anti-Christ to come speaks of a man who has no regard for any god. “He will not regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god. For he shall magnify himself above all. But in his place he shall honor the god of forces; and a god whom his fathers did not know, he shall honor with gold and silver, and with precious stones and desirable things.”(Dan 11:37-38)
The Roman state was the first humanist empire. It’s religion was power. To the western mindset, dying for the glory of one’s God is ridiculous. Westerners will fight for power, money, love, family or patriotism* (note that all those things relate to human desires), but not for God. A westerner really doesn’t care what his neighbor believes about God. Thus, the later emperors could tolerate Jews and Christians as long as they didn’t allow “kingdom” thinking to influence their politics. Thus began the beginning of compromise for western Christians.
Humanism began to influence western Christianity when the Roman Catholic Church became the establishment and adopted Aristotelian philosophy. Humanistic philosophy strengthened the idea of an all powerful Pope. The purpose of such a leadership structure is ultimate power. As the Roman church drifted away from biblical Christianity and toward humanism it lost its foundational principles. As with any human institution ruled by corrupt man, the more powerful it became, the more corrupt it was.
As the church left its first love and became corrupt, God, in His sovereign mercy, contained the cancer to keep it from spreading by surrounding it with a different eastern religion known as Islam. The followers of this new religion were willing to fight and die for their god. Romans would fight for money or power, but were hesitant to die for it.
The Protestant reformation was a response to the corruption of the Roman church and was marked by a return to scripture only. This renewed obedience to scripture led to a missionary zeal that had been non-existent in the Roman church. By Divine providence, Islam receded to allow the biblical Christian gospel to be carried to the New World**. But, in the western world, the Christian faith continued to encounter conflicting beliefs as the enlightenment and age of reason swept Europe. The enlightenment was characterized by a renewed interest in ancient Greek humanist philosophy and the age of reason ushered in more skepticism about matters of faith. This skepticism eventually manifested itself in the form of what became known as “higher criticism” in examining the scriptures. This is nothing more than the exaltation of man’s wisdom and the denigration of inspired scripture. The fruit of this has been the death of the Protestant church in Europe.
As humanism or western thinking continued to grow in Europe the governments and the church became increasingly corrupt as all human institutions will. Where man is the be all and end all, sin will abound. In response, many fundamentalist bible believing Christians fled to the New World to escape. Consequently, the New World was fertile ground for the Great Awakenings that birthed the evangelical church in the west. The First Great Awakening was the impetus for the American Revolution as freedom loving Americans rejected the rule of a corrupt monarch. But, even as the new revolution succeeded, the seeds of conflict with humanism were being sown. Most early governments of the colonies had been based upon biblical law, but the new constitution was more a product of the enlightenment than the Bible. Thus began a government of “We the people” as opposed to a government under God. The new government was no longer dedicated to Jesus Christ but would be the greatest humanist government ever.
Not surprisingly, today one of the great challenges facing western culture is the renewed threat of fundamentalist Islam. It is a mystery to the western thinker. They seem to come out of the dark ages. They are fanatically committed to their god in every area of their lives. They will commit suicide for their god. Westerners don’t know how to deal with this. We throw armies and bombs at them in their own land, but they keep coming back. And then, because we hold no allegiance to any religion, because we value “diversity”, we allow them to come to our country to kill us. We die from our own ignorance of who and what we are fighting. Our leaders tell us that Islam is a religion of peace. Our leaders lie. Islam is war. Real Muslims, the ones who believe the Koran, the ones who are eastern thinkers, know that. We think that we can westernize Muslims and we may succeed with some. We may get some of them to reject their holy book in favor of McDonalds, but they will still go to mosque where the preacher is an eastern thinker and he will shame them. They will never rat on their eastern combatants. The west will continue to experience horrific attacks until someday our leaders believe it is a threat to their power and fortune and then we will obliterate them from the earth with lasers and bombs from the heavens. The Muslims will end like the Jews on Masada who thought they were safe until Roman technology conquered them.
So, today, the western Christian church is in conflict. Bible believing Christians in the west live in a culture which is thoroughly humanistic. With regard to sexuality, marriage, education or the sanctity of life, we are in conflict with the culture we live in. Some refer to a culture war, but the sad news is that the Bible is in conflict with the prevailing views of our culture. We live in a post-Christian culture. How has this impacted the church? The Roman church is as corrupt as it ever was. It is riddled with pedophiles in the pastorate. It continues its incestuous relationships with humanist governments. Mainline older Protestant churches have succumbed to unbelief grown out of their higher criticism and continually affirm allegiance to the ideas of the unbiblical doctrines of the humanist culture. The evangelical church in the west is infected with antinomian (rejection of God’s law) belief because the law of God is incompatible with our culture and makes us uncomfortable. American Christians for the most part believe and act more like westerners than their Christian founders who were eastern. We claim allegiance in church on Sunday, but rarely does our faith have any impact on the way we live.
I liken the western world, specifically America, to the Buddhist monks who self immolate in protest. We live in a suicidal culture. The demise of the west is inherent in its secular humanist philosophy. The arrogance and idolatry of man worship will surely be judged by God. There is no question in my mind that western society is the anti-Christ system. What is anti-Christ but man claiming to be God? That is humanism. “Here is the wisdom. Let him having reason count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. And its number is six hundred and sixty-six.” (Rev 13:18)
Those who seek to be faithful to God must reject this culture. “And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that you may not be partakers of her sins, and that you may not receive of her plagues.” (Rev 18:4) You must decide that Jesus Christ is the ultimate reality that governs every aspect of your life. You must realize that Jesus is not an American. He is not multi-cultural. He said He is the only way. He is intolerant of sin. He is holy and has shown us what He expects in His law. You are saved by His grace, by His sacrifice for your sins, but you are not saved to live like a pagan. America, western society, says all religions are valid. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” America says that casual sex is a recreational activity with anyone you want regardless of gender. Jesus says that sex is a gift of intimacy for a man and woman committed to marriage for life. America says to educate your children in the ways of the world in government schools. Jesus says to train your children in His ways. American education mocks and maligns Jesus and His ways. America has no respect for life or private property. Jesus values life from the womb to the tomb. Jesus says, “Do not steal.” America says that Jesus has no place in politics. Jesus calls you to choose men of Christian character. America elevates the braggart, the arrogant, the liar and the pompous. Choose this day whom you will serve for Christ is coming soon and He will judge with righteousness.
*It is a sad thing when western troops return from combat disillusioned. Many go off to war to fight for country or freedom only to discover that their leaders only concern is their own power, that their government does not really care about them or defeating the enemy. Their leaders are humanists who worship themselves, having no higher principles and are frequently corrupt.
**The decline of Islam can be attributed to both the stupidity of its rulers and to advances of western technology in warfare; Islam’s rejection of science as a “western” endeavor was and is a fatal weakness that led to its demise and will lead to its future demise; the rejection of science is not necessarily an eastern concept; early Egyptians and Chinese were fervent scientists while holding fast to their belief in the preeminence of the spiritual realm.