Revival Needed: Western Christianity in Decline
Since the early days of humanity, there has been a desire to explain the world that we exist and come to a knowledge of ultimate truth. It is through God in which all truth and morality are derived, so it is unsurprising that many Christians are very passionate about their beliefs. In the case of Christians that are not passionate, I would argue that they are lacking something that allows them to remain silent, forgoing our duty to spread the gospel. Western Christianity is in a decline in need of a revival.
Likewise, it is logical that non-Christians continue to look for truth, although misguided, from numerous philosophies, sciences, and religions. Although Christianity is at its core peaceful, it declares that Jesus Christ is the truth and that there is no other truth. In their disbelief, offense is stirred in non-Christians to a point that many find their views threatened. In this post-modern world, many argue that there are many truths, but the Christian worldview is averse to this popular philosophy. Christians declare Jesus Christ alone is Lord, which usurps the authority of other rulers, which was the case between ancient Rome and the church.
Because of such dedication to Jesus Christ, Christians no longer viewed themselves by the many qualities one typically uses, but as a unified race under Jesus Christ. This Kingdom of God knew no borders, nor did it care for your sex, nationality, or any other quality. The only issue that mattered was the shared faith in Jesus Christ. When Polycarp was captured to be murdered for his belief, he would not provide his name, city, or race, but instead, he only declared, “I am a Christian.” He would not renounce his faith, so he was martyred, dying at age eighty-six. It is an unfortunate fact that Christians are becoming more persecuted around the world, just as they once were.
What must America experience to turn Christians back to a strong faith in Christ? One might say that difficulties produce strong faith, and prosperity produces weak faith. Those weak in faith write about those that were strong, and then the weak in faith produce future difficulties. The cycle then, repeats. While some pastors and theologians are strong today, I argue that the overall trend in Christianity points to the majority turning from orthodoxy in favor of liberal theology (Do Not Confuse With Politics). Today, many churches are turning to a seeker-sensitive movement where pragmatism dictates the function of the church, but does this produce true faith? While this may get people through the doors, I argue that this does not produce Christians. The only necessary action by the church is expounding the Scripture faithfully so that God’s Word is made known. The Scriptures are the only thing that can truly change a person so that they are conformed to the image of Christ. There are strong leaders that continue to call people to live holy lives according to God’s desires, but is that enough to stop America from backsliding?
Must the western world experience atrocities that wreck the society for revival to occur again, or will we experience another Great Awakening? Must we be persecuted as Christians were in the first few centuries? I pray that we do not come to this, but as it stands, it appears Christians are being persecuted to a lesser extent more and more each day. Prayer has already been removed from schools and it appears every belief is protected, except the Christian view. Unless another revival occurs, producing strong Christians, it is likely that the next leaders of Christian theology will arise out of countries where Christians face death for their own beliefs, while the western countries continue to slip into more unorthodox views that are contrary to Scripture.