"Most Ukrainians never smile, haven't you noticed?" (Nina Korzh quoted by Marvin Olasky in "Semi-liberated capitals," World Magazine, p. 61, March 2013)
After 70 years of Soviet scientific socialism (communism), the Ukraine for the most part, is a wasteland of lost souls. Decades of atheistic/evolutionary teaching in schools means that most people no longer know that they are the spiritual image-bearers of God, thus the "tendency to see children with disabilities as burdens to be discarded (and) Christianity only as a set of prayers to be recited at baptisms and funerals." (p. 62)
In 1991, Evangelical missionaries arrived in the Ukraine and tried to change that understanding. Though the initial response was exciting, time has shown that for the most part, Ukrainians only momentarily "pledged allegiance to Jesus." As missionary Shannon Ford put it:
"Everyone in the Ukraine has been saved five times." (p. 61)
The Orthodox church is a big part of the problem. Since it enjoys,
"governmental patronage (it) provides no real alternative to worship of the state, which means many Ukrainians often turn to worship of the bottle." (p. 61)
Olasky writes that the underlying problem is religious. Religion is the foundation of culture and the source of moral ethics:
"If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Psalm 11:3
If the religious foundation is destroyed then society will disintegrate and the culture will die regardless of how prosperous the people:
“….the society or culture which has lost its spiritual roots is a dying culture…Consequently, the problem of social survival is not only a political or economic problem; it is above all things religious, since it is in religion that the ultimate spiritual roots of both society and the individual are to be found.” (Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? Patrick J. Buchanan, p. 67)
Communism and secular pantheist Christian Liberalism killed the West's Christian foundations.
In the “Letter to My Children” which opens the book “Witness,” Whittaker Chambers argued that Communism is fundamentally a religion, “man’s second oldest faith,” man’s “great alternative faith.” It’s promise was “Ye shall be as gods.” Its vision was “the vision of man without God,” of “man’s mind displacing God as the creative intelligence of the world,” of “man’s liberated mind, by the sole force of its rational intelligence, redirecting man’s destiny…” Communism starkly proclaims one inescapable choice: “God or Man, Soul or Mind, Freedom or Communism.” (The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America, p. 92, George H. Nash)
If Communism is an expression of war between Christianity and atheism, between the true God of Revelation and sovereign man, another form of the enemy is secular liberalism, the spawn of Enlightenment Deism and Christian (pantheist) liberalism. As Eric Voegelin put it in 1952:
“…if liberalism is understood as the immanent salvation of man and society, communism is certainly its most radical expression.” (ibid, p. 93)
As far back as the mid-19th century and early 20th century, Protestant, Evangelical, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Catholic theology were contaminated and faithful theologians were doing battle within their own denominations against the heresies of modernism--- ideas from the Renaissance, Enlightenment Deism, Marxism, Darwinism, Teilhardism, occult Jungian psychology, and liberal immanent Christianity, none of which have a place in orthodox religious dogma.
Modernism absorbed, radically transformed and inverted orthodox Christian theism. Among its main points are the following:
1. It rejects the Church Fathers and refutes the councils of Trent and Orange
2. It rejects the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo and the Incarnation of the Word
3. Adam was a mythological collective and the Fall and Original Sin are irrelevant
4. It advocates continuous evolutionary change, which makes history, unchanging truth, moral absolutes, traditional marriage and the two created sexes absurd
5. The Biblical Father God is supplanted by nature deities variously described as Reason, Mind, Consciousness, Divine Intellect, Cosmogenesis-God, Gaia and Goddess
Faithful theologians ultimately lost the battle between good and evil and Europe's Christian foundations were swept away by a rising tide of modernism. Post-Christian Europe is now a desert of godlessness populated by dead and dying souls for whom the word 'God' has many different meanings, most of them referring to evolved nature deities, forces, and energies. Few people think of God as the living, personal Creator God of the Bible.
According to a 2005 English Church Census regular churchgoers of all denominations only amount to 6.3% of the total population. Of these, only 2.5% attend Bible-based churches. (eauk.org/ 2005)
In 2003 the Evangelical Alliance reported:
"Holy Week has begun with an expert prediction that the Christian church in this country will be dead and buried within 40 years. It will vanish from the mainstream of British life..." (eauk.org/ 2005)
All over post-Christian Europe empty churches and cathedrals now stand as broken monuments to the triumph of Darwinism and secular and occult spiritual humanism. Westminster Abby for example, was where the first third of the King James Old Testament and the last half of the New Testament were translated. But with Charles Darwin, a neo-pagan materialist who abandoned the Creator God and his church and is credited with inventing modern evolutionary theory buried in the floor of the Abby it symbolizes the downward-spiraling highway the Church has been following into irrelevance.
On the other side of the Atlantic, in the "One Nation Under God" Constitutional Republic founded only 250 years ago, few people are aware of the spiritual black plague that has wiped out the land of our Christian forefathers. Nor are many people aware that the same plague is spreading throughout America with the irresistable force of a tsunami. As a result, our culture and moral ethics have gone from being grounded on the foundation of God's Word to being built on the quicksand of autonomous man's untrustworthy word. And this has also happened in every Church that has been contaminated in one fashion or another by modern heresies.
Whether Darwinian or Teilhardian, evolutionary thinking is taught in our schools and even preached in some form or another from Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and Evangelical church pulpits. In response to yesterday's article, "Teilhard's Transubstantiation of Earth: Aim of the Opus Magnum," a Christian reader wrote that during his high school years, Catholic nuns made him study Teilhard. He had never understood Teilhard he said, and was shocked and dismayed when he learned the truth about him.
A major spiritual transformation of consciousness has taken place in our culture. A rising tide of modernism in unison with doubt, skepticism and outright contempt has swept away America's Christian foundations. In its wake we are dealing with the breakdown of the family, moral relativism, abortion, senseless violence, lawlessness, pornography, sodomy, bestiality, pedophillia, pederasty and incest.
In response to America's advancing spiritual desert, many Christians want to get prayer and the Ten Commandments back into the schools. But if evolution is true and man is nothing more than an evolved ape, then prayer to a nonexistent "flying spagetti monster' is as absurd as the Ten Commandments.
With its' Christian foundations gone America is in a state of tribulation. In keeping with His Gospel, our Lord not only announced it but He prophecied the trials and tribulations that would encompass His followers.
Of these the greatest would be the challenge in our own age of modernism with its' false prophets, false messiahs, false apostles, ideological systematizers and other workers of deceit who are the intellectual heirs of a way of thinking that from its inception during the Renaissance, has by its' nature been a rebellion against supernatural Christian theism. (Matthew 7:15-23)
The biblical mandate where workers of deceit are concerned is twofold:
1. Do not hold to any erroneous doctrine or concept. The faithful are to actively contend for the faith once given and protect themselves from contagion by vigorously exposing the origins, logical fallacies, heresies, double-thinking, errors, and tactics of the enemies of Christ. Faithful Christians cannot protect themselves, their children and the Church from false teachings unless the evils surrounding them are exposed.
2.We are to have compassion and love for those who are enmeshed in false teachings with the primary objective of winning souls for whom Jesus Christ died.
The first part of the mandate is the work of apologetics. Without apologetics training faithful Christians cannot protect themselves from false teachings. Nor can those who are enmeshed in them be saved unless their disease is made known to them. Only when their disease is made known to them can they finally be converted to Jesus Christ.
In the well-researched study, "Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do about it," Ken Ham and Britt Beamer issue a wake-up call to the Church.
Their alarming conclusions reveal why America's churches have already lost an entire generation of believers and how popular youth ministries, programs, Christian music, and attempts to make the Church attractive to the culture only makes the Church irrelevant:
"Becoming 'culturally cool' can feel like it helps for a while, but it's really just a placebo, a Band-Aid for a much deeper disease. By making our services more attractive to the younger generation (we do) nothing to solve the core issue of the epidemic. All it does is sacrifice eternal truth for short-term attractiveness, and it turns a church into an organization that is driven by the felt needs of its young consumers." (p. 109)
Conservative churches erroneously believe that if praise and worship music is contemporary, dynamic, energetic, and fits the style of the younger generation,
"...the epidemic will be stopped and young people will start flooding back into the Church. That's simply not the case. Our research showed that music is not a fundamental factor in young adults choosing to leave or stay at a church----but the preaching of God's Word is." (p. 110)
More than 80 years ago America embarked on a journey toward death that is nearing its’ final destination, leading Russell D. Moore, dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to ask,
“Are we witnessing the death of of America’s Christian denominations?”
He then answers his own question:
“Studies by secular and Christian organizations indicate that we are. Fewer and fewer American Christians, especially Protestants, stongly identify with a particular religious community…” (Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? Patrick J. Buchanan, pp. 35-36)
Survey after survey reveals the same thing, that 60% of the children who grow up in our churches will leave them for good once they reach the threshold of young adulthood. The empty and irrelevant churches of post-Christian Europe foreshadow the future of America. Where the Ukraine is today, America will be tomorrow.
Ham and Beemer propose an approach to curbing the epidemic among the "flock that is still under our care..."
It begins with parents, clergy, Christian educators, and youth pastors not only defending the Word but actually living the Word. We cannot be salt and light if we are no different from the surrounding culture. And we must teach creation ex nihilo and apologetics.