Contemporary Western and American societies have largely rejected their Christian heritage and as a result are now lightless neo-pagan societies that in the name of political correctness openly promote vice (sin). More than thirty years ago this disastrous state of affairs, though not as advanced as today, had already convinced Malcolm Muggeridge (1903 – 1990), English journalist, author, and media personality that Western civilization was disintegrating and dying. In his early life Muggeridge was a left-wing sympathizer who in later years became a forceful anti-communist. Eventually Muggeridge accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and became a Catholic.
In an inaugural address given at the University of Waterloo, October 1978, Muggeridge lamented the decline and coming death of Western and American civilization:
"In one lifetime I have seen my fellow countrymen ruling over a quarter of the world, the great majority of them convinced, in the words of what is still a favorite song, that “God who’s made the mighty would make them mightier yet.” I’ve heard a crazed, cracked Austrian proclaim to the world the establishment of a German Reich that would last for a thousand years; an Italian clown announce that he would restart the calendar to begin with his own assumption of power; a murderous Georgian brigand in the Kremlin acclaimed by the intellectual elite of the Western world as wiser than Solomon, more enlightened than Asoka, more humane than Marcus Aurelius. I’ve seen America wealthier and in terms of weaponry more powerful than all the rest of the world put together, so that Americans, had they so wished, could have outdone an Alexander or a Julius Caesar in the range and scale of their conquests. All in one little lifetime. All gone with the wind." ( Malcolm Muggeridge excerpted from "The End of Christendom" published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Mich., 1980)
Yet as faithful Christians, said Muggeridge, we know that civilizations die, and here in this world we who are pilgrims, have no continuing city,
"...crowns roll in the dust and every earthly kingdom must sometime flounder, whereas we acknowledge a King men did not crown and cannot dethrone, as are citizens of a city of God they did not build and cannot destroy.” (ibid, The End of Christendom, p. 52)
Scripture explains that from the antediluvian world to our own all civilizations are eventually overwhelmed by the unfettered sin nature of men. This results in an idolatrous, immoral society that openly advocates evil, and evil being a parasite on good, such civilizations disintegrate and die in stages.
With respect to American civilization the first stage was set in motion more than eighty years ago when citizens began turning away from the Triune God, the Divine Source of unchanging Truth, Moral Law and life in favor of paganism, subjectivism (man is the measure of all things) and idolatry---preference for self over our Lord and other people.
The beginning of subjectivism is pride (love of self), the perfect anti-God, anti-truth, anti-moral law state of mind. Subjectivism is an anarchy of selfishness that inverts change over the unchanging things of our Lord (i.e., immutable Truth, Moral Law) and by extension, evil over good. Subjectivism very obviously works through the disordered hearts of increasing numbers of people at every level of society, both Christian and secular, who see themselves as the measure of everything.
In practice subjectivism has led narcissistic theologians to elevate science (what man says) over the Revelation of God and to reject creation ex nihilo, Original Sin, heaven and hell in favor of an inverted exegesis, that is, an anti-creation evolutionary cosmology bespeaking an evolutionary ascent from primordial matter, or in the words of Carl Sagan-- star-stuff .
According to the eminent historian Frank Baumer, evolution inverts reality by persuading,
"....people to think of everything in nature as the fruit of a gradual growth rather than an original creation." The sweeping acceptance of evolutionary thinking means that it is "now difficult if not impossible for an educated man to conceive of a primitive revelation such as traditional Christianity taught, or even of an original natural religion from which men had declined." This difficulty arises because "in an evolving world, perfection obviously lay, not in the past, but in the future." (Religion and Rise of Skepticism, p. 147)
The elevation of science over the Revelation of God together with abandonment of special creation in favor of evolution results in both lawless, lightless churches and subjectivist societies.
When the Spirit of the Lord abandons a subjectivist society, one of the first things to become subject to the influence of evil spirits are the thoughts and feelings of citizens:
“This often results in a complete attitude of indifference to any spiritual influence, and to an open rejection of any belief in God. The Word of God loses its power to speak, and God’s promises become meaningless. The person finds he can only entertain evil thoughts in his mind and ideas which are opposed to God. He is gripped with a passion for lying and impure thoughts. Indeed, the desire to lie so fills him that he does so unconsciously. In spite of feeling no remorse for his sins, he will be plagued with a continuous feeling of restlessness, with a lack of peace, and depressive moods.” (Occult Bondage, Kurt Koch, p. 140)
Kerby Anderson concurs. When people no longer look to the supernatural Holy God for wisdom and guidance,
"...they become vain and futile and empty in their imaginations. They no longer honor God, so their foolish hearts become darkened. In professing to be wise, they have become fools." (The Decline of a Nation, Kerby Anderson, leaderu.com)
In other words, their conscience becomes depraved, their will turns toward evil and their reasoning, or cognitive thought processes become vain and foolish because in turning away from the Holy God of Revelation, the Creator and upholder of life and intellect, they freely accept a position about themselves that is intellectually foolish and unlivable with regard to the universe, the origin of conscious life, who and what man is and what his purpose is. Thus they are left with a position (i.e., life evolved from star stuff) that is unable to account either for the origin of life or for their own "conscious self" (spirit/soul). Nor does this unlivable position provide them with any meaning and purpose. Thus sooner or later they become tormented by bitterness, compulsive dark thoughts of suicide and murder; hideous nightmares, the dreadful sensation of standing atop an abyss, anxiety states, paranoia and persecution complexes.
Anderson writes that in the next stage darkened souls inevitably exchange their natural use of sex for unnatural uses:
"Here the Apostle Paul says those four sobering words, "God gave them over." In a society where lust- driven sensuality and sexual perversion dominate, God gives them over to their degrading passions and unnatural desires."
Degradation leads to addiction to pornography and an obscenely sexualized culture. Individually, those given over are characterized by a mix of the following: warped, distorted, freakish characters, narcissism, hard egoism, and uncongenial dark natures issuing in extreme, uncontrollable passions resulting in abnormal, compulsive sexuality, sodomy, bestiality, pederasty, pedophilia, lesbianism, androgyny (transgender), fetishes and sadomasochism:
"The Folsom Street Fair turns 30 on Sunday, Sept. 21. The annual celebration of leather, fetish and BDSM communities brings hundreds of thousands of people to SoMa...Among the more fashion-centric kinks on the rise are sports uniforms (Sports Authority is a sponsor this year), human “puppy gear” (just as it sounds) and adult-baby costuming (ditto). Be on the lookout for both canine courses and a new adult-baby playpen space as concessions to these emerging fetishes." (Folsom Street Fair: Tips for weathering the fetish festival, Tony Bravo, sfgate.com, September 19, 2014 )
The third stage is anarchy:
"Once a society has rejected God's revelation, it is on its own. Moral and social anarchy is the natural result. At this point God has given the sinners over to a depraved mind and so they do things which are not proper. This results in a society which is without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful."
Anarchy means automatic rebellion against every vestige of true truth, virtue, rules, order, and authority and the depraved insistence that there is no essential difference between good and evil, natural and unnatural, truth and lie. All sense seems like nonsense; nothing is ever right, natural, good and true resulting in Nietzsche's trans-valuation of values solidified in cursing, blasphemy, scoffing, mocking, cruel criticism, contempt, ridicule, meanness, spite, hate, violence, wrath, explosive rage, belligerence, theft, rape, incest, murder, killing of babies, beatings, and terrorism.
The final stage is abandonment and judgment:
"God's judgment rightly falls upon those who practice idolatry and immorality. Certainly an eternal judgment awaits those who are guilty, but a social judgment occurs when God gives a nation over to its sinful practices." (ibid, Kerby Anderson)
Idolaters are subject to demonic oppression and possession issuing in confusion, apathy, nihilism, psychosis, psychopathy, blasphemous thoughts, words and acts against Jesus Christ, the Christian Church, orthodox Christians faithful Jews, Christian symbols, Holy Days, and prayer and the vain belief that all that exists is nature or cosmos (matter), hence there can be no relevance in anything beyond our senses; there is nothing above us and no hell below.
Judgment falls upon a spiritually dead idolatrous society that has made an enemy of the Holy God and takes refuge in naturalism, rebellion, negation, lies, and heresy. In its' blindness it cannot see that it is worshipping the devil and has entered into a covenant with death and hell.
"When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8
The Lutheran pastor, the Reverend Thomas Messer of Peace Lutheran Church in Alma, Michigan, has studied Revelation extensively, and after an exhaustive survey of America's idolatrous, morally relative post-Christian culture and narcissistic postmodern church Reverend Messer wonders if we may already be living in the 'little season' of Satan.
In his commentary on Revelation 9, Rev. Messer observes that during Satan's little season people will worship anything and everything but the Holy Trinity. However, this 'new' spirituality,
"...is worshipping demons and idols, etc.' There is no middle ground. Either you worship the Holy Trinity or you worship the devil."
In agreement, Dr. Peter Jones, Director of truthXchange, and Adjunct Professor and Scholar in Residence, Westminster Theological Seminary warns that the 'new' spirituality overtaking the Church, America and the West is not new but is rather,
" ....the reappearance of the massive system of ancient world paganism and, as such, represents the greatest threat to the church since the Greco-Roman pagan empire. The situation is urgent." ("The New Spirituality: Dismantling and Reconstructing Reality," Dr. Jones, modernreformation.org)
Jones sees that both the culture-friendly, increasingly 'green' seeker-sensitive theology of the emergent church growth movement and the New Apostolic Reformation already have much in common with 'new' pagan spirituality and the feckless contemporary church is quickly following suit, meaning that the Church Militant is becoming the postmodern Church Imitant,
"...adopting "a new Christian worldview" that, devoid of theological biblical clarity, apes the pagan culture and concludes that "the body of Christ is queer, is man, is woman, is straight." The "new Christian" employs spiritual techniques borrowed from pagan mysticism and imitates the self-justifying moralism of liberal social action." (ibid, Peter Jones)
Dr. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary warns that the Protestant Evangelical Church is splitting apart. On one side are authentic orthodox Christians exiting the 'new' church, while on the other is the pride-fueled, entertainment-addicted contemporary "new" church which defines itself over and against authentic Christianity. Whereas authentic Christians reject the dangerous idea of accommodating the church to culture, the trendy "new" church is willing to adopt cultural practices to reach pagans, atheists and agnostics:
"This means whatever is influencing the culture can more easily come into the church because we are adopting its ways. Previously what is spiritually harmful has been coming through the backdoor instead of the front. Now it’s knocking on the front door, and many are answering it by opening it and inviting it in. This is done because of a lack of judgment on leader’s part. While everyone is making a fuss about the Da Vinci code released to persuade the public on Christianity we have not recognized what is taking place in our own living room – the church." (New Age Pathways in the church, letusreason.org)
Due to a devastating loss of biblical and doctrinal conviction, this dangerous trend is increasingly evident in growing numbers of contemporary Catholic and evangelical churches:
"....more and more Christians are willing to reject or compromise the uniqueness of Christ and His atonement, citing the apparent 'sincerity' of those who worship other gods, or no god at all." Due to loss of theological nerve, many "American Christians seem increasingly reluctant to believe that their unsaved neighbors will go to hell.... the essence of this belief is universalism, the belief that all persons will be saved...in spite of what (God) reveals in Holy Scripture. These persons believe in a God of their own devising, and not the God of the Bible....Their stance betrays their lack of conviction and even compassion. Their conscience is uncluttered by concern for the lost." (The Disappearance of God, R. Albert Mohler Jr., pp. 184-186)
Rev. Messer believes that what we are witnessing is the great falling away that takes place during Satan's little season when most people will worship the devil,
" There will be a great falling away from the faith in the Church, as foretold by our Lord and His apostles...so that the Church itself will accept evil and present it as good. Not only will people refuse to repent, but, influenced by Satan and his minions, they will promote sin as being salvific. Murder will not only be condoned, but promoted in society as a good thing (abortion?)."
New-age occult spirituality in the forms, devices and esoteric doctrines of universal energy (i.e., evolution, Vril, Kundalini, serpent power, zoe), transformational festivals, magic, psychics, Ouija boards, yoga, transcendental meditation, hypnotism, mind-altering drugs, Wicca, Satanism, fortune-telling, faith healing, crystals, tarot cards, scientology, ghost-hunting, Hermetic Cabbala, pyramid power, astral-plane travel, out-of-body experiences, channeling and more, is overtaking both the West and the accommodating Christian Church marked by loss of transcendent truth and biblical and doctrinal conviction.
"And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit." Rev. 9
In his Concise Commentary, Matthew Henry writes that upon sounding the fifth trumpet, a star, which Matthew identifies as both an angel and as apostate theologians, fell from heaven to the earth. The apostate theologian, having ceased to be a minister of Christ becomes the minister of the devil and lets loose the powers of hell---a great host of corrupters who overspread the Christian Church. On the opening of the bottomless pit, there arises a great smoke. Out of this smoke there comes a swarm of locusts, emblems of the devil's agents who promote superstition, idolatry, error, hatred and cruelty. The devil carries on his designs by blinding the eyes of men, putting out light and knowledge, and promoting ignorance and error. The power is limited to a short season; but will be very sharp. In such events the faithful share the common calamity, but from the pestilence of error they will be safe.
In closing, Rev. Messer points to all of these ominous signs of apostasy, disintegration, madness and death, saying they should awaken Christians to the fact that we may very well indeed be living in the 'little season' of Satan.