God save Our Nations
This brings us perhaps more in a spiral upwards than in a full circle.
I started with the idea that the only hope of saving the West was in a sweeping Christian revival. After looking at all the various problems facing us we come to the dismal conclusion that everything which made the West great is crumbling. This is happening close on the heels of a dramatic decline in Christian belief. Secularists ardently argue that what we had in the West was not a product of Christianity but apart from the inherent weakness of their arguments there is really strong cause-and-effect to these thinks evaporating from society and the decline of Christianity. So we come to the crunch: only God can save.
It is a very Biblical theme that God is a God who saves, and that there is no one and no thing else that can. We think of it in personal terms, which is fair enough, but in the Old Testament it tends to be broader: more often a national salvation.
So I must admit that yearning for revival I was missing a vital step! Reliance on God and crying out to Him to act is what really counts. Even if we are right in guessing that revival is the next step – the important thing which I for one had forgotten is that it would still be the next step!
Just as an little illustration of how much our society is sliding: Last nigh a friend was describing the problems they had experienced wit their aged father in a large and prestigious hospital. He was dying and had dementia. But staff left him all day without opportunity to go to the toilet, and when he eventually wet or soiled himself merely put it down to incontinence. He was deaf but staff would come up behind him and just shove a thermometer in his ear to take his temperature, and when he instinctively flicked his hand up to brush it away they said he was violent and had him restrained. (they were obviously not horse riders, or they would know what happens if you walk behind a horse without letting it know you are there!) One time the registered nurse went off to tea break at the time of taking all the blood pressures etc, and ordered a “personal carer” who had no medical training and had no idea of how to use the equipment to do it, under threat of losing their job!
This is just one cameo, but I think it illustrates just what happens people lose the work ethic, and cease to care about other people! How different when people live Jesus' command “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. And when people see whatever role they perform as a vocation they are putting their best into in order to please God!
This is the sort of dismal future our societies face without revival. Secularists, even if they arrive at the correct ethic – which they generally do not! - have no power to transform human lives from the inside. They can attempt to coerce – but human nature will continually confound their efforts! Only God working through his redeeming love and the power of his spirit in people's innermost beings can transform lives.
So we desperately need God to save us. Revival of faith in Him, as we saw looking through the Old Testament history of God stepping in to rescue his people is a pretty indispensable element. But the one Old Testament element I nearly forgot is that things got so bad that the people cried out to God to save them! Maybe I'm just “wishful thinking” but I really hope things don't have to get worse than they already are in the Western countries. Perhaps that depends on us - how soon we start crying out to God!
So if we are saddened by seeing bit-by-bit so many social institutions, precepts, customs and manners which have made human existence better in our countries being washed away by the tide of secularism. If we lament the immorality of our society – not out of prudery – but out of prudence recognising these behaviours call to fallen human nature like the mythical sirens - that the result now as then is shipwreck and the destruction of human happiness. If we are frustrated at the blindness of our national leaders – their failure to govern for the people – and their lemming march to national bankruptcies and ruin. Then it must start with us. We above all must cry out to God to save our nations.