What was the similarity between Holland, England, Scotland, and Switzerland in the 16th century?
All these accepted Reformed Christianity as their official religion and defended it against all odds, at all costs. And all they reformed their societies according to the principles of their faith.
What was the similarity between Holland, England, Scotland, Switzerland, and the newly formed American colonies (by Dutch, English, and Scottish colonists) in the 17th through the 18th centuries?
They all developed the ideas of liberty – religious, political, economic – and worked to embed them in the constitutions of their cultures and societies. And they all developed a new view of economics, business, and markets, that gave new dignity to work, thrift, stewardship of resources, and accumulation of riches; a dignity that wasn’t present in the world before. And they developed systems of legal equity that provided liberty and justice for all, and equality before the law.
What was the similarity between Holland, England, Scotland, Switzerland, and America in the 18th through the 19th centuries?
They were all the spearhead of the scientific, technological, and industrial revolution that created a sharp increase of wealth in the West, defeated chronic starvation that has been commonplace throughout history, and raised the standard of living of even the poorest of their inhabitants to levels undreamt before.
The historical facts are too obvious for an unbiased observer to miss the logical sequence: consistent Christianity ——> liberty and dignity and justice for all ——> scientific, technological, and economic success. Any historical commentator that rejects that obvious connection has to twist logic quite violently to disprove it. It’s just there, in history, right before our eyes.
And England was the tip of the spearhead. Ahead of everyone else, in liberty, justice, technological innovation, and economic growth. The envy of the world, the Mighty Albion, the teacher of all nations.
And in the 20th century, she has fallen behind. It’s only a shadow of its former glory. What’s the reason? Not that hard to guess: She rejected what made her strong in the first place: her Christian faith. The moment she lost it, the basis for liberty, justice, dignity, and hope (which is the foundation for innovation and entrepreneurship) was lost. And England became just another one of those socialist nations that lag behind in everything. Except that, she had a better momentum. But momentum does not produce winners. At the end, a nation pays for its loss of faith.
But this curse on England may happen to be its blessing. In times when the whole world seems to be going to hell in a hand basket, people and nations are willing to turn back to their Creator, when all socialist policies have failed, and there is no hope. And the churches of England are beginning to fill, little by little. So reports The Telegraph. In the midst of troubled times, the people of England may be beginning to reassess their commitment to the religion that formerly made England great.
Of course, this is still not the active, comprehensive faith of their ancestors who worked to re-structure their society along the Biblical lines. Neither does the Church of England teach such a faith; the church is simply another government institution in England, a government Ministry of Religion of a sort. The faith that these new church-goers are going to learn is nothing more than a personal, subjective, closet faith that leaves the culture in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats to manage and control.
But who knows. It may be that in the growth of church attendance there will come the critical mass of earnest, active believers that will say “Enough is enough,” and will work to reclaim England from the Socialist/Atheist/Muslim political alliance that currently controls the culture, the media, and the government. Very often religious revivals come from the laity, against the wishes of the clergy. Let’s pray England is heading to that reunion with her faith, that faith that made her what she was in the days of her glory.