Are we Facing the Death of Western Civilization?

Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, wrote the following concerning reports that he was seriously ill and near death (it was actually a cousin): “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” A similar thing can be said about Western Civilization. It may be ill, but it’s not dead. In fact, the enemies of Western Civilization and its Christian beginnings are on life support.

The main reason anti-Christian civilizationists survive and seem to thrive is that Christians have not engaged with and built a competing alternative culture. Moreover, many of them don’t believe there can be a Christian civilization, so they send their children off to the local government school that is anti-Christian.

It hasn’t always been this way. Winston Churchill, for example, saw the Battle of Britain as a struggle between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. “Upon this battle,” Churchill said on the 18th of June 1940, “depends the survival of Christian civilization.”

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Christianity has always entered the world deep in the stench of paganism and darkness. In the past, such conditions have brought out the best in the Christian worldview. Christianity infused the world with the light of the gospel and its call for the redemption of sinners and their sin-stained world. This vision of Christianity seems lost on many of today’s Christians.

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Anti-Christians are killing off their future via abortion and choosing not to have children. Homosexuality and transgenderism (and all the other gender-isms) are self-emasculating. When men and women are cutting off their genitals to identify as the opposite sex, we have to ask whose civilization is coming to an end.

For centuries well-intentioned Christian writers have claimed the end was near. Western civilization, while severely damaged, survived two world wars. Lesser civilizations would have been relegated to the dustbin of history.

The following is adapted from Michael Yousseff’s The Hidden Enemy: Aggressive Secularism, Radical Islam and the Fight for Our Future. Yousseff is pastor of the Church of the Apostles (Atlanta, GA) and founder and president of Leading the Way, a worldwide television and radio ministry. He has been writing and preaching on the end-of-the world themes for decades.

I believe Western civilization was born in 1517, when Martin Luther ignited the fires of the Protestant Reformation. … Luther taught the church and European culture to respect truth and anchor it to Scripture. Western societies have operated on a foundation of reason and objective truth ever since—that is, until the past 50 years or so. The change began in 1967. That was the year an entire generation—the Baby Boom generation—was profoundly affected by a new way of looking at reality. That was the year our culture began to abandon objective truth in favor of feelings and subjective experience.

Why was 1967 so significant? That was the year Dr. Timothy Leary told the 30,000 gathered for the first Human Be-In in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park to “turn on, tune in and drop out.”


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