Monday, October 09, 2006

Crisis in the Western Christian World – Fire in the backyard?

Rev 2:5 “Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”

It has been nearly five hundred years since Martin Luther, who began the Reformation (1517) that changed the whole world.

It has been more than two hundred years since William Carey’s Modern Mission (1792).

The revival of Wesley, Fletcher, Finnay and Moody etc has been gone for over two centuries now.

In this day and age, the Western Christian world is like ‘an old person without fuel’, who has gradually lost their first love, enthusiasm, faith and heart of redemption. Some still have a bit of fire, in the hope to retain the disappearing sunset; some are struggling in their faith, tradition and morality; some are like a kite without string, follow the wind of the world, sin and unbelief! In the midst of this huge storm of “unbelief” and “anti-God” mentality, most churches have lost the courage to ‘fight against this battle’. Most cannot go against the current, let alone being the pillar of witness.

In the 19th and 20th century, J. Gresham Machen, A.W. Tozer, Francis Schaeffer, and Carl Henry were the leaders who tried to fix these serious problems. In the 21st century, the ‘heroes’ in the church have gradually been disappearing. The church has lost its influence. It follows and is led by the world.

Since the beginning of the church, in relation to the vision of global mission, Satan has been using politics, culture, racial differences and indigenous religions etc to destroy and stop the frontier mission work, so as to stop the spreading of the gospel.

Recently, Satan has used a second strategy, and that is to attack the ‘backyard’ of global mission, and to attack the Western Christian countries. For hundreds of years, Western Christian countries are the starting point of global mission and the gospel. Satan attacked them by destroying faith, morality, family and misleading the youth.

This is a powerful strategy. Western Christian countries have been falling one by one. Countries in Western Europe (eg: the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, The UK, Sweden, Norway etc.) have legalized homosexual marriage. The United States is following suit (May God protect them). If the society of a country has become “Sodom and Gomorrah”, can they still engage in overseas mission?

Because of the ‘break down of the backbone’, there are churches in the Western countries where global mission is disappearing without reasons (in fact disappearing with reasons), mission has become the past!

We would like to appeal and warn the churches (no matter Eastern or Western), our spiritual warfare is two-folded:

Frontier – continue to be involved in global mission, preach the gospel, plant churches and train workers.
Backbone – protect the Christian faith, morality and culture. Be alert in these areas!

May God revive this generation, starting from our churches!

12 comments:

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

A sound message.

Kitty Cheng said...

This messasge has been on my heart for a long time. I think we need to engage in the 2-folded spiritual warfare: both at the frontier and at our backyard.

Radagast said...

Indeed. And this has always been the case:

"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
(Rev 3:14-22)

Kitty Cheng said...

Amen!

Ross said...

In previous generations Western missionaries went to Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Now the church is growing faster in these places then it is in the West, and they send missionaries to us. The worm has turned mightily, it would seem.

Rebecca said...

Hmmm. So can you explain what's wrong with homosexual marriage - especially in those countries, where there is a very clear distinction between civil marriage and religious marriage? and why, oh why oh why oh why do we always focus on individual morality? Why use homosexual marriage as an indicator of the state of decline of the church? What about refugees, rates of urban homelessness, rates of GDP given to overseas aid? What about the amount spent on military compared to social welfare? What about the state of health and education infrastructure? Isn't Sodom and Gomorrah about how you treat the stranger? If this is so, then the Netherlands is doing fine, and it's Australia that's got the problem.

Kitty Cheng said...

Ross, yes the worm seems to have turned mightily. And we now live in a global village.

Kitty Cheng said...

Rebecca, I understand where you are coming from. I guess homosexual marriage is just one out of the many problems that the conntries face...surely Sodom and Gomorrah is about how we treat the stranger, but it's also about how people were not obedient towards God. The Netherlands, as well as Australia, and many more western countries, all have got the problem.

audrey` said...

Amen!
May we stay close to our Lord all the time =)
Let us focus on His eternal love for us.

Kitty Cheng said...

Audrey, yes it's so important for us to focus on God's eternal love for us!

Matt's Mutering said...

Hi Kitty,

Im a silent reader, until NOW! :)

That was so Good, and too the point, about societies decay.

All I can say is this, If we take away our material possesions, technology and buildings we are no different to the people of 100yrs, 500yrs or 2000yrs+ ago (n the days of JESUS CHRIST).
We have the Same desires, wishes and needs. Also we are prone to do the same evil acts, with our relative morality - white lie or full and evil lies etc.

All I really want to say is this;
Sodom and Gomorrah were 2 physical towns destroy by God, for the rejection of the witness of GODS children the Isrealites (in reference to the 10 commandments, and his Holy standard on how they were to care(love)for one another).
The people of S & G, chose to have unatural relations, and were very calous and proud of it.
When ever a culture allows such a level of carnality to occur, then it has been destroyed or ransacked like the Roman Empire.

Matty......

Kitty Cheng said...

Hey Matty, great to 'see' you in the blogosphere FINALLY. You are so right - let us choose God & Holiness, rather than Evil & carnality.