Monday 15 October 2012

Religion versus Civilizational Collapse versus Revival


To recapitulate...

We cannot stop the ongoing collapse of Western Civilization without a Religious Revival - and in fact this would have to be a Christian revival.

Because without a Religious Revival we cannot draw and hold the numerous lines that need to be drawn and held.


(To save what is good from the wreckage, we need to be rigid about what we want, and not flexible, or else we will flexibly do what is expedient, which is precisely what will continue to kill us. Of course, being rigid about what is right is not the same as being simplistic, or cut-and dried, in practice.)


Furthermore, there must be a Religious Revival for people to want to save our Civilization, rather than - as at present - wanting and acting to destroy it.

But Religious Revival cannot be achieved for the reason of saving Civilization: Revival can only be for its own sake, for the sake of Religion.

And Religious Revival will not necessarily save Civilization - it only makes the saving possible rather than impossible.

In sum, we should forget about saving Western Civilization and concentrate on the need for Religious Revival - necessarily Christian.


And yet, a Religious Revival, a Great Awakening, is itself a hazardous thing; because Christianity can only be chosen, and whatever the environment Men can (and some will) choose wrongly.

In a Christian Revival, Men's hearts are sensitized to the Holy Ghost - there are many conversions but more obviously an increase in devoutness.

However, this presents Satanic opportunities at the same time, and by similar mechanisms - and Revival is characterized by increasing fanaticism, factionalism and zealous evil.

So, for Religious Revival to be a net benefit, the ground must be prepared.


If modern Britain was to experience a Great Awakening, as sometimes happened in the past (for example in the 1800s with the advent of Methodism); if the nation were to become gripped by a sudden powerful religious devotion, then it is hard to imagine the population as it is now being able to discern real Christianity from evil religions - easy to imagine that many people would be deceived or would themselves embrace opportunities for deception - opportunities for wicked new pleasures, personal status, wealth, and above all spiritual power.


In sum, if there was a Religious Revival now, it would most likely lead not to Christ but to Antichrist (cunning simulations of some aspects of Christianity in service to evil).

So, before we could even hope for a Christian Great Awakening, we would need to be worthy of it.

Which is a matter of repentance; of knowing we are on the wrong track, and wanting to get off it.

Repentance would have to come first.

But to move from a state of repentance to making the positive choice of accepting Christ as Saviour is always and intrinsically a moment of great peril.




AlexT said...

Well put Dr. Charlton. This is the main reason i have no real respect for the evangelical/pentecostal strain of christianity. They are very succesful at converting people, but so much of their theology seems so shallow and 'American' that i feel certain it will eventually devolve into ever weirder sects. A bit uncharitable perhaps, but i have never met/read/heard a pastor from any of these denomination that impressed me even in a general way, let alone as a man of God.
If there is to be a real revival, it will have to come from the traditionalist Orthodox/Catholic/Lutheran/Calvinist branches.
Would love to get your thoughts on that.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Alex T - I am not sure about this. I myself attend an evangelical Anglican church - but perhaps that would come under the 'Lutheran/ Calvinist' category.

About Pentecostals... I share your reservations, and the potential for abuse and error seem obvious - but I just don't know.

It may be that this is a first step for many, or indeed the best option for others; it may be that the older denominations are too 'dry'.

I am thinking in particular of Africa, and perhaps China where I understand that Pentecostals are the main growth area (?).

The Holy Ghost may work differently in different places and among different peoples.