Thursday 13 June 2019

The West cannot be saved, because it wants to die; but persons can be saved, and their lives transformed into joy

The West cannot be saved, because it is secular. And because The West has no religion, there is essentially nothing to save.

The West has no essence, is merely contingent - just a time-slice through an always-changing, self-subverting, and continually-inverted aggregation of attitudes, beliefs and practices. 

So culturally, the West is purposefully, strategically destroying itself - always, necessarily as a continuous process. 

And biologically The West is destroying itself: by choice the Western population have long since ceased to replace themselves; by strategy it is replacing its own population - and from existential terror (and deliberate wicked intent) this whole subject is taboo, denied, lied-about. 

The West is not even trying to save itself; indeed The West has self-destruction built-in, woven-in, pervasive. After all, how can you save something which so much wants to kill itself? Something which regards every effort to keep it alive as an aggressive act of torture

Take your eye off Western Civilization for just a moment and it will be swinging from the rafters with its own belt around its neck...

So long as The West has no religion, it cannot be saved; and there is only one possible religion for The West: Christianity. A Christian revival is the only hope. 

But there is no sign of this happening - all the large mainstream self-identified Christian denominations are primarily secular, hence are well down the path of killing themselves (where they are not already long-since dead).
Only (real) Christians can perceive this clearly; so what should Christians do? 

The choice is either a greater focus on politics and policies, on laws and society, on constitutions and systems... As our numbers and power ever-diminish, to argue harder and harder to reverse the juggernaut of secularism who have near-zero interest and knowledge of Christianity, but ever greater hostility towards what they suppose it to be?...

Or to switch attention away from politics altogether - to ignore the adverse oceanic tides of mass secular movements, and the corruption and dishonesty of most churches leaders, and instead to focus attention on bringing the message to persons, one individual at a time?

To be always fighting-against (and net losing), or to be positive for (and sometimes winning)?     

If we focus on the big picture - then being a Christian in The West is to be a miserable failure; but, if we focus on the person, then to be a Christian is to experience a deep and mostly hidden well-spring of courage, love, hope, meaning, purpose, belonging - secretly to be gloriously happy despite whatever happens on the surface.

It is impossible to exaggerate the difference that this makes to me, and to every Christian; it is an almost exact inversion of what it was not to be a Christian - when every pleasure was potentially available, nothing was forbidden - but never hope, never happiness.

The secular modern is afraid to probe too deeply, because he is sure there is nothing underneath - all is surface. He is afraid to look ahead, because he has decided that will be nothing there. To him, all human lives are failures because they end in decline, suffering, and death - biography is tragedy (either unfulfilled promise or the disappointment of all desire).

His strongest principles are without foundations - and therefore will almost certainly be discarded when they become inexpedient, or even if they are not discarded then this will be an arbitrary gesture. His most profound yearnings can only be fulfilled in imagination - which is to say they will not be fulfilled, and are delusions.

He sees Christians as torturers because they talk of eternal life, and of the disciplined and constrained path which leads to it - and for modern man that means snatching away the pleasures which are all that make life bearable, and the hope of extinction which is all that makes life endurable.

For such a man, life equals 'existence'; eternal life equals eternal torment.

As Christians, we may be able to save someone, or more than one person, from this horrible existence; and the benefits are not deferred, not only after life and in eternity - but immediate, in this life, here and now and straight away.

Our resources are finite, our effort and enthusiasm requires realistic grounds for optimism. Therefore, let's stop monitoring and trying to turn-back the civilisational tsunami of secular nihilism - but ourselves drowning in pessimism.

And instead adopt the positive, optimistic, realistic goal of saving a few people: saving them into invincible joy.

Reposted and edited from December 28th 2014


EDFree said...

This is probably my favorite post you have written, and I thank God there are people like you and the others who read this blog and resonate with what you write. Many of the real Christians I meet (not the megachurch "Christian-Pagans" who are mostly interested in going to a rock concert) sense something very wrong with society, but can't articulate it. Thank you for articulating it every day!

Bruce Charlton said...

@EDF - Thanks. I stumbled across it yesteday, and it was originally posted in that dead time between Christmas and New Year of 2014, so it wasn't much noticed, although it seems pretty striking (I had long since forgotten writing it!). So I thought it was worth revising and republishing. Of course, I have been making this kind of point since 2010-ish - but sometimes manage to find a refreshing restatement that can be helpful, not least to myself.

stephen cooper said...

(as always, please feel completely free not to publish anything I send you, I know how much of your heart and soul you have poured into this wonderful artwork of yours) -
I completely agree with what EDf said in his first sentence.

Second sentence - well, I am not going to make fun of rock concerts. Not my style, of course, rock concerts, but the "worship music" at megachurches is often not simply the "bad art" that people think it is, but rather a simple good-hearted attempt at waking people up so that when they listen to the Biblical sermon - often rather long - that follows the "rock music" they will be less sleepy than they usually are!

That being said, the desire to help a few people experience divine joy is the greatest desire we can have .... as you said ....

but some people in this world (not me) may be the parents of someone who may, in years to come, be a vessel of the Lord in the sense that such a person may be the closest thing we who live in these days can have to a human and simply human "prophet" of truth, and may bring about a revival, and may be someone who may, for any given nation, not just for a few people (although the two different actions - bringing a few friends, or even just one creature who never had a friend in this world, to a point where they understand the joy of being loved by God ----- and bringing a nation to that point - are equally wonderful) bring that nation back to decent respect and heart-felt appreciation for the Lord ....

so while you are completely correct to say that it is our ultimate task in this world to help others, sometimes not many others, to be what God so passionately wants them to be, and that it is not really our given task to, in any sense of the word, "save the world" ....

and while you are correct to say what you said, I am sure you also know that some of us, certainly including you, pray for our friends to be parents of great saints.

Each generation is called to be better than any generation that preceded them:
and, as much admiration as I have for Adam and Eve, I think it has never been impossible for any generation to be much much better than the preceding generations,

Nothing new needs to be said, it is just simply that many people would be so happy to hear the old words of truth that have always been true.