I firmly believe that the world view of an individual is based on his spiritual condition and how important the Word of God is in his life. Because of this belief, I have encountered an argument that I have no answer on.
I believe that what the West is experiencing (innovations and technology, wealth, “stable” governments, “relative” peace, etc) is part of their spiritual heritage and what the East, Middle-east, South-America and Africa is experiencing is due to their worship of pagan gods. The eroding of the Western society is because they have turned their back on God, His word and principles.
The argument used against my view is: “Look at the great civilizations of the past – Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon, Greece, Romans, etc. and the more modern Napoleon, even Hitler and the communist regimes? There was the same things as in the West (innovations and technology, wealth, “stable” governments, “relative” peace, etc) and their end was the same as what the end of the West will be.”
How do I answer this?
I agree with your conclusions about Western Society. According to recent surveys, only about 7% of Evangelical Christians actually have a Christian world view. The other 93% have the same secular world view as non-believers have. That means they’re preoccupied with the things of this world and spend little or no time preparing themselves or anyone else for the world to come. They’re the seed amongst the thorns the Lord spoke about in Matt. 13:22, saved but with no fruit.
As for the pagan societies that grew and then fell into decay, they make your point. A main lesson from the Old Testament is that when Israel was faithful to God the nation prospered, and when they fell into apostasy they declined. As Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon’s greatness was a gift from God. (Daniel 2:37-38) Their failure was in not recognizing that and turning to him. That mistake has been repeated by major Empires throughout history. (There were exceptions to this, created specifically to thwart the will of God; Nazi Germany against the Jews, the Soviet Union against Christianity, and radical Islam against both.)
You can pin the beginning of our decline in the US to our insistence on the Separation of Church and State, the secularization of our schools and our national decision to murder our unborn. If history is any measure, our tolerance of “alternative lifestyles” is just about the last step in our decline.
There’s no doubt in my mind that if the West, and especially the US, turned back to God and followed His ways, our society would prosper again. But I am equally convinced that we won’t.