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We’ve Forgotten The Obvious Things

“The secular conservative has no meaningful weapon in his arsenal because when truth is relative, feelings — not facts — will dictate the day.”


Conservatives lost considerable ground when they forfeited the absolutes of the Bible for the fictitious notion of secular neutrality.

By abandoning their absolute measure, they lost any meaningful basis to analyze and criticize contrary ideas.

Consequently, conservatives have been stuck playing a game according to rules that were designed to undermine their every effort.

Without any absolute point of reference, concepts such as good, bad, love, hate, truth, and falsehood, are now dictated by relativists. The secular conservative has no meaningful weapon in his arsenal because when truth is relative, feelings — not facts — will dictate the day.

As such, secular conservatism might delay the corrosion, but without a grounding in Christianity, it will all be for naught once the tide inevitably turns.

In his book Rules for Reformers, Douglas Wilson wrote:

Secular conservatism will sometimes buy you some time, but that is about all it can do — that and lure you into the complacent notion that it can do more than that. Secular conservatism is like trying to use your pocket handkerchief to slow you down after the main chute has failed. This is why individual heart transformation, not legislation, is fundamental to national reformation. The person and work of Jesus is not optional.

The West cannot long survive absent of that which made it great: Christianity. Every day, that reality is becoming more evident. There are two choices before us: Christ or chaos. It’s no mere coincidence that chaos now dominates the “post-Christian” western world.

We thought we were clever. We thought we out-grew the Bible, but as G.K. Chesterton pointed out: “Every high civilization decays by forgetting obvious things.”

Information has never been so readily available to the human race, and yet the history books may well remember us as one of the most ignorant generations ever.

We fight democracy in the name of anti-fascism, promote murder and call it healthcare, employ racism to fight racism, penalize opposing ideas in the name of tolerance, reject the Ten Commandments then lament lawlessness, spend hours on end being indoctrinated by Hollywood but can’t tolerate a 30-minute sermon, divide communities under the guise of inclusivity, trust politicians but look with scepticism at the church, call violence speech and speech violence, shame virtue while promoting promiscuity, read more tweets than we do Bible verses, and hand our children to the state and label it parenting.

And we ask ourselves, where did it all go wrong? We’ve forgotten the obvious things. We’ve forgotten what once made our nations great. And there is a consequence for such negligence.

Chesterton went on to say:

“The fact that a chaotic and ill-educated time cannot clearly grasp that truth does not alter the fact that it always will be the truth. Our generation, in a dirty, pessimistic period, has blasphemously underrated the beauty of life and cravenly overrated its dangers. As for our own society, if it proceeds at its present rate of progress and improvement, no trace or memory of it will be left at all.”

T.S. Eliot, a giant of modern literature and the 1948 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, once said:

It is in Christianity that our arts have developed; it is in Christianity that the laws of Europe–until recently–have been rooted. It is against a background of Christianity that all of our thoughts had significance.

An individual European may not believe that the Christian faith is true, and yet what he says, and makes, and does will all spring out of his heritage of Christian culture and depend upon that culture for its meaning…

I do not believe that culture of Europe could survive the complete disappearance of the Christian faith. And I am convinced of that, not merely because I am a Christian myself, but as a student of social biology.

If Christianity goes, the whole culture goes.

Then, you must start painfully again, and you cannot put on a new culture ready made. You must wait for the grass to grow to feed the sheep, to give the woll out of which your new coat will be made.

We should not live to see the new culture, nor would our great-great-great-grandchildren: and if we did, not one of us would be happy in it.

The fact is, the Gospel once Christianised the blood-thirsty, Christian-murdering Roman Empire. It transformed barbaric pagan Europe, built the British Empire and formed the basis of the United States. Empires crumble when the Gospel is displaced, and the West is on course to learn that truth the hard way.

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