The state of the western political world today:
- USA and Donald Trump (does any more need to be said?)
- Britain: Brexit, Theresa May and a hung Parliament.
- In Australia, partisan politics continues to cripple a government that often seems to have more policy disagreements within its own ranks than it has with the official opposition party.
- France: power to be in the hands of a new, untested, quickly cobbled together party based on the charisma of a young leader. Can such a party provide longstanding stable government?
- German elections in September… what surprises could that bring?
Some religious commentators are attributing the increasing instabilities in the “Western World” to a departure from our historical Judeo-Christian foundations; but I find their view of history is seriously flawed.
What kind of “Judeo-Christian” foundation was “Western democracy” ever built upon? Has there ever (REALLY) been an all-encompassing embracing of Jesus or His gospel?
Over over centuries there was a lot of religious superstition, theological rhetoric, and political USE of the Church as a tool of government.
And while there may have been individual pockets of society that at times have shown authentic devotion to God, has there ever been a GENUINE widespread, long-lasting commitment to Jesus and His Kingdom that could result in a claimed blessing of “the West” over past centuries – blessings that are now allegedly being forfeited?
If anything, it seems to me that during the period AFTER the claimed abandonment of Judeo-Christian ideals, the west experienced its most peaceful and prosperous period: that is post WWII.
Of course there were ongoing problems, but arguably, things had never previously been better for the average person in the west as the world got back to its feet after the death and destruction of the Second World War.
It’s mostly in the last decade or two (significantly post 9/11) that perceived threats have led to growing fear that blessings (our comforts, safety and wealth) will be forfeited due to a casting aside of Judeo-Christian” ideals. (Proffered evidence of this casting aside can date back a century or two. One case I’ve seen points way back to the French Revolution* as an example!).
Those fears of loss at the heart of the argument seem mostly founded on a fear of others – those “not of the west” . A fear that others coming into our nations will disrupt and compromise our “western values” – values that to a great part are not necessarily Kingdom values anyway.
Apart from the current issue of promoting a fear-based ideology, the fictionalising of history projects the cause of perceived problems onto society at large, putting the blame on “THEM” and THEIR (society’s) relationship to God; shifting the focus away from the personal and our own relationships with God and the unbelieving society we live among.