CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

The Crises We Face in 2019

Jan 8, 2019

With a new year upon us, what can we expect? I refer here to the bigger picture – not whether you might get a new job, get married, or move house. Will things get better politically, socially, culturally, morally and spiritually – especially in the West? Or will things go downhill?

No real surprises here as to what I might have to say about all this. From my vantage point things have been going from bad to worse for quite some time now, and 2019 is likely to see more of the same. Indeed, evil, decay, decadence and regression seem to be the order of the day, and they all seem to be accelerating at an alarming rate.

Over the years I have spoken often on these trends and movements in our culture. One public talk I would often give had to do with the three crises we face. I looked at three key areas that we all must be aware of, and must fight against. The three were these:
-the crisis in truth
-the crisis in life
-the crisis in sexuality

All three should be pretty obvious, but let me say a bit more about them. We live in an age where truth is no longer embraced, and relativism rules. People believe whatever they like, and feelings tend to trump facts. Objective truth has been replaced with subjective experience.

And we also live in a culture of death. Abortion and euthanasia for example are now routinely accepted, promoted and celebrated. Not far behind this is the growing acceptance of infanticide. We no longer have any respect for human life, and a delight in death is on the increase.

Finally, all things sexual have simply gone off the rails. The assault on marriage and family, the rise of the porn culture, and the near hegemony of the militant homosexual and transgender agendas is found everywhere in the West. Those who remain chaste before marriage and faithful in marriage – heterosexual marriage that is – are becoming a threatened species.

For decades now I have sought to warn folks about these three major crises. Some listened, but most people just did not seem to care. And that includes people who should care: those who claim to be Christ-followers. I and others sounded the alarm and sought to warn folks about these things, but mostly our words fell on deaf ears.

Thus things are now much worse than they were even a decade ago. As noted, I have not been the only one to speak about such things. Others have made the same clarion calls for us to awaken to our fate. But their pleas have also largely gone unheeded.

One ally in this area is American academic and Christian commentator Everett Piper. In 2017 his important book Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth appeared. I have enjoyed following his incisive and hard-hitting commentary for some time now.

His most recent piece also looks at some of the crises of our time. He offers us four of them, but they are of course similar to my three and those found on the lists of others. Let me offer some snippets from this excellent article. It is entitled, “Nero’s fiddling, ‘but hey, we feel good’.”

Image of Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth
Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth by Everett Piper Amazon logo

He had been asked about the most important issues of 2018 that impacted the nation, our freedoms, and how we live our lives. Here are his four:

First, the feelings versus facts narrative has destroyed our culture, and it will continue to do so. It’s now all about “bread and circuses.” Nero fiddles — he entertains us, he feeds us, he placates us — yet, Rome burns. It’s no longer about the reality of the “economy, Stupid” but rather about the illusion of our stupid feelings.

As long as our bellies are full and our intellects are numb, we march along like mindless lemmings toward our own destruction. The infatuation with socialism, the Kool Aid of climate change, the literal lunacy of sexual fluidity, the name-it-claim-it teleology and ontology of the left, the suppression of free speech on our college campuses — all of this is the result of elevating feelings over facts. Left unchecked, this will continue to destroy anything that’s left of a free society and a free people.

Second, 2018 was the year we saw the death of due process. We now live in society where you are guilty as accused rather than innocent until proven guilty. This means we are all doomed to the fate of the accusation or the lie. Any of us — all of us — can be, and likely will be, destroyed by someone who just wants to silence and marginalize us because they don’t like our politics, our values or our religion….

Third, our ongoing worship at the altar of diversity will be our demise. We are the United States and not the Divided States for a reason. We are One Nation under God, and not many nations under the gods, for a reason. I am the president of a uni-versity and not a di-versity for a reason. A civilized culture celebrates unity and not division. It strives to bring people together rather than divide them….

Fourth is the loss of what it means to be human. This is the big one. If we are not objectively defined as human beings, then men, women, boys and girls become little more than cubistic cartoons drawn by those who presume to erase all form and ignore all lines. If we can’t defend the basic premise of the imago Dei, the image of what it means to be human, then freedom for the human race is lost….

He concludes this way:

Welcome to 2019.
This is no longer the United States of America, but the Divided States of Arrogance: A land that celebrates division and not unity; a society where science is denied and due process is dead; a country where the female is social construct rather than a concrete fact; a culture without a binding “cult”; a land of more and more laws and less and less liberty.
This is no longer the republic of Jefferson and Adams, but rather the dystopia of Huxley and Orwell.
Welcome to a brave new world.
Take your Soma. Listen to the music of the Ministry of Truth. Trust Big Brother. Slip into your dream (though it be a nightmare).
Welcome to a time when the delusions of powerful men strangle the freedoms of powerless women.
Welcome to a country where diversity crushes dissent.
Did I say it was 2019?
I stand corrected.
Welcome to 1984.

Yep, that about sums it up. These crises are killing not just America, but all of the West. Unless God raises up a lot more Pipers and others to sound the alarm, and unless a whole lot more folks start heeding these alarms, the West looks to be toast.

And perhaps irretrievably so.

www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/jan/6/when-feelings-are-elevated-above-facts-a-free-soci/?fbclid=IwAR2voxeiOGewau87X1KIaBsSQEYs57ReUDV-kiI5qvTkem-Wgg12Bo03psU

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17 Responses to The Crises We Face in 2019

  • Interesting article Bill, thanks for drawing attention to Piper’s observations but I think I like your 3 key areas better than his 4; easier to remember and arguably more foundational: truth, life, sex.
    Regarding truth, maybe Pontius Pilate’s famous question to Jesus (John 18:38) showed us there’s always been a temptation for those with state power to seek to deny/override truth?
    But regarding the state’s support for abortion and destruction of marriage, that truly perplexes me given Proverbs 14:28. “A large population is a king’s glory, but without subjects a prince is ruined.”
    No subjects, no state. What’s in our rulers’ heads?

  • Contrasting church notice boards, which epitomize much of the church today:
    https://www.google.com.au/search?tbm=isch&source=hp&ei=Kzk0XNvLHIzb_wSAgpLwCQ&q=rod+bower&oq=rod+boeer&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-img.1.0.0i13j0i13i5i30l2.5261.9818..11770…1.0..0.533.2992.2-5j2j1j1……0….1…….5..0j35i39j0i24.-nEXbBiNO0g#imgrc=q8MhbUZXJ9XqLM&imgdii=rLy6cKEfA4i1WM
    – and
    https://pulpitandpen.org/2019/01/07/church-protested-because-their-sign-reads-bruce-jenner-is-still-a-man-the-bible-is-still-true/

  • Thanks again, Bill. I like Piper’s straightforward, unapologetic approach.

  • Isaiah 5: 20 also names three signs of a degenerate nation. He says,
    “Woe unto them that call evil, good; that put darkness for light and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter”
    Perhaps I am stretching things a bit, but I interpret these three sins as an attack on morality, truth and ontology or being.
    I also see these reflected in the three temptations of Jesus Christ where he is tempted to deny the truth by turning it (stones) into whatever He wanted; morality on its head by tempting God to protect him whilst plunging from the top of the temple and finally by making himself the creator and not the creature.

    Some will say that it has been forever thus. Nothing is new. Life goes in cycles . Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. But many believe the level of wickedness. lawlessness and disorder we see in the 21st century is without precedent. Mankind, apart from just before the Flood, has never witnessed such depravity, disintegration and destruction. The other unique aspect of the place we occupy in the time line of history, is the return of the Jews to Israel and how the future of the nations of the World seem bound up in this tiny nation.
    These are all signs that we are moving ever closer to an appointment with meeting Christ on His return to Earth.

  • We should thank Almighty God for our Christian Prime Minister Mr Morrison who is going to give that ex-Muslim girl Rahaf al-Qunun a refugee visa.

    I pray in 2019 Mr Morrison will be reelected and also many more Muslims will convert and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

  • Thanks again for your article.

  • Thanks Bill and Thanks John Miller.

    Yes Lies are hate. Truth is definitely not hate!

    How is it possible that a very obvious apostate heretic and promoter of sin like Rod Bower is allowed to remain in the C of E? It beggars belief that nothing can be done about this overwhelmingly wicked man leading so many to Hell.

  • Michael,

    That is good news, but I wonder why she will be allowed in but Asia Bibi has been cast away? Also, what about the South African farmers? They have been ignored as well. Perhaps Asia is not as pretty and those Boers can be very strict in their Calvinism and will probably ruffle a few feathers (not saying they are Christian but Saffies have a long history of being forthright and willing to call out wrong behaviour)?

    I won’t be lionising Morrison (or any politician). As for his Christianity, it seems to be no different from the limp-wristed version Rudd espoused on his Sunday morning, post-church doorstops.

    At the risk of starting a range-war, I have great reservations about anything connected to Hillsong. I’ll remain neutral until he actually does something that is not window dressing in a Christian sense. Moving the Australian Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be a good start.

    I agree with your last sentence that many more Muslims may repent and come to faith in Jesus Christ.

  • Dear Troy,

    Asia Bibi should be offered asylum too. Scott Morrison would win many votes if he said this now.

    South African farmers (black & white) and all Christian Africans should get fast track asylum.

    Talk to Sydney Anglican leaders and they will tell you African Christians are very important for defending Gospel Christianity against the Long March of progressive so called “Christians”. One photo is worth a thousand words. Their numbers give GAFCON the power to stand up to Lambeth, and having many more of them here in Australia filling church pews will help our churches stay true to the Gospel.

  • Hi Bill,
    Let’s hope it’s a happier New Year than we all anticipate. They say “Hope Springs Eternal”.
    Like you, over the past years we have felt the majority of people are not so much asleep asleep at the wheel, but rather comatose.
    A country friend (who last year saved his grandson in the city from being recruited at school into the trans-community), described the Australian people to me as being “like the frog being boiled in the billy”. A great description, I thought.
    I guess we can only continue to tell things how they are and hope eventually the truth will start to sink in, albeit far too late. At least we can sleep at night with a clear conscience.
    Keep up the great work Bill,
    Kind regards,
    Julian.

  • Michael,

    My understanding is that Asia Bibi has already been refused, both in the UK and here for the reason that muslims will be offended.

    I didn’t know about any black farmers needing asylum, unless they are staff of the white landowners.

    African Christians might be important but we need to be very careful, as a large number of those refugees from Africa that are apparently not causing a problem in Victoria and Qld, claim to be Christians. It seems that real Christians don’t get to the head of the refugee queue very easily.

    I think we need to temper our Christian compassion with some wisdom that enables us to protect what we have built as a nation. The desire to treat everyone as if they are innocent and good is backfiring on us as the left use it to leverage their open borders policy.

    Groups such as Rod Bower’s sect do nothing to advance the cause of Christ but perpetuate the weak-minded face of Christianity that the world thinks is real.

  • Dear Troy,

    All good Christian South Africans, black & white, are victims of the murderous lawlessness created by the Socialist ANC Government there.

    White farmers advocacy group AfriForum says 64 white farmers were murdered in one year, and 57 South Africans are murdered every day – around 20,000 every year. This isn’t a competition about who is getting murdered more. Can’t we all agree that good Brothers and Sisters in Christ who have the misfortune of living in South Africa are dying at an unacceptable rate?

    All good Christians seeking to flee South Africa or anywhere else in Africa should be given asylum if we are truly a Christian country.

    You are right, we should be careful that they are not fake Christians but this is easy to solve.

    Christian refugees from Africa should provide a reference from their priest or pastor proving how long they have been a member of that church and how regularly they attended.

    If someone has gone to a scripturally sound church in Africa every Sunday for 20 years, I’m happy to have that person in Australia. Doesn’t matter if they are black or white.

    What would be wrong with having more Lucy Guchuhi’s in Australia?

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/lucy-gichuhi-talks-up-faith-as-she-is-sworn-in-to-senate/news-story/31e65480d52eb9c0c5d49723bed6d9bf

  • Michael,

    The same Lucy that was caught out misusing taxpayer funds for a big birthday celebration and when interviewed on Kenyan TV remarked that she is doing it tough here because she can’t afford servants? So much for her faith? The fruit doesn’t match the testimony.

    Maybe more black African farmers are being killed but I suspect that would be more along tribal lines, rather than because they are simply white. The black murder rate in SA has been extremely high during and after apartheid and probably before as well, so I would guess there is a cultural element at work there. If we import refugees from the different tribes, we may end up with what we are starting to experience now on a greater scale.

    I’m afraid I don’t share your naivety on references from priests. The refugee program is one giant rort as it is and is open to abuse. Thanks to idealistic Christians and the undermining of our society by the left and apologists like Rod Bowers, we do not stand up and declare what we expect from asylum seekers, we simply bend to allow their poor behaviour on cultural grounds. Perhaps those of like mind to you may wish to go to South Africa as missionaries to help them fix their country?

  • Dear Troy,

    I am a Gospel-centered conservative Christian and I say a Christian is a Christian whether they’re Black, White, Middle Eastern, Asian or any other race.

    Not all Christians are called to be missionaries but we are all called to obey 1 John 3:17.

    Any Christian murdered is one too many. We will answer on the final day for our actions if we say yes, white South African Christians, you can come here and be safe but no, black South African Christians, you cannot.

    We cannot help everyone but Australia has special links to South Africa and if we help Christian South Africans we should try to help as many as we can and not focus on race.

    You suspect this and you suspect that but you have no evidence to back up anything. You say things that are proven to be wrong, like saying Australia has refused Asia Bibi asylum. That is your fruit not matching the testimony. [See Matthew 19:18 & 1 John 2:4]

    And you know the Pope has servants, what’s the problem?

    Many other Christian politicians have been caught out using taxpayer’s funds improperly. If you hold everyone to the same standard there wouldn’t be one Christian left in Parliament according to you.

    Senator Lucy was one of only a handful of pollies who voted against Malcolm Turncoat’s fake marriage legislation and for that alone she will always have my respect.

  • Bill, on a similar topic, this article appeared in the West online recently about the Very Rev Dr John Shepherd who does not believe in the physically risen Messiah…

    https://thewest.com.au/news/religion-and-belief/wa-anglicans-rally-behind-former-church-head-over-resurrection-furore-ng-b881072470z

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