Restore Or Replace The West?
1 Corinthians 3:10-13
10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
While Western civilization has had a terrific run, I do believe it is coming to an end. The question that remains is this: what will replace it?
One thing to keep in mind is that what we identify as Western civilization started before the appearance of Jesus Christ in the world. Christianity appeared on planet earth when Jesus Christ sent the spirit of God to dwell within them at Pentecost. The point is that even though that’s true, the impact of Christianity over time was mixed in with some of the beliefs and cultures it impacted, resulting in the inevitable decline of those people and nations, which we’re seeing now in the West.
In this article I want to look at one such area that was destined to result in a collapse of Western civilization, even with the influence of Christianity upon it.
The government as healer
In Rome, one of the major tenets of the empire was that healing or health of the people was the major purpose of law. So when Christianity told hold there, laws underpinning and reinforcing the state as healer was something that continued on in history.
Consequently, the idea of law started to take on a positive rather than a negative connotation, which turned the law, as influenced by God’s laws revealed in the Bible, on its head. It was only a matter of time before it caught up with the West, which is what we’re seeing in our day.
This is why the left hates the true right. When we hear about wokeness, cancel culture, and other atrocities and totalitarian leanings and actions, it’s a direct result of centuries of treating the law as something that is positive and healing, rather than the requirements of God for the people of the earth, that were to be adhered to and obeyed.
Replace or restore?
This brings me to the question of whether the West should be replaced or restored. My thesis is that if we are going to try to restore it be focusing on classical education and teaching, we’re already doomed. If that worked, we wouldn’t be in the situation we’re in now, with the mixed foundations of the West collapsing around it.
By mixed foundations I’m referring to taking some of the revelation of God as revealed in the Bible, and mixing it with Greek and Roman thought and history in particular.
I am aware of some people working on keeping the history of the West alive by focusing on reproducing classical books that were significant in Western history, in face of the current attempts to erase it.
I’m not opposed to that in the sense of us needing to know our history and its influences, but I am opposed to it when those engaging in the projects believe the influence of many of the pagans of that day are important in that they need to be read again to aid us in restoring the West on its former foundations and greatness.
What we identify as the West in our day has a great history because of the impact of Christianity as it spread across the world. The problem is our spiritual forefathers, in some cases, didn’t have the wisdom to totally separate the wheat from the chaff in regard to the foundations they built upon, and again, we are now reaping what they sowed because of it.
We should never go back to the driving, syncretistic, faulty foundation of the West, but instead, sift through the rubble so when we start rebuilding, we’ll have a far more sure and lasting foundation in the new creation civilization we build, which will eventually spread, once again, across the planet.
Our job isn’t to restore that which is crumbling around us, but start to build and replace it with something better. One of the areas to identify and work on is to quit thinking of the state and its laws as a source of healing and health, and instead once again embrace the law for its purpose, which is to identify crime and punish it.
The great thing there is since that’s the purpose of the state or government, it undermines the idea of large government and its control over the lives of people, and focuses it on where it should be – the law, courts, and eventual punishment of criminals.
As the Scriptures in the opening part of the article state, there is only one foundation to build on, and that is Jesus Christ. And that foundation is revealed in the Holy Scriptures.
One of our major jobs in this world is to remove that which isn’t of Jesus Christ from the foundation in order that a city with foundations will be built on the earth, whose builder and maker is God. We are given the privilege of participating in that work.
As it relates to this article, a key going forward is to not just parrot the idea of the need for small government, but to understand why that is the case.
Biblically speaking, the reason is that government or the state exists primarily for the purpose of embedded the laws of the Bible in their legal code, and from there, incorporating the just punishments outlined by God.
I understand that we need more work on clearly understanding and defining what those punishments are to entail, but the point is that they should be considered negative feedback from God in regard to His revealed laws, which are based on His very nature.
There are many secondary issues we could tackle as to why the West is failing, but in the end, one of the major issues is the fact that the laws of God as revealed in the Bible have been forsaken as to their purpose, and replaced by laws that were made to be healing to the people, rather than a deterrent to breaking the laws and receiving punishment for their crimes.
This is why laws in the West have been turned on their heads, and that which is good is being called evil and evil being called good.
An example of that is so-called hate speech, which in most cases is simply telling people the truth about their thoughts, words and deeds, and the need to repent from them and turn to Jesus Christ. This is empowered by the fact that Western governments have abandoned their God-given purpose and morphed into monstrosities that demand we allow them to take care of and coddle the people of the nations, submitting to their benevolent caretaker role.
If you think on these things, it’ll make sense to you why there is such animosity on the part of the left and the governments when we don’t accept their healing role.
In order to build something with spiritual substance in the years ahead, we must embrace the fact that the government is very limited by God in its role, and that role is solely to bear the sword against those who engage in crimes.
For that reason we must abandon the Roman idea of the government being the healer of the people, and teach the nations God’s laws, and that they must remember and obey them, as Jesus taught in what we call the great commission.
We aren’t called to restore the West by building on the same foundation that was destined to fail, but to once again embrace Jesus Christ as the only foundation to build upon in all areas of life.
That’s why we must question our presuppositions concerning the foundations of the West and build something on the surer foundation of Jesus Christ going forward. Mixing the Bible with the culture and laws of Greco-Roman antiquity won’t work.