I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. For now is Christ risen from the dead, the first-fruits of them that sleep.
I see that the liberals of Newsweek, with the impeccable good taste we can expect from liberals, ran a lead article on the decline of Christianity. The “conservatives” immediately responded with their rebuttals, saying that “76% of Americans were still Christians.” This is not a complex issue. Christianity is not just in decline, it no longer is the faith of more than a small percentage of Europeans. I think the confusion arises when we simply count those who attend Christian churches and then proclaim the attendees Christians. But the rationalist Christianity of the churches is not Christianity. One frequently hears from such “Christians” that they don’t believe in Christ’s resurrection from the dead, original sin, or the divinity of Christ; nevertheless, they call themselves Christians. “After all, who’s to say what constitutes a Christian?”
There is no absolute date when Christianity ceased to be the faith of the European people. I use 1914 as the date when Christianity was no longer the faith of the vast majority of the Europeans, and 1965 as the date when the Europeans abandoned the morals, such as chastity and respect for life in the womb, which stemmed from a belief in Christianity. Every evil of the modern world – legalized abortion, sexual promiscuity, the West’s suicidal surrender to the colored races, the Moslemization of Europe – all stem from the fact that Europeans no longer believe that Christ rose from the dead.
There is no simple cure for the unbelief of the modern European. It’s not a case of handing out more Bibles or writing more books such as Frank Morrison’s magnificent Who Moved the Stone. The European’s heart is stone; he is not interested in hearing the case for Christ. Why? Shouldn’t everyone be interested in Christ’s resurrection from the dead? Is it not the only event in history that should command the attention and interest of the entire human race? In the face of death, what hope have we but our faith in Him and the resurrection of the dead?
Take, he said, the belief in immortality, which, according to some men, is a matter of mild indifference. It is really a belief which affects our whole conception of the human race. Consider, he said, the carnage of war, with its pile of unnumbered corpses. It must make some matter to us whether, according to our serious belief, each man has died like a dog, and left nothing in the way of a personal existence behind him, or “whether out of every Christian-named portion of that ruinous heap there has gone forth into the air and the dead-fallen smoke of battle some astonished condition of soul unwillingly released.”What has happened in the past one hundred years to make Europeans discard the faith of their ancestors? Maybe we can answer that question if we ask the reverse question: What made the Europeans believe in Christ’s resurrection from the dead? They believed because they loved Him. He set their hearts on fire with His life and death. The Europeans ceased to believe when they lost the capacity to love. And we lose the capacity to love when we detach our minds from our hearts. Unamuno put it so well -- detached reason is indeed a whore. What was Satan, who roams the world seeking the ruin of souls, trying to accomplish by tempting Adam and Eve? He was trying to destroy the filial heart-to-heart relationship they had with God. And he succeeded. He got them to think about God as a competitor. He enjoined them to fix their minds on the forbidden fruits of the natural world in order to become God’s equal. The modern European has reverted to the ethos of the old Adam, and he has institutionalized original sin. Because he no longer believes in original sin, he is incapable of seeing the consequences of seeking to be God’s equal.
- John Ruskin quoted in W. H. Mallock’s Memoirs of Life and Literature
The older European civilization was not utopia. It was only a pale imitation of the kingdom of heaven. But it was in line with God’s kingdom. The values that Europeans held dear were the same values He held dear. Can the modern European make the same claim for the civilization which he has built? Is God a race-mixer, an abortionist, an atheist? What is the hymn of the modern European? His hymn is, “Science has spoken: The dead shall not be raised, and we have no need to be changed, for we are perfect. The corrupt are the recalcitrant Christians and they shall be changed or slain.”
In contrast, let’s listen to the voice of the antique European:
“The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
Let me close with a fragment from Andrew Lytle’s memoir, A Wake for the Living:
These men and my ancestors and their neighbors are all ghosts now. All of them await somewhere the union with their true substance. I have not in pagan fashion called their shades up to lap the blood of life and reveal secrets I would like to know. But I do ask of them a compassionate sympathy for my ignorance in recalling them to mind. I ask it in language I can never imitate but only invoke, for our inheritance in the life Everlasting.
"Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening into the house and gate of Heaven, to enter into that gate and dwell in that house, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light, no noise nor silence but one equal music, no fears nor hopes but one equal possession, no ends nor beginning but one equal eternity, in the habitation of thy Majesty and they glory, world without end. Amen."