Kevin Swanson points out in his book “Epoch: The Rise and Fall of the West” that the West has already fallen, although the news has yet to sink in with most Europeans and Americans in our day. In his book, Swanson traces the spectacular rise of the Christian West, and its equally stunning downfall – a downfall we are experiencing firsthand in a secularized, statist United States.
The cause of the fall is moral – an abandonment of faith in Christ and obedience to his Law-Word – but the effects of the fall are ubiquitous. Most notable to some is the economic metric. “Until the year 2000, Europe and North America produced over half of the Gross World Product, peaking out at 66% in 1960, while these nations constituted only 10% of the world population,” Swanson writes. “This economic index collapsed to 37% in 2015, and continued to contract in following years.”
Closer to home, here in the United States, massive government debt, quantitative easing (i.e., introducing more money into the money supply, thus debasing the currency), and reckless spending have been the mantra of both political parties.
For example, President Trump initially claimed to be against quantitative easing, but then did an about-face when the manipulation of the economy suited his political needs. Ryan McMaken, senior editor at the Mises Institute, recognized this hypocrisy in 2018. “Trump, who has never demonstrated any actual grasp of monetary policy — or economics in general — just wants to keep the current boom going,” McMaken wrote. “And whether he knows it or not, the ‘false economy’ Trump pointed to under Obama is now Trump’s false economy.” As predicted, Trump soon began calling for more quantitative easing, not less.
For another touchpoint, the national debt has not decreased year-to-year since 1957. Billions and billions of dollars added to our national debt each year, all under the approving eyes of the GOP. Such is the incrementalism that is touted as a way out of this mess. It actually appears to be an incremental downfall into the abyss of economic insolvency. (Pennsylvania debt currently stands at approximately $54 billion and is expected to increase to over $70 billion in five years.)
Step by step, down, down, down we go – all to the thunderous applause of supposedly making America great again.
I’m not sure we are using that word “great” in a meaningful way. Is massive government debt, a colossal socialistic government education system, forced taxation, and government regulations to be described as greatness? But that was the America of twenty years ago – even fifty years ago – is that what we are going back to?
The more excellent way is Christ’s plan for the nations laid out in the pages of sacred Scripture – a plan which deals with every area of life, including economics, education, crime, immigration, justice, welfare, warfare, and anything else which pertains to life and godliness.
But this is where the rubber meets the road: when a people are no longer willing to have their (conservative?) worldview corrected by the Scripture, we have disconnected ourselves from any hope of societal blessing. This is where we witness a final unmooring from any Christian foundations that did contribute to any of the greatness in American history.
If Republicans, many of whom claim to be Christians, are unwilling to subject their party or their favorite candidate to the plumbline of sacred Scripture, then the fall from grace is complete. Indeed, it appears America has fallen – and many Republicans are holding sledgehammers.
Recently, England experienced a symbolic abandonment of the vestiges of Christian civilization laid by Alfred the Great and his grandson Athelstan, when a professing Hindu became prime minister. But this open abandonment of the Christian worldview in favor of a pagan one is merely a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. The problem is a long path of refusing to submit to Scripture. That path ends in a complete fall of a society, but it does not start there.
There is only one way Republicans can be part of the solution to America’s woes – and that is if they will adhere to the supreme standard, the Christian Scriptures. To this point in our history, they have refused to do so, and have thus been a key factor in the fall of our civilization.
Sometimes I ruffle feathers by holding Republicans to a standard higher than the deplorable Democratic platform. Perhaps it is because I still believe they might be willing to listen – “Rebuke not a scorner, lest he hate thee: but rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee” (Prov. 9:8; cf. Ps. 141:5). I’m hoping some are still willing to receive the rebuke.
Let’s not mourn England’s abandonment of her Christian roots if we are unwilling to do what England failed to: namely, bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (cf. 2 Cor. 10:5). If conservative candidates are unwilling to return to sacred Scripture as it relates to the civil realm, and if Republicans are unwilling to take a stand against the incremental destruction of our nation, then the ship of actually making America great has sailed. We have unmoored her from the rock-solid foundation of “thus saith the Lord” and set her adrift in a sea of pragmatism, political posturing, and statist hypocrisy.
But at least it’s better than the Democrats running the show? Actually, the incremental destruction and semi-socialism of the conservative movement is the very thing that leads to the Democrats, or the Hindus, or any other pagan group, taking over. We cannot avoid paganism by being a little less pagan. And we cannot avoid socialism by being a little less socialist. And we cannot avoid the utter destruction of our nation by following a movement that is unwilling to be corrected by God’s Word.