One day in Western Europe, around 1960, the Devil was feeling very frustrated. You see, he had been struggling with a problem that had plagued him for a while: He wanted people to be able to have sex, but he didn’t want them to have all the commitments of marriage. Then he had a bright idea: If he could change peoples’ minds about the importance of marriage, and reserving sex for marriage, he could get what he wanted. But how would he do that? The answer: Step by step. Gradually.
And friends, that’s how the West was won.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but life in Canada, Europe and the U.S. is a lot different now than it was in 1960. It’s not about the fall of Communism. It’s not about the rise of Islam. It’s not about economic ebbs and flows. It’s about something far more fundamental than that. The West has seared her conscience. And she, like Esau long ago, has sold her birthright for a bowl of porridge.
For centuries, the West was like Jacob, God’s choice to carry the Good News of Jesus Christ to the ends of the Earth. The West was clothed with the anointing and appointing of the Holy Spirit to fulfill the Great Commission. She had inherited the birthright; the great mantle and privilege that Queen Esther had long ago: The West was placed on this Earth for such a time as this! And for centuries, we embraced this honor, this privilege. Our culture was usually run by leaders, political and otherwise, who promoted the values of the Bible—both Old and New Testaments. And we were a light to our world—raising up and sending out missionaries and evangelists to tell the world about Jesus Christ and His love and forgiveness.
But things began to unravel in the 1960s. Many people today wonder how the Western world could have changed the way it has in such a few short years. Obviously, there have been many factors involved, and fingers can be pointed in a multitude of different directions. In fact, what I’m writing about today will be accused by some to be overly simplistic. In analyzing the decline of the West morally and spiritually, I could delve into many of the “isms” that have contributed to it: existentialism, postmodernism, atheism, to name a few. This could truly be the topic for a Senior Paper if you’re an undergrad, or a Master’s Thesis, perhaps even a Doctoral Dissertation. I get all that, I really do. But once the analysis has been done; once the facts have been checked and rechecked; once the dust has truly settled on all the research, you know what would come to the forefront? If we were able to distill the West’s decline down to one, prime, most important factor, it really comes down to one, simple sin: The Enemy, in Western Europe, around 1960, wanted people to have physical intimacy without the commitment of marriage, and he sought to change peoples’ minds about it. He has succeeded.
Here’s how the progression worked. No-fault divorce entered the picture in the West. Husbands and wives began to be able to divorce for any and every reason, or for no reason at all. When people were interested in physical intimacy with someone other than their spouse, it became a lot easier for that to happen, as quick and easy divorce made adultery equally easy and mainstream.
But how about physical intimacy before marriage? What about physical intimacy among singles? Easy, just look at the next step in the progression. While the ‘60s provided no-fault divorce for the West, the ‘70s removed the consequences of physical intimacy among singles. Abortion was legalized. Since creation, God weaved into the fabric of society a great inhibitor to physical intimacy outside of marriage, an inhibitor that had caused people to exert self-control to avoid physical intimacy until they were married. When the threat of getting pregnant was a legitimate consequence, it was a great motivator to remain faithful to your spouse, and also to remain chaste until you were married. But when abortion was legalized, it absolutely undermined God’s great inhibitor to both fidelity and chastity. Suddenly, in the space of a few short years, no-fault divorce solved the problem of adultery; abortion solved the problem of fornication.
Satan, still hanging around Western Europe, was suddenly smiling.
Of course, the cultural revolution that started in Western Europe didn’t stay there for long. It quickly migrated across Europe and made its way across the English Channel to the United Kingdom. From there, the “British Invasion” of the U.S. in the mid-sixties found very fertile soil in San Francisco, on campuses like Berkeley and others, that embraced the “free love” movement. Once Hollywood got ahold of it, Canada capitulated quickly. If it was good enough for the rest of the West, it was good enough for them!
The legalization of homosexuality, and eventually homosexual “marriage” were the most recent dominoes to fall in this progression—actually regression—of the West. And here we are. Our leaders in the West—political, cultural and tragically, in many cases, even religious—no longer allow the Bible to inform them on issues of basic morality. Cultural debate on whether divorce (apart from adultery and desertion), abortion, fornication and homosexuality are destructive and sinful is generally considered archaic and often laughable. That ship has sailed; it’s time to embrace the modern world.
And that, my friends, is how the West was won. Jacob has become Esau. And all because some people—too many people—simply wanted to have physical intimacy without the commitment of marriage. And not enough good people who knew better raised their voices loud enough to be heard. The West really did sell her birthright for a bowl of porridge. We gave up being the light to the world, so that we could have physical intimacy outside of marriage. We’ve sown the wind, now we’re reaping the whirlwind. What a cheap thing to sell out for.
Is there a way out, a way back? For the West as a whole, I don’t believe so. Corporate repentance through nationwide Revival is what we’re working for and praying for all the time. But truthfully, Biblically, both individuals and nations reach a point where they come to the end of God’s grace. It happened in Israel, and I believe it will happen for the West too. By mistaking God’s patience toward our sin for His acceptance of it, we’ve played marbles with diamonds for too long. Call me Jeremiah if you want to, but I believe that the legalization of homosexual “marriage” last summer in the U.S. was the last domino to fall before we reached the end of God’s leash. I hope I’m wrong, but I fear I’m right. The good news is that the Spirit of God has already saw this problem long ago, and has raised up other nations outside the West to carry God’s mantle to the world. And I’m confident that they will do a great job, hopefully better than we did. And I hope they can look at our example and learn something: Don’t sell your birthright for a bowl of porridge. Treasure your calling from God to the world. And, as the Bible says, keep the marriage bed undefiled. Take the baton from us, and run with it until Jesus meets you at the finish line!
And wipe the smile off the face of the Enemy, when he remembers Western Europe…