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Faith One Blog


“Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). These words from the Lord come at the end of a parable about a widow’s prayer for deliverance.1 They seem out of place, a cryptic remark disconnected from the subject at hand. But there it is and, when we look at the history of the Christian faith, we can see there is cause for concern. There certainly could have been no doubt on the Lord’s part as to the outcome but He doesn’t indulge in asking idle questions. There is a strong implication here that says: first, man bears responsibility for the maintenance of the faith; and, second, the presence or absence of faith on earth when He returns depends on man. As we shall see, Christ has given His people much more responsibility than most Christians would acknowledge today. Without denying God’s sovereign control over all things, we can say that Christianity has no life of its own; its continuance and survival depends on Christians who make it what it is.

There was a time, really not so long ago, when Christianity was the dominant faith in the Western world. It thrived in Europe, Australia, South Africa, and the Americas. In the Colonial era until well after the War of Independence, Christianity was virtually the only religion in America. During this period the Christian faith was central to the life of virtually the entire population.2 Christianity is still the largest of the world’s religions. Its numbers, particularly in the West, may not have changed greatly, but its influence on the cultures of the world has diminished markedly. Indeed, it is evident to the most casual observer that Christian influence in the Western world is now only a very small fraction of what it once was. Christianity has changed; it no longer has the cultural vitality it once displayed. When we look at the worldviews espoused and demonstrated by most of the leaders and educators of the Western world, the true extent of the degradation of Christian influence can be better assessed.

The challenges to Christianity today are greater than ever before. The anti-Christian forces arrayed against it and seeking its demise are powerful and deeply entrenched. They either control directly or at least are able to strongly influence every significant world power and are moving inexorably toward a socialistic and atheistic one-world government. What is needed to prevent their plunging the world into an age of abysmal darkness and to preserve or regain individual freedom is a restoration of Christian credibility and vitality. This will not be accomplished without a major sea change in thought and deed within the ranks of Christianity. But before reasonable and effective action can be taken, we need to understand the current situation, and, even more importantly, how we got here. The following is an attempt to explore, in very much an overview fashion, what the changes were, why they took place, and what will be needed to recover the ground that has been lost.

There is no intent in this work to produce a thorough analysis comprehending every detail of each point raised. It is rather to provide an outline of what is today an important aspect of the Christian faith that is not addressed in most Christian books or theological material. It is the author’s hope that the reader will be sufficiently motivated to investigate further.

The ideas contained herein are not likely to gain immediate widespread acceptance; today’s church is not yet ready for strong medicine. But there is a growing remnant who are aware that something is seriously wrong in society and that many of the churches are either part of the problem or just not relevant to a solution. The time is coming though, perhaps fairly soon, when it will become obvious to many more true believers that their leaders have let them down and have thereby brought about calamitous changes in America and the rest of the world. It is hoped that this work will lead some of the faithful to a better grasp of Christian responsibility and the scope of Scripture, particularly for application to life in this world and the future it promises—in time and in history.

1 For a thorough exposition of this passage see: R. J. Rushdoony, Salvation and GodlyRule, Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1983, 413–417.

2 Winthrop S. Hudson. Religion in America, 4th ed. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1987, 13–18.