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Christians in a Dying Western Christian Civilization

churchbells“Having turned away from the knowledge given by God, the Christian influence on the whole of culture has been lost. In Europe, including England, it took many years ? in the United States only a few decades. In the United States, in the short span from the twenties to the sixties, we have seen a complete shift. Ours is a post-Christian world in which Christianity, not only in the number of Christians but in cultural emphasis and cultural result, is no longer the consensus or ethos of our society.”

“Do not take this lightly! It is a horrible thing for a man like myself to look back and see my country and my culture go down the drain in my own lifetime. It is a horrible thing that sixty years ago you could move across this country and almost everyone, even non-Christians, would have known what the gospel was. A horrible thing that fifty to sixty years ago our culture was built on the Christian consensus, and that is no longer the case.” – Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer in 1984[1]

Within three months of writing these words, the great American theologian, thinker and author of two dozen books, Dr. Francis Schaeffer, was dead from cancer. That was more than thirty years ago. Today our Christian roots have, in large part, been forgotten and even denied. Francis Schaeffer’s heart would be completely broken if he was alive today. Perhaps it is best he’s gone.

Although Dr. Schaeffer wrote about America’s drift away from Christianity, the drift toward secular humanism in Canada has been just as striking — if not more. The drift away from Christianity became a strong current and now Christians find themselves swimming against a tide of secularism and even open hostility. It is startling to consider that Canada was a Christian nation at the beginning of the 20th Century and a secular nation by the beginning of the 21st Century.

How did this happen in the span of less than a hundred years?! A Christian moral consensus that formed the basis of our laws, culture, and mores is all but gone – a fading memory.[2]

I am reminded of an incident that occurred to me when the movie Passion of the Christ came out in 2004. I went to a DVD store to purchase it. When I got to the counter, I asked the clerk if he saw the movie. The young man looked at the DVD jacket with a puzzled look and said, “I don’t know the story.” Initially I thought he was joking but he was not. He was honestly ignorant about Christ’s Passion, crucifixion and Resurrection.

We are reaping a bitter harvest for turning away from Christianity.

Who would have believed, at the beginning of the twentieth century, that one in five pregnancies in Canada would end in abortion and paid for at taxpayers’ expense!  A woman can have an abortion for any reason (or no reason) and she can have as many as she wants. No questions asked. Who would have believed that the definition of marriage would be changed in an audacious social experiment not based upon social science but political and ideological fashion! Who would have believed that pornography would be widespread and accepted by mainstream media, or that our children would freely engage in premarital sex against a backdrop of rampant sexually transmitted disease!

Who would have believed that the highest court in the land (the Canadian Supreme Court) would strike down the nation’s laws against assisted suicide in favour of physician assisted suicide for any medical condition! This includes any illness, disease or disability “that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition.” Intolerable suffering includes physical or PSYCHOLOGICAL pain. A whole new phase of killing will soon begin under the guise of choice and autonomy.

There was a time, not so long ago, when physician assisted suicide would have been considered murder. Now it will be a right for suicidal people! The next thing to be dismantled will be conscience rights of doctors and nurses of faith who refuse to participate.[3] The right to death will be accompanied with the duty to kill, or be accomplices to murder by referral to physicians who have no qualms about euthanizing suicidal people. (Disguise killing suicidal people with the cleverest of euphemisms but it is still crossing a cultural taboo … that of taking a human life.)

This New Age barbarism will put in peril the weakest of society who have sunk beneath the waves of their circumstances (just as it has done with widespread abortion). The generals of this army of cultural barbarians are politicians in high places and judges surrounded by a coterie of bureaucratic minions who draft ever more audacious social policies so perfectly dark as to be impregnable to the divine light of Christ’s absolute truth. Each corpus delicti will be promoted and heralded by a willing press. Ideological atheistic professors in universities have indoctrinated the young so ripe for rebellion against truth and morality in favour of unfettered freedom without responsibility.

They all have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

I believe that Canada has lost the Christian moorings upon which it was built and gave it any claim of aspiring to greatness.

My country is not post-Christian, it is now anti-Christian in its new morality, behaviour and beliefs. For proof, all you need to do is look at the laws emanating from legislatures and policies of professional organizations, government departments and tribunals as well as school boards down to elementary levels.

Critics and enemies of Christianity are quick to point out failing of western Christian civilization. Have you noticed something? Christians are quick to admit sins of the past and present. Anti-Christians are not prepared to admit their slightest failings, sins or corruptions. They charge headlong toward a cultural abyss.

They do not believe in absolutes of right and wrong for themselves but are quick to absolutely decry Christian wrongs. They have come to completely and absolutely believe in their relativist fiction. They call themselves “progressives” and progress to hideous evil where the value of life is arbitrary. The deformity of the moderns’ character crawls to extinguish the noble flame of enlightenment of universal human rights. Their progress is regress toward a New Dark Age.
The sanctity of life has been exchanged to the sanctity of death.

Christians face dark days. We serve a God of light yet live in the logic of darkness. The Apostle John said this about Jesus: “In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” [4]

Jesus said this of himself:

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light, because their deed were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” [5]

Jesus is truth and life. [6]  It is upon this reality that the cultural war will ultimately be fought. Expect to be hated just as Christ was hated.[7] The hour is late and the forces of evil are strong but take heart and stand resolute for the truth of Christ despite formidable opposition. Nothing less than the sanctity of human life is at stake — both in a physical and spiritual context.

We must strengthen what remains of our former Christian heritage and reclaim what has been lost. Take heart. If God is with us who can be against us? [8]

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[1] Francis A. Schaeffer,  The Great Evangelical Disaster (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1984) pp. 28-29.
[2] The laws of Canada and America have British Common Law at their foundations dating back hundreds of years. Common Law is was based on Christianity. In his inaugural address of 1829, Dane Professor of Law at Harvard University said “There has never been a period in which Common Law did not recognize Christianity as laying at its foundation.” (Quoted in Perry Miller, editor, The Legal Mind in America (New York: Doubleday, 1962), p.178.
[3]See Sharon Kirkey, “In the wake of ruling, who does the killing” National Post, 11 February 2015, A-1. Kirkey quoted the President of the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians, Dr. Susan MacDonald’s response to the Supreme Court ruling of assisted suicide. Seventy-four percent of the Society’s membership will not help their patients commit suicide once the act is legalized. Dr. MacDonald said: “It is anathema to us, to many of us. How would I ever inspire trust when people already have this terrible of what I do already.”
[4] John 1:4-5.
[5] John 3:19-21.
[6] John 14:6.
[7] Matthew 10:22, John 15:18-22.
[8] Romans 8.31.


Mark Davis Pickup is chronically ill and disabled with degenerative multiple sclerosis. He is an advocate for life issues and disability inclusion across North America. He and his wife, LaRee, have been married for 38 years. They live in Alberta Canada with their two adult children and five grandchildren. Mark is available to address issues of euthanasia, assisted suicide, and issues revolving around suffering that often fuel calls for euthanasia. He writes regularly at http://markpickup.org and http://humanlifematters.org. For bookings, contact him by e-mail at MPickup@shaw.ca or telephone (780) 929-9230. Mark Pickup's bi-weekly column can be read in the Western Catholic Reporter (Canada) at http://www.wcr.ab.ca/.


  • Pax

    the problem would seem though that somewhere there needs to be a christian nation. perhaps that is not God’s will. As he was pleased the Christ would be crucified , maybe the Crucifixion of the church is also his will. Although we can be sure ‘the gates of hell will not prevail’. I myself would love to live in an explicitly Christian nation. I just don’t know where to move to find one.

    • TK

      At least in Africa, there seem to be holy bishops. Hope springs eternal.

  • FreemenRtrue

    We just did a little stint for 40 Days of Life outside a Planned Parenthood facility. In 2 hours, we got 20-25 beeps of support, 2 thumbs down and four solitarily exposed most significant digits. There is a large divide, most are apathetic. A large minority are supportive. A small faction is openly and rudely hostile. Our signs said “Pray for an end to Abortion”. It is the press and the government that is most hostile to Christianity. The education system is the government. The disposal of Christianity by government is simply another example of creeping totalitarianism. Obama is a prime example.

    • goral

      The apathy in the drugged, pierced and tattooed public is on the level of being spit out of the mouth of our Lord. The press is now openly a propaganda mechanism for hedonism and gov’t control. The Jews and Protestants oppose Christianity in gov’t. The Catholics bring their own brand of christianity into gov’t, indistinguishable from atheism.
      The Church is infiltrated by Marxists all the way to the top. Catholic educational institutions are all run on the Berkley model.

      Hope always springs eternal. While the sun sets on one steeple it rises on another. There are martyrs in Africa and Asia and former Communist countries who have made the ground fertile. God bless them and God help us because we’ll have to go through the same cycle.
      St. Clare, with your foot on the neck of a Mohammedan, pray for us!

  • Dhaniele

    In the 2nd chapter of 2 Thessalonians, St. Paul speaks of a future apostasy (apostasia in the Greek original). This is described as basically man putting himself in the place of God. We have certainly reached that stage. However, St. Paul then predicts the triumph of Christianity through the Holy Spirit (“the breath of his mouth”). Though the situation is grim, there is then hope. At Fatima Mary also promised the triumph of her Immaculate Heart and urged us all to pray for that event. The situation is grave but not beyond Christian optimism. God’s ways are not our ways and the Jews returned from Babylon in the face of apparently impossible odds. Salvation history has a way of repeating itself.

  • Ben

    So much for that “New Springtime” of Vatican II. The demonic “Spirit of Vatican II” must be indicted for the collapse of Western Christianity.