The West has eroded its intellectual, spiritual and moral foundations over the last two centuries. This ongoing project has consumed our culture from within. All that seems to be left is self-righteous offense taking, condemnation of others, protests without civility, crass tweets and the will to power.
Frederick Nietzsche was correct in his assessment in the late 19th century that the killing off of God in the minds of people would leave a world of chaos and madness. He went mad in his own lifetime; a few lifetimes later we continue to reap what we have sown.
For years we have been teaching that the truth is based only on perspective; yours, mine, our tribe or theirs. Morality has no ontological footings or objective reality beyond human opinions. We teach that everyone is basically good apart from any evidence to the contrary. We now hold these, uh, truths? to be self-evident?
Now we simply fight it out on Facebook while claiming to not really know either up or down. Who are we to judge? Unless we are all judging our ideological enemies. But we are right and they are wrong...and somebody will pay. Welcome to 2017.
What comes next in our culture and what is going on now is indicative of the rotten corpse that is now at the foundation of our civilization. God is dead and we have killed him, yet we are not and will never be worthy of his job.
We have lost our ability to disagree without being disagreeable. We have lost love for enemies. We don't even fake it anymore. We have lost hope beyond our political potentates who posture as perennial saviors. We stick it to the man until our tribe becomes the man. Then somebody else will stick it to her, or him, us or zhem.
We are bleeding under our own intellectual knives. All is relative, there is no ultimate meaning, and we are only the blind production of matter + chance + time. There is nothing more to this existence. So let the tweeting continue until we make progress in our coming from nothing and returning just as fast. All of this nonsense has now come home to roost in our culture.
We inhabit a world of fake news and alternative facts and those complaining about it were likely trained in institutions that rob us of the truth and offer sophisticated dissent from the fact that there are facts. We are now awash in our own intellectual backwash and are now left to drown in a world of noise. Everyone is clamoring for their moment, their focus and a world of their own imagination and it may well be that we have been turned over to judgment and the whirlwinds have cometh. God help us. And thank God that Jesus still saves.
The late British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge describes decline well in a prophetic voice offered up decades ago:
So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over--a weary, battered old brontosaurus--and became extinct.
Malcolm Muggeridge, Vintage Muggeridge: Religion and Society
All of our efforts as a society have brought us a Clinton(s) and a Trump. And the beat goes on. Thankfully there exists another king and an actual Savior. One who has been and will be followed among many civilizations in the history of the world. His people have thrived under tribal chieftains, communist kommissars, Jim Crow sheriffs, liberal democracies, socialist utopianists and under the boot of fascists and empires. xHis true sheep will thrive under whatever we are currently producing.
Jesus taught us that his Kingdom is not of this world system. The church is never at her worst more than we she is trying to rule this one as a cruel taskmaster. Jesus's way of leadership was not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. May we follow him in these days and in the days to come. For even though we walk in the valley of the shadow of such mess, there will be a day when faith shall be sight and we shall be free at last.