The War on The West

Retirement has permitted me to read books that I wouldn’t have had time when I was an active pastor.

I have essentially ended these once-weekly blog posts and will probably close down the Welcome to the Front Porch Swing in February when my contract renews.

Occasionally a book is so relevant that I want to share it with my former blog followers. However, I usually don’t share anything, but today I will.

The book, The War on The West, was an eye-opener. The author is Douglas Murray, an international bestseller. His latest book was released only a few months ago, and I predict it will be another bestseller. It ought to be. In fact, it ought to be required reading for every person concerned by the dramatic social, political changes that threaten to tear the fabric that once held us together as a nation. Or as a civilization.

Murray lays out evidence exposing the sinister effort to destroy all western civilization. Nothing is sacred anymore, it appears. Western art and music that has endured and been cherished is under attack simply because they are the product of white men and women.

If you want to understand contemporary issues such as woke, BLM etc., this book is a must read. The root goes far deeper than racism.

As we watch, statues and memorials that once honored great men and women are being toppled or defaced, if for no other reason than an ancestor might have benefited by slavery. I emphasize “might have”. Buildings on college campuses are being renamed. Even the statue of an elk in downtown Portland was not safe because it was on land that once belonged to native Americans.

Yet, statues in honor of Karl Marx remain unmolested.

It is clear that much, if not most, of the anger supposedly driving this movement has nothing to do with slavery or race. The root goes far deeper than the death of a black man at the hands of a renegade cop.

Karl Marx, in personal letters to his friend, Friedrich Engels, are laced with racial slurs especially against Jews and blacks. Marx frequently tosses the “N” word around in his ranting. Yet, he is safe from all this madness.

We can determine the root of a tree by its fruit. The focus of Murray’s book is to expose the root that is driving this war against all western civilization.

Will they succeed?

Yes, unless enough people and enough corporations get enough courage to say, “enough!”

One final concept from Murray: He observes that there are no boats filled with migrants going south across the Mediterranean ocean. There are no masses of people crossing the Rio Grande going south to escape the United States of America.

Go figure.

The Air We Breathe

It is time to break my silence.

My focus has been on ministry in our local church over the past several months. Therefore, I have resisted writing new posts.

However, I recently discovered a book—so relevant—that I have read it a second time and have encouraged my friends to check it out for themselves. Now I want to share the challenge on the Front Porch Swing.

The book, The Air We Breathe, by Glen Scrivener reveals that the values we all—both secular and religious—claim to believe in are the products of the influence of Christianity. We value freedom, kindness, progress, education, democracy, compassion and equality. We oppose slavery and seek to protect the physically and mentally challenged among us. We abhor the tragic results of Nazism and Communism. We believe that every person should be free to choose their religious belief—even atheism.

The preamble to the Declaration of Independence assumes that certain values are self-evident. That they are so obvious as to never be challenged. Consider these words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The preamble to the Constitution of the United States opens with the stated desire to pursue justice and tranquility and to promote the general welfare of every citizen.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

What profound thoughts from the minds and the pens of our founding fathers! Not all were practicing Christians, but each had been influenced by Christianity. It was the air they breathed.

But the question is, “Are these truths, these values, truly “self-evident?” Are they, or have they always been, obvious in other civilizations? Other constitutions?

No! A resounding “No!”

Not one ancient civilization or culture has ever held these values. In fact, most were constructed on the opposite. The mighty and powerful deserved to rule. The weaker deserved to be ruled and even abused. The Greeks philosophers did not offer true democracy. Only the elite, those privileged by the gods, had a voice in making and enforcing law.

 Pax Romana may have kept the peace but at what cost? Slaves and less” valuable” people served the powerful. Life, even that of a new born baby, was expendable at the whim of the powerful father or the emperor.

When did “everything” change? When did compassion for the weak become norm? When did every human life—women and children and other races—deserve equal protection and value under the law?

That is the point made by Glen Scrivener, author of The Air We Breathe.

Today, the Christian Church has fallen into respect in our secular culture. Sometimes, rightfully earned by those who call themselves Christ-followers. Our secular culture seeks to push us aside or to blame us for the social ills.

We may wonder if we need to apologize for something? For everything?

Let me share my response as influenced by this book:

Jesus, by example and words, brought light that exposed the evil darkness. His followers, nicknamed Christians by their critics, won the culture war through their unselfish, Christ-like lives. Unwanted babies were rescued from Roman garbage dumps and alleys. The sick and dying, during plagues, were cared for by Christians while the elite fled to safer ground. The bloody “entertainment” in the Coliseum ended through the influence of Christ-followers, sometimes at the expense of their own lives.

So, if you believe that women should be treated equally in the business place and honored in the home, thank Jesus.

If you believe the more vulnerable—the aged, infirm, mentally challenged or physically disabled—among us deserve protection under the law, thank Jesus. He honored women, blessed little children, touched lepers, healed blind and fed the hungry.

If you believe that a fetus, that has been diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome, deserves an opportunity to live, thank Jesus.

If you believe that no human being—regardless of race or gender—should be bought or sold for profit, thank Jesus.

If you enjoy the blessings of scientific research, thank Jesus.

If you’ve experienced compassionate medical treatment in a hospital, thank Jesus.

Jesus and influence of faithful Christians have created the air we breathe- the blessings we enjoy today.

Jesus and His followers, have transformed the world—changing the way things used to be-and have created a revolution that declares every human being is valuable because he or she bears the image of their Creator.

I strongly encourage you to check out the book: The Air We Breathe.

Let’s get some dialogue going here on the front porch.