Western nations, in the main, have ceased to be Christian.
This happened through three major events. First the final break of the Roman Pope with the Orthodox Church in 1054 A. D., proclaiming himself ruler of the Church in place of Christ. Then came the Protestant reaction, beginning in earnest in 1517, which ‘democratized’ (to use Fr Andrew Phillips’s word) the Pope’s rebellion by making each Protestant Christian a Pope: that is, one who defines the Christian faith according to his own leanings.
For the final falling away, Dr Lev Gumilev gives us this description:
At the end of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), there was weariness. But that did not result in unity. For 150 years both Protestants and Catholics developed different stereotypes of behaviour which could only be combined through tolerance. The latter was proclaimed as a principle but was very inconsistently realized. Only in the eighteenth century were old scores forgotten and
Europe again acquired a unity, which was called the 'civilized world' rather than the 'Christian' (Ethnogenesis and the Biosphere, online edition, Chapter 6, Part 2).
As Dr Gumilev rightly saw, though himself an atheist Soviet,
Europe gave up the last of its Christian ghost in the 18th century. Now there is only the descent into death and hell.
Here in the South and the other States, as elsewhere in the West, this spiritual deadness may be readily perceived in the general attitude toward doctrine. For most who call themselves Christian, all debate about what doctrine is true and what false has nearly ceased. Relativism, indifference, dominates.
Whatever is foremost in peoples’ minds will be foremost on their lips. Instead of Christian life and doctrine, now political and economic doctrines are most important, the most debated. Worldly cares and goods are sacred; the Holy Trinity is all but forgotten.
No one cares much for your dogma of God, or Christ, the Church, the Holy Spirit, baptism, etc. But your thoughts on how to interpret the [u]nited States Constitution is of paramount importance.
Whether one is a Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, and so on is now a small matter: Just ‘believe in Jesus’ - if even that much. But whether one is a Republican or a Democrat, capitalist or socialist, conservative, liberal, or libertarian - this is everything.
On beliefs about God, we may have a friendly disagreement; on taxing and spending policy there can be no compromise.
But the effects of this for mankind and all the creation are dire.
Every alteration in the basic creed, each subsidence in the hidden foundations of the Church “which the Lord founded upon the rock of faith (Liturgy of St James),” produces sooner or later cracks of division on the “surface” of the Church’s face. If dogma is falsified, whether intentionally or not, ecclesiology, both pastoral and administrative, is deformed, spiritual life is falsified and man suffers.
Ecclesiology and Christian anthropology have the same basis: trinitarian and christological dogma (Archimandrite Vasileios, Hymn of Entry, p. 20).
Where there is a false understanding of God, there will also be a false understanding of man and the creation. And from this will flow strife and troubles. But people prefer to put this out of mind.
has been rejected for a ‘kingdom of goods’ (St Nikolai, Prayers by the Lake, Prayer LXVII, p. 127). Kingdom of God
Unless there is great repentance, the Western nations are now simply awaiting the appearance of their new master: Antichrist, who will fulfill every desire of their idolatrous hearts.
Gumilev, Lev. Ethnogenesis and the Biosphere.
: Progress Publishers, 1979. Available at http://gumilevica.kulichki.net/English/ebe.htm, posted 29 February 2008, accessed 30 June 2014. Moscow
Archimandrite Vasileios of Stavronikita. Hymn of Entry: Liturgy and Life in the Orthodox Church. Brière, Elizabeth trans. Crestwood, Ny.: SVS Press, 1984.
Velimirovich, St Nikolai. A Treasury of Serbian Orthodox Spirituality, Vol. V: Prayers by the
Lake. 3rd ed. Mika and Scott, trans. Grayslake, Il.: Diocese of New Gracanica and Midwestern , 2010. Also available online: http://www.sv-luka.org/praylake/index.htm America