The Decline & Fall of Western Civilization:
What is the Cause & what is the Answer?
Thursday, July 23, 2009
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Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News. This is Paul Billington speaking with you this week. Our interest in world events is stimulated by the knowledge that "the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men," and that He will cause them to either prosper or decline as a result of their behaviour and response to the principles revealed in His word. As the Almighty deals with nations on this basis, He does so according to the eternal purpose which He purposed through Israel and her coming King.
It is becoming clear that the United States of America is currently in decline as a world power--and this decline is being accelerated by the Obama Administration which now occupies the While House. This decline began before Obama took office, but we now see it gathering downward momentum at an alarming rate. We must understand the operating principle here, for it was clearly stated through Jeremiah the prophet, when God said through him (Jer. 18:7-10):
"At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them."
This is what happened to the British Empire. Once Britain turned out the Bible, and broke their promise about a Jewish national home, their power sank like lead in the ocean! We now see that the United States is going down the same road. Recently a Newsweek front cover could announce "The Decline and Fall of Christian America," and along with that there is a clear change of direction concerning the U.S. policy with Israel.
But there is another factor involved--and it is one that very few like to mention. The truth is that as the influence of the Bible has diminished in society, another religious influence has gained in strength. It was the open Bible that formed the basis of the Reformation and the Protestant movement in both England and America--and it was this Protestantism (Biblical Protestantism) that caused both countries to shun Roman Catholicism and its papal system for several centuries. The evidence of this is seen in the preface to the 1611 King James Version of the Bible with its reference to "that man of sin" and "Popish Persons."
Due to acts of terrorism in Protestant England such as the Gunpowder Plot, when a group of Roman Catholics tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament as King James 1st opened Parliament, there was an Act passed prohibiting Catholics from participation in Government. To this day a Roman Catholic is disqualified from the British monarchy. Efforts are being made to change that law, but to this date it is still in force.
In 1829 a Bill was presented to Parliament which permitted Catholics to "sit and vote in either House of Parliament," that is after they took an oath "to be faithful and bear true allegiance" to the King. Since that watershed Catholics have become a dominant influence in British politics--and also in the media, the Judiciary and other centres of power. The same pattern has been seen throughout the English-speaking world, including the United States of America.
It is the book of Revelation that identifies the false religious system of these last days as "the great whore that sitteth upon many waters... (which) are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues" (Revelation 17:1 and 15). This system is rich and increased in goods:
"And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication" (Rev. 17:4).
As can be seen from chapter 18, this "Babylon" system is extremely wealthy--virtually controlling the world's economy!
So it is with considerable interest that we view the recent history of the Roman Church and its Vatican. There is something about this in the recent issue of the Bible Magazine (Vol.22, Issue No. 3), and it is demonstrated yet again by the new papal encyclical just published under the title "Caritas in Veritate," (Charity in Truth).
This encyclical letter seeks to promote once again the social teaching of the Catholic Church. It follows in the same vein as the encyclicals by the late John Paul 2 (Redemptor Hominis 1979, and Laborem Exercens 1981) and others which promoted a social doctrine much closer towards Communism than towards Capitalism and its free-market economic system.
In December 1977 the Catholic Bishops of Canada published a Pastoral Message entitled "A Society to be Transformed" and in describing Canada's "woeful system" of "liberal capitalism" it used Marxist phraseology to decry widespread poverty (in Canada?) "and the concentrations of wealth and power in the hands of a few." That the Protestant work ethic produced that wealth was overlooked.
That was followed by a Catholic Bishops' report on the United States economy in November 1984. The message was the same, promoting Catholic social teaching and the concept that the Church "must not only work to change people but also to change those social structures that impede the progress of the poor." An issue of Business Week had the title on its front cover "The Church and Capitalism." Again the Church was pushing in the direction of Communism.
Also in Britain, in a naked attempt to bring Tony Blair and his "New Labour" into power, the Catholic hierarchy in Britain published a paper entitled "The Common Good." Again it was an attack upon the Capitalist system through which the West had earned its prosperity, and it was another move towards Communism disguised as Socialism.
This doctrine has brought the economy of the United States, Britain and most of the free world into its present gigantic mess! Now Benedict has the brazen-faced audacity to publish his "Caritas in Veritae" in which he calls for a "true world political authority" to oversee the economy and to work for the "common good" (i.e. Socialism).
We should understand that the collapse of Communism is really a myth -- it is a system that merely changed its name while the Western Capitalist civilization was being undermined under the guise of combating poverty. Thus the all-powerful State is moving to take control of the economy and of our lives.
So the grand Master plan of the Vatican continues to work towards its goal. As long ago as 1977 the Christadelphian writer Graham Pearce explained the Vatican objective as being "a Christian socialist state" (in the booklet Babylon and Jerusalem). This he saw from the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation. The question is, can the United States, Britain and other English-speaking countries free themselves from the Vatican's web? Obama does not seem to be a symbol of hope in that regard; the evidence is that he is dancing to Vatican's tune. And neither is there any sign of relief in other anglophone countries.
There are but two reasons for hope of a change. One does not seem very likely, because it requires a return to Bible principles. The only other hope is the promised coming of Christ, who will destroy Babylon together with her false ideology and religion.
On this programme we are committed to Bible Truth and belief in God's promises. Join us again as we look for the great redemption and the Hope of Israel centred in Jesus Christ, the saviour of the world.
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Printed: Thursday, July 23, 2009
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